Thursday, 31 December 2009

0340 HKSAR Name of the Day

Savio Wai Ho Wong, postgraduate student, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Avatar Doppelganger Caricature

What a visually-stunning movie Avatar is. But this post is not about reviewing the film … others have already done that quite well (a selection of links is included below).

Instead, I just want to say that the best caricature in Avatar has to be Colonel Miles Quaritch. Almost every time he appeared on the 3-D silver screen, I either laughed or shook my head at his clichéd one-liners and screen presence. The actor, Stephen Lang, gave a great performance … “of the, uh, Jarhead clan”.

Colonel Miles Quaritch is such a caricature that the images of Major Chip Hazard from Small Soldiers, and Duke Nukem were brought to mind.




[Chip, Duke, Quaritch; take your pick! Pics courtesy of GoogleImages]

Whilst searching for images from Avatar, I also noticed some of the toy action figures. At first glance, I realized they were not to scale since the alien Na’vi are supposed to be three metres tall. So unless Colonel Miles Quaritch was a towering Jarhead surpassing NBA proportions, I guess the action figures are just made for ease of packaging!

[Colonel Miles Quaritch and Avatar Jake Sully. Pic courtesy Fwoosh.]


Some reviews of Avatar (from the first page results using Google):

Review: Powerful Avatar Stuns the Eye, Seduces the Heart

Review: 'Avatar' delivers on the hype

Avatar -- Film Review

Avatar review: 'James Cameron just got slack'

Avatar (Fox) (2009)

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

0339 HKSAR Name of the Day

Ares Leung Kwok Ling, professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Self-important

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

0338 HKSAR Name of the Day

Burnie Chu, clerical officer, Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Monday, 28 December 2009

0337 HKSAR Name of the Day

Janny Chun Nae Wong, postgraduate student, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Sunday, 27 December 2009

0336 HKSAR Name of the Day

Robina Wong Hoi-chu (Dr), associate professor, Department Of Land Surveying & Geo-Informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Suffer Little Children … Literally

A New York Times article shows more Hocus Pocus happenings in Asia. This time, it’s to do with parents' obsession with their children’s height.

SEOUL, South Korea — With acupuncture needles trembling from the corners of her mouth like cat’s whiskers, Moon Bo-in, 5, whined with fear. But the doctor, wearing a yellow gown patterned with cartoon characters, poked more needles into her wrists and scalp. “It’s O.K., dear,” said her mother, Seo Hye-kyong. “It will help make you pretty and tall. It will make you Cinderella.”

[Trainer Choi Hyong-jin helped Kang Hyon-sung, 5, and his sister, Kang Hyon-hee, 7, as they tried a special treadmill during a growth-spurring exercise at the Seojung growth clinic in Seoul. Pic courtesy of Woohae Cho for IHT.]


In the article, there’s the obligatory irrelevant and banal quotes. For example:
“If you think of a child as a tree, what we try to do here is to provide it with the right soil, the right wind, the right sunshine to help it grow. We help kids regain their appetite, sleep well and stay fit so they can grow better.”

Too bad these quacks conveniently avoid looking closely at the “seeds” first. Not every “seed” is a sequoia; some may be willows, cedars, elms or bauhinias, so to speak. You can feed and exercise a child as much as possible, but if the right genes are not present then there’s going to be lots of disappointment and resentment somewhere down the line. Incidentally, children don't photosynthesize either!

Here’s a banal quote:
“My dream is to open growth clinics in North Korea,” said Dr. Park [who recently opened 36 joint-venture growth clinics in China and said the quest to become taller was regionwide], “so that, once we unify, children from both sides will be able to stand shoulder to shoulder, not with one side a head taller than the other.”

Suffer Little Children … Literally.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

0335 HKSAR Name of the Day

Loucia Chan Kit Ying (Miss), student, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Insertion

Friday, 25 December 2009

0334 HKSAR Name of the Day

Belton Kwong, research assistant, Department of Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Thursday, 24 December 2009

0333 HKSAR Name of the Day

Benise SK Mak, academic, Department of Psychology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Deletion; Substitution

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

0332 HKSAR Name of the Day

Onyx WH Wai (Dr), associate professor, Department Of Land Surveying & Geo-Informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Nature-based

Broom Boom Becker Sympathizes With Tiger

Another “fallen” tennis star has come out in support of Tiger Woods. This time it is Boris Becker, who admitted that a brief tryst in a broom cupboard in 1999 was "five seconds that will haunt me for the rest of my life".

[Boris Becker, aged 17, became the youngest Wimbledon Men’s Singles Champion in 1985. Pic courtesy BBC News]


Tennis ace rallies to Tiger aid

Andre Agassi Says Don’t Judge Tiger Woods

Supreme Sports Personality Championships: Tiger Woods v Roger Federer

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

0331 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wynnie Chiu Lam Wai Man, Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology & Organ Imaging, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Somewhat common in Hong Kong

Monday, 21 December 2009

0330 HKSAR Name of the Day

Gibson Lam (Mr), Instructor, Dept. Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Sunday, 20 December 2009

0329 HKSAR Name of the Day

Peran L F Chan, clerk, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Saturday, 19 December 2009

0328 HKSAR Name of the Day

Persia Lai (Ms), senior clerical officer, Department of Building Services Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Geography-based

Friday, 18 December 2009

0327 HKSAR Name of the Day

Fredrik Fan Cheung-fung, external vice-president of the student union, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Thursday, 17 December 2009

0326 HKSAR Name of the Day

Hamilton Chan W S (Mr), clerical officer, Dept. Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Is It A Hard Life?

To be true lovers together? To love and live forever in each other’s hearts?

Is it a long hard fight?
To learn to care for each other? To trust in one another right from the start?

These questions (liberally taken from the classic Queen song It’s a Hard Life) should strike a chord with anyone who has faced, or is facing, the Infidelity Issue.

