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2013-12-28

Forth trip to China

My forth trip to China are to be two weeks spent from New Year on in Beijing and Harbin.

2013-12-08

Mia's first film

At a time when Mia hadn't even seen a full child program, Maximilian and I took her to see the exhibition in Malmö showing Soviet avant garde from the 1920's. In one of the rooms a film was just about to start, so we sat down to watch it thinking it would be a 10-15 minutes documentary or something to add understanding to the exhibition. This it was not! It was for future films highly influential Sergei Eisenstein's black and white mute Strike from 1925 - and it is 1,5 hours long!

Mia sat through it all, and like Max said, sometimes laughed at the wrong time - to everyone's amusement. The last 15 minutes or so she got a bit bored just sitting and watching, so we walked a little in the background instead.

How many can say their first move was Soviet avant garde from the 20's? Go Mia!

 

2013-10-22

Mia's first steps without holding hand

Mia just had her first Bambi on the ice-moments. She did her first few shaky seconds yesterday, but today it seemed to be the most fun thing in the world to practice at.

Soon I figure we'll loose a lot of weight having to run after her all the time :P

2013-08-09

Nothing new on the western front

At place four of most important news in Sweden today - Supplies of ice cream sprinkles are almost run out in all of Sweden... It really can't be happening all that much right now. Which also, sadly, means this utterly pointless post of mine then actually has no less news value than what any Swedish newspapers manage to produce. Quite sad.

2013-08-05

SiFi on political systems future

How do various SiFi stories describe the societies in their worlds? I found this picture with Mad Max describing the libertarian society in being, just as well as the Star Trek Federation plays out in a highly socialistic society. Well, it's only SiFi, but what sane person would choose to strive for the first... mmm, interesting... future?

Since Mulder in X-files are all about fighting the future one can wonder how much he knows of this. Since he's fighting little green men - it must be the space scenario. Since he's fighting a government within a government it must be Spock that is his Moriarty. Quite elementary... ahum.

2013-07-26

Not much (new) under the sun

Not much difference from a Roman bikini to today's. I wonder if it were more expensive the less cloth it had in those days too.

Original post at Ancient People with more explanation to it

2013-07-17

Water Cities in Chinia

I've never been to Venice (or it's more beautiful sounding Italian name, Venezia), but like many other I have some fascination for water cities, and think they are very beautiful. China Daily just run a post with the 10 most pretty Chinese water cities (pictures and most of the text here are taken from that page). Let's already plan in to visit some of this nice list.

Nanxun
Located 30 kilometers (18.64 miles) east of Huzhou, Zhejiang province, the Ancient Town of Nanxun is a well-known for its rich cultural heritage, boasting a history that dates back 760 years. It was founded in 1252, towards the the end of Emperor Chunyou's reign in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). As one of the most well-preserved old towns in the region, Nanxun Ancient Town is now among the top six ancient towns situated in Southern China.

2013-07-12

Glass Terminator

A friend of mine has a cool job (for those of us who like grown up toys that blinks), and he got hold of a Google Glass for developers. As if he had a choice he brought it over here for us to play with too. And it was fun and quite an easy interface. Although I don't see myself running to buy one when on the day they will be released, I have no problem seeing how this will change a lot of how we interact with things for many years ahead. And in a few versions it probably will be very small and smooth to use, and then develop from geek to common.

This page wrote what sounded like a very honest long time test review of today's Google Glass development edition http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/20/4339446/google-glass-apps-everything-you-can-do-right-now

Yes, this is me taking a picture of myself.

And suddenly you get pictures from all kinds of unusual angles.

2013-07-06

Shame of a nation

There's those days when you are really ashamed of your country, and today is such a one. EU wanted a full explanation to, and a full complete stop by the USA's conducting espionage on EU citizens, industry, institutions and politicians (US aren't limited to EU of cause, but EU only concerns about themselves here). All EU nations were in favour but two - Sweden and UK. And since that's to few to stop a resolution the two instead resorted to using it's veto to stop EU from going forward with this. Who refused? But of cause it was Carl Bildt who would not give in. Sweden's foreign minister, a man who among other has been caught giving Swedish classified information to the US previously would come to no surprise putting US interest before his own country and citizens this time as well. And today his masters will once again pet him nicely on the head, 'good boy' to you our loyal lackey. Does anyone have even the slightest doubt how he would have reacted had it been any other nation then USA who conducted the surveillance?

