Free the gnomes! Buy a T-shirt!

wolfmother gnome tee

I recently heard of the yellow bird project , a nice simple idea which allows the people running the company to make money for charity whilst interacting with and supporting the musicians they like.

T-shirts designed by Wolfmother, Clap your hands say yeah and The Shins are available along with many more.

If you, like me, like quasi-unique T-shirts, music and doing your bit for charity I’d recommend you check them out.

I’ll be purchasing Wolfmother’s design to help release gnomes from the shackles of human opression (and make some money for the Teenage Cancer Trust on the side)

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I told you, I’m not allowed to argue unless you’ve paid!

Attribution to the Pythons for the title.

I need to finally come out. I’m a big fan of Stephen Fry’s work.

Mostly this is due to watching epiode after episode of QI and it making me feel as though it makes me cleverer.

However I recently stumbled upon his blog here and found he too is a big fat geek. If you like words, technology or just, you know, fun I’d recommend reading it. Continue reading

F*ck goods in china!

mistranslation of 'Gan' - chinese for 'Dry' and also 'Fuck'.

No, this isn’t an article advocating a more protectionaist policy regarding imports of goods from the PRC…

A friend pointed me to this article recently which gives a good explanation of one of the more infamous Chinese mistranslations.

(Spoiler : it boils down to the chinese symbol for ‘dry’ also meaning ‘fuck’ in certain contexts. contexts not well understood by translation software…)

The article is a nice crossroads between my interests of the Chinese language, profanity and technology. The content is a bit dry but some of the other translations might raise a smile.

Fingernails are pretty, fingernails are good.

Grohl at the arena

Last night I saw the Foo Fighters at the O2 arena and as venues go it was as good as you can expect from any huge stadium gig, easy access in and out, mildly overpriced drinks and food but still a decent view even from the nosebleed seats we found ourselves in.

The Foos were, of course, great. I say ‘of course’ because having seen them 3 times in the last nine years every time I have they’ve been different, sounded excellent and entertained the crowd immensely. If you could buy stock in bands (hmm… would that be a new business model… since record labels are going the way of the dodo?) an investment in the Foos 12 years ago would have been worth it.

In an attempt to be overly analytical I think their gig success (other than obvious musical talent) comes from; Continue reading

“Of course there they’d just call it food”

The first thing to mention about any visit to China, or any conversation with a Chinese person is that there is a national obsession with food (thats from my personal experience, maybe all the Chinese people I met just happened to be foodies but I have a feeling its a common Chinese trait) . The Chinese aren’t unique in this as a nation but the sheer diversity, omnipresence and oddness (compared to our comparatively parochial western European food) make their love of food stand out.

Below are some things about food in China I am no longer ignorant about. Continue reading

Chinaland!

Those that know me have already been bored with me wittering on about how I loved my vacation in China a couple of months ago. They smiled politely as I spoke of the people I met, stared blankly as I talked about the language, ignored me as I regaled them on the architecture and violently punched me in the throat as I droned on about the economy.

But why just enthrall them, why not entertain the literally ones of people that read this blog too? I’m going to be posting, over the next couple of weeks entries on places and things I’d recommend in Shanghai and HangZhou, my experiences learning Mandarin over there and Mandarin House school in particular and a last entry about the overall impression I got from the people and the culture.

My Eyes, my EYES!

This is yet another non investment banking related post I know (really, I will post some more. Just as soon as I get time away from my investment banking related job….)

I’m always interested in how we work and in particular our brains. Another example of our brains trying to do something clever with the information they receive is this optical illusion :- http://www.johnsadowski.com/big_spanish_castle.php Continue reading