Friday, 27 June 2014

World Cup News & Sports: Ronaldo's Portugal, Balotelli's Panini, the Rio Night & the Biter!

Portugal out, who's fault?
Image from ESPN
Just a few collection of articles and videos these few days, mainly World Cup related.

Here's what happened to Portugal last night, they are out. They played without teamwork, they played with Nani, Nani and Nani, and Cristiano Ronaldo did his best. Seriously, he did his best. Considering the performance he gave this morning, that he could still outrun and outjump some of the Nigerian players while he's still stuck with that knee injury, I think he has even outperformed himself! Sure he missed several good chances, but those chances are dead close to scoring, and he still scored one! Now that Portugal has lost, who is to blame? I think no one but CR7's club -- Real Madrid, for they over-exhausted him this season and failed to win La Liga.

Here's Mario Balotelli picking himself and only himself as the player to play every single position of the Italian team, self-centredness at its best:
Considerable work went into Mario Balotelli's Italy squad selection.
Photograph & Caption: Guardian

Here's what Rio de Janeiro looks like during a game of football when the Brazilian team plays:

Here's what happened to the guy who bite and the guy who was bitten:

Woke up by the baby at 6am this morning, dead tired. Still, time to return to researching.

Mario Balotelli covers up Italy team with own sticker in Panini album

Alzirão Brazil Fan Festa | Layla's World Cup @ YouTube

Luis Suarez Bites Giorgio Chiellini @ YouTube

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

News & Sport: Suarez Bites, RoboJap, Big iPhone & LINE's 3rd Birthday

A Locky's English Playground production inspired by Luis Suarez's bite on Chiellini
Image from Locky's English Playground
Uruguay beating Italy? No surprise there. Italy failed to reach next round, a little surprise here, but still, none is more surprising to see Luis Suarez performing one of his best moves on the pitch again -- the Suarez Bite! This time his victim is Italy's Chiellini, who took his teeth by his left shoulder.

Hurt your teeth, Luis?
Image from telegraph
And as people say, three times a charm, to celebrate his third ever attempt, I created the Jurassic Park-like image above.

Image from bbci
Oh! So yummy! If you want to know what human flesh tastes like? You no longer need to ask Edward the vampire any more.

Skin deep
Image from independent
I wonder if he'll be banned for the rest of the World Cup.

L to R: Android robot Kodomoroid; Prof. Hiroshi Ishiguro; Mamoru Mohri, the chief executive director of the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation; Otonaroid, in Tokyo on June 24.
Caption and image from Mashable
We talked about Geminoid F in the past, now her sisters have arrived, and they are earned their jobs too! One being a newsreader, the other being a museum guide.

The future is just looking more and more awkwardly realistic (or realistically awkward)!

Image from Quartz

A research report says that potential iPhone 6 customers want bigger iPhone, I wonder why they bother to do this kind of research when Apple is already having their production underway and the large Android phones selling in millions.

Image from thenextweb
LINE's 3rd birthday has just past, but already they are one of Asia's largest and most popular Instant Messengers (as I have predicted since day 1)! Its stickers are incredibly cute and their games are becoming more and more addictive! My favourite of course, is LINE Rangers, seeing those cute little characters battling aliens are simply awesome! There are even forums, YouTube channels and blogs dedicated to this game and the players are from Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Hong Kong, basically across the globe!!

LINE Tee-shirts with Uniqlo
Image from Uniqlo HK
LINE is already printing tee-shirts with Uniqlo, and if they are going to make plush toys for each of the characters, they are going to make cargo loads more cash!

Here's Panic Button's LINE Rangers blog and her LINE Rangers YouTube Channel, highly recommended if you want to learn to play the game well and learn some English terms while practising your listening skills!

