[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: June 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005

Obesity in Ireland.. Shocking!

According to the World Health Organisation, obesity is becoming a 'global epidemic.'
Some startling facts about obesity in Ireland according to the Sunday Tribune:

Two thirds of Irish men and half of Irish women are either overweight or obese.

Obesity in men has nearly trebled from 1990-2000. The numbers among women has increased slightly.

The figures show that the rate of obesity is rising by 1% every year.

Men: Obesity reates grew from 11.3% in '98 to 14.4% in '02.

Women: Increased from 9.3% in '98 to 11.8% in '02.

In contrast, 0.3% of men and 1.1% of women are underweight (2000)

'One in five' children are overwieght and 'one in twenty' are obese.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

No wonder America's so fat

Yo this is twisted... It's quite amazing how 'alternative' websites get passed around the web and become successes over night, mostly thanks to obsessive web surfers with no jobs.

Crying While Eating is a site consisting of videos of people yes, crying while eating. It made me laugh with a slight sense of discomfort. People from all over the world submit their own videos just for the hell of it.

Eyebeam, an arts & technology foundation sponsored a project to see how quick information is spread around the net. Sixty websites entered and Crying While Eating was among them. Initially launched with 12 videos, it garnered over 50,000 visitors overnight and by the end of the research project it achieved over 13 million viewings. Sad!

More info:

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Communist censorship goes cyber

In an attempt to censor subversive and anti-government sentiment in cyberspace, the Chinese government have employed over 40,000 internet lapdogs to monitor internet usage, primarily in Beijing.
The Beijing Public Security Bureau watches over 800 cyber cafes and 3000+ internet service providers, that's about 94 million users and rising.
By October 2002, about 90,000 cyber cafes have already been shut down. That's almost half of the 200,000 nationwide. The remaining ones are required by law to have surveillance equipment installed.
Websites, blogs, and bulletin boards alike are under the careful eye of the Communist party. Many of these sites need to register with the government or else face fines, closure or even imprisonment.

The police maintains a black list of forbidden websites and updates daily. It is reported that the list contains over 500,000 websites outside China.
Key words such as 'freedom', 'falun gong' or 'democracy' will be censored. Microsoft, Google and Yahoo are just some who are cooperating in an effort to please the government.
Huang Qi is notable for being the first person in China to be arrested for posting articles concerning human rights and political issues on his own website. For 'inciting subversion', he was detained for almost 3 years and is due to be released this month. In fact he had only posted names of individuals arrested during the pro-democracy march in 1989.
It'll be interesting to see how this operation goes, to monitor internet usage of the world's most populous country will certainly be a challenge.
No wonder the Chinese government is so eager to learn from our IT sector..
More info:

Monday, June 20, 2005

Trial of the Century??

Well I feel so much better that the Michael Jackson trial is over..
Not to brag but I always thought he was innocent. Given the fact he was brought to court some years ago over the same allegations, would he stuipid enough to let himself be set up like that again? OK so he likes sleeping with children, that's not a crime. It's weird alright but I'm sure there are others like him out there and are not child molestors.
I hate the 'Jacko Wacko' term, this crude derogatory term befits a tabloid or gossip magazine but it's definitely not for broadsheets. But sadly that's not the case, it's rife among the likes of Irish Times or Sunday Tribune. Shame. And why has this been dubbed the 'trial of the century' when it's only 2005?? You media hacks are all drama queens. Are you now all satisfied with your Jacko jokes? If so let the poor man alone and rebuild what tatters of life & career he has left.

One thing that did seriously annoy me was that bleach-blonde muppet Sean O'Kane outside the court room holding the tri-colored placard saying 'Ireland believes in you!' He left his job in Liverpool and hitch-hiked his way to California.
*Ahem* Firstly you're from Liverpool and you were born in Derry and you have no right saying something like that for us!
Pffftt, trial of the century, more like muppet of the century. Now can we all get back to watching the Confederations Cup?

