Tuesday, 28 July 2009

fish of the day

not my dog (V)

nor my cow

fish of the day

theme park (?) on the way to Rameswaram

Sunday, 26 July 2009

fish of the day (any guesses?)

(A: pattern left on road by sun-dried fish)

fish of the day

SUNDAY, 26 JULY 2009

graffiti/art on road
it could have been written for me:
fish, flower, love

fish of the day

SATURDAY, 25 July 2009
i passed this boy and his fishing equipment,
and he was happy to pose for a photo
then he went back to work:

penghu gambling refendum

FRIDAY, 24 JULY 2009

China Post editorial:
Penghu gov't's upcoming gambling referendum

Last month, reports filtered in that a Taiwanese woman was missing somewhere near Tokyo, having been forced into prostitution until she paid off her boyfriend's gambling debts.
His mistake, it seems, was to have undertaken a series of losing bets with Taiwan's most notorious underworld gang. The gang initially exploited his grilfriend in one of its local establishments, but when her boyfriend's gambling continued, and his losses increased, the gang sold her to a Japanese mob gang.
With minor exceptions — such as the state-run lottery — gambling is illegal in Taiwan, and so is the preserve of competing gangs. Indentured prostitution, more commonly of daughters rather than girlfriends, has traditionally been just one of the unpleasant social consequences. But whether these are more likely to result from illegal gambling or legalized gambling is a hotly debated issue. Taiwan is set to conduct a social experiment that might help to find the answer.
Following the growth in online gambling and with an eye on garnering a slice of Macau's gaming-related revenues, Taiwan's national legislature passed a bill permitting the establishment of casinos on outlying islands. Next month, residents of the Penghu Archipelago (Pescadores) will vote in a referendum to decide if they want casinos in their island backyard.
Good luck to them. The consequences of gambling — social, economic, moral and environmental — are notoriously difficult to evaluate for academics, specialists and politicians, and of course for individual citizens.
On social issues, for example, it is not clear whether gambling would bring crime, drugs, prostitution, gangsters and increased suicide to Penghu, as the no-vote campaign maintains — and as the Russian government concluded before closing thousands of casinos this month — or whether by legalizing gambling such problems would diminish.
For example, despite much detailed research, it is not clear whether Las Vegas' unenviable status as America's suicide capital is a result of gambling or merely that the city's fast and loose environment draws potential suicides just as it draws high-rollers.
Similarly baffling are the economic implications. Those advocating gambling point to the vast profits made by casinos in Macau, Las Vegas, Monte Carlo and even less-publicized successes such as Canada. Gambling will bring jobs to the archipelago, they argue, firstly for construction of casinos and then for their operation. By reversing the islands' waning fortunes — increased tourism does not offset the decline in fishing — the mass migration of the islands' youths to Taiwan proper might be reversed.
Others argue that gambling profits are a finite resource, and as more countries relax regulations on gambling and allow more forms of gambling, the pie will be split into ever smaller pieces. “Gambling tourism” will dwindle, therefore, as punters place bets nearer home. Moreover, opponents say, all but a handful of work opportunities will be McJobs suited to students back home on vacation but not to young people hoping for sustainable employment and a career on which to raise a family.
Indeed, some residents worry that the role models provided by wealthy betters could undermine young people's work ethic altogether, replacing the islanders' renowned long-term industrious outlook with the get-rich-quick mentality that has already corrupted many in Taiwan. It is this environment of easy money and easy losses that anti-casino campaigners claim will lead to escalating social problems and, indeed, to illegal gambling alongside legal forms, and will not be limited to those gambling or working in casinos. Las Vegas' high suicide rate, double the national average, applies to casino workers and other residents, as well as visitors.
While the social, economic and moral debates are unclear, pro-casino advocates find it hard to argue that extending docks and expanding runways for larger and more numerous boats and planes, constructing casinos, hotels and resorts, and attracting ever more visitors, will have positive impact on Penghu's near-pristine environment. Located in the middle of the Taiwan Strait, with little intensive agriculture and even less industry, the islands have air and water qualities that are among the ROC's purest. This is what attracts the current half-million tourists each year, and if gambling threatens Penghu's environment, it will therefore threaten the emerging tourist industry. It will also put enormous strain on the islands' water resources since, without any rivers, all water that does not come from rain catchments must be taken from the groundwater. On a larger scale, construction of casinos on outlying islands accessible most conveniently by airplane will increase Taiwan's contribution to emission of greenhouse gases.
With these considerations in mind, perhaps, the central government has altered its outright support for casino construction to talk of “balanced development including casinos.” It is Penghu's local government officials who are particularly gung-ho about introducing gambling and who have been pushing for holding a referendum.
Let us hope that they have the islands' and the islanders' best interests at heart. Moreover, should Penghu residents cast their votes against the casinos, let us not witness the abuse of democratic process whereby officials hold referendum after referendum until they get the result they desire.
Let us also hope that the islanders somehow manage to evaluate the complex information being presented to them, and achieve what experts and academics cannot: to decide whether introducing gambling is to the archipelago's advantage.

