[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

All systems check...

Well, after applying to the South China Morning Post almost two months ago, I've done the dirty HR business and am ready to start in May. It'll be sad leaving ATV - well actually just our department - didn't really make any friends elsewhere, and I only got on well recently with one of the video editors and plus he sells pirated discs on the side! Got some Wii games off him for some mates. I've always been blessed working with great, fun people, and ATV was none the different. How about TVB's one might ask? A colleague of mine's who's also friends with one of TVB's said the atmosphere in the office is professional too a point where it's allegedly unfriendly, or just dull. As for us, we would regularly talk off on a tangent poking fun at each other or talking jokes about the day's stories. One interviewee recently told me she was pleasantly surprised at the cordial atmosphere.
So yeah, I'll definitely miss the our cosy office and all the people. But people come and go and what's most important is to leave your best impression before you do. How am I going to do it? I'm considering to a photo essay of the team and what we do, as my appreciation to them and of course to let others see the face that you don't on screen.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My photo?

Relatives were scouring for a recent photo of great grandad for his upcoming funeral but the best one they had was when he was 50 - too long ago. A year ago I took a set of photos of Canton Road market, in which my great grandad was also featured.

This picture was chosen:

And here's the cropped result:

I was kinda worried because the resolution of the original was low, so the cropped would be blurred. In any case I think I did a good job, they're going to expand and frame it for the funeral next week. I've had my photos published many times, but never like this! Still, I'm happy with my Photoshop skills and of course to create a decent photo to send him off in front of hundreds of mourners.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Media Watch: Oil companies' advertising

Oil giants ExxonMobil and Shell have been dishing out a series of new TV ads aimed at projecting themselves as more humane and down to earth. Shell's ones are more longer - the one I've seen so far is like a day in the life of a Dutch guy - who works for Shell - with a 'problem' as to how to extract natural gas from an even surface... bla bla bla... then he sees his troubled son using his upside down straw to suck milkshake out of his glass. Shell's aim? To let the audience perceive Shell through this enigmatic Dutch guy who's just like any other normal person - with a 'problem.'
ExxonMobil's involves a couple of their apparent employees - the good looking ones anyway - talking about how the company's working on more efficient modes of transport or energy resources and finishing off with a spot of pride by annoucing: "I'm xx, and I work for ExxonMobil."
BP, or British Petroleum, has subtly changed its image to "Beyond Petroleum". Perhaps a bit too hasty at this stage.
It's easy to understand how they're branching into this mode of advertising as global warming is quickly becoming a common consensus around the world. This is also follows the phenomenon that is "greenwashing" where energy corporations spin themselves as reborn saviours of the environment etc. While some of their practices and products do go a certain way in helping the environment, their advertising versus their actual commitment is quite staggering: Shell's "Shell Renewables" division only gets 0.6 percent of the annual budget. And we've all heard how ExxonMobil (or Esso) contributed to George W Bush's presidential campaign over US$1 billion - to a man who scorns the Kyoto Protocol and has deep roots to the oil industry. ExxonMobil continues to be the biggest earner of all the energy corporations with cash balances of more than US$30 billion and has better relations with host governments.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

American-Koreans fear ethnic backlash - eh, Shut Up!

This is another mini 9/11 type fear mongering story of racial strife. The media should stop drumming up those stories about ethnic backlashes against American-Koreans in the wake of Cho Seung-hui's murder rampage.

You think that happened against white Americans when after Columbine or Charles Whitman or all the other caucasians that've went on shooting rampages? White people fearing ethnic backlash?? Odd to see that headline wouldn't it?

Why don't you wait till some hate crime does actually happen then report it, now they're just putting pictures in people's minds and purporting America as a racially intolerant society - if not, a society where really the white man does dominate, well, in the media at least.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"All we can do is wait."

