Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eye | Land | View

Tomorrow (1 October 2009) is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) (中華人民共和國).

Post-1997, that means a public holiday hereabouts. As usual on public holidays and weekends, rain is forecast.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Typhoon Ketsana aka Ondoy

26 September 2008:

The Philippines and Cuba, both have a lot in common:
Spanish rule for three hundred and fifty-odd years.

American rule by proxy during a good chunk of the 20th century.

Nominal independence for the Philippines after 1945.

Complete independence for Cuba since 1959.

Both countries are subject to extreme weather systems during the summer and early autumn: hurricanes and typhoons.
According to Prevention Web, between 1980-2008, the Philippines (disaster statistics) had six times as many hurricanes but nearly 16 (yes, sixteen) times as many fatalities as the cigar smokers in Cuba (disaster statistics).

How so? For all its faults, Cuba has, among other things, developed a first class disaster management programme.

Sadly, there's not much chance of such a disaster management programme being established and efficiently maintained in the Philippines. Not currently, anyway.

This is a country whose owners and rulers are generally pre-occupied with graft and corruption. They know how to steal from the people. They have little inclination to serve the people.

The result? Katrina redux.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Yann Tiersen: Comptine d'un autre été

For the weekend, a guilty pleasure.

Ça, c'est génial . . .

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eye | Land | View

The other side: Eastern Island Corridor

In the background, the 88-storey IFC building

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reading mattters

Hemlock writes:
"A date which will live in infamy . . . Geocities, the evil multinational conglomerate that produces its shoddy and environmentally destructive Internet services in Dickensian sweatshops in its ruthless quest for profit, saw fit – as part of its imminent closure – to bar me, wild American friend Odell, the Big Boss and delectable Administrative Officer Winky Ip from our very own home from the middle of last week. They have let me back in briefly in order to retrieve a few essentials, but otherwise this is it. Cast out into the wilderness with maximum prejudice aforethought.
Souvenir hunters, the nostalgic, and the terminally bored are welcome to poke around here – the lights go out permanently at Geocities around the end of October."
Looking forward? A "blog" by D. Ah, here it is: Big Lychee

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cat Stevens: Wild World

For the weekend, a guilty pleasure.

Cracking performance of a great song. . .

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Reading mattters

Lash out and cover up: Austerity nostalgia and ironic
in recession Britain, by Owen Hatherley: radical philosophy

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eye | Land | View

Refashioning of the village square began in early March. It was supposed to be finished by end-August. Six months. It isn’t finished.

Even so, some of what has been accomplished is mighty interesting.

Take the pavement area next to the noodle shop. Where once there were cobble stones (laid about five years ago), there is now a raised flowerbed, signage posts, and a long bench made of synthetic faux-wood.

For reasons best known to whoever planned and approved this, anyone sitting on this new bench will have their backs turned against the vibrancy and movement in the square. Instead, they will be looking at a concrete wall.

Anyway, it gets even more curious.

One can only speculate that whoever “planned” this new seating never bothered to visit the site before or after they fired up their laptop. If they had taken a look around, they’d have seen that the planned public bench abuts onto a noodle shop. This shop has a (probably illegal) awning, beneath which are tables and stools, customers, cooks and cooking from late afternoon.

Thus, afternoon flaneurs sitting on this new public seating are going to be up close and real personal with the noodle gourmets.

But, wait.

The noodle people often drop a thick plastic curtain wall down the front and sides of their awning, so anyone sitting on the bench won’t be too up close and personal. Nor able to see too clearly, either.

Better yet! When the thick plastic curtain is in place, the only way to get to this new bench will be by trampling across the flowerbed. . .

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weather report

Typhoon Koppu

Yesterday's no-name tropical depression has evolved and is now worthy of a name: Koppu.

Koppu? It's Japanese: HKO

The No.3 Strong Wind Signal went up this afternoon.

Around 5:15pm a little island in the South China Sea's Fire Brigade turned up in their one humungous fire engine to check some of the upper branches of the sacred tree. It was already blowing a gale but several firemen went up in one of those cheery picker things to lop off a few already damaged branches.

The No. 8 Gale or Storm Force Signal was raised at just after 6pm.

Time for one and all to batten down the hatches.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weather report

The No. 1 Standby Signal was raised at 8:35pm. No word yet from Hong Kong Observatory as to whether the No. 3 Strong Wind Signal will be raised: Hong Kong Observatory

Weather report

A no-name tropical depression is moving west about 300 530 or more kilometres to the southeast of here. Around 7:15pm all hell broke loose: heavy rain, very loud thunder claps and a very bright, white, light show.

Awesome to watch and hear and feel if you are safe and sound. But something else if you are caught out in the open.

Twenty minutes later it was as though it had never happened.

Youtube to follow

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Nina Simone: Feeling Good

For the weekend, a guilty pleasure.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Eye | Land | View

Village square

New signage is going up in the square, which is all well and good. Except when they hang the vertical banners, which they will, the view for some will be markedly curtailed.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009