Sunday, September 30, 2007

The First Commercial Spaceport

So here comes the first commercial spaceport - Spaceport America

The beautiful design is from a U.S.-British team, consisting of URS Corporation and Foster + Partners. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2008. In the meantime, you just can't deny how elegant this piece is.

[PHTO: Cutaway View of Spaceport America facility. from www.spaceportamerica.com]

[PHOTO: Flight at Dawn, Spaceport America. from www.spaceportamerica.com]

[PHOTO: Inside Spaceport Terminal. from www.spaceportamerica.com]

Friday, September 28, 2007

How to Close Down Every McDonald's in Manhattan

Sheer brilliance! On September 15, 2007, a simple sign like this closed down EVERY McDonald’s in Manhattan. This is "Ronald’s Crisis". Basicly the story is Ronald falls in love with REAL New York food and decided to close McDonald, temporarily.

Ronald’s Crisis was a direct collaboration with Lawrence M. Bogad and Kevin Crook as co-writers and performers. The project involved the contributions of nearly 30 people.

McDonald's Closed Sign (courtesy Jason Koxvold)

Here you can find a video of the whole process. Enjoy!

There is this one point Ronald exclaimed "McDonald is toxic industrial waste!!!!" and the guy dressed as a doctor had to cool him down:) Truth told.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pollution causes increase in children born with deformity in China

Main cause of deformity: pollution
0.8 to 1.2 million children born with deformity in China every year, that is every 30 seconds, a child would be born with heart disease, nerve canal deformity, chilognathopalatoschisis or Mongolism. This is effecting 1/10 of Chinese families, leading to a 1.33 billion financial strain.

750,000 Chinese die from air and water pollution every year.

from BBC China

中国每年出生缺陷儿数量高达80万-120万人,每30秒钟就会诞生一个缺陷儿,污染是主要原因。

据官方新华社报道, 中国是出生缺陷高发国,每年有80万至120万出生缺陷儿诞生,占全部出生人口的4%到6%。

这个数字中包括约22万例先天性心脏病,10万例神经管畸形,5万例唇腭裂及3万例先天愚型。

为遏制出生缺陷发生率的上升,中国将9月12日定为全国"预防出生缺陷日"。

今年9月12日是中国第二个"预防出生缺陷日"。卫生和妇幼保健当局开展了宣传活动。

出生缺陷是指婴儿出生时就存在各种身体结构、智力或代谢方面的异常。全世界每年大约有500万缺陷婴儿出生,85%是在发展中国家。

中国日报引述国家妇幼保健中心的专家说,造成出生缺陷发生率上升的主要原因是污染、不健康生活方式以及晚育。

报道说有三分之一缺陷婴儿出生后不久死亡。

中国卫生部估计,出生缺陷儿影响着全国十分之一家庭,每年造成10亿人民币(1.33亿美元)的财政负担。

英国《金融时报》今年7月报道称,中国政府要求世界银行删除一份关于中国环境污染研究报告中的敏感内容。

被认为是"敏感"的内容包括:中国每年有75万人因为空气和水污染而早亡;其中最为主要致命因素是城市污浊的空气,每年有3540万人因此早亡,而且大城市的问题尤为严重。

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hosting the Olympics, How?

Germany Vs. Japan, Women's World Cup in China

The Chinese audience embraced the Japanese players with nothing but boos. At the end of the game, however, the Japanese team presented a huge banner with the words "Thanks, China"(in English) written on it.

Is this how the Chinese audience would treat other nations in the Olympics? With extreme nationalism?
Or is it true, as some Chinese netizens have suspected, that it was a just a show by the Japanese team, after all, why did they write the words on the banner in English instead of Chinese if they really want the Chinese to see?



被民族主义狼奶毒化的中国愤青


刘晓波

2007 年世界女足世界杯在中国举行,十六支女足被分为四个小组,日本队与德国队、英格兰队、阿根廷队分在A组。9月17日,日本VS德国的小组赛在浙江杭州黄龙 体育场举行,上座率不错,有3万9千多人。比赛的结果毫无悬念,高居世界女足排名第一的德国队以2:0击败日本队。

我没看这场比赛的电视 直播,但今天在网上看到宁下力先生的文章《“爱国者”的嘘声和日本女足的感谢》(南方网)。文中写道:“打开网站,第一眼瞧到的就是日本女足打着感谢中国 的条幅的照片。……随后打开了天涯,这里听到的消息却是从始到至终,场内的国人一直在嘘日本女足,而将掌声全部给了德国女足,直到日本女足打出了这条感谢 中国的条幅为止。 ”

在宁先生的文字的引导下,我也上网看了那幅图片,具有常识的看了都会感动。尽管日本队输了,但对于主办国中国和到场观战的球迷,还是打出横幅、鞠躬致谢。这在世界杯赛场上是极为少见的。

为了证实宁先生对中国观众的所言不虚,我上网查看了相关资料,在“德国足球在线论坛”网站(http://bbs.dfo.cn/viewthread.php?tid=597559)找到了《现场观球:德国女足VS日本女足》帖子,中国观众的表现的确如宁先生所言。

该论坛的网友“埃米利奥”描述了现场观球的感受:

“这场比赛杭州黄龙简直成了德国队的主场,观众估计有8成以上都在为德国队呐喊,除了随着比赛起伏的鼓掌、欢呼、尖叫之外,看台上还多次整齐地响起‘德国队!加油!’的声音——这个让我等德国球迷都比较晕,那些姑娘们哪听得懂呀。。”

