Thursday, June 28, 2007

If You're Diabetic Don't Take Amtrak

Update: July 30, 2007 @ 8:56am

They found him! (video from Thank God he's okay.


Okay, this piece of news enrages me: Diabetic Man Kicked Off LA-Bound Train, Now Missing.

Video covering the story from in Los Angeles:

Amtrak abadoned a diabetic man at a railroad crossing. To make it worse Roosevelt Sims is 65 and this railroad crossing was in the middle of nowhere.

I don't swear much when I'm writing my blogs but what the fuck!!!!?

What kind of stupid people work for Amtrak that they're unaware that some people have special needs and those needs are often not obvious. Like the doctor says in the video there is no way to know. However, shouldn't Amtrak train their staff to ASK DETAILED QUESTIONS?

Now, I don't take the train in the States and I definitely won't now that I've heard this. When I fly I almost always order a diabetic meal and, even if I don't order a special meal, I tell my flight attendant that I'm diabetic (they always check if you've ordered a meal.) But I don't think they have catered meals on Amtrak trains. The time I took the Orient Express from Vienna to Paris we got a meal in the morning but I boarded the train in the evening in Vienna after stopping at Subway to get a sandwich. The experience is the same on the high speed Eurostar and Thalys trains. You just get up and go get something when you're hungry. On Amtrak you just get food from whatever is there too, right? I dunno...really, just asking here.

There is no way to know a person is a diabetic just like there is no way to know a person has high blood pressure or heart disease. You can't see it, but if any of these diseases or conditions act up people need to stop and think. It also helps if the person is wearing a Medic Alert braclet or pendant (I just ordered a new one a few weeks ago.) However, you still have to think to look for the bracelet.

If you've hung around my blog a bit you know I'm an insulin dependent diabetic. I wear an insulin pump and there is always a risk that at times my blood sugar will drop. In fact, it happened last night, but I felt it coming on and got a cup of apple juice.

It happens because with my type of diabetes, type 1 (insulin dependent) your body doesn't make insulin or, for type 2's, your body is having trouble producing insulin. Diabetics have to try to keep our blood sugar levels in a very tight normal range. If it goes too low you have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar:

Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, occurs when your blood glucose (blood sugar) level drops too low to provide enough energy for your body's activities.
This article also goes on to describe some symptoms:

Symptoms of hypoglycemia include

* hunger
* nervousness and shakiness
* perspiration
* dizziness or light-headedness
* sleepiness
* confusion
* difficulty speaking
* feeling anxious or weak

Hypoglycemia can also happen while you are sleeping. You might

* cry out or have nightmares
* find that your pajamas or sheets are damp from perspiration
* feel tired, irritable, or confused when you wake up
This list isn't exhaustive. Also, it doesn't hit upon on thing that is very common. A diabetic who is having an insulin reaction might appear to be drunk or intoxicated.A diabetic who is that deep into a reaction probably isn't coherent and even if you ask "are you okay?" you're probably not going to get an answer that describes the situation. Basically, if your friend is diabetic and they're acting strange get something sweet for them like orange juice and ask questions AFTER they've gotten their blood sugar back up. Also, the list of symptoms doesn't touch upon hypogylcemia unawareness which is a condition where the diabetic can't even sense their glucose level is dropping. Stress also contributes to being less likely to pick up on your blood sugar dropping low.

Actually, this happened to me this term. It was my last term, I was working and I was a stressed out mess. One evening I was in class. I'd had a brownie I'd bought a bake sale for our department and had taken extra insulin to cover it. Well, I took too much insulin, so at the end of class I got really drowsy and I had other symptoms. I always carry sugar tablets and juice with me. However, I've noticed when I'm stressed I'll mistake those low blood sugar symptoms for stress. Then I'll get more and more confused and eventually someone has to figure it out for me.

Well, it happens that this past term I had two classes back to back. I just put my head down on the desk and clearly looked like I was sleeping when the next class started. The people around me most of whom know I'm diabetic because I don't hide it for the very reason should something go wrong I want them to remember I'm sick. This also includes my professor because I also told him I was diabetic. No one initially figured it out. I actually had some classmates say they thought I was just sleeping or that I might have been drinking (offensive as why would I start boozing it up in class when I'd never done it before...stupid, stupid, stupid.)