(not quite the original ending, but hey ... )

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

fish of the day

another view of Pondy's fish market

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

fish of the day

Pondicheri's fish market is THE centre of the traditional market

if he can .... (without using his legs)

Friday, 17 July 2009

fish of the day

fishermen examining their morning catch
Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu

Thursday, 16 July 2009

if she can ...

"Nothing can stop me. Period"
this is funny
and surprising for "conservative" India

fish of the day

cycling out of Chennai,
i stopped to photograph these fish
and of course a cyclist came by just at the right moment

view from the ... beach

just arrived:
mamallapuram beach near sunset

fish of the day

roadside fish seller
19 km south of Chennai

photo of the day

i stayed an extra day in Chennai to photograph rickshaws with Italian journalist Mattia
he has a great idea for an off-beat article relating to Indian rickshaw drivers --
anyone interested?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

fish of the day

Landmark Bookstore has bags covered in interesting "facts"

some of which are definetly fishy

whereas this one is just fish-related

(apologies for the hot spots)

photo of the day

and on the topic of taking children to school:

if he can ... (take four girls to school)

Monday, 13 July 2009

fish of the day

MONDAY, 13 JULY 2009

and another carving on the way down from Tirumala

energy boost for pilgrims

popped rice with spices,
a popular pilgrims' snack

photo of the day

article on indian pilgrimage, anyone?

fish of the day

SUNDAY, 12 JULY 2009

fish carving near beginning of the pilgrims' walk at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh

Saturday, 11 July 2009

fish of the day

restaurant ("mess"?) in Muslim neighbourhood of Chennai (Madras)

fish of the day


fish art passing the bus i'm riding

not my dog (iv)

hot hot hot

fish of the day


advert in Mumbai domestic airport

first thing in India

first thing in India:

a cup of masala tea

(even if it did cost me a quid in the airport coffee shop)

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

fish of the day

no, Shad, i didn't talk to them

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

(fake) fish of the day

vegetarian yellow curry soy fish

(for those readers who cannot read upside down)

Monday, 6 July 2009

fish of the day

part of TOPS supermarket food court campaign to make people eat healthier, perhpas
here's the whole thing
repeated around the dining area:

i had fish
(though i've had better)
but they do sell a lot of rubbish

and if they wanted it to have more effect
maybe they should translate it to Thai

maybe they just think it's a pretty food-related design
maybe they don't actually know what it means

no, she isn't eating McFish

three men in a boat

three men in a boat

together for a moment
but alone in their thoughts
going somewhere before the afternoon rains begin

Saturday, 4 July 2009

turn down your AC (please)

Less use of air conditioners would be better for us all

A strict no-air-conditioning ban was enforced for 87,000 Taiwanese students taking the college entrance examinations this week despite temperatures in many areas reaching 34 to 36 degrees Celsius.

Although this long-term practice is being promoted as a pragmatic means to ensure fairness, since air conditioning is not available at all exam locations, rather than for environmental reasons, it nevertheless offers a good opportunity for the country to reconsider its addiction to air conditioning. If students can manage without A/C in the heat of examinations, could not the rest of the population go cold turkey once in a while? Perhaps the date of these annual examinations could be appropriated as a “National Turn Off Air Conditioning Day.”

If not 'Off,' then 'Down,' since air conditioners consume energy and contribute to climate change in proportion to each degree they are set below ambient temperature.