“不 得不提一下日本队。这是比赛全部结束后,日本姑娘们在球场中央打开的横幅——谢谢中国!同时一齐向球迷鞠躬——事实上这时看台上球迷已经走了大半——现在 重看这张照片,我的鼻子还酸酸的:这场比赛从头到尾,除了少部分的日本球迷,大部分观众都是在为日本队喝倒彩的,甚至连奏国歌的时候都嘘声一片,很多人甚 至都一屁股坐下了没站起来(这点实在很不礼貌!BS之!)比赛中也是一边倒地支持德国队。坐我们后面一哥们就说:‘怎么都不为日本队加油?人家姑娘儿也不 容易呀,好歹也是为我们亚洲争光’(我个人也不大理解为什么这么多人都偏袒德国队,我们是德国球迷那是自然的,可大部分人应该中立才是……)尽管如此,这 些姑娘们还是在比赛结束后郑重地感谢了球迷,先不论当时她们心里是什么想法,起码这个举动让我对这个国家肃然起敬。”

在“埃米利奥”发言 后面跟帖的网友,大多数对他的现场感受不以为然。对日本队被嘘,有人拍手称快:“对日本人就应该这样,‘嘘’得好。”有人认为:“小日本最虚伪,他越是表 面对你好,在心里算计的就越厉害!”有人还鸡蛋里挑骨头地质问道:“突然想起个问题:既然感谢中国,干嘛还要用英语写,直接写中文不就完了嘛。。。到底是 给中国人看,还是给外国人看?”甚至有人嘲讽道:“……日本女人都有受虐倾向吧,受到的待遇越不好,他们越兴奋,越高兴。”

当今世界,大 型国际体育比赛的胜负,在那些患有畸形民族主义综合症的国家,就不再仅仅是竞技场上的输赢问题,而是提升民族自尊和发泄民族仇恨的问题。2002年韩日世 界杯的韩国赛场,只要有韩国队的比赛,就会有黑哨和最为丑陋的“红海洋”。在中国,随着近年来民族主义情绪日趋狂热,几乎所有大型国际赛事的中日碰撞,都 会为中国爱国愤青提供发泄仇恨的机会。所以,中国球迷对日本女足的嘘声,绝非来自他们对德国队的热爱,而是来自一种狭隘而盲目的民族仇恨——对日本人的仇 恨。

在我的记忆中,中国球迷在足球比赛中对日本人宣泄仇恨已经不是第一次了。2004年亚洲足球锦标赛由中国举办,中国人的反日爱国的热,不仅表现为语言暴力的泛滥,而且发展为暴力行动。

在 那界足球亚锦赛上,凡是有日本队参与的比赛,无论在哪个赛区,反日爱国者都要发难,都会把足球比赛变成宣泄仇恨的狂欢。在开幕式上,中国球迷对日本队的不 文明表现,招致亚足联主席维拉潘的批评。令维拉潘没想到的是,他的几句批评却引发出中国球迷的强烈反弹,网络上和媒体上一片谴责之声,致使维拉潘不得不出 面道歉。

在分组赛中,日本队被安排在重庆赛区,重庆球迷不断上演盲目反日的民族主义丑剧。7月24日,当泰国队和日本队进行比赛时,重庆球迷对日本的嘘声、叫骂、投矿泉水瓶贯穿整场比赛。

比 赛开场前,奏泰国国歌时,全场近五万观众起立,向邻邦致意;但奏日本国歌时,近五万观众却一起坐下,全不顾及起码的礼貌。比赛开始,泰国队享受了“超级主 场待遇”,他们一拿球,观众席上的声音立刻高八度,垒战鼓、吹喇叭、呐喊助威:“泰――国雄起!”“泰――国雄起!”而日本队一拿球,观众席发出整片的嘘 声和起哄声。

比赛进行到7分钟,日本进球,观众席上一片沉默,但裁判鸣哨表示犯规在先、进球无效,全场马上欢声雷动!10分钟,泰国队进 球,观众沸腾了,甚至比中国队进了球还要开心!中场休息,泰国记者在场边给重庆球迷摄像,受到球迷的鼓掌、欢呼、致意,而日本记者则遭遇球迷的嘘声、起哄 声以及铺天盖地的矿泉水瓶。那场比赛,支持日本队的观众已经少的可怜,即便如此,只要观众席上出现支持日本队的球迷的欢呼和挥舞太阳旗,就会遭到一片唾骂 和矿泉水瓶。有几个重庆小伙子还扑向日本队的支持者开打。

经过多场比赛后,真有点儿冤家路窄的必然,中国队和日本队进入决赛。在8月7日 中日对决中,中国队队员和中国球迷把反日狂热推向高潮。在开赛前的采访中,中国队守门员毫不顾及地使用“小日本”等污蔑性言词,刺激着中国球迷本来已经发 烧的仇日情绪,致使赛前气氛就充满剑拔弩张的紧张。为了防止球场骚乱,中国官方出动近五万名武警和公安,警戒着七万个座位的北京工人体育场,远远超出任何 国家在此类赛事中的警戒水准。即便如此,中国队的失利仍然导致上万狂热球迷的骚乱,他们不仅对日本球员大泼暴力语言和焚烧日本国旗,还聚众围堵日本球员大 巴,打碎日本使馆小轿车的后车窗……以至于,足球赛最后演变为外交风波。日本驻中国大使馆向中方表示抗议,北京市公安局不得不致电日本驻中国大使馆表示道 歉,中国驻日本大使武大伟也向日本外相川口顺子表示“遗憾”。

此次女足世界杯,多亏中日女足没有分到一个小组,也不会在决赛阶段相遇。因为,中日两队的小组赛排名都是第三,踢了两场的中国仅存一线进入八强的希望,而踢了三场的日本队已经出局。否则的话,2004年足球亚锦赛的反日狂潮极有可能再次上演。

当 下中国人狂热的政治民族主义,既是对中国体育和民族精神的双重伤害,也是对国际体育精神的亵渎,2004年足球亚锦赛后,中国人表现出的丑陋民族主义,引 起国际社会对北京奥运的质疑。如果这种畸形民族主义得不到矫正,那么这柄单刃毒剑就会越来越寒光四溅,然而,看上去是颇为威风的对外闪亮,实质上每一次向 外劈刺都将倒刺向中国自身。

2007年9月20日于北京家中

──《观察》
Wednesday, September 19, 2007http://www.observechina.net

Thursday, September 20, 2007

What Constitute Journalism

Begin today's post by my thanks to David for his comment.

