31 March, 2006

s’pore bloggers get the gear

As if Technorati rankings weren’t enough to prove it, a sudden outbreak of product placement in Singapore blogs should demonstrate that the Lion City owns the blogosphere.

Singapore bloggers get all the good gear. Kevin gets a free Samsung A920 and the Mediaslut gets an xbox 360. Both reserve serious product reviews for later, as professional reviewers should.

Blog queen XiaXue, meanwhile, gets a Creative MP3 player and immediately starts dissing iPods and Mac users evangelists.:

Gah! I hate Mac evangelists.

Hate them as much as religion evangelists and cb MLM sellers and scientologists.

Not because Mac products suck, but because Mac users all seem to think they are so fucking cool just coz they use Mac.

What the fuck? Everyone can own an Apple product, it is just whether or not they are willing to save up a bit. Hell, I can buy 2 ipods with the $800 govt is giving me, but it doesn’t make me a wee bit cooler than I already am.

Unless of course I use the ipod as a yo-yo or use it to hit people. That would be quite cool.

But if you are a loser, you will still be a loser if you own an ipod.

In fact, it makes you even more of a loser coz you are a loser who is trying not to be a loser but failed.

Your shitty taste in music will not turn hip just coz you use a pure white product, nor will your shitty designing skills turn expert just coz you do photoshop on a pure white keyboard.

Man I hate Mac evangelists.

Ask me if I think Creative is better.

AsiaPundit is a dedicated Mac user and owns two iPods (don’t ask why). AP also has a lovely IBM ThinkPad T43 given to him by the office and owns an antiquated Acer Aspire desktop. Wendy getting free stuff and immediately offering a glowing review - before the item has even left the shop - doesn’t really cause offense.

In the day job AP will not take bribes. But as a blogger, AP is not above product-whoring in the likes of XiaXue. He hasn’t received any placement offers yet, but he is willing.

For example, if Japanese robot-maker VStone sends AP one of these he will happily sing the praises of Gigantor and slam all competitors.:


Aibo sucks!!! Gigantor would squish that little robo dog.

(Gigantor h/t Robot Dreams)

by @ 10:34 pm. Filed under Japan, Blogs, Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia

siberian orgasmatron

Now is the time at AsiaPundit when we dance.

Via Brian Turner, Siberian throat-singing punk rockers Yat Kha cover Motorhead’s Orgasmatron.:

Yat-Kha Sw-01

Also, a version of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear us Apart.

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by @ 12:02 am. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Music

30 March, 2006

yodok story

Joshua at Korea Liberator - which is not incidentally a CIA front - reports that attempts to shut down the North Korean prison camp musical have backfired.:

Scene200In one of the great ironies of this young year, “Yodok Story” has had a splendid opening because of the very people who tried keep it from seeing its first opening act. The Chosun Ilbo reports that many shows are sold out, and that the play’s Web site has crashed from the overflowing traffic (though OFK/TKL readers have known for weeks that the site has labored under what we will call technical “challenges”).

A month after the fact, the government finally got around to denying reports that it tried to intimidate “Yodok Story” producers into watering down the atrocity stories in the script, or that it had a hand in pressuring some investors to pull out of the production. Director Chung Seong-San also claims that someone threatened his life. Soon afterward, a flood of media attention attracted new investors, donors, and the interest of theataah-goers.

Whoever attempted to stop “Yodok Story” failed miserably. Not only did the play get most of its publicity from its enemies free of charge, so did the cause those enemies tried to conceal from the world’s attention.

UPDATE: Reports of a smash hit have likely been exaggerated.

(Photo stolen from NPR.)

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by @ 11:11 pm. Filed under South Korea, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, North Korea, Music

happy birthday ultraman

As well as pick on Yahoo! day, today is also Ultraman’s birthday.:

In celebration of Ultraman’s 40th birthday, a news conference was held on March 28th. The highlight of the conference was not just to show off the latest incarnation of Ultraman, Ultraman Mebius, but to reunite the entire Ultraman family.


Everyone looks good in a tux.

