Posts Tagged ‘China’

Beijing bans smoking in public places

May 2, 2008
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Laptop concert linking Stanford and Beijing

May 1, 2008

A student uses the keyboard to control the sound produced from his 6-speaker array (seen at left) during a rehearsal of the Stanford Laptop Orchestra in the Knoll building on campus in Palo Alto, April 24, 2008. Ech of the 20 speaker arrays is built from an IKEA salad bowl, amplifier kit and car speakers.The ensemble of 20 musicians is comprised of under graduates, master's students and doctoral students from the university community. (David M. Barreda / Mercury News)Laptop concert linking Stanford and Beijing signals world has changed 6,000 MILES APART, PAN-ASIAN FESTIVAL MUSICIANS USE THE NET TO COLLABORATE IN REAL TIME FRom the Mercury News By Richard Scheinin Article Launched: 04/30/2008 03:55:21 PM PDT photo by (David M. Barreda / Mercury News)>>read more.     Do you remember the Jefferson Airplane doing a tune called “Fat Angel” in 1968? It was recorded live at the Fillmore (whether in San Francisco or New York wasn’t clear from the album jacket), and the lyrics went like this: “Fly Translove Airways, gets you there on time.” Very trippy, very mesmerizing, very new. You listened and knew the world was changing.     Tuesday night at Stanford University’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium, there was a concert titled “Pacific Rim of Wire,” and, 40 years after “Fat Angel,” it evoked similar feelings of mesmerizing newness. It was a night of electro-acoustic, trans-global music-making: Musicians at Dinkelspiel (the Stanford Laptop Orchestra, as well as players on traditional concert instruments) were literally – via the Internet, in real time – performing with musicians in China (on a smaller array of electronic and acoustic instruments).     The musicians in this “networked performance” – part of Stanford’s ongoing Pan-Asian Music Festival – could see one another, hear one another and respond musically to one another. The 200 or so listeners in Dinkelspiel could watch and hear not only the musicians on stage, but the musicians in China (6,000 miles distant and 15 hours ahead of California), whose images were projected on a giant screen at the rear of the stage. The small audience at Beijing University could see and hear everything happening in Dinkelspiel.     The combined sounds of two continents droned and pulsed, highly ritualistic, at times gorgeous, unfolding like electronic flowers, full of new moods and colors and tonalities – and, occasionally, they were a mishmash.     Still, the players were communing across the planet: This was the real Translove Airways.      I can’t say that Dinkelspiel is “the new Fillmore” – where all this goes is totally up in the air, and, besides, I’m a neophyte with this music.     But as was the case in the ’60s, what happened Tuesday night was about more than the music. It raised basic questions: What does it mean to “be here,” when here is there, and there is here? For that matter, what does it mean “to see” in this age of Skype and networked performances? After all, the musicians in China were seeing us, literally, and we were seeing them.     The concert was as much a technical as a musical coup, and the folks at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) deserve credit for instigating and carrying it off in conjunction with the technical people in Beijing – who could be seen sipping bottled water and waving to the Dinkelspiel crowd during the performance.

China: Building servants’ quarters, indoor pools & cultural district

May 1, 2008

THE SURVEY Design teams explore the site for the villas of Ordos. Photo Doug Kanter for The New York TimesDesign Notebook In Inner Mongolia, Pushing Architecture’s Outer Limits   From By FRED A. BERNSTEIN Published: May 1, 2008 Ordos, China images by Doug Kanter for The New York Times>>read more.     ON April 12, Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, both 36, could have been working in their architecture office in New Haven, worrying about the darkening economic prospects of their profession. Instead, they were in China, presenting a concept for a 10,700-square-foot villa to a client untroubled by thoughts of recession, and being treated like stars. Thanks to a booming economy in this resource-rich desert region of Inner Mongolia, Mr. Meredith said, “we got a little taste of what it’s like to be Zaha Hadid.”     Or maybe one of 100 Zahas. Mr. Meredith and Ms. Sample were part of a large group of mostly up-and-coming design teams from 27 countries that descended on Ordos for five days in April at the behest of a local tycoon. Cai Jiang, who made his money in coal and dairy and has lately turned to real estate, had commissioned 100 firms to design individual houses, each large enough to include amenities like servants’ quarters and indoor pools, as part of a billion-dollar “cultural district” he is building here.     At a time when housing markets across the West are contracting and American architects’ billings are at their lowest point in 12 years, according to the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Cai (pronounced sigh) was offering his guests a rare chance to build big — and paying them, improbably, in wads of cash.     “Basically, Ordos is Texas,” explained Michael S. Tunkey, an American architect based in Shanghai whose firm has designed an opera house that, along with half a dozen museums and a boutique hotel, will anchor Mr. Cai’s new cultural district.

They stopped to let the Dalai Lama cross the street

April 23, 2008

Not the Dalai Lama but rather the India Tibet ProtestWhile passing throught Hamilton NY today, a friend said they stopped to let the Dalai Lama cross the street but he refused and waved my friend on.  The Spiritual Leader was presenting at Colgate University.  My friend also said there were protestors—so when I saw this article it made me think of what was happening in Hamilton. 

From the NIS News service THE HAGUE, 24/04/08 click to read more. – The Lower House wants to invite the Dalai Lama for a visit. If the EU and the Dutch government do not do this, the Lower House itself should do so, a majority considers.    The leftwing Greens (GroenLinks) asked the day-to-day management of the House (the presidium) to invite the spiritual leader of the Tibetans to visit The Warning … Wen Jiabao's broadcast yesterday, criticising the Dali Lama's Hague well before the Olympic Games. The conservatives (VVD) and Socialist Party (SP) support this request.     Labour (PvdA), small Christian party ChristenUnie and centre-left D66 consider it should first be seen whether an invitation could come from the EU or the Dutch government. Should this not succeed, then these parties will also support GroenLinks’ request.     The Christian democrats (CDA) are not against an invitation. But the biggest government party would prefer the cabinet to put all its energy into efforts to get the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama to meet together somewhere.

