- stay alive.will you?
Tuesday, Jun 5, 2012 12:53AM / Standard EntryWas watching <A Bite of China> after my Chinese twitter(weibo) recommendation. and I can't help but missing this country so much.The food culture that every Chinese is proud of is also interestingly a normal greeting between the ordinary Chinese people by saying 'Have you eaten?' (the thing like an Englishman and his weather)Notes:A bite of China is a series of food documentary produced by CCTV. Total of 7 episodes.It tells the histories and stories behind Chinese cuisine: The meaning and the symbol each represents;The connection between the nature and the people; The creation of unique foods and traditional recipes.Get to know Chinese's life philosophy and the respect people have for the nature and food. This is the video you can't miss. I am drooling already by simply watching this..And if I could possibly talk more about China even at this busy profound Diamond Jubilee weekend, I would like to mention Prof Rana Mitter, who lectures on Chinese history and politics at the University of Oxford. and of course his 200 page but very informative work <Modern China: A Very Short Introduction>"With very few exceptions, all of the warring factions that vied over China's future in the 20th century were 'modern', not just in the sense of being 'recent', but in their rejection or adaptation of the Confucian norms of the past, and their embrace of a new set of norms that were derived from outside , but which were adapted to make 'Chinese' and 'modern' compatible, tather than terms which seemed to be in opposition to one another.Although they violated their own rhetoric on countless occasions, China's rulers in the 20th century - and the 21th - have sought to create a nation-state with an equal, self-aware citizen body. This is a profoundly modern goal. But how successful will they be in achieving it. "-- Rana MitterWatching him introduce his concise but illuminating book.Reviews"A lovely little book to help understand China.""Modern China is a fascinating subject in its own right.China, in general, has been one of the most intriguing countries in the world for most of its history. This is a very informative and accessible book on Modern China that is well suited for the general readership.""This book is a good start. It guides you through the subject matter and the author - Rana Mitter - knows his stuff."The following text is extracted from Modern China: A Very Short Introduction by Rana MitterChina is a profoundly modern society; but the way in which its modernity has been manifested is indelibly shaped by the legacy of its pre-modern (a term preferable to 'traditional') past.Not that the pre-modern past was ever monolithic or static:China changed immeasurably over hundreds of years, developing a bureaucracy, science, and technology (the invention of gunpowder, clocks, and the compass), a highly commercialised economy (from around 1,000 onwards), and a diverse syncretic religious culture.This similarity in many developments in Europe and China in the period 1000 to around 1800 should not, however, conceal the fact that imperial China and early modern Europe also differed widely in their assumptions and mindsets.The development of modernity in the Western world was underpinned by a set of assertions, many of which are still powerful today, about the organisation of society. Most central was the idea of 'progress' as the driving force in human affairs. Philosophers such as Descartes and Hegel ascribed to modernity a rationality and technology, an overarching narrative, that suggested that the world was moving in a particular direction - and that that direction, overall, was a positive one.There were several drivers of progress. One was the idea that dynamic change was a good thing in its own right: in pre-modern societies, the force of change was often feared as destructive, but the modern mindset welcomed it. In particular, an acceptance and enthusiasm for progress through economic growth, and later, industrial growth, became central to the development of a modern society.Particularly in the formulation of the Enlightenment of the 18th century, the idea of rationality , the ability to make choices and decisions in a predictable, scientific way, also became crucial to the ordering of a modern society.Above all, societies are modern in large part because they perceive themselves as being so: self-awareness ('enlightenment') is central to modernity and the identities that emerge from it, such as nationhood.This has led the West, in particular, to draw far too strong a distinction between its own 'modern' values and those elsewhere in the world. China, for instance, showed many features over thousands of years that shared assumptions of modernity long before the west had a significant impact there.China used a system of examinations for entry to the bureaucracy from the 10th century CE, a clearly rational and religious decrees and brute force were doing the same job in much of Europe.At the same time, China started to develop an integrated and powerful commercial economy, with cash crops taking the place of subsistence farming. It is clear that many aspects of 'modernity' were visible earlier and more clearly in China than in Europe.Among the most powerful elements of modern thought in Europe was its ability to maintain the idea that its own genesis and construction were profoundly different from those of other societies.In part, this was because of a desire to create a profound distinction between Western European politics and that of other societies, particularly in the 19th century , when imperialist ideology became important.Yet in many ways, the attributes of modernity - particularly self-awareness and its associated sense of anti-hierarchy - were drawn from a pre-existing religious tradition, in which birth and rebirth were crucial.While Christianity was clearly one source of this concept (having also provided the cultural grounding for the teleology of progress that underlies classic modernity), the ideas of enlightenment and self-awareness emerged much earlier as part of Buddhist thought, and in later centuries were developed within another path defined by Islam.The most strongly Eurocentric understanding of modernity have found it hard to acknowledge its cross-cultural roots; yet they are there.But all the same, China before the mid-19th century did not share certain key assumptions of the emerging elites of Europe in the 16th to 19th centuries. China did not, during that time, develop powerful political movements that believed in flattening hierarchies: in the Confucian world, 'all men within the four seas' might be 'brothers',but 'all men' were not equal.Chinese thinkers did not stress the individuated self as a positive good in contrast to collective, although there was a clear idea of personal development to become a 'gentleman' or 'sage'. Nor, overall, did it make the idea of a teleology of forward progress central to the way it viewed the world: rather , history was an attempt to recapture the