This site will be going into hibernation for about a week as I'll be travelling to one of the few places left in the world where there is no internet. You're welcome to guess where...and it's not North Korea.
My co-bloggers are welcome to contribute during my absence (or at any other time).
I'll be travelling the next two weeks so site updates from me are likely to be infrequent. With some luck my co-bloggers may chime in...otherwise send me an email if you'd like to have a go blogging in this space.
A very warm welcome to a special reader of these humble pages...Nicholas Kristof. It seems the New York Times is testing some kind of RSS reader and this site is on Mr Kristof's page (below the jump has a screenshot).
Absolutely flattered. This site's come a long way in almost 3 years. Which reminds me, the anniversary is 2 weeks away.
2000 people a day may see your site - a pathetic number given the effort you put into promoting it - but I see an awful lot of litter bins, chewing gum on pavements, dog crap and obnoxious tourists. Does that mean they are good too? Discuss.
Stop trying so hard and stop cutting and pasting so much. And the centre column idea is manic.
Actually George is right about one thing. I can't say I'm overly fond of the center column layout. I feel the links in the side columns eat up too much screen real-estate and it leaves too little space left for reading text.
Actually, if you ever saw George's site, you'd quickly realize that he's the last person on the planet to be giving advice about layout (or chiding anyone about cutting and pasting). Imagine Punch circa 1964 as viewed through a haze of cheap gin and baboon tranquilizers and you're in the general vicinity.
I enjoy the site quite a bit. Nothing is wrong with cutting and pasting links to good stuff. In fact, I especially enjoy the daily linklets when you have the time and inclination to do them! So, thanks. And I'm going to c~~~~ on your ads too.
Are you a geeky tech kind of person who loves writing and picking up some easy cash? Then please read this from CNet Asia:
We're actually looking for someone who can write in English on the personal tech/IT lifestyle scene in Hong Kong, about twice a week.
It's more a passion and an opportunity to showcase the SAR's tech scene
usingthe CNET Asia platform rather than a livelihood as we're paying a
If that sounds like you and you could use a token payment in return for your IT blogging expertise, please leave a comment or send me an email and I'll put you in touch. As a special offer to readers, I'll waive my typical spotter's fee.
Thanks to Gordon's help, the Forum area has been de-spammed and is now ready for relaunching. The readers and commenters on this site (i.e. you) are a smart bunch, but you didn't need me to tell you that.
The forums will be completely free and open. There will be no censorship or moderation except to keep things within legal limits, although I retain the right to exclude those who push too far. I hope and trust that everyone can maintain a civil tone. Now go and get chatting!
Update March 13th
Due to a combination of a spam attack and a system crash, the forum has been re-installed. It's a fresh slate....just waiting for you to start a topic!
Hey, Simon, I tried to email you but it's bouncing back. I'll paste the message here:
I was hoping that you might be willing to exchange links with me and my
Xinjiang-themed blog, The Opposite End of China
(http://china.notspecial.org/). Although we focus on completely different
areas of the country, we both focus exclusively on China. Also, with all the
traffic I imagine you get, I wouldn't mind stealing away a few of your
The Opposite End of China
To all of my readers, Kung Hei Fat Choi and have a very happy, prosperous and successful Year of the Dog. Posting is likely to be patchy until Tuesday.
In the interim, you can visit to 2006 Bloggies and vote. In a first, the Best Asian blog category, where yours truly is up against Tokyo Times, India Uncut, Tokyo Girl and Noodlepie, has no sign of any Singaporean blogs. While some categories carry prizes, the prestige alone is deemed enough for Asian blogs. It's not too late for some generous benefactor to bestow a massive cash prize for the winner...
I'm flattered, "Doctor", given the amount of competition in the 'useless expat enterprises in Hong Kong' category. Personally I can think of several that surpass this site, many involving government money. Perhaps if we can get the government to kick in a few bucks, this site can truly live up to the honour you have bestowed upon it.
In many cities there are books called Entertainment Guides. These books include discount coupons at various restaurants and other places in the city. The best part is typically some of the book's proceeds go to a charity or non-profit group, and from my experience in Sydney the book quickly pays for itself in saved bills.
I'm please to say Hong Kong now has it's own version: 123 Book.
