Friday, November 03, 2006

Beautiful Watercube


I want one!!!

"BEIJING, Oct. 31) -- Swiss watchmaker Omega on Tuesday presented a pocket watch of the limited edition 1932 to the Beijing Municipality.

At a press conference in the Beijing Capital Museum, Kong Fanzhi, director of the Beijing Cultural Relics Protection Bureau received the watch from Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega.

The Omega company supplied 30 pocket chronographs for use at the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Since then it has served as official timekeeper at 22 Olympic Games. To commemorate the achievement, Omega created 300 pieces of the Limited Edition Pocket Watch 1932.

The gold watch presented to Beijing is intentionally numbered 88, representing the opening date of the Beijing Olympic Games -- 8 August, 2008. It also bears an inscription of the Games' Emblem. The Capital Museum is expected to keep the watch for permanent collection.

Wang Wei, executive vice president and secretary-general of the Beijing Organizing Committee of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG) attended the press conference.

He said Omega, a Worldwide Olympic Partner, has plaid an enormous role in the process of the Olympic Movement and it is now actively involved in the preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games. The pocket watch, he said, demonstrates good and lasting cooperation between the Beijing Municipality and Omega, as well as their best wishes for the 2008 Games."

Too bad the watched labelled 88 is not for sale. I believe that it will be extremely hot and worth more than $100,000!

Oliver Stone, Giuseppe Tornatore and Majid Majidi

Oliver Stone to shoot short film for Beijing 2008
02/11/2006 23:48

BEIJING (Reuters) - Oliver Stone, director of "JFK" and other films that have courted controversy for their political content, will shoot a short film to promote Beijing ahead of the 2008 Olympics, organisers said on Thursday.

The five-minute film would form a "promotional video for cultural exchange between Beijing and the world" and be shown on television, in cinemas and on aircraft in China and abroad, the organisers said in a statement.

"Today, many peoples of the world can live in harmony, and China plays an important role," Stone told the Beijing News.

"China and the United States are two big countries that should have more interaction. My goal in shooting this Olympic short film also lies in this -- the need to build a harmonious international society."

The 60-year-old Oscar winner is the third director invited to capture impressions of Beijing as it prepares for the Olympics.

Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, whose 1989 movie "Cinema Paradiso" won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and Oscar-nominated Iranian director Majid Majidi will also release short films, organisers said.

Stone toured Beijing this week to promote "World Trade Centre", a movie about the September 11 2001 attacks in the U.S.

Originally set for release last month, "World Trade Centre" and blockbuster "Miami Vice" were delayed after China’s culture ministry declared October a month for home-made films, most of which featured patriotic and revolutionary themes.

Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, whose 1989 movie "Cinema Paradiso" won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and Oscar-nominated Iranian director Majid Majidi will also release short films, organisers said.

Stone toured Beijing this week to promote "World Trade Centre", a movie about the September 11 2001 attacks in the U.S.

Originally set for release last month, "World Trade Centre" and blockbuster "Miami Vice" were delayed after China’s culture ministry declared October a month for home-made films, most of which featured patriotic and revolutionary themes.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tianjin Olympic Stadium

This stadium is going to be used for the Soccer Preliminaries. Tianjin is a city that enjoys municipality status like Beijing and Shanghai. This stadium is quite a big project by itself too and consists of three different areas - The Competition area, the Integrated Area (Business, Conference and Recreation) and the residential area.

I am still figuring out where the residential area is from the pic! ;)


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

One Last Article on the Pollution Trilogy

Satellite data reveals Beijing as air pollution capital of world

Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Monday October 31, 2005
The Guardian

As it gears up to host the 2008 Olympic Games Beijing has been awarded an unwelcome new accolade: the air pollution capital of the world.
Satellite data has revealed that the city is one of the worst environmental victims of China's spectacular economic growth, which has brought with it air pollution levels that are blamed for more than 400,000 premature deaths a year.

According to the European Space Agency, Beijing and its neighbouring north-east Chinese provinces have the planet's worst levels of nitrogen dioxide, which can cause fatal damage to the lungs.

An explosive increase in car ownership is blamed for a sharp rise in unhealthy emissions. In the past five years the number of vehicles clogging the capital's streets has more than doubled to nearly 2.5m. It is expected to top the 3m mark by the start of the Olympics in 2008.
Alarm about the perilous state of the environment has gathered pace in recent years. China is the world's second-largest producer of greenhouse gases, and the World Bank has warned it is home to 16 of the planet's 20 most air-polluted cities.

According to the European satellite data, pollutants in the sky over China have increased by about 50% during the past 10 years. Senior officials warn that worse is still to come. At a recent seminar Zhang Lijun, deputy director of the environmental protection agency, said that pollution levels could more than quadruple within 15 years unless the country can slow the rise in energy consumption and automobile use.

A recently published study, conducted by the Chinese Academy on Environmental Planning, blamed air pollution for 411,000 premature deaths - mostly from lung and heart-related diseases - in 2003. It said that a third of China's urban residents were exposed to harmful levels of pollution. More than 100 million people live in cities, such as Beijing, where the air is considered "very dangerous".

