Friday, April 27, 2012

Odd Things I Saw - Hello Kitty Couture

I do have to say that sometimes I indulge in reality television (if a dessert isn't on hand). They share a lot of similarities, they are deliciously bad for you and surprisingly enjoyable.

On this week's episode of America's Next Top Model, the contestants had to wear Hello Kitty Couture for a photoshoot.

All these gowns took around 3 months to put together. The dresses are amazingly creative. One of my favourites was the kimono made out of hello kitty pencil cases - too cute.

I love how one of the dresses was made out of tin hello kitty lunch boxes.

I felt the models didn't use a lot of creativity to model in these unique creations. If Coco Rocha wore these dresses, she would own it and model the hello kitty out of the dresses.

What do you think of these hello kitty couture dresses?  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Students protest against Lady Gaga's concert in South Korea

 A group of college students have announced that they will stage a protest outside Lady Gaga's Seoul concert this Friday.

They are protesting against what they describe as her 'abnormal', 'obscene', 'sexually perverted acts' on stage. The students are trying to launch an 'anti-gaga' campaign online through (yep, you guessed it) social media. They also stated they they will boycott companies that support Lady Gaga. Churches in Seoul have planned group prayers against Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga will kick off her 2012 World Tour in Seoul, so this is not quite the welcome an artist would hope for.

In the article, they interviewed Professor Mathieu Deflem, an expert in sociology at the University of South Carolina. He suggested a reason for the protests, “Mainly because Lady Gaga uses religious symbols and because she is a supporter of gay rights,”

“However, I think these groups are not very well-informed, because Lady Gaga herself is very religious and not out to destroy young people,” he said.

Lady Gaga has remained silent over this issue and declined to hold a press conference in Seoul.

I wonder how this affected her preparations for her world tour?

Reference: Korea Herald

Odd Things I Saw - Sushi for your iPhone

Are you a sushi and iphone lover?

Well, Japanese brand 'Tsukasa Sample' has created a special sushi iphone cover that retails for 42USD.

'Tsukasa Sample' are known for their realistic plastic foods that are displayed in Japanese restaurants. They have adapted their designs for apple products.

You will see the fine detail in all their designs, from the crinkle in seaweed, to individual rice grains.

It will sure make you crave sushi when you are working in the office and looking at your sushi iphone. It's mind control I tell you! lolz.

If sushi doesn't take your fancy, you can get dessert iphone covers such as strawberries and ice cream.

You can check out their iphone food case menu online.

Bon Apetite!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Chinese Olympian under fire for second child

Diving gold medalist Tian Liang is being investigated by authorities for alleged violation of the one-child policy by arranging the birth of his second child in Hong Kong.

Tian 32, a gold medalist from the Sydney (2000) and Athens (2004) Olympic games retired from diving in 2007 and became an actor.

In 2008, Tian welcomed his firstborn, and earlier this year his second child was born in Hong Kong. Since the arrival of his second child Tian has faced accusations of violating the nation’s one-child policy.

China introduced the one-child policy in the late 1970’s to control the fast growth of its population. Since then, authorities have made exceptions, allowing eligible couples to have a second child.

Opinion has been divided over Tian's situation.

Shaanxi Administration of Sport stated that Tian had not violated the one-child policy since his son was born in Hong Kong.

Ma Li, director of the China Population and Development Research Center, however, confirmed with the Global Times that "no matter where their house registration is located, Tian and his wife broke the law."

According to NPFPC's hotline for public inquiries on the one-child policy, a couple who are not eligible for a second child are considered to have violated the policy even if their second child was born outside the mainland.

The hotline said the couple will be fined if they bring the child back to the mainland. The fine would be between two and six times the couple's total income of the previous year, and any future fines would triple for every additional child. That is a harsh penalty.

Tian and his family have remained silent since the news broke.

Du Peng, a professor with the Population Research Institute of Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that he expects the policy to be loosened little by little to deal with the country's growing aging population and decreasing birth rate.

"First, families with either the mother or father being the only child can have two children. Then gradually, all families will be permitted to have two children," Du said.

