Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
On the subject of weather, someone was saying that if things continue as they have, the Gulf Stream may disappear. It's all sounding a bit like "The Day After Tomorrow".
Sunday, December 11, 2005
The best we've seen is a house in Rozelle with a "sun-catchen courtyard".
Monday, December 05, 2005
I had only just had the thought about the impressionists maybe having eye problems and that was what had started the first impression movement - the artist/s was/were painting what they saw - when I turned the corner into a new room at the exhibit and read that in his later years, Pissarro was diagnosed with eye problems.
* If you visit the Gallery's Pissarro site you can see some of the works - and send an e-postcard. Good fun!
Roy Scherer Fitzgerald, aka Rock Hudson, was born 17 November 1925.
Broadcast of the first episode of Doctor Who in 1963 was delayed 1 day by news of President Kennedy's assassination.
(For more date trivia,visit The Daily Almanac - not sure of the URL since I read it from Avantgo which gathers various channels of my choosing and deposits them on my mobile device for reading at my convenience (but I read them other places as well).
Sunday, December 04, 2005
The other thing about sleep studies though is that if you don't take your nail polish remover or acetone to the hospital and then go out into the real world - you spend the day looking as though someone has sneezed on the back of your head (from where they attach electrodes to your head with superglue!).
Friday, November 25, 2005
"Do you believe in God? Do you go to church?" And then on receiving an affirmative answer he followed with: "Apparently the attendances of traditional, organized religion are down. Do you, therefore, think that God doesn't exist?"
Senator Johnston's response was not recorded.
I'm hoping that the battery cover will show up - a bit like the 412 bus on a Thursday evening! - and sometimes I'm just not that confident about that either!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
I think it would be amazing, and incredibly hard, to sit on a jury. Annie sat on a case once - and wore holes into or out of her sandshoes by tapping her toes in them for the better part of 6 months. As I recall was referred to as the Greek Conspiracy case, and there may also have been something about defrauding Medicare. My Mum sat on a drugs possession case some years ago and Sooz also sat on a drugs case but only for a day before the jury was dismissed after a juror reported that they had seen someone (from the courtroom the previous day) in their neighbourhood overnight and had felt intimidated. The magistrate told the jury he had no option but to call for a new jury - and this could be seen as part of the cost of a healthy justice system.
Neither of us has been called for jury duty since.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
The saddest story I came across was this (via the NOS news agency) was about an attempt in the Netherlands this Friday on the world record for falling dominoes – currently standing (or would that be not falling) at 3,992,397. A sparrow flew into through an open window and knocked over 23,000 dominoes. The article didn’t mention if the bird had done it one domino at a time – but it did say that it was only a system of 750 built-in gaps of the chain that prevented most or all of the dominoes being downed ahead of time. It had taken employees of television company Endemol weeks to set up the millions of dominoes for Friday’s record attempt and had the bird disrupted more of them, it might have been difficult to meet their schedule. But the record attempt is safe – from this particular interloping sparrow at least – “The bird was shot by an exterminator with an air rifle while cowering in a corner.” Somehow, it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.
And still in Europe, at an alpine lake in Bavaria to be precise, police are hunting a snapping turtle. Its crime? Biting a teenage boy. As the report, citing Ananova as its source put it: The boy was bitten through the swimming trunks on his private parts and then bitten again on the hand as he tried to scramble out of the water. The turtle, native to North America, is thought to have been dumped in the lake after becoming too large for its tank. Snapping turtles can reach a weight of six stone and live for 80 years, but police believe that if they fail to catch the latest turtle escapee it will not survive through the winter when the lake freezes over. All attempts to locate it have so far failed – but chances are it’s not the turtle that Iowa woman Marjorie Morris has reportedly found dead in a vacuum-packed brick package of Folgers coffee. P&G, which makes the coffee believes it is an isolated incident. But even so, it’s probably a relief for them to know that Morris says she does not plan to sue.
Others are not so understanding. Take the case of a woman who claimed she found a piece of human finger in a bowl of chili at Wendy’s [International Inc.]. Yes, we’ve all heard horror stories about pieces of things found in food at large burger chains – but this one was true. Not before some major sales damage had been done to Wendy’s, the woman and her husband were arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to planting the finger to obtain compensation from Wendy’s. I will probably need to do some more research on this one – too many questions are left unanswered in the Reuters report – where did they get the finger? Did someone give them the finger? What were they hoping to get out of it? How much of a finger was it? How did the law find out about the scam? Was the owner of the finger implicated in the case? Hmmm. (Only in America?)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
Imagine the probable profits if the United Nation's food agency's warning that the virus would soon spread to East Africa eventuated. It could make the slowness of spending on malaria treatments look like a non-issue. Or what if governments of first-world countries planned to buy enough vaccine to cover the whole population in the event of a flu pandemic?
