Glasses-gate and other earthquake scandals

Danwei Picks is a daily digest of the “From the Web” links found on the Danwei homepage. A feed for the links as they are posted throughout the day is available at Feedsky (in China) or Feedburner (outside China).


Ten observations about the post-earthquake mess: ESWN translates a post by My1510 blogger lzhwolf108 who comments on pointless posturing by government officials:

As common people like us know, when you pay respect to the dead or visit the sick, you should dress plainly and solemnly. It is advisable not to wear sunglasses. But Party Secretary Lu appears to be an important local official taking a leisure stroll during this emergency. Not only did he stroll before the camera, he also made idiotic remarks to the disaster victims such as: "An earthquake is really not such a bad thing. We can build new houses that are definitely better than the old ones …" I would like to ask Party Secretary Lu: "Houses can be rebuilt, but what about the dead people? If this occurred at your home, would you comfort your family members with those words?"

Disabled groups not happy with Beijing: Stan Abrams at China Hearsay comments on a Times story that reports on China’s new handbook instructing Olympic volunteers in how to treat disabled guests:

A few points:

1. Some of this probably language-related.

2. Seems like no one bothered to try and grasp the meaning behind a lot of that language and whether it was well-intentioned or not.

3. Most Westerners don’t even know what is/is not acceptable speech these days from a politically correct point of view. Do we really expect people from another country, particularly one that is developing and was completely closed off to the world only a few decades ago, to follow all those rules?

China’s silver lining: At The Atlantic, James Fallows writes about exciting opportunities in the conservation business in China:

The heart of his idea–easy to describe, tricky to implement–is capturing the enormous amount of heat normally wasted in cement making and using it to run turbines that generate electric power. This power can then be fed back into the factory, doing work that would otherwise require burning even more coal. The reduction of dust is a visible indicator of the more fundamental reduction of waste. Over the course of a long day, I heard about the many, many refinements Tang had made to this "co-generation" system since he first started working on it, in the mid-1980s. The punch line is that it now works well enough to cut the energy (mainly from coal) required to make clinker by 60 percent, and the overall power demands of the cement production line by 30 percent.

Flood fears force huge evacuation: The China Daily reports that yesterday’s aftershocks in Sichuan caused tens of thousands of people to sleep outside last night, whilst more than 150,000 people were evacuated from an area below an earthquake-created dam near Beichuan over fears that it may burst its banks.

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