3 November, 2005

twisted sockster

Andrea See, a Singaporean in Xiamen and author of Serialdeviant, has started a new on-line store of delightful sock puppets Twisted Sockster.:


Name. Darth Made-in-China.
Motivation. Calling attention to less well known Sith Lords.
Biology. Cotton/nylon mix socks, cotton thread, felt, buttons, plastic, straw, duct tape, polyfill.
Distinguishing features. He’s the ultimate in evil.
Date. August 2005.
Status. Trying to take over the galaxy.
Price, excl. shipping

I’ve always wanted a Darth Made-in-China and this is just in time for Christmas. (A Glutter t-shirt would be nice too).

by @ 11:13 pm. Filed under Blogs, Singapore, China, East Asia

attack of the 600-foot mao

China is continuing to develop its ‘red tourism’ industry, by erecting a 600-foot statue of the dictator who killed millions.

50Ft600-feet Mao Zedong Statue

Mao beats liberty again, almost three decades after he died.

There is plan to put up a 600-feet (183-metre) Mao statue in Juzizhou in Changsha, the capital of the central province of Hunan - the humble Statue of Liberty is 150 feet tall. The extraordinary erection is an attempt to “fully utilise the resources of red tourism”. (Sources: Changsha Evening News / Hong Kong Ming Pao)

Cambodia has its own version of ‘red tourism,’ on a recent trip there we visited the Tuol Sleng memorial/museum, the killing fields, and the land mine museum. They were all honest, reflective, disturbing and didn’t try to cover up the nation’s ugly history.

China could learn something from its poorer neighbor.

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by @ 10:11 pm. Filed under China, Cambodia, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

typhoid-mary fighting cocks

In a move that should make Peta happy, Thailand is cracking down on cock fighting. But it’s not because of animal rights issues. No, the government has discovered that the resilient fighting machines have a higher-risk of being bird-flu carriers,:

Cockfight1The government has imposed strict measures to try to curb the spread of bird flu, including restricting movements of fighting cocks and eliminating a traditional way of raising ducks by moving large flocks around.

Fighting cocks and ducks were more resilient to the virus than farmed chickens and could pass on the disease without showing symptoms, Yukol said.

The government had set a March, 2005 deadline for halting the large-scale movement of 3,700 flocks of ducks that owners moved around to new feeding grounds, but extended it to December after owners protested and might extend it again, officials said.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Malaysia, the government is having difficulty in preventing the trafficking of the fighting cocks of Indonesia. (Mainichi Daily via H5N1):

Cockfight2Malaysian villagers on Borneo island are smuggling pet birds and fighting cocks from neighboring Indonesia, despite a government ban meant to keep the country free of bird flu, a news report said Wednesday.

Veterinary authorities in Malaysia’s eastern Sarawak state — which shares an extensive land border with Indonesia’s Kalimantan province — will cull smuggled birds and any local poultry that had contact with them, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister George Chan told The Star newspaper.

“Pet birds and fighting cocks are being smuggled across the border at illegal entry points,” Chan said. “We have already given a lot of advice to the people near the border, but the dangers of disregarding the ban do not seem to matter to some of them.”

Images stolen from a great photo essay site of a cock fight in Uzbekistan, discovered via (warning, make sure you have safe search on when searching for “cock fight” on Google images).

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by @ 9:02 pm. Filed under Malaysia, Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Central Asia

firewall evasion

Via CDT and PKD, both of which were briefly blocked in China this week, a Wired article from a dissident Chinese blogger discussing filter- and firewall-evasion techniques.:

The authorities have numerous ways to squelch digital dissent. ISPs maintain lists of forbidden words, including the date of the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre June 4 (六四), freedom of speech (言论自由), Falungong (法轮功), former leader Jiang Zemin (江泽民), and Jiang Yanyong (蒋彦永), the doctor who first revealed the SARS crisis in 2003. They use filtering software to block posts containing these words or to replace them with asterisks. Posts that circumvent the filters are deleted, either by ISP employees or by the government’s own Net police. Earlier this year, the authorities announced that all domestic Web sites operating without explicit government approval - including some 600,000 blogs - must register or face being blocked and shut down. More than 75 percent have complied so far. Many of those who resist have their pages hosted abroad on TypePad or Blogger. Still, the authorities often block their domain names and IP addresses, so people outside China can read their work but people inside can’t.

For every advance in censorship, bloggers find a way around it. We replace banned words with Chinese characters that sound the same when spoken but have a different meaning when written, or we transliterate them into Roman characters. Recently I came up with another technique: After the authorities blocked one of my entries, I reposted it with the characters aligned vertically instead of horizontally. The filter couldn’t recognize the words, but anyone reading them could.

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by @ 8:40 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Media, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

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