31 December, 2010

Editor's Note: Happy New Year!

Two Faces of Our Lovely World

Editor's Note: Happy New Year!

W3H1: Why I have installed the Flag Counter; What have I learned; Where are the Readers from; How many Countries?
The year 2010 left quietly. My hifi was not on. SZTV was showing the Buddhist Bell-Ringing Ceremony led by high monk 印顺大和尚, and I was falling asleep. How uneventful, but is that not a blessing, considering the millions in the world suffering from all manners of natural and, sorrowfully, man-made disasters?

Shortly before the year's end, I accidentally discovered and installed the Google Flag Counter gadget. I was delighted it allowed me, and you, to see where the unique visitors of this Blog come from. At the time of writing, It has now been barely 4 days, and there have been 652 Unique Visitors (meaning each visitor's repeated page loads count only as one) from 57 countries. Something touched my nerve: our heavily burdened world, like all aging beings (for it has life), undoubtedly is getting smaller. Predictably, the majority of my visitors come from Hong Kong and USA, but the latter's proportion still surprised me a little. And I struggled with the names of some of the small (and rather new) countries, like Moldova. Hello to you all!

The important thing is, after gleaming all this information, I am more determined than ever to strive for providing useful information for our hobby, particularly on older gears on which not much info on the net is available. Stay tuned.

弘法寺鸣钟108响迎新纳福 (video of same event last year)

Why 108 times?

Allow me to diverge a little. The aforementioned Buddhist ceremony usually takes place on Chinese New Year's (coming February 3rd), but Shenzhen, like HK, is a modern city that likes to embrace the world. For people like us, there are 2 new years per year! This tradition is also honored in Japan, but their new year is celebrated on the western calender.

In case you wonder why 108 times, here are English (relatively simplified) and Chinese (much more complicated) explanations I found on the net:

Buddhist belief has it that one rings a bell 108 times at midnight on New Year’s to ring away the 108 bonno (Earthly Desires) that shackle mankind and keep one from reaching inner peace. In a strict ceremony, the bell will be struck exactly 108 times in keeping with the Buddhist belief that each reverberation symbolically represents the purging of the 108 bonno or mortal desires, such as greed, jealousy and infidelity, that bedevil humankind. In this one, all comers may approach and ring the bell to help cleanse themselves on their path to Nirvana..." (from here)






..." (from soso)

Addendum: Breakup of Readership at the Time of Writing:

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