If you click that link, you'll be taken to the order page for the book and it's a simple, two step process. The proceeds if you click that link will go to my daughter's school building fund. So you can feel virtuous that you will be helping future generations learn and get cheap meals at the same time. To help convince you, here's a listing of current places offering 2 for 1 meals under the scheme. Lots of good places already signed up, and more to come. And if you have a restaurant, you should join up - I certainly know that my family will usually first look in the book for a place to go eat...and if we like we go back (sans discount).
The sooner you order, the sooner you start saving.
So what are you waiting for? Click now!
The book arrived exactly one day after purchase. Lots of good places and good discounts on offer. Have you bought yours yet?
I've owned the Entertainment books in the USA and, as you say, they are great. But, experience tells me that each individual coupon has restrictions that sometimes make them difficult to use. How do you find the individual coupons in the book? Do they have blackout dates on each coupon, other than the dates described on the website (holidays and the day before holidays)?
There are a bunch of restaurants on the list that we frequent...and would like to frequent. Would be a cool deal for the coming year.
I am from The 123 Book, and would like to add a few points of clarification to the above comments.
Participating outlets: Please refer to http://www.the123book.com/Buy/Discounts.htm for a full listing. You are very likely to recognize most of these restaurants and bars. However, there are a number of BRAND new restaurants also included (i.e. Havana, Tabu, The Jockey). The focus of the book is on expat dining/drinking areas of town (Soho, LKF, Wan Chai).
Restrictions: The coupons are valid either anytime, for dinner, or for lunch. Interestingly, it worked out that about 1/3 of the book falls into each category. Thus, at any one meal you should have 2/3rds of the book available to you.
Most coupons do not limit the day of the week, however, there are individual restrictions on some coupons (i.e. not valid on Friday (mainly bars in LKF)). That said, there are also a couple of FREE coupons that don’t even require you to buy anything.
The bottom line is that throughout the year, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to use The 123 Book on many occassions. To recover the cost of the book only takes 1-3 uses throughout the entire year.
Better yet, The 123 Book donates 50% of its profit to charity/non-profit groups (in this case, the Kellett School). In essence, it is a FREE donation for you that allows you to save money at places you probably already go or new places that you can try for half-price.
Please forgive me to disturb you.
What should I say? Let me introduce me first.
First,My english is poor,I discovered you in having no intention, I am a Chinese, my name is wu zhen qiang,I am born in a China's hamlet,My family has 4 people, the daddy, mother, I and my younger brother, I am in the village the proud university student, I work in the big city, I am in the family the only source of income, I The monthly salary is 2,000 about Chinese money, my parents all are the farmers, only then the very few income, the younger brother also in on high school, I must pay in my younger brother's school expense and family's living expenses.
However, my younger brother started in last year body not comfortably,finally by the diagnosis is the liver cancer, I did not know why God did need to treat him like this, his only then 16 years old, he seemed such lovable I rather use my life to receive in exchange for his life.
Each month treatment expense and is hospitalized the expense to take 25,000 Chinese money, this sum of money to me said likely is the astronomical number, in order to rescue me the younger brother, I wanted the means, I in China everywhere Invites the human to my younger brother donation, already had very many people of good intention to want each month all to donate for my younger brother, their let me feel to God's existence, they let me feel also have the compassion to the world, I For this excited bursting into tears.
But their donation also by far insufficient, I already want the means, now I only then to seek help me place in the network, I knew my procedure was extremely absurd, but this rescues my younger brother Only means.
I sincere requested you donate for my younger brother, your donation will change our destiny,if you do not have the ability, please tell these to be possible to help me the person.
If some people are willing for mine younger brother donation, please certainly to tell yours name I, you have not repaid, your only report is I forever is you prays in China(Even if is extremely few donations), original God forever
Wishes you and your family member forever is healthy!
This is my E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
wu zhen qiang
I will be travelling to the land of the automatic toilet warmer and bidet until Friday and will likely be out of blogging range. But fear not, I've got some activities to keep you occupied:
1. The forums are going strong. Take a look, start a topic and spark a controversy of your own.
2. I've been made a finalist of the Weblog Awards Best Asian Blog category. It is a very high calibre field and with only one exception I would feel comfotable voting for any of the finalists. But most importantly, use this opportunity to explore other blogs you may not typically read. Then even more importantly, vote for me! Once a day, every day.