A comment by Ulaca about Miroslava "Mirka" Federer, who is Roger Federer’s wife, being someone “to cross at your own peril” reveals what is long believed to be essential in relationships. HKSARblog believes it is rational and reasonable to expect that equality and mutual respect forms the basis of a successful relationship.

Superficially, if we look at the marriages of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, it is likely that most people will regard Mirka Federer to be “more or less equal” to her husband, whereas Elin Woods is likely to be seen as “less equal” to her husband. That’s basically the point of Ulaca’s comment, and assuming that he does not personally know Mirka, I would say Ulaca’s comment is based solely on his distant impression of Mirka as someone not to “cross swords” with. That is, Mirka gives the impression of being a bit “ballsy” (thanks to Gweipo for bringing up 'balls'). And if you take Mirka's background in to account, she was also a professional tennis player (her highest singles ranking is 76th) and she is a few years older than Roger, then it is perhaps not surprising that Mirka and Roger’s relationship has a healthy dose of equality and mutual respect.












[Mirka and Roger on court; Roger and Mirka off court. Photos courtesy FedererMagic Blog]


Can the same be said of Elin and Tiger’s relationship? Does Elin have any “professional” understanding of golf? Does she have any experience of being an independent, strong-willed woman (prior to being betrayed)? Is she “ballsy”? Looking at her background, she has worked as a supermarket cashier, retail shop girl, model, and a nanny. Are these job experiences challenging, or helpful with building character and in developing a sense about the world? How does she see her achievements, especially when compared with the achievements of her professional golfer husband? Is this relevant?












[Tiger and Elin Woods. Photos from GoogleImages]

It is perhaps unfair to take a superficial look at these two “celebrity” marriages, and then apply this "principle" to all relationships. However, the main point is that whenever one person in a relationship is, or thinks s/he is, “more equal" than the other, then problems will inevitably occur. And if, for any reason, these issues can not be discussed and resolved then the Infidelity Issue will likely arise (providing separation doesn’t kick in first). Both sides play a part in how the relationship develops. After all, It’s a hard life and it’s a long hard fight ... but if you’re with the right person then it is definitely worthwhile.

QUEEN-It's A Hard Life
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFwOe0EPOJs&feature=related




Lyrics: It's A Hard Life

I don't want my freedom
There's no reason for living with a broken heart


This is a tricky situation

I've only got myself to blame

It's just a simple fact of life

It can happen to anyone


You win - you lose

It's a chance you have to take with love

Oh yeah - I fell in love

And now you say it's over and I'm falling apart


It's a hard life

To be true lovers together

To love and live forever in each others hearts

It's a long hard fight

To learn to care for each other

To trust in one another right from the start

When you're in love


I try to mend the broken pieces

I try to fight back the tears

They say it's just a state of mind

But it happens to everyone


How it hurts - deep inside

When your love has cut you down to size

Life is tough - on your own

Now I'm waiting for something to fall from the skies

And I'm waiting for love


Yes it's a hard life

Two lovers together

To love and live forever in each others hearts

It's a long hard fight

To learn to care for each other

To trust in one another - right from the start

When you're in love


Yes it's a hard life

In a world that's filled with sorrow

There are people searching for love in ev'ry way

It's a long hard fight

But I'll always live for tomorrow

I'll look back on myself and say I did it for love

Yes I did it for love - for love - oh I did it for love

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

0325 HKSAR Name of the Day

Prentice Koo Wai- muk, Greenpeace campaigner, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

0324 HKSAR Name of the Day

Juno Mak Chun-lung (Mr), singer, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Monday, 14 December 2009

0323 HKSAR Name of the Day

Yoyo Leung Kwan-ling, nurse, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Sunday, 13 December 2009

0322 HKSAR Name of the Day

Bunny Chan Chung-bun (Mr), BBS, JP, member (2008-09), Commission on Youth, Hong Kong [Note: Phonetically inspired]

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution

Saturday, 12 December 2009

0321 HKSAR Name of the Day

Fox Yi Hu , reporter, South China Morning Post, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Trouble with Alopecia? Try a Breast Massage!

Do you suffer from hair loss? Are you desperate? Have money? Gullible?
Then try this amazingly astonishing alternative treatment (free for women)!!
It’s the Brilliant Breast Massage Treatment Program For Hair Loss!
No medicine. No pills. No bitter-tasting Chinese concoctions.
RESULTS GUARANTEED!!
Sign up here today!!

A 28-year-old woman in Hong Kong who suffers from hair loss (cause unknown; cause unverified) was introduced to an “alternative doctor” (read “quack”) by a priest back in 2005. This 68-year-old quack charged the woman HK$2,000 (US$256) for 10 massage sessions. The sessions allegedly involved the quack fondling the woman’s breasts and private parts to "stimulate her lotus". Quite what effect stimulating one’s lotus has on one’s hair growth is a hitherto unknown position in the medical world … but hey, it sure sounds like it’ll be fun once clinical trials are approved!

If this really was true (massaging breasts to induce hair growth), would it be reasonable to expect that in a sexually-liberated society utopia all the beautiful women would have healthy, long, luscious locks of hair and the men would have silly grins on their silly faces?

And, considering what the pharmaceutical companies have done with marketing Viagra for women (i.e. reciprocal treatments for the other sex), one would think that men would jump at the legitimate chance of having their man boobs breasts fondled (not to mention their “lotus” stimulated) in a desperate attempt to throw money at this “alternative treatment” to avoid hair loss.

If only it was true!!

About Hong Kong Hocus Pocus


From The Standard
`Sex therapy' cure for hair loss, court told (Dec 10, 2009)
Porn videos seen as cure for hair loss, court hears (Dec 11, 2009)
The court had earlier been told the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, met Chan for the first time in his Sheung Wan clinic in September 2005. He was recommended to her by a priest.

He first persuaded her to buy a pack of 10 massage treatments for HK$2,000.


A few months later, at a massage in the middle of winter, Chan told her to strip. During "treatment" sessions, he allegedly fondled her private parts to "stimulate her lotus."


