Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When new isn't that new and smart isn't that smart

TVB, the largest television broadcaster in HK has been serving the Chinese community in Europe for many years. Originally it was only available in the UK under satellite subscription. Which means that it wasn't something that everybody could get. To get it, you need a Sky satellite dish. This means you have pay for services you don't use before you pay extra for TVB Europe. Some people live in places where you can't possibly get decent reception. This is hardly ideal and it seems they've not tried to tap into this market via cable. Perhaps cable might not be the best way of delivery. Virgin Media have no shortage of reliability issues. Sky, who's parent company News International, is currently mired in plenty of controversy. Do you want to part your hard earned cash and give it to an ethically shortsighted company? 

 TVB Europe in recent years have launched a new delivery platform. This is via the the Internet. This ought to be a no brainer, but whilst it sounds good, it is not. You need a high bandwidth Internet connection and then connect via special box which you connect to your tv. However, in this day and age where we're trying lose as many wires and boxes, this concept is not smart. 

 It would have been better to manage subscriptions and deliver content via platforms such as BBC's iPlayer or YouTube. This is what people want to use and it can easily be piped to the TV. I'm sure a powerful broadcaster like TVB can deliver in such a manner. After all RTHK can, and their material is free to all, even to users based overseas. Even going as far as providing an iPhone app free to all. 

It all comes down to short term financial gains. The BBC can definitely make iPlayer profitable by making this service available to users outside the UK. And it would be worth every penny. The content on TVB Europe is very limited. If I'm paying, I want what is available in HK. I want live news reports. It's not too much to ask. People often think everything in HK is smart. Not so.

Three legged fame

I believe in karma, I really do.  Its not about doing a good deed today and receive good luck tomorrow.  The Laws of Karma doesn't always work like that and it isn't like that for a lot of the time.  Good deeds should be done and the good karma ought to be banked.  Over a period of time, possibly a lifetime, you may receive the good karma like interest.  You might never receive this during this lifetime, so when you come back in another life, you might receive it then.  The same can be said regarding bad deeds.  For every bad deed, bad deeds deduct from the good deeds accumulated.  It sounds weird, but that's how I understand it and it is in layman's terms.

I was listening to RTHK R2 this morning and they were talking about the three legged cat of Kowloon City.  The story goes that a stray cat was sleeping under a goods vehicle one night.  It woke up the next morning limping about.  So it seems that one leg was under the wheel and the driver drove away unaware as to the fact there was a cat sleeping under the vehicle.  There were sightings of this cat and one day it came to one butcher's stall to see if anybody would be good enough to give it something to eat.  The cat got got lucky and the butcher began to take notice.  He got worried the next day, when he noticed that the cat never came back.  So he went to find it and did so.  The cat was in a very poor state anyway and without immediate care, it would eventually die.  The butcher took the cat to the vets to have the necessary operation done.  It cost him about HKD 20,000 (nearly £2,000) of his own money.  The cat had the bad leg amputated and the butcher adopted this cat as his pet.  The cat now can be seen outside the butchers, near the market complex.

A lot of people would have pitied the cat, but it took a kind heart to do what the butcher did.  The sum was by no means a small amount of money, but how many would have spent this kind of money on an animal that wasn't even his.  I think in circumstances such as this, it shows us who has the biggest heart.  But it is also karma at work.  The cat lost it's leg due to a bad deed done in a previous life.  It was saved because of good deeds done in a previous life.  It was a stray who had nothing to eat and nowhere to stay.  This was because of a bad karma, but it will probably live out the rest of it's natural life in relative comfort, because of good karma.  The butcher rescued this cat, because it owed it in a previous life.  Being a butcher is not a trade that enables you to accrue much good karma, but that doesn't mean the people are not kind.  The butcher will have accrued positive karma as a result of this kind act and it will counter a lot of the bad karma from being a butcher.  Whoever said cats have nine lives, is probably right.  Hong Kong needs more kind animal lovers.  This story made me happy.  Namo Amitoufo!!!  _/\_  南無阿彌陀佛!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


I came across a quote from the Dao Te Ching (道德經) today.  

"Continuing to fill a pail after it is full the water will be wasted. Continuing to grind an axe after it is sharp will soon wear it away. Who can protect a public hall crowded with gold and jewels? The pride of wealth and position brings about their own misfortune." Chapter 9.

持而盈之,不如其已﹔揣而銳之,不可長保。金玉滿堂,莫之能守; 富貴 而驕,自遺其咎。功遂身退,天之道。 道德經 第九章 運夷

I often talk about moderation and generally live by it.  I happen to find this quote quite apt since I had this thought yesterday.  Keeping up and attaining status can be hurtful to one's mind and health.  I learned the hard way earlier this year when I was upset over not winning any medals.  For a long time, I was very angry with myself, but I did not see that it was my time.  There was no pointing blaming anybody, I just have to work harder and one day my time will come.  Yesterday, I saw the futility of my plans.  I see other people and I see a dead end road.  Other people have said this, but perhaps it was my time to understand it.

Neither Daoism or Buddhism are against ambition, but actually for it.  The balance has to be something you do that you enjoy, be profitable and in accordance to the Dao.  I am not without ambition, but I need to do it a different way, my way.  I might not know what that is, but a solution will present itself when the time comes.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

When dieting takes the wrong path

Recently, I heard something very stupid that I feel I have to share. A lot of Hong Kongers, especially women, like to be thin. Okay, there is nothing wrong with that, a lot of women elsewhere want this as well. The odd thing is, some of these women look fine. So what's the problem. If your partner can't take you as you are, then the problem is theirs. So there are many crazes that people do in order to lose weight. Here are a few... 

Do yoga, because yoga is good for losing weight
Do Qigong, because qigong is good for losing weight
Do Tai Chi, because tai chi is good for losing weight
Join a gym, because working out is good for losing weight
Take certain medicinal herbs, because they are good for losing weight
Go anorexic, because you're bound to lose weight

These ways of thinking are flawed. If they ate less junk food, they probably wouldn't be in this mess...