Thank you already to fellow finalist Mr Miyagi, New Blog finalist Riding Sun, Top 1751-2500 finalist ZenPundit, top 1001-1750 finalist The Glittering Eye and others for their endorsements. You should vote for each of them in their respective categories, and naturally vote for Coming Anarchy for Best Blog Design.
These awards don't do much more than stroke the blogger's ego in a high-school style popularity contest; they are a desperate attempt to garner recognition and respect of peers for the insecure, self-doubting, paranoid types that run blogs. Exactly like the Oscars. So please vote for me - the alternative is therapy.
Congratulations on making the finals, Simon. I have cast my vote, and only the written offer of a pint would unseal my lips as to who the lucky beneficiary might be, or influence any future vote I might cast.
It is a pity, though, that these awards always become a competition of whose supporters are most extreme in commandeering enough different PCs to vote from. I could be wrong - it happened once before - but I do not think that XiaXue is really 20 times as good as Hemlock. Better tits, maybe.
You commie bastard. Soon you'll be calling for a competiton law in Hong Kong. You think Li Ka Shing has nothing better to do than sell you groceries? Superman's time doesn't come cheap. Do you have any idea how much more he could be making in collusive property boondoggles if he wasn't distracted by selling food to your sorry ass?
Thanks to those that have taken a look and linked to the new Simon World forums. I've added a new index, called The Talk Chamber. I'm going to regularly post questions or topics that can (hopefully) spark debate and discussion. Feel free to spread the word, join in or even post a topic of your own. It's awfully difficult to debate with oneself (although it's been done before)!
I have established a bulletin board/forum site to facilitate various conversions that may or may not be related to what I prattle on about here. The link can also be found at the top of the left sidebar.
One set of forums is for discusses one of this city's major hobbies: shopping. There is one setup for Hong Kong and another for Shenzhen. If you have information on good places to go, or what prices to pay (e.g. at Lowu Commercial Centre) or anything shopping related, this is the place for you. That way we can rebalance the information assymetry us shoppers always battle against.
There are two forums for discussing Chinese or Hong Kong politics.
As always, any feedback or comments are welcome. Make sure you visit and comment at the forums often, and spread the word. The more people that use it the better. Topics and threads can be added as needed.
Just read your WTO note and the bit about karachi warning HK's hotels to beware. Well, I walked passed Immigration Tower earlier and the grates were being welded down. If that's not taking precautions...I don't know what is!! ha ha
Actually, when I was living in Convention Plaza, I passed by there every day and it seemed the chief reason they put up abrriers everywhere between immigration and revenue towers was to stop skaters from having some fun.
i guess there was that protest that led to one immigration official dying a few years ago, but that's hardly on the cards at the moment.
Thanks for the great thoughts and comments in response to my post on collaborative blogging (and feel free to keep adding more thoughts and opinions). I am going to follow the great suggestion of Spirit Fingers. Potential contributors will have a 2 week trial period of posting here. At the end of the two weeks the you, me and the contributor can all look at the result and decide if there's a mutually compatible future in the offing. If anyone is interested, let me know.
I'll be travelling the next few days with limited blogability. I'll leave you all in Dave's extremely capable hands. Alternatively, feel free to use the comments to talk about whatever you like - that's right, an open thread.
I'll start - there was an interesting story in The Standard the other day which I forgot to link asking a simple question: while Beijing may get all the stadia ready for the Olympics, they are lacking far behind on the technical side of things i.e. actually running the sports and events themselves. Is that a microcosm of China? All surface, no depth? Form over substance?
Slowly but surely blogging is morphing: while plenty of solo sites exist, more and more sites are adopting a group blog model. ESWN is appealing for like minded people, Jim has been joined by Paul and Shank and Asymmetrical Information has taken on a third blogger to name three recent examples. For some time I've been fortunate to have Dave as a faithful contributor to these pages, not to mention the various contrubutions of guest bloggers during my breaks.
There are several factors that drive this trend. Firstly as sites evolve and develop followings, those readers rightly expect and demand output to keep them coming back. However bloggers have day jobs, families and lives outside of the cyberworld (believe it or not). Just as mainstream media products are the collective efforts of many contributors, some blogs will imitate their erstwhile rivals. Spreading the blogging load allows sites to evolve into a more continuous stream of output and hopefully thus (hopefully) make them more useful and so draw more visitors.
