Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

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Five things that made my day this week:

My personal soundtrack this week has been the vintage Japanese hip-hop sounds of Major Force.

I really liked this short 3D animation created by five Chinese animators in their spare time. All of them wanted to promote their home city of Chengdu in western China.

The video is on Youku so you need to be a bit patient with it. Chengdu is:

  • Known for its opera, tea houses and apparently leisurely pace
  • Considered by the Chinese to have some of the prettiest women in the country
  • Part of Sichuan province: the home of China’s spiciest cuisine
  • Known to have a lot of bamboo which makes it popular with the pandas who live there
  • One of China’s answer to Silicon Valley
  • A hub of the Chinese military industrial complex from aviation to encryption technologies

The last two explains the kind of technical savvy that the five animators could draw on.

Vice magazine put together a really good documentary on crystal methamphetamine currently gripping Athens

The ironic thing is that same narrative played out when heroin swept through the North West of England and Irish urban areas during the 1980s; crack swept through urban American areas in the 1980s and early 1990s. The song remains the same.

I revisited The Boondock Saints and the mix of Irish American gingo-ism and Tarrantino-esque violence held up really well in both installments. Looking forward to the third in the trilogy.

The Federation of Irish Societies is looking to get expatriate Irish the vote in Irish elections. This is particularly interesting for two reasons:

  • It would give Irish people in the UK the same rights as British people in Ireland currently enjoy
  • It would put the economy into sharper focus than would otherwise be the case in Irish politics; emigrants are out of sight and out of mind once they go airside at Dublin Airport
  • You will have a more worldly and smarter electorate who will have seen how things are done elsewhere. This could have implications on a wide range of areas from social issues