Okay, that's about everything I wanted to share for now! Back to PhD researching!

three times a charm -- (proverb) One is sure to succeed at a task or event on the third try
underway -- (adj)[after verb] If something is underway, it is happening now

Living: Close Encounter With Geminoid F 2012 @ Locky's English Playground

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chiellini @ Soccernet

Japan's New Robot Museum Guides Are All Too Human @ Mashable

Most people want a bigger iPhone—some are even willing to pay extra for it @ Quartz

As it turns three, Line reveals its family of apps has chalked up over 1 billion downloads @ TNW


Line Rangers Stage 119 Free Clear (new) - English Voice @ YouTube

Panic Button's LINE Rangers YouTube Channel's_a_charm

Friday, 20 June 2014

Sports & Opinions: Some Thoughts About World Cup 2014 So Far

Fred appealing for a penalty even before his buttocks hit the ground
Image from ESPN

I guess it is not right not to talk about the World Cup when the entire world has now more or less come to a stagnation just for a game of soccer ball. And actually, I have done pretty much nothing these days other than doing housework, taking care of my baby, preparing tonnes of lecture notes, doing very little research and watching one soccer game every day.

And so, here are my views:

Brazil 3-1 Croatia

Lady Luck practically sat on the head of the Brazilian team, maybe she had even cast a penalty charm on the eyes of the Japanese referee Yuichi Nishimura when Fred performed a kid-in-slide on Croatian centre-back Dejan Lovren's body. I like Brazil, but I hate diving!!! Did Fred really take Eric Cantona's advice -- "Never grow up, my friends"? So much for Joga Bonito!

Before the penalty wrongly granted, the game was 50-50 and Croatia could have been able to win it.

Netherlands 5-1 Spain

The score was not as good as it looked for the Oranje until Robin van Persie's brilliant flying header! And what do you know, his move has got a name right after that goal, called "Persieing"!

It was so amazing that it made "San Iker" looked dumb. That was his third biggest mistakes since the Champions League final last month, then his fourth and fifth came soon after.

Casillas was practically non-existed in front of goals as van Persie and Robben literally toyed with the Spanish goalkeeper. Whose fault? Not his, but manager Del Bosque's. He should not have played Casillas in the first place, the man was barely used by his club all season. How do you expect someone so lack of form to defend such high quality attacks?

England 1-2 Italy

Andrea Pirlo with his magnificent control and passing
Image from soccerbyives
Goals are always good, but the best of this game is not the goals, but Andrea Pirlo. Every player was expected to play for the full 90 minutes, many English players suffered cramps due to the heat, but none of the Italians had similar problems. The most incredible of all, was that the 35-year-old Italian playmaker was so fit and sharp throughout the game with his dead accurate passing that he made all youngsters look old and incompetent. The Italian's incredibly high successful passing rate as compared to the English's made all the difference. More good passes, less redundant runs. It is physics, the conservation of energy.

Ivory Coast 2 - 1 Japan

Nagatomo's sliding tackle
Image from soccerbyives
Japan's passing just did not connect, especially those coming from Kagawa. I have no idea what made him famous judging by his performance. He just kept given away possessions cheaply. Honda's goal was of great quality though.

Pity. I supported Japan in this match.

Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina

Messi's goal
Image from whoateallthepies
First World Cup goal for Messi in 8 years, good. Nice good from him? Yeah, but not great by his standard. Other than his goal, Argentina was a lot of individualism, very few connected passes and a very poor Kun Aguero. The Argentine never looked united or spirited to me. They were lucky to have won the match. Judging by their game, they definitely do not look like they can make it to the final. It was in fact the most boring match so far in the World Cup. Should have watched France VS Honduras instead.

Germany 4 - 0 Portugal

A walking Cristiano Ronaldo all match means Portugal will lose, definitely . No one will blame CR7 because everyone knows he was injured, he still is. The Germans are just too organised and well-teamed up for Portugal, or even for Brazil. So far, the strongest team I have seen in this World Cup. Muller simply knew where the ball will end up. Amazing!

Brazil 0 - 0 Mexico

The Brazilian team did not improve since the previous match. Mexico played really well though! With the god-like performance from the Mexican keeper Ochoa, I thought that Brazil will lose, and they should have!

With Ochoa out of contract from the club, he is one hot bargain for sure!

Spain 0 - 2 Chile
Eduardo Vargas scored an excellent goal and he is up for sale at his club
Image from dailymail
George Bush once said, "There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." Of course, this is a very wrong saying, but I cannot use the correct one on Del Bosque because the wrong version fits his disastrous tactics perfectly.

