Friday, 22 February 2008

Lantern festival (Yuanxiao jie 元宵节/節)

I can't believe I almost forgot to mention this.

Yesterday was the last day of CNY festivities. Although the public holiday was for one week, the actual time period of CNY is 15 days, ending yesterday 21st February.

I feel a little ashamed to say I didn't even know about this or what it's called. I don't recall ever learning about it :( All I knew was that last night the fireworks started up all over again but given I had seen and heard them so many times already I didn't even get up to look at them (I was kind of sick of them now to be honest)! I did have a quick look out the window later though, and noticed that the moon was very high, full, big and bright. Coincidence? I think not! ;)

From Wikipedia:

yuánxiāojié) or (Yuanxiao Festival), also known as the Shang Yuan Festival (simplified Chinese: 上元节; traditional Chinese: 上元節; pinyin: shàngyuánjié) is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar year in the Chinese calendar. During the Lantern Festival, children go out at night to temples carrying rabbit-shaped lanterns. The 15th day of the 1st lunar month is the Chinese Lantern Festival because the first lunar month is called yuan-month and in the ancient times people called night Xiao. The 15th day is the first night to see a full moon. According to the Chinese tradition, at the very beginning of a new year, when there is a bright full moon hanging in the sky, there should be thousands of colorful lanterns hung out for people to appreciate. At this time, people will try to solve the puzzles on the lanterns and eat yuanxiao (glutinous rice ball) and get all their families united in the joyful atmosphere.

Well there you go.. the things I learn by living in China and reading Wikipedia!

Edison Chen scandal

It is over.... or is it?

I hadn't blogged about this at all but anyone who is anyone in Asia or considers themself Asian would've known about this by now so there is no need for me to repeat the news and be stupid by posting the pics up on my blog. All I can say is - leave the poor man alone! He wasn't the one who distributed the photos. He's apologised and is going to quit showbiz. I don't understand why people are always so obsessed with celebrities' lives and pounce on them the minute they aren't shown to be 'perfect' and 'flawless.'

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Spring has sprung!... kinda

Over the last few days I've noticed something. The roads are still quiet. People are still on holidays and not everyone is back at work... yet. It is so strange to see it so quiet and see little shops closed.

It has been getting warmer. The snow is 99.9% gone. Where there once used to be big huge chunks of it on our apartment premises, there is now none :( or very little left. I know it's been getting warmer because (apart from the snow melting more):
1) I can feel it (there seems to be a significant difference between 0 and 5 degrees),
2) the hubby mentioned it to me and has been wearing less layers to work,
3) the ayi mentioned it to me
4) the landlord mentioned to me
5) now when I go to sleep the aircon/heater is not at 30 degrees but at 23 degrees (down from 26 previously). Actually I turned it off totally the night before last, but found that a little bit uncomfortable on my face (kept feeling like I was going to sneeze but didn't) so I left it on last night, but at a lower temperature.

There are lots of posts I could do but I am too lazy to upload my photos. :( Plus also the internet has been acting up lately!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Orkut - Google's answer to Facebook

I consider myself a fairly net savvy person. I usually know most things going on around the 'net, web, or whatever you call it.. Anyway, I happened to see "Orkut" mentioned on some forum I found through Google. Curious, I went to look it up to see what it was all about. I had never heard of it before.

According to Wikipedia Orkut is a

social network service which is run by Google and named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten. It claims to be designed to help users meet new friends and maintain existing relationships. Similar to Facebook, Friendster and MySpace, Orkut goes a step further by permitting the creation of easy-to-set-up simple forums (called "communities") of users...

Orkut is the most visited website in Brazil, being more visited than Google Brazil, number 2 on the list. In total visits, Google is probably still more popular since it appears as the second (the Brazilian version) and seventh most visited site (the international version).

The initial target market for orkut was the United States, but the majority of its users are in Brazil.[2] In fact, as of January 2008, 55.32% of the traffic come from Brazil, followed by 16.53% from India.

Hmm... I signed in through my gmail account and see who on my contacts list (address book) it could find) - one Indian person and one Brazilian person! Haha! I don't think many people in Australia have heard of it, and I don't think anyone (that I know of) in the Australia or US uses the site. I'm wondering for something that come from Google why it isn't more popular?