As part of the next round of treatment in 2006, Chan allegedly fondled her breasts and said she needed more intensive "sex therapy" to help her hair grow.

Friday, 11 December 2009

0320 HKSAR Name of the Day

Jimson Chan Wing-tai, JP, Professor, member (2008-09), Commission on Youth, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Son suffix

Andre Agassi Says Don’t Judge Tiger Woods

Crystal meth user Andre Agassi tries to make a point when he says don’t be so quick to judge adulterer Tiger Woods. Is this anything to do with Agassi disliking being judged himself?

Don't judge Tiger Woods - Andre Agassi (BBC video news clip)

HKSARblog believes people can be quick to condemn but not quick to understand.

A note about judging others (from Life of Brian).
Brian: Don't pass judgment on other people, or else you might get judged, too.
Colin: Who me?

Brian: Yes.

Colin: Oh. Ooh. Thank you very much.

Brian: Well, not just you. All of you.

Monty Python - Life of Brian - The Prophet




Related Posts
Understanding Unfaithfulness For Your Own Good
Supreme Sports Personality Championships: Tiger Woods v Roger Federer

Thursday, 10 December 2009

0319 HKSAR Name of the Day

Curly Wong Fan-tai, director of the Hong Kong Underwater Association, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Supreme Sports Personality Championships: Tiger Woods v Roger Federer

Roger Federer is simply the best. He has the best Grand Slam persona. He is a Supreme Sports Personality Champion. He is the perfect role model to inspire others in how to behave decently. This view is qualified by contrasting Roger Federer with Tiger Woods.

These two supremely talented sportsmen and champions have been in society’s collective consciousness for a decade or more and have left impressions on many of us in general (not just on avid golf or tennis fans). From time to time, we have all looked in from the outside at these two great sportsmen of our time, who are both considered the greatest of their generation, and the greatest of all time (true in the case of Federer; in-waiting for Woods). I wish to blog a little about these impressions formed in society’s collective consciousness (some different, some similar) and explain why Federer is so much greater and supreme than Woods.

Talent In Their Chosen Sport
Both Federer and Woods excel in their respective sports. Federer has a record 22 consecutive Grand Slam semi-final appearances, and has won 15 Grand Slam titles. Woods has 14 Major titles. The manner of their domination is what’s interesting.

Federer has always played to his ability and let the results speak for themselves. Jimmy Connors has been quoted: "In an era of specialists, you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist ... or you're Roger Federer." Federer does not look down on or disrespect his peers. He does not engage in any noticeable gamesmanship. In fact, he is the most likeable and popular player on tour.
In contrast, Woods dominated his peers only in the early years of his career. Between 1999 and 2002, there was simply no one near fitter, more talented or plain better than Woods. Gradually, as his peers improved and caught up to Woods’ high standards, Woods has had to modify the way he “dominates”. There is no longer a “level playing field” because Woods demands certain “conditions” from his peers, and also from his spectators. Woods is simply treated (and demands to be treated) differently than other golfers. Woods is also not the most popular amongst his peers.
Federer 1, Woods 0

Personality In Their Chosen Sport
Federer has an early childhood history of being rebellious and of smashing up his racquets on court. Fortunately, he learned to control his temper and rage and has gone on to become the greatest tennis player of all time, as well as the nicest champion of all time. He is the most likeable and popular player on tour.
Woods has a history of swearing and of gamesmanship. He growls and snarls and ignores everyone (some might say he is just “being focused”; others might say he is being arrogant and disrespectful). His attitude when he makes a bad shot or when he loses a tournament is not good for kids to see. Woods can be short with people, and condescending. He is not the most popular amongst his peers.
Federer 2, Woods 0

Personality Outside Their Chosen Sport
Woods’ “transgressions” has revealed that he is not the “clean Mr Nice Guy” that his management company would like to have everyone believe. Signs of his “dark side” surfaced during his mid-20s, when Woods hung out with The Brothers (consisting of basketball players Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley American footballer Ahmad Rashad, and baseball player Alex Rodriguez). In 2001, they travelled to the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas where Jordan gambled, placing up to $5,000 on a single card. Woods exhibited his rebellious side by bleaching his hair blond. Woods eventually married in 2004 (which is a similar age to when Federer married) but revelations have since appeared that show Tiger has been promiscuous before and after he was married.

Federer is simply a nice guy; an all round top bloke. However compared with Woods, Federer is still relatively young (he is 28 and recently married) so there is a danger that he may find himself in a situation with a mistress. In terms of age in years, Federer is about 5 years younger than Woods. However, the way Federer conducts himself, both on and off the court, demonstrates that he is a mature responsible professional and suggests that he has a good head on his shoulders and has a fantastic support group. Let’s hope Federer does not succumb to any “transgressions” in his future life.
Federer 3, Woods 0

In HKSARblog's humble opinion, Roger Federer is the true Supreme Sports Personality Champion.


Related Posts
Understanding Unfaithfulness For Your Own Good
Roger Federer says ‘Hotdog’ was his greatest shot ever. Huh?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

0318 HKSAR Name of the Day

Elvin Lee Ka-kui, secretary, Educational Publishers Association, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare; Substitution

Understanding Unfaithfulness For Your Own Good

Tiger Woods is just another idiot in a long line of celebrities (e.g. David Beckham, any number of movie stars) who have infidelity issues. However, it is not because they are celebrities that infidelity occurs. It is because they are human, like the rest of us, which means there is always potential to be fallible.

Infidelity exists. Condemn by all means, but First, accept that it exists; Second, try to understand why this occurs; Third, apply this knowledge to your own life to enrich and safeguard your own relationship(s).