Then, back to journalism. As a student of this field, I've been following closely on the Zhao Yan case, a New York Times researcher in China recently released after completing his three-year jail term. He was firstly charged with leaking national secrets, a charge that may put him in life imprisonment, and in China, may very well be death penalty. What national secrets you may ask, well it's non other than the information that the former chairman Jiang Zemin has wrote his resignation letter, which is something all Chinese somewhat already knew by then and the information was soon "officially" released in all Chinese media in two weeks after the New York Times article. Of course no evidence was found that Zhao Yan was the leak, so then he was charged with fraud, considering some article he wrote years back.

Now the question is why is he arrested since the so called secret is no national secret at all?

Many say it's because for a foreign press to release such information about Chinese leaders before any Chinese media did was a humiliation and shame on the Chinese media, and since Chinese media is largely controlled by the government, it was a shame on the Chinese government.

Almost anyone with some knowledge about the case would agree that Zhao Yan was merely a scapegoat for the grudge the Chinese government has always been holding against the foreign press. After all, who would actually believe a researcher would get hold of such "national secret", about the resignation letter of the chairman?

And if you probe into the matter, looking into the interest group, who benefit from the release of such information? Zhao Yan? Certainly not. New York Times? No. The only one gaining from the news being public is the current leader Hao Jintao, who made sure that Jiang Zemin could not regret his decision if his resignation became public. Maybe THAT is what the dirty secret all about.

But why punish Zhao Yan for it?

Let me take a wild guess. The Chinese government has long been troubled with the foreign media digging into China's problems, unveiling the incompetency, or the dirty laundry of them, and since they can't get their hands on the foreign reporters (for most times, that is, there were at least 25 arrest, threatening cases against foreign journalists in 2006 alone, according to Reporters Without Borders), arresting Zhao Yan serves as a deterrence for Chinese who work for the foreign media. I've got to say, this technique worked beautifully. The foreign professors in our university, for instance, stopped recommending students to foreign bureaus. Without Chinese citizens help, reporting in China became more difficult for the foreign journalists.

Another thing the Zhao Yan case reminds me of is the arrests of Chinese reporters for reporting something truly "secret" and important, such as the fact that some AIDS patients were actually infected from blood transfusion, which means the blood bank is contaminated! These are the news the people needs to know yet they can't because the journalists got punished for warning them. So how about less focus on Zhao Yan alone, ask for freedom of press on things that do matter, like about blood and life?!

Hong Kong press remains relatively free these days, however the big question is, which way is it going? Is mainland press going to be more like HK press or is it other way round?

Another question would is there such thing as patriotism when it comes to political reporting? Would a Chinese citizen helping the American public to know about the back deals in the Chinese political arena considered unpatriotic, even a betrayer? When the professor asked similar questions to the class today, many students replied yes, and said they would not cover political news for a foreign media. I was surprised by the unsurprising.

This has much to do with what journalists work for. A journalist don't report for a country, or a state department, or any other authorities. A journalist reports for humanity, the people, above anyone else. And since people have a right to know, and people are sure to have different opinions, it is therefore the reporter's duty to lay out the good as well as the bad, as long as it's the truth. A journalist serves no country but truth. Of course, no journalist would be stupid enough to publish where our troops are stationed or where our nuclear power plants, they can't get such information in the first place and even if they do get the accurate information, the whatever enemies out there wouldn't be stupid enough to base their strike on a report they saw on Sunday Times. Journalists do have their boundaries, but their realm is almost unlimited.

Such talks are purely idealistic however. I've tried the system myself. I've been punished when I argued for our elected next chief editor who was arbitrarily replaced by an appointed one who had no previous experience in newspaper. My paper has been turned back when I briefly mentioned the 1989 Tiananmen case. I've been called a rebel, a "liberal democrat" - yeah, these are "bad names" here in China. I've been censored for questioning the school's environmental damage cost by the rebuilding of campus; I was called "naive" when I retorted the school's refusal to put up posters of our classical music concert while occupying the board with four huge Pepsi ads; I was further called "selfish" when I question our school for spending 20,000 RMB on a gigantic billboard display of "The University's Achievements" while refusing to give 500 RMB to fund our "help children in AIDS pandemic villages" program. Such is the value and administration philosophy of one of the top universities in China, such are the conscious judgment of the high educated, forgive me for being pessimistic.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Running Numbers on Athiests

28 percent of atheists have post-graduate degrees or professional training.

15 percent of non-atheists have post-graduate degrees or professional training.

1.3 Atheists' average number of children.

1.95 Non-atheists' average number of children.

3 percent of atheists are "strong Republicans."

16 percent of non-atheists are "strong Republicans."

SOURCE: 2005 Baylor University Religion Survey and Barna Group

Friday, September 14, 2007

Depression

Okay, so the professor said in order to write good articles, first you should read good articles. The Dean of the Journalism School tells me to read all Pulitzer winning articles online. I am. Religiously. But these articles depress me. They are simply so good that frighten me to some extent.

Knowing I would never be able to write half as good as these blokes out there, I think I better give up, save the world another mediocre writer and whole bunch of prosaic writings, which I believe are more than enough already.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Links For Working Writers and Journalists

Prof. Bosco's Links For Working Writers and Journalists

  • Refdesk A marvelous collection of links to news, information, research and other very useful subjects. I use this for my own home page.


