Archive

Author Archive

China Railways Safety Record: A Comparative Study

January 7th, 2013 8 comments

Summary

  1. Railways are the safest means of transportation among all methods in this study.
  2. Railway safety-wise, China and France are about twice as safe as Japan and Germany.
  3. You are about 2.2 times as likely to die in an American airplane as in a Chinese rail car, traveling the same distance.
  4. You are about 200 times as likely to die in a vehicle on an American highway as in a Chinese rail car, traveling the same distance.

Read more…

Categories: Analysis, General Tags: , ,

Ye Shiwen follow-up: media scorecard (BBC & New York Times)

August 9th, 2012 28 comments

First, let me emphasize that I don’t believe or even suspect the 800m freestyle Olympic gold medal winner Kathie Ledecky is doping.  Yes, she came from nowhere (ranked #55 in 2011) and had a huge one-year improvement (4.2%), but these aren’t unheard of for teenagers.  For example, the 2004 200m backstroke gold medal winner, Zimbabwean Kristy Coventry had the similar trajectory (ranked #19 in 2003 and one-year time improvement was also 4.2%).  Compare to Ye who was fairly well known prior to the Games, they truly came from nowhere and had much larger one-year improvement (Ye’s one-year improvement was 1.9%.).

While on the topic of suspicion of doping, I am having a hard time to believe Carmelita Jeter is clean.  Jeter’s personal best of 100 meter dash was at age 26 11.48”, at age 27 11.02”, and she has managed to improve to 10.64” at age 32.

The purpose of this post is examining the coverage of Ye and Ledecky by a couple of major Western media outlets, and scoring them in terms of being fair and balanced.

 

BBC – A

It aired the viewpoint of John Leonard; it also aired the rebuttals by Ye, her team and her Australian coach.

It reported the WADA test result as it is, and Lord Moynihan’s view.

Its guest commentator Ian Thorpe offered his defense of Ye.

At the end, with all information available so far, it has done a couple of fine pieces of summary reports (report A, report B).  Also the pictures of Ye Shiwen aren’t the unflattering ones, certainly not PS’d.

 

New York Times – F

What an embarrassment of horrendous journalistic integrity!  I know New York Times has sunk into hell, but I simply can’t imagine it can sink this low.

Like everybody else, it provided a stage for John Leonard’s viewpoint.  It made no mention of the rebuttals, but had no problem of summarizing the reactions by the Chinese media and the public — in its twisted way I might add.  It didn’t report the WADA test result, or Moynihan’s defense, or Ian Thorpe’s defense, or Michael Phelps’ defense of Ye.  It also didn’t report the doping questions being raised on Ledecky because of her improvement being far better than Ye’s.

Finally, check this piece out. Like the great Ludacris asked, how low can you go?

Categories: Analysis, media Tags: ,

Ye Shiwen, the 16 year old dreamy girl superstar, and the ugly world

July 31st, 2012 101 comments

As a sports enthusiast, I follow a lot of less known athletes, of which some eventually became superstars, but far more just faded.  A superstar example was Liu Xiang.  I started following him in 2002 after he clocked 13.12” at age 19.  It takes knowledge and experience to link up 13.12” and 19, and figure out the potentiality – or quite frankly just a lot of time waste nurturing a hobby.

The first time I watched Ye Shiwen swimming in a live race on TV, was the 200 meter Individual Medley (IM) in the 2011 FINA World Championships held in Shanghai.  I had started following Ye Shiwen since 2010 but had never actually watched her swim.  In the 2010 Asian Games, she won 3 gold medals and ended the year ranking #1 in 200m IM, and #2 in 400m IM in the world.  2010 was in the middle of two Olympic Games, and sometimes the rankings don’t mean nearly as much as in an Olympic year – but she was only 14!
Read more…

High-Speed Rails in China

February 4th, 2010 52 comments

High-speed rails (HSR) have been built in China at a fanatic pace. Figure this will be an entry to get the debate started.

The first HSR, the Shanghai Maglev Train, was completed in late 2003. It was a technical trial and showcase. After its completion and initial operation, the Maglev technology was deemed too expensive to build and maintain. China decided to roll out its national HSR system with the wheel-based technology. Here is a map of China’s HSR system in 2020:
Read more…

(Letter) Jesse Owens, Hitler and Olympics (narratives and history as it really happened)

August 20th, 2008 6 comments

This belongs to the “random musing” category. What’s your take?

In some quarters, the Beijing Olympics were compared to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. During the debates of that IMHO ill-conceived moniker “Genocide Olympics”, Jesse Owens’ name was often used. A dominant narrative was that in 1936 the more progressive United States, sent in some black athletes such as Jesse Owens to the Nazi Germany. The fantastic performance of Jesse Owens gave a black eye to Hitler.

Was it the history as it really happened? Hardly. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Owens

Owens recounted:

“When I passed the Chancellor [Hitler] he arose, waved his hand at me, and I waved back at him. I think the writers showed bad taste in criticizing the man of the hour in Germany.”

He also stated: “Hitler didn’t snub me — it was FDR who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.” Jesse Owens was never invited to the White House nor bestowed any honors by Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) or Harry S. Truman during their terms. In 1955, President Dwight D. Eisenhower acknowledged Owens’ accomplishments, naming him an “Ambassador of Sports.”

Owens was cheered enthusiastically by 110,000 people in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium and later ordinary Germans sought his autograph when they saw him in the streets. Owens was allowed to travel with and stay in the same hotels as whites, an irony at the time given that blacks in the United States were denied equal rights. After a New York ticker-tape parade in his honor, Owens had to ride the freight elevator to attend his own reception at the Waldorf-Astoria.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , ,

(Letter) Are you offended by this picture?

August 12th, 2008 40 comments

It’s apparently an advertisement in Spain’s best-selling newspaper. The Spanish Olympic basketball players, donned Li-Ning Spanish uniforms, are seen in this ad making slit-eyes gesture. Read more…

Categories: culture Tags: ,

(Letter) How fast China can catch up the US in GDP? It may be faster than you think.

August 5th, 2008 50 comments

In 2002, the GDP of China was 10.2 trillion yuan, and the GDP of the US was 10.6 trillion US dollar. At the year-end exchange rate, China’s GDP was 11.7% of the US’. In 2007, the GDP of China was 24.7 trillion yuan, and the GDP of the US was 14.0 trillion US dollar. At the end-end exchange rate, China’s GDP was 24.0% of the US’.

If we assume the relative paces of the underlining economic numbers remain the same, China will catch up the US in 2019. That’s scenario #1. The key underlining economic numbers are: nominal GDP growth and currency exchange rate. Read more…