To that end I have a question and a request. The question is simple: would you like to see this site evolve in such a way, with a roster of 3 or 4 regular contributors? A diversity of views around this blog's major themes of China and Asia (with occassional diversions and tangents) can only be, in my opinion, a good thing. But I owe it to you, the reader, a chance to comment. The alternative is to carry on as now, while acknowledging there will be times where output may drop to zero for stretches of time.
The request is also a simple one. Would you be interested in joining the SW team? The requirements are simple: be able to type coherently in English, have an interest and opinion on the themes of this blog and be able to make regular contributions. If you've never blogged before, you need not worry - the software is simple enough for even me to use. If you already have a blog, I would ask that if you make the committment to becoming a contributor that you take that committment seriously. I am not looking for cross-posters. For example Dave posts daily on his site, with its different theme of Hong Kong and Asian history, while making regular posts on this site of more contemporary nature. If I am going to give you the keys to this car I need to feel confident that you will drive it responsibly, and that you will drive it regularly! The rewards are a regular and diverse readership, vibrant comments and a chance to make your voice heard as part of the democraticisation (or atomisation) of opinion.
If you are interested, have a comment on moving to a group blog or other feedback, leave a comment or send an email to simon-[at]-simonworld-[dot]-mu-[dot]-nu
Personally, I think blogs work best when they are primarily the work of one person. I read blogs which are written by people who seem to know what they are talking about, and cover interesting (to me) areas ... as soon as you move to a 'group blog' the focus and style gets less clear, and often I find it is less interesting.
One of the strengths of blogs is that anyone can setup their own - why have 2 people co-blogging when they can each have their own blog? If they're both writing interesting stuff, I'll subscribe to both of them.
As for frequency of posting: As more people subscribe to your feed, this become less relevant. People will be notified when you put up a post - whether it's an hour, a day or a week after your previous one.
So long as the additions' posts measure up to the quality set by Dave and yourself, I wouldn't object to the extra content. But if they're just going to offer tabloid humor and snark, you should send them my way (AP could always use more sensationalism and snark).
The idea would be any new co-authors would be someone I would want to read myself. I'm not looking for clones.
Bingfeng- I don't pretend to do what ESWN does, and don't pretend I even could. I sometimes disagree with ESWN and he with me. I would say our two sites occupy different niches. I wouldn't ask to be a guest blogger on ESWN and I doubt he would want to be here - while I have great respect for that site, it's not what this one is about.
Dave - I've thought about that. The problem is one of time. People don't have all day to surf the web and read sites and while it's not so hard to go from site to site, it's certainly easier if the posts are in one place rather than spread across several sites. Point taken about feeds, but they still represent only 10-15% of readers to this site at the moment.
Chris - we all need tabloid - it's what made Rupert Murdoch rich.
I think the greatest advantage of a group blog is consistency. If one author goes on vacation, or has a real busy week, the blog is less likely to suffer. It boils down to diversifying your portfolio, especially when one person can't be expert in every subject the blog seeks to deal with. I'm not a Japan-guy, for example, so I'm glad we have monocrat at EAW to pick up the slack on Japan posts.
The danger, of course, is turning into something like NRO's The Corner, which has become nearly unreadable.
First off, Simon, thank you for your kind words. It's been a pleasure co-blogging on your site.
I would encourage all those talented would be-bloggers to come out of the 'lurking' phase and join the adventure. It's great fun, if you have many opinions about Asia, China and Hong Kong you can get a good deal off your chest instead of grating on your co-workers or loved ones.:) As Simon mentioned, it is indeed easy to use his system, really no prior experience with blogging or html is required... you'll just need to pass the Simon M litmus test of creditable (and humorous) acidity!
The best collaborative blog (if you could call it that) is the Tech Central Station. It is more a series of columns, rather than a blog...but that is why I think it works.
What I find refreshing with some collaborative blogs are that one person takes over for a period of time...rather than mixing in different writing styles on the fly. That is...Simon does the bulk of the work...then Dave fills in when Simon is away. That works and is accepted, I think, by most readers.
I'd love to be more active on my blog...but as anyone has seen by the month of October...it was a brutal month for REAL work. Someone's gotta pay the bills.
I think it's a great idea, and I like Spirit fingers' suggestion. Sometimes another voice can be different, but really complementary, enriching the whole site. I read "coming anarchy" and "Chicago Boyz" often, and really enjoy the interplay of people who aren't clones of each other, yet still operate in the same intellectual universe.