There was a time when Sweden had people who could stand up to a bullier in the school yard, telling them to stop. Most nations and people are passive bystanders, but now a days Sweden only seems to be able to breed the bullier's trusted companions. The ones who gladly stand slightly behind their "hero" cheering on. Being happy to be on the "winning side", feeling worm inside every time they get a recognition, not caring so much about morality in general as long as it helps themselves, and especially as long as it means not being the victim themselves. Sadly never maturing enough to know the bullier don't really care about them either.

So in the end EU will now only bring up talks about computer and network safety on a joint level. I'm really ashamed.

2013-07-02

The truth about all countries in this world, pervertedly so, calling themselves democratic

- How many voters does it take to change a light bulb?
- None. Because voters can’t change anything.

This true words I copied from http://williamblum.org/aer/read/109

2013-06-19

Fattigdom

[Ursprungligen från 2010] Nu har jag fått förfrågningen om fattigdomen och misären som alla hört att nästan alla kineser lever i att det är dags att skriva lite.

Som jag själv skrev i början på min resa så blev jag förvånad över att den levnadsstandard jag såg var väldigt hög, och undrade hur det skulle se ut utanför centrala delar samt på landsbygden, men fortsatte att bli förvånad även om jag givetvis såg vad vi tveklöst skulle definiera som väldigt fattiga.

Den klassiska bilden på folk som lever på mindre än 1$ om dagen visar hela västvärlden på <2% och Kina på 6-20%. Svänger vi däremot frågan lite och istället kollar FN:s definition på fattigdom, dvs att ha råd att köpa mat, bostad, kläder, sjukvård/medicin så ändras bilden rejält. För egentligen säger väl vad man får för pengarna betydligt mer än antalet dollar? Svenskar t ex behöver mindre i plånboken då mycket betalas genom vårt välfärdssystem och därmed har vi t ex högre köpkraft versus vad vår plånbok skulle visa. Så hur många har råd att leva ovanför fattigdomsgränsen inom sitt land? Jo, då har Kina 10% fattigdom (1) medan USA ligger på 12% (2) och EU ska tydligen totalt ha 17% (3).

Här tror jag nog Kina och EU är lättast att jämföra, de tycks liksom oss inte ha en generell fattigdom på jämn nivå, utan snarare områden såsom Sydeuropa och framför allt gamla Östeuropa. Men jag kan ju ha helt fel i det antagandet liksom i så mycket annat :)

[Tillägg 2013]: Jag hör ofta frågan om inte Kina kommer att gå under snart eftersom det numera är så stor ekonomisk skillnad mellan rik och fattig, mellan stad och landsbygd. Med så stora klyftor kan väl inte ett land överleva?

Även om klyftan ökat stort under stor del av de senaste 20 åren så är sanningen att Kina idag har så gott som samma klyftor som dagen USA. Jämlikhet mäts av något kallat ginikoefficienten vilket är ett mått på hur stor spridning ett lands förmögenhet har. Där 0 innebär att alla har lika mycket, och 1 (eller 100) innebär att en besitter allt. Kina hade 0,470 år 2005 (4) vilket ökat till 0,474 år 2012 (5). Kina ser idag ojämlikheten som något negativt och försöker förbättra för de sämre ställda på olika vis, och gini faller långsamt varje mätning sedan år 2008 (6), då den som högst låg på 0,491. Roar vi oss med att titta på USA så låg den 2010 på 0,469 (7) vilket är upp från före finanskrisen då den låg på 0,450. För att kunna relatera till dessa siffror kan sägas att Sverige är mer jämlikt men har ökat från en gini på 0,250 år 2000 till 0,320 2009.

Så varför upplevs det så olika? Kanske har det med historia att göra. Möjligen ser man ojämlikheten starkare om man kommer från ett samhälle som tidigare varit mer jämlikt, versus om man kommer från ett samhälle där den fattige "får skylla sig själv" (vilket är lustigt sagt i kapitalismen som av lag i sin modell kräver just sådana).

Om sedan ett gini är bättre på 0,250 eller 0,491 är såkart upp till var och en. Själv är det knappast en hemlighet att jag tycker att ett land med 0,250 är ett land jag generellt hellre bor i.

Så varför har vi en sådan skev bild som vi har av Kina? Kanske för att enligt samma statistik hade Kina 64% fattigdom 1979, och det fortfarande är den vi förväntar oss?

