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

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