Tuesday, 30 January 2007

XING - What is the Chinese Meaning?

The German internet network former known as openBC is going global with a new name: XING. An official explanation for the meaning of XING is not available. Of course I first thought it is Chinese. But it is also the American abbreviation for ‘Crossing’. Xing.com reaches out for two new markets: America and China. That is maybe why they have chosen a name that makes sense in both markets. But what is the meaning in Chinese? A friend visiting Beijing just reminded me that I still do not know.

I thought it might be ‘Star’. So I asked my Chinese teacher today and she said it means ‘okay’.

More curious I looked it up in my dictionary. Depending on the tone and Chinese character there are different meanings. I only picked the best:

1st tone XĪNG: to flourish, to start / star, particle / intelligent / raw meat, fishy smell
2nd tone XÍNG: penalty, torture / journey, to do, it is okay, behaviour / body, form
3rd tone XĬNG: to survey, to visit / to re-gain conscious, to wake-up / to sneeze
4th tone XÌNG: joy, interest / peach / luck / nature, gender

I am sure that XING.com should not mean fishy smell, torture or sneezing.

CONCLUSION: Communication in China is difficult. Chinese people have to guess what someone means by saying something.

Friday, 26 January 2007

About Feng Shui

With this article I applied at About.com to become a guide about Feng Shui. As I never got a reply and I am not going to be a Feng Shui guide soon, I am sharing here my research:

About Feng Shui

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of arranging elements in your environment to improve your health, happiness and prosperity.

The roots of Feng Shui (literally 'wind' and 'water') dates back about five thousand years when the first nomads settled down in the south of today’s People's Republic of China (PRC). These farmers learned that the location and timing of sowings is essential to yield a large crop. They developed this knowledge about nature and applied it on other things in life such as the layout of dwellings and graves. Later, all capital cities of China including the imperial palaces followed rules of Feng Shui for their design and layout.

Feng Shui became a science used by the rich and powerful. During the communist revolution the practice of it was officially forbidden in the PRC. Although it is no longer forbidden today, Feng Shui is less common in the PRC as it is often thought of as "feudalistic superstitious practice". However, in other Asian countries, especially Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia it has been widely spread.

Over many centuries different schools of Feng Shui have developed. Each school has a slightly different approach to the subject, although the basic principles are the same.

The classical Chinese Feng Shui focuses on the landscape contours and the auspicious positioning of buildings. This Feng Shui school is also called the Form School and is mainly used in Asia in architecture to construct buildings with good Feng Shui to ensure success and prosperity to its residents - including companies and hotels.

The two most popular forms of Feng Shui in the West are the Compass School and the Black Hat Sect, founded in California 1986 - or a combination of both. This western Feng Shui is more adapted to modern daily life. It helps decorating private homes or office space in a way to improve health and happiness. To achieve these targets different methods and tools are in use by different schools.

Many books on Feng Shui are published. Much information is provided on the internet. Anyone can start to make changes in their home or office. But most important is to follow your own intuition to improve your life.

Update: About.com wrote me later that they already have found a guide to Feng Shui. Her name is Rodika Tchi and she is a real expert.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Chinese Diet

My Chinese Doctor says food can change our genes.
If we eat bad food, the cells can change and later the genes and we can become sick. Vice versa, if we eat good food, we are improving the cells and change the genes in a good way and stay healthy.

In order everybody stays healthy I want to share his version of a Chinese Diet.

Foods to be avoided (forbidden):

1. Cold Foods: Foods that are refrigerated or frozen, especially ice cream, cold drinks, ice water
2. Foods of Cold Nature: e.g. green tea, watermelon and pears (food of cold nature cause the body too cool itself)
3. Gas Foods: Oranges, orange juice, sweet potato, soda drinks (e.g. Coke) (cause gas in the stomach)
4. Fried Foods: French fries, fried chicken (KFC) etc.
5. Stress Food: coffee, beer, spicy food
6. Toxic Food: Seafood, lamb and duck

Activities / Exercises to be Avoided (forbidden):

Jumping, running, weight lifting, golfing, tennis, horse riding, sit ups, crossing your legs, computer work;

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Beautiful Beijing

I think I am falling in love with Beijing. Winter is so beautiful here. The air seems so fresh and clean. The sky so blue. I should take pictures here and there. The city and life is changing so fast that taking a picture today means shooting tomorrow’s history….

