How old trees are preserved in Japan

These days I was in Kyushu Japan. As the place did not bear the brunt of typhoon Jebi, I could tour around a bit.

I was in Dazaifu where I came across this more than 1,500 years old tree. It was a stunning scene to spot. And if we think about the tree in terms of human life, it was awe-inspiring. If a man has an average life of 80 years, this tree then has been living almost 20 lives. If 30 years is a generation (when people give birth to their children), this tree has witnessed 50 generations of human evolution.

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But what amazed me most was not having a tree this old, but how it was conserved. If you looked carefully at the branches at the top, you could see they were all mounted with some sort of protection. I was uplifted by the efforts the Japanese government made in conserving old trees. By protecting valuable trees, natural, historic and cultural treasures can be conserved. Cities with oldest trees should aspire for better preservation.


日本的古樹保育

最近去了日本九州,該地並未受到颱風飛燕強烈影響,讓我可遊玩一番。

我在太宰府時遇到這棵逾一千五百年歷史的古樹,實在蔚為奇觀。假設一個人能活到八十歲,這棵古樹已活了差不多二十個人的一生了,若三十年是一代的話(假設人們大概在這年紀生下下一代),這棵古樹已見證了五十代人的進步了,想想實在讓人嘖嘖稱奇。

但最讓我留下深刻印象的,並非一棵樹木能活上這個年紀,而是它的保育工作。如果你仔細看,會發現古樹頂部的樹枝護着保護物料,日本政府的樹木保育工作實在值得學習。透過保育珍貴的樹木,我們同時保護了大自然、歷史和文化瑰寶。需要進行古樹保育工作的城市應當仿效。

How to live a normal pressure life

Recently I came across this blood pressure chart, which shows the blood pressure readings from low, normal, prehypertension to hypertension. Hypertension is the medical term for a high blood pressure. The normal blood pressure reading for an adult should be less than 120 over 80 (<120 systolic and <80 diastolic).

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There are many reasons that lead to hypertension, such as a stressful lifestyle, tight schedules, unhealthy diets, a lack of exercise, insufficient sleep, etc. All are commonplace in a hectic urban lifestyle. No wonder hypertension remains one of the most commonly seen diseases in urbanites. Other factors that contribute to hypertension include bad habits like smoking, drinking, etc, genetics and ageing.

While a busy urban lifestyle may be unavoidable, we can try to squeeze in healthy patterns to lower our blood pressure and relieve stress. The following is a list of items contributive to a normal blood pressure and a less stressful life:

  • Exercise more
  • Eat more vegetables, fruit, and less salt
  • Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
  • Gain adequate sleep
  • Keep an eye on your body mass index (BMI) and lose weight when necessary
  • Manage stress

I believe everybody is well acquainted with the items, and the rest lies in how to realise it. Despite a busy schedule, I try to embed the items into my daily routine such as walking whenever possible. I also find apps that help you keep a healthy lifestyle very useful. There are lots of mobile apps out there that help you set goals and track progress. For example, some sports apps record your exercise patterns in a calendar, and encourage you to do exercise with regular reminders. These apps allow you to keep track of your goals with measurable figures and to adjust goals accordingly.

Everybody is different, so how to adapt the items into one’s routine varies too. Nevertheless, setting measurable goals and tracking progress are critical. Mobile apps can play a part here. I hope everybody can find a way to realise a normal pressure lifestyle.


如何保持血壓正常和身心舒暢

最近看見這張高血壓指引圖,以不同顏色標示血壓高低的標準,包括低、正常、高血壓前期到高血壓。高血壓是指血壓升高使心臟推動血液循環時的負擔加大。成年人的正常血壓普遍為收縮壓(Systolic Blood Pressure )小於120 mmHg及舒張壓(Diastolic Blood Pressure)小於80 mmHg。

導致高血壓的成因有多種,例如緊張的生活節奏、忙碌的工作日程、不健康飲食、缺乏運動、睡眠不足等等,在繁忙的都市生活中十分普遍,城市人都已習以為常,高血壓成為常見都市病。其他導致高血壓的因素包括吸煙和酗酒等不良生活習慣、遺傳和年老等自然因素。

雖然忙碌的生活方式無可避免,我們仍可儘量把良好的習慣融入到生活中,從而降低高血壓,同時釋放壓力。以下是一些保持正常血壓和減輕壓力的做法︰

  • 多做運動

  • 多吃蔬果,減少鹽攝取量

  • 減少攝取咖啡因和酒精

  • 保持足夠睡眠

  • 留意自己的身高體重指數(BMI),有需要時減重

  • 舒緩壓力

相信大部分人對以上的建議都不陌生,只欠實踐一步。像很多人一樣,我也十分忙碌,即使如此,我亦嘗試把建議融入到平時的日程中,如多走動等。市面上亦有很多手機程式能幫你健康生活,例如一些助你訂下目標和追踪進度的程式,還有許多運動程式能把你的運動紀錄記在月曆上,並定時提醒你做運動。這些程式讓你更容易查看自己的運動紀錄,包括數據和時間,讓你可輕易調整步伐。

