Friday, February 20, 2009

Revolt! Tea Party Brewing in Chicago!


Awesome video of the Chicago exchange trading floor this week. I couldn't resist posting, as this video made my day. The CNBC announcer actually calls for a new TEA PARTY...a Chicago Tea Party dumping the bailouts and stimulus packages into Lake Michigan, and the floor responds quite surprisingly and passionately. Revolution is brewing!

As usual, I discovered this footage thanks to

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Note on Making Comments

It has come to my attention that, unfortunately, Blogger's websites (like mine) do not have the most approachable comment box features. For my blog, you simply like "comment" which leads you to a new page with an empty comment box. The strange part is it seems like they expect you to have your own account with only a handful of other sites if you wish to post a comment.

Notice though, that the option "Name/URL" is listed. Choosing this is the easiest way to post a comment. You are by no means required to put any information in the URL box, you can simply leave your name.

I also recommend you all take a look at my nephew Christian's blog, Its done very nicely and updated often! I'm going to recommend that he change his options for commenting on his blog, as it appears his is currently set up to require you to have an account with Google or one of the other few sites Blogger associates with. Because his site definitely deserves comments!

Christian in India

Some Video Clippings of My Surroundings

I spliced together a few different videos I've shot since I arrived. We start at my apartment, then I show the area immediately around my complex, then there is a brief shot of me riding one of the local buses (abnormally empty) as I ride towards the last bus stop for bus #22. Finally an interesting peek at the inside of the Trust Mart (bought by Wal-Mart as of 2007) located at the base of my apartment complex. Then, before it ends, I show some fireworks I managed to catch on film the other night when I came home.

Future videos will hopefully be more coherent, but I wanted to find a way to put all these short clippings together.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

February Week 1 Update

Hey everybody!

So I've posted another quick video. I've been so busy I haven't really gotten a chance to go out and film some of the cooler aspects of Xiamen yet. In the meantime, I figured I'd shoot this quick update. Basically, I've made some new friends and lined up a job. The Chinese New Year is finally coming full circle, only a couple days left before the last of the storefronts reopen for business.

I've also attached an interesting article that ran on Xiamen's local news site. Its in regards to the economic crisis and how China is handling it. I read some news on a western website a few days prior that painted a very stark picture for how China's New Year's sales were going. This story paints a much brighter picture. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle, but one thing does seem to be clear...China is repositioning itself away from exports and beginning to rely on manufacturing products to sell to their own people. How successful this transition is remains to be seen.

What slowdown - Chinese consumers responded with their wallets

03 Feb 2009
Months after the government shifted its focus to domestic consumption following an unprecedented export slowdown caused by the economic crisis, Chinese consumers have finally responded with their wallets.

The country's consumer spending rose strongly during the Lunar New Year holiday period, which just ended, the Ministry of Commerce said on Saturday.

Retail sales climbed to 290 billion yuan (42.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the week through Saturday, up 13.8 percent from the equivalent holiday week in 2008, the ministry estimated.

Meanwhile, a 15 percent increase in both the number of tourists and tourism revenue has been estimated for 19 tourist destinations nationwide during the week, according to the latest press release of the National Tourism Administration, posted on its website ( on Sunday.

Holiday travel rose 20 to 40 percent in the economic powerhouses of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guangdong, while the tourism market flourished in the southwestern Yunnan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces as well as Chongqing municipality, the document said.

Instead of traditional family reunions at home, "traveling has emerged as an important option in celebrating the Spring Festival for our citizens" this year, it concluded.

Beijing, Hong Kong, Sanya, Xiamen and Chengdu were listed among the top 10 tourist destinations during the annual festival season by, a leading online travel portal.

The nation's capital, which topped the list, accommodated 830,000 tourists, up 20 percent from last year. Its tourism revenue totaled 2.16 billion yuan. Both figures are all-time records, the Beijing municipal tourism bureau said.

Chengdu, capital city of the quake-ravaged Sichuan province, ranked 10th.

The Guangzhou-based Nanfang Daily attributed the unexpected rise in Spring Festival tourism to cheaper travel costs.

In Guangdong, for example, domestic travel costs 30 percent less than last year, while trips to Thailand cost half as much as in previous years as a result of the global economic slowdown.

Sales of food at major stores during the past week jumped 23 percent in value terms, while beverage sales gained 17.5 percent and sales of tobacco and alcohol rose 14.7 percent, the ministry estimated.

Sales of household electric appliances, aided by a government program to subsidize purchases in rural areas, gained 17.8 percent.

Last year's Lunar New Year holiday week was disrupted by fierce snowstorms that snarled rail and air traffic, stranding millions of passengers. Holiday travel was much smoother this year.

Over the past 20 days, the Chinese made an average 4.40 million railway trips every day as many crossed the country for holiday reunions with their families, Xinhua news agency quoted the railway ministry as saying. That was up 15.6 percent from the same holiday period last year.

A total of 248 million people traveled by road in the week through Saturday, up 5.6 percent from last year, the transport ministry said.

Source: China Daily/Xinhua

That's all for now. I'll have more to share soon!