A quick, short, long to-do
Thursday 25 February 2010, 6.01pm HKT
Just a note to myself about things I have to do for this blog. What this means to you the reader is that you can expect to see these posts later. Or not. Sort of depends on my laziness or busy-ness.
Toyota Congressional hearings
Inappropriate behaviour meets responsibility taking. This is the story of how one man, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, flies into Washington DC, under no obligation, to give congressional testimony on 24/25 February about the ‘sudden unintended acceleration’ problem of some Toyota cards – and gets hit with a right royal bollocking from dumbarse politicos who didn’t even pretend to be mercenary or hide their want to score easy political points.
The hearings got angrier and angrier by the minute. The grilling given would have been more acceptable had Akio Toyota been Timothy Geitner or some other American bureaucrat. All in all, the Toyota chairman got treated like a brick in the wall. I stayed up all night and watched this on TV because it was so interesting to see everything was going wrong at the same time because of the good intentions of the few (or the one) who wanted to get this thing over and done with properly.
Priceless: the old fogey of a politican from somewhere in/around New England got so worked up that he was literally yelling at Akio Toyoda at one point. What the hell was was exploding about I’m not quite sure (and neither were the TV anchors stateside and Hong Kong). You can see the wisdom of the American Founding Fathers to limit congressmen to two-year terms. These people can’t be left alone for too long.
Movies about Formula One races
Everyone immediately thinks of Le Mans (1971, starring Steve McQueen) when it comes to movies about car racing. But most of us won’t know it was Grand Prix (1966, starring Yves Montand) that actually set the innovative sound handling and mosaic panel filming that are the trademarks of all racing movies that we love and like.
‘Inc.’ does not flaming mean ‘incorporation’
I have got to write something about the abbreviation Inc. (as in ABC Inc.) because I’m sick and tired of seeing such a simple bloody thing like this could be used so wrong by some many otherwise educated people for a long, long time (more than half a century, literally).
In Hong Kong, we’ve got it into our thick heads that “Inc.” is short for “incorporation”. No, nearly everywhere else it stands for “incorporated” actually. World 1, Hong Kong nil. Hongkongers, famous for their confidence bordering on cockiness, is saying you and I are wrong and they’re right. They’re completely confused between ‘corporation’ and ‘incorporated’. I also keep getting told that ‘incorporated’ (in the sense of ABC Inc.) is verb – which I know for a damn fact that it’s a noun. The confusion comes from half-baked lawyers operating without their Master Clerks on setting property owners in a building or block of flats into an incorporated body for the purposes of building management, as required by law.
Another article why ‘seldom’ doesn’t mean ‘not usually’
The English word seldom does not mean ‘not usually’. But many people use it in a perverse way to mean that. The dictionaries don’t help because the current crop of lexicographers are translators by training and not linguists (as in languages, not the perverse discipline of linguistics). Two real-life dialogue excerpts to really hit it between the eyeballs on the word’s real meaning.
Article: Organic food and its positioning in Hong Kong, Asia, etc.
Organic food looks like it’s going to be The Next Big Thing here, at least as far as Hong Kong is concerned. The problem with the organic food crowd (consumers as well as producers) is focus. The emphasis is on organic rather than food. The result is that organic food is closely associated and identified with environmentalism. That positioning is going to cost the producers heavily in the long run and they don’t realise this. The link between organic food and environmentalism (so far as Hong Kong is concerned) is an economically wrong positioning.
Article: Bad habits we got from school that we can’t blame our parents for
Schools teach things. They also teach really, really bad habits that are unbreakable because teachers are trained to condition students/pupils for what is euphemistically described as “on-task/off-task retention and performance”. The average schoolchild of 13 in most parts of Asia spends more time in the presence of their schoolteachers than their own folks. And one of the deadliest habits schoolchildren learn is bad writing habits. They last a lifetime only after a year of learning them. There are seven of them. And more’s the pity.
I have got to update the blog with new stuff I heard/overheard since the beginning of the year. Some of them are real gems.
I’ve got to turn in some updates to the About Me page. Some of the stuff seems a bit jaded to me now, but mainly because I discovered a few of my notebooks from way back when. Good for a larf this.
A couple of lifehacks about giving yourself some semblance of presentableness, especially relevant to new school-leavers. I don’t want them making the same mistakes or taking the same crap that I did.
1. How to present your contact details fast and on the cheap
2. How to write a quick report for your boss and not lose your job
3. Some legal stuff you have to get done by age 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, etc.
* * *
That’s about it and should keep me on my feet for a bit.