Tuesday, April 29, 2008

TRAVEL ALERT!

Found in my email inbox this morning:


This Travel Alert updates U.S. citizens about security issues in China and advises American citizens traveling or residing there to be alert to their surroundings and exercise caution at all times. This Travel Alert expires on October 31, 2008.
Any large-scale public event such as the upcoming Olympic Games may present an attractive target for terrorists. There is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist acts within China in the near future. In light of these security concerns, U.S. citizens traveling in China are advised to use caution and to be alert to their surroundings at all times, including at hotels, in restaurants, on public transportation and where there are demonstrations and other large-scale public gatherings. Consistent with our standard advice, American citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations.
In accordance with these security concerns, Chinese authorities have increased security in China's airports during recent months. For example, Chinese airport authorities recently implemented tighter restrictions on taking liquids, aerosols, or gels aboard flights in carry-on baggage. Such restrictions may apply to food, cosmetics, toiletries and medicine. Travelers should contact their air carrier before their flight to determine the precise regulation in place.
American citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. For additional information, please refer to ?A Safe Trip Abroad? found at travel.state.gov.
U.S. citizens planning travel to China should regularly check the Department?s Country Specific Information for China at travel.state.gov for the latest safety and security information, including the updated Olympics Fact Sheet, as well as the U.S. Embassy Beijing website at beijing.usembassy-china.org. Americans planning travel to China are advised to register their presence with the U.S. Embassy at travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.
As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or from other countries on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.
This Travel Alert is being issued to update U.S. citizens to safety and security concerns.

Monday, April 28, 2008

NIKEiD Studio




So if you know even the tinest little thing about me, you know I have a serious shoe purchasing problem. And even with my new limit on buying stuff after a disaterious weekend in Hong Kong netted me TWO new cameras, I went over to the opening of the NIKEiD Studio opening in Shanghai (one of 5 worldwide! with New York, London, Paris and Osaka) and took in the official party.


The concept of NIKEiD is pretty simple - you become a shoe designer, taking Nike shoes and introducing your own color blocking and adding in the PE touches like a name or number or in some cases logos. The NIKEiD Studio in Shanghai has some added touches like being able to work with a design consultant, being able to work in a cool private studio where you can take a look around for inspiration and actually look and feel the materials and fabrics and leathers that you are choosing for your shoe. It's quite cool.


So even though the NIKEiD Studio prices are quite a bit more than they are using nikeid.com in the States, I went in on Saturday and designed a couple of shoes.


Somebody's really got to stop me from buying all these shoes. Seriously.




Saturday, April 19, 2008

TYPHOON!!!!

So I'm taking a city break to Hong Kong. . . and of course, it's the 2nd earliest typhoon ever since they started keeping track of these things.

Typhoon Neoguri threatens China's southern Hainan Island,
could hit Friday or Saturday
APGUANGZHOU, China -- The first typhoon to
threaten China this year churned toward the southern island province of Hainan
on Friday, kicking up winds that closed a ferry service and forced thousands of
fishing boats to sail to port, forecasters and media reports said.


Ah, dammit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nike Training - Beijing 2008



Nike's new training commercial features Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Cristiano Ronaldo . .. and Filipino Boxer Manny Pacquiao and Chinese Hurdler Liu Xiang!

I love the message, but I'm a Nike whore.

Things Done Changed

From Michael Silver's Yahoo Sports Column

Lyric-altered song dedication of the week
Give Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour the mic and get out of her way.