lost golden age of the Zhou and ways of the ancients, and rather than praising innovation and dynamic change in its own right, pre-modern China developed highly sophisticated technology and statecraft while stressing the importance of past precedent, and of orders.As for economic growth, while it would be too strong to say that Confucian thought wholly disapproved of trade (the Ming and Qing saw a comfortable accommodation by the state with the idea of commerce), the concept of economic growth as a good in its own right was not as central to the pre-modern Chinese mindset as it as to the type of modernity that emerged in Europe.These assumptions mark a profound difference from China's experience in the contemporary era. Since the early 20th century at least, China's governments and elite thinkers have accepted most of the tenets of modernity, even while vehemently opposing the Western and Japanese imperialism which force those ideas into China.The Communist and Nationalist governments that dominated China in the 20th century both declared that China was progressing towards the future; that a new, dynamic culture was needed to take it there; that hierarchies needed to be broken down, not preserved; and that while order was important, economic growth was the only way to make China rich and strong.Most notably, China's leaders were much more fiercely and uncompromisingly modern in their assumptions than many of their contemporaries in India or Japan in the early 20th century: the ‘May Forth Movement’ of 1910s was far more eager to reject China's Confucian past completely than figures in India, such as Gandhi, were to reject that society's past.But at the same time, there is a chimerical element to the quest for modernity. Modernity keeps changing, and Chinese conceptions of it change as well: the modernity of the 'self-strengtheners' who sought to adapt Western technology in the late Qing is not the same as that of the radicals who declared a 'new culture' in the 1910s, nor of the Nationalists and Communists whose primary goal was to find a stable, modern identity for the Chinese state and people.Even today, the question of what a modern China looks like is in flux.At the same time, China's new-found strength means that it is in a much better position than ever before to project aspects of its own model of modernity back into the wider global definition of the term.
Monday, Jun 4, 2012 6:46PM / Standard EntryI first listened to Grimes from the AllSaints Basement Session Podcast on a tube back home. (a great source for music)Grimes - GenesisIt was months ago in January to be precise, I clearly remembered it was a raining day (or as I wished), I was on the tube after work from Green Park central London. Tiresome, as usual, with one London Evening Standard picked up from the entrance of Piccadilly Line in my hand, playing my pod cast downloaded last night, as always. And here comes the Grimes.Grimes or Claire Boucher (born March 17,1988) was born and raised in Vancouver. She graduated from Lord Bying Secondary School and moved to Montreal, Quebed to attend Montreal's McGill University. It was during her studies that she began to record and perform under the name Grimes.However, as Grimes became a more serious endeavor for her, she began to miss a large number of classes at McGill, and only showed up for classes when she had to take exams; resulting in the university taking punitive actions against her and she was expelled.In 2009,Boucher and her then-boyfriend from Tennessee constructed a 20-foot houseboat, named the "Velvet Glove Cast in Iron," with the intention to sail it down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to New Orleans. The cargo included chickens,a typewriter,20 pounds of potatoes and a gifted copy of Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.Boucher and her companion adopted the names "Varuschka" and "Zelda Xox" for the trip.Due to engine trouble and subsequent harassment from the Minnesota police, the journey was cut short and the houseboat and chickens were impounded. Their diet consisted of mainly potatoes.----- Grimes WikiNow, finally, I could sing along with the lyrics on the screen. :)
As I told, that was an unhealthy crush.JJx
Thursday, May 31, 2012 8:59PM / Standard Entry
Prometheus sees Alien director Ridley Scott return to similar territory with a science-fiction/terror movie that has been talked about for ages.A team of scientists headed up by Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and David (Michael Fassbender), an android, leaves Earth in search of information as to the origins of human life. But they are not prepared for what they are set to discover on their journeys and when they get stranded on in an alien world: unimaginable horrors that – for the sake of mankind itself – should have been left well alone.One of the most hotly-anticipated movies of the year.- From the VUE Westfield London webpage.(where I will watch the film in 3D tomorrow night)And this video probably will make your day if you have fallen in love with Michael Fassbender who plays the AI David in Prometheus like me,also after his latest films <Shame> with Welsh bright star Carey Mulligan or <The Dangerous Method> which takes an objective historical look at the early days of psychoanalysis and the people with the England country rose Keira Knightley. There are more to mention with his name. And it surely will be much more in the coming years.Introducing David 8 - Project Premetheus (Extended Version)JJx
Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:03PM / Standard EntryMrs Stephen Fry is the fictitious name of a blogger, author and Shorty Awards winning comedy Tweeter best known for her book Mrs Fry's Diary.Edna claims on her Twitter feed that she is Stephen Fry's "poor, downtrodden wife & mother of his five, six or possibly seven kids".On 27 May 2012 the @MrsStephenFry Twitter statistics were:145,583 – Followers3,910 – Following10,967 – Tweets8,311 out of 11,230,470 - Rank on Twitter GraderReally brilliant concept and I laughed my way through every page in the book preview.(the full paper copy is actually on its way. can't wait ><)Mrs Stephen Fry could be an inspiration to all downtrodden housewives and a role model to every mother of uncertain age and progeny. You will find it extra hilarious if you happened to be a fan of Stephen Fry. You will laugh...you will cry...and you will never look at Stephen Fry in the same way again.I can totally imagine how this book will draw some attention for me when I am reading it in public.twitter.com/MrsStephenFry
<Mrs Fry's Diary>by Edna Fry in 2010Review
'Hilarious' (Daily Express )'Buy the wife's book or I'll never hear the end of it.' (Stephen Fry )
'The clever wordplay and gags keep coming... it's consistently funny and will keep all types of readers entertained.' (Irish News )
'There's a guaranteed laugh every page.'(Star )'A great idea' (Heat )
'Easy reading, slightly naughty, lots of laughs.' (The Sunday Times )Product DescriptionStephen Fry's secret wife speaks out at last...
