30 August 2008

Another Earthquake, 6.1 Mag, Hit Sichuan Province, Killing 25...

From Xinhuanet.com

PANZHIHUA, Sichuan, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- One more death was reported in Huili, a hard-hit county in Saturday's 6.1-magnitude quake, as of 11 a.m. on Sunday, bringing the death toll of the quake to 25.

Saturday's quake also left 192 people injured, and three more people missing in Huili, which falls under jurisdiction of Yi Autonomous Prefecture of Liangshan, a neighbor of Panzhihua City, the epicenter of Saturday's quake, according to Huili County Headquarters of Quake Control and Relief.

No other details are available for the newly found death at the moment.

The quake struck the juncture of Renhe District in Panzhihua and Huili County in Liangshan prefecture at 4:30 p.m. (Beijing time) on Saturday. The epicenter was about 50 km southeast of downtown Panzhihua, at 26.2 degrees north latitude and 101.9 degrees east longitude and at a depth of 10 km, according to the China Earthquake Administration.

Spicy Kimchi: Why Koreans are Hott!!!

Actress and pop star YoonA

Actor Hyun Bin

Dramatist Lee Ha Na

Koreans, as do many Northeastern Asians (e.g., undiluted Manchurians), have elevated noses, which along with almond-shaped eyes, give them an exotic Pan-Asian, Eurasian look that accounts for their hotness factor.

23 August 2008

Mrs. Thatcher in Her Sunset Years...

Source: bbcnews.com

Thatcher dementia fight revealed

The daughter of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher has spoken for the first time about her mother's struggle with dementia.

In her new book, serialised in the Mail on Sunday, Carol Thatcher says she first noticed her mother's memory was failing over lunch in 2000.

She says she "almost fell off her chair" seeing her mother struggle.

Baroness Thatcher, 82, had to be reminded several times her husband, Sir Denis, had died, Ms Thatcher says.

In her book, A Swim-On Part in the Goldfish Bowl: A Memoir, she tells of how her mother's "blotting-paper brain", which had always absorbed information, began to fail eight years ago - a decade after leaving power.

Mum started asking the same questions over and over again, unaware she was doing so
Carol Thatcher

The former Conservative prime minister got confused between Bosnia and the Falklands during a conversation about the war in the former Yugoslavia, Ms Thatcher writes.

"I almost fell off my chair. Watching her struggle with her words and her memory, I couldn't believe it," she says.

"She was in her 75th year but I had always thought of her as ageless, timeless and 100% cast-iron damage-proof."

The contrast was all the more striking because she had always had a memory "like a website", she writes.

'Repeated questions'

Ms Thatcher goes on to describe how telltale signs of dementia then began to emerge.

"Whereas previously you would never have had to say anything to her twice, because she'd already filed it away in her formidable memory bank, Mum started asking the same questions over and over again, unaware she was doing so.

"It might be something innocuous - such as 'What time is my car coming?' or 'When am I going to the hairdresser?' - but the fact she needed to repeat them opened a new and frightening chapter in our lives."

Ms Thatcher describes how she had to learn to be patient and that her mother "had an illness and that it wasn't personal".

"That's the worst thing about dementia: it gets you every time," she says.

"Sufferers look and act the same but beneath the familiar exterior something quite different is going on.

"They're in another world and you cannot enter."

Losing Sir Denis to pancreatic cancer in 2003 "was truly awful" for her mother, she says, "not least because her dementia meant she kept forgetting he was dead".

"I had to keep giving her the bad news over and over again.

"Every time it finally sank in that she had lost her husband of more than 50 years, she'd look at me sadly and say 'Oh', as I struggled to compose myself.

"'Were we all there?' she'd ask softly."

Series of strokes

On bad days her mother can "hardly remember the beginning of a sentence by the time she got to the end", she says.

But on good days there are flashes of her old self, and she retains a good memory of her time in office "as if her dementia had sharpened her powers of long-term recall", she adds.

Lady Thatcher, who was prime minister from 1979 to 1990, had a series of minor strokes in 2002 and was advised by doctors to stop making public speeches.

Friends of the Tory peer, who lives in central London, said earlier this year the strokes had affected her short-term memory.

But Ms Thatcher's book is believed to be the first time a family member has spoken publicly of her condition.

Lady Thatcher briefly returned to the limelight in September last year when she visited Downing Street as a guest of Gordon Brown.

She had won praise from the prime minister who described her as a "conviction politician".

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/24 01:54:46 GMT


16 August 2008

Step Aside Ian Thorpe, Zeus is in the House

Phelps perhaps the greatest

Beijing — It speaks to an athlete’s dominance when people cease comparing him to others in his era. It speaks to Michael Phelps’ rare dominance that the debate has left the pool. And the century.

Is he better than Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals in Berlin with Adolf Hitler watching?

Has he surpassed Carl Lewis, who equaled Owens’ four golds in Los Angeles, then won five more in the next three Olympics?