This means that on hot summer days, air conditioning set to the low 20s can account for more than 50 percent of household energy consumption. This, in turn, means 50 percent of energy costs for the individuals concerned, an increased burden on the country's resources, and an increased threat to the earth's future well-being.

Some cling to the notion that leaving their air conditioning running all day while they are at work so that they can return to cool homes actually saves on energy. This is nonsense, and since most air conditioning units can be programmed to come on at a selected time, it is quite possible to have them cool the home 10 minutes before returning rather than running for 10 hours.

Pursuit of environmentally friendly A/C starts in the store, when energy-efficiency ratings should be considered in addition to price tags. Despite recent technological developments resulting from increased awareness about greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change, air conditioning continues to present a threat to the environment and personal health, just as it has since its invention.

The first commercial A/C units used toxic or inflammable gases such as ammonia and propane. From the 1920s these were replaced with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases that were safer for people, but were later found to be harmful to the earth's ozone layer, which in turn increased the risk of skin cancer, reduced marine plankton and so forth.

Vehicle A/C systems can be a cause of sinusitis in some people, while poorly maintained air conditioning may lead to the proliferation of micro-organisms such as Legionella pneumophila, the cause of Legionnaires' disease. Old and inefficient units can also generate sound levels equivalent to living beside an airport and can contribute to hearing loss.

This latter situation is not a problem of new high-tech machines, of course, which operate at a low hum.

They do, however, present a sizable contribution to man-made climate change. Cooling agents such as CFCs and their modern replacements are greenhouse gases with far more global-warming potential than carbon dioxide should they leak into the atmosphere.

There is also the vicious cycle whereby people run their AC units to offset the effects of hot, humid weather, although this increases the likelihood of hot, humid weather.

So for National Turn Off/Down Air Conditioning Day — indeed, for every day — individual citizens can make a real contribution by running their units only when necessary and only to create comfortably cool temperatures, not chilly Arctic ones. Doors and windows should be kept closed whenever possible, and A/C filters should be cleaned often and replaced when necessary.

Other equipment, from the humble light bulb to stereos, computers and televisions should be used only when necessary, since not only do they consume energy themselves — and therefore contribute to greenhouse gas emission — but A/C systems must work even harder to deal with the heat they produce.

These common sense actions relating to air conditioners are just the tip of the iceberg. Individuals can make real savings to their own budgets and to the planet's health in just about every area of their daily lives. Clothes dry just as well hung on a line as thrown in a machine, and locally produced food is just as tasty, and generally much fresher, than imported food.

Eating less meat is not just good for the heart and arteries but, since the methane emitted by meat production accounts for as much global warming as all forms of transportation, also good for the environment. Carbon dioxide produced by cars, trucks and airplanes is just as significant, so walking, cycling, taking public transportation or even carpooling are all positive contributions to reducing the impact of climate change.

All of which is to say that while governments have a major role in finding ways to reduce the onset and impacts of climate change, it is everyone's responsibility to minimize his or her own contribution to the problem.

Friday, 3 July 2009

fish of the day

watch out, there's a thief about (II)

It is hard to make a visit to Carrefour (CLWTCLW) without them mischarging some item
ALWAYS in their favour
especially on supposedly discounted goods

but today they excelled
overcharging me by more than NT$100
on goods marked at a little over NT$300
almost 40 % overcharge

having sorted that out
and received a desultory "sorry"
I went for dinner,
and was immediately asked for NT$254
for items worth NT$234

my turn to apogise,
as my language was quite rude

the government could solve this attempted robbery at a stroke
by introducing a law whereby a shop must refund twice the overcharged sum
or 3x
or 4x ...

Thursday, 2 July 2009

fish of the day

two for the price of one (a photo and an idiom)
the photo is near Ximending (西門町)
it is an adertising poster for an advertising company.
the idiom 如魚得水 means much the same in English: "Like a fish in water"

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

we have to share the roads (planet) with a'holes like this

this car looks like it's turning the corner
it isn't,
the driver must think this meets the definition of "parking"

or he's just too rich to give a shit,

anyway, he didn't like me photographing it,
here he is, coming back to move his car
(about two feet)