Oil Has Two Potential Futures, Shell Strategist Says

April 23, 2008

China Photos People buy diesel oil at a gas station on November 19, 2007 in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China, the world's second largest oil consumer. Getty ImagesFrom NPR Morning Edition, April 22, 2008 click to read more. · As oil prices hit $117 a barrel this month, a forecast from Shell Oil outlines two very different possibilities for the future of the world’s energy supply. Looking out to the year 2050, Shell strategist Jeremy Bentham says demand will go up, while oil supplies will be harder to find. But how nations and companies react is harder to predict.     “We anticipate that you’ll begin to see a plateauing of easily accessible conventional oil and gas around about the 2015, 2020 type of period,” Bentham tells Steve Inskeep.     Bentham outlines two outcomes — one a “scramble” and the other a “blueprint” scenario — for addressing energy needs.     In the scramble scenario, he says, “a focus on supply security drives a lot of decision-making.” For example, China is worried about its future supply of oil, so it decides that it needs to be friendly with Iran. Or the U.S., worried about its supply of oil, holds intensive talks with Saudi Arabia.     “That can kick off a dynamic where the tensions are perceived to be a fight between nations and hence a scramble for supply. The demand side is postponed, in terms of being managed, in that scramble outlook,” Bentham says.      So, a fear of shortage of supply builds up, and the steps to manage the whole energy system holistically aren’t taken, Bentham says. Instead of considering conservation or alternatives, people just grab for oil and other forms of energy.     The “blueprint” scenario, on the other hand, recognizes that forces can combine to affect change. “You see emerging coalitions coming together at the state level but also cross-border” to find solutions, Bentham says.     He points to climate-related legislation in California as an example.     “A set of interests were recognized among technology entrepreneurs and farmers and shrewd politicians which led, in this country in 2006, to the climate-related legislation in California,” he says.

 

China censors Internet–yea, good luck with that…

April 19, 2008

Protesters hold a “Support Olympics” banner at a Chinese branch of a French market chain. France is a target because the Olympic torch relay was disrupted there.From the Los Angeles Times By Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 19, 2008 Picture Wu Hong / EPA click to read more.   
ANGER IS HIGH: Protesters hold a “Support Olympics” banner at a Chinese branch of a French market chain. France is a target because the Olympic torch relay was disrupted there.     Beijing has fanned the nationalism, critics say, but doesn’t want it to get out of hand before the Summer Olympics.     BEIJING — As Chinese nationalism flares across cyberspace, the government is growing concerned that passions could spill over into the real world, and that anger directed against foreigners could turn inward.     Critics contend that Beijing has had a role in fanning the xenophobic sentiment to counter international condemnation of its crackdown on Tibetan rioters, but now Chinese officials appear to be trying to rein in the vitriol.     Chinese censors have quietly warned cyber-police and Internet businesses to delete all information related to protests against Western policies, nations or companies that have proliferated in the wake of demonstrations surrounding the global Olympic torch relay and high-level calls to boycott the opening ceremony of the Summer Games in Beijing.–Ummmm, aren’t the Internet businesses they’re talking about Google and Yahoo?

Earth’s Hum Sounds More Mysterious Than Ever

April 17, 2008

This file photo shows the Earth above the lunar horizon. A US firm specializing in sending people's cremated ashes into orbit is going to turn the moon into a graveyard for earthlings beginning next year.Charles Q. Choi Special to LiveScience From LiveScience.com posted on Yahoo Wed Apr 16,2008    Earth gives off a relentless hum of countless notes completely imperceptible to the human ear, like a giant, exceptionally quiet symphony, but the origin of this sound remains a mystery.    Now unexpected powerful tunes have been discovered in this hum. These new findings could shed light on the source of this enigma.   The planet emanates a constant rumble far below the limits of human hearing, even when the ground isn’t shaking from an earthquake. (It does not cause the ringing in the ear linked with tinnitus.) This sound, first discovered a decade ago, is one that only scientific instruments – seismometers – can detect. Researchers call it Earth’s hum.    Investigators suspect this murmur could originate from the churning ocean, or perhaps the roiling atmosphere. To find out more, scientists analyzed readings from an exceptionally quiet Earth-listening research station at the Black Forest Observatory in Germany, with supporting data from Japan and China. Read more.

Freedom, Beijing Style

April 7, 2008

Written by Angela Natividad on AdRANTs: Not all advertising for the Beijing Olympics is pretty and nice. Reporters without Borders is disseminating this image to remind Olympic fans how China treats reporters, activists and bloggers.     The home of the Great Firewall is under pressure to open the ‘net to journalists during the Games. “I’m satisfied that the Chinese understand the need for this and they will do it,” said Vice Chairman Kevan Gospar of the International Olympic Committee’s coordinating commission.  

CNN Planet in Peril

October 26, 2007

When reporters were asking the Chinese farmer what he thought about irrigating his crops with dark water from the adjacent river, I could not help thinking about all the apple juice the US imports from China.
Are the apple trees used in making the juice also being irrigated with similar black polluted smelly water?
Is Made in China—a warning label?

China Lead Paint

October 26, 2007

This topic makes me sick.
https://www.uspirg.org/issues/toy-safety