Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What if China and Japan's recent tensions escapated to a war?

Relations between China and Japan normally aren't the best, as I'm sure you're aware and recent territorial disputes haven't exactly helped matters. But what would be the global economic impact if the dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands were to turn into a full-blown war?

I was recently sent an interesting video on this very topic. It's quite a cleverly made short film that explain the many interconnected issues involved. Worth a watch...


Monday, January 14, 2013

Funny Chinese Person alert!

His name is Joe Wong and he's very funny. Check out the two videos below.

The first is a joke-packed monologue at an American gala dinner and is notable as much for the funny gags as for the slightly suspicious reactions of some in the audience.

The second is a shorter appearance on the 'Ellen' chat show. Both are very amusing. See what you think.

Monday, November 05, 2012

PlayCantonese - a Cantonese playgroup for little ones

Just passing on link to what sounds like a useful playgroup for b.b.c. parents with little ones who are learning Cantonese.

PlayCantonese holds a series of events in London introducing babies and toddlers to Cantonese language through songs, rhymes and playing. It sounds like a much needed service! Drop them a line at if you're interested.

Website: PlayCantonese

Saturday, October 06, 2012

"Mourn with deep grief. Rest in peace..."

As The Standard Hong Kong reports, thousands gathered in Hong Kong last Friday to mourn the 38 people who died in the Lamma ferry sinking - Hong Kong's worst maritime accident in 40 years.

STORY: The Standard

Friday, September 14, 2012

A ridiculous 'Chinese-y' video from Coldplay

If you haven't seen it already, here's the so-clich├ęd-it's-funny video for 'Princess of China', the new single from Coldplay recently performed at the London Paralympics.

It's not like they went with the obvious or anything...

Oh dear!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Side-by-Side: Geography Special!

This is a slightly different and more complicated Side-by-Side and has taken quite a bit longer to put together.

As a bbc who has lived most of his life in London and spent some time in HK, I am fairly familiar with the geography of both places (more so with London than with HK). What I didn't have was any sense of how one place related to the other in terms of scale and distance.

For example, that train ride from Kowloon to the New Territories seems like a long journey but is it? What would be the equivalent journey in London? How big an area is Central, when compared to London? People often think of Hong Kong as a small place, yet it never feels small when you are there. So how big or small is it, really?

I thought it would be interesting to use Google Maps to shed some light on this. The key was getting the maps of both Hong Kong and London at the same scale. Differences in global maps mean that Google does not display all locations at precisely the same scale on the same screen (there may be some trick to doing this but I don't know what it is). What I had to do was view both maps separately at roughly the same scale, screengrab these views and then in Photoshop resize the images more accurately using the on-screen scale key to ensure that 1km on the Hong Kong map was the same (as near as possible with the naked eye) as 1km on the London map. Once I'd done that, it meant I could compare them visually:

 No doubt an expert would have been able to do this more accurately but I got some interesting observations from this crude experiment.

For example, the whole of Hong Kong, including the massive Lantau Island, just about fits within the M25.

If you line up the southern tip of Kowloon to London's Embankment, Mong Kok and Prince Edward are roughly where Kings Cross is. I never realised that distance was so great. It's just a couple of MTR stops, right?

If you place Sheung Wan MTR station (over in west HK island) on top of Marble Arch, you can see that the distance to Heng Fa Chuen in the east is roughly the same as Marble Arch to Poplar, way out in the East End. An epic journey by London standards.

If you line up Hong Kong's Central with Oxford Circus in London, Admiralty is roughly in the middle of Shaftesbury Avenue.

The TST area up to Jordan is very approximately the same size as the Mayfair area in London, from Bond Street down to Piccadilly

And to answer the question I initially asked: A journey from Hung Hom interchange to Tai Po Market in the New Territories is very roughly the same as the journey from Paddington to Uxbridge, give or take a few metres.

Hope that's been of interest, and do drop me a line with any other geographical Hong Kong and UK comparisons!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

'Low Budget Lead' - a bbc short film!

Hi all. First of all apologies for the lack of recent posts. I have been incredibly busy but rest assured the blog is not forgotten and I hope to have some more interesting posts to come very soon (including another side-by-side).

What prompted this sudden return to the blog? A short film, that's what! Made by Jason Francis Lau during his final year at Brunel University, the film is described as a POV documentary and is an interesting look at life as a young British-born Chinese and indeed as a student in general. You can see a short trailer (which includes a link to the full film) here:

These days, most people's idea of a POV video would be a Youtube comment. This is actually a lot more creative and a lot more personal. The films starts off with a general look at life at uni and gradually (from about 9 mins) starts to focus more on the British-born Chinese aspect before then switching between the two.

Considering it was made without any budget, by Jason on his own, it's an impressive achievement. It blends multiple aspects of Jason's life and ends up as a pretty rare portrait of 'normal' uni life and a even rarer depiction of a young bbc's life.

Check out the film. Whilst British-born Chinese have made some media inroads in terms of appearances as actors and presenters, isn't it time we started seeing some bbc documentary and filmmakers too?