  • The Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made; By THE FILM CRITICS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES.


  • Merriam-Webster Online English Dictionary and Thesaurus Look up definitions and synonyms online with this American English dictionary. You will love this. This official dictionary web site has pictures and audio...great for pronunciation help, or just having fun with words.


  • The American Heritage?Book of English Usage A Practical and Authoritative Guide to Contemporary English with a detailed look at grammar, style, diction, word formation, gender, social groups and scientific forms, this valuable reference work is ideal for students, writers, academicians and anybody concerned about proper writing style.


  • The American Heritage?Dictionary of the English Language Perhaps the best American English language dictionary online with over 90,000 entries featuring 10,000 new words and senses, 70,000 audio word pronunciations, 900 full-page color illustrations, language notes and word-root appendixes.


  • National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Preserving History. Honoring Excellence. Connecting Generations. This is where I go in my dreams; this is the closest place to heaven this heathen will ever get--and actually I was there, with my son, years ago.


  • Baseball Almanac Everything you want to know about baseball is on this site—history, rosters, statistics, and even jokes and songs.


  • Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet The single greatest Internet source on the English Language's greatest writer. This is the source of sources for everything that is factually known about the life and works of Shakespeare.


  • Absolute Shakespeare The essential resource for William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets, poems, quotes, biography and the legendary Globe Theatre. Most helpful as a student study guide and resource.


  • Shakespeare: Subject to Change Let Shakespeare show you the brain-charging learning power of broadband technology.


  • Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts A collection of public domain documents from American and English literature as well as Western philosophy.


  • AlterNet.org A nonprofit Online Magazine dedicated to strengthening and supporting independent and alternative journalism.


  • American Writers I & II, A Journey Through History with C-Span Information on America writers and their works, From 1601 to 1975.


  • American Museum of Natural History The greatest collection of natural history under one roof on Earth; as a boy I spent many hours there; as a grown man I spend many days every month and year at this wondrous site.


  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art 5,000 years of art -- the greatest art museum in the world.


  • Artcyclopedia Where the world finds great art; the fine art search engine.


  • Artmuseum.net The premiere destination for online exhibitions of contemporary art.


  • Bartleby.com Great Books Online; the preeminent Internet publisher of literature, reference and verse providing students, researchers and the intellectually curious with unlimited access to books and information on the web, free of charge.


  • Best of History Web Sites an award-winning portal created for history teachers, students, and general history enthusiasts. Best of History Web Sites is ranked #1 by Google for "history web sites" and receives upwards of 65,000 visitors per month.


  • The History Net Where History Lives on the Web.


  • Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories provides the opportunity to listen to former slaves describe their lives. These interviews, conducted between 1932 and 1975, capture the recollections of twenty-three identifiable people born between 1823 and the early 1860s and known to have been former slaves. From the Library of Congress.


  • The Civil War Home Page Dedicated to the participants, both North and South, in the great American Civil War 1861 - 1865. Welcome to the Civil War Home Page, one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Civil War related material available on the Internet.


  • The Charters of Freedom: The National Archives Experience. The Documents That Made America Free -- All of them are here, and the history behind them, courtesy of the National Archives.


  • The Perilous Fight: America's World War II In Color Witness World War II through rare color film, and read letters from a nation redefining itself.


  • The Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Renowned historian Peter N. Stearns and thirty prominent historians have combined their expertise over the past ten years to perfect this comprehensive chronology of more than 20,000 entries that span the millennia from prehistoric times to the year 2000.


  • Stone Pages: Stonehenge, stone circles, dolmens, ancient standing stones, cairns, barrows, hillforts and archaeology of megalithic Europe. If you are interested in history before there was history, this is the place to hang out.


  • ClassicReader.com A website where you can read, search, and annotate great works of literature.


  • Dictionary of Difficult Words Search the Hutchinson Dictionary of Difficult Words' A-Z index of over 13,900 difficult words to increase your vocabulary or just find out what those words really mean!


  • The Harvard Classics Charles W. Eliot Collection: The most comprehensive and well-researched anthology of all time comprises both the 50-volume "5-foot shelf of books" and the the 20-volume Shelf of Fiction. Together they cover every major literary figure, philosopher, religion, folklore and historical subject through the twentieth century.


  • HowStuffWorks.com Learn how everything works.


  • Infoplease.com An Online Dictionary, Internet Encyclopedia, Atlas & Almanac Reference.


  • The Internet Movie Database Welcome to the Internet Movie Database, the biggest, best, most award-winning movie site on the planet.


  • Literary Resources on the Net A treasure trove of literature and literary sources and links; just what you would expect from Rutgers University.


  • The Mississippi Writers Page The Internet Guide to Mississippi Writers; the home state of William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, Walker Percy, Richard Wright, John Grisham, Willie Morris, Richard Ford, Barry Hannah, Shelby Foote, Joseph Bosco...


  • Project Gutenberg The Internet's oldest producer of FREE electronic books (eBooks or eTexts).


  • Search Engine Showdown The Users Guide to Search Engines.


  • The SMITHSONIAN Institution The place to learn most anything about everything; it has no peer in the world of knowledge sought.


  • Short Story Collection Some short fiction for your reading pleasure.


  • The University of Chicago, Joseph Regenstein Library Simply a great University Library.


  • Urban Legends Reference Pages The place to find out if a modern tall tale is true or not; be careful, one can easily become addicted to the odd truths and hilarious modern lies.


  • Virtual Library The VL is the oldest catalog of the web, started by Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of html and the web itself.


  • The Virtual Autopsy Exactly what it sounds like: everything you ever wanted to know about the human body, in pictures.


  • Refdesk A marvelous collection of links to news, information, research and other very useful subjects. I use this for my own home page. From here you can link to every major newspaper, magazine, television network...etc, if it's media, you can link to it from here, plus the kitchen sink, and you name it.