The most "wrongest" move he made was to keep his faith in Casillas. I knew, many knew, that if Casillas played, it would be bye bye Espanol, and the match would be very entertaining too! Though I still chose to watch Australia VS Netherlands, I did not miss the highlight. So Barcelona wants to sell Alexis Sanchez? Eduardo Vargas is also for sale? For real? I seriously think that Inter Milan should get the pair.

Netherlands 3 - 2 Australia

Robben celebrating his goal
Image from cmgdigital

The Dutch thought the Aussie would be easier than the Spanish, and they were wrong. The Aussie were strong! The Dutch's passing was not as fluid as in the previous match. Lucky that the manager van Gaal knows his stuff and made Sneijder the key playmaker in the second half, so the Dutch regained more possessions and enjoyed some deadly through-passes from him. As usual, Robben was superb! That being said, Cahill is one very good striker and he should be playing in Europe!

My prediction for the following matches are:

Italy beating Costa Rica, France beats Switzerland, Argentina beats Iran, Germany beats Ghana, Belgium beats Russia, USA beats Portugal, Netherlands draws Chile.

So much for now.


Brazil 3-1 Croatia - Neymar shines in opening win @ ESPN FC

Joga Bonito @ Wikipedia

Holders routed by Dutch @ ESPN FC

 #BBCtrending: Van Persie's header sparks internet trend @ BBC News

Spain 1-5 Holland: Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben score twice @ Mail Online

England 1-2 Italy Mario Balotelli scores winner in Manaus @ ESPN FC

Ivory Coast 2-1 Japan - Elephants charge back @ ESPN FC

Argentina 2-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina Lionel Messi scores brilliant winner @ ESPN FC

Germany beat Portugal in World Cup opener as Pepe sees red @ ESPN FC

Brazil and Mexico play out goalless draw in World Cup's Group A @ ESPN FC

Spain exit World Cup after defeat to Chile @ ESPN FC

Netherlands beat Australia in tight World Cup Group B clash @ ESPN FC

Monday, 16 June 2014

Vocabulary: Very Big English Words You Should Learn!!!

Image from BuzzFeed

Just to keep things going, I have three videos from BuzzFeed which talk about some cool words in the English language.

Morton's toe is something very commonly mentioned amongst the Hongkongers, as there is a saying "Poor until your death if you have Morton's toe."

Glabella and philtrum are mainly face reading related in the feng shui category.

Glabella (印 堂 in Chinese) being the space between your eyebrows, represents the luck at age 28 as well as the ease of success throughout one's life.
Philtrum (人 中 in Chinese) being the groove between the nose and the middle of the lips, represents the luck at age 51 as well as longevity, number of child and the sex of the first child.

Semantic actually refers to the meaning of a word, while satiation means having too much of something.

Dysphemism is a representation of linguistic "coolness" and creativity! Can't stop loving it! I particularly like lacuna because there are so many useful ones out there like bakku-shan and backpfeifengesicht mentioned in the post Vocabulary: Words Worth Noticing.

And from the same article, now we know that Scotch tape, Tipp-Ex, Band-Aid, Panadol, Viagra are called proprietary eponyms.

Denominalization is linguistically much more than just using a word that is not a verb as a verb, but hey, the point is not to get too complicated here so I won't explain more.
I don't quite like the meaning given for contrastive focus reduplication because the video didn't mention the kind of emphasis intended. In fact, the emphasis serves as a mean of clarification as a previously mentioned term might have caused confusion. In the video, the man who happens to be talking to a clone of himself, said "I mean the film is interesting, but not interesting interesting." This means the first "interesting" is not as high level as the third "interesting" and thus requires the second "interesting" to clarify.

Lethologica is the "it's on the tip-of-my-tongue" phenomena.

Finally, a sesquipedalian is simply, a person who uses long words.

Amazing stuff this video!

Which phobia interests me? The word gamophobia (fear of marriage) is fun, because this word has inspired a number of Hollywood movies, such as Runaway Bride (1999), as well as many many real YouTube videos. Lachanophobia (fear of vegetables) is interesting, maybe this is why many kids hate vegetables. Definitely phasmophobia, the fear of ghost.