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by @ 9:26 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Film

population maps

Tyler Cowen posts links to a series of manipulated maps. Included is a surprise - India and China are getting thinner.:

Here is a population-weighted map of the world, circa 1500:


Here is the projected world population map, circa 2050:


Here are other neat maps.  Here are maps of tourism, emigration, and refugees; Here is my favorite, a map of the flow of net immigration. Or try this map of aircraft departures, watch Africa disappear. Here is the strange geography of fruit exports. Here is how to make South America look really big, or reallly small (can you guess?).

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by @ 9:19 pm. Filed under China, India, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia

pinky violence

AsiaPundit’s would apply the usual disclaimer “this is not porn this is pop culture,” but upon consideration AP has decided that this actually is porn - and the videos are clearly not worksafe.:

Trailer about “the inspiration for Kill Bill”, Female Yakuza Tale + Sex and Fury trailers, and The Pinky Violence Collection, Japanese sexploitation movies from the ’70s.


Also Pink Movie Posters gallery.

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by @ 9:08 pm. Filed under Japan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Film

pick on yahoo! day

There’s such a storm of bad publicity for Yahoo! across the net today that AsiaPundit is decreeing March 30th as official pick on Yahoo! day.

For starters, Rebecca has launched one of the most-biting attacks on the company and co-founder Jerry Yang that  I have yet read. Yahoo! Abomination:

Freechinesevistimsofyahoo2Yahoo! founder Jerry Yang continues to spew excrement, echoing his shoulder-shrugging of earlier this month, which essentially amounts to saying: So sorry we assisted in human rights violations, but there’s nothing we can do if we’re going to bring the Internet to the Chinese people. One recent quote:

"You have to balance the risk of not participating," he said. "And people don’t realize that being in the market every day there, and being on the ground, we are seeing changes, on the whole, for the positive."

Tell that to the family of Shi Tao who is in jail for 10 years.  Jerry Yang should meet with them and tell them to their faces just how sorry he is, but that Shi is being sacrificed for a noble cause. I’m sure they’ll understand…

Yahoo! executives keep framing this issue as black and white: Either you’re in there and do everything the Chinese authorities tell you without question, or you can’t do business in China at all. That is false. Companies can and do make choices. You can engage in China and choose not to do certain kinds of business. Yahoo! has placed user e-mail data within legal jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China. Google and Microsoft have both chosen not to do so. Why did Yahoo! chose to do this?  Either they weren’t thinking through the consequences or they don’t care.

Meanwhile David Wolf at Silicon Hutong questions how well joint-venture partner Alibaba is doing with the management of Yahoo! China and what Jack Ma has done with the $1 billion the company had received from Yahoo!..:

Jack Ma told the Search Engine Strategies Conference in Nanjing last week that he has basically redefined the phrase "burn rate." Less than a year after Yahoo! handed over it’s China operations and a $1 billion check to Alibaba in return for 40% of the company’s stock, and he’s already spent $750 million of that.

Let’s call it 9 months since the deal was announced. That’s $250 million a quarter. $2.7 million a day, 7 days a week, for nine months. At this rate, the entire billion will be gone by the end of the summer.

Hey, Pizza and Jolt Cola are Expensive in China

Now granted, he says that it’s been spent on research and development and "other projects." But without casting any aspersions or making any accusations, nearly any CPA or tax lawyer you talk to will tell you that both of those categories can (in practice) be interpreted very broadly. And the company is looking at further investments.

The first question that leaps to the top of anyone’s mind is okay, where did the money go? I’m not sure the general public will ever get to know, that it is really any of our business, or that it really matters anyway. It is entirely likely that everything is above board, as we have been given no reason (except for a monstrous sucking sound) to think anything is amiss. Yahoo! and its shareholders are certainly satisfied that their money has been well spent. Because if they weren’t, they would be calling for a SWAT team of forensic accountants to drop in with their arsenal of tools and start following money trails. Frankly, as a minority shareholder, I’m not even sure what rights Yahoo! has to even do this much.

But again, this is a diversion (albeit a titillating one for corporate scandal fetishists) from the real question.

Some more details on the spending are available at China Stock Blog.