Enjoyed a nice cuppa this morning with a HobNob and Jeremy Kyle. There was a woman on there who'd been married 16 years without realising her husband was gay. Extraordinary! Which reminds me, it's our 16th anniversary in a few weeks. What a coincidence.
Stephen Fry - actor, writer, raconteur and wit. Cerebral and sophisticated, a true Renaissance man.
Or is he?
Finally, his secret double life - the womanizing, the window-cleaning, the kebabs, the karaoke - is exclusively revealed by Edna, his devoted wife and mother of his five, six or possibly seven children. These diaries take us through a year in the life of an unwitting celebrity wife, and are rumoured to include:
- scandalous nocturnal shenanigans
- advice on childcare
- 101 things to do with a tin of Spam.
'A good diary should be like a good husband - a constant companion, a source of inspiration and, ideally, bound in leather.' - Edna Fry
Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:40AM / Standard EntryNarcissism used to be regarded as a serious personality disorder. But with the rise of reality TV and Twitter,are we all falling prey to shameless self-worship?---- Helen Kirwan TaylorIt will not be too difficult to find a person who has 5,000 followers on tiwtter or weibo that developing what Robert Millman, former professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, calls acquired situational narcissism. This is what when a perfectly normal person stumbles on instant fame or fortune (the situation) and becomes an insufferable narcissist (required) as a result.They go from being 'one of us' to no longer answering their own emails and speaking about themselves in the third person. The telltale sign of this new disorder, says Millman, is how quickly one morphs into a total idiot. 'Everybody's got to tell you how great you are,' he says. The person might have been perfectly modest before, but the situation changes the natural laws of interaction. In other words, once you get a taste of being the centre of attention, for whatever reason, you can start to feel entitled to it.These are how Telltale signs you're suffering from situational narcissism> You have 5,321 followers on Weibo but only follow five people yourself, and two of those are Madonna and the Dalai Lama.> You don't see the problem with banning certain family members from your wedding on the grounds that they'll ruin the photos.> When friends or colleagues talk about their kids, you interrupt them with rambling anecdotes that start "When I was a child I used to...."> You Photoshop your holiday photos.> You have a visitor's book in your hall that everyone must sign on leaving.> It took six takes and a script to record your answer machine message.The nouveau narcissist is not focusing on who the people are around him but what they think of him.So the teeeenagers begin their day by letting the world know how they feel and think. They airbrush their profile photographs. Sports days are cancelled so as not to 'hurting feelings'. Maybe before the days of instant communication, we would have had enough time to take in a change of status. It used to take people a lifetime to move up the career ladder; now they often become famous or rich because of one transaction /Big Brother series/ affair with a football player. It is the speed at which people become well known that is creating an epidemic of self-obsession.Narcissism is defined as excessive self-involvement, lack of empathy and a grandiose vision of self. The problem is that we used to think it was a bad thing (after all, Narcissus was so busy looking at his own reflection that he fell into the water and drowned), but now we are so used to it that we almost think it's normal to be self-centred.Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell, authors of The Narcissism （Free Press）, think narcissism is more than an affliction of the rich and famous. They suggest that all this 'feeling-good-about-yourselfness,' without any solid base, has caused a flight from reality to the land of grand fantasy.As for those who develop symptoms of narcissism overnight, can they be cured? I believe most of us know we are actually doing it. This idea of persona, a kind of mask we put on. I once worked with a well-known business man. He was totally unaware that everyone around him thought he was a bully. He asked for feedback. Everyone unanimously replied, "We think you're a bully". He was devastated but took it on board. then he changed his behaviour. The point is, if you have self-awareness, you can save yourself...Exactly.:DJJx
- basically a semi-conductor, a pseudo-vegetarian....basically a semi-conductor, a pseudo-vegetarian.
generally love myself,a narcissist,keep asking for forgiveness from the ones I care about in life.
'if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.'
currently living alone in London.bollocks!
- Age: 26
- Gender: Female
- Total visits: 4,821