I started thinking more about this because Hong Kong’s online Gweipo recently discussed “the age of betrayal” and suggested that infidelity perhaps occurs at a certain age. Another blogger added to the post by saying it is to do with the mindset of the cheater.
To a point these are both correct, but are really only partial answers. If we look at the bigger picture, it is more reasonable to consider the mindset of all parties involved … rather than analyzing only one party and of a particular age bracket. Although superficially it is easy to simply blame the cheater or adulterer, it is more reasonable to consider all parties involved because it is a dynamic situation where parties interact and can modify or influence their own behaviour and the behaviour of others.

Being able to understand all these perspectives should be the basis for understanding and strengthening one’s own relationship with their loved one(s). I think this is only logical, rational and common sense (This may be at odds with what Gweipo believes when she says: “But perhaps it isn't rational, perhaps it isn't about understanding and logic and thinking”.).

There are reasons why the:
a) Cheater does it;
b) Mistress / Male mistress does it; and
c) Wife / Husband experiences “betrayal”.

It appears there are already lots of anecdotes and research about the first two groups (i.e. Cheaters and Mistresses). Researchers and social commentators have compiled long lists of their characteristics to explain why they do it (i.e. have affairs).

However, I don’t believe much has been written about the perspective of those who have been betrayed. Therefore, the “Expat Infidelity Support Group” (mentioned by Gweipo) is exactly the kind of interesting “focus group” study that may reveal some common themes in the mindset of those who have been betrayed. Although this kind of group is not primarily there to identify and understand any “mistakes” made by themselves (it’s a support group, not a self-criticism exercise group!), I hope there will be future literature about what this group of people share in common. For example, do people who have been betrayed by their partners tend to be passive, or passive-aggressive types? Inhibited? Insensitive? Whatever. What are their common characteristics, if any?

I believe understanding what common characteristics these people (mostly women, I presume) possess can shed more light in to why the Infidelity Issue occurs in relationships.

Being rational and skeptical (which is HKSARblog’s trait, I hope), I took a deep breath when people who sympathize with those betrayed “argue” that the betrayed are “wonderful and beautiful people”. Really? I wonder if this is a legitimate trait shared by this group of people? But don’t forget that it is also subjective to say that someone is wonderful and beautiful, right? Is there more to this than meets the eye? Going back to Tiger Woods (note: I do not condone what Woods has done), is his wife a wonderful and beautiful person, or is there more to her than meets the eye? If possible, a reasonable question would be to to ask her (as well as her cheating husband) what effort has been put in to the relationship? Relationships, like anything else of value, require work, time and effort (as I have previously mentioned).

I hope some researchers and social commentators can develop a list of characteristics that may define “people who have been betrayed”. Perhaps this has already been done? We must not so readily dismiss these people as being “innocent victims” because their part in the Infidelity Issue may well be quite significant too.


Related Post
Deluded Christian Values

Monday, 7 December 2009

0316 HKSAR Name of the Day

Fenella Ng Gar-loc, ex-Hong Kong rower (finished sixth in women's lightweight singles in the 'A' final of the 1998 World Championships in Cologne, Germany), Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Deluded Christian Values

Kimmie Wong Lai-chu, the political assistant caught in a sexual harassment case with legislator Kam Nai-wai, is obviously a Christian not too unlike hoards of other “not-so-young” single Christian women who have set themselves up on a hopeless pedestal.

Christians are told that they are born sinners and are somehow taught to be “good”. And those who have traditional and cultural mindsets interpret "good" to mean no premarital sex, no premarital living arrangements, and definitely no adultery. As single Christian women who supposedly follow the Bible's "teachings", what they fail to realize is that it is not they who are breaking the seventh commandment (i.e. committing adultery), and it is not they who are dissing the tenth commandment (i.e. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or house, or ox or donkey”). It should be obvious that the ten commandments are man-made; specifically, male-made.

Isn’t it time for single Christian women to realize that fairytale knights in shining armour don’t exist? Just as Santa Claus, good fairies of the South and of the Tooth, and angels don’t exist. While we’re at it, yes, also this supernatural deity some call Dog doesn’t exist either. Eternal love? Why not just be happy with and appreciative of whomever you’re with in this one-and-only life?

Why do deluded Christians set themselves up on a hopeless pedestal? People can be good without God.

From The Standard
Wongs [sic] statement continued: I am serious about love. I strongly believe in eternal love and the life commitment of marriage. From the beginning, I have done only one thing which was to reject my superior Kam Nai-wai, a politician who has a standing under the constitutional system.

Besides, he also has a wife and a daughter.

She concluded: In the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, I am willing to end this incident with forgiveness. Forgiveness can cure hurt feelings and dissolve disputes. It is also a way for me to ease my burden and to release myself.

Related Posts
Dismissing Creationism and Intelligent Design part 5
Biblical Maths Tries To Keep Noah’s Ark Afloat

Sunday, 6 December 2009

0315 HKSAR Name of the Day

Remus Choy Yat-kit, member of Grasshopper a "long-lived" Hong Kong boy band (other members are Edmond So Chi-wai and Calvin Choy Yat-chi), Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

The Matrix 10th Anniversary

Has it been 10 years already since Nokia’s stylish banana phone made it on to the silver screen?

This comment just so sets up Groucho Marx’s hilarious quote:
Times flies like an arrow

Fruit flies like a banana

Anyways, in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of The Matrix, here’s an excellent take, in stop-motion Lego, of a pivotal scene from the ground-breaking movie. Pity the two sequels (Reloaded and Revolutions) sucked in terms of story direction, creativity and imagination. The Matrix universe could have been so much more. Enjoy:

Lego Matrix Trinity Help

Saturday, 5 December 2009

0314 HKSAR Name of the Day

Monit Kam-fong Cheung (Ms), Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Professor at the Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston, and a Board Member of End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Chubby Table Tennis Player From Guam

There’s a chubby table tennis player from Guam participating in the 2009 East Asian Games. His name is Edwin San Nicolas Cadag, and he is possibly the worst competitive table tennis player I have ever seen.