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Got turned down again by the US embassy on Friday.
This time I had applied for a visitor's visa for 4 months. I had brought all necessary documents including a letter from my company stating that I will be returning home for full time work in October (they want evidence that I have strong ties to Ireland). I even had 3 different bank account statements to show I have 'sufficient funds' for my stay. For godsake I even brought my parent's mortgage bill to show that we have a home here.
And you know what that Yanker told me? He thinks I'm trying to immigrate illegaly... just because he had this benign generalisation of new college graduates; that we are in a 'period of transition' and are likely trying to immigrate to the US... That's the reason you turned me down?! Just because I had recently finished college, you think i'm trying to immigrate illegaly to your damn country?! Then why the fuck would I bother applying for a visitor's visa if I wanted to immigrate you fucking bureaucratic swine! He then said I should try to apply again once i've 'settled in' and have a proper job.
Since then I've just accepted it. I know it seems like i'm giving up easily, but I'm so discouraged about it and I just want to move on quickly before I start sulking for the rest of the summer. When the opportunity first came up a while back ago, I had this little voice in the back of my head saying 'I'll never get to go.' For some reason there was always this doubt within me. Going to Manhattan and doing this apprenticeship with such an amazing TV company is a once in a life time opportunity. Yet for some reason I really didn't see myself getting to go. And because of these visa rejections, I was quick to acknowledge it and my dissapointment was short-lived.
When I broke the news to friends & colleagues, most just said 'tough luck' (in a polite way of course) but a few said 'keep going for it' or 'don't give up.' And you know what, I'm gonna try again, even though the odds are against me even more. It's now less more about trying to get a visa, but to defy that fucking Yanker at the embassy. If he's turning me down just because I'm no longer studying, then i'll apply for a new course at college just to show him that I'll be continuing my studies when I get back. Then he'll have no other reason to turn me down! I admit it's a reckless tactic, but I just want to get that visa, go back to him while he's behind his glass window, rub the visa against it and ask 'HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?'

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Yo-yo's in trouble

Wow, even the French have rejected the European consitution. Even more so because the EU has been a French concept and been directed by the vision of French politicians. With a turnout of 69%, 55% rejected the constitution. Most blame inadequate information provided to the public. This has sent tremors within the EU and many Euro skeptics are coming out of the shadows with a new sense of vigour.
The Euro has been under scrutiny lately, many blaming the inflationary differences between member states. Although the Euro has been doing well against the US Dollar, it hides the fact that the economies of Europe are worsening: severe social cut-backs in France, high unemployment in Germany and Ireland, well things aren't going to get any cheaper are they? There is particular Euro resistance in Italy where there is severe inflation. In fact, some supermarkets still accept Lira! Banks are also trading with Lira.
There isn't a date set for Ireland's referendum, but it will be before November 1st 2006, the target date for ratification. Is it going to be another Nice Treaty job? Vote No, only to hold another referendum? With France rejecting it, there isn't much hope. The EU isn't going to get its 'super-state' after all.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

New statue on Grafton Street

Posted by Hello

Behold- Sophie Rider's 'Lady Hare and Dog' statue, newly installed on the upper side of Graton Street. It's part of a collaboration between Solomon Gallery and Dublin City Council to bring art to public places.
I personally don't know what to make of it but spots in Dublin certainly needs a make over. How about putting up all those yellow umbrellas all around the city just like New York? It'll even be good for passerby's to stand in under the freaky spots of rain!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Thought of the day

Worried about going to NY..
Under The US's 'Visa Waiver' progamme, we don't need to apply for visas when staying in the US for less than 90 days.
I did however go and apply for a B-1 business visa because I will be working, well unofficially because it's an internship and not actual employment. But I got rejected because of some stuipid minor problem. But anyway the consular officer advised me to get a J or H visa which in the end I realised did not suit me.
Bloody hell I should've never applied for that damn visa then I wouldn't been in this mess.
But fuck it anyway, I'm still going via the normal tourist status. Either way I want get out of this forsaken cesspool and go see NY in all it's glory. Haven't been there in 8 years.
But this new problem I found is that people who were previously denied a visa are not eligible for this Visa Waiver thingy, meaning I would need to apply for a visa to visit the US!
I'll know for sure on Tuesday when I ring up the embassy or whoever as tommorow's a bank holiday.
There's been nothing but obstacles so far. To be honest i'm quite nervous about going to NY to do this thing- I have no idea what to expect at this internship, I haven't found accomodation, I don't have any friends there and of course this whole poxy visa thing.
This whole thing has been hounding me for the past 2 weeks, but I will know for sure when i get some answers on Tuesday.
But all this waiting is pissing me off- waiting to know whether my summer plans will be ruined or not..

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ireland vs Israel 2-2

While walking through town with a hangover, I was wondering why so many activists were putting up flags and posters about Palesteine.
Ah then it hit me that Israel were coming to Landsdowne Road today. Is that a good reason for activists to start all this guff about Palesteine just because a coupla hundred Israelis will be in town today? You might aswell tell them to fuck off!
But anyway what a great yet dissapointing match for us. Andy O'Brien got sent off.. funny