Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mike Bloomberg 2009

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has transformed his website into his mayoral campaign headquarters. Usually filled with press releases about his personal goals, the site now actively recruits volunteers and brings full attention to the issues he believes in fighting for and the endorsements that are fighting to keep him mayor. And having a bold, responsible leader like Mike Bloomberg is something I believe in fighting for.

>>>Join Now!

Published Post Number:128/134
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

It's Earth Day! 39th anniversary, actually. Not so sure Mother Earth is happy to know that we're still doing nothing to truly change our course and help save the environment. To celebrate, let's take a look back at 1990, when ABC aired a television special called, "The Earth Day Special." It featured the Muppets, Looney Toons characters, and nearly 50 huge celebrities, such as Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith, Danny DeVito, Candice Bergen, Michael Keaton, etc.

This rare 1990 TV special "celebrated" the 20th anniversary of Earth Day by providing a great informational experience that attempts to catch viewers of all ages onto what is happening to the Earth and what - people of the 1990's - can do to save it. It's unique storyline provides great insight to how polluters are sleazy by personifying Mother Earth and having interactions between the evildoers and the Every Man (who happens to be played by Robin Williams.) It presents a Mother Earth hospitalized and news coverage of the neighborhood that witnessed her getting sick and what those people, as well as "celebrities simultaneously watching the show," are doing to help the environment. The only bad part is that it does not focus on encouraging taking mass transit, which definitely reduces pollution.

Watch Part 1 here:

Thanks to A Daily Dose of Architecture for providing the link.

Published Post Number:127/133
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Agreement Against Jackie Chan's Anti-Democratic Remarks

As a follow-up post to yesterday's comment on Jackie Chan's outrageous opinion that the democracies and freedoms of Chinese people need to be "controlled," the backlash from Hong Kong and Taiwanese legislators begins as more people become outraged at the veteran movie star's comments.

>>>Sun Star: Jackie Chan's China comments prompt backlash (3:37 p.m.)
>>>Telegraph: Jackie Chan says Chinese people need to be 'controlled'

Published Post Number:126/132
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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hey Jackie Chan: Hong Kong Not a Democracy

Celebrities make mistakes occasionally, right? Recently, at a business panel forum in Hainan, Hong Kong movie star Jackie Chan declared that Chinese people needed to be controlled. He believed that too much freedom was not good -
"I'm not sure if it's good to have freedom or not, I'm really confused now. If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic. Taiwan is also chaotic." [Source]

Actually, Jackie, Hong Kong is NOT a full democracy. Its Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, was and still is appointed by Mainland China's government. The only people representing HK citizens who can vote for him include many politicians who are loyal to Beijing bureaucrats. If freedom of speech and democracy includes arresting and rejecting visitors whom are deemed 'dangerous' by Chinese official, then Hong Kong is a democracy. Hong Kongers are NOT free Jackie.

And on the matter of Taiwan, chaos results from the divisive emotions of whether to be friendly with Mainland China's government. If Beijing would be more open and tolerant with their own people, then there may not be as much chaos.

Published Post Number:125/131
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Betty Brown: Racist

Betty Brown, the Republican state representative from Texas should resign. Now. Recently, at a House Elections Committee, she was questioning Ramey Ko from the Organization of Chinese Americans. Ko was testifying at how many Asian Americans have differences in the names that are transliterated on some documents and an English name on other official documents. In response, Brown said:
"Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese --
I understand it's a rather difficult language -- do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?

As Huffington Post's Rachel Farris said on Brown's use of "citizens", "the last time I checked, he wasn't a nation. Or even a governing body. Nice guy, well-spoken, but certainly not a sovereign leader of a nation."

Well, let's put it this way. When a foreigner, oh let's say an American, visits an Asian country, perhaps China, I would bet that the citizens there would have a hard time pronouncing English names as well. Surely that's a hard language to learn.