The political implications are also becoming more apparent. Health concerns, particularly regarding cancer and birth defects thought to be caused by chemical factories, have been a major factor in a recent wave of protests. Conservation groups say acid rain falls on a third of China's territory and 70% of rivers and lakes are so full of toxins they can no longer be used for drinking water.


Another way to improve traffic

Beijing is fully confident about providing sound transport for the 2008 Olympic Games, a top municipal traffic management official said here on December 10, 2004.

Vice Director of the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communication (BMCC) Liu Xiaoming told a press conference held at the Olympic Press Center that the city authorities has adopted measures to address traffic problems by stepping up infrastructure construction and developing public transport.

Liu said the total number of automobiles in Beijing has reached 2.27 million, and that the number is still growing as citizens buy more new cars this year. However, traffic mobility on main roads within the Fourth Ring Road had improved by up to 15 percent so far this year, Liu said.

Liu said in order to ease traffic congestions, the city has started 101 construction projects this year, including 43 new roads, 35 trunk roads, three highways and 20 road renovations. The total length of the newly built road will reach 102.6 kilometers. So far 11 of the construction projects have been completed and five are expected to be open to traffic at the end of the year. Liu said the construction of 32 roads and 11 clover-leaf bridges are currently under way in such areas as the Olympic Park area.

Since infrastructure construction takes a relatively longer time, the city authorities has optimized traffic control at 100 junctions and stepped up supervision along hazardous sections of roads. As a result, the number of traffic accidents have declined by 50 percent over the last year, Liu said.

More than 60 Chinese and international media members attended the press conference, which is presided by Director of the Olympic Press Center Wang Hui.

... but not air quality for sure.


Car Free Day

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"BEIJING : Hundreds of thousands of drivers have heeded official calls to stay off Beijing's busy streets for a high-profile summit in what is seen as a rehearsal of 2008 Olympic traffic-control efforts.

Traffic was lighter than normal in this city of 15 million notorious for its traffic jams on Wednesday, as a six-day ban on most government vehicles taking to the road got underway.

At least 490,000 vehicles from the government's fleet stayed in the garage, according to the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

At least 250,000 private drivers also heeded the call, aimed at preventing delegates here for a China-Africa Cooperation Forum summit from getting ensnared in traffic, state media said.

Members of hundreds of motor clubs in the Beijing area pledged to stay off the road or minimise their driving during the summit, the Beijing Daily reported.

Fast-modernising Beijing has nearly three million registered motor vehicles, including nearly two million private cars, and the number is increasing by more than 1,100 a day, state media reported last month.

The official Xinhua news agency described traffic in Beijing as at "crisis point".

China, which has been on a recent drive to increase its influence in Africa and its access to the continent's energy resources, is pulling out all the stops to impress delegations from 48 African nations for this weekend's summit.

Huge banners and billboards emphasising Sino-African friendship have been put up around the city for what the Chinese media have hailed as the highest-profile international gathering in China since 1949.

But the Beijing Daily also said this week's traffic measures were a "high-level rehearsal for the Olympic Games".

The measures also include a ban on taxis using the expressway linking the city with its airport.

Chinese authorities have said previously they intend to take short-term measures during the Olympics to ensure the roads are not congested while the Olympic spotlight shines on the city.

Beijing has hinted it may ban some cars from the streets and ration petrol.

A senior official with the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee told reporters last week the city was considering establishing special Olympic traffic lanes and encouraging people to use public transport.

- AFP/ms"

Let's do the maths. It's 645 days to the Olympics. Assuming the number of cars increase at a constant pace, then we will have: 3 million + (1100 * 645) = 3.709 million cars. That's a 24% increase.

How are they going to keep to a Green Olympics?

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Smile! You are on Camera!

Monday, October 30, 2006
Beijing 2008 Volunteers Keep Smiling
Posted 8:22 am ET (

More than five thousand volunteers including workers, college students, school children, farmers, teachers, public servants, artists, foreign students, seniors, and staff from foreign companies in China, gathered at the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China Sunday and flashed smiles to display there readiness to volunteer at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

The Great Wall was decorated in the colours of the Olympic Ring and the volunteers wore colourful dancing belts. Two hundred college students formed a heart-shaped pattern, which later turned into a formation of a smiling face.

Each volunteer wore a “gelatinous” hand ring inscribed with the slogan “the smile of the volunteers is the best name card of Beijing”, and the symbol of the Beijing Olympic Games.

The event was organized by the Beijing youth league, the city’s volunteer association and Beijing 2008.

The Beijing 2008 Games need 70,000 volunteers for the Olympic Games and 30,000 Paralympic Games volunteers.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Number of People who Signed Up as Beijing 2008 Volunteers - 220000

Yup. It's really getting huge support from the local people. They are looking for people in the areas of:

  • Transportation
  • VIP Reception and Translation
  • Award Presentation
  • Media Relations
  • Competition Organisation
  • Medical Services
  • Accomodation
  • Security

I don't mind helping out in the translation. It's an opportunity to give out namecards. Ahahahaha!!!
Read More

Sunday, October 29, 2006