每個人都不一樣,如何實踐低壓生活亦然,但設定可量度的目標和追踪進度必不可少,善用手機程式是其中一個用效方法助我們達標。

 

PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade 2018, a glance of the vibrant Hong Kong startup scene

Recently I joined the PolyU Entrepreneurship Parade 2018, where 40 startups supported by the funding programmes of PolyU showcased their projects and successful startup entrepreneurs shared their experience and insights of their startup journeys. The event provided a valuable platform for over 200 startup entrepreneurs and industry professionals to get connected with each other. In the event you could feel the vibrant startup scene in Hong Kong!

In the touring of exhibitions, there was a variety of innovative startup projects and initiatives, in fields as diverse as mobile app management, educational simulation games, martial arts, hearing aid, cultural preservation, green energy generation, etc. A majority of the initiatives utilised state-of-the-art innovation technologies like AI (Artificial Intelligence), robotics, AR (Augmented Reality) and so on. I was excited to see creativity and innovation being adopted in many new disciplines.

There are many local startup incubators such as Science Park and Cyberport. PolyU is one of the largest university-based startup incubators in Hong Kong. It is encouraging to know that since its launch in 2011, it has supported more than 230 startups and 680 entrepreneurs. Hopefully in the future more domain-specific like FinTech incubators can be set up to support more local startups to push forward a smart city.


2018理工大學初創企業巡禮,感受香港初創活力

最近我出席了理工大學二零一八年的初創企業巡禮,典禮上四十間獲理大資助的初創展示其產品和成果,成功的初創企業家在會上分享他們成功的創業經歷。巡禮為逾二百個初創企業家和業內人士提供寶貴的交流平台,互相學習。

巡禮展示了多個不同類型的創新項目,應用領域十分多元化,如手機程式管理、教學遊戲、武術、聽力支援、文化保育、綠色能源等等,大部分項目採用了創新科研技術,如人工智能(Artificial Intelligence)、機械人(Robotics)、擴增實境(Augmented Reality)等等。看到創新技術在越來越多新領域得到使用,真是振奮人心。

本地有許多初創的培育中心,如科學園和數碼港,而理工大學是最大的以大學為本的初創培育中心,自二零一一年創立以來,已支援超過二百三十間初創及六百八十個企業家,期望香港將來有更多針對特定領域的培育中心,例如金融科技培育中心等,提供更專業的支援服務,加強對本地初創的協助,推動香港智慧城市的發展。

Startup Community in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is well known for being a happy and smart city. That’s why I was really excited about joining the Startup Weekend of the Copenhagen Fintech Week and couldn’t wait to meet the dynamic FinTech startup community there!

The Copenhagen Fintech Week was an international event where people from all around the world came together to share insights on latest hot topics in the Fintech world like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, cybersecurity, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), open banking, etc. As part of the Copenhagen Fintech Week, the Startup Weekend embraced novel ideas from Fintech startups and provided a competitive yet potentially collaborative platform for innovation initiators. There we worked on projects that interested us, honed our ideas with exchanges from fellow participants and help from coaches, and finally got to pitch our work.

It was a valuable experience working and interacting with inspiring people, and building up our ideas with the insights and experience from like-minded fellows. I really appreciated the opportunity and looked forward to more to come!


參與哥本哈根的金融科技周,與各地初創企業家互動交流

哥本哈根是知名的快樂和智慧城市,所以我相當高興能參與其金融科技周的初創周末,急不及待和那裏的金融科技初創社區見面交流!

哥本合根的金融科技周是個國際盛事,來自世界各地的專業人士會聚首一堂,分享探究金融科技世界最新最流行的議題,這次的主題涵蓋人工智能(Artificial Intelligence),區塊鏈技術(Blockchain)、網絡安全(Cybersecurity)、可持續發展目標(Sustainable Development Goals)、開放銀行(Open banking)等等。而初創周末作為金融科技周的一部分,特別為初創企業和項目發起人提供一個鼓勵協作又具競爭性的平台,讓我們能在此開展我們感興趣的想法或項目,並藉着和與會者交流看法和導師的建議而加以完善,最後我們有機會匯報自己的項目提案。

這實在是個難得的體驗,能夠和不同背景但志同道合的與會者和初創企業家互動,藉大家的經驗和建議來改善加強彼此的項目想法,實在受益匪淺,期待未來更多與各地金融初創交流的機會!