[Edwin San Nicolas Cadag]

His first match (Men's Singles 1st Round Match 3) was on Friday Dec 4 2009, which he promptly lost to Li Ching of Hong Kong. He lost in four straight sets: 2-11, 2-11, 4-11, 3-11.

Cadag’s fellow doubles partner, Arman Ruwen Acabado Burgos, also lost in four straight sets in singles. He lost to Jike Zhang of China: 3-11, 3-11, 3-11, 3-11. If it means anything, Burgos managed to get one more point than Cadag ... plus his opponent is supposedly better than Cadag's.

Is Guam the worst country/territory in the table tennis event of the 2009 East Asian Games?

Or, looking at other results, perhaps Macau?

Monster Novel Name Grabs Media Spotlight

When native-English speakers choose their own novel name, much attention and fanfare is given to the fact that the name is odd, strange, weird, funny and just plain silly. Take the case of Mr Monster Munch, plumber, Evington, Leicestershire, England.

[Plumber Chris Hunt, now Plumber Monster Munch (photo courtesy Daily Telegraph)]

In this sad case, Chris Hunt has decided to go with a Brand-based novel name. Hong Kong people are already three steps ahead and have latched on to brands as one of several ways in setting themselves apart from the rest of the population (search HKSARblog for “brand-based”).

About Novel HKSAR Names

Friday, 4 December 2009

0313 HKSAR Name of the Day

Johnson Lam Man-hon, Judge, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Thursday, 3 December 2009

0312 HKSAR Name of the Day

Thomas Jefferson Wu, managing director of Hopewell Holdings, Hong Kong [Note: the real Thomas Jefferson is a "hero" of HKSARblog]

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Self-important

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

0311 HKSAR Name of the Day

Hendena Yu Hoi-ping, chief operating officer, Mandatory Provident Fund Authority, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Hocus Pocus For Premiership Players Revealed

So much for the “super housewife healer” and her horse placenta miracle massage treatment of elite sport stars. Frank Lampard of Chelsea FC did not accept her controversial alternative therapy … and within three weeks following standard massage treatment mainly performed by his own medical team, he was fit enough for last Saturday’s showdown visit to Arsenal.

[Robin van Persie; photo courtesy BBC sport]

Unsurprisingly, Robin van Persie of Arsenal was not present for his team’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea. In desperation, he had also sought the services of Serbian housewife Mariana Kovacevic. She could not help, and now van Persie has revealed that his initial diagnosis was wrong and would now be out for up to five months.

One reason why alternative health treatments receive some credibility (some would say more than they deserve) is due to desperation.

Related Post
Hocus Pocus For Premiership Players

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

0310 HKSAR Name of the Day

Helios Lau Kar-cho, chief clinical psychologist, Social Welfare Department, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation [Edit: Literature-based; Rare; Self-important]

Monday, 30 November 2009

0309 HKSAR Name of the Day

Paggie Leung, SCMP reporter, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution

Sunday, 29 November 2009

0308 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wise Young, professor and chairman of the cell biology and neuroscience department at Rutgers University, New Jersey (Also see 0136 HKSAR Name of the Day)

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Self-important

Saturday, 28 November 2009

0307 HKSAR Name of the Day

Milton Lau Chi-hong (Mr), lecturer, Department of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Friday, 27 November 2009

0306 HKSAR Name of the Day

Giovanna Yau WC (Ms), clerical officer, Department of Computer Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Thursday, 26 November 2009

0305 HKSAR Name of the Day

Lemuella Ng Ling Yan (Miss), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Hocus Pocus For Premiership Players

It appears some local bloggers (e.g. Ulaca and In Black and White) like to comment on football or soccer, particularly but not exclusively from England’s Premier League. I’m also a fan so I’ve been thinking about posting something about soccer but with HKSARblog’s usual skepticism about certain practices.

So how about: Desperate and Injured Premiership Players Place Faith on Placental Fluid Miracle Cure?
The media circus started when Arsenal’s star striker Robin van Persie injured his ankle a week ago when playing for Holland against Italy. The initial diagnosis was that he had a partial tear in his ankle ligaments and would be sidelined for six weeks. He then announced that he was going to Belgrade in Serbia to seek a “mysterious housewife” who apparently can help players recover quicker by using placental fluid. Initially, the media did not know much about the treatment, by first saying that the woman massaged placental fluid taken from horses on the injured area. Next, it was dripped on. And now, there are reports that injections of placental fluid are involved. No one appears to know exactly what this alternative therapy is, or who this woman is.

Despite this, it later emerged that a whole gaggle (plethora? pile? posse?) of premiership players (e.g. Liverpool’s Glen Johnson, Fabio Aurelio, Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera; Chelsea’s Frank Lampard; Manchester City's Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta) and some top European players have also been treated by this “Mariana Kovacevic” who has at least three aliases and four different addresses. Why all the secrecy? Tax evasion perhaps, or something more sinister?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (usually considered rational, relative to other Premiership managers that is) said he “recognised the psychological benefits such a treatment may have on an injured player”. Yes, Arsene may be on to something here. As with many alternative therapies, the placebo effect can sometimes be significant.

Furthermore, we are talking here about elite athletes in the prime of their lives, whose body conditioning can be significantly different compared with “normal” people (i.e. ordinary citizens who do not maintain their bodies at above-average condition on a full-time and prolonged basis). For instance, if you treat a bunch of injured people with the same therapy and divide them in to two groups (one group being young elite athletes; the other being older, unfit and overweight people), it would not be unreasonable to perhaps expect a difference between the groups in their recovery period and performance. A good example would be swine flu: there have been cases of professional football players who have caught swine flu, and none have died. Whereas in other demographics, some people have died from swine flu.

This is why proper clinical trials should always be arranged, rather than relying on testimonies; in this case testimonies from superfit elite athletes.

Still, all this Hocus Pocus malarkey in the Premiership is interesting to follow. Eventually, the truth will out.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

0304 HKSAR Name of the Day

Hebe HH How (Ms), lecturer, Department of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

0303 HKSAR Name of the Day

Letty Luk Man Wai (Miss), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Vanity Plate: KINGKONG

Move over, big ape comin’ thru’ ...