It took me being passed out face first on the desk for over an hour for a classmate to figure out I needed help. She's from Jamaica and I do think the culture where taking charge is good caused her to step up when she saw that questions from the professor were going unanswered. She got me a soda and a snack and slowly my glucose level got back to normal. However, I still have no recollection of what happened during that couple of hours except for selected bits. I also had experience with it early this past semester because I was taking too much insulin and my activity level spiked which left me with too much insulin and nothing digest I was passing out or coming close more often than not.

Anyway, at least in Korea for all the whining foreigners do about rude Koreans, the people helped me out in all but one of those emergencies were Korean where verbal communication was limited. Having people around you be helpful and aware is crucial when you are unaware of what's happening and can't help yourself. It also brings home that it's necessary to pay attention and not just go on superficial assessments.

I hope they find Mr. Sims is alive and well. Last I heard they'd traced phone calls from his phone somewhere in Arizona. When they do find him I hope that Amtrak and its employees get an ass-whipping for just being plain stupid.

If you're going to cater to the general public then be ready to deal with the needs of the general public. It would have been much easier for the fools at Amtrak to give the man a glass of orange juice than to toss him off the train.

More links:

American Diabetes Association: Hypoglycemia
Diabetes Health: Amtrak Abandons Diabetic Man at Lonely Railroad Crossing
KTAR News: Police: Diabetic Man Missing After Being Kicked Off Train


What's interesting is I didn't mention race but Mr. Sims is a black man (that's clear if you want the news clips.) I can't help but wonder if they would have put Mr. Smith out in the middle of a national park. I wonder.


Sphere: Related Content

iPhone Mania

Update: July 16, 2007 @ 12:09pm

I knew the Will It Blend people would get around to the iPhone.

Pure silliness

Everybody knows that the iPhone can make phone calls, play movies & music, surf the web, and a lot more. But, Will It Blend? That is the question.

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Update: June 30 @ 7:38am
Oh lookey what I got in my email straight from Apple's marketing department! We're a day ahead here so this arrived back home when the iPhones were about to go on sale.


I'm nowhere near a store that will sell an iPhone. However, I got caught up in and blogged about the iPhone mania when Steve Jobs announced it at MacWorld this year. Plus, I'm a former loyal Mac user who will probably come back to the fold once they release their new OS that allows you to run both the Apple OS and a Windows OS. The big reason for the switch was I was in South Korea where PCs dominate the market to the point that Mac stores are just an anomaly and it was a case of "when in Rome..." However, even here, more Apple stores are poppiing up and with surge of the iPod I'm seeing people get and using Apple computers.

Anyway, last night I was talking about the iPhone's release back home. The person I was speaking to thought it wouldn't be successful, but it was because of things like a lack of a keyboard to which I pulled out the mobile keyboard I use* with my current Palm Tungsten T5 PDA. I think if it becomes a huge issue, Apple can create one of these to solve that problem. Of course, I'm assuming one thing: the iPhone has or can create an IrDA port. That's how my PDA sends data. There are no plugs or wires just a weak infrared signal.

I found this review on where Walt Mossberg gives the iPhone a very positive review. Check it out and run and get in line ;-)

* I took it next to a CD (that's The Essential Earth, Wind & Fire, btw) so you can get an idea of scale. It works like a dream and helped me write my thesis on the go (coffee houses, trains, libraries, etc.)

iPhone Mania links:

BBCNews: Fans turn out for 'rock star' iPhone
WCBStv: iPhone Campers Sell Places In Line For Hundreds
Associated Press on Yahoo!: IPhone Launch Day Arrives
Washington Post: The iPhone As Crowning Achievement? Um, Hel-lo?


Sphere: Related Content

Monday, June 25, 2007

Cool? No Doubt!

This is mondo exciting!

No Doubt reunited for two songs at Gwen Stefani's concert on Friday, June 15th at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, California (that's Orange County for you non-SoCal natives.)

Not much to say except I can't wait for the official reunion. Enjoy!


Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, June 24, 2007

FTA Protests? 저기!

Ah! Remember a few weeks back when US and South Korea finally settled on an FTA agreement? I basically wondered where all of these enraged protests were 'cause I'd not seen many at all. Well, maybe it's just that I was in the wrong place.

I decided to get my cat a bag of Cat Chow because Whiskas is barf inducing for Ms. Kitty. However, I made the choice of going to the Kim's Club in NewCore Outlet. Kim's Club is a supermarket across from the Express Bus Terminal in Seoul and for awhile I shopped there quite a bit because I used to commute to work using that terminal and the fact that it is open 24 hours reminds me of home.

Anyway, in this center they also have a Starbucks, McDonalds, A Body Shop, a Marks and Spencer and maybe some other chains from western countries.

I get there only to see a line of tour buses. Now that I think about it, I should have snapped a picture of those too. I walk to the center and there are riot police blocking the entrances. This is bad, cause dammit, I want my bag of cat food!

But it's a no go on that. I didn't even try because the riot police were between protestors and the doors. Now they'd stationed themselves at the entrances of the two biggest retail symbols of American globalization: McDonalds and Starbucks.

I realized it was a lost cause and turned to take the bus home. I'll have to swing by to grab that Cat Chow later. Then I heard a whistle and some chanting and suddenly the protestors tried to rush the doors to get in. I don't know what happened after that, but I saw my first angry FTA protest first hand yesterday.

With that said, now I have to finish this up, so I can meet someone at another symbol of American globalization: Dunkin Donuts.


Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 21, 2007

B.S. - Hacker claims Harry Potter's alleged ending on Web

Update: July 19, 2007 @ 6:36pm

Now how did I miss this bit of news?

New Harry Potter Book Leaked Onto Bit Torrent

Honestly, like I say later in this post, I think there are going to be tons of "leaks".

However, some are quite dangerous to your computer and bit torrent can be. The release date is so close that it pretty much defeats the whole purpose.

BTW, I did get a leak of the epilogue and let me just say I'm not telling. Wait until the book is released, but I did smile when I read it. Either way, thanks my elitist Oxford-educated friend ;).

Basically, don't bother with bit torrents. These leaks probably have bad stuff bundled with them and, from what the article says, the scan is low quality too. It just might be a fake. Fake or not, since this book as been on pre-order for months now, I doubt that Perez is right that J.K. Rowling or anyone at Scholastic is "majorly bummed."

If you just have to know, contact this guy: The Voice of Harry Potter Can Keep a Secret


Okay, I wrote a Harry Potter post back in August when JK Rowling said more major characters were set to die in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which is the end of the series. Of course, this set everyone speculating whether it would be Harry or one or both of his friends, Hermione or Ron.

I'm going to be honest here. I got the last Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as a gift. A friend had finished it, she was leaving Korea and traveling on. She passed it on to me. I feel bad that I've not yet finished reading it and it has been collecting dust under my bed since late August.*

With that 'Half-Blood Prince unread under my bed' guilt that I've been carrying these last few months, I thought this was an interesting headline: Hacker claims Harry Potter's alleged ending on Web.

I went over to the hacker site to read the alleged ending.

I'm making the following points because the hacker's site says this:

So we make this spoiler to make reading of the upcoming book useless and boring...

It's amazing to see how much people inside the company have copies and drafts of this book.

Curiosity killed the cat.
First, the hacker mentions he used "the easiest" way to hack in was how he got it. I don't think it's "amazing to see" at all.

Now my thing is in a huge money making enterprise like Harry Potter and with full knowledge that people are going to try to hack, steal, bribe and engage in all sorts of deals to get their hands on the top secret ending. If I were in the ranks of the people that matter at Bloomsbury Publishing, I would have some computers with moderate protection, because you can't make it too easy for the hackers. These computers would have decoy copies of the final book saved there.

Has this guy never seen Star Wars: A New Hope? They let them get away in the Millennium Falcon and then tracked them to the rebel base. It was there that the Empire armed with the Death Star tried to destroy them!

Same thing here, except that, as far as I know, the hacker hasn't been blown up.

