I know, it’s been a while, but I’m back. I’ve scheduled a few posts that I’d written, but not posted, so keep an eye out for those over the next week or so. I do want to try to keep posting here regularly, so here’s my attempt at trying this again. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep this up.
Currently reading: Mao: The Real Story by Alexander Pantsov and Steven I. Levine
I’m not very far into it, maybe 30 pages or so, but it’s pretty good. I photoed copied the pronunciation guide from the beginning of the book because I kept flipping back as I was reading. This’ll save both time and the book itself (I also, of course, made a copy for H, who is reading the book as well).
Music I’ve been listening to: Big Bang, 乔任梁 (Kimi Qiao), Céu, 方大同 (Khalil Fong), 周定緯 (Judy Chou), 許仁杰 (Stanly Hsu) and 潘裕文 (Pan Yu Wen).
It’s mostly Mandopop, with a couple others stuck in there. I’m awfully predictable.
What I’m watching: Time Between Dog and Wolf (kdama), Nice Guy (kdrama) and rewatching Story of a Man/A Man’s Story (kdrama). I’ve also watched The Hobbit (it was okay and yes, it was just okay).
And now, some links of note:
- (from my dad) Robert Fulford: A vested interest in palimpsest (National Post) an interesting article about a word I’m note even sure I’m pronouncing correctly, and it’s fascinating history.
- Review of Wang, Zheng, Never Forget National Humiliation: Historical Memory in Chinese Politics and Foreign Relations (H-Net Online) I really want to read this book, even though it’s probably going to be upsetting.
- China: Last Words of 19 Tibetans Who Committed Self-Immolation (Global Voices) A very good article about a very difficult topic. The last words are heartbreaking, but give a window into the lives of Tibetans.
- Barnet library squatters to be evicted, judge rules Squatters, who have filled Friern Barnet library shelves with 8,000 books, handed six-week stay of execution before eviction (Guardian)
- The Holdout (Now I Know) A short, but interesting, article about a Japanese soldier who kept fighting World War II until 1974. I really want to read his biography.
- A rat in a box (no, really, it’s adorable) (The Animal Blog)
- Is this a toilet? (PassiveAggressiveNotes) All of these things are not toilets, even though they might look like them.
- Worried About the End of the World on Dec. 21? Don’t Be. (Bad Astronomy)
Happy Holidays, everyone!
If you know me personally, or have read my about page, you know that I’ve got a thing for mandopop. There’s just something about Mandarin that I like. I mean, I like listening to Korean music (CNBlue, anyone?), but I really love the way Mandarin sounds. My friend H used the following analogy when I was trying to explain it to her; it’s like the difference between listening to German music and French music. You might like them both (and I do), but there’s just something about the French language that just sounds different/prettier. That’s how I feel about Mandarin. And while there are a lot of singers who I like, one of the guys who does it best is Yoga Lin.
He’s 24 years old and from Taiwan (which seems to be something of a theme for me). I really like his music, there’s something different about it. I recently purchased a copy of his second album, Senses Around (感官/世界) and I really like it. The above song is called 飄 (Gone With the Wind) and is my favorite off of that album. It’s slower than most of his songs, which generally sound like a mix of Sonndre Lerche, Rufus Wainwright and Wouter Hamel. The songs are a little poppy, but have this light, almost jazzy feel to them.
I really need to get actual cd copies of his other two cds, Mystery Guest (神秘嘉賓) and Perfect Life (美妙生活). But when I was driving home home from work one Thursday, I wasn’t quite in the mood for my audio book (A Wizard of Earth Sea) so I put Senses Around on and I couldn’t believe what good driving music it was (after I told H that it totally wasn’t good for that, I was so wrong).
Even though I don’t understand what he’s saying (yet), I just like the way he sings. His voice is really sweet and fun, and there’s just something comforting about the music. You can busy his music on YesAsia and listen to him sing/talk about YouTube.
I know, I haven’t updated it over a week. Things got a bit busy (at life/work/etc), but I’m updating again and will try to do better. So, have your Friday links, but on Saturday, because I can.
- China dissident Chen Guangcheng heads for US (BBC) Ever since Chen escaped from house arrest and showed up at the US Embassy, I’ve been following this story pretty closely. I’m relieved that he and his family finally were able to get out of China, but it’s clear that there are a lot of forces at work and not all of them good. Especially because Chen’s family and friends have been beaten/attacked by Chinese government officials. While I’m interested in Chinese culture (both history and popular), there are still plenty of things wrong over there.
- May 16th’s Astronomy Picture of the Day is absoutely stunning: Star Formation in the Tarantula Nebula (APOD/NASA)
- Two articles (relevant to me) about Comcast and their datacap of 250Gb. I download/stream a lot of stuff, but I’ve never come close to 200GB, much like 250GB. I find it interesting that Comcast is getting rid of the 250GB limit and possibly making it 300GB, with the option to buy more. I don’t think it’ll have any impact on me, but it’s interesting, none the less. Comcast suspends 250GB data cap—for now and Comcast answers data cap questions (Ars Technica)
- File-Sharing Is Linked to Depression, Researchers Find (TorrentFreak) I’m just sharing this post because it’s hilarious, placed in the context of the fact that when I was in college, a friend of mine and I were in a course called Religion in Popular Culture. For our final project, we managed to do a presentation/report about how downloading music could be a religious experience. We totally got an A, too.
- I’ve always been a big fan of renewable energy and wind farms are completely awesome and fascinating to me. So I totally hope this ends up working: East coast wind grid gets a go ahead (Ars Technica)
- Flight of the rays (KQED) I’m not sure how to describe this, except that that’s a lot of manta rays, amazing, and it reminds me of scenes from Jurassic Park and a children’s book of my sisters, about a dinosaur (but I can’t remember the name of it*).
- And now for the fun stuff: Vampire Prosecutor vs. Vampire Idol (Dramabeans): I adore VP and desperately want to watch VI, and this Thing vs. Thing just makes me want to watch it more; some adorable pictures of my favorite mandopop singer JJ Lin (fyjjlin) at the Singapore e-awards (that vest is totally doing it for me); and, lastly, my favorite kpop band, CNBlue, posing like the Beatles (cnbjonghyun).
*My sister suggested that the book I’m thinking of is Maia: A Dinosaur Grows Up by John R. Horner