Apple has been kind enough to feature Sexy Beijing on the front page of the iTunes podcast section (U.S. version). We are trying to get them to put a groovier logo banner up, but here is the current screen grab:
Be sure to pop over to our podcast page to see the latest goodies we have posted, including Bad Boys of Beijing and Beijing Caucus. You can also subscribe to our podcast via iTunes.
We'd also like to thank Andrew Leonard at Salon Magazine for putting the latest Sexy Beijing episode, about the U.S. election, on his How the World Works blog.
Luke @ 17:37 | .(2232) |
Thanks to Larry Reich, one of Sufei's fans who was kind enough to bring
her to the MacWorld Conference and Expo at the Moscone Center in San
Francisco last weekend. Sufei didn't actually get to fly to the warm
California coast--no, she's still braving Beijing's snow flurries--but
she did make an appearance at the conference via Youtube when he logged
into Sexy Beijing on a Pioneer Plasma screen in the Apple booth.
The Sexy Beijing crew also appeared in the Beijing News this week.
性感北京这周还出现在了 新京报 上。
Sufei @ 12:53 | .(1863) |
The New York Times takes an in-depth look into the rapid inflation of foodstuffs around the world. "No category of food prices has risen as quickly this winter as so-called edible oils." The article notes that price rises on cooking oil are especially tough on poor people in the developing world: "Food riots have erupted in recent months in Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen." The article also mentions the Carrefour cooking oil stampede in Chongqing that claimed three lives in November.
You can see the reaction of Chinese consumers to surging food prices in the latest edition of the Hard Hat Show.
Luke @ 12:28 | .(3192) |
Time magazine looks into online video in China in an interesting new article by Beijing-based staff reporter Jodi Xu.
Xu dissects the ways that Chinese video sharing sites like tudou.com and 56.com are being used to bypass government censorship, share news of political repression and scandal, and broadcast protests, like the recent demonstrations in Shanghai against the expansion of the maglev train.
The Chinese government has recently introduced laws demanding that video-sharing sites be state-owned, and the article says it is still unclear whether the new regulations will be enforced. Needless to say, Tudou CEO Gary Wang sounds a bit nervous.
The article also claims that Tudou streams 30% more video than Youtube. It would be interesting to see someone break down that number a little more thoroughly, because if it is accurate, the size of the Chinese online video market is staggering.
The article leads off with an incident in which a prominent Beijing newscaster accused her anchorman husband of adultery in front of "thousands of Chinese and foreign reporters" covering the inaguration of CCTV's Olympic coverage. The clip was taken off Tudou after 650,000 views, and the woman was tossed in jail, but her several-minute tirade is still up on Youtube:
Luke @ 12:48 | .(3316) |
Sexy Beijing collaborator Rachel Dupuy has done a video for Current TV (founded by Al Gore). "Street Style Beijing" asks a few hipsters on Nan Luo Gu Xiang about their threads.
Rachel is at work on a video about the Chinese snowboarding scene, which should be coming to sexybeijing.tv very soon.
Luke @ 12:43 | .(496) |
Americans in China have been known to complain a bit about how China doesn't measure up to the good ol' U.S. of A. In many respects this crew of whingers has a point, but in other aspects China is passing up my home country. Case in point: the rail system.
Around the New Year I was in California, and wanted to travel from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I had waited too long to get a reasonably priced plane ticket and thought, "No problem, I'll just catch a train, zip up the coast and be in the Bay Area in a few hours."
Logging onto the Amtrak website, I found that the only direct train between L.A. and San Francisco (actually nearby Oakland) takes 11 hours and 17 minutes. And that's if you're lucky enough to catch the direct train. Most options require you to take a three-hour busride to the valley town of Bakersfield, then transfer to a train there. In other words, if you need to go L.A. to S.F. at the last minute, and can't waste a whole day, you really have no choice but to plunk down $150 for a fuel guzzling flight.
Contrast my California experience with my October Holiday experience in China. Returning to Beijing from the sea side town of Qingdao (famous for the beer), I caught the new bullet train and was back in Beijing in less than six hours, topping speeds of 200 km/hr (120m/hr) much of the time.
My train from Qingdao to Beijing
Qingdao to Beijing is 830 km (515 miles) and takes 5+ hours. Los Angeles to San Francisco is 559 km (347 miles) and takes 11+ hours. Shandong province (home of Qingdao) has a per capita income of $3,250. California has a per capita income of $38,956. What is wrong with this picture?
But China is not satisfied with a rail system that already thoroughly kicks the ass of the U.S. rail system, so they are investing $41 billion into railways this year. And China is not satisfied with trains that go 200 km/hr so they are building a system that will travel at 300 km/hr.
Over in "green" California, high-speed train proponents in the legislature had to battle to get $21 million to continue studying a high speed train system in the state in 2007-2008. The "green" Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, has repeatedly stalled putting a ballot measure to California voters to approve a high speed train system. So the state that is the 12th largest source of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet has been stalled in the "feasibility study" stage for high-speed rail for over a decade.
Meanwhile, China has 16 high-speed rail projects, stretching 5,600 km, under construction, with more in the planning stages.
Wake up Californians. Step out of your Four-runners and put down your lattes. C'mon Arnold, Austria has high-speed rail... Hebei province has bloody high-speed rail. Why can't California?
Luke @ 19:52 | .(3902) |
Beginning on June 1, the use of thin plastic shopping bags will be banned in China. Thicker plastic bags will still be available, but will have to be purchased by shoppers.
According to this article, three billion plastic bags are currently used in China everyday. China is following in the footsteps of countries like South Africa and Ireland that have already put plastic bag bans into effect.
Steps to alleviate the trashing of China's environment are definitely welcome by me, and most people who've spent a significant amount of time in this country. The much vaunted "one billion consumers" mantra that has launched a thousand business books also equals one billion polluters. We should also keep in mind that the average Chinese person still uses a fraction of the resources of the average North American (or European for that matter).
Luke @ 17:38 | .(197) |
From the bathroom of an Air China 747 flying Beijing to San Francisco.
Luke @ 14:42 | .(702) |
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