  • Google News Search and browse 4,500 news sources updated continuously.


  • Journalism Job Links Where and how to find a job in journalism, courtesy of the Poynter Institute.


  • JournalismJobs.Com In Partnership With Columbia Journalism Review One of the very best sites to find a job in journalism, all over the world.


  • CJR Columbia Journalism Review Online: America's Premier Media Monitor. This is the online version of the must-read magazine for responsible journalists by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.


  • OJR Online Journalism Review A Web-based journal produced at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California.


  • AJR American Journalism Review AJR is published by The Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.


  • Poynter Online Everything you need to be a better Journalist: The Poynter Institute.


  • CyberJournalist.Net The home away from home for online journalists, with tools and resources and tips you need. Plus "The most comprehensive list of blogs produced by journalists." A project of The Media Center at The American Press Institute.


  • The Media Center At The American Press InstituteThe Media Center is a non-profit think tank committed to building a better-informed society in a connected world.


  • The Center for Public Integrity: Investigative Journalism in the Public Interest.


  • Society of Professional Journalists: Improving & Protecting Journalism.


  • FAIR: Fairness & Accuracy in ReportingFAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints.


  • Power Reporting: Resources for Journalists. Thousands of free research tools for journalists. Courtesy of CJR Columbia Journalism Review: America's Premier Media Monitor. This is a great place to start or end your reporting day -- it's all here.


  • Journalism.org Research, Resources and Ideas to Improve Journalism; The Online Home of th Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee of Concerned Journalists.


  • Assignment Editor: The Newsroom Homepage The Assignment Editor is the person whose job it is to know everything. The news operation revolves around this person. This site is the Internet version of that person. It is used worldwide to navigate millions of destinations on the Internet each month. Our main users are the news decision makers of the world who decide what hundreds of millions of people see and read each day.


  • CyberTimes Navigator: The New York Times Searching the Net? Here Are Places to Start -- and do they mean it; must-need and useful links for a working journalists are here by the hundreds, all categorized for one-click searching.


  • The State of the News Media 2004: An Annual Report on American Journalism The State of the News Media 2004 is an inaugural effort to provide a comprehensive look each year at the state of American journalism. Our goal is to put in one place as much original and aggregated data as possible about each of the major journalism sectors.


  • The New York Times Sunday Book Review The "arbiter" of what America is reading and what it should be reading.


  • Arts & Letters Daily A service of The Chronicle of Higher Education; An updated report of News and Reviews of philosophy, aesthetics, literature, language, ideas, criticism, culture, music, art trends, breakthroughs, disputes and gossip.


  • Artslynx International Writing Resources, a Writer's Gold Mine.


  • C.I.A. The World Factbook No spy stuff here; just a lot of concise, accurate information a journalist will need sooner or later on every country in the world.


  • Statistical Resources on the Web From the University of Michigan Documents Center, stats, and stats, and more stats on just about everything -- every journalist needs them, almost everyday.


  • Legacy.com Your nationwide source for obituaries; yes, a whole website devoted to informing journalists who died when, where and usually how--it's a major part of the job.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dead Poets Society Relived

There are certain films that make you feel snuffled if you don't write about it immediately, Dead Poets Society is one of them. It was more than 4 years ago when I first watched it, the same urge drove me to write a review. Today is the second time, for our course work, presentation. The urge was to find the review I wrote 4 years ago. Found it, not in my hard drive, but on a blog I kept then, thank god it's still there! Whether it's a good thing or not, I found the original review even more moving than I now feel, am I becoming indifferent to life? Or is it I lost the touch when it becomes course work?
Allow me to paste the original Chinese review here:

为一本电影而感动【死亡诗社】- -



电影题为死亡诗社,事实却正好相反,在死亡的表面下涌动着最蓬勃的生机,这生机是感人的,因为它源于每个人心中最真实的体会,象一朵开在深山里的花儿等待着人们去发现、去欣赏;这生机是有感染力的,一染上就叫人发狂,它让人激动、兴奋、勇敢,让人珍惜并把握现在的一切。电影的节奏有张有弛,有时欢快、振奋,让人忍不住要跳起来,有时有是如此舒缓、抒情,在悠扬的乐曲中不知不觉地打动你的心。

《死亡诗社》让我颇为感动,也许是年龄相仿产生的共鸣吧。其实我们平时的校园生活和这些男孩子们并没有两样:嘴上说的校训是Tradition! Honor! Discipline! Excellence! 心里却想到Travesty Horror Decadence Excrement。所幸的是,那些男孩们有船长老师——那个貌不惊人却总是语出惊人的老师。

他的第一堂课就与众不同:在上船长老师的课之前有化学试验课——一大堆的作业;拉丁文课——无聊的单词重复;几何课——强调精确无比;但是船长的课——是对传统的一种颠覆:他首先是教会了他们把握现在——用了一个“装神弄鬼”的方式,教他们打破权威,有自己的理解——直接导致了一场撕书大战,教他们问题有独特的角度——在“神圣”的讲台上留下了所有人的脚印,教他们用自己的方法走自己的路,教他们自信、充满激情,教他们找回了这个年纪应有的叛逆和冲动,激发了他们对生活的渴望。而贯穿在其中的,是诗歌。(名为《死亡诗社》,怎么可能缺少诗歌呢?)

影片中出现的诗人恰好是我所喜爱的:惠特曼、雪莱、拜伦、莎士比亚(除了这个)。第一首是Robert Herrick的To the Virgins, To Make Much of Time:

“Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,

Old Time is still a-flying:

And this same flower that smiles today,

Tomorrow will be dying.”

于是就有了本片中重复次数最多的一句话:Carpe Diem. Seize the day. 一个接着一个这些原本只是私底下无聊地抱怨,表面顺从的学生们明白了生命的意义,他们复建了死亡诗社,念着Henry David Thoreau的词:


I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately...

