Thursday, October 29, 2009

Trashy! Beijing Art!?

One thing you quickly learn to appreciate in Beijing is the fact that EVERYTHING is recycled or put to good use. No matter where you go there are people making good of what, to some, is simply trash.

Today there was a man outside of the University loading up his bicycle with a massive heap of packaging that came from Dell boxes. the end of the video he yelled at me. :( But I have no idea what he said...

His pile of trash reminded me of my 3D design class and I considered it a true example of Beijing ART! Not to mention the acrobatic feat of balance to keep all of the foam on the bike and driving that load on a Beijing street? INSANE!

Here's a video of his creation:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 on THIS 中国 SIDE of the Great FireWall...

So, there are advantages to the Great Fire Wall. What are they? Full length movies on Youku...

What is Well, it's like YouTube, but... BETTER? (that's what a girl in class told me last week)


The catch?

If you try to load it from the USA, you get an error:

But if you load it from China? You see the the full-length feature film which looks like this:

Yeah for Intellectual Property...

Street food in Beijing and a crowded elevator at school

These are typical moments in my daily routine...

Street food in the morning for breakfast is fabulous! McDonalds
ain't got nothing on these guys!!!

Yes, and the elevator at school.
I often climb 8 flights of stairs...You'll see why!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Peking Opera

Clip edited together on my iPhone with ReelDirector for iPhone...nothing fancy, just 60 seconds from the Peking Opera. Hope to get even more editing in later versions of ReelDirector.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sliding down the Great Wall of China...

Today's adventure was to the Great Wall of China...short video of us sliding down!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Anti-"Secret"

Barbara Ehrenreich recently appeared on John Stewart, and I felt it worthy of sharing.

The author shares her perspective on the American obsession with being 'positive' and also gives a critique of the New-Age hit The Secret.

John Stewart asks: If it works for someone isn't it ok? She said: "Delusion is never ok."

Does being obsessively positive, as she suggests, indicate an 'empathy deficit" in our culture?

She also attacks the industry of pink everywhere...and as for 'The Secret?' She believes that the rich boomers live in a 'bubble' completely disconnected from reality...

So, what does she suggest? Be grounded and be real. This sounds very...pragmatic, in the common use of the word, but not William James's Pragmatism. I think it would include...a bit of both?

What is an empathic deficit? And is this really part of the problem in America? In China it is almost an unspoken rule: do not mention health problems. So, what kind of empathy deficit is she talking about? She wants to be grumpy during her treatment...or at least feel the freedom not to let other's down. I wonder if other's feel this way too?

That's Chinese for Smith!

Apparently this is my last name in Chinese, which makes my name:

史密斯 肯布丽 or "金"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009

How (some) people roll here in Jing...

My agent took me for a ride on the back of her bike to hit up an ATM.

And in case you are wondering, no. We took a car to view the apartment.
This was a kind gesture on her part and gave me the real...
'Beijing on a Bike' experience.

No extra charge. ;-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One of my favorite features on my MAC...

I just want to pause for a moment and thank whoever came up with the 'view all application windows' on MAC OSX....

This feature has changed my work flow and allowed me to be my often seemingly random-self while maintaining a productive work flow! Far from more closely imitates the way I see things in my mind's-eye - as I am - grooving a long moment-to-moment. The 'view-all' screen is a nifty tool and GREAT reminder of the objects I am juggling in my mind that allows me to re-focus...not to mention easily shift between apps.

As technology becomes more advanced and user-friendly...It is becoming more and more 'cool' to be myself...a bit ADD and a lot Dyslexic, because it slowly allows a more fluid extension of my 'consciousness' as it is. These little advancements both shape and increasingly allow more intellectually-informed intuitive expression and for that I am deeply grateful!

I can't wait for a holographic and tactile interface!!! A please, let's not forget sound!

Thanks all you sexy-smart engineers that make this possible!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beijing, China - It's SMOG-o-rrific!

Well, Just a week after National day things here in Beijing have returned to normal.

What do I mean?

You know the song by the Eurythmics...Here come's the rain again? Just imagine that song with slightly different lyrics. Yes, replace 'rain' with the word 'smog' and you will have an idea of what it is like here in Beijing...after the holiday:

On Tuesday I looked outside the window and noticed that there was a distant haze. I had already been spoiled! Fresh Air, clear sky!

Sobered, I wondered how long it would take for the city to be engulfed in the approaching darkness.

This morning I awoke to find that, unlike a thief in the night time, smog had stolen the sun and didn't even attempt to hide it's presence.

I suppose it is something like awaking and having a burglar staring you in the face - laughing - as they casually walk out with the TV. Watching, putting up no fight...only thinking: that van lingering outside was suspicious!

Okay, perhaps it isn't that dramatic. But, only sort of.

I sure hope the weather makers that cleared things up for the holidays (that is the rumor going around campus) give us a few days of clear-sky again...

Otherwise: Hainan, here I come!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The weekend after...Walking around Tian'anmen today

National Center for the Performing Arts...

This is where I went to see the Lucerne Festival!

People, people...everywhere.

Yum Yums.

Left, right, left...

This man is sporting his 60 year sticker... Only saw about a million of those today.

Boys to the rescue...

I just like this one.

That thing I said in the previous blog about the guns? I take it back. Beijing SWAT team, in da house.

This kid was so excited to get some sugar-covered cherries! Yummy. His mom let me try one! No kidding. It was sooooo good! :)

He's such a poser...National Center for the Performing Arts.

Monument in Tian'anmen...



A massive official-looking building.

This is so typical in Beijing! Any space big enough to lay down is a nap spot!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Beijing on OCT 1 - photos from the street

What you will see are a few photos from an area just North/East of Tian'anmen Square. The entire area was blocked off for miles around Tian'anmen and what you will see is people going about daily life and an increase of security, police and military presence. I learned a lot about the area from local people. My schoolmate and I got as close as one could possibly get to the festivities...We actually got onto a restricted road where the dignitaries, ambassadors and those attending the festivities were being shuttled in an out.

Overall, the presence of authority in the area surrounding Tian'anmen was awesome. However, it was primarily the number of people that seemed impressive, but not in weapons. I have only seen a gun on police officers here once. Yes, the cops here don't have guns...

The popular shopping area, Wangfujing, was completely shut down. Below there are a couple of shots of police just standing on the vacant road. I have never seen Wangfujing empty and THAT was as impressive as the presence of authority.

I was extremely conservative with my photographs, for obvious reasons...But this might give you a little taste of life *around* the close as any human could get who wasn't actually in or attending the events.

(above) A very long day for Beijing Police standing in Wangfujing, vacant and a bit eerie.

Poor guys, military stood at attention most of the day. (Wangfujing Dajie/street) How do they keep from passing out?

Police presence doesn't always pimp it in the Audi's! Check out this trashy ride!!!

Volunteers wore these yellow shirts for National Day (above and below)

Motorcycle cop...I saw this guy many times today...

Locals riding past a government building, this building houses an, umh... "investigative" branch... (knocks at the door)

Security guards were in love with this female statue...

Men playing...chess?

Flags were all over the alleys and streets...
Military marching. Apparently this street houses...umh, yeah: important people. (again, knocks at door)
On the road leading to Tian'anmen - police and military escorted all of the dignitaries and guests who were attending the celebration...I have never seen so many black Audi A6's in my life. Glad to know the police also sport the Mercedes Benz.
My Schoolmate, TaoJing and I at WangFuJing tonight.