I have also written about trypophobia (fear of ) and aerophobia (fear of  flying), if you can't remember, go to my post World: Fun Facts We All Should Know -- Part 2 (Viewer Discretion Is Advised). At that time, trypophobia was not yet scientifically proven, but now, there is a study showing that this anxiety is real!!

Enjoy a list of phobias at Wikipedia! It's really fun to read!

Morton's toe -- (n)[C] the second toe that is longer than the big toe.
Glabella (印 堂 in Chinese)  -- (n) the space between your eyebrows
Philtrum (人 中 in Chinese) -- (n) the groove between the nose and the middle of the lips
semantic -- (adj) connected with the meanings of words
satiate -- (vb)  [T often passive]  formal to completely satisfy yourself or a need, especially with food or pleasure, so that you could not have any more
dysphemism -- use of a negative term for something positive
sonder -- (n)[U] the sudden realization that everyone around you is living a life as vivid and complex as your own
lacuna -- (n)[C] a non-English word that describes something for which there is no English word.
proprietary eponym -- (n)[C] a trademark or brand name that has become a generic name for a product or service.
Contrastive focus reduplication -- (n)[C] (also lexical cloning, the double construction) is a type of syntactic reduplication found in some languages that indicates the prototypical meaning of the repeated word or phrase, a form of retronymy.
Lethologica  -- (n)[U] the "it's on the tip-of-my-tongue" phenomena.
sesquipedalian -- (n)[C] a person who uses long words
trypophobia -- (n)[U] hear of holes
gamophobia -- (n)[U] fear of marriage
lachanophobia -- (n)[U] fear of vegetables
phasmophobia -- (n)[U] fear of ghost.

Vocabulary: Words Worth Noticing @ Locky's English Playground

World: Fun Facts We All Should Know -- Part 2 (Viewer Discretion Is Advised) @ Locky's English Playground

11 Weird Body Part Words @ YouTube

Words And Phrases To Make You Sound Smarter @ YouTube

20 Phobias You Might Have  @ YouTube

論 額 @ MASTERSO.COM 蘇民峰命理風水網站

「 中 央 十 四 位 置 」@ MASTERSO.COM 蘇民峰命理風水網站

proprietary eponym @ Wiktionary

Contrastive focus reduplication @ Wikipedia

Lethologica @ Wikipedia

Trypophobia: Why Holes Are SO Scary @ YouTube

List of phobias @ Wikipedia

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Cooking & Food: Locky's Chinese Cabbage with Parma Ham and Cream Sauce

Locky's Chinese Cabbage with Parma Ham and Cream Sauce
Image from Locky's English Playground
My wife loves this dish very much, but I had always thought it was very complicated to make. Until one evening I discovered that my mother-in-law had been stocking up too many Chinese white cabbages in my fridge that I finally realised I had to do something about it.

Without going online to search for recipe, I checked what I had in my fridge, improvised and I came up with my very own. Turns out, it was fantastic and incredibly simple!

Simple yet delicious is my style!

Image from Locky's English Playground
First, wash and soak the vegetables, obviously.

Huge cabbage
Image from Locky's English Playground
Then cut each leave into 3 thin strips if your cabbage is as huge as mine. See the length of it as compared to the diameter of the wok?

Remove from hot water after boiling
Image from Locky's English Playground
Afterwards, boil the cabbages until almost semi-transparent and remove them from the hot water. Will need to boil them again later.

Excellent corn cream from Hokkaido!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Choose the right cream, I have selected this one from Hokkaido with a rich creamy and corn taste. Inexpensive and can be used many times!

Parma ham and cream cubes in the wok
Image from Locky's English Playground
There was some Parma ham in the fridge which had been there for some time so I used it to replace traditional Chinese smoked ham. You can either add the corn cream cubes to the warm wok,

Corn cream melting in the cabbages
Image from Locky's English Playground
or put them in the middle of the hot cabbages for melting.

Original chicken broth
Image from Locky's English Playground
And it happened that I had some home-made chicken broth, so I added two ladle scoops to the cabbage in the work,

Image from Locky's English Playground
Cook the chicken broth with the cabbage, ham and corn cream until the cabbages are fully transparent. There is no need to add any salt with the ham and the chicken broth.