I can't remember which is was, or where I put the information about it - but there is an Asian nation that is talking about ignoring the patent on
Tamiflu and manufacturing their own. Another country is talking about making Tamiflu under licence. And another saying it will ignore the patent completely and just manufacture it. That shouldn't be too difficult as the main ingredient is a common spice (why don't I write these things down when I hear them) - could be star anise. I hope someone somewhere is making sure there's plenty of the plant under cultivation!
There was an interesting comment in the Sydney Morning Herald's Letters to the Editor (10 Nov 05)
A top-secret raid involving 18 months of covert operations by secret intelligence groups - and still the media are there to film it unfolding. And it's not political?
Garry T. Smith Tuckombil
Here is the Spike column from the Sydney Morning Herald 10 Nov 05:
Every day we see a new side to our once-shy Premier, Morris Dilemma. We have had Morris the sports fan, Morris the tax-canceller and, this week, SuperMorris, terrorism-squasher extraordinaire.We're looking forward to the suggestions.
But in every guise, there's something strangely familiar in the Morris that we see, and we've just worked it out: he speaks with his head at an almost constant angle of about 15 degrees. To the left.
At press conferences, door stops, even on the parliamentary website, he leads the people of NSW with his left shoulder. Every breath he takes, every speech he makes, he'll be watching you … slightly askew.
Is he mimicking Lady Godiva? Is side-saddle the new black? Is he permanently poised to cut and run?
We asked one of his many flacks, were met with laughter and haven't heard back. So we're forced to speculate - which is just how we like it.
We asked one of his many flacks, were met with laughter and haven't heard back. So we're forced to speculate - which is just how we like it.
I was reading an article recently about vampire bats killing at least 23 people in some of Brazil's remote Amazon regions. The victims died of rabies - as borne by the bats.
The BBC Report (and even I thought it was going to be from The National Enquirer or at least a trashy tabloid)) told how health authorities were trying to cope after 23 deaths in the region in the last two months. While it's not the first attack, it's unusually serious and has been caused, some experts say, by deforestation.
Health authorities say they have treated more than 1,300 people for rabies after being attacked by vampire bats, almost always at night in their houses.
As soon as I read this I thought of the "open window" angle - and that a “real life" vampire or perhaps that should be "fiction" vampire needs to be invited in, and an open window can be seen as that invitation. Which only goes to show that I am not thinking as a third-world person - especially as these poor people are trying to fill gaps in the walls of their huts with banana leaves to stop the bats getting in.
So why is it happening? Deforestation means the bats' natural habitat is destroyed. But rather than dying out, the bats' numbers may have increased with the appearance of an abundant food supply - the cattle. The BBC report stated that mass attacks on humans have occurred in other cattle regions in Latin America when the cattle are suddenly removed.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
* My Ananova subscription with Avantgo is not working at the moment and I am having to look at different sources for my quirky news!
The next episode, where Mr Flood will win or lose the million, has already been taped and will be broadcast next Monday in the show's last outing for this season. The network has refused to comment on whether Flood took out the big one.
All of this raises a very perplexing question: If the show is pre-recorded why on earth do they drag it out so long? If the network is serious about making Millionaires, you'd think they'd want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to do so. Maybe it's just me, but slow television including "we’ll find out if you're right after this break" does nothing for me!
How do people react when friends break up? Is the strength of their reaction relative to the strength of their own relationship - or perhaps their past experiences. I suppose it also depends on the circumstances of the breakup and how the parties in the relationship are about it. For example, was it a mutual decision (although I have a feeling that even mutual decisions are actually driven by one more than the other)? Or did one of the partners go off in search of other companionship? Is there a move to divvy up friends or do the friends take sides?
Running at the same time is a project by Microsoft and Yahoo, who are planning to put 150 works (already on the public domain) on the net.
But will putting these works on the net make people readers? Would you read more if you didn’t have to pay for it? Or is it a matter of being able to get access to works for which you would otherwise need to travel overseas for? Is the move designed to meet a niche market or is it something most of us would want to access?
