Sunday, 25 October 2009

Beijing City Guide by Design*Sponge

Maybe you already know design*sponge, a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by writer Grace Bonney. This extremely successful blog also has a growing collection of city guides, that are compiled with the help of readers. Design*Sponge city guide to Beijing is quiet a complete list of things to do & see in this fast changing city.

Like many others which are planning a trip to Beijing the authors of this city guide came across my blog. They liked the "great beijing home/decor shopping list from beijing notebook" and included a link to this blog.
Thanks for the mention !

I can recommend to check out this new online city guide as it is compiled just recently, in August 2009 and includes all the new stuff - and the old stuff that has not vanished.

Friday, 23 October 2009

This Saturday in Beijing : Urban Carpets by Instant Hutong

click on flyer (including map) to enlarge

Stefano Avesani from instant hutong send me an email to post about their event on this Saturday in Beijing. Thanks, I love to announce it here on my blog.  -   If I would still be in Beijing I would definately go. I love the atmosphere of the neighbourhood in hutongs, the small aleys in old Beijing ! And the photos of the previous exhibitions of Urban Carpets look so interesting.

Here the details :

URBAN CARPET 8x5 · 都市地毯8x5

四 4th one day-only exhibition

2009年10月25日, 11am – 6pm

no.17 Cao Chang Tou Tiao, Xian Yu Kou Di Qu, Chong Wen District



Xian Yu Kou district perfectly embodies the contradictions stemming from the rapid transformations which overwhelmed Beijing neighbourhoods in the past few years. The target of real estate policies has been partially abandoned and the spaces have recently been re-occupied by the former inhabitants. None of the traditional city descriptions can suit Xian Yu Kou, which is, nowadays, a surprising and totally fascinating combination of city and countryside, urban spaces and natural ones, rural habits blended in with contemporary facilities. This micro phenomenon is taking place at the very centre of the large metropolis of Beijing.

Works by·艺术家 :


photo via instanthutong


I would love to hear from anyone who went their, please leave a comment.


Monday, 19 October 2009

Learning the meaning of Chinese Characters

I (wǒ), the hand that is holding a weapon

When learning Chinese characters you will be tought that Chinese characters are divided in six categories (六書 liùshū or "Six Writings").

To one of the six categories belong the characters that are created by two or more pictographics to a  "joined meaning" (會意 huì yì ).


木 [木] mù  = 1 tree
林 [林] lín =  2 x trees = forest

Here some more "joined meanings" or so called "ideogrammic compounds" :

 亻 man leaning at a  木 tree resting  休 xiū

日 sun and 月 moon  =  bright 明 míng

 女 woman with a  子 child   =  good   好 hǎo

 力 strength working on a  田 ricefield  =   male  男 nán

豕 pig under a 宀 roof  =  family, home  家 jiā

 手 hand  holding a  戈 weapon   = I   我

Isn't this interesting how the Chinese sign for "I" (我 wǒ) was composed (above picture) ?

I am "The hand that is holding a weapon" !

This results from really rough times. If you cannot defend yourself, you cannot exist !

Actually, my latest Chinese teacher told me that the sign 我 (, engl.:  I ) is a combination of the sign for "corn" (or grain) and the sign for "weapon" (here: lance).  The corn is to feed yourself and the weapon is to defend yourself.

I could not verify if corn (禾 hé) is meant here for the first sign or if it is rather the hand  手. If there is a Chinese expert among my readers, please feel free to comment about that post!

Check out this link - it will show a new Chinese characters any minute :

I added the link to my blogroll, so anytime you visit you can learn some Chinese.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

10 Simple Actions to contribute for a better Planet

Today is Blog Action Day and I am participating because our planet is in danger. Every human being that is able to think should be aware about how much our planet is threatened by climate change, global warming and shortness of resources, to name some environmental problems which again cause social unbalance that can result in poverty, terror and war. It is a very complex subject. Our children and grandchildren will face tough times.

But where to start and who to start ?
Today, blog action day is focusing on the environmental problem "climate change".
Please take a minute and read the following what you could do today and maybe next week and more and more often :

10 simple actions to contribute for a better Planet :

1) Replace regular light bulbs with an energy saving light bulbs

2) Move your radiator down 1-2 degrees in winter (and the aircon up 1-2 degrees in summer) - (editors remark: If you are already are allowed to heat in Beijing...)

3) Use less hot water (it costs energy to heat water)

4) Air dry your clothes instead of using a dryer as often as possible

5) Only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load and use the energy-saving setting

6) Unplug electronics from the wall when you’re not using them (even when turned off, cell phone chargers and televisions use energy. The energy used to keep display clocks lit and memory chips working may account for 5 % of total domestic energy consumption !)

7) Plant a tree - or think twice before cutting down a tree ! (a single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Shade provided by trees can also reduce your air conditioning bill by 10 to 15%.)

8) Buy locally grown food (transportation is polluting and consumes energy) - and buy fresh food instead of frozen (frozen food uses 10 times more energy to produce).

9) Eat less meat !!! (The production of 1 kg of beef consumes about 13,000 liter of water !!! And methane is the second most significant greenhouse gas and cows are one of the greatest methane emitters. Their grassy diet and multiple stomachs cause them to produce methane, which they exhale with every breath.)

10) Drive less ! Walk, bike, do carpooling or use public transportation !

(source: Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth)

Today I will buy fresh food at the farmer's market, eat no meet and use public transportation ! (It so easy! Every little effort of each human being counts !)

What is your contribution or tip ?!

Follow these links for more information about saving the planet (who is thinking, what to do and how to contribute) :

Club of Rome
Global Marshall Plan
An inconvenience truth

Blog Action Day: Climate Change 'co2' ideas

Climate Change 'co2' ideas
Originally uploaded by net_efekt

Yes ! It has consequences !

Dont' drive !
Ride your BICYCLE in Beijing today !

Friday, 2 October 2009

60 Years People Republic of China

Happy 60th birthday to PR China and its people !

Yesterday, the world could see the big party and parades on Tiananmen Square.
The Chinese government is good in well organizing big public parties and knows how to ensure good weather!

A hillarious parade of good looking tall Chinese female soldiers (above is a training photo by Reuters)

The media including internet provides tons of information and comments about this birthday and China in general.

I decided to provide the following links on this occasion  :

Ai Weiwei,  contemporary Chinese artist, blogs another kind of birthday speech for his motherland about 60 years of shame and ignorance.

At the moment Ai Weiwei stays in Munich (Germany) where he got operated because of an injury that he claims happened during beiing beaten up by Chinese police. But the main reason is the upcoming opening of his exposition "So sorry" on October 12, 2009 at the Haus der Kunst in Munich.

Don't miss Ai Weiwei's article on Times Magazine reflecting on the subject. 

(Images : Reuters)


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