AsiaPundit enjoys Jack Ma’s media appearances, he is inclined to say provocative things and the local media treat him like a rockstar. But while AP thinks Ma has a strong chance of beating eBay with auctions, he is not so sure that he will be able to turn Yahoo! China’s fortunes around. Especially as competition may be getting a bit more heated - Shak points to a report suggesting that the rapid growth seen in China’s search engine market is slowing.:

"China’s search engine industry will face a sharp slowdown in the coming 18 months." said Edward Yu, CEO of Analysys International, at the Search Engine Symposium held in Nanjing, China, on March 17, 2006. "The actual performance of search engines is far from people’s high expectations. Poor user experience, unstable advertising effects, and some irregular channel operations make the small and midsize enterprise customers of search engines suspicious of this new kind of advertising, which will lead to a slowdown in the growth of the search engine industry." explained Yu.

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by @ 8:41 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Censorship

the temasek attachment

Oops! Singapore’s government investment arm Temasek accidently sent an e-mail to several reporters letting them in on executive talking points relating to its purchase of a stake in Standard Chartered.:

TemasekA Temasek document, entitled "2006-03 Taurus Q&As" - which was designed to help its executives answer media enquiries on its 12% stake in Standard Chartered - was yesterday sent as an email attachment to some journalists instead of another file. The document contains 59 questions and answers and was prepared by staff to anticipate questions that might arise from the acquisition. Given that Temasek has rarely done Q&As with the media, the exercise represents a somewhat unique insight into what the Singapore state investment agency currently perceives its perceptional issues are and its own stance on these issues. In what follows we have reproduced the entire Q&A section. It is unedited, except to state in square brackets where answers were left blank.

Full copy of the e-mail is here. Interestingly, talking point 33 provides a response to a question that will not be asked within Singapore.:

33. Your CEO is also the PM’s wife. The PM is also the Minister for Finance, heading MOF which is your shareholder. Is her appointment politically motivated? Wouldn’t there be conflicts of interest?

We are not here to discuss politics since we are not politicians or a political organization.

Our CEO is accountable to the Board of Directors, who is headed by an independent Chairman, just like any other commercial organisation.

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by @ 7:57 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Southeast Asia

the economics of polygamy

At Cafe Salemba, Indonesia’s Aco ponders the economics of polygamy, a rare but permitted practice in the mostly Muslim country.:

University of Michigan’s Ted Bergstrom has an interesting paper on polyginy. Borrowing an approach used by evolutionary biologists, he concludes:

A society that allows polygamy and stable property rights will usually have positive bride prices and some polygynous marriages. In such a society, bride prices will go not to the bride, but to her male relatives and all women be allocated the same amount of resources by their husbands. The greater the amount of material resources available per woman in the society, the higher will be bride prices and the greater the amount of resources allocated to each woman. However, in societies with sufficiently low amounts of resources per woman, instead of positive bride prices there will be dowries, which unlike bridewealth, are paid directly to the newly married couple. In such a society dowries will be of approximately the same size as the inheritance of males who marry.

In plain words, Bergstrom is saying that polygyny is likely to increase the “value” of women. Isn’t that a good thing, ladies?

Here’s more on the debate with econ points of view: Gary Becker (women better off in polyginous society), Tyler Cowen (polygamy makes children worse off), Alex Tabarrok (polygyny good for working women), David Friedman (polygyny good for women, polyandry good for men), Tim Harford (it’s just a math), and Robert Frank (the victims of polygyny are men, not women).

Meanwhile, in Buddhist Thailand, Mr Wichai is having twins.:


After Mr Wichai (Tao), aged 24, from Samut Songkram province, who earns his living by dealing in old goods, got married to gorgeous twins Ms Sirintara and Ms Thipawan 22, he vouched his sincerest ‘equal love’ for both of them!

Mr Wichai, just yesterday, 23 March, got married in pompous ceremony to both twins simultaneously. On being interviewed by the Thai Rath reporters, Mr Wichai declared wholeheartedly, that he didn’t see much problem in having to perform tiresome marital duties with two wives.

In the engagement ceremony before the wedding, Mr Wichai successfully offered a dowry of eight baht of gold and 80,000 baht EACH for his lovely darlings. Both families celebrated the marriage with joy and were said to be delighted for the threesome.