Sunday, November 06, 2005
We were down at Bronte Beach with friend Margaret (who we were lucky enough to spring from hospital) this afternoon. It was a stunning afternoon for it - sunny but not too hot. And there was no shortage of people or wildlife. Had we not been taking photographs of the gulls at the end of the beach, we would never have seen the blue gull - flying away in the third pic. It's the first we've ever seen - not quite sure of its genealogy - or whether it was a naturally occuring phenomenon or if the bird had somehow come off second best in an incident with a paint can!
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Luckily, I had drawn Makybe Diva in one of the office sweeps, and Sooz and I were able to dine out on the proceeds last night.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Not that everyone is interested in hats, of course, but it occurs now that it gives the “ladies” something to look at – especially if they’re not that keen to following the action on the track. Is this where the fashion aspect of racing comes from? (I think I feel a Google coming on.)
That would still leave the question of capital punishment though. How do you convince people that killing someone as punishment is not necessarily in anyone's best interest. And if murder carries the death penalty - who sentences the executioner, and their executioner - and so on?
Friday, October 28, 2005
Thursday, October 27, 2005
(Only pity is I didn't know Strathfield Car Radios were going to drop the price another $100 this week. D'oh! Ah well, maybe it's not the model I purchased.)
I couldn't help but wonder how many parents in similar circumstances have taken over care of these electronic entities - taking them on business trips, to meetings, and trying to not forget them when they're tied up with corporate busyness.
Monday, October 24, 2005
So we'll just have to wait ... and wonder ... and perhaps even worry a little about what the world has come to, what kind of abomination might be borne of this union, and whether it's all some kind of trick to boost his ticket sales.
So where have all the youngsters gone? Or didn't they join the choir in the first place? And what does that mean for the future of SUMS (putting aside for a moment Voluntary Student Unionism and the havoc that might play on the funding available from the Union). SUMS is supposed to be an undergraduate choir but despite the best efforts of the rank and file, the undergraduates just do not appear to be joining up. Why - or why not?
Perhaps it is because younger people today don't have the time or the tradition of singing. You're hardly going to join a choir unless you like singing - and if you've spent the previous years cramming for the HSC, busily doing 3 and 4 unit Mathematics, Physics, English etc there may not have been that much time for much music besides Violin (and that would be Violin lessons and exams). Katrina (our stand-in musical director the other night) was also lamenting the disappearance of the High School Concert series - which was a great opportunity for promoting all things choral for teenagers.
It's probably only by really knowing why they aren't signing up that there's going to be a real chance of enticing them back - and that's something the choir really needs to do.
The other thing we really need is a sponsor. Not quite sure why, but for the last few years, SUMS has always seems to be in a dire financial position - looking for fundraising ideas - and finally, starting to seriously seek a sponsor to take the place of Optus (who ceased being a sponsor some years ago now). If you have any ideas - and remember, naming rights don't come with this one, but I'm sure there would be suitable signage and promotional mentions - don't hold back.
They, like a number of places these days, have artworks for sale on the wall - a mixture of paintings and photographs - and under each is a sign with the name of the artist, the price, and "All proceeds to
Dulwich Hill Public School". Hmmm, Kazbah thinks, perhaps this could be a fundraising opportunity for SUMS!
(*The PocketPC - as yet not personalised with a name - insert the little mark above the "e" - pretty spectacular!)
Friday, October 21, 2005
Keith is thought to have been living in sewage pipes, feasting on rats, after being abandoned by an evicted tenant about three months ago – but he only turned up in the flats' toilets last week. This wasn’t particularly surprising to those in the know about things herpetological – apparently boa constrictors can swim well and they can hold their breath for more than 20 minutes - which you’d really want to be able to do if you were living in sewage pipes!
Of course, now that I have seen the picture of the snake, I'm even more concerned about finding some bricks in case the same thing happens at our place - but I'm not sure a couple of bricks would hold something of this size! (Click on the image make it larger.)
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The two-tier Skywalk is around the roof of the southern hemisphere's tallest tower - but they don't say what it is. Hopefully the ad campaign will. Heh heh - it occurs to me that the 350m high space capsule in Shanghai is just slightly higher than the Skywalk. It's not obvious in the photograph but I think it's a fair bet that the breath-test is not the only safety process in place!