What do you think about this? What about the harsh penalty that applies to couples that have more than one children?

Reference: Global Times

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Odd Things I Saw: Free! Playing cards with China’s Most Wanted

Would you want to play black jack or poker with images of criminals on the back of the cards?

Police in Guangzhou have devised a novel plan of capturing criminals by putting their photos on playing cards and giving them free to the public. Over 50,000 decks of cards have been given out to the public, in hope that they could provide tip offs to the police.

Each card contains an image of the criminal as well as their profile; information such as name, height, reward value, ID number for reporting tip offs. Claiming the Joker card is one of China’s most wanted criminals, with a reward value of 300,000yuan ($47,700USD)

Not surprisingly this campaign has received mixed feedback.

Some people felt uncomfortable playing cards while seeing pictures of criminals, feeling that it will ruin the mood of the game and make them feel scared.

Whilst others felt that this will allow them to help police and claim the reward.

This is not the first time that criminal playing cards were introduced. In 2005, police in Zhengzhou printed ‘criminal cards’ and gave them to the public. In 2003, the US military also developed a set of playing cards with the most wanted team members of Iraq’s former leader Saddam Hussein for their troops.

Reference: (Beijing Time) China Daily

Lost in Auslan

A new music video featuring Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman using incorrect sign languages to song lyrics have been pointed out by sign language experts.

Depp and Portman star in Sir Paul McCartney’s MV for ‘My Valentine’. Some of the signing errors made by the starlet are:

- ‘tampon’ for ‘appear’
- ‘enemy’ for ‘valentine’

A representative for The British Deaf Association has praised their efforts.

"It's great that famous people such as Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman are highlighting the use of sign language. Their use of it is more a poetic expression," a spokesperson said.

"The sign for tampon does seem to come up from both Johnny and Natalie, which causes some confusion, especially as American and British sign languages are different.”

I question how this sign language error made it to the final music video. Wouldn't there be a sign language expert coaching the Depp and Portman?

Or do you think the sign language purposely wanted Depp and Portman to sign 'tampon' and 'enemy' as a prank? LOL! That would be a brilliant prank.

So everytime the song title comes up 'My Valentine', Johnny would be signing 'My enemy' for people with hearing disabilities.

I can't imagine how many times the world 'tampon' was signed during the song. LOL! My enemy the tampon --> hahaha

It gave the song a completely different meaning to people with hearing disabilities.

NOTE: When translating - must ensure it is accurate!

Reference: The Age

Kmovie review: Chilling romance (aka Spellbound 2011)

Two film genres that the Korean film industry excels in are romcoms and horrors. So it was just a matter of time when we saw the marriage of the two genres to produce one terrifying love story.

‘Chilling romance’ stars South Korea’s sweet heart Son Ye-Jin. It’s a welcome return for her to the big screen. Her last film was ‘Into The White Night’ in 2009. She plays Yu-Ri, an odd woman with a secretive life. When we are first introduced to her character in the movie, she looks a bit emo.

The leading male in this horror romance is played by Lee Min-Ki. His character Jo-Goo is a street magician who found Yu-Ri as the inspiration for his horror magic show. He invites her to join his magic show as part of the production crew. When Yu-Ri joined the team, his show became a huge success and he was enjoying fame and fortune.

Jo-Goo doesn’t understand why Yu-Ri is anti-social and distances herself with everyone around her. When he pays her a surprise visit in her home, he sees an odd little boy whom he doesn’t realize is a ghost. That boy follows him home and he quickly realizes the boy and other ghosts have come to haunt him.

Yu-Ri soon reveals her terrifying secret to Jo-Goo and tells him to stay away from her. But he couldn’t because he had developed feelings for her. Although he is frightened of all the ghosts he is determined to be with her.

The ghosts are angry with the situation and want to drive Jo-Goo away from Yu-Ri like they did with everyone close to her. They go after Jo-Goo.