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life!

To put to rout all that was not life...

And not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived...

还有看起来是船长最喜欢的惠特曼:

O ME! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;

Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the foolish;

That you are here--that life exists, and identity;

That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.

和那首《O Captain! my Captain!》突然想到这首诗——写给林肯的,他带领着黑人们走向了自由,而自己却是“fallen cold and dead”,电影放到这里,可能已经是在暗示着一个不愉快的结局了吧。

勿庸置疑,船长是个浪漫主义者——他富有想象力,生命的活力,他对学生的一切要求在他自己身上是最好的体现,哪怕是教书那么严肃的事,他也可以毫不客气地跳过所有的现实主义内容。电影的另一个主角Neil也是——是他首先领会了老师的寓意复建了死亡诗社,他也曾激动地“第一次找到生命中真正要去做的事情”,他可以说是船长最喜欢的一个学生(个人感觉,船长事实上很公平)但是现实似乎是容不下浪漫主义者的,Neil 死了,当他好不容易鼓起勇气说了一句“我要告诉你我心里想什么”但又在父母殷切的目光下黯然地说“没什么”的时候,我们就感到了悲哀的气息,最后他用父亲的手枪结束了自己的生命,埋葬了理想(成了雪中的祭品),而船长也被赶出了学校(和那个桀骜不的驯的Charlie一样——是不是从某种角度来说,他也是一个浪漫主义者?)

留给我们的只是一副副在脑海中久久挥之不去的画面。

忘不了一向害羞自卑的Todd Anderson大吼着作了一首意味深长的诗;忘不了那场在欢乐颂配乐下的足球赛,船长老师被兴奋的男孩们高高举过头顶;忘不了Knox Overstreet骑着单车从斜坡上飞驰而下,惊起成千上万栖息着的鸟漫天飞起,就像是放飞了自己年轻的心;忘不了Charlie Dalton(那个最乐于实践船长老师所说的话的桀骜不逊的放荡公子)的上帝的电话和接受惩罚时的那种坚毅的表情;忘不了Todd在Neil Perry的“教唆”下放飞这世界上第一个无人驾驶的文具盒……

更忘不了Neil Perry 在仲夏夜之梦中美轮美奂的表演,和后来的死,同样是美轮美奂,却带给人这样的心痛感:赤裸的上身正如同窗外洁净无暇的雪,那个戏里用的草环静静地躺在窗口,一切都是一种圣洁的美,却是一种更深切的悲哀,受不了Todd在雪地里盲目的跑着、跌倒、跪下、哽咽无声,更受不了一向充满幽默感的船长看着那本送给Neil的诗歌500年流泪。

接下来就是Richard Cameron的出卖,电影中表现了一个很值得玩味的细节:在船长的第二堂课上,Richard在笔记本上小心翼翼地抄下笔记,后来,当满教室的人都有点发泄性的撕着书时,他仍是小心翼翼地拿尺子抵住装订处,小心翼翼地撕着,从这种个性看来,他后来出卖同伴也是在情理之中了(请原谅,我不得不这么说,尽管你可能有一百个理由为他辩护)。

最感人的莫过于最后一幕,我不相信有人可以看到这里而不流下激动的泪水:船长回来拿自己的东西, Mr. Nolan有点示威性坚持让学生念那段船长要他们撕掉的文字,在这过程中,镜头多次对准了Todd 把他的心理活动展现无声地展现出来——无奈、同情、羞愧、欲言又止……就在船长就要出教室(同时,也是观众就要失望的时候),他突然大声说出了真相,请求船长的谅解,事情眼看要有转机,Mr. Nolan搬出了开除这张王牌,于是Todd又无语。下面就是Mr. Nolan的傲人的表情和船长的无奈离去,我似乎还看到了他眼里失望的泪光。可就在他要走出教室的一刹那,“Oh, Captian, My captain!”熟悉的话语再次响起,Todd 站在了书桌上,Mr.Nolan又惊奇又愤怒,他试图让Todd坐下,可结果却是更多的学生站到了桌上,无声的表示着对学校的抗议、对船长的永远的支持。在这种时刻,还需要说什么话呢?学生们用自己的行动展示了一切船长教给他们的东西:自信、勇敢、独立的见解和立场。他还能说什么呢?这是学生们的进步和成功,也是他的。“谢谢,孩子们,谢谢!”

后记:只想写给那些喜爱诗的朋友: We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are all noble pursuits, and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This is England

It's funny, it's powerful, it's personal and it's deeply moving.

This is England is probably the film in which I heard the most "F words".

A semi-biographical film based on the 80s, of a marginalized boy's encounter, which leads to quite an experience, with the skinheads.

Director Shane Meadows, in an interview, said: "It’s probably the closest thing I’ll ever make to a political film." Then he went on to say: "As an adult, I look back at who led the country up to that point. But when you started going through this footage from the 1980s, Thatcher was the first to be media savvy. Turning up on working class estates, going into a classroom of kids and playing on a computer…I don’t seem to remember anyone before doing that. She did embrace that. This thing of the Falklands, and when you look at the footage, and see the campaign as the unemployment figures hit 3½ million, it does make you incredibly suspicious as to what paratroopers were doing fighting 16 year-old kids from Argentina. It was an incredibly suspicious war, in the same way America and the UK got involved in Iraq. People can see that now. Obviously there were more people against going into Iraq than there were going into the Falklands…but the shame I carry as a British resident, was that it was a war handled in the media as if it were a World Cup summer. Like when England go into the World Cup, there are Union Jacks on the papers, and you can look at headlines from the time and it sounded just like that. Ultimately, I was privy to footage from ITN archives – that wasn’t shown on television – of the people we were fighting, and it was shameful. It was bullying. It was really horrible. How could we have been proud of winning that? It was the equivalent of putting Mike Tyson in the ring with a 7 year-old kid from an infant school. So that was always running in the back of this film – the root level of that horrible racism, that bullying and violence that exists in someone can also be inherent in a nation without us knowing it."