Lid on!
Image from Locky's English Playground
Place the lid on if necessary.

Ready to serve!
Image from Locky's English Playground
And start your engine!!

For more quick cooking recipes, check out my label on Cooking!

Cooking @ Locky's English Playground

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Event: My 7-ICOM -- International Conference on Multimodality @ Hong Kong

Dr. Gunther Kress and I
Image from Locky's English Playground
Haven't had a week as busy yet as enriching as this one for a long long time! Apart from the fact that I spent the last week preparing the notes and Prezi presentations for my lecture, there is also the 7-ICOM, the 7th edition of International Conference on Multimodality happening here at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University from the 11th to 13th June. It was just the first day of the event today and already I have benefited a lot from some of the best minds in the world.

The chats which I had with Dr. Gunther Kress, co-author of the seminal work The Grammar of Visual Design with Dr. Theo van Leeuwen, were truly enlightening and awakening. He encouraged me to come up with my own terms and framework as I work on my PhD thesis whenever there is not one ever established by someone else, and I will definitely remember that. After listening to my proposal, he did mention twice in two separate occasions that I am "ambitious" and I can do "great things". I do hope that I can live up to his kind kind words.

Dr. Viviane Heberle and I
Image from Locky's English Playground
Dr. Viviane Heberle is a very very nice lady from Brazil who have given me extremely useful suggestions in terms of how to select data for my thesis, and she said she will email me with her students' work as reference too.

Dr. Christian Matthiessen
Image from Locky's English Playground
It was a pity that Dr. Christian Matthiessen, Dean of English Department, did not give his own talk but he did once again show his extraordinary ability in using the most delightful and sophisticated vocabulary to introduce Dr. Cees de Bont, Dean of School of Design of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Swire Chair Professor of Design.

Dr. Cees de Bont
Image from Locky's English Playground
Well, I am not in the design field, but learning about the trends in design kinds of make me want to design something immediately, something simple yet profitable would be nice.

First time to chair talks
Image from Locky's English Playground
Other than just sitting there to listen to talks, I have also contributed in chairing talk sessions. I hope that one day I will be the speaker and be able to present something creative enough that can at least wow myself.

I have also asked a lot of constructive questions today, hope I have not scared off any speakers yet.

My baby is home tonight after staying over a few days at my mother-in-law's, so I won't be able to attend tomorrow's morning session, but I will still go for the afternoon one. Let's hope I won't miss too much.

wow -- (vb) [T] to make someone feel great excitement or admiration

7-ICOM @

Friday, 6 June 2014

Environment, Living & Science: Locky's Own Energy Saving Tips With Simple Science!!!

This is bad, you see that one glass is filled with water?
Image from Locky's English Playground

There are so many ways to save energy out there which you can easily find on the internet, well, I have some really useful yet unusual ones to share!

Splashing water on dirty dishes
Image from dreamstime
First of all, say you have some vegetables to wash and soak, and you have some dishes you need to wash eventually, you can use those washing and soaking water to splash away some of the lipids on the dirty dishes, making it much easier for washing later on. Same theory goes to washing your hands in the sink, the water will be "reused" in the same way. But you must do it right.

Only the top water  is being replaced by new splashes
Image from Google
Most people will arrange them tidily like I did in the very first photo above, actually, this is not the best way to do it. Yes, it does look better but if your glasses and bowls are standing upright, but once the containers are filled with water, the lipids are going nowhere with subsequent splashes, only the top part of the water will be replaced, therefore, most of the grease is at the bottom, leaving that glass in the very first photo milky after several splashes.

This is good, tilt all containers
Image from Locky's English Playground

What you should do is to tilt all dishes sideways or at an angle, so that when you splash recycle water onto them, the lipids are allowed to leave the containers and go down the drain.

Desalination of
Image from
Second, now you boiled those vegetables, leaving the hot boiling water in the wok, don't pour them away just yet! If you have unfinished food you want to reheat from the previous night, you can use the water for steaming, since steams are essentially very clean, otherwise, there would not be any desalination of sea water into drinking water.