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by @ 7:43 pm. Filed under Indonesia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand

29 March, 2006

drive-in massage

Malaysia’s Works Minister has announced a new government-sponsored roadside massage program, the BBC reports.:

Malaysia has opened a motorway drive-in massage centre, with the aim of reducing road accidents by relaxing stressed-out drivers.

Drivers have to realise “the importance of stopping to have a rest”, Works Minister Samy Vellu told Malaysia’s Bernama news agency.

The new centre is on the North-South Highway, which stretches the length of Peninsular Malaysia.

The government confirmed a second centre will open in a few months’ time.

Hundreds of thousands of Malaysians commute along a web of highways daily, but accidents - and deaths - typically rise during extended holidays when millions leave the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and other major cities.

It was not immediately clear whether road users would have to pay for services at the massage centre.

(Via IZ)

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by @ 7:15 pm. Filed under Malaysia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia

frontline and china internet censorship

Shortly after launching Danwei TV (see episode one and two), Jeremy of Danwei has been invited to participate in a roundtable on PBS’s Frontline. The questions will likely revolve around censorship, although Bingfeng seems to be unable to post the list of questions without his blog service provider’s censorship software kicking in.:

a participant asked me if im interested. i am doing preparations for a vacation and my job keeps me very busy. sorry for light blogging and not being able to participate. i wlll write something on it and keep you updated about the panel discussion.

first round of questions as follows:

sorry, the following warnings repeated when i try to post the questions, which contain some "sensitive words", here, i failed to post the quesitons even after i modified all the "sensitive words".

i will try it later today.

fu*k the censorship system, see you soon.

Ico Critical
Post operation failed. The error message related to this problem was as follows: Illegal Characters Found

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by @ 4:37 pm. Filed under Blogs, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Web/Tech, Weblogs, Censorship

bruce lee: the lost interview

This has been blogged extensively elsewhere last week, but for those who haven’t seen it AP is pleased to present .: 

Google video is unavailable in China, but the site can be viewed through proxy.

by @ 4:27 pm. Filed under China, Hong Kong, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Film

asian ear cleaning

AsiaPundit has never had an ear cleaning and likely never will. However, if he were to submit to the procedure he would prefer the hygenic and high-tech services offered in Japan. Via Boing Boing, Nude Highway Driving reports on Japan’s new ear cleaning salons.:

EarcleaningI remember the first time I saw it happen in public — I was hanging out one fine day in Yoyogi Koen when I noticed a Japanese couple nearby. The girl was sitting, and her husband/boyfriend was laying down with his head in her lap. She was slightly bent over, gazing romantically at him, and I saw her arm moving in a gentle, rhythmic motion. Then I saw her lift her hand and wipe off the little stick she held.

She was cleaning his ears. I later learned all about mimikaki from an American friend who is addicted to his Japanese wife’s ability to dig wax out of his ears without pulling brain matter out in the process. It’s a Japan thing.

So I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me to see an article in The Japan Times recently about salons opening up that clean your ears (use BugMeNot if it locks out). What better way to cap off a day or work and night of drinking than to have someone jam a camera-enabled pick in your ear so you can watch your very own “house of wax” on TV? A thousand yen gets you a 10-minute ear-cleaning and a quick massage. Ten thousand yen gets you a deluxe ear cleaning and a “happy ending.” (Just kidding — though it would be a great way to drum up some business. Especially if you name the salon Love Canal.)

In China, ear cleaning is much more traditional affair. and comes at a much cheaper price. Julie Chao at SF Gate describes the process.:

ScaryearcleanerLi, 38, grew up in the countryside, but when he was about 18, his father decided he should learn a trade, so he took up hair cutting. He soon moved on to shaving and then ear cleaning. Traditionally, all three services were offered at barbershops.

He first practiced on peasants and migrant workers. Now, he charges 10 yuan (or $1.25) a pop and can make as much as $370 a month. It’s not a bad living for Sichuan province, where the average urban worker makes less than $1,000 a year.

Li uses an eight-instrument technique. First he runs a thin file along the ear lobe and outer edges of the ear canal to remove hair. Next he uses a thinner file, a flexible metal strip, to gently loosen the wax. Larger pieces of wax that come loose easily are removed with a pair of pincers. Smaller particles are scraped out by a bamboo stick with a small scoop at the end.