About car plate, licence plate, number plate, registration plate, vanity plate

About car plate, licence plate, number plate, registration plate, vanity plate

This blog loves names and labels, in whatever shape or form!

In 2006, Henry Tang Ying-yen (then Financial Secretary) announced a relatively minor money-making scheme by allowing the auction of personalised car number plates. This scheme cleverly undermines the intellectual property rights of creative types, and rewards those who have the means (i.e. money) to buy unique car plates. The HKSAR Government justifies this scheme by saying the annual net proceeds from auctioning these car plates would be used to fund poverty alleviation initiatives. HKSAR car plates must use a combination of eight numbers, letters or blanks.

A positive effect of the scheme is that Bloggers like HKSARblog profit (albeit not financially) by being able to comment on the potentially weird and wonderful car plates that zip along Hong Kong’s roads. It’s always nice to be able to take a picture of weird vanity plates (search this Blog for "Vanity Plate").

Vanity Plates 2015


Here are some examples reported at some auctions:

16 September 2006 Government Auction
1 L0VE U [HK$1.4 million (US$180,000)]
TVB [HK$800,000]
P0RSCHE [HK$700,000]
C00L [HK$450,000]
K1NG [HK$300,000]
AAR0N [HK$250,000]
SKY [HK$$220,000]


4 August 2007 Government Auction
FC [HK$450,000]
RS [HK$360,000]
NOSIE
JUICY
TOYZONE
INVENTOR
PAPER


15 September 2007 Government Auction
JW [HK$500,000]
JP [HK$400,000]
CM [HK$400,000]
MACAU 1 [HK$80,000]
BILLION [HK$30,000]
DAB [HK$15,000]


17 October 2008 Government Auction
AK [HK$230,000]
HANDSOME [HK$130,000]
OOPS [HK$20,000]
LAZY BOY [HK$10,000]
PHYS10
SOCIAL
HORMONE
UPSET



Related Musings From Other Bloggers
Meet The Wife
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Dinosaur and Monica driving past chinese boys in white pants
Idiots

Monday, 23 November 2009

0302 HKSAR Name of the Day

Christabel Ho Man-fong (Dr), lecturer, Department Of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Sunday, 22 November 2009

0301 HKSAR Name of the Day

Rynson Lau Wing-Hung, associate professor, Department of Computer Engineering and Information Technology, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Son suffix; Substitution

Saturday, 21 November 2009

0300 HKSAR Name of the Day

Bush Liu Pui Shu (Mr), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
[perhaps a phonetic variation of “shu” which may sound like “tree”?]

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Domestic Violence in Hong Kong

Is there an increase in domestic violence in Hong Kong, or are women and support groups lobbying better, or is the media covering this issue more? Perhaps a combination? What can be observed is there appears to be more stories in the local media about domestic violence, such as:

Help system `failing' battered women (Nov 02, 2009)
Wife punched 10 times after she refused to have sex, court told (Nov 05, 2009)
Kung fu master found guilty of beating girlfriend (Nov 20, 2009)

The latest domestic violence case involved a 62-year-old man who beat up his 45-year-old girlfriend. The man happened to be a famous kung fu master too. I guess he won’t be so easily bullied during his two-month jail stint!

I wonder what a CantoPop or MandoPop version of Luka would be like? Or how about a Chinese version of this famous song from Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs (unfortunately, I can’t find the MTV Unplugged version):
Don’t Talk



At 1:50 Natalie Merchant makes it clear that this song is about domestic violence (due to alcohol).

Don' Talk lyrics
Don't talk, I will listen.
Don't talk, you keep your distance
for I'd rather hear some truth tonight than entertain your lies,
so take you poison silently. Let me be. Let me close my eyes.

Don't talk, I'll believe it.
Don't talk, listen to me instead,
I know that if you think of it, both long enough and hard
the drink you drown your troubles in is the trouble you're in now.

Talk talk talk about it, you talk as if you care
but when your talk is over you tilt that bottle in the air,
tossing back more than your share.

Don't talk, I can guess it.
Don't talk, well now you're restless
and you need somewhere to put the blame for how you feel inside.
You'll look for a close and easy mark and you'll see me as fair game.

Talk talk talk about it, talk as if you care
but when your talk is over you tilt that bottle in the air
tossing back more than your share.
You talk talk talk about it, you talk as if you care.
I'm marking every word and can tell this time for sure,
your talk is the finest I have heard.

So don't talk, let me go on dreaming.
How your eyes they glow so fiercely I can tell that you’re inspired
by the name you just chose for me. Now what was it? O, never mind now.
We will talk talk talk about this when your head is clear.
I'll discuss this in the morning, but until then you may talk but I won't hear


Related Posts
What’s The Matter Here?
Suzanne Vega and Luka Revisited and Redefined

Friday, 20 November 2009

0299 HKSAR Name of the Day

Lennon Choy HT (Mr), lecturer, Department Of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Thursday, 19 November 2009

0298 HKSAR Name of the Day

Collin Kwok SL (Ms), clerical officer, Department of Building and Construction, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

0297 HKSAR Name of the Day

Glendy Chan Cheuk Yan (Miss), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

0296 HKSAR Name of the Day

Yorki Ip Yuk-kam (Ms), personal secretary to the Faculty Secretary, Department of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Monday, 16 November 2009

0295 HKSAR Name of the Day

Rolin MN Ng (Ms), clerical officer, Department of Biology & Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Sunday, 15 November 2009

0294 HKSAR Name of the Day

Heiki Chow Oi Ki (Miss), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution

Saturday, 14 November 2009

0293 HKSAR Name of the Day

Weber Lo Wai-pak, director of retail banking and country marketing director with the Citibank Global Consumer Group, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Friday, 13 November 2009

0292 HKSAR Name of the Day

Jeny Yeung Mei-chun, general manager, marketing and station business, MTRC, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Deletion; Substitution

Thursday, 12 November 2009

0291 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wynnie Chan (Dr), British-trained nutritionist based in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

HKSARblog @ WordPress Is No More

When I first started blogging in January 2009, I did not know which free Blog service was better for my needs. I therefore decided to use both WordPress and Blogger to see which service was more convenient and practical to use. After one year, my plan was to write a review comparing the pros and cons of both blog services.