To the tune of Biggie's "Things Done Changed" …
Remember back in the days, when Ben got a raise
No inbounds plays or open treys
Cheatin' Bozeman, homies had the high top jellies
Football was smelly, and our AD was all friendly
Loungin with the Old Blues, drinkin boozelike the homeless dudes, on Telegraph Avenue
Turn your BlackBerrys, to 2008
Stuff is getting flushed Nate, ain't it great?
Throw dumb picks, you ride the pine real quick
Cause Poppa Jeff Tedford ain't havin that script
Rockin' that Nike vest, give the ball to Jahvid Best
always, breakaways all day
Wait for our rivals to step up on some fightin' tip
We take their hoops coach and make 'em sick, don't you even trip
So step away from your defeatist ways
Old-school suckas this ain't back in the days, but you don't hear me though
No more Leon Powe leave-io, NIT
Julian Sensley, all of this to me, is a travesty
I heard them other suckas bitch about it
Now you see a couple of coaches who be lyin' in a ditch and drownin'
And I'm down with the search too
All the stupid writer suckas wantin' me to hire Mark Few
Instead of a Pac-10 livin' legend
Tire tracks on Bowlsby's head and, that's what the hell happens
when you sleep in my trees
Oski be comin' with heat, want to make their smelly asses leap
And we be goin' to Pasadena
To make sure the Rose Queen's in blue and gold like no one's ever seen her
Back in the days, our rivals used to talk trash to us
Look at em now, they know they 'bout to get smashed by us
Trent Johnson skippin' town for Baton Rouge because he can't maintain
Damn, it done changed

Back when our program was so lame
We couldn't even draw 40 grand for a football game
Because our coach was an inkblot
And Michael Ainsworth got caught and Legans couldn't hit a jumpshot
Damn, it's fun cleanin' up Kasser's slums
Followin' what Gladstone done by bustin' out the heavy guns
And now the stuff's gettin crazier and major
Counting Crows on campus and Kip's hosting nightly ragers
Boyle on the recruiting trail, blowin' up
Twelve months later Final Four, we'll be showin up
It makes me want to break out the Cris and Dom
But first I gotta smack a Berkeley judge's mom
Damn, what happened to the days of Lou and Gilby?
Everytime I make a hire I make the rest of 'em look silly
Look, Montgomery be huggin' Oski Bear
Don't ask me why them other suckas scared, things done changed

Things Done Changed

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nasty Nas . . .postponed


Dammit dammit dammit. From Smartshanghai:

"Due to visa issues amongst the entourage of guest star, NAS, the date of
the Solid Hip Hop Party has been pushed back. The event promoter is working on a
four to six week delay..."

For crying out loud, can't a guy get a decent hip hop show here? (er, the Roots and Talib Kweli excepted). To think I almost flew down to Hong Kong for Kanye, but instead decided to save a little and watch Nas.

Boycott!


Seriously, this talk of boycotting and Chinese nationalism is really a bunch of knee jerk idiocy and really will serve to hurt local interests anyways. What country doesn't produce goods here in China? Carrefour stocks CHINESE goods.
I feel like Napoleon Dynamite.
IDIOTS!
Thankfully, there's someone around here in the Chinese blogosphere who has a modicum of good sense.
Wang Xiao Feng recently posted something that Danwei.org was kind enough to translate - I'll just let them do all the work here.

Boycott

by Wang Xiaofeng

I received an SMS from a friend calling on me to avoid Carrefour, to boycott the
French people that have insulted our country's athletes on their procession. I
replied saying that I have always boycotted French culture: I cannot speak
French except to say 'salut'...


I never boycott any type of goods, including Japanese goods, Korean, American, and now French. My first mobile phone was an Alcatel. I stopped using it because it had a particular characteristic: the screen did not display any information, like a cordless land line. I also do not boycott Japanese goods, the first TV set in my home
was a Sharp. I don't often buy Japanese goods not because of any patriotic
feelings, but because I do not need them. If I need such goods, for example
a digital camera, I will definitely buy Japanese goods. I do not like Korean
goods because I think their stuff is much better looking than it is useful,
for examples their good looking but useless mobile phones. 


In fact, the best boycott is a closed door policy for the country. Let's go back to
the Mao era: can you guys handle it? If you can't handle that, then stop
making a fuss, boycotting this and that.
The best boycott is to make yourself really awesome (牛逼); if
you're not cool, other people will pick on you. If you boycott someone when they
pick on you, you're just pretending to be be great. If you like it, mayabe you
should go to North Korea, where they only have north Korean and Chinese goods.


Using your purchasing habits to demonstrate whether or not you are patriotic,
this is really "universal values" with Chinese characteristics.

When you boycott, you are just showing that your target is much stronger than you, that your target is already mixed up in your life. So what the hell have you been
doing before now?


I just happen to have some discount coupons for Carrefour. I guess if I go these days, there won't be long queues. If there is anything I am going to boycott, it's all these stupid idiots [arranging
boycotts].



(shamefully stolen from danwei.org )