With the wax removed, the rest is just icing. He starts by sliding a hair- thin piece of wire into the ear canal and tapping it around. “It’s just to feel good,” he explains.

Next a thicker piece of wire with a loop at the end is also tapped around, for no good reason. Lastly, a bamboo stick with down feathers is inserted, and the tuning fork is gently snapped against the stick, causing the feathers to vibrate inside the ear canal.

(Japan photo via Kyodo, China pic via a . AsiaPundit owns one of those devices and does not recommend using it for ear cleaning.)

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by @ 4:05 pm. Filed under Japan, China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

27 March, 2006

uyghur pop

Now is the time at AsiaPundit when we dance.:

Uyghur Girls UzbekI’ve wanted to bring you examples of Xinjiang’s pop culture for some time, but never got around to setting it up. That’s all in the past, though, now that I’m signed up for Google Video. So… ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, let me introduce to you the group that’s been bringing down the house in Uyghur discos all over Xinjiang, all the way from Uzbekistan, the beautiful girls of [Insert Band Name Here].

by @ 11:50 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, South Asia, Music, Central Asia

bursting property bubbles=gratuitous displays of flesh

In the day job, AsiaPundit covers both real estate and automobiles. While the Shanghai property market can be fascinating, there is always something a bit more appealing about automotive events. That said, AP is pleased that the bursting of the property bubble may lead to more interesting property market events.:

Real Estate Exhibit 1

Today on the Netease BBS: The 8th annual Shanghai Spring Real Estate Market, held last week at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, one-upped the booth babes of other trade shows with a real estate girl.  As the BBS poster says (rough translation):

This is something that hasn’t been seen before in real estate fairs…Car shows have “car models,” sports events have “babes,” but having a female model stripped bare in this kind of an environment, will using these methods really sell real estate?

Commentators weigh in all sides:

“Whoever marries this woman is an idiot.”

“This is totally normal.”

“This is an artistic experience and they’re going to make a lot of money!”

“Are they selling real estate or sex?”


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by @ 11:18 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia

vietnam sodas

Noodlepie has a ranking of Vietnam’s 18 top soft drinks. AsiaPundit endorses the number-four ranking soursop juice and regrets that he has not had access to soursop juice since leaving Southeast Asia (soursop mixes very, very, well with gin.).


Beverage: Nuoc Mang Cau/Guanabana Juice (Soursop Juice)

Ingredients: Water, 35% guanabana (soursop juice), sugar, citric acid

Appearance: Ooh… this chap looks like a ready to go Ricard only with a more viscous body. I like.

Aroma: I’m getting a 1970’s punk-era cornershop sweetshop in Macclesfield, shelves behind the counter stacked with sweet jars. One kid in red bondage trousers is ordering a quarter of rhubarb & custards while his accomplice, decked out in a Siouxsie and the Banshees Happy House t-shirt, is stealthily nicking a bag of fizzbombs, a sherbert fountain and a pack of Chocolate flavoured HubbaBubba bubblegum.

Taste: Sits squarely in sweet territory, but fruity, syrupy sweet, not over sacharine yukko, barf, barf, sweet. The sheer thickness of the liquid is slightly off-putting. This might work better diluted with water, but it’s the fruitiest quaff I’ve sampled thus far.

If this drink were a politician it would be… Kenneth Baker. A bit slimey.

Our survey said… 7 out of 10 points. That’s 6 points for the promised-on-the-label 35% fruit goodness in a can and 0.5 bonus points because the name guanabana sounds like birdshit banana. I’ll award a further 0.5 points as, by rights, soursop should be dictionary defined as:

Soursop - noun, derogative 1. That filthy soursop from Accounts stank the whole bleedin’ place out. Someone who has just farted long and loud and without apology mid-way through an important meeting to discuss the relocation plans of a medium sized, Norwich-based, IT Consultancy. Non-farters present are commonly observed shuffling photocopied agendas, fondling cufflinks and checking PDAs. The soursop remains placid with a stoney expression that belies an inner feeling of immense relief.

Cost: 3,600VD or sod all.

