The smile of shark

Oceans Winner of Nature's Best 2008/Lemon Shark by Bruce Yates

In the summer of 2007, Bruce Yates, an amateur eco-shutterbug, was shooting lemon sharks on the Caribbean Sea. Among the photos, he found a lemon shark posing opening its mouth full of sharp teeth and smiling astutely. Smiling? Yes, I say the shark is smiling. We put aside the question that whether it is a real smiling expression or not, the shark really seems being smiling.

Let us pretend that the shark is smiling. However, why? It may be a little difficulty to answer. Even the gelotologists (the first time I see this world) haven’t reached a consensus on the laughable question that why people smile. You may be smiling now, however, being serious, there is really a study called gelotology, which is

a study of laughter and its effects on the body from a psychological and physiological perspective.

We sometimes simply think that we smile because of being happy. However, the truth about smiling is complex in fact.

Smiling without showing teeth was required for Chinese anicent women

In Chinese traditional culture, it was forbidden to grin and you should smile without showing your teeth. Accurately, this etiquette was only applicable to Chinese women. In fact, within the most mammals’ “languages”, showing teeth is the signal of terrifying or attacking. Wolf often shows its teeth before prey or enemies, which is the same as dog.

According to the research and observation on the babies, we humankind smiles for the first time about 3 to 4 months after our birth and we only smile to mom for the first time. The best way to make baby laugh big is to throw him/her up and then catch him/her. Why we cannot help laughing if someone tickles us? The truth is that the laugh is just the fear coming from the unfamiliar touch. You would not laugh if you tickle yourself unless you have a rich imagination.

Whether the animal can smile or not depends on how we define the smile. The zoologists have already found that large primates such as apes and monkeys have the similar reaction like the smile of human beings. The same as human beings, chimpanzees like to tickle the armpit and belly. Due to the different structure of vocal cord, the chimpanzee smile with different sound from human beings. If you really want to know what the chimpanzee’s laughter sounds like, you can listen to the laughter by Sheldon in the The Big Bang Theory. In addition, you may have heard your dog’s laugh and you didn’t realize it. Dog’s laughter just likes the stronger and faster breath.

In fact, the animals that can “smile” are more low-grade than we imagine, just like the mice, they would be addicted to tickling and do the rough-and-tumble play just like the children. However, we cannot hear the laughter of mice because it is ultrasonic wave.

Getting back to the shark above, we can be sure that its smile is just like the style of Obama’s ceremonial smile. It means that the expression of the shark is just like smiling. In addition, we are easily cheated by the animals with smiling appearance just like dolphin. Nature gives the dolphin a curved mouth which looks like a fixed smile, which make dolphin popular in human culture. However, the fact is that promiscuity and indiscriminately slaughter are common among dolphins.

Dolphin has a natural smiling expression

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How Long Can Paper and Cursive Last?

pure beautiful paper

I think something after seeing the news that schools in Indiana can stop teaching cursive. I think that one day typing would replace handwriting even the benefits of handwriting to children and even adults. You can recall how many words you have written in the past week. In addition, paperless is a tendency in a world full of touch screens and advocating environmental protection. In a near future, we may say goodbye to the paper and handwriting.

Nowadays, the only occasion, where we have to write with pen, may be writing our names on the contracts or forms. The keyboard and software on the computer can completely replace the usage of pen now. I can remember that I did not write even a word with pen, however, I finished all my work with keyboard and facing the screen. It is true that we humankind write less and less and pens would become items on display in the future museum.

Being a basic skill of humankind for thousands of years, handwriting is challenged by typing only in the past a few decades. In the future, the fingerprints can replace our names and even we do not have to write our names.

Handwriting

I have written a post named Just Getting Back to Paper, in which I expressed my favor of writing on paper. However, when we humankind look at the paper and handwriting from only a hundred years later, it may just like we look back two hundred year ago when we used the steam to power the train. Although paper and handwriting cannot be extinct in the near future, it is just a question of time.

Chinese Knot: Profile of Chinese Ancient Civilization

Chinese knot (pic from wikipedia.org)

Chinese knot with its affection meanings and wisdom is just the profile of ancient civilization of China. As ornaments nowadays, current Chinese knot evolves from the sewing and tying knots in Paleolithic Age and etiquette and keeping records in Han Dynasty. People in Zhou Dynasty often wore the jade decorated by Chinese knot. In addition, bronze wares in the period of the Warring States have patters of Chinese knot on their surface. Until Qing Dynasty, Chinese knots truly became folk art. In modern times, Chinese knots are usually used as interior decoration, presents and wearing ornaments. Due to symmetric and delicate outline, being representative of the long history of Chinese nation and its conformity to customs of traditional Chinese ornaments and aesthetic perception, Chinese knot is named after Chinese.

Chinese knot is a kind of cultural knowledge with its affection meanings and wisdom. In addition, it is multiplying metaphor of humankind. Moreover, Chinese knot is the presentation of mysteries of mathematics. Although its complicated and graceful curve, Chinese knot can be reverted to two single lines. It was the basic tool of keeping records for the people in the beginning of humankind history.

Just from Chinese knot, we could have a clear feeling of the long Chinese history.

French Handmade Candle: Cire Trudon

candle in the corner

When igniting a candle, it seems that the whole world is full of light. In addition, we often say that candles ignite the hope. In modern society, candles are made with different colors, models and types. Candle is no longer the ancient tool to light; however, it is the mix of light and shadow. Candle in the corner can add a special emotional appeal to our life.

Cire Trudon candles

Among all the candles around the world, the most famous and unique must be the Cire Trudon. Each Cire Trudon candle carries its own memory of French history, which brings us with a noble and classic journey to the past.