Do we reach back to a Soviet gymnast, Larissa Latynina, from the 1950s? A Finnish distance runner, Paavo Nurmi, from the ’20s? Nadia Comaneci, who was so otherworldly in Montreal that gymnastics scoreboards in ‘76 weren’t even equipped to post her perfect 10s, leaving fans perplexed over judges giving her only a “1.0” on floor exercise?

If Michael Phelps isn’t the greatest Olympian of all-time, he is at least in the argument.

If bling is the determining factor, it’s no contest. Phelps swam to seven gold medals in his first seven events, tying the record of Mark Spitz. He went for eight in the 4x100 medley relay this morning in Beijing.

Phelps’ two-Olympic resume now stands at 15 medals including relays (13 gold, two bronze), nine individual golds, eighth world records and four Olympic marks.

There is dominance. Then there is mind-numbing.

It’s like watching somebody open a laptop computer during the Stone Age.

“The problem,” said FINA executive director Cornel Marculescu, “is we have an extraterrestrial.”

We will forever remember Phelps not merely for his medals but how he got there. He swam the 200-meter butterfly in world-record time despite being partially blinded most of the race, his goggles filled with water. He won his seventh gold in the 100 butterfly, despite making the turn at 50 meters in seventh place. Serbia’s Milorad Cavic appeared to be out front as the two closed on the wall. But Phelps reached out with one of those long limbs of his and touched first.

The goggles. The reach. That special trait elite athletes have in finding ways to motivate themselves, even when sheer ability is good enough. Before the 100 butterfly, Phelps’ coach, Bob Bowman, told him of a Cavic quote in which the Serb declared: “It would be good for the sport if he loses. It would be good for him if he loses.” That’s all Phelps needed to hear.

Cavic swam a great race. He’s just not terribly bright. What could be better for a sport than having a superstar? What could be better for Phelps?

“Some people said [Spitz’s record] would be impossible to duplicate and that it wouldn’t happen,” he said. “It shows really that anything can happen. [Bowman] is the one who really helped me want to dream about anything. He’s the one who said, ‘Dream as big as you can.’ “

He wanted to change swimming. Check. A friend sent him text messages after the 100 butterfly about seeing the race live — on a JumboTron at a baseball game.

He wanted to change a sport. Instead he changed the argument.

Phelps vs. Spitz? It’s over.

Phelps vs. Owens? Phelps has the numbers. But Owens faced pressures we can’t possible imagine. He won events in two disciplines, running and long jump, whereas Phelps only swims.

Phelps vs. Lewis? Phelps surpassed him in gold medals. (Lewis won nine). But Lewis ran and jumped and competed in four Games. Then again, he didn’t take a daily sledgehammer to the record books. Phelps has done that.

Phelps vs. anybody from decades long ago? There are more competing nations today. But isn’t that true in every sport? Do we throw Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth out of baseball arguments because Barry Bonds faces more and better pitchers?

Nobody has ever dominated his sport like Phelps. But the talent pool is deeper in track than swimming. More athletes from more places.

He is fast — faster than we’ve ever seen and possibly ever will see. But sprints and jumps and long-distance running is so much harder on the body than swimming. Consider: Swimming is used to help runners rehab runners from injuries, not the other way around.

Greatest Olympian ever? The argument can’t be won. At least not yet.

“I’m sure,” Phelps said, “Bob and I can think of some other goals in the next four years.”


Korean pop star and actress Yoona. Her acting ability is a little weak, but she's only 18 (jealous!) and will undoubtedly improve. Look for her to cross the Pond into mainstream Hollywood some day soon...

09 August 2008

Christ Child and Yao Ming Led Chinese Delegation into the Olympic Stadium to Rousing Applause and Wild Excitement!!!!

A small Sichuanese boy named Lin Hao, who risked his own life to save his classmates after the deadly May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, led the Chinese Olympic delegation into the Beijing Olympic Stadium on Friday evening (8/8/08). He was accompanied by the delegation flag bearer Yao Ming, an NBA star athlete.

Jonathan Fairbank, editor of this Fairbank Report and Chairman of the Fairbank Group, has referred to Lin Hao as the Christ Child.


photo source: http://en.beijing2008.cn/photo/ceremonies/

Mayor of London, England (host of the 2012 Games) collapsed from sheer fright of the task to match the Chinese opening ceremony...

06 August 2008

dé·clas·sé hill billies

Thousands of ordinary visitors come to Beijing every year without donning (poorly designed and poorly constructed) face masks.

Millions of ordinary Beijingers go about their daily business without donning face masks.

Four American putative athletes wore their poorly designed and shabbily constructed (made in Alabama!) face masks as they arrived at the high-tech Beijing International Airport for the Olympics. We call them wussy prima donnas.

On the other hand, we forgive them as this was the first time these hill billies have actually set foot on an ultra-modern metropolis.