My comments on other blogs, blogged.

(ie, the poor man's trackback)

At least one good thing is coming out of the cross-straits tension: punk rock music (more concert info ).

> rain / snow: snow, for sure, because you don't get wet.
> play in the snow: nope just look at it, and then go inside.

I'm the same way! Just the other day I was just talking with my friends about this, and they couldn't believe that I liked snow over rain. And I gave the exact same reasons.

This week's ingredient is... Katrina from the Apprentice!

Maybe xenophobia is a better word.

OK, now I'm just getting more and more nostalgic. I know that Beijing has a "night market" near Wangfujing where you can buy just about anything on a skewer, but if you wander by a 羊肉串 stand in Tianjin definitely give them a try (but for no more than 3元 a piece, less if possible), they're much better than Beijing's, especially with a helpful dusting of 自然 spice.

And a typo correction, the above Broadway cafe is "Bailaohui", 白老汇, not "Baolaohui".

I e-mailed you, but I'll post it here too in case other people want info on Tianjin:

Hey there! How exciting, you're going to Tianjin. I wish I could be there to show you around; I'll do my best to suggest some highlights that you might like:

1. Gu Wenhua Jie ("Ancient Culture Street") is a street of souvenier vendors that was restored to look like "old China". It sounds kitchy (and it is), but it's worth a walk through. I would suggest asking the taxi-driver to drop you off at the northern end ("bei-miar" or something), then walk through to the south end in 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much you like to browse. At the southern end and a few dozen feet west is a low-traffic antique market (closes early, so don't tarry) with expensive but pretty furniture, books, phonograph needles and records, and posters. A few feet down on the south side of the street was our favorite hot-pot restaurant (if it's a cold day, you'll recognize it by the windows being all steamed up).

2. Binjiang Dao is the main shopping street for today's Tianjin, and the site of the original Goubuli baozi restaurant. Ask around, there are two locations. At the southern end of Binjiang Dao is the Xikai Catholic Church, from the French colonial concession. On Sunday there are morning and evening services. I also recommend the (unsanitory, some say) Chinese-style food court close to the southern end where you can also enjoy Japanese and Korean cuisine. Through a Chinese lens, of course. It beats the baozi, if you ask me. Also at the southern end (happening place!) is the Isetan Japanese department store, and a new mall, in case you're not shopped out yet.

3. The Shuishang Gongyuan ("Park on the Water", or Water Park) I can't vouch for personally because I did not visit, but I hear it's a nice park to take a stroll in. It has lakes, islands, bridges... I imagine it would be pleasant on a nice day. It's on the southern end of the city, away from downtown. From this park it would be a (short?) walk east to Tianjin's famous Tianta, the TV Tower. It stands over an eponymously named lake, and a small park area where the city shows movies, organizes festivals, etc. From the Tianta, it's a short bus/taxi ride north to Nankai University (which has a nice campus, and a popular expat bar named Ali Baba's) or east to Broadway Cafe ("baolaohui", Tianjin's original expat restaurant and hang-out since 1997, most taxi drivers in the area know it).

I hope that gives you some ideas for your plans. Reading back over these suggestions, I realize that a resident has a different idea of the "hot spots" than a tourist would. And that I have a thing for food.

Have a great time!

Oh, and be on the look-out for Tianjin's three "characteristic" foods where you're there:

1. 狗不理包子 / Goubuli baozi: steamed meat buns.

2. 麻花 / Mahua: fried sesame dough, and I mean *fried*, like dripping with oil.

3. 炸糕 / Zhagao: fried cakes, sometimes filled with nuts, fruit, etc.

I always look forward to Simplebit quizzes, especially the follow-up summaries. Always intelligent commentary.

As for this question, put me in the pool of people echoing Ben's answer, but only in principle. The styling should be done with CSS, and should be done explicitly so it won't be trumped by default browser stylesheets that are different from the current standard (strong=bold, em=italic).

But I'm uncomfortable with the STRONG tag, and I like to avoid CLASSes and IDs whenever possible, so let me suggest a different markup:


em em { font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; }

For my own weblog, I have nested EMs styled as non-italicized bold because I've read Andrei's quote before, but for the purposes of this demonstration I think we can stretch the guidelines a little.

You hit on one of the aspects of Christianity that makes it so compelling for me too - the fact that it's irrational. Forgiveness is irrational. Religions that claim salvation in exchange for good works seem too contrived, modelled on the real world. A true God would have a higher law, to break the demands of reciprocal punishment and reward.

i'm with kyle: anything that should have been somebody else's responsibility.