I wish I could find a couple of co-bloggers myself. I've gotten tired, overworked, and bored with it, but don't want to quit. Anybody who thinks they're too lightweight for Simon's place, but would still like to put up a short piece or two, give me a call.
I've been sent new questions for the "About Me" section. As such I've included it at the bottom of this post and moved this post up to today. Otherwise it is as it was.
This is a new About Me section. And it requires your help. This is going to work on a question and answer basis, a multilogue if you like. Place any question about me you would like either in the comments to this post (they've been re-opened) or by email to simon[at]simonworld[dot]mu[dot] nu titled About Me. I will place the question and answer in this post with a link or mention of the questionner (unless you request anonymity).
***************************************** Jim has lead the way:
Q: Why do you live in Hong Kong?
A: I got here because of a transfer via work. And people say that multinationals are bad! I was happy to move - 15% tax rate instead of Australia's 48%, no sales tax, no capital gains tax, on the doorstep of one of the most interesting places in the world (China), world-class city, more Ferraris than you can poke a stick at, family-friendly, the luxury of a helper...plenty of reasons. It's a great place to visit and an even better place to live. Plus it is thousands of miles from family. I love 'em and all, but a bit of distance is nice. We're making it in the world on our own.
Q: Do you like it better than Australia?
A: Australia will always be "home". This is just our temporary abode. The two places are so different it is hard to compare. But all Aussies I know one day want to go home.
Q: Have you ever played cricket?
A: I challenge you to find any Australian, male or female, who hasn't played cricket at least once. I'd wager even Pixy played once. You actually can't be an Australian citizen unless you have played cricket.
Q: Did you like it?
A: Yes. Because I was good. Still am. Used to beat my brother in the backyard version with monotonous regularity. Of course he'll dispute that, but he cheated anyway.
Q: If you could have 100 readers or 100 dollars which one would you choose?
A: This is obviously a trick question. I'd take the $100 and give $1 to each of those 100 readers. The blogosphere is a cheap place.
Q: Is your wife sexier when she's got a bun in the oven?
A: She's even sexier when she's pregnant! (That's a joke. You see bun in the oven is an idiom...oh, never mind).
Pylorns of the extremely well designed Wetwired asks:
Q: So are there many single women in Hong Kong you could hook me up with if I visited?
A: Strictly speaking, this is not About Me. Nevertheless it is something I know about. The answer is no and yes. There are single women in HK, but the number of single men is greater. However, most of the single men are either morons, ugly, rude or a combination of all three. This means any single man who is reasonably intelligent, reasonably presentable and reasonably polite can make a killing in the HK singles market. It is the origin of the saying "Shooting fish in the barrel."
Q: How long do you expect to be in HK?
A: Either until the tax rate rises above Australia's, the Communists expel me or until my mother and mother-in-law forcibly bring the grandchildren back to Oz. Or a few more years, whichever comes first.
Q: Do you have any concerns about raising your kids there (HK) rather than Australia?
A: When JC starts singing "The Internationale" I'll panic. It's a good experience for the kids to grow up in somewhere like HK, giving them a taste of the wider world early in life. And it'll come in handy when we go to eat Chinese back in Oz.
Q: Would you rather read the book or watch the movie that's based on it?
A: It depends if it's porn.
Pieman asks: Any fave HK restaurants/pubs 'n' clubs?
A: Yes. Lucy's at Stanley is a favourite restaurant but Hong Kong is blessed with many great places to eat, even if the service can be patchy. There is a wide varierty of food to meet every budget...and now I'm sounding like Tourism Hong Kong. Seriously food is one thing Hong Kong does well. Pubs there are also plenty in Soho, the Mid-levels, Happy Valley and the like. Favourites? I'm a married man with 3 kids...any pub I can go to is a favourite.
Ilana asks: Do you know how to read Chinese? How did you prepare for your life in Hong Kong? How easy is it for you to speak Chinese and how socially necessary is fluency when socializing?
A: I cannot read Chinese. It's not an easy task and frankly I'm hopeless when it comes to languages. They've got literally thousands of characters and I have trouble remembering what day it is. I can speak very, very basic Cantonese. In Hong Kong being able to speak it for socialising is not that important...if the crowds you move are expats or overseas educated Hong Kongers. English is commonly spoken in these crowds. If you want to speak to locals some understanding of Cantonese will be vital. Also don't forget there is no "Chinese" but rather many different dialects, the main one being Mandarin. They use the same characters but sound completely different.
