Friday, May 29, 2009
And now for some lite fare: it turns out that Hong Kong people have been disappearing into karaoke rooms on their lunch hours - singing and eating their hearts out for less than five US dollars. K Lunch, as it's known, is not news to most Hong Kongers, but was completely new to me when I heard about it a while back. Check out my piece on the subject in Time here.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
One of the issues that has captivated me (and let's be honest, lots of other people) for a while is how green products that say they're green really are. A lot of products marketed as green don't actually provide us the information to prove it, and green products are so in fashion these days that suppliers in China, Taiwan and elsewhere go to very un-green lengths to create "green" products. And just because a product carries a green label doesn't mean it's actually good for you. Over on the excellent New Energy and Environment Digest, my friend Elizabeth Balkan wrote about bamboo keyboards earlier this month. Her post reminded me of the debate on bamboo flooring, and my overall interest in building materials (stifle that yawn!). Bamboo materials, it has been pointed out, do not yet carry any certification like the Forest Stewardship Council. That's before we discuss quality and safety problems such as those raised in the recent lawsuits about Chinese drywall and Paul Midler's excellent book Poorly Made in China. I'm not suggesting that children are going to spent their days licking the keys, but given the above, I do wonder what else is in that bamboo keyboard.