Check out the numbers 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 (again), 3, 2, 1.

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by @ 10:41 pm. Filed under Food and Drink, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Vietnam

malaysia’s cinema censorship

Via Variety’s Asian film blog Kaiju Shakedown, a fascinating look at Malaysia’s censors at work.:

No one really plans on becoming a movie censor. Maggie (not her real name) left Malaysia to attend graduate school in the U.K. She returned to Malaysia to become a university professor but unable to find work she wound up at one of Malaysia’s few private television companies, sitting in a windowless room and watching movies. She’s not the official in-house censor, but her job is to make sure that Muslims in these films are not shown doing “haram” things: drinking, smoking, or encountering pork products. She has generated hundreds of pages of notes that read: “Scene in which the Koran is discussed in relation to belief in the supernatural needs to be further looked into.” When she started she was promised some training, but a year later none has materialized. It’s just her and a VCR locked away in a tiny office.

This is an entirely voluntary project by her television network, which wants to preemptively remove anything that might upset government agencies. This kind of self-imposed sensitivity is crucial in Muslim-majority, multi-ethnic Malaysia, but, at times, it can seem a bit over-zealous. If a movie shows a Muslim girl walking into a restaurant with roast pork hanging in the window the scene is cut in order to avoid offending Muslims.

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by @ 10:08 pm. Filed under Malaysia, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Censorship, Film


Via Gizmodo, a Singapore-developed tech product that is far more useful than the remote chicken hugging device that the Lion City earlier developed. Here is a pocket lie detector called “the DeFIBulator.“:


There are two ways to describe the DeFIBulator: a portable lie detector, if you’re feeling sensational, or a portable tension detector, if you’re feeling honest. Developed in Singapore, it purports to measure varying degrees of vibration in someone’s voice to 65% accuracy.

(via Tomorrow)

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by @ 10:01 pm. Filed under Singapore, Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Web/Tech

thailand’s democracy

Also via Global Voices, Enda Nasution contributes an item on the protests against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, the growing anti-Singapore sentiment and the opposition’s refusal to participate in the snap elections.:

Does general election ensured a truly democratic government? Is it a necessity? Or an election could come down to a level of merely a tool to keep certain people in power?

The answer, when in come to current political crisis in Thailand might be difficult, and it depends on which side are you on.

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by @ 9:29 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand

tyson, shanghai, snatch

AsiaPundit will agree with the guys at the Shanghaiist that "Snatch" is a terrible name for a nightclub.

And further, in regards to the club’s public relations - which has allegedly booked Mike Tyson for the opening event - AP will agree with Dan: "if he is coming, they are awful PR people. if he isn’t, they are awesome."


If no news is bad news, then the Snatch PR team had done a decent job of building up publicity for the club’s opening - though not much for its reputation - by getting relatively high-profile blogs to offer free advertising.

The club’s site is here, including annoying music, pop-ups and a Mike Tyson video.

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by @ 2:24 pm. Filed under China, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

philippine recap and press corp dress codes

AsiaPundit is well out of his depth when it comes to Philippine politics, but Connie Veneracion at Global Voices has a useful summary of the issues - and the complexities - of the situation since the lifting of Proclamation 1017.

For those those who believe that a mere change in leadership will solve the country’s problems–the turmoil will end when Gloria Arroyo leaves Malacañang, voluntarily or by force. Luis Teodoro writes about a proposal by Senator Edgardo Angara who thinks there is a legal way of calling for snap elections. The Black and White Movement staged another “mass action” on Friday, March 24th, which the police forces did not even monitor–it was a picture taking event. Caffeine Sparks laments that the group’s latest slogan, Patalsikin na! Now na!, is “so…text message-y, as if it were almost a joke.” Interestingly enough, it is rather reminiscent of the burgis (bourgeois) practice of mixing Tagalog and English made (in)famous by colegialas in the 1970s.

For those who view the Philippines’ problems as mere manifestations of a deeper social and cultural malaise, there is no quick solution. Newbie blogger Arnel Endrinal points to 10 problems that have not been solved through the past five administrations, including the current one. Class interests make it difficult to draw up any program that will be acceptable to all–if the majority really cares about solutions at all. As Luis Teodoro sums it up–the middle class and the poor are equally self-centered. The middle class is too concerned with maintaining its lifestyle; the poor is “too focused on survival to care.”