Today, ten months in, the http://HKSARblog.wordpress.com blog has been wiped from the Web. I can no longer login. Apparently, there was a violation of the Terms of Service. But I received no notice or warning, and there is no channel for me to contact WordPress about this.











[Screenshots of the HKSARblog.wordpress.com site]



Has anyone else experienced this situation? What happens to the blog name/domain and to the blog content?

Fortunately, HKSARblog still exists here! But can anyone provide good advice and tell me if this blog will be in danger of being wiped from the Web too? I wouldn't want this blog to go up in smoke.

What’s The Matter Here?

Why is it that great songs are often about deeply depressing, madly maligned or truly tragic topics? In keeping with the theme of child abuse (from Suzanne Vega’s Luka), here’s a wonderful but disturbing song from the fantastic Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs: What’s The Matter Here?




Lyrics (partial)

But who gave you the right
To do this to your own flesh and blood?

And instead of love and the feel of warmth

You’ve given him these cuts and sores

That don’t heal with time or with age



Related Posts
Suzanne Vega and Luka Revisited and Redefined
0216 HKSAR Name of the Day
It Don’t Matter If You’re Black or White

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

0290 HKSAR Name of the Day

Crucindo Hung, chairman, Federation of Motion Film Producers of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Born To Run

Humans evolved to be long-distance endurance runners. An interesting New York Times article mentions evidence that the ability for humans to run long distances is an evolved trait. Apparently, having good stamina that allowed early human hunters to track their prey for long periods, spanning time and distance, was of great survival advantage.

Tracking prey for long periods over vast distances is necessary to tire out prey animals. This trait can be observed in wolves, animals also known for their ability to track their prey for long periods. Wolves are capable of covering several miles trotting at about a pace of 10 kmph (6.21 mph) and can reach speeds approaching 65 km/h (40.39 mph) during a chase.

Therefore from an evolutionary perspective it makes sense that humans generally are good distance runners. Humans have evolved to run over long distances, with world-class distance runners being at the extreme end of the scale. As mentioned previously, I admire world-class distance runners, who can run on average at sustained speeds* of:
22.82 kmph (14.18 mph) for a distance of 10,000 metres run in 26:17.53 (current record holder is Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia); and
20.42 kmph (12.69 mph) for a marathon (42.195 km) run in 2h03:59 (current record holder is Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia).

However, I don’t especially admire their physique (particularly female marathon runners):

[Paula Radcliffe, New York Marathon November 1, 2009]

In comparison, the world’s fastest man in terms of sprinting short distances is Jamaica's Usain Bolt who sprints at 37.58 kmph (23.35 mph) over a distance of 100 metres. So a world-class marathon runner is able to run at a little over half of Bolt’s top speed over 100 metres … but can do so 422 times consecutively. This is simply astonishing.


* These times are based on men’s events


Related Blog
“Lightning” Bolt vs Duracell “Battery” Bekele

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

0289 HKSAR Name of the Day

Oakes Lu, SCMP reporter, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Monday, 9 November 2009

0288 HKSAR Name of the Day

Kindness Mok (Ms), Senior Business Manager, BEA Weblogic (multi-billion dollar web enabler), Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Sunday, 8 November 2009

0287 HKSAR Name of the Day

NiQ Lai, Corporate development director, City Telecom, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation

Bus Feet

Are more people putting their feet on bus seats? Here are two recent examples:













What’s interesting is that local Chinese are often (sometimes wrongly) criticized for being inconsiderate; but these two examples perhaps show that some non-Chinese can also be thoughtless, uncouth and selfish. However, I offer no statistics so I may be mistaken.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

0286 HKSAR Name of the Day

Fenny Tsang Chun-sim, widow of a Sars patient, Hong Kong [See 0259 HKSAR Name of the Day]

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Substitution

Quality Cabbies Award

Congratulations to Mr Yau Chi-keung for winning one of twelve Quality Taxi Drivers 2009 awards. In my book, he's a hero simply because he refused to complete the lengthy lost-and-found procedures when he took the lost bag to the police station. Ten other cabbies also won the award for "reporting lost property found in their taxis and returning it to the passenger or to police". The other award went to a taxi driver for "sincere and helpful service".

If only the police would minimize the amount of paperwork and time needed to report lost property, more people would be willing to report lost items.

Anyways, now that the criteria for winning a Quality Cabbie Award have been revealed by the
Quality Taxi Services Steering Committee (pun intended?), let's hope more Hong Kong cabbies will report lost property (to the Taxi Operators' Association) and provide sincere and helpful service.

Edit: Link here to recent comments

Cabbie who handed in diamonds among 12 to receive quality award


An Indonesian man of Chinese descent was able to retrieve his bag of diamonds worth HK$1 million left in a cab thanks to Yau Chi-keung, one of the 12 winners of the Quality Taxi Drivers 2009 award

In April last year, the 59-year-old taxi driver drove the passenger from Tsim Sha Tsui to Quarry Bay at about midday. Five minutes after the passenger got out, Yau noticed that a bag had been left under the back seat

He radioed the Taxi Operators’ Association to report the lost property. Unable to find the owner, he went to a police station not knowing what was in the bag. Police wanted Yau to remain at the station while they completed lost-and-found procedures, but he did not have the time. He took the bag home and returned to the station later to drop it off

At home, he opened the bag and saw small bags of diamonds inside, but had no idea what they were worth. Yau only found out from police later

Although Yau had never met the owner of the diamonds before, the owner gave him a few thousand dollars as a reward, which he donated to a charity for the poor

The driver said that he had no second thoughts about handing in the diamonds once he had opened the bag and found them inside

“The owner was happy to get back what was his and I’m happy because my conscience is clear,” Yau said

With more than 30 years’ experience as a cabbie, Yau intends to retire in the next year or so. He has four children and four grandchildren

Ten of the other 11 winners were also nominated for reporting lost property found in their taxis and returning it to the passenger or to police. One was nominated for “sincere and helpful service”

Winners received an identity plate yesterday, recognising them as Quality Taxi Drivers of 2009

The ceremony was attended by Commissioner for Transport Joseph Lai Yee-tak and Jimmy Poon Wing-fai, chairman of the Quality Taxi Services Steering Committee.



