World News

I'm sure we all feel the same way: the world is coming to an end, and it has all ironically started with Egypt (it being an ancient civilization and all), continued with chaos in Libya and other Middle Eastern / African countries, then concluded with earthquakes in China, Japan, and Burma / Thailand.

I remember reading a great BBC article about how the media will soon get over the "Facebook and Twitter - American innovations - helped the lower class Egyptians overthrow their dictator" angle and the only way you'll learn about what is happening in Egypt is through Al Jazeera (Their website which has Lybia on the cover but also their site on Egypt). Well, that's exactly what happened. Perhaps right now is when the Egyptians actually NEED our attention... but, alas, watching bombs drop in Libya is clearly more interesting. Just as a reminder, I came across this CNN article... food for thought.


Kindle changes my life... so far

I got a Kindle for Valentines Day... and so far, it has changed my life.

Instead of eating and watching movies, I now do three things: eating, watching movies, and reading on my Kindle!

In a month, I've read:
  • What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell: the only reason I didn't buy the book was that it's basically a collection of his articles from way back and I thought why would I shell out US$15 for this? Oh, but it is $3 on the Kindle! Awesome book, especially the chapters on the Discovery Space Shuttle disaster and Enron. Highly recommended.
  • Lost Symbol: the first time I tried the "highlight function" on the Kindle... more on this at the end of the post. Sigh. Anyway, horrible book, and I got all the twists. Dan Brown, how have I read all your novels. Arg. Not recommended.
  • Too Big to Fail by Andrew Ross Sorkin: I can't believe that the author is only 32 years old. His account of how the US government and other Wall Street big boys raced to save their buddies is one of the most captivating stories I have ever read. Dare I say he is better than Michael Lewis (I read the Big Short on my way from HK to Brazil - and I just realized I never wrote about that... highly recommended book on how people made unbelievably easy money from the 2008 financial tsunami). The whole thing is a gripping ride. Highly highly highly recommended.
  • 大江大海1949 by 龍應台: I've been reading about 4-5 chapters a day on my commute to Shenzhen. And not one day have I not welled up on my trip. 龍老師's detailed description on how lives were eternally altered during the war years in China were all so moving. I remember meeting her once and asking her if she regretted leaving out any stories. She replied by saying all of it - all stories that were told but not published deserved to be published. 
Well, I wanted to share a sentence in the Lost Symbol that has to do with bad writing and a penis. Why am I not sharing this now...? Cus my Kindle seems to be stolen at work. Mother fucker, I have 86 hours of CCTV to see who might have stolen it... or if I just left it on the bus.

But... it has changed my life... so far.


    Movie - Adjustment Bureau

    I swear I've seen more movies... but somehow never recorded them.

    Adjustment Bureau (IMDB): In a story about fate and free will, I thought the movie was pretty good until the last 5 minutes. Matt Damon runs a lot in this movie, and I kept thinking that he'd turn into Jason Bourne and actually change his fate with fists and guns. Anyway, he didn't. I suppose the message of the movie is that you got to grab the bull by the horns and control it. I'm cool with that message. I can't stand movies that worked so well along and keeps the audience on its toes and screws it up at the last moment (Somewhat like State of Play, but Adjustment Bureau only screws up the last 5 minutes) When Matt Damon stops running, that's when you should leave the theater and call it a night. Slightly recommended without the last 5 minutes.

    Inception: I think the last time I watched a movie three times in a year was The Mission (Canto). Well, I did my third Inception and it was better than the first two. And I think I figured out where Leo is physically and also in his dream state. In fact, it kind of reminded me of Momento, another one of my all time favs.


    Skiing in China

    Skeptically, I went skiing in China last weekend. Turned out I was the fool - the ski resort I went to was comparable to mid-sized American ski resorts in the NE and everything exceeded my expectations. The only thing I really wanted more was more grooming on the tougher slopes.

    Anyway... seeing that most of the workers on the lifts were villagers from the originally deserted town, I wondered out loud whether they knew how to ski and how they would get back down the slopes. If they don't ski down, they'll just take the lift down of course.

    Not. As I looked down the black diamond run and considered how to end my last run of the day, I saw a bunch of dots in a straight line going down... curious, I caught up. So this is how they get home...

    Yup, put your ass on a shovel and head down. I'll be back, China ski resorts!

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