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I'm not sure I'm the partner-adorning type somehow - although I did find a bottle at Reverse Garbage that would be perfect for it! Nope, the only thing I want to wear on my arm is my sleeve; and sometimes I might want to wear my heart on that!
If you could fly like Superman or other action/cartoon characters, with arms outstretched in front of you (try it now!) would you have your hands open or closed into fists! Would it depend on where you were flying to - if it was to save lives or battle evil, or a joy flight, or perhaps to the shop to pick up some milk (and if your flying suit had no pockets, would you need to hold the milk money in your hand)?
I was watching the "other" morning television show yesterday and noted the bottom-of-screen crawler advising what was coming up next. I can't remember the exact times but the interval is spot-on.
Olivia Newton John's latest heartbreak.How on earth can they expect to cover "heartbreak" in 2 minutes?
Virgin Blue's ... (and I'm not sure what the rest was.)
Not sure if it's the same MRI reseachers but scientists have discovered that pathological liars have a different brain structure: less brain grey matter and more white matter. It is believed to be the latter which enables quick, complex thinking - needed to lie and get away with it. As one of the researchers, as quoted in today's Daily Telegraph said: Lying is not easy. But nature seems to have made it simple for some.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Monday, October 10, 2005
Patron: F U N E X ?
Waiter: S V F X
Patron: F U N E M ?
Waiter: S V F M
(if this is new to you - say each letter out loud slowly and if it's still a mystery - when did you last have eggs and ham for breakfast?)
Saturday, October 08, 2005
This raises the obvious enigma: how would you eradicate region coding eg DVDs and books? Even the recording standards for videos around the world - Pal, NTSC and Secam act as region coding of sorts. And if you do remove region coding, how do you set license regions, and help ensure the manufacturers remain profitable and keep producing?
News that Tom Cruise and his fiancee Katie Holmes are expecting a child puts a new perspective on his roles in Risky Business, All The Right Moves and Top Gun. Not to mention Losin' It and Eyes Wide Shut.
Cruise has been waiting for 43 years and 2½ wives - Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman and Holmes - to kick a fatherhood goal. And what irony that, after all this time, it must have been an immaculate conception, as Holmes has declared her intention to remain a virgin until married.
In light of this, perhaps Tom, Katie and child will form some new holy trinity for the Church of Scientology? Regardless, after surviving years of scuttlebutt and innuendo, Cruise sounds as if he's successfully completed his most impressive mission impossible yet.
Friday, October 07, 2005
UPDATE: Well, that seemed to be the way it would work based on the report I read in The Daily Telegraph. What I should have understood from reading it is that you can download a program from Australia's Bible Society and install it on your computer; this program then works as an index/interface with their system. You then start an account with them and as you send out messages via your/this system (you can also do it via mobile phone with the right configurations) you spend down your credit. (As Sooz says, there's no such thing as a free Bible - although once, on the corner of George and Park Streets in the City, there was a man handing out free copies of the New Testament.)
Thursday, October 06, 2005
The other blimps are the Suffield, Ohio-based Spirit of Goodyear and the Carson, Calif.-based Sprit of America. Heh heh - that's why punctuation is always a good thing. For a moment there I thought they were called the Suffield and the Carson - as opposed to the Spirit of Goodyear and the Sprit of America (although I think that could be a typo on the site should be Spirit of America. )
You'd certainly want to know about this wouldn't you - which is probably why the British press is making it known that this is Australia - another name for the great Danger Down Under.
The article quotes an Australian High Commission spokeswoman in London as saying: "There are dangers wherever you go, As you travel, you always have to be careful and look for warnings and signs." These dangers include flora, fauna and nature itself – but there is hope through the suggestions offered by a local, Bob Cooper and his Survival Guide:
- Spiders: Don't play with them, wear gloves in the garden
- Jellyfish: Heed swimming signs, check the season
- Sharks: Don't swim near seals or at sunset, in shark areas
- Crocodiles: Heed signposts (or maybe they don't!!)
- Currents: Only swim where Royal Lifeguards are on duty
- Plants: Don't eat them
Obviously Mo Ham had not read today’s news about how a woman revealed she came face to face with a crocodile - in a village duck pond in Cornwall. Stacey Clayton was feeding the ducks with baby daughter Alanna when she spotted what looked like a 2ft log in the water, says the Sun. Stacey, 20, said: "Then I realised it had eyes. I thought to myself: "Logs don't blink!"