Instead of making own pictures I came across flickr.com and searched for some Beijing shots. Wow, I am impressed what great shots are posted there. Here is a link for Beijing Winter Photos

And here are some of my favourites:

Beijing on Ice by Dror Poleg

Hutong by Stephen van der Mark

Liu Li Chang by Natalie Behring

I am impressed by Natalie Behring. I checked out her website and read an interview with her. She is a photojournalist based in Beijing. And she is really good. I think she does not live far from where I live. I am not sure if I can dare to contact her and ask her whether she can teach me some techniques. But maybe I get a camera first…

After liking her photos I discovered that the cover of the new Insider’s Guide to Beijing 2007 is from her and much more of her photographs can be found inside. Yes, she is really good. She shows Beijing the way I like it.

New Blue Skies Target for Beijing

It is winter in Beijing and the sky is blue blue blue every day and the sun is shining – beautiful!

The government has planned even more blue skies for this year!

245 is the number of days that Beijing has set as its "blue sky" target for 2007.

After surpassing last year's goal of 238 days to achieve a total of 241.

Beijing has already got off to a good start with the first blue sky day of 2007 being registered on Jan 6 and then had 8 blue sky days in a row. Much better than January 2006!

A blue sky day means the air pollution index is below or equal 100 micrograms particulate matter per cubic meter.

Picture by Xiaming.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Beijing Air Pollution Summary 2006

As announced last year I publish today my summary of the 2006 air pollution index of Beijing. I deem it special that the Chinese government publishes these figures. I wanted to compare European cities with Beijing and was unable to find such a precise statistic from any other country… maybe someone can help me?
But what I found out is that e.g. Munich had already passed the 35-day-goal of the European Commission at the end of March 2006 – while Beijing had passed it on February 4th with 35 bad days in a row. To remember: a ‘good’ or ‘healthy’ day is considered a day with less than 50 mgr of PM10 per cubic meter. (PM10 = particulate matter / Germ. Feinstaub)

Beijing Air Pollution Summary 2006:
2006 had only 26 'healthy' days.
The other 329 days were polluted.
Among these, seven days reached level five (400 to over 500 mgr/m3 of PM10)

Best month:
JULY with five healthy days! (July 13, 18, 22, 25 and 26)

Worst month:
APRIL with two days over 500 mgr/m3 of PM10 and no healthy day! (April 9 and 10)

Best day:
September 4, with only 28 mgr/m3 of PM10!

Worst days:
April 9, April 10, May 17 and December 12 with over 500 mgr/m3 of PM10

For further information e.g. impact on your health:
Australian Government, Department of the Environment

Monday, 15 January 2007

Craig's First Bond First Shown In China

For the first time famous British spy ‘Ling Ling Qi’ (‘007') is coming officially to China Mainland. After 44 years, ‘Casino Royale’, achieved something no other Bond movie ever had – it was approved by the Chinese censors. This has nothing to do with Daniel Craig alias Bond, James Bond or the content. It is China preparing to be more modern and open minded. Remember, China is meeting the world in 2008...

But back to Daniel Craig being Bond. I have to confess that I was one of those sillies who signed the funny ‘Daniel Craig is not Bond’ petition. 1) Because I am a big fan of handsome Pierce Brosnan and Craig, 38 does not look better or younger than Brosnan, 53. 2) Because Craig apparently dumped lovely German actress Heike Makatsch for an affair with crazy model Kate Moss.

But of course I am not that silly to boycott a Bond movie for this. I saw it on DVD and have to say this is a new type of Bond. Craig is no gentleman. He does lots of things different: the car (Nissan?), the martini order, the Craig made ‘Ursula Andress-scene’, the verbal Omega Product Placement, Craig's almost resigning etc. And the scenes are more brutal. Take the opening scene where Craig drowns his enemy in a sink of a public toilet. No comparison to the great opening scene of ‘Goldeneye’ and its great soundtrack.

No matter the critics, when you are a fan of Bond movies you go and watch ‘Casino Royale’ anyway. The movie will be shown in Beijing cinemas from January 30. If you cannot wait that long, get a pirate copy DVD e.g. at Jenny Lou’s supermarket for 10 RMB (about 1,20 USD).


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