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World Cup Fever

23 Jun

It’s the World Cup. Unfortunately, due to the time differences, I haven’t seen many of the games in whole. (Games are at midnight, 3 am, and 6 am in Hong Kong.) I did manage to watch the brutal England – Uruguay match, though. What I have seen a lot of are Nike ads on the metro. And frankly, this one is hilarious. Especially since the first time I saw it, I was in the silent car so there was no audio and I had to make up my own lines.

I’m pulling for Team USA to make it out of the Group of Debilitating Injuries and move on to the next round. Hey, it’s the World Cup. Anything is possible.

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Rubber Duckie

10 Jun

rubber duck in hong kongPhoto via CNN.

Okay, today in the world is awesome, Hong Kong just said good bye to a massive inflatable rubber duck. This four-story duckie was hanging out in Victoria Harbor for the past two weeks, bobbing around and being adorable. It’s already visited Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paolo and Amsterdam, and will be headed to the US sometime soon. So if you live in an American port city, keep a weather eye out for a giant yellow duck!

 

First Gay Marriage in France

29 May

First French gay couple wedVincent Autin and Bruno Boileau during their marriage in Montpellier, France
Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/EPA

France celebrated its’ first official gay marriage today. Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau were wed in a ceremony in Montpellier this afternoon. It was pretty adorable. The Guardian’s got most of the details here. I just hope this makes the stupid homophobes look even dumber at their next rally. Also, if they stopped putting their stupid hate stickers everywhere in Paris, that’d be great.

Space Oddity

15 May

I’ll get back to my Sweden recap on Friday, but right now I want to point you all in the direction of personal favorite, astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield. Commander Hadfield signed off a five month stay at the ISS with a poignant and frankly impressive rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. In SPACE.

Welcome back to planet Earth, Commander Hadfield. I’m going to miss your life-in-orbit updates.

France says “Oui!” to Marriage Equality!

24 Apr

oui

Image from All Out.

After months of debates and marches, protests and counter-protests, the French legislature finally voted on the marriage equality bill yesterday. It passed 331 to 225, a resounding yes in favor of equality. This makes France the 13th country in the world to legalize same sex marriage. While it has passed both houses of Parliament, there may be some procedural hurdles to jump before becoming law, but most the people have spoken and that has the most weight.  That being said, bigots were still planning on a march this week to protest, despite losing the vote in Parliament.  Whatever, they’re totally on the wrong side of history and we all know it.

Sichuan Earthquake 2013

22 Apr

My old hometown of Chengdu was rattled badly on Saturday with a 6.9 magnitude earthquake. The epicenter was to the west in Ya’an, which sustained the worst damage. They’re reporting over 200 deaths, 12,000 injuries, and an estimated 100,000 people have been left homeless.

 chengdu earthquake mapMap via GoChengdoo

 

This is the same province that was hit by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people, many of them schoolchildren. The reduction in the mortality rate this time around has been credited to an aggressive earthquake safety program enacted by the government.

Le Manif Pour Tous*

25 Mar

I wanted to title this post “Crowd of Bigots Descends on Paris, Mucks up Tourist Destinations” but I figured that’d be too mean. Oh wait.

haters to the left at concordeApparently, it’s never too early to teach hate.

This past weekend, some friends of mine were in town from London. We did some of the tourist sights: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Tuileries, Invalides. Unfortunately, we left off the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees for Sunday. Turns out, the bigots (oh, I’m sorry, should I call them gay marriage opponents?) were having a parade.

Something like 300,000 people came out in support of hatred, despite the absolutely freezing weather. Lovely. One of the more appalling signs I saw (and could translate, odds are there was a lot more offensive stuff) was “Children are not a right”, opposing adoptions for gay couples. I also especially enjoyed the quartet of priests in full collar for obvious reasons.

The three of us turned to each other and unanimously decided to spend money in a non-French, gay friendly business, so of course we ended up in the Starbucks across the road from the Louvre. Take that, bigots.

 

 

*Ironically, the name of this march was Le Manif Pour Tous or “the Demonstration For All”. Nothing says inclusivity like shitting on a minority.