Showing posts from December, 2012

Summer Palace, Old and New

Jackie Chan's l01 movie, Chinese Zodiac(CZ12) may get a bad review but that did not stop it from making a record 43 million RMB during its debut. The movie was not as bad as it was painted out to be and I for one, would think it could stand up to some of the Hollywood greats. That apart, the movie with its historical prologue reminds me of my confusion of the Summer Palace. In 1986, I had visited a Summer Palace (颐和园 Yíhé Yuán Gardens of Nurtured Harmony) in Beijing which is mainly dominated by Longevity Hill and the Kunming Lake. I remember the local guide talking about the palace being looted but that of course was the old Summer Palace(圆明园Yuan Ming Yuan Gardens of Perfect Brightness) which began constructions in 1707 during the reign of Kangxi Emperor. The old summer palace was of course the one looted by the French and British.The bronze-cast heads of the12 Chinese zodiac statues in the Haiyantang Zodiac fountain海晏堂Hǎiyàntáng) in the old palace were the subjects in CZ 12 and t…

Rich and Richer

Queen Elizabeth II , reportedly has a net worth of  $450 Million and stands among the top of the list of the 15 richest head of states in the world. Some Asians like the King of Thailand and the Sultan of Brunei are worth more. At $30 Billion and $20 Billion respectively, they stood at number 2 and 3 of the list, with the number 1 position taken up by the Russian politician, Vladimir Putin  who has a net worth of $40 Billion. Among the list of the richest head of state, past and present, the only Chinese is probably just China's premier, Wen Jiabao(inset), that is if you do not consider the former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra to be Chinese but Thai.  Thaksin's great-grandfather, Seng Sae Khu, was an immigrant from Meizhou, Guangdong, China and his eldest son, Chiang Sae Khu had married a Thai woman named Saeng Somna and somehow, the family later adopted the Thai surname Shinawatra.  Not too long ago, the New York Times reported that Wen Jiabao's family had accumulated a…

Green Post: Car Free