Error message

Deprecated function: The each() function is deprecated. This message will be suppressed on further calls in menu_set_active_trail() (line 2404 of /home/aliakuser/aliak.com/includes/menu.inc).

at the end of week one

so it's the end of week one in Shenzhen, and this is a tldr kind of post! (& some/most is already in separate posts too) most of the time I've been at work.

book city
last weekend I took a walk to Book City - the largest bookstore in China. it's in a large converted warehouse type building and has, as one would expect from it's name, many book stores + a large music store, plus food stores. basically it's a big air-conditioned Book shopping mall. it took about half an hour to walk there, and I stopped at the gardens near the Culture Centre first and watched the diamond-like water captured by the lillies in the pond, and the fish on the other side. it was a nice break from all the construction nearby and in the rest of the city - at least Futian District where work is and where the hotel is. Futian District is the high-tech suburb, and it's close to Shenzhen Museum and Culture Centre (Government Administration buildings). the following day I caught the metro (underground subway trains) to the Museum, which is about 5minutes walk around the corner from Book City (which had a huge traffic jam the day before, so catching the metro is a much better option). the metro does the trip from the Convention & Exhibition Centre station to Culture Centre station in less than three minutes (here's a video of the train ride). it's so clean and fast. and on Sunday around 2pm it was almost deserted. apparently peak hour during week days it's quite busy with the usual influx of workers taking the metro to work. anyway, when I arrived at the museum there was a little sign in Chinese characters which I imagine said 'the museum is closed' and perhaps gave an explanation. maybe I should have taken a photo of it and tried running it through google translate?!?

(wish for) augmented reality language translation app
speaking of which, I LOVE google translate, and as I mentioned on my facebook page this week - I wish I had a pair of sunglasses that would translate on the fly as I walk around in places where I don't understand the language. I suppose there's already an AR app for this for mobile phones? or if not now, then likely not too far away.

lunches & dinners
during the week I ate dinner at the hotel, and went to lunch with some of the guys at work. we had a range of cuisines - Korean, Thai, Western at the Irish Bar, Italian. at night I've mostly been eating plain food or sandwhiches because there's been a lot of oil in the food I've eaten at lunchtime so I'm tiring a little of so much oil. all the food has been tasty though - perhaps it's just the meals I've been selecting.

waking to new sounds
we caught a taxi to one of the Korean restaurants and I was wearing my trousers with shallow pockets and had my camera phone (nokia n95) and work phone (nokia 6230) in it, and my work phone must have fallen out of my pocket in the taxi, because after the driver had driven away and I put my hand in my pocket, I realized it wasn't there. at first I couldn't remember if I'd left it on my desk at work, but when we got back to the office, it wasn't there either, so it's lost. rip little nokia 6230. I cancelled the sim, and the battery would have run out soon so whoever found it probably just threw it away (it was an old basic model). I'd had this phone since I started working in the UK, so it was over six years old, and it's alarm had been the sound to wake me up every morning (except Sundays usually and some Saturdays, pre guitar classes) - it's amazing how attached you get to these devices, even if they seem to be just simple technologies. so for the past couple of morning's I've woken to the new sounds from my other camera phone. this is really just a camera now as I cancelled the sim a few weeks ago.

electrical storms
for the past two nights, there's also been these amazing electrical storms - the thunder echoes off the highrises nearby, and the lightning seems to strike the hills in Hong Kong nearby (about half hour's drive once you get past the delay at the border). the first night I was scared - and I'm not usually scared by storms. this was so unusal though. there was hardly any rain. and I awoke to the sound of the thunder growling every couple of seconds and the light streaming through the window every couple of seconds - it was like a strobe light. and as I awoke I thought, "hang on, that's not the inside side of the room with the door, that's coming from outside & I'm on the 23rd floor. what was this light flashing on and off up so high?" I woke up and started recording some of it - video and an audio recording, though for some reason my mics don't pick up the deep growling bass sounds very well, they're much better at the percussive sounds.

to be continued ...

newspaper reading
some articles I found interesting:
Japanese develop speedy book scanner

[quote]The "book-flipping scanning" system works with a camera that can take up to 500 photographs per second, enabling it to record about 170 book pages in 60 seconds as a person thumbs through them.

The system adjusts for the distortion caused by the curvature of the moving pages by measuring their three-dimensional forms using infra-red beams, so that the images can be electronically "flattened" to look like the original.

"We are considering using robots to turn the pages automatically and more neatly," he (Yoshihiro Watanabe - leader of the research team at University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology) said.
...
"If loaded into the eyes of robots, they would be able to move much faster than humans," said Watanabe.[/quote]

:::

Golden couple share secret of 80-year marriage
it was an arranged marriage too! 80 years, wow

[quote]When asked what they understand "love" to mean, the couple say they don't know.

"We are not used to kissing and hugging," Xu says.

"We just feel good when we are together."

With their children living with their own families, Xu and Zhang enjoy their time together.

Zhang has lost some of his hearing, but Xu always repeats what's on TV for him. Xu has lost some of her eyesight, and Zhang is always happy to read her the newspaper.

"We have so many things to do together," Xu says.

"We don't have time for fights."[/quote]

:::

Australian politics and the news of the election result (finally) made the front page of the South China Morning Post 08/09/2010

:::

Warning as city's credit card debt rises - an article about people in Hong Kong and their overspending use of credit cards. it mentions many of them have multiple credit cards and only pay back the minimum amount, and how this will lead to trouble for people..

fireworks

finding merlin (meilin) in shenzhen

::: category: