Remarkable Quote on Cultural Dimensions

17 February 2008

As I did some researches for my report at school, I came across a very good book called “Masculinity and Femininity: The Taboo Dimension of National Cultures” by Geert H. Hofstede, a renown Dutch anthropologist whose main works involve the cultural and organizational behaviors. As the title stated, the book discussed about one of five Cultural Dimensions proposed by Hofstede; Masculinity and Femininity. I will not describe the detail here as it is the objective of this post. (Those who are interested in the Cultural Dimensions may find a concise description at the following link: Clearly Cultural.) When I finished reading this book, I was so impressed with the closing remark of the book that I decided to share it with everyone here. The text is clear by itself and need no explanation.

“Nations in the world have become more and more interdependent, and violence has become a less and less effective way of resolving international problems. There is no substitute for listening to and talking with others, and for trying to understand the reasoning and motives of people whose mental programs differ. This means understanding one’s own mental programs, including the taboos of one’s culture, because taboos that some hold and others do not indicate values gaps to be bridged for a common future”

If you are interested in this book, you may check it out at your local library or take a preview on line at Google by clicking here.

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Dumbledore is Gay

21 October 2007

I have just read the news from BBC website stated that J. K. Rowling, the author of the acclaimed Harry Potter series, revealed that Albus Dumbledore, one of the most important characters in the series, is actually homosexual. The truth came out during the Q&A session at New York’s Carnegie Hall, which is a part of her Open Book Tour in the U.S. This is the confirmation of internet rumor after the last book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was on sale and readers from around the world had a chance to know more about the past of Dumbledore, one of the most beloved characters from the series. Now, as J. K. Rowling suggested herself, it opens the room for fan fiction to create more spin-off stories.

Now, I guess Sir Ian McKellen, who perfectly portrays the wizard Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, would be an excellent cast as Dambledore in Harry Potter series. Don’t you think so?

 

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Powell’s City of Books

18 September 2007

Now that I’ve been in Portland for a couple of days, my most favorite spot in town is a bookstore called Powell’s City of Books which is claimed to be one of the largest new and used bookstores in the world, occupying a whole city block between NW 10th and 11th Avenues and between W Burnside and NW Couch Streets with approximately 6,300 square meter of retail floor space. With tonnes of books, used and new, in all categories you could think of, it’s a heaven for book-lover like me. There is also a coffee house in the store where you could pick up some books to read while zipping freshly brewed coffee. I could spend a whole day in the store reading my favorite books and I did! Unfortunately, I’ve got a tight schedule coming up this week and next week as the Fall term of my study here at Portland State University will start. I might have to wait till everything is settle to enjoy reading books at Powell’s. Well, at least I find my best spot in town to hang out on my free time.

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Harry Potter Encyclopedia

27 July 2007

After finishing the promising Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book of the beloved Harry Potter series, you might feel satisfy with the story. However, you may also feel somewhat longing for more. Yeah, I knew it would come. According to J.K. Rowling’s first interview after the final book was on sale, she revealed what she had in mind for all of her characters. In fact, she intended to write more in the epilogue but held that idea back and left some open spaces for reader’s imagination. Nevertheless, she could provide detailed information for everyone in what she called “Harry Potter Encyclopedia.”

It seems that, not only me, but also everyone couldn’t get enough of Harry Potter.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Thai Translation

23 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

 

It seems to me that I couldn’t get enough of Harry Potter as this is my forth consecutive entry regarding the young wizard that literally conquers the hearts of book lovers around the world. After finishing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows yesterday, I got back and connected with online community and, to my relief, I am glad that I had successfully avoided all spoilers popping here and there. Those who thought I was a fast reader should reconsider as I found out that there were a number of people who finished the book before me and posted the detailed stories around the internet. It might be because there was a leak of the book online days before its promising release date.

It’s now interesting to think about the translation of the book into Thai language. I assume it to be quite a challenging task. Just naming the title as correctly and beautifully as the original by using Thai words is deemed impossible. Nanmee Books, Thai publisher who secures the rights of Thai translation, estimated that the Thai version of Harry Potter Book 7 would be released no later than December 2007, thus giving only 4 months for the translators and publishers to finish their jobs.

One more interesting point of Thai version of Harry Potter is the “acknowledgment of appreciation” at the back cover of the book. From Book 1 to 6, there were unique “acknowledgment of appreciations” for each book provided by the former Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin “Sinatra” Shinawatra. I wondered who will provide the new “acknowledgment of appreciation” for Book 7, as it is quite impossible for He-Who-Is-In-Exile to give the final words. We’ll see when the book releases nationwide. Until then…


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Reading Day 2 (The End)

22 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

 

22 July 2007 – 11:55 PM

Finally, I finished the seventh and final book of Harry Potter today. It’s Sunday and I spent all my time at home reading this unstoppable entertaining novel of J. K. Rowling. Well, the end of the journey with Harry Potter and friends is as rewarding and satisfying as it should be. I wouldn’t give out the detail as you all should find it more enjoyable to find out yourself. You would definitely find the twists and turns of the plot and some little (or big) surprises all the way to the end of the book. Deaths and casualties of beloved characters seemed to be more than you expected to see. However, it is a war of good against evil, thus it is inevitable. I guess, in the end, the readers learn what the author of the book is trying to say – “Love conquers all.” Well, this is all I would say about the story. Those who are interested in the story should find out by reading it themselves. Believe me, reading the book definitely broadens your imagination.

Farewell, Harry Potter!


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Reading Day 1

21 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

 

21 July 2007 – 10:00 AM

I got the book from a reservation I made some times ago at the bookstore near my home. Well, at first, I though it might be a good idea to join the official launching of the book in Thailand at Central World Plaza but it was too early in the morning (5:00 AM.) So, I decided to get the book quietly in the neighborhood.

After finishing a lunch with family, I spent the whole afternoon reading the book. Just like all previous Harry Potter books, I struck with the skill and charm of J.K. Rowling’s writing. The book contains 36 chapters plus an epilogue in 784 pages. So far, I have finished chapter 13 which could roughly counted as one-thirds of the book. At this rate, I guess I will finish the book within tomorrow or Monday. Well, I will keep posting here the progress, of course, without spoilers as I hated those who ruin the enjoyment and excitement of others by telling out the essential part of the story one should discover by oneself. Thus, you may read my post here at ease.

All I could say as of now is that the final volume of Harry Potter is worth the waiting. The early chapters fill with surprises and mysteries here and there. The characters from previous volume, loved and hated by readers, are back in sensible way. It’s interesting to see where the story heads to thus making the book barely unputdownable.

Until tomorrow, I am off reading the next chapter…

P.S. My favorite chapter so far is Chapter 7.