Finally how did I prepare for my life in Hong Kong? I made sure I am open to new experiences; I read up on the history of the place; I learnt a little of the language; I came and had a look around for a week before we moved here. There's plenty of things you can do but nothing ever really prepares you for any move, to Hong Kong or anywhere else. You need to be adaptable and open to new things and you'll be just fine.
Q: What movie is the biggest utter waste of time you've ever come across? And what movie still has you thinking about how great it was?
A: To the first part, Farewell My Concubine. It was like listening to fingers on blackboard. It is also the only movie I've walked out on. The second part is harder, but given the current frequency with which I'm viewing it, I'd say Shrek 2. Any movie you can watch 50 times without it turning you into a homicidal maniac must be good.
Q: In your Australian experience, why can't women keep their mouth closed while putting on mascara?
A: They're from a different planet, it says so in the book.
Q: What are you most proud of Australia about?
A: Where to begin? Everything from acacias to vegemite.
Q: What's your favorite childhood memory?
A: She wouldn't want me to say here.
Q: Who is your favourite Napoleonic General?
A: This is a trick question. It is Admiral Nelson. Killer fact: 2005 is the 200th anniversary of the victory (or loss) at Waterloo, yet Nelson's love for Emma Hamilton, whom he asked to be looked after by the country in his will, was and will be ignored. This is how Brits look after their hero's dying request (not to metion Hardy's non-kiss).
Q: Have you ever been to jail? If so, why?
A: Yes, I have. It was a rainy afternoon and in a desperate attempt to prevent two boys from going off the deep end, my mother did the only thing she could and sent us both to jail for a spell. Then she bought both Park Lane and Mayfair, put hotels on both and bankrupted us quick smart.
Q: What, apart from your family, do you miss the most about Oz?
A: Oportos. It's a chain that does Portugese style chicken burgers that are as close to heaven as is possible in a bun.
Q: What is the biggest and funniest misunderstanding you've had in HK? I mean, due to language barriers, a cultural protocol you didn't follow or something like that.
A: It was actually just before we came here, when I said to my wife we were giong to move to Hong Kong. In truth she was great about it, once I picked her up off the floor.
Q: Where else would you like to live?
A: Buckingham Palace.
Q: What is an absolute MUST-SEE or MUST-DO for tourists travelling to HK in your opinion?
A: Certainly the airport would be a good place to start, because you don't get much choice. And you get to see it twice.
Zak has asked where in Oz am I from?
A: Sydney, and more specifically the Eastern Suburbs, and even more specifically Vaucluse and Bondi. Yes, that's right. God's country.
October 25th 2005
Q: Tay Zand says It would be useful if your "about me" page actually contained something substantive about you, like what you do. After all, if you are going to accuse China of fudging its economic data, it would carry significantly more weight if we knew that your opinions and analysis are based on some kind of expertise, rather than just the personal opionion of a random ranter.
A: Not quite a question, but close enough. I work in the finance industry for a multinational investment bank. In particular I am a trader of various financial instruments and derivatives. I have done this for more than 10 years in a variety of financial centres. Prior to that I took both a Bachelors and Masters in Economics, majoring in Actuarial Science, from a major Australian university.
What does this have to do with any of my opinions and arguements? Nothing whatsoever. Quite frankly I'd like each post to stand on its own two feet. My background should be irrelevant to the "weight" or otherwise of my opinions and analysis. But now you know, in case it matters to you.
October 26th, 2005
Q: Pudding asks I notice that you hardly ever link to The Standard anymore. And that in the Kissel trial, you have coverage that did not make it into the final edited version of the The Standard. You also write for The Standard regularly, but I've never seen you openly say that.
Are you preventing anyone from noticing this conflict of interest?
A: I link to articles that I find interesting, want to use as a reference or make a comment on. In general if the SCMP and Standard have similar articles on a topic, I will reference The Standard. There is no deliberate policy of linking to one or the other paper on a regular basis - I link ad hoc.
I had no input into The Standard's coverage of the Kissel trial.
