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I was reading something online which happened to talk about first love and why first love was unforgettable.  It brought up a theory in psychology, known as the Zeigarnik effect (蔡氏效應), which states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.  Thus, interruption of a task requiring focus could somehow improve one’s ability to remember it afterwards.   Isn’t it interesting?  I don’t know if it is true or not.  Maybe when you have unfinished business, you tend to become more anxious which leads to more constant thought of the incomplete tasks and in turn causes it to retain more in memory.  However, if you are not motivated enough to finish a task, the Zeigarnik Effect might not work as much.  We will see if this makes any difference in my son's study. 

Written by Elisa English

On August 6th, 2019 in Minneapolis

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Reading through some of my blog entries in the past, I found a response to my reader interesting.  I will post it here to share with you all.  It was related to “true blue will never stain” 清者自清,濁者自濁.  My response was that I do not care to be a true blue.  I am not a saint.  I react when attacked.  Though with history the final judge of our deeds, I do not live long enough to the judgement of the history.  I live the way I know how.  I have a lot of things that I don't agree with others. I speak what’s on my mind.


    It might seem meaningless arguing with someone.  Maybe life is too short to sweat over nonsense.  Like the book "The unbearable lightness of being", in any particular moment in time, our action is so transitory that it is light and meaningless.  However, the responsibility in each and every choice and action, over time, leads to everlasting consequences regardless of life’s transience.  

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    I was really surprised when I heard the hostess of a Taiwanese variety show "2分之一強" stating that her daughter had tree nut allergy because she could not eat sesame seeds.  I am well aware of what tree nuts are and what it means to have tree nut allergy.  My kids had gone through skin prick tests to determine what they are allergic to after some food allergic reaction.  Each year, we spend over thousands of US dollars to purchase the required Epi-pens for our kids.   It cost roughly US$600 for a twin pack of Epi-pens.  Each year, we have to purchase 6 twin packs, 3 for each of my kids - one for the school, one for after school care and one at home for ourselves.  So, a total of close to US$4,000 a year, just for the Epi-pens, which we have never used.  Anyway, this is to say that I am not a stranger to tree nut allergy and what tree nuts are.  We always look at the food label and ask before our kids taste any food to ensure that there are no tree nuts included. 

    That said, back to the show, we never consider seeds as tree nuts.  Her daughter could be allergic to sesame seeds (seeds allergy 種子過敏) but not tree nuts (tree nut allergy 堅果過敏). To state that her daughter has tree nut allergy because she is allergic to sesame seeds is incorrect and misleading.  Tree nuts include almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, filberts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.  While seeds include chia seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, moringa seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, papaya seeds, hemp seeds, fenugreek seeds, cilantro or coriander seeds, apple seeds, marijuana seeds, and mustard seeds.  Though our kids are allergic to tree nuts, they are not allergic to all tree nuts and definitely not to seeds.  They cannot eat pecans and walnuts, but they have tried pistachios, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts without problem.  I like walnuts a lot though. 😊  Some people have confused tree nut allergy with peanut allergy.  They are not the same.  Peanuts are legumes (豆科植物).  Our kids can eat peanuts without any problem.  So as pine nuts, which are considered as seeds.  By the way, what are types of legumes?  Well, legumes include alfalfa, clover, beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts, and tamarind.    

    Since we are on the subject of allergy, my husband has a different type of allergy, fruit allergy.  Pollen food syndrome usually occurs in people who are already allergic to pollens and suffer from hay fever, which is the case with my husband.  People, like my husband, have pollen food syndrome experience allergic symptoms when they eat certain fruits or vegetables. This is due to the similarities between the proteins found in pollen and those present in the fruits and vegetables. In the case with my husband, he is allergic to Birch pollen.  He has been eating apples for years but a few years after he developed hay fever, he can no longer eat raw apples.  There goes an apple a day keeping the doctor away.  However, he can still eat them if cooked, such as apples in apple pie or apple sauce.  Fruits that he can no longer eat now are apples, wax apples, cherries, jujubes, peaches, pears, plums, prunes and apricots.  The list continues to grow.  One time, he was offered a dried jackfruit snack and developed a allergic reaction right away.    

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I recently stumbled on an article regarding fate.  There is no such thing as a coincidence in this world, only the inevitable. 世上沒有偶然,只是必然

However, philosophy isn’t a subject I want to dwell upon.  What I want to bring up here is the phrase “when stars align”.   It might seem a quantum leap to jump from inevitability to star alignment.  Anyway, they are all somewhat related to fate.  When will the stars align?  The actual answer is probably “Never”, not even once in a blue moon.  When stars align, it would be highly unlikely, unexpected and impossible.  So, it must be fate if the stars align.命運使然  



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代理 (主管, 首席執行官) Acting (Chief, Superintendent,CEO)

Example; Before we hire a new CEO, John Smith will be the acting CEO for Genetic Biotech. 

指定人: 被指定履行職責或角色的人   

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蓋棺定論 :  Set in stone

變數 :  Variables

Nothing is set in stone.  There are still a lot of variables out there for you to become the next chief operating officer

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Today is Good Friday.  I probably shouldn't introduce a rude phrase.  But, what the hell, learning knows no bounds.  By the way, I am not a Christian nor am I a Buddhist; though I do believe in Buddhism.  


Anyway, back to the subject.  While I was watching a movie, I came across this slang "talk to the hand".  It is used to say in a rude way to tell someone that you do not wish to listen to what they have to say and that they may as well stop. 

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It's about time for students to choose their elective courses in the upcoming school year.  My daughter came to talk to me about her options: (1) continue to take French which qualifies for one credit or (2) take 5 courses with a quarter credit each.  She preferred taking 5 courses with a quarter credit each.  She stated that she could continue French in high school anyway.  This would be a good opportunity for her to explore more in her last year of middle school.  She was thinking of taking wood-working, robotics, creative writing, art and design, drawing and painting.  I told her to choose whatever she liked.  It would help her to learn what she really likes and what she would like to study in the future.


Written by Elisa English 

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I am gradually getting back to blogging, though not fully engaged.  I started reviewing some of my old articles and added some more comments and more information on why I wrote them.  Maybe I can regain the fun of blogging again and do more.  

Oh, it happens to be New Year's Day.  I will write something for the occasion.


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Nail in the coffin:  something that brings one closer to a seemingly unavoidable negative outcome.  "the last nail in the coffin" or "another nail in the coffin":  equivalent to "the last straw". 最後一根稻草;使人最終崩潰的一擊


His infidelity is another nail in the coffin to end his marriage.

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