Well I finally made it to mainland China. The train trip was long, about 23 hours, but mostly enjoyable. Sadly the initial arrival in Beijing left a lot to be desired, as we arrived to a grey and wet Beijing with no hostel or clue where to go. For the record, the Beijing West train station is amazingly confusing and terrible for someone with absolutely no Chinese competency. In fairness, there is no reason it should be, but as an international traveler not familiar with the city, it was a nightmare. Read More
Well I finally made it to mainland China. The train trip was long, about 23 hours, but mostly enjoyable. Sadly the initial arrival in Beijing left a lot to be desired, as we arrived to a grey and wet Beijing with no hostel or clue where to go. For the record, the Beijing West train station is amazingly confusing and terrible for someone with absol...[more]Read more
So we have come to our final day here in Hong Kong. After the better part of a week exploring and traveling around here, I’m just beginning to get acclimated–and now it’s time to leave. Such is the nature of short travels, I guess. But I can definitely say that I have enjoyed my time here, and definitely will come back again. After our wanderings around the city I now have a good sense of how to get around the city, use the MTR and tram system, and what places to visit next time. Plus a few places I would go back to again, like the Po Lin Monastery in Kowloon and the Big Buddha on Lantau.
Here’s the latest photo set from the past 2 days, as well as 2 of my favorites, the temple in Kowloon and monastery in Lantau.
On Tuesday, my first full day here, I had some siu mai (燒賣) in a cup with chili sauce poured over and a red bean bun. The siu mai was pretty good, and it’s always fun eating food with a skewer out of a cup! Apparently this is a dish that varies a lot by region and taste, but is basically a pork or prawn steamed dumpling. It is also a common part of many dim sum offerings. Along the way I also wandered along the north shore of Honk Kong by the Wanchai Stadium and sports complex, as well as the Convention and Exposition Center. Here’s a panorama shot looking out from one of the walkways in this area, looking north towards Kowloon.
While on the way to the area above I ran into a small celebration going on in the street, which I found out later was advertising some sort of bank securities for one of the local banks.
So I finally made it into Hong Kong this morning, somewhere about 6AM local time. So far the trip has been far less scary than I had imagined, mostly because I’m a very timid traveler. For being a loner in general, I did sorta wish I had some traveling companions. Fortunately I will soon.
Here are some of the pictures from my Cathay Pacific flight coming into HK.
This Friday I had the chance to help facilitate a workshop with the New York City Nutrition Education Network, better known as NYCNEN. Held at The New School, the workshop was part of their May General Meeting. The overarching theme for the meeting was “Developing Partnerships for a Healthier NYC: A Workshop Exploring Resource Mapping and Cultural Sensitivity,” and my specific workshop was titled “Community Cartography: Mapping Health, Justice and Power.”
In addition to myself, Takeesha White from The Partnership for a Healthier New York City and Sandra Arévalo, Director of Nutrition Services and Co-Director of The Starting Right Initiative at Community Pediatrics (part of the Montefiore Hospital and Children’s Health Fund) gave presentations. Sandra’s talk was particularly interesting to be for some of the language and cultural barriers to food and nutrition labeling she discussed, many of which I have never thought about before. Like frijoles! Read More
I’m Not Mad at You in Particular, Just Everyone in General
It’s been one of those weeks,
in the middle of the month
when you just want to scream
and break something beautiful
like those drones in the halls
playing pretend scholars
on blood money and silenced ghosts
Earlier this week the FBI announced that they were elevating Black Liberation Army (BLA) and Black Panther Party (BPP) activist Assata Shakur (formerly Joanne Chesimard) to their ‘Most Wanted Terrorist’ list of domestic suspects, making her the only woman in history to have such a designation, and the second US citizen ever to be added to the list. The timing, coming on the 40th anniversary of her alleged killing of a NJ cop, reeks of FBI Cointelpro 2.0, and has the PATRIOT Act, police state and prison-industrial complex slime all over it from head to foot and back again.
Assata Shakur, aunt of the famous rapper Tupac Shakur, has been a thorn in the side of the racist US government since before I was born–as you can see from, the original 1973 FBI wanted poster below. She was a leading Black thinker and activist during the height of the Black liberation struggles of the late 60′s and 70′s, and continues to be a brilliant and outspoken radical from her home in exile of Cuba. She continues to argue she is innocent. You can read the response of her lawyers to the FBI charges here. Read More
In case you haven’t heard, a young girl named Kiera Wilmot was arrested on Monday (4/29) at Bartow High School in Polk County, Florida for a science experiment involving “The Works” (Drano knock-off) and tin foil in a bottle. That’s right, arrested, expelled and now facing felony charges! And it has got many folks in the science community in an uproar, as can be seen here and here and here and also here. And twitter pretty much blew up on #ScienceIsNotACrime and #Solidarity4Wilmot.
For those note familiar, basically how this backyard experiment works is that you mix something like Drano/The Works and aluminum foil together in a closed container–usually a 1 liter soda bottle with a screw cap–which creates an acidic chemical reaction. For the science nerds it’s: 6 HCl (aq) + 2 Al (s) —> 2 AlCl3 (aq) + 3 H2 (g). This chemical process rapidly produces gas which then builds up in the sealed container until the pressure expands the plastic bottle and forces the bottle cap to pop off with a loudish exploding pop and a puff of smoke. Here’s an example of the process–you can find hundreds of similar videos on YouTube and elsewhere online. Read More
In other news, Politix reports on a recent incident where students were allegedly forced to listen to a Christian fundamentalism sermons disguised as a student assembly, this time in a Mississippi public school in Rankin County.
“A Mississippi public high school has caused a furore by forcing students to attend Christian assemblies, students allege. Northwest Rankin High School assemblies were led by local church officials, students claim, and showed Christian video while teachers actually blocked the exits to prevent students leaving.”
Here’s the basic details as reported by local station WAFB 9:
“The Appignani Humanist Legal Center learned from Northwest Rankin High School students that a mandatory assembly was held during school hours on April 9 where a representative of the Pinelake Baptist Church spoke of finding “hope” in “Jesus Christ,” according to a press release from the American Humanist Association.
The group claims that students stated anyone who attempted to leave the April 9 assembly were prevented from doing so. The press release adds that at the end of the presentation, the speakers led the students in a Christian prayer.” Read More