I write op-ed pieces that are published in The Standard. I added the Other Writing link in the left sidebar to a page that lists the articles that have been published. I chose not to make a general announcement out of a combination of modesty and a deliberate decision to not explicitly link the blog with those articles. If people discover the link, that's fine, but I'm not drawing attention to it, which is why I have not mentioned my blog at all in The Standard pieces.
As such I am not preventing anyone from doing anything. I fail to see the perceived "conflict of interest", but with this answer I hope to have dispelled any such perceptions.
Q: Lord Curzon of Coming Anarchy asks what's it like being a banker? Would you recommend it to budding college graduates?
A: I wouldn't recommend anything to budding college graduates. I very much enjoy banking and what I do, which breaks the modern taboo of publicly enjoying your work, but there you go. It's a wide field and in times past people came into the job from all walks of life. These days it seems graduates are coming through very specific finance or business degrees, which gives them a solid theoretical background and demonstrates a keenness on the industry. But to be honest, I learnt more in the first month on the job than I did in four years of university training.
To finally answer your question, it very much depends. If you enjoy finance, economics, stress, living by your wits and mouth, using your brain for long stretches of time and constantly being challenged, then banking is a great career.
Q: Spirit Fingers asks boxers or briefs?
A: I've been "hanging out" since I was 18.
Q: Fumier asks who do you think is the greatest living Australian, apart from Rolf Harris?
Q: Stephen asks what is your real name? What is the most enjoyable part you live in Hong Kong? How do you see Hong Kong's gals?
A: There are enough clues lying around this site as to my full name. I'll leave it as a puzzle for you. The most enjoyable part of living here? There's numerous things - good lifestyle, low tax rate, Asia on your doorstep, great food, good people. As for how I see Hong Kong's gals, that's easy. With my eyes.
Why are you in Hong Kong? Do you like it better than Australia? Have you ever played cricket? Did you like it? If you could have 100 readers or 100 dollars which one would you choose? Is your wife sexier when she's got a bun in the oven?
Let's see...either you are unnaturally intimidating or people already know everything they want to about you or they don't want to know anything about you. Or am I the only person who can take a half a minute to jot down a couple questions.
Maybe you should offer bribes!
How long do you expect to be in HK?
Do you have any concerns about raising your kids there instead of in Australia?
Would you rather read the book or watch the movie that's based on it?
Interesting dialogue with Winds of Change. Do you know how to read Chinese? How did you prepare for your life in Hong Kong? How easy is it for you to speak Chinese and how socially necessary is fluency when socializing?
I notice that you hardly ever link to The Standard anymore. And that in the Kissel trial, you have coverage that did not make it into the final edited version of the The Standard. You also write for The Standard regularly, but I've never seen you openly say that.
Are you preventing anyone from noticing this conflict of interest?
Through a monumental co-incidence, both my excellent co-blogger Dave and I will be unable to post to the blog from this coming Monday for the next week. If you are interested in taking on a guest blogging slot from next Monday until next Sunday, please send me an email or leave a comment here. You've got until noon Friday Hong Kong time.
The last time I tried this it was extremely successful, and if any of the previous guest bloggers would like to take up the reigns, let me know.
I've been waiting for an excuse to get back into the game, so this looks as good of an opportunity as I'll get in this world. I've been stuck in grad school IR coursework, and I've got a midterm break coming next week from my day job.
I don't know if a lowly 22 year old blogger in Beijing can muster enough intellectual might to be a guest on your site, but perhaps you could browse a few seconds on my turf to see if I've got the "Right Stuff"?
Before I get to the numbers for September, a few important announcements.
1. With the help of my good buddy Jim, I have registered and steup the website http://www.simonworld.net as a secondary adress for this blog. Both sites will have exactly the same information and format, and either can be read, linked, or referenced in the usual manner. There is no need to adjust your bookmarks or links, but this should make it easier for those who find the .mu.nu domain too difficult to deal with while providing a potential backup site...just in case.
2. I have had the pleasure of using Phin from apothegm design to do some maintenance work around the site. The response was quick, the cost modest and the results perfect. If you need any site work or design help, give 'em a call.
Thank you to everyone else who also linked and visited.
For those interested, some stats for September:
* 28,178 unique visitors made 61,508 unique visits, reading a total of 166,466 pages,and drawing 13.23 GB of bandwidth.