  1. Wiki. Biståndsnämnden LO-TCO säger mellan 8 och 12%. Hittar inget bättre. Dock är båda från 2004 och kan knappast tänka mig att det är annat än lägre idag.
  2. U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. Census Bureau. 2008.
  3. Europeiska året för bekämpning av fattigdom och social utestängning, Europeiska kommissionen 2010.
  4. The World Bank
  5. Reuters från Kinas National Bureau of Statistics
  6. Detta skulle med tidsramen i åtanke kunna bero på de förändringar som Hu Jintao och Wen Jiabaos, som tog över stegvis från 2002-2005, införde om att utveckling inte enbart är ekonomisk, utan styrde mot att förbättra sociala förhållanden (och andra områden som ekonomisk utveckling berör negativt). Framför allt "New socialist countryside" samt "Socialist Harmonious Society".
  7. U.S. Census Bureau

2013-06-18

Mia sits by herself for the first time

Mia had a great day today. First she rolled onto her tummy from her back for the first time (the other way around had worked for some time), but what made her more happy was that for the first time she sat all by herself without any support. I know the photo isn't really showing it since she leans a little towards the pillow on the right side, but hey, it's not easy to run and first collect the camera and take a photo before her small muscles gets tired enough to lean a little.

2013-06-13

Depeche Mode

Xue got me the Depeche Mode concert in Copenhagen 2013 as my Christmas gift. I almost spoiled it when I found out they were to hold the concert and send out a note to everyone asking if anyone wanted to join - it was supposed to be a surprise!

It all ended well with me being surprised with finding Rolf and Tuffe next to our seats, so it all worked out as planned by them.



The song that stood out the most for me was how they changed the intro of Personal Jesus to half speed.

And they finished a job well done with Xue's (and my mother's) favourite, Never Let Me Down Again. A song that has the most impressive sound table I've heard.

On our way there I notice someone had taken their job very seriously. Out of the ~3,5 km long underground part of the Öresundsbro, only three lamps were out of order!

The next day we went back into Copenhagen to have lunch with Rolf and Tuffe at Slotskælderen which is a very nice little place for smørrebrød in the city centre that warmly can be recommended. Tuffe also "liberated" Mia for almost the whole time - ah, the freedom! (was it me or Mia who said that?)



2013-05-24

See you again next time

And that was it for the third trip. Without spoiling some news, it seems that September 2014 will be next time I have to struggle with Chinese alcohol and language.

2013-05-21

Fish food

Rolf and Tuffe treated us to a quite different thing, a fish foot massage cleaning. You put your feet into the tank filled with hundreds of suck fishes for 40 minutes. The face on the ticklish people were absolutely wonderfully fun to watch.

2013-05-20

Long ji rice terraces

Yet another day in Yangshuo who had enormous amount of rain during the night, but fine and sometimes even sunny for when we reached our final destination of the rice terraces at Lóng jí (龙脊). We had a nice driver on our way there, but the final kilometres went with a special bus - and he was crazy! A small dwindling road with almost constant scarps on one side of the road to be taken in 80 km an hour as most... Luckily the driver on the way down was more sane and as such helped our sanity.

Since we survived the first part, we aimed at sweating to death instead by walking on the steep trails this humid and warm day. We did wuss out a little by the end though, and took a cableway on the way down (the official story though is that it was getting late - which is was).

When I asked on the final day what people had enjoyed the most, the consensus was that this was it.
























2013-05-19

Mia, the Buddhist Monk

In China you shave the hair of the new born so that it should grow out thicker and darker. I've seen how true that saying is for every boy who gets his first moustache - who the boys sadly often lack the understanding of doing the first shaving being so proud of it. Back to the story, this is now what happened to little Mia. I managed to postpone it till after the wedding, but she still had to get bald on her 4,5 month day. Then again, at this age it should be grown out again for her in one month!

Oh, and it was done when we were in Guilin, so Mia can't blame us for it! :D



There and back again - an electrical car adventure in Yangshuo

The morning started with rain, that went away by the time we had a shower (ours were inside the hotel though, and not in the open). A lovely breakfast of mix and match by a lake, and then onto our adventure. As the superathletics we are, we rented an electrical car! We try to tell ourselves it was motivated with having walked so much for so many days in a row, but the honest answer is that we were just pure lazy and it seemed like fun.

The electrical car wasn't really what you impress with on Autobahn, but we could actually catch up a few bikers, although mainly the bikers that were 80+





The street lights are so beautiful




Assembling Dragon Cave




Elementary my dear Watson, water plus electricity gives electric shocks if combined.



Along the road



Butterfly cave and climb






Oups, aren't Mia with us? What shall we then blame our childishness on???