When I got the news my great grandfather was admitted to hospital (again), one of my relatives relayed his condition to me as "all we can do is wait." Meaning the end is nigh for my great grandpappy, doctor gave him a few more days' as there's nothing they can do. What a way to give up eh?
I visited him today at Caritas Hospital along with other relatives and friends. It was hard to describe the atmosphere; great grandfather himself didn't seem distressed; the others of course felt sombre, but no-one really balled; as for me, I just regretted not seeing more often even though he lived quite near from me. He always went to a tea restaurant opposite me and I've had lunch there with a good few times, but because out of sheer late waking up, laziness, or whatever, I felt I should've made a better effort to get to know him better since I'm all the way out here in Hong Kong now.
Right now my grandmother back home is making prepartions to fly here on Weds, everyone's telling him to 'hold on' so he could see his daughter one last time. Grandma has been living in Ireland for about 10 years and has only went back to HK twice.
On a lighter side, there was a bit of commotion when I believe he wanted us to get him some opium! Morphine he said, wasn't as good. I left before we garnered any decision. Who are we to deny the wishes of a dying man?

Great Grandad/Grandma

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Smashing Pumpkins reunited! Well, sort of...

I couldn't believe all my four sense when I heard of the news... My favourite band of all time and forever, the Smashing Pumpkins, are reuniting and will play their first tour gig in Paris in May.
But the greatest excitement is their appearance at Live Earth this July - like of those Live Aid concerts, except promotes awareness of climate change.
Although only Billy and Jimmy (drummer) have signed on so far, as time builds up James and D'arcy may tag along. I have never seen the Pumpkins live, and I had always assumed it was forever lost but now that hope is alive again!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Coyote crashes at Quinzos

Our light story today is about a wild coyote turned city slicker that pays staff at Quinzos sandwich shop a visit. Of course, references to Road Runner were inevitable.
Speaking of which, here's some of the last scenes from the final episode which aired in 1980... he finally catches him! Well sort of.

Check it out on YouTube.

They don't do classics like these anymore.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Chinese blogger's home destroyed

I'm sure some have heard of Wu Ping's or 'Stubborn Nail's' heroic three-year defiance of a property developer in Chongqing. Wu, who lives with her husband, was only one of the 281 families who rejected a compensation deal (3.5 million RMB) from the developer/Chongqing Muncipality for their land, hence the stubborness attributed to her by the local media.

But Ms Wu defended her decision. "I'm not stubborn or unruly, I'm just trying to protect my personal rights as a citizen. I will continue to the end," she was quoted as saying in the state-run Legal Daily. China recently passed a landmark property law to protect people's property rights.

But from the many comments left by Wu's supporters on a Chinese forum - some of whom were netizens on location reporting - one seemed to sum it all up: "In China, The Party is the biggest, and connections are stronger than the law. The law is a tool the upper classes use to suppress the common people and nothing more."

But their campaign ended last night when bulldozers moved in and struck down their motte and bailey-like castle. Wu reportedly remarked "Oh, well" when it was demolished. The couple have now agreed to move home.But the controversy has moved beyond property issues as it had given birth to China's official first independent citizen reporter, Zola Zhou, who reported from ground zero with a camera phone and 1,000 RMB.

Could this usher in a new platform of Chinese journalism? The Chinese government currently requires all bloggers to register in their database but I'm sure it's not hard to get around the system. As more Chinese citizens have access to the Internet, so too will it play a bigger part in their lives, politically and others, it's a potential can of worms for the government. In fact citizen reporting is already happening, some of course are not politically sensitive, such as netizens in Beijing reporting bad environmental practices and getting rewarded by it - because of the city's desperate clean-up for the upcoming Olympics.

Also published on Indymedia

Monday, April 02, 2007

Ah Dee's back!!

Looks like Ah Dee's getting stressed; he's showing more white hairs than his last TV spots with his new one out the last week.
So it seems US Body Power ignored the Consumer Council's findings that in fact those so-called magic crystals does feck all. I found it odd that their report didn't mention once the company's name.
The company's either extremely confident in their products, or maybe they think all their annoying TV spots would actually work.
As for me, like most sensible people, I would have an initial suspicion of such new-age health products. I do not openly doubt US Body Power's effectiveness, but then I again I practice ch'i kung, an ancient Chinese exercise technique that promotes good health. Well actually the more I did it, it became more of a relaxation method so I never really bothered with the potential health effects, if any, and even if there were I probably won't notice it either as results aren't guaranteed. If so most likely they'd be subtle and only over a long term. Ch'i kng can be practiced by anybody (and for free) and it's not a religion or cult.
Who knows, their product could even be a placebo? Nevertheless my criticism stands, their commercials suck!!