Here are four new ways of doing things – how hide electricity pylons, how to pay for medicare, how to get building materials up to roof level and – most importantly – how to store beer.
1. Hiding those ugly pylons. Dominic Wilcox at the Variations on Normal blog has come up with an answer to two difficult questions at once – what to do with landfill? And how to beautify electricity pylons?
His cheaper alternative is to simply rename pylons, Mini Eiffel Towers and the public will adore them, maybe even pay to go up them Continue reading
Colonel Sanders is looking young - and Chinese - at the opening of a new KFC outlet in Beijing.
It’s well past time that people woke up to China’s role in the world and I don’t just mean noticing “Made in China” on the base of that thing you’ve just bought. (It’s probably from Vietnam or the Philippines these days anyway – or perhaps Madagascar if it’s clothing.) And eating Chinese doesn’t count either.
It’s crazy how tightly schools cling to European languages to the exclusion of Chinese. Sure, Spanish can be number one – it’s on the doorstep, good weather, world language, beautiful songs. But why should Chinese be relegated below French, German, Russian (!), Italian, Latin, Greek, etc?
Then again, there are some people who are in a constant tizzy about the spread of Chinese influence – soft power, economic investment, military infiltration. The panic has reached such intensity in parts of the blogosphere that it reminds me of that old cartoon (anyone know it?) that had Americans imagining that it was Vietnam bordering Texas instead of Mexico. (Though with the low intensity warfare going on in Mexico these days…)
So is China really the future? Is western democracy tired and doomed to go down with the listing economic ship? Have the Chinese actually got it right in terms of development and never mind the niceties of freedom?
Two Continue reading
I hope the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the IMF and World Bank, and all you other financial institutions around the planet are keeping a sneaky eye on this blog. Because this could be the way out of recession. I should warn you that it involves front fastening magnetic bras. And jugs. But don’t go jumping to conclusions too quickly… Continue reading