"I threw a stone at it and it lifted its head and looked straight at me. I saw its tail and about a dozen teeth coming down from its jaw." Stacey fled home in St Blazey, Cornwall, and called the RSPCA. Officials think the beast may be a Cayman - a relative of the crocodile. Caymans are sometimes kept as pets and the RSPCA reckons the pond predator has escaped from its owner. Another local had reported seeing a moorhen being dragged below the surface of the pond by an unseen creature.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
US campaigners are advising British visitors to which state that they may be in danger under a law that allows gun owners to shoot anyone they feel threatens their safety?
Hands up anyone else who's going to give Florida a miss.
On a positive note, it seems not everyone is determined to blame the Indonesian people for this latest atrocity. Overheard at lunch: people at the next table lamenting the plight of the Balinese people - as poor as they are, relying on tourism that now is unlikely to come their way; why should they be made to suffer?
And an interesting comment by a Chamber of Commerce representative in Kuta: if the Australian Government issues travel advisories against visiting Bali following these bombings, why didn't it issue similar advisories following the London bombings and the 9/11 attacks on New York? (Of course, this is where I take myself off to research that statement and see if it is true: just because it sounds right, doesn't necessarily mean it is - but it does sound as though it's true - doesn't it?)
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
It is cars, not kids, that gave Ms Fitzgerald her first taste for technology. "My love of gadgets started when I bought myself a convertible and the roof went up and down," she says. Hooked ever since, her appetite for clever devices spans her work, communications and entertainment choices.
(I still have the video footage of the convertible Sooz and I hired earlier in the year – with the top going up, top going down, top going up, top going down – you get the idea!!)
To read more of Ms Fitzgerald and other women who like their technology, visit Gidget’s gadgets in The Sydney Morning Herald.
Monday, October 03, 2005
As I walked back to the office after lunch today, and seeing clear blue skies, I thought again about how lucky we are to live in a county where the air is mostly clean and breathable, where the water is potable and where we do not have a war or internal strife raging and making death by suicide bomber or terrorist a likely daily occurrence - which could make the current "be alert not alarmed" advertising push look a little like overkill.
And could someone please explain to me why whenever anti-terrorism plans or measures are reported on television, they're accompanied by vision of balaclava'ed people abseiling from helicopters or running en masse, machine guns drawn into an obviously empty single or double storey building? Or, if it's not this, it's the same old file footage of two Muslim women, complete with burqas, walking down the street in a suburban shopping centre.
And speaking of file footage there was a piece on radio the other day talking of the live coverage of 9/11 and the now infamous footage of Muslims dancing in the streets; unfortunately this most recent report failed to note that this footage had not been filmed at the time as suggested by its appearance then - rather, it too had been file footage. This was reported then, although not widely enough and now seems to have been "lost".
At this point you might be able to work out what she was trying to write (I am not sure why) but she just could not get the PPC to accept it. It truly was as though PPC knew swearing was involved and it didn't wish to be involved or encourage it! By the end I was laughing so much I couldn't see properly ... but D had prevailed - she had penned the first four letter words on my pristine and now no longer "pure" machine. Then she said she was sorry she hadn't done the "C" one as well and I told her not to worry because she would - and in other versions of this story, she does!
NB - funny the things you notice: I picked up the pic accompanying this story from the SMH site - and realised it seems they'd picked it up - and cropped it to remove the copyright material - from the Cellular Squirrel site - where, with ears and a full tail, it actually does look more like a squirrel!
And Duncan Hall , formerly of Cambridge, Massachusetts, but now ensconced in Glebe, has given us the authoritative word on Oliver R. Smoot. What started off as a college prank paid a dividend to Smoot as he was later made chairman of the board of directors of the American National Standards Institute, and later president of the International Organisation for Standardisation. Duncan refers interested readers who want to know more to The Journal of the Institute for Hacks, Tomfoolery & Pranks at MIT.
Our family do have a family song "Running Bear" - or so I learnt at the family reunion back in 1990. I was sufficiently not curious enough to ask the history of the song, or why that particular song had been chosen. Or why our family song should be about two lovers who try to reach each other across a raging river and die trying! I'm sure copyright issues come to play here - so here's a link to the lyrics
Deb was saying that the family she knows sings its song at all major events. They'll be there and then someone will sing the starting note and everyone will join in. At first, she said, she had no idea what was going on.
