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Archive for February 27th, 2009

Obama-mania in Japan?

After work I stopped in at the local book shop to pick up the March issue of “Listening Chinese” magazine.  In the center of the store there was a huge display with all sorts of books with President Obama on the cover.  Now the Japanese are mostly apolitical, so this struck me as something quite odd.  After all, most Japanese have little interest in politics in their own country, so what gives with the US President?

It turns out that these books are study resources with speeches recorded on CD and then transcribed in English with the Japanese translation on the opposite page.  It struck me a really good idea too.  Unlike Bush Jr. and Clinton, Obama does not have a strong accent and is a very strong orator, making it quite easy to understand.  Apparently these books are popular with businessmen and managerial types.  It is popular to alude to “change” in speeches by managers–it happens in my office too.  I suppose the managers just want to try and get everyone’s spirits up about the economic conundrum we’re all treading through.

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Bask in the glory!

China has been developing its own radio access standard for mobile wireless networks.  The name of the technology is TD-SCDMA, and what it stands for is irrelevant.  I just like the banner ad on the technology forum web page.

I have always been fascinated by the propaganda posters from the early days of the revolutions in the USSR and China, and for some reason the tone of this advert strikes a chord.

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