* This equals 2,050 visitors per day reading 5,548 pages each day. In other words each visitor reads 2.7 pages on average. Each visitor returned on average 2.18 times during the month.
* 1,959 visited this site via their favourites/bookmarks. 217 subscribe via Bloglines and 178 via Feedburner.
* 65.6% of you use IE, 16.2% Firefox, 3.1% Safari, 1.4% Mozilla, 1.3% Opera and 1% Netscape to browse this site. 82.4% of you use Windows, 5.6% Mac, 1.1% Linux.
* 15.1% of visits were via search engines, of which Google was 74.4% and Yahoo 17.6%. The top search phrases were "Nancy Kissel", "Robert Kissel", "Simon World" (still no. 1 for that one!) and "Icered".
* The most visited individual page remains the "Nancy Kissel trial archive".
You may have noticed that I have added Blogads to the left sidebar. For an extremely low cost you can have an ad seen by 12,000 Hong Kong, China and Asia focussed visitors each week. Placing an ad is easy: just follow this advertise on Simon World link.
The proceeds from advertising on this site go towards improving it. Once there's enough in the kitty I'll be getting some much needed behind the scenes work done, as well as some cosmetic surgery on the bits you can see...just as any reasonable tai-tai would. Anything leftover will go into a newly formed marketing budget which will include buying ads on other blogs (sharing the wealth) and an unlimited expense account (spending the wealth).
I have been a long time fan of your site, so I am happy to say that I have taken up your call and bought an ad on your site for the next three months. I submitted it and paid yesterday, and I look forward to seeing it soon!
Thank you for all the excellent work you do on this site.
This site has a new mascot...and I've discovered how much I'm worth (about $11,000 and 2 giraffes).
Firstly, the blurb.
Simon, a Red Panda, plays in a tree at Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo September 5, 2005. Jerusalem's Biblical Zoo has a new addition, a rare Chinese-born Red Panda. The eight kilogram (19 pound) bear-like mammal was purchased two months ago from a zoo in Singapore for about $11,000 and in exchange for two giraffes.
Depressingly, I decided to Google my name and see if any animals have my name.
I'm not only one of the more unattractive (although at least I get to be clever) animals, I'm a senior citizen and they want to make out with a fellow senior citizen with the unfortunate name of "Timmie". I think I may just end it all now. God knows, I can do without hoovering up all that silver hair on the bed linens in the morning.
What a beautiful red panda! Honestly, few creatures are so darn cute--half kitten, half teddy bear. At my local zoo, there's always a huge crowd of both kids and adults in front of our red panda exhibit.
I will be travelling from Monday for the best part of 2 weeks on what Mrs M has dubbed "The World Terror Targets Tour", taking in the pollution of the Big Apple, the grime of Big Ben and a quick sojourn in the Land of Milk and Evacuations of orange-wearing nutters. In preparation I have done two things:
1. Massively increased my life insurance.
2. Asked Dave and Andres to again guest blog after their successful stint.
I will have intermittent blog access and will post when I can.
Unfortunately I will be away for the second anniversary of this site (that's the same as 56 human years). As such I have reposted directly below this "Everything you wanted to know about blogging but were afraid to ask", which I wrote to celebrate my first anniversary and is still right on the money. That post still brings in 30 hits a day and it got a truckload of trackbacks, so I figure it's time to milk it again. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.
Enjoy and don't go toppling any oppressive Communist dictatorships while I'm gone.
World terror targets tour?
You mean you visited Zamboanga last week? Or Bengaladesh? or maybe Southern Thailand?
Or were you in Colombia when the three priests were murdered last week?
Actually, you are probably safer in NYC than in Manila...
Thanks to Robyn from Sekimori. I hope you like the new design. It survived a hurricane in Florida, a new tooth, a new baby, a difficult to please client and numerous technical issues to complicated for me to explain because I don't understand them myself.
As always, feedback appreciated.
UPDATE: One of the improvements is you are now able to take this blog with you! For those with PDAs, try this handy link. It also appears at the bottom of the left sidebar.
shaky, unfortunately for this particular design (which had to be fixed-width due to the column detail and header graphic) the center column had to be this thin - as two sidebars were requested - and otherwise those stuck at lower resolutions would be forced to deal with horizontal scroll.
cnn.com is actually has a thinner "main column" of text by 80 pixels, so it just depends on how you judge size. ;-)