Giant Mosquito in Hong Kong

As I've said on this blog before, I'm no entomologist, but...

...this is undoubtedly a HUGE mosquito. I found it buzzing around my lounge.

The good news, especially if you have kids around, is that they don't bite!

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER

Hong Kong Protest Against 60 Years Of Communism In China

Instead of just posting stills from yesterday's National Day protest in the usual way, I thought I'd have a play with some slideshow software.

Ideally, I had hoped to have this up yesterday, but there was quite a bit of faffing around to do with audio files and html code embedding.

That's why this first slideshow attempt is a bit rough and ready, but do I aim to perfect this in the coming months, so watch this space.

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER

Grasshopper Gives Birth In Hong Kong

Here is a photograph of grasshopper that I met this morning.

I think she was a female.

I'm no entomologist, but to my untrained eye it looks like she was giving birth.

This photograph was taken with a very short depth of field.

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER

Doggy Acupuncture In Hong Kong

I thought I'd seen it all.

Meet Oscar the poodle. Not content with Doggy Dial-A-Dinners, the latest wacko trend on the lunatic fringe of Hong Kong's pet-pampering community is, ...wait for it... pet acupuncture!

And apparently it works. According to Samuel Wong, a veterinary surgeon at the Cosmo Pet Service Centre, Oscar slipped a disc a few years ago and then couldn't walk. His owner had to wheel him about in a kind of pet pushchair. But after a year of weekly acupuncture sessions at the 'Animal Hospital Boarding House' in North Point, this