Ms. Brown, with all due respect, the reason why Asian Americans and other foreigners try to keep their ethnic name as much as possible, even after its transliteration, is because it allows them to have have a connection to where their roots were from and to remind them of their identity that their parents had. Thank you for apologizing, although should this happen again, either coming from you or your fellow constituents, the backlash will be stronger.

>>>Link to article and Youtube video of Q&A session (or for a direct Youtube link to the section with the remarks, click HERE.)
>>>Advertising Age article about Brown's remarks and why names aren't just faceplates

Published Post Number:124/130
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Monday, April 13, 2009

MTA: More Thoughtful Ads

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), New York City's bus and subway company is some financial trouble. To the tune of a deficit that will balloon to over $10 billion in the next few years. With state representatives stalled in Albany, the MTA has been getting innovative with their advertising to get more revenue. In fact, since 1998, the MTA has more than tripled their ad revenue from $38 Million to $125 Million in 2008. Second Avenue Sagas talked about how they have begun plastering the exterior of subway cars with ads since late 2008. I recently saw another new ad technique that actually cannot be easily replicated elsewhere in the NYC subway system. At Lexington-53St, on the escalator ride down from the concourse to the E/V platform, the escalator has a low clearance and the ceiling is shaped like an arch (in fact, you can hear the conversations from other people on the escalator even though they are whispering, see: The full-length of the ceiling is plastered with Continental Airlines ads. My pictures are included:

MTA,New York City
MTA,New York City
Published Post Number:123/129
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chef Irvine is Back!

Acclaimed chef Robert Irvine is back hosting the 6th season of Dinner: Impossible on the Food Network. Ousted last season because of some flaws in his resume, he has returned to host the awesome show which pits him and a small crew of chefs against a challenge of preparing intricate meals with no advance warning and against several hours time. He has previously cooked on the show in a variety of settings, including in an Ice Hotel, at a colonial-reenactment settlement, and at weddings. And his charisma and peppiness were far better than whoever hosted the show last season. Yay for Chef Irvine!

>>>News from his blog about his reinstatement

Published Post Number:122/128
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Friday, April 10, 2009

Virtual Different Looks of NYC Looks Real (SimCity 4)

/// An updated screenshot of my NYC as well as ones taken from my beta testing of CXL should be available August 2011 ///
I have been working on my SimCity 4 version of New York City for over two years (since January 2007) and have gotten my way through Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island, and a region bordering the East River. My road network is pretty accurate (with the exception of S. Brooklyn - I'm planning on redoing that later on) and major landmarks and public spaces are included, all with the help of Google Maps. However, after seeing what lucky7 has done with his "The Different Looks of NYC" City Journal at the highly-popular SimCity 4 forum/exchange site Simtropolis has made me consider giving up on my city. His road and transportation network is so intricate and exact it looks as if it were a satellite photo. My opinion is that he can make it that accurate due to a custom-made, larger map size. Although he has yet to fully populate his city, it is fantastic and deserves his award. I myself do not have a City Journal, but will hopefully have something that is comparable!

Of course, Monte Cristo's Cities XL is coming out later this year, and so far it looks far superior to SC4, partly due to plenty of user feedback about the shortfalls of SC4. It looks and has a much more realistic gameplay, as evident from Simtropolis' Webmaster's review of an invitation-only review.


Published Post Number:121/127
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

FDA May Get Chance at Regulating Big Tobacco

Finally, after decades of irrefutable scientific evidence that smoking harms the health and the creation of smoke-free environments in numerous cities, the Food and Drug Administration may finally be able to regulate the tobacco industry. Last Thursday, the U.S. House approved a measure that would allow the FDA to "regulate the contents of tobacco products, make their ingredients public, prohibit flavoring, require much larger warning labels and strictly control or prohibit marketing campaigns, especially those geared toward children." However, companies can continue to put the harmful nicotine and tobacco in cigarettes. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Waxman (D-CA) in the House and by Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) in the Senate. However, Rep. Buyer (R-IN) is proposing a bill that would threaten that power. Honestly, the ill health effects of smoking are so upfront that no one should be going up against something that may save lives. Of course, in China

Published Post Number:120/126
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