Friday, 6 November 2009

0285 HKSAR Name of the Day

Rufina Chan, clinical optometrist, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Guy Fawkes: Good Guy or Bad?

The British have a strange habit of celebrating a tradition that many don’t seem to understand. A bit like in Hong Kong really, as well as in other places. Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night is celebrated every 5 November in Britain, with fireworks and bonfire parties. But why?

Is “Guy Fawkes the man” celebrated or is it “his Foiled Plot” that is celebrated?

Essentially, the Gunpowder Plot was a religiously-motivated terrorist attack in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament and King James I.
If something similar happened today, such as in Australia, the US and around the world, would this be cause for national or international celebration? Or would the terrorists be celebrated?

It’s not a bad idea to question beliefs and traditions more than once in a while!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

0284 HKSAR Name of the Day

Dakilis Ng (Mr), Teacher, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Insertion

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

0283 HKSAR Name of the Day

Davis Hui Ying-yeung, Deputy Director of Protocol, Hong Kong Government, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Myth Musings: Mobiles and Mistresses

Wonderful superficial reporting as usual from the SCMP (subscription required) as it claims that it is only a myth that HK cabbies with multiple mobile phones have mistresses.

Is this believable? Or credible?
Are readers to take at face value what the reporters write? Are reporters to take at face value what sources tell them? The reporters quote one taxi driver called “Ricky” who alleges that he does not have a mistress. The driver says all his mobile phones are to help him increase “illegal” business opportunities. And “Ricky the driver” represents all HK cabbies, right?

Wrong. Some cabbies do this kind of fare-discounting business; some don’t. Some cabbies smoke; some won’t. Some cabbies are faithful; some aren’t. A single taxi driver does not tell us anything useful.

Also, is there a point to the news story?

Old mobiles find higher calling in cabs
Kobi Chan and Ng Kang-chung
Nov 01, 2009

People in Hong Kong may exchange their mobile phones as quickly as the seasons change.

But but while more than 50 per cent of people in a survey said they got a new phone every year, taxi drivers tend to follow the more traditional "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" adage.

"Ricky" has six phones across his dashboard.

And contrary to popular myth, the phones are not for communicating with his mistress across the border, but for business.

Ricky said the multiple phones acted like a customer hotline, meaning he did not miss any business, and ensuring communication with other drivers.

Each phone number helps connect him to a network of about 80 cab drivers, who offer substantial discounts and undercut the competition - not necessarily legal, but certainly lucrative.

The driver, who carries about 20 passengers a day, said he could transfer calls to other drivers to pick up a passenger if he was busy.

"Mobile phones are vital to me. They can help me to get more passengers and also earn much money," he said.

"Because I only use mobile phones for practical purposes, I seldom change them. An old-fashioned model is perfectly acceptable, so long as I can make and receive calls, I'm happy."

Other consumers, however, are keener to cast off last year's model. Jack Cheung, who sells second-hand mobiles in Causeway Bay, said he had received six new phones that hit the market only six months ago.

"Some mobile phones are given up because the owners don't like how they function. Customers have different demands. Some want a basic one that just dials in and out. Some demand a radio, songs and a camera."

Michelle Au Wing-tsz, Friends of the Earth senior environment officer, says one reason there is such a high turnover is that manufacturers make repairs so expensive that people will buy a new one rather than get a phone fixed.

A man recently complained to the green group that a company had asked for HK$2,100 to repair his phone. Yet when the group took it to a small phone repair shop in Mong Kok, it cost just HK$250.

The group surveyed 1,000 people and 65 per cent said they got rid of their phones less than a year after buying them, mainly because they were damaged, albeit slightly.

"Companies also market phones as fashion accessories so you have to swap them often to keep up with the latest trend," Au said.

Friends of the Earth says the short lifespan of phones is an environmental problem, creating a growing waste crisis. But the Environmental Protection Department disagrees, saying there is no danger of mobiles becoming a major source of electronics waste. A spokesman said the phones were valuable in the second-hand market and were not filling the city's landfills.

A spokeswoman for LG Hong Kong said it did not recommend users take their phones to unauthorised dealers for repair. "The parts we use are all up to standard and are properly manufactured with good quality control." She denied the company's strategy was to encourage consumers to buy new phones by imposing a high repair fee.

Nokia Hong Kong would not comment on the issue.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

0282 HKSAR Name of the Day

Darwin Chen, chairman, Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare

Portsmouth FC Hong Kong Connection

Portsmouth FC is now the second English Premier League club to be financially linked to another Hong Kong businessman, after of course Birmingham City FC.

[Portsmouth FC colours]

Balram Chainrai, a Hong Kong-based businessman of Nepalese extraction, has loaned £15 million to the club, which ensures that all outstanding October wages will be paid to Portsmouth FC’s employees. This has also fueled speculation of a change in ownership of the football club.

Apparently, Chainrai went to KGV (i.e. Hong Kong's King George V School), and has a biomedical science background as well as a British passport. Naturally, the Premier League is seeking further information about Chainrai, although since he is not a director of the club and apparently does not control 30% or more of the club’s shares, Chainrai will not have to pass the Premier League’s fit and proper person test. What other "gems" will the media uncover?