If I were on this project there would be decoy after decoy set up to put people off the trail. If it was that easy to get it to and there were that many copies floating about, then it's not the real ending.

I'd be amazed that many people have genuine draft copies at all. I think this hacker has been duped.

But if he's correct, then I know who dies. However, I'm still buying and reading the book.

More links:
BBC News: Hacker claims Potter book spoiler
The Money Times: Hacker claims to have Potter plot

*In my defense, it's been a busy year of playing the roles of both grad student and college that it's over I think I'll be picking up many things I dropped when school started last August.


Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dear Dad - Happy Father's Day

My dad, a long time ago ;)

Like Mother's Day, Father's Day is always bittersweet for me.

As I've been spending almost all of my time putting in work to finish up this master's, I think of them both a lot because they always pushed me to pursue my education.

Although, I know they would be pleased that I'm still challenging myself. I think by now they would be saying "okay, enough school already...get married and have some kids!" Actually, my mom would be saying that. My would probably be outside mowing the lawn.

I realized pretty early on that I was a really lucky kid. My dad was around. I saw him everyday. He worked. There were rarely fights between my parents and, when there were, he didn't start them. The stories my friends had were much different, so I'd hit the parent jackpot.

He was just a really nice, gentle and hard-working man. He loved me oodles and was always there when I needed him.

Isn't that funny that contradicts all the stereotypes of black men and particularly about black fathers? However, it's not just black men.

In general, men get harsh evaluations:
Given the right combination of chemistry and culture, good fathering is a varied and highly sustainable resource--one that's just waiting to be tapped.
However, I think that might be one big reason I've not rushed into relationships. It's hard finding one like my dad.

I'm lucky. I know that.

RIP, dad. I love you and I miss you.

From your very lucky daughter.

Quote from The Psychology of Fatherhood at


Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 15, 2007

Stepha Henry Missing Since May 29th, Miami-Dade

Just helping out because the media hasn't picked up on this story and I decided to do my part and spread the word.

Stepha Henry, 22, was last seen in Miami at Pepper's Cafe. She's been missing since that evening, May 29, 2007.

Here is an article from the Miami Herald: Missing grad's mom seeks answers

Here is her photo:

If you've seen her please contact:



More Links:
USA Today: On Deadline Blog: Who is Stepha Henry?
CSB: Crime Scene Blog: Missing: Stepha Henry
John Ridley on The Huffington Post: Missing White Girl Syndrome Ends Here


Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

That Last Push

Today is my mom's birthday, but she's been dead and gone for a few years now. However, of course, I still think about her quite often. Happy Birthday momma!

Today is also the day before my last two finals in my international studies program. I thought I'd post the essential items I have here with me in my office to help me study. I have one more class to teach in about 30 minutes and then I'll rush back here, order take out (probably sushi - 초밥, "cho bap", as they call it here) and then I'll study until it's time to take the last bus back to Seoul.

The items:

Wish me luck!


Sphere: Related Content

Friday, June 8, 2007

It Shouldn't be About This: MADD Statement

Update 1 (Oct. 6, 2007 @ 11:23pm)

I've been avoiding this video but, for some reason, I had to watch it tonight. Maybe that feeling of watching someone of privlege get roasted even for a bit of time was something I needed to see? Eh, I'll sort it out in therapy.

Anyway, here is the Letterman interview from late Sept. where he wouldn't lay off the jail questions.

She handled it well.


Dammit! I'm so angry. I'll frequently go to sleep with CNN on the TV simply because I'm so busy right now that I think even news while I sleeping is better than no news.

Anyway, EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE knows that poor Paris Hilton has been sent back to jail. If someone doesn't know, they either live in a cave or under a rock somewhere. However, this shouldn't be about a crying heiress who can afford to hire a driver. What it should be about is summed up by a statement from MADD which I've quoted below.

This is an heiress to chose to get behind the wheel of her car drunk. This is an heiress who chose to violate the terms of her parole and drive without a license. This is an heiress who couldn't even be courteous to the court and show up on time, I believe.

