Moral House?

One of the little thrills from travel is the frequent signs you see, that looks or sounds weird when translated. This is one that got me thinking what it was. IOS “Moral House” a place for religion? For developing moral? Or actually meant to be a place of immoral activities?

One of the mysteries and pleasures of language.

Moral House neon sign

Food style and presentation – fish.

My recent experience of eating fish, my favorite “meat” in PD Malaysia and in China. Although neither can be considered the only way the fish is prepared countrywide, it does give a very different “style” and preference to eating fish. Perhaps it is a difference between the southerners and the northers or the middle nears. In the following three pictures, guess which national type it belongs to. (Just to add more confusion, “national type” is getting to be a misnomer. You can eat food from many parts of the world, in most countries nowadays. Some of them adapted to local taste and presentation, and of course the ready availability of ingredients and local ideas of what is pretty and tasty.

Steam fish in MalaysiaVery hot fish freshly killed and cooked in lots of chili and other herbs.Japanese raw fish

Famous Foods and Breasts

Creativity. What will like be like without artistic license. This picture is one of a “pow” or “baozi”, depending on wich of the myriad Chinese dialects you hear.  包子bāozi. I just checked the dictionary and this is the current modern character and romanized version.

There’s some confusion in translating the name into English language, or any other. There is no equivalent in the other languages culture, so a near equivalent is used. To add to the problem, there is a standard size find item and smaller and larger ones.

The comon sioze one fits easily into a hand. Makes sense for a food item that was, and is, eaten hand held. The “tai pow”, “da bao”, whihever dialect you tend to hear, basically means “big” bao. Likely first started as a marketing gimmick to appeal to the more well heeled. (I’m just guessing, and defer to those who do research on this).  Some years back (within my adult life) there was a famouse show business personality with huge breasts. And some smart maker of bao, decided to make his/her/their products extra large, and named their breast shaped buns after this personality.

Large dumpling

Good looking side profile – how a body balance?

Somehow I like this picture. The side profile seem to have some natural aesthetic about it. I was going to crop out the right hand side of the picture, but decided to keep the “noise” because it seems to balance the weight that the mind attaches to the guards tummy, and the side it is facing.

tummy

Side profile of guard

What do we see depends on several things in our own mind

This is a simple picture. Quite boring. Unless you notice the hand on the head of the person and wonder why. Then you look around the picture for some clue. Is he puzzled by something? Is it something he is thinking of, or something he has just see or heard? You can probably write a whole page, or more, of the story from just this one picture.

picture story

Simple picture has a story

House for Sale Not to live in

When we see something, there is a context we apply, based on what we notice in the overall picture. In this case the words stand out. “Land for Sale” , not “House for Sale”.  Imagine you read this without seeing the picture. Will your mind visualise or imagine a different type of picture?

old house

Old house for sale

Perspective – the one thing/limit we are seldom aware of

Panorama of a Sydney scene

Panorama of a Sydney scene

What is there to notice about this iphone panorama photo shoot of a street scene in Sydney?

The distortion is the most obvious one. We live with the distortion because we have grown accustomed to what a typical consumer level photograph will look like. Our brain tells us that there is nothing wrong with the scene because it makes allowances for the distortions.

This “adjustment” happens a lot more often and in a lot more situations than we are aware of. Sometime the adjust has positive results, mostly harmless. But once in a while it leads to unexpected undesirable results. Like a fast moving object heading towards us in a part of our “blind spot”.

While quite well understood now in the physical world (which in not the same as saying we are all able to handle the problems it causes). It is something less well understood in the professions. Like in the world of business analysis.  All “knowledge” captured, expressed, analyzed, propose in a design, is from a particular perspective. A point in time and space (and another dimension?). Sometimes it does not matter, and sometimes it matters,  knowing the position that the expression is made from.

The building profession, or other engineering professions have a better history of well accepted (and hence recognized) “perspectives” in their engineering or architecture drawings. The world of IT tries to do it with their diagrams that express views from different perspectives of procesess, data, timing, etc. There are two big problems that we have though. One is the “un”commoness of these expressions. There is UML and other “standards” but none of them are anywhere near the common acceptance of the stable engineering and architecture professions. The second, is the fact that IT, is a very young discipline (debatable as a discipline) that continues to evolve. It is not only the technology (as in hardware and software) that is changing, but the very fabric. Ideas used to conceptualize and then develop real systems. These are moving at breakneck speed.

Is it a scary future? Or an exciting one? Both. Same reason we pay to watch scary movies. We seek the fear of the unknown. Except, the movie does not end in two hours.

endof meal

end of a meal empty plate with fork and knife

 

 

 

 

Food – the bane of cheap food, for some

Treasure food poster

Treasure food poster

As I grow old (er) there are fewer things that really upset me. Though I seem to be complaining a lot more about those things that do (working on these).

One thing which I think will stay with me, is the compulsion to keep spreading the message about the terrible wastage of food in many places. There is no race or place in the world that is immune to this tendency among some of its better fed individuals.

Taking more food than we can, or want to eat, at one sitting, is something that we can learn to be conscious of. I do not think that people (except the mentally sick) deliberately start off with wanting to throw excess food away. Nevertheless it is a mental condition that is a lack of awareness. Awareness of the degree of hunger or need to nourish ourselves. Even the joy of eating something that looks or smells nice. Our favourite dish. There is a physical limit to how much we can eat. Consciousness of this at the moment in time when we are at the buffet table line will help us to moderate our actions.

I would hve liked to use the element of fear, in this message. The karma thing. Where it all comes full circle and you end up in a life where you face starvation simply because those who have are wasting food that could have been more than enough to feed those who have not.  But I will not. Because it is good enough, and better,  simply to be aware of our real needs, versus our purely psychological tendencies, driven by a hundred demons (the little examined past experiences that shape our present attitudes ). This is not just about food. It is about your own self development.

I will revisit this theme again, elaborating on and relating this to other topics. Because, there is so much wastage going on in our lives. There is no need to be austere or be a yogi (heaven forbid). Life can be enjoyed to the full, with all the good experiences meant for you to experience in this life.

 

 

 

 

Business Requirements and Logical and Physical design

I am often asked what is the difference between a logical design and a physical design. And sometimes, whether it is necessary to separate Business Requirements from Technicasl requirements. Some feel that an attempt to separate these aspects is unnecessary. While I will not let myself get bogged down in obsessive hair splitting of a purely academic or linguistic kind, I believe the ability to make the distinction is crucial to the successful design and implementation of new business requirements. And how many requirements are not “new” and unique, even when it seems to be a modification of existing software.

HK Tram 2types

HK Tram 2types

Take a look at the two pictures of two different trams I was in today, in Hong Kong Both have single seats on the left and double seats on the right. Fit a business requirement for there to be maximum seats without sacrificing reasonable comfort. Three seats per row is the logical design. That it is one on the left, a pathway and two seats on the right, is somewhere between a logical and a physical constraint. (I know, textbooks don’t admit that it may not be a clean cut separation between logical and physical, but hey, we live in the real world, and I am not going to kill my project by spending days just arguing over the theory. The actual material used to make the seats is of course very much purely physical design. Look at the handle bars for the standing passengers. One version has only bars on the left hand side, while the other has them on both sides. That is a physical design choice, for a business requirement that standing passengers should be able to steady themselves. A different design choice could very well have been straps instead of bars, or verticle posts.  The reason why we should have some idea between logical and physical choices is to give ourselves a lot more room for creative problem solving.