Blog Posts

Stare-able Historical Photos

Credits: Al Ponte’s Time Machine New York collection on Facebook

More China photo sets see this post.

Shanghai collection below: on the ground and from satellites!

20 Years of Big 3: Visualized

How the Big Three dominated the men’s tennis field starting in 2004; each dot represents a week at world #1 on the ATP Rankings; to be updated…

If you follow men’s tennis, you know by now that the first GOAT, the universally beloved Roger Federer, has just ceded his most weeks (310) as world #1 record to one of his arch rivals, Novak Djokovic, who is also chasing the most grand slams among the big 3. Read on

I’d put myself in the category of “Big 3 fan,” thus I took a crack at visualizing the dominance of these three guys in men’s tennis for nearly 20 years. This chart will be updated regularly, until the end of this unprecedented dynasty.

  • Among the last 68 Major finals (since 2004),
  • 23 match-ups were among the Big 3;
  • combined, they took 57 of these titles.
  • Watch match points below:
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Djokovic v. Federer Wimbledon 2019: Narrow Margin

Federer’s almost-ace that could’ve won him the 2019 Wimbledon title

Watch below (just a few seconds), probably one of the most watched and analyzed cliff-hangers in men’s singles tennis. In the fifth set of the 2019 Wimbledon final, Roger Federer broke Novak Djokovic finally and led 8-7, then serving for his ninth title there. And soon he chalked up two championship points at 40-15. Djokovic guess Federer was going for the wide, as he made his move a slit second before the ball came his way. But Federer aimed for the T. Djokovic got lucky that the ball scraped the net and didn’t make it across. The second serve was indeed wide and Djokovic returned nicely to invite an enforced error from Federer, who then lost 7 points in a row. The rest is history. (Feel free to indulge yourself for the whole 4:57 full match:)

Also fun to listen to Andy Roddick’s comments on the tiniest margins in epic matches like this one, when the king of Wimbledon outplayed Djokovic 95% of the time (double winners, etc.) yet lost the match toward the end with double-digit errors versus Djokovic’s zero.

How To Film Baseball With An iPhone From Behind The Cage

iPhone 8 with clamp-on fish-eye lens

In just a few weeks, my 8-year-old has upgraded from Little League to Travel League. I am taking up the challenge of filming some real ball games also, upgrading my gears as well. This time right behind the cage, instead of sticking a mono-pod into one of the metal tubes along the dugout fences.

To make the whole system shock-proof (not sure it’s Major League shock-proof), I iterated a couple of different setups until I settled on this one, pictured above, that I really love. (Shown below is a sample clip from a 105-min whole-game video starring my boy’s single, base stealing and run.)

Forest Hills Bombers Evan scores a run while Juan RBIs and teases 1B
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Little League 2020 Season Highlights

First of all, a big shout out to the Forest Hills Youth Athletic Association, without whom this season, even though delayed, wouldn’t have been possible due to the new crazy world we are all living in due to COVID-19. The adequate social distancing restrictions on the fields and decent amount of policing have made all parents feel much needed peace of mind.

And a special thank you to Coach Frank, Assistant Coaches Tommy and Dre and all the families of Forest Hills Rockets, the best 8-year-olds baseball team in LLB. Here immediately blow is the whole-season recap:

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Baseball Season 1: Yoyo 2019 @ForestHills

Yoyo’s first baseball season is about to draw to an end. As immigrant parents, we have embraced the sport just as well as he has. And he has definitely shown potential.

What’s the most exciting to me is, this is the perfect time for me to pull off some paparazzi action following him along on the field without worrying about myself being bombarded with 90mph fast balls. And thanks to a DJI gimbal from work, this video below has given me plenty of bragging rights.

DJI Ronin-S gimbal standing on the sidelines

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Medical Plans and Scenario Comparisons in One Sheet

The U.S. health insurance is like a maze. Projecting your next year’s health needs already invites a ton of anxiety. Then variables such as deductibles, out-of-pocket maxes, coinsurance levels and others work together in such an intricate system that it is never a straight forward A+B-C*D%. It could easily be hours, or even days, of post-dinner homework running the numbers. This year, however, I developed my own tool, a spreadsheet, to help me and my family do the math magic. So from this year onward, the math part of our health insurance shopping will be no more than a few minutes, even comparing a dozen scenarios. I also validated our pick last year using this spreadsheet with hospital bills for having a baby and we saved $3-4,000 compared with all three other plans.

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