I'm not one to use Al Sharpton as a source, but I will this time. I heard that he said on CNN that had Ms. Hilton been a daughter of a poor white coal miner or the daughter of a rich Black rapper, she would still be in jail.

Speak...speak Reverend Sharpton!

This is bullshit because we know if it was me in jail having a nervous breakdown they'd pull my crying diabetic ass off the floor, check my blood sugar and give me an insulin shot, maybe they'd give me an asprin and a few days in the medical ward, but I wouldn't be going anywhere.

Also, there is an article on that hit it right on the head. If you don't know, Fox is a US news network on the conservative side of the fence, so to have them saying it and agreeing with Sharpton makes it worth quoting.

Al Sharpton Is Right About Paris Hilton by John Gibson

Al Sharpton is right.

Today when Paris Hilton got sprung from jail 20 days early — from a sentence that was just half of what was originally imposed — the story turned out to be that Paris' shrink went to the jailers and said she was about to have a nervous breakdown. So they let her go home early with an ankle bracelet. Sharpton immediately said there may have been racism involved here.

Look, when he's right he's right. No matter what you think of Rev. Al, it is hard to imagine that anywhere in America a black woman is getting out of jail today because her shrink says she's about to have a nervous breakdown. He says it wouldn't happen, and I agree.

It shouldn't happen either. It shouldn't happen with "little miss just anybody," whether she's African-American or white or Asian or Hispanic or anything. And it shouldn't have happened with Paris Hilton.

Was it because she's white? Maybe just a bit, but more likely it happened because she's rich and her parents can make lawyers and shrinks work round the clock to move mountains. In fact, when this little rich white girl gets her way by throwing a hissy fit it illustrates that celebrities and rich people can make things happen that others cannot.

During the O.J. trail we used to say it wasn't so much black and white in play but green. O.J. had money, so he could hire the best and fight back. Many white people have that advantage, while with African-Americans, not so much.

Somewhere in America there must be a young African-American girl in jail who should get what Paris Hilton got today: a pass. Is it going to happen? Unless she's got a rich daddy and a high-priced shrink and a slick lawyer, probably not.

I don't know if I'd call that situation racism per se, but it is rich white privilege in action, that is for sure. So give Rev. Al one. He's right about this.

That's My Word.
I know, I know, I know. Stars get breaks all the time. I know that even lessor offenders get a break in the L.A. system to make room for the murders and rapists. However, people are quick to point out that it's unfair because if she wasn't who she was no one would have noticed. I don't disagree.

However, what should have been clear was letting her out early without support from or, at least, notice to all sides was going to start a pissing contest. That's what we've got now between the judge and the sheriff.

Plus, there is a perception, right or wrong, that when people say "life's not fair" that Paris has been on the side benefits when life isn't fair for someone else and the "not fair" applies to someone else. It's not fair that she gets a harder sentence. It is fair, however, that she is punished.

People are finding house arrest in a luxurious home in the Hollywood Hills to be a far stretch from punishment. Basically, she can't leave home. I'm sorry. Sometimes when I'm on vacation, I prefer to stay at home because I LIKE my home. If they had Pink Dot in Seoul, I might stay in too much during my two month vacations. Don't worry, I'm not a shut in, I've got a fair number of visas in my passport to prove it, but I also love being able to stay at home.

However, I'll switch my vent mode off now because this is what it should be about.

MADD has released a statement that I will quote in full because I know that the news media won't.

High Profile Drunk Driving Arrests Deserve Interlocks
June 7, 2007

Statement of Attribution: Glynn R. Birch, MADD National President

Paris Hilton and the number of many other high profile celebrities and sports figures committing drunk driving offenses are alarming and this problem needs to stop. Hilton has not been responsible in using her celebrity during this time. She did not acknowledge how much she drank before getting behind the wheel, she drove on a suspended drivers’ license and then appealed to the Governor for leniency in her sentence for that offense and continues to not take accountability for her actions. We continue to believe that she should accept full responsibility for her actions, and her conduct during this time should be much more responsible given the vast young audience watching her every move.