The tension between the government and the media has not abated. Danny Arao writes about an urgent motion filed by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG), a human rights lawyers’ group, for a speedy resolution of a petition filed earlier this month that stems from a pronouncement by National Telecommunications Commission head Ronald Solis to the effect that government can legally impose guidelines on broadcast news media.

Also of interest, Jove Francisco speculates on whether the casual dress of the Philippine presidential press corps says something about the press, or about Arroyo.:

State Of Emergency 024Journalists assigned to the palace wearing jeans, trendy shirts and non-leather footwear is now common sight around Malacanang, specifically inside the Kalayaan Hall Press Working Area (PWA).

I’m one of those reporters who wear MAONG at least once or twice a week. (Ahem, ang palusot ko, lagi naming may formal wear ako sa crew cab ng team ko, just in case!) (Saka lagi naming sinusundan si PGMA sa mga rugged areas)

Now, why is this trend happening samantalang two administrations ago, taboo yan?

The answer came out during the meeting this afternoon.

Most reporters covering the presidential beat do not bother to “dress for respect” anymore because most of the main palace activities of the president are “restricted” in nature naman.

If not for “photo-opp only”, “in house coverage only”.

And there’s more: as time goes by the media’s access to President Arroyo has turned from minimum to nil. She hates ambush interviews. She tapes her declarations inside the blue room, closed door. She holds live round table broadcasts inside the blue room, but the reporters are now relegated to “usis”. Parang mga tao sa harap ng buffet table tapos biglang aalisin ang inaabangang pagkain. She leaves right after her broadcast, di siya pwede kausapin. Unlike before, the MPC can’t go inside the main palace ng basta basta to stake out for cabinet officials under the huge trees there. Soon, we will be transferred to the New Executive Building.

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by @ 1:56 pm. Filed under Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Philippines

betelnut beauty models

Taiwan’s emKid discovers that you can get your very own Betelnut Beauty models at Blockbuster!


Flickr .

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by @ 1:49 pm. Filed under Taiwan, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia

26 March, 2006

10 percent pay cut for gun blogging

From Japan, another precautionary tale about how blogging can be hazardous to your job.:

GunA former police administration officer in Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, has been reported to prosecutors for violating the Swords and Firearms Control Law after taking pictures of handguns and using them on his blog.

Whilst on duty in September 2002, the 33-year-old unlocked a firearms cabinet and selected two particularly photogenic weapons, then after surreptitiously taking a few pictures he posted them on his blog – twice as it turns out. Yet despite cleverly applying a mosaic pattern to the photos, a prefectural police worker later recognized the guns and promptly reported his findings.

The unnamed blogger was given a 10 percent pay cut as punishment, but being understandably embarrassed by the whole affair, he resigned on Wednesday, explaining his behaviour by saying, “I posted [the photographs of the guns] because I wanted people to take an interest in the home page.”

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by @ 11:14 pm. Filed under Japan, Blogs, Asia, East Asia, Northeast Asia, Weblogs

indonesian aggregator

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Mr. China - by Tim Clissold:

How to lose $400 million in the world's biggest market.

Imelda - Power, Myth, Illusion:
A documentary on the former Philippine first lady that is damning, sympathetic and incredibly funny.

Yat Kha - Re Covers:
Siberian throat-singing punk band searches for its roots's - Bomb the Twist:
Three Japanese women play 1950's-inspired punk.

Gigantor Box Set Volume 1:
The original giant Japanese robot

Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.

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  • Falen: Michael, Are you trolling from one website to the next? How dare you to call Blues "anti-democratic"! I think...
  • Michael Turton: Both those commentors above are incorrect. Taiwan must have weapons to guarantee its own security,...
  • mahathir_fan: The source of the anger is probably because the Stephen YOung the unofficial "ambassador" to Taipei...
  • mahathir_fan: I want to applaud legislator Li Ao for his outspokenness on the arms procurement issue and for debating...
  • mahathir_fan: "A widening Chinese anti-corruption inquiry has targeted Beijing’s party leaders, in a sign that...


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