Don't let these "political message" talk bore you, in fact, the film is anything but boring: the cast is brilliant, especially the lead boy, Thomas Turgoose, only 15, played his role just as playing his own life. The music is genius! It has got hits from Dexy's Midnight Runners, The Specials and Soft Cell as well as Ska classics from Toots & The Maytals and The Upsetters. But what really lifted the whole film is music composed by Ludovico Einaudi, an Italian contemporary classical composer. Especially in a scene where there was a pretty intense conflict with gangs fighting, bleeding, people screaming scared, and here comes Ludovico Einaudi, brimming over the agony and in that moment, a moving, atmospheric, and beautiful silence fell upon the audience, enabling them to step out of the chaos, to see the film as it truly is, nostalgia of the wild angry years.

Great Book Covers

Many from Book Covers ,a site dedicated to the appreciation of book covers.

Designer: David Pelham

title: A Clockwork Orange

author: Anthony Burgess

publisher: Penguin, 1980



Designer: John Fulbrook III

Art Director: Michael Ian Kaye

Photographer: Marc Tauss

title: Best American Gay Fiction #3

author: various

publisher: Back Bay Books, 1998


Designer: John Fulbrook III

Art Director: Michael Ian Kaye

Photographer: Marc Tauss

title: Best American Gay Fiction #2

author: Bernard Cooper

publisher: Back Bay Books, 1997



title: Beowulf

author: various

publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001


Designer: Kathleen DiGrado

title: The Horizontal World

author: Debra Marquart

publisher: Counterpoint Press, 2006

Designer: Martha Kennedy

title: Charity Girl

author: Michael Lowenthal

publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2007


Designer: Jasmine Lee

title: History Lesson for Girls

author: Aurelie Sheehan

publisher: Viking Adult, 2006



Designer: David Drummond

title: Kidney For Sale By Owner

author: Mark J. Cherry

publisher: Georgetown University Press, 2005



Designer: Jon Gray

title: Everything Is Illuminated

author: Jonathan Safran Foer

publisher: Houghton Mifflin, 2002


Designer: Barbara de Wilde

title: Quarrel & Quandary

author: Cynthia Ozick

publisher: Knopf, 1986



Designer: Paul Sahre

title: Killing the Buddha

author: Peter Manseau

publisher: Free Press, 1967


http://www.douban.com/lpic/s1410817.jpg
Designer: Mary Schuck
Photographer: Barnaby Hall
title: Waiting
author: Ha Jin
publisher: Vintage Books, 2000



Monday, September 10, 2007

Good Articles From LA Times

I heart Los Angeles Times. Below are a few articles I find interesting over the past few days.

There was a time when we lauded our humble heritage, when we loved log cabin stories and guys from Hope. But in an era in which the wife of an ex-president is the leading candidate to succeed the son of an ex-president in the White House, we're looking more like a nation of oligarchs than "the homeless, tempest tost," a place where prestige and wealth are handed down rather than earned.

- A sanitized betrayal of America's history by Gregory Rodriguez


In the end, the example of Rome suggests that the most effective long-term stance toward the outside lies less in building walls than in strengthening the foundation of our own society — bolstering not just such tangible structures as education and healthcare and a government free of corruption but also intangible values such as equality, the entrepreneurial spirit and the principles of access and opportunity. If we take care of this, much else will take care of itself.

In the shadow of Hadrian's Wall, archeologists have pulled bits of Roman-era writing from the muck. Many of these scribblings were produced by soldiers who by birth were not Romans and preferred some German tongue. The Latin they wrote is clumsy. But it is Latin, real Latin.

Reading those fragments, I'm reminded of the cards passed out at a demonstration in Washington last year, when thousands of prospective immigrants united to say certain words, which were printed out phonetically. The cards read: "Ai pledch aliyens to di fleg / Of di Yunaited Esteits of America." It was a very American moment — and a very Roman one too.

- Roman Empire: gold standard of immigration, By Cullen Murphy

We are Americans, and so until recently, we knew that we were the best. Because so many people wanted to be us, we could act as we pleased — and we did, because we were the Great Exception; we were America the Blessed. Hence our complacent belief, so long borne out by the facts, that American movies and American brands would always sell. Hence also our comforting faith that the Kyoto Protocol did not apply to us, so that we could spew out all the greenhouse gases we liked, and use a pig's share of the world's resources. (Just this week, I learned of the U.S.' new plan for energy independence: coal plants, subsidized for the next 25 years.)

- The Great Exception, By William T. Vollmann

Biography

Assignment 1 for Writing Course: In a biographical essay, tell me where you are from; why you chose to major in English Literature; what you interested in; what extra-curriculum activities you take part in, if any; and what your future plan is.


Mozart, writing and chocolates are the three passions of my life.

Coming from Hangzhou, what is widely regarded as the most beautiful city in China, I am very sensitive to art and beauty: Michelangelo’s Pietá makes me cry, so does Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto in C minor and the last chapter of Remembrance of Things Past. (Yes, I consider good writing art.)

Yet art alone cannot satisfy me, therefore I write, seeking a way to express myself. Unlike most students, I didn’t take the college entrance exam, but was given a chance to choose whichever university I want to attend at the beginning of senior year in high school. English major was an easy choice because words has never been difficult for me; I longed for freedom and since "the limits of your language are the limits of your world," I hope the expansion of my language would assist me to cruise in a wider realm of experiences.

It did.