After house arrest, she should receive an ignition interlock. We know that interlocks help stop the revolving door on repeat offenses, so why doesn’t every state in America mandate them for all convicted drunk drivers? We believe many courts across the country are too lenient on those who drive on suspended licenses due to drunk driving. In addition to jail and fines and other sanctions, MADD would like to see at least a one-year interlock provision for those who drive on suspended licenses. Armed with new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showing drunk driving is higher than it has been in 15 years, MADD’s National Board is meeting with Congressional leaders this week asking for increased focus on drunk driving across the nation and support for MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. The Campaign calls for ignition interlocks on all convicted drunk driver vehicles, the exploration of new technologies to prevent a vehicle from being driven by someone who is drunk, increased enforcement and public support.

MADD is calling on Hollywood and all pro sports teams to clean up their acts and for leaders in those industries to send a strong statement: drunk driving will not be tolerated. MADD will pursue meetings with these leaders to share information about MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving and to ask for support. Meantime, let’s stop the public displays of drunk driving (and, of course, all drunk driving) that not only sends an irresponsible and potentially deadly message, but have become a bad reality show that needs to have the plug pulled.

Additionally, if high-profile celebrities and athletes can afford alternative transportation, MADD wants to know why aren’t they using it? It should not be a rite of passage in Hollywood to have a drunk driving arrest, but based on recent media accounts, MADD’s beginning to wonder if this is not the case.

Drunk driving kills nearly 14,000 people annually and injures countless others. There are 1.4 million arrests for drunk driving every year. MADD wants every person convicted of drunk driving to be sent a clear message: this will not be tolerated.

We, as a nation, cannot afford to go backwards. We expect our families, friends and loved ones to be safe on the roadways, but until the nation’s leaders pass interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers and commit to stepped up enforcement, America will continue to see drunk driving deaths. We are also wondering why the 1.4 million drunk driving arrests every year in this country do not receive the same kind of outrage and media attention they deserve. If all of the passion for this issue by the public and the media were focused on solutions, such as mandating ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, our currently rising drunk driving deaths would be a thing of the past because the public wouldn’t stand for it.

More links:

YouTube: At least I can laugh: Paris Hilton Goes Back to Jail
Time Paris Tale: Schadenfreude, Then Shame


Sphere: Related Content

Steve Gilliard, RIP

I've got to a take a study break or I will bash my head into a wall or get a chocolate ice cream cone. As I'm an insulin dependent diabetic BOTH are bad for me.

Anyway, during breaks I'll sometimes surf my blog favorites. I went to Rachel's Tavern to read that, unfortunately, Steven Gilliard Jr. had died at the young age of 42.

Some info on Gilliard and why his death stands out:

  1. He was blogging way back in the day which humbles me as I just started this less than a year ago. After working as a journalist, he started writing for the Daily Kos when it had 4,000 visitors a day and it now has 500,000. He eventually moved on to start his own news blog.
  2. He's one of a few >bloggers who made a living as a blogger. The News Blog, linked below, was active enough for him to have a modest income. Not bad, not bad at all.

Here is his obituary on at the New York Times: Steven Gilliard Jr., 42, Dies; Founder of Liberal Political Blog

Here is his blog if you've never been to it: The News Blog and the older one pre-Blogger beta: The News Blog (blogging ended on this one in February 2007.)


Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Ooops! Young clerk let Tiananmen ad slip past censors


Well, I have to say I'm a little bit bitter because my friends in China say they can't view my blog from there (what have I said?) My feeling on this is "serves them right"! (So, if my blog wasn't barred before, it definitely will be now.)

I was in China around the time of the 15th year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. I was in my hotel room getting ready to start my day. I had the TV tuned to CNN and they were doing a retrospective on the events that lead up to so many dying in Tiananmen square.

Suddenly, the TV switched off. Well, I thought it switched off, but the censors had caught the broadcast and simply shut it off. I mean I've heard of Tiananmen square and I remembered the coverage when it happened in 1989, so I wasn't even phased when it came on. Then I remembered, "oh yeah, I'm in the People's Republic of China".