I can't remember our family actually ever singing the song. Maybe it's time. We're planning an immediate family reunion just after Christmas and it's time the younger members were apprised of this particular heirloom.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
(a) that many people throughout the world could be working on the same thought/idea at the one time (a bit like the notion of a universal unconsciousness) and (b) whether "smoot" is a word.
Then I read this in today's Column 8 in the Sydney Morning Herald:
Apropos of nothing at all, Patrick Delahunty, an architect, wants us to know that the length of New York's Brooklyn Bridge is "364.4 smoots plus one ear". This was established in 1962 by the rolling of one Oliver R. Smoot "end-over-end along the bridge by his colleagues, one smoot being his height of 1.7 metres".
Monday, September 26, 2005
City set to PK those who mess with lingo by Zhang Shunyi -- SOME Shanghai lawmakers think the Internet is pulling a PK on the Chinese language and fear that Mandarin will no longer shine like an MM.(You'll have to follow the link to find out what these cryptic references mean!)
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Monday, September 19, 2005
I spent Saturday in Shanghai doing tourist thingsl I started out with my card from the hotel - with most of the major tourist locations printed in both English and Chinese - for taxi drivers. Because it also had a tick-box near each name it looked a bit like a "to do" list.
I managed to get to the Yuan Gardens, Old Street, Jade Buddha Temple, Jinmao Tower (tallest hotel in Asia), Pearl Oriental Tower (tallest communications tower in Asia), the Bund (again), Nanjing Street (again) and ... well, I can't remember, but it certainly feels as though I visted more places than that. And, of course, there was the launch of Shanghai Tourism Festival in the amphitheatre across the street. I didn't have to go to enjoy the music - there was no problem hearing it - and it may have been because of this that the hotel left a basket of fresh fruit and chocolates in my room (and probably everybody else's - unless they give it to you on the occasion of your 8th consecutive night!) In any case it was greatly appreciated, especially as I arrived back from my first sightseeing jaunt absolutely famished!
I wasn't the only one out and about yesterday - although I was the first one into the Yuan Gardens via one entrance (not the main one). This was very fortunate as it meant I had half of the gardens virtually to myself until I met the first of the tour groups in the middle. Not that there aren't enough nooks and crannies (there are certainly those) to be in and enjoy the solitude that only thousands of years can bring. One of the most amazing things about it was the places, especially coming down old stairs, where you reached to steady yourself, and the rock was smooth - from countless others having done the same thing over the centuries. Truly left me with a feeling of awe and of being one with history.
Being one with modernity was achieved through the tallest buildings. I decided to go up in the Black Pearl - and it is amazing, not least of all because there are 3 viewing levels (each with different pricing attached) - 90m, 263m and 350m. I was okay most of the time while I was up there, but just once or twice, I was overtaken by the "what if" scenario - certainly not helped by having to go through security screening before entering the tower. I don't know, but security screening doesn't put me at ease - is it supposed to? But even worst was trying to figure out how to get back to terra firma. (I don't think the tower swayed.) While it's only one lift up to 263m, you need to take two to get back down - you need to change at 90m.
It was at 350m that I glimpsed an understanding of how absolutely mind-bogglingly huge Shanghai is. High-rise apartments stretch for as far as the eye can see in every direction. Unfortunately 12 (camera) can't see through the smog as effectively as the human eye so it's impossible to show just how big in the photos, but it gives an inkling.
Jade Buddha Temple was amazing. There are a number of Buddhas in residence there - most of them on the ground floor, accessible, and able to be photographed. The more special ones there are Reclining Buddha (and talk about repose - is this where the term comes from?) and the Jade Buddha. The Jade Buddha costs an extra 10 Yuan to see and you have to climb four sets of stairs, but it is worth it. Alas, no photographs allowed, and I can't do it justice - so if you're ever in Shanghai pop along to see the temple (10 Yuan admission) and the various Buddhas. Not sure what the significance of it was, but when I was there, the trees and woodwork of the temple were festooned with red papers. It was only when I looked at the photographs last night that I realised it makes it look as though they are ablaze (as opposed to the incense sticks used in worshiping at the temple). The only thing I missed at the temple was monks. At one point I felt I was stalking them, trying to get at least one decent monk shot (as in photograph) but not to be! I did get one blurry one at the long end of the lens (very stalkerish) so that better not see the light of day!
This morning I finished off my souvenir and gift shopping. There is no truth to the rumour that I spent some time in the local convenience store looking for likely items (that was for a lock for my extra bag ... all the better to carry home pressies in - including the new tripod for moi!)