何毓琦的个人博客分享 http://blog.sciencenet.cn/u/何毓琦 哈佛(1961-2001) 清华(2001-date)

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無巧不成書 Miracles do happen! 精选

已有 5228 次阅读 2016-3-23 23:30 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察

For new readers and those who request to be “好友 good friends” ,  please read my 公告first.


The major news of the last day (3/22/2016) are

(1) The Brussels/Belgium terrorist  attack,  

(2) President Obama’s historic visit to Cuba. All newpapers  reported Obama’s only and major speech in Cuba before  his return to the US. However, the major Boston paper cover the speech differently from a human interest viewpoint https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/theater-art/2016/03/22/obama-highlights-boston-playwright-cuban-connection/hDVeSfoZvWE4m0b2IkDG5J/story.html. It turns out
Obama mentioned in his speech by name one Melinda Lopez, an US born Cuba-Americans and local playwright. Her parents came to the US 59 years ago thinking they wil return to Cuba shortly in six months. Of course, they  never did and also gave birth to Melinda who grew up hearing her parents talking about their old home in Cuba.  So in 2011 when private travel to Cuba first became possible, Melinda decided to go to Cuba to find her roots. She only had a vague idea about her old home address while growing up in the US and hearing stories from her parents. But she hired  a taxi and started  the search. Unknown to her at about two miles from her old family home, she stopthe taxi and ask an old lady on the roadside about her old home and her family name. It turns out this old lady happens to be the next door neighbor of her parents in Cuba. She produce a baby picture of Melinda that her parents sent this neighbor shortly after her birth. The old neighbor in turn put Melinda in touch  with all her relatives in Cuba for reunion.  Obama used this story to emphasize the connections between the two countries and to promote the renewal of friendly relation between the US and Cuba.

This event reminds me of my own family miracle. In 1979, when diplomatic  relation  between the US and China was established, I was invited by the Chinese  Academy of Sciences and the Shanghai Jiaotong University to visit/lecture.  This is my first return to China after 30years. I took my Mother along with me  since the trip will be even more meaningful to her. In Shanghai she remembered  her classmate and best friend. All she knows is that the classmate has moved  from her former  home to somewhere in a side lane 弄堂 of the major  Shanghai thoroughfare静安寺路 and that her classmate’s mother is blind.   Being pragmatic and realistic, I told my Mother how can she find her classmate with this information in a city of some 13 million people. But she won’t give up. So I arranged for our host to provide a car (no taxi then in1979)  and we set off for 静安寺路. Of course we don’t even know how to start.  Near one of the side lanes 弄堂on 静安寺路 my Mother decided to stop the car,

grab a young teenage girl walking on the road, and asked  “do you know any blind old lady living in one of these lanes”. The girl’s facial dramatically changed upon hearing this. It turns out she is the grand daughter of the old lady who is the mother of this classmate my Mother was searching. Of course a happy reunion occurred after 30 years. But the story did not end there. Subsequently, I sponsored the son of my Mother’s classmate to come to the US and then her fiancée. They both received advanced degrees, had US born children, and eventually became the China representatives of a major US company. In 2009, we visited them in Shanghai in their lovely suburban home and had dinner with them in a famed 弄堂飯店. So miracles do happen!

Note added 3/28/2106: Human memories are faulty particularly about events that happened some 30-40 years ago. While the above event I related is essentially or 99% true, but if you are a police detective looking for a murder suspect then you will detect a logical error or inconsistency in the story I told above. Triggered by a broadcast about human brain, I descovered this error myself. Give me some time to write an article about the human brain which we know so little about. In the meantime, you can try to be a logician or a detective to spot the error/inconsistency.

Note added 3/30/2106 You can find the answer to the logical error in http://blog.sciencenet.cn/home.php?mod=space&uid=1565&do=blog&id=965878  




http://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1565-964501.html

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