It only took a second to confirm that thought as all the other electronics were working just fine. That's when it hit me that my experience of China is definitely not the way its citizens experience it. I flew in to a big bustling city, took a taxi from the airport to to my hotel and was amazed that what I was seeing was supposed to be a communist nation. I figured these censors I never see were hard at work controlling the information the people of China see. That was a sobering moment.

There are many people in China who don't know what happened at Tiananmen square in 1989. I do remember seeking the square out specifically when I was in Beijing about a year later because I knew what had occured. I went there and walked around trying to imagine what it would have been like to be there. I knew that a lot of the young people around me had no idea why the square was interesting to me since all it's just a big open space and the more interesting Forbidden Palace, Mao's tomb and his huge portrait are just steps away.

So between knowing that China censors my blog AND once cut off a CNN broadcast I was watching due to content, I had to laugh when I read this news headline:

Young clerk let Tiananmen ad slip past censors

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A young clerk with no knowledge of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown allowed a tribute to victims slip into the classified ads page of a newspaper in southwest China, a Hong Kong daily reported on Wednesday.

The tiny ad in the lower right corner of page 14 of the Chengdu Evening News on Monday night, read: "Paying tribute to the strong(-willed) mothers of June 4 victims".

An investigation was launched by Chinese authorities to find out how the advertisement slipped its way past censors.

Public discussion of the massacre is still taboo in Beijing and the government has rejected calls to overturn the verdict that the student-led demonstrations were "counter-revolutionary", or subversive. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed when the army crushed the pro-democracy protests on June 4, 1989.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post said a young woman on the Chengdu Evening News classified section had allowed the ad to be published because she'd never heard of the June 4 crackdown.

A man gave the advertisement to the clerk, who had recently graduated and worked for an advertising company responsible for receiving content for the ads section, the Post reported.

"She called the man back two days later to check what June 4 meant and the man said it was (a date on which) a mining disaster took place," the Post quoted a source at the paper as saying.

"This highlights (the fact) that the government needs to face up to history," the paper quoted the source as saying.

References to the massacre are barred in state media, the Internet and printed works, meaning many of China's younger generation are ignorant of the events.


Sphere: Related Content

I need an unstable woman for a drama filled relationship…

It's a holiday here today and I should have spent the day studying. I spent part of it studying, but not much.

In the spirit of procrastination here is a funny blog I heard about on a forum I go to.

Here is a guy looking for an "unstable woman". Hilarious...
I need an unstable woman for a drama filled relationship…

Hi there,

I’m seeking a like-minded woman to share a disastrous 3-9 month relationship with, ending in acrimony, emotional chaos, and possibly legal proceedings.

My name is Lloyd, I live in Chicago , I’m 27 years old, fairly well educated, I hold down a good job and am pretty stable. I’m told I’m fairly good looking, but I’ll let you be the judge of that - I’m generally caring and very honest.

I am looking for an attractive female who will at first give me obsessive love, praise and devotion - but whose paranoia, self-loathing and fear of rejection and abandonment will eventually lead her to alternately push me away and pull me closer in a love/hate cycle that will lead to infidelity, consensual sexual violence, and the eventual emotional breakdown of one or other party - or if we’re lucky - both!

You should:

* be 20 to 35 years old;
* have a history of short, intense, drama-driven relationships;
* enjoy degrading and dehumanizing sex;
* have undergone negative psychiatric evaluations in the past; and
* be willing to threaten self-harm and/or annihilation as a weapon to control your partner and make them stay with you and care for you.

Although not completely necessary, I would prefer women:

* with nice smiles;
* that have larger than average breasts;
* who are married or already in unstable relationships;
* that drink to forget; and
* who have had a previous established diagnosis of Borderline or Dependent Personality Disorder or Bi-Polar Affective Disorder - or who are currently taking Lithium Carbonate, SSRIs, or Tri-cyclic antidepressants

If you think you meet these requirements (and wow, I’m getting excited just writing them!), please don’t hesitate to get back to me as soon as possible. In the meantime, thank you for reading my advert, and do take care.

All the best,


ps This advert is in recognition of the big neon sign on my forehead that everyone else can see except me.

Send your gripes to “gripes (at), and we promise to publish the most coherent ones. (substitute the “(at)” with “@”).


Sphere: Related Content