You know it's a Japanese film because it has the ending that makes you pause, think "Wait, is that really the end?", then think "Well, I guess that was appropridate" and then walk away shaking your head.

I changed my weblog to grey for this...

...and I got an e-mail from my mother thanking me for making the colors easier on her eyes. Ai-yah.

I scoff at this and call FUD.

"irradiation by light with wave's length from 400 to 540 nm" - visible light is around 400 to 700 nm, so basically... it's been exposed to daylight!

According to various sources on the web, the opium trade was big in Afghanistan under the Taliban (and probably a bigger deal to countries not threatened by Osama bin Laden), but the Talibani gov't cracked down and poppy cultivation went from 4600 tons at its peak to nearly zero in the year 2000. Of course, this was after the US promised (and gave[1]) millions of dollars to the Taliban for social services to make up for lost revenue from the poppy ban. When the money stopped flowing, the ban was raised, the opium traffic grew once again... at about that time, Osama struck and the US invaded. That's why I only said "one of the reasons". But yah, a minor one.



I think your quick jab at scientists in the first paragraph is not entirely fair. In science there are rules (laws of science), and there are rules about rules (unofficial rules that govern how the laws of science are formed; for example, today the scientific method is the prevailing set of rules about rules). In general, scientists are pretty good about challenging/questioning rules. What they don't appreciate is scientists who subvert the "rules about rules", breaking the process by which we "make" science. So when you say that scientists are bad about challenging orthodoxy, I would agree that scientists rarely question the scientific method; but although the scientific method and our conception of knowledge *should* be questioned, they also serve as stabilizers in the advancement of scienctific knowledge.

Hmm, looks like HTML is turned off? This is the page I tried to link to:

This page says, make it a white border 

Something like

fieldset { padding: 0; border: 0 solid white; }

Regarding the comment box in IE6, it’s a known bug that was documented and solved on Sam Ruby’s weblog:

Here’s probably the best explanation:

And I wrote up some test cases myself, including one that is specific to your weblog:

Like I said, e-mail me if you’d like elaboration.

Just ran into this in a page I was working on, big ups to Phil and François for the quick solution!

Fons, did you make it to the Dave Wilder lecture today at CCS? Excellent talk by the CIA's point man on China. Also, there will be a China panel led by Ken Lieberthal tomorrow morning at the Asian Business conference:

I see on the wiki that you are interested in China newsfeeds. My usual one is:

Moreover is a commercial service, but they also provide a grip of free newsfeeds on just about any topic you could want, in just about any format you could want (try replacing the "rss" with xml, js, html...).

Two thoughts:

1. Migrant workerks might use the Lunar New Year vacation to take money back to their hometowns. Therefore, unpaid wages become an important and volatile issue in the weeks leading up to the New Year, and are either settled by the new year or become a non-issue, for reasons I'm not clear on.

2. The Hu/Wen administration's special focus has always been on China's little guy (cf Hu making dumplings with the farmers on the front page of Xinhuanet for a few days, Wen's visits to miners/AIDS patients, &c), so it would make sense that the state press, along with the semi-independent press, would focus more on issues that affect China's laobaixing, wage arrears being one of those.

Starch Press's "How Not To Program in C++" was a fun book that I took home while working at Borders. It's full of programs that contain a bug, usually illustrating peculiarities of certain compilers, C++ versus C, and other quirks of the language. When you think you've found the bug--or given up--you can flip to the back of the book and follow a trail of hints to the answer. Very amusing.

The little that I *did* understand from skimming over the original suggests a bloating of the bureaucracy, rather than any kind of high-level political reform. So chalk up my vote with the Gweilo's (except for the anger at Hu Jintao).

For an academic's perspective on the top leadership, check out Lyman Miller's article "Hu Jintao and the Party Politburo" in the latest issue of the China Leadership Monitor:

In fact, all of the articles in the CLM are succint and very worth reading.

Udon. Sure, it’s 89 cents rather than a dime, but I’m a sucker for the sweet broth and dried bean curd.

I understand why the bank would have that rule. But I have worked at a large chain bookstore before, so I also understand what it's like to work under rules that seem to run against common sense. Sometimes I wanted to do something to help the customer that made sense to me, but was against the company rules. In the end, I could do nothing but apologize. When a customer runs up against a rule like that, the best the she/he can do is ask to talk to the person who makes the rules and can override them: the manager. There's no shame in asking to speak to a manager; it's their job to fix little (and big) problems like not being able to fill out a form.