I love romcoms but cannot watch horror flicks. So this film was an interesting experience for me. When the scary music started, I knew it was my cue to close my eyes LOL! I did manage to watch some of the scary scenes and they were scary! It reminded me of ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Grudge’.

I really enjoyed this horror twist to the romcom, it added a new dimension to the genre. The ending wasn’t as strong as the rest of the film, it was OK.

Son Ye-Jin’s character evolved from weird to a typical girl in a Korean romcom. I would have liked to see her character a bit more eccentric and quirky.

Enjoyable film 3.5/5 stars

Friday, April 13, 2012

Titanic 3D censorship in China

Due to China's strict censorship regulations, 'risque' scenes from Titanic have been cut. This caused the memorable scene of Jack drawing a nude pic of Kate being cut to only seeing her from the neck up.

I'm not entirely sure why this is making the headlines again because when Titanic first premiered in China over 10 years ago, those scenes were left on the cutting floor. So this isn't new news.

Director James Cameron appeared on the The Colbert Report this week (watch full episode)to talk about the censorship in China. Cameron stated that the Chinese authorities didn't want the movie goers to reach out to the screens during the film as this will cause a distraction to other viewers. Cameron was happy to go along with the censorship because Titanic 3D was doing great at the box office, raking in 20million in the first 2 days.

Colbert asked Cameron, 'Why Titanic 3D? Did you want all of us to feel as though we were drowning'. LOL! Hilarious interview, I highly recommend you all to watch the full interview.

Although Cameron is happy to go along with the censorship, many people in China are unhappy with the edit. Chinese males especially were looking forward to seeing those steamy scenes in 3D. Well, maybe they will get a chance to see the full version when Titanic 4D comes out in another decade or so LOL!

Reference: The daily mail

Thursday, April 12, 2012

China’s first Hello Kitty Restaurant

Hello Kitty fans! A new Hello Kitty restaurant opened in Beijing earlier this year to sell out crowds. With such high demands, people are on a long waiting list in order to secure a reservation.

You can expect pink and hello kitty motifs splashed everywhere in the restaurant: on the walls, on staff uniform. It’s Hello Kitty mania! The d├ęcor is so cute – if I were to go there, I would feel like a 5 year old girl.

And of course, you can’t forget about the menu. Every dish features the hello kitty face in some form. They have hello kitty coffee, hello kitty puddings... you get the picture LOL!

Dining at Hello Kitty is not cheap either, it would set you back 160 yuan (which is around 35AUD) – which is really pricey in China.

Whether the food is good or not, I would love to go for the novelty of it. But it would be a bonus if the food was tasty!

P.S. All I can say is, the marketing and merchandising team at Sanrio are bloody brilliant. Every possible materialistic thing in the world has been hello kittyfied!

Movie review: Silenced (aka The Crucible)

I recently watched this powerful Korean film called ‘the crucible’ or ‘silenced’. The different titles are used for different markets in the world. This movie is based on the true story about the mass sexual abuse of deaf students by their teachers at a special needs school in, Gwangju South Korea, in the early 2000s.

Hallyu star Gong Yoo plays Kang In-ho, the new arts teacher at a special needs school in a small town. He notices that the children’s behave quite strange, but doesn’t understand why. He soon discovers the lethal secret that is covered up buy all the staff and local policeman. In order to protect the children, he fights against power and corruption.

This film is confronting and upsetting. Some of the scenes were so horrifying I could not watch. The children’s performances were gripping and it really angered me to know that this was based on a true story. This film clearly demonstrates how people with status and money can abuse their power to prey on the weak and get away with it.

Gong Yoo’s performance in this film is his best to date. This challenging film allowed him to display a maturity and vulnerability that has not been seen from him before. He has definitely left his leading man heart throb roles behind and growing as an actor.

This film has received critical and commercial success.

“ For the past few years, we have seen almost no South Korean films that actively examined the state of our society, the values of what is right, and what we need to do the way The Crucible does. ”

—Film critic Ahn Si-hwan

I can’t recall watching any film like this one before. If you like powerful and honest films, you can’t miss this one.

5/5 stars