With time going on, Cire Trudon becomes the symbol of the noble taste of the royalty. At the same time, it becomes the perfecto retrato of French history.

Cire Trudon was founded in 1643, which is the oldest brand of handmade candles. From the year of 1719, Cire Trude began to supply the candles to the important ceremonies of churches and to the royalty.

It is reported that the materials of Cire Trudon candles are all natural plants such as rice, palm oil and so on, which can lasts more than 70 hours and are completely healthy to human

Beautiful candles with various colors

Basil: King of Herbs

Basil: King of the herb

Basil, once sacred and divine, is respectfully called as King of herbs. More than five thousand years ago, people began to grow basil in Persia, which was used as medicine or food. Basil was also used to prevent epidemic and sacrifice. Basil is sacred, but we can’t tell how does basil relate to the king.

Until Byzantine period in about sixth century, basil was recorded in the Christian literature and became the earliest herb growing on the cemetery of Jesus. Until now, basil is still indispensible in some sacraments of Orthodox Church.

As a kind of food,

Basil, originally from India, is best known as a culinary herb prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Northeast Asian cuisine of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Depending on the species and cultivar, the leaves may taste somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, often sweet smell.

Basil is indispensible in Italian food

In the literature of Han Dynasty of China, basil was recorded that it was coming from West Region and its Chinese name came from Sanskrit. However, it is still a riddle how basil reaches China in about two thousand years ago. In addition, basil has many other Chinese names.

Basil is also used in Chinese food

Kai-fu Lee: Zuckerberg Should Place Emphasis on Google+

Kai-fu Lee, Google’s former vice CEO, recently wrote an article to express his views on Google+. He agreed that Google+ is an excellent product and Zuckerberg and his Facebook should place great emphasis on Google+.

He analyzed Google+ from different levels

  • As an online social application, Google+ is great and has been praised by many Internet observers. In addition, the UI of Google+ was designed by Andy Hertzfeld and he borrowed various functions from Facebook, Twitter and even Weibo.com. All those functions were integrated into Google+ wonderfully. Some excellent functions include: integrate multiple functions;better mobile application than Facebook, especially on Android system; handy friends management with the concept of circles
  • Sharing more easily; Better chat function, especially the video online communications
  • Each online Google service can be integrated into Google+ easily. Gmail, Youtube, search, maps, Picasa and Docs have all been integrated into Google+. For the Google services heavy users, Google+ can provide more convenient way for its users to have access to all the Google products. Google changed the top menu into black specially for Google+
  • In the first ten days after Google+ was released, the number of users has reached about 10 million, which is beyond imagination. Only the servers of Google can support this fast growing number. Furthermore, many famous people are now using Google such as Robert Scoble, Bill Gross, Danny Sullivan, Kevin Rose and Guy Kawasaki.
  • On the aspect of technology, machine learning and data mining have given suggestions on circling friends. Google has great advantage in providing better search, sharing and findings. With the search recording and search habits, Google can optimize the user experience and options.
  • In this year, Google binds the employee bonus with the market share of its social service, which shows the determination of Google on the success of Google+
  • Google would use more opening API and favorable terms to attract the third part developers from Facebook such as Zynga. In addition, Google would sell the social products and other products to the advertisers together.
  • As of now, Google has almost 20 billion dollars in cash and has expressed that it would not care the profitability in a quarter. Everyone can’t ignore this large sum of money, with which Google can promote Google+ and acquire other companies.
  • Google is an opening company and it hopes that all the internet companies should be open. Google can search and organize all the information only on the opening internet. Facebook is a sealed company, which hopes to create value through making use of its own sources. Just because of the strong of Facebook, Google can’t index the content of the largest site on the world, which in turn can influence the searching experience and integration of Google search engine. Therefore, Google hope to force Facebook to become more opening with Google+.

Of course, Google also faces many great challenges

  • It is too late for Google to release Google+. Now Facebook has 0.7 billion loyal users and has become the platform of many applications. Advertisers begin to promote themselves by building their enterprise pages on Facebook. Would it be later for Google+?
  • The design of Google+ is wonderful. However, a successful social community can’t be built within only one step and it requires careful management and continuously change of content following the feedback of the users. Some say that Google+ is a good carpenter and building a social community is like planting a tree, but carpenter can’t make a tree with his handicraft. Just take Facebook for example; its success comes from the continuously small change gradually. From Harvard students who were allowed to sign in Facebook with their real names, to students in Ivy League colleges, to all the colleges students, to high school students, to companies and last to all the people, every stage for Facebook was a process to learn. In addition, it is a long time for Facebook to achieve today’s success. The number of Google+ users reached 10 million or even 100 million in short time, is there enough time for Google to solve all the problems? Can Google notice all the feedbacks from so large number of users? We can see the similar situation from the development of Stack Overflow and Yahoo Answer.
  • Google+ has gotten support from Google fans and geeks. However, those users may not be seeded users. Geeks only like the wonderful design but may not have fully formed social circles. Therefore, the original users of Google+ may not be able to communicate with the ordinary users well and create some excellent contents on Google+.
  • From the statistics of http://socialstatistics.com, we see that male users of take up 87 percent and female users only take up 11 percent, which can hamper the development of Google+ in future.
  • There are enough reasons either for the success or for the failure of Google+. The best situation for Google+ is that it can challenge the supremacy of Facebook, while the worst end is that Google+ could only become a community for geeks.

Therefore, Zuckerberg and his Facebook must attend much attention on Google+. Kai-fu Lee thinks that the users would be the winner at last. Google+ provides another way for the users. In addition, Google+ would force Facebook to become opening and improve its own service.