Have some cold soup to heat up?
Image from Locky's English Playground
Third, once the steaming is done, if you still have cold soup in the fridge, just place that soup container in the hot water and cover it with a wok lid, after 5 minutes or so, your soup will be completely reheated and be suitable for drinking!

Four, of course now that the hot water has done its job, you can use it for another splash, hot water removes lipids fast.

Too wet? Too hot? Close the windows and hang your clothes!
Image from Locky's English Playground
The summer in Hong Kong is really hot and very humid, so it is very difficult to dry washed clothes completely. Some people have a tumble dryer at home and so they prefer to use them because they are quick and time-saving. The downside is your gas / electric bill gets higher. My blog readers know that I am a big fan of solar energy, though I do not have solar panels at home, I do harness free power from the sun all the time.

The solution is, hang your clothes on the window frames to dry, since the morning sun at my home is scorching hot, it can protect my furniture from getting "sunburn" and keep my home cool. This is because evaporation is in fact an endothermic process, meaning that it takes energy (radiation in this case) to turn water into vapour, thus cooling down the surrounding. But again! You must do it right!

Image from Hartnell College Biology Tutorials

The right way to do it is keep the windows closed after you have used the air-con the night before! That is because you want to create a humidity difference. If you have opened the windows for a long time, say overnight, before hanging your clothes, the air inside your home and outside the windows are just as wet, drying your wet clothes under the sun still works but will be less efficient because there is a lack of humidity difference. By keeping the windows closed after you used air-con the night before, the air indoor remains relatively much dryer than the air outdoor, thus creating a humidity concentration gradient and preventing diffusion. With the windows closed, diffusion thus happens between the wet clothes and the dryer air indoor, thus increasing the efficiency of clothes drying under the sun.

Image from Locky's English Playground
Last but not least, we all know how horrible the electricity bill can look in summer, if you want to enjoy some air-conditioning while keeping the bill low, try switching on the air-con for awhile at a slightly colder temperature than room temperature, say 23°C for 5 minutes, once you feel the air is cool enough, switch off the air-con and use a fan to move the cold air instead. You will feel comfortable for at least an hour and will cut the cost by 90%!

I work out 90% because you saved 55 minutes of electricity for the air-con per hour, thus 55mins /60 mins x 100% = 91.7%, deducting 55 mins of fan, so it is roughly 90% of electricity saved!

After an hour, you can switch on the air-con again and repeat the same process.

Hope you like my tips! Let's start saving money!

lipid -- (n)[C] a substance such as a fat, oil or wax that dissolves in alcohol but not in water and is an important part of living cells
harness -- (vb)[T] to control something, usually in order to use its power
endothermic -- (adj) a chemical reaction in which heat is absorbed
diffusion -- (n)[U] defined as the net movement of molecules from an area of greater concentration to an area of lesser concentration.

Message: 2012 Roundup -- Top 44 Posts Of 2012 @ Locky's English Playground

General Chemistry Online: FAQ: Energy and chemical change: What are some examples of exothermic and endothermic processes? @ Frostburg State University

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

TV: Watch Free American TV Online

Image from Cucirca
Always busy on Mondays and Tuesdays these days, and will continue to be for another 5 weeks as I have to prepare lecture notes for a university course I am teaching. So on Wednesdays, I want to chill out a bit and watch a bit of TV before I head back to working on my PhD project.

Every Thursday and Friday, my wife and I love to sit on the sofa and watch Gordon Ramsey and co. testing their contestants on MasterChef Season 3, but sometimes we missed it for one reason or another. Do you want to catch what you have missed too? Now I have a way!

Cucirca offers quite a number of good TV programmes, feel free to go and find the ones you like.

Image from Cucirca
The instructions to viewing is pretty direct, just find the show, click on the episode you want,

Image from Cucirca
then click the cross at the top right corner to close the ad ( I use Chrome with AdBlock so the ads don't show),

Image from Cucirca
click on "Continue to File",

Image from Cucirca

press play and start watching! The quality is real good too!

What you don't get, are the subtitle and to watch this on a Samsung Smart TV. I've tried it, it just keeps going to an ad website. I think Samsung really need to improve its web browser functionalities, otherwise, it will just be another dumb TV.


The Simpsons