In the past two years, I chaired the school’s newspaper and went to a number of international debate tournaments arguing about issues ranging from abortion, gun control to climate change and regional conflicts. For a long time, getting up at 5 AM to do research on the Internet was a norm for me. It changed my life. It is in these research I found the remarkable discrepancy between Chinese media coverage over certain issues and that of foreign media, which intrigued me and further inspired me to become a journalist, one who exposes and tells truth, disinterestedly.

End of page, and I may cease, as there is no need of explanation for my third passion: after all, who doesn’t love chocolates?

A Smoking Hot China

So it says: "No country in history has emerged as a major industrial power without creating a legacy of environmental damage that can take decades and big dollops of public wealth to undo." Along with the soaring economic growth, China's environmental problems have raised global concern. New York Times recently published a series of articles, multimedias, round-table talks addressing the impact of this issue.

Living in Beijing, I don't have to have others telling me how bad China's environment is, though I have not encountered problems with polluted drinking water yet, (that's for sure, I drink mineral), the air pollution in Beijing almost chokes me. It's like there is never a sunny clear day here. Always a haze.

Are the authorities blind of these obvious problems? Do they not know that their children is poisoned by lead and got all kinds of respiratory illnesses because of the air pollutants? The truth is they know and they do care. That's why Wen Jiabao introduced "Gree G.D.P." in 2004 in the hope that it would curtail regional governments' vigorous industrial development which is always at the expense of the environment. As the article pointed out, this plan demised because of the lack of enthusiasm, if not hatred for this concept. I would further argue that in some cases, it is exactly the Green G.D.P that is harming the environment: provincial leaders, in the desperate attempt to make up for the loss in G.D.P cost by the estimation of Green G.D.P would venture further to put a strain on the local industrial production.

In addition, let us not forget the huge demand of the cheap products from the developed countries such as the U.S.. While pointing fingers at the human rights violation such as child labor in Chinese factories and it's shoddy products, let us not forget it is because of the demand that such industry still prospers and to continue prosper, it is not likely they would abandon the old methods that cut the price and keep their products on the cutting edge. Such as in the event of large recall of Chinese toy products, a majority of Americans believe that the U.S. business that sell those products as well as the U.S. government also bear responsibility.

For any multifaceted issues, especially one such as environmental pollution, it is never enough to count on the efforts of one party. The pressure of the international community should not only lay on the Chinese government, but on the foreign businesses as well, and more importantly, to hurt, to condemn, or even to boycott, is never as feasible and rational as providing expertise: in terms of policy shaping, technology, etc. Aside from governmental cooperation, civil side as business and NGOs could take a stance in these issues, and in my opinion, these cooperation and assistance could be even more effective than high-level talks.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Threat of Rabies

"We are caught in a dilemma. On the one hand, local governments charge fees for the registration of pet dogs in order to control their number and avoid the problems of sanitation and rabies. On the other, a number of residents do not register their dogs to evade the fee. As a result, the government does not know whether unregistered dogs have been vaccinated. That poses a serious threat of possible rabies." 


                              -- Threat of Rabies

The article said that there is a "total number of pet dogs is 100 million nationwide and Beijing alone had more than 534,000 registered pet dogs up to July this year. If the unregistered ones are taken into account, the figure could be more than 1 million in the capital city alone." From my personal observation, the number of unregistered pet dogs are far far beyond the estimate number. I have more than 20 friends who told me they keep pet dogs at home, and none of their dogs are registered, just to remind you, these are the students of the best universities in China, whose family are generally high educated as opposed to migrant workers or people living in the rural part of Beijing.

So how do we deal with the rabies problem?

The city police are already up their sleeves with all sorts of crimes, do we really need to create a "dog police force"?

Perhaps for the time being, the best solution is to offer free vaccination in populated neighborhoods, after all, safety comes first.

Powerful New Web 2.0 Sites

Header A great web app for student to take and share notes online. It's all about simplicity.

Call me prejudice, I always find it believe Microsoft is capable of creating such a beautiful search engine website. It's just a piece of eyecandy: the interface, transition, transparent background, just swiftly nice. Search results come out in groups: feed, web, books, image. You can even drag and drop your search result to a "glass shelf" with thumbnails, label it, blog it, send it to friends, whatever you want! It's just amazing! Check it out.

Who doesn't like free music? DEEZER lets you stream all music you want within its flash player. You can search music, create playlist, and even upload your own music. (The reason why I love it is of course, you can listen to all Grégory Lemarchal music:)


What do you expect from a photo hosting website? Large free storage, fast upload speed, easy sharing, privacy, tag function? The newly launched, free-register pix.ie has got them all. If you are a photo-geek like me, you will love it!




Back to School, Back to Blogging

Okay, I know this blog has been deserted for a while. Excusably so. It's the verge of end-of-summer and beginning-of-school, when things that seemed to just come to order become volatile again and topple over one another. This semester is another busy one, as when all semesters started, (later on, you begin to know which classes you could skip and which activities/meetings you could say "unavailable" to), but as it's the junior year, I decided to "play it safe", skipping as few classes as possible.

So, what's on this semester? A bunch of boring English literature courses, which belongs to my major; plus the journalism courses I begged the journalism school to allow me to take and the ones I decided to sit in in, including Writing for Publication (post-graduate), Studies of Successful Journalists, News Photography, Media Methodology and Academic Writing (senior), News Reading, Hot Issues in International News, and Media Literacy (taught by a nice Australian who used to be a guitarist in a self-promoting band:)

In addition, I still cannot drop the AIDS/HIV projects I've been doing. Now extending the cooperation with CDYF and Loving Source. Reach upon the citizen education and art education for children in China's AIDS villages and migrant children.

And of course, debating.

Lots of reading.

I'll also be doing Prof. Bosco's upcoming Shakespearean play, as I promised last year.

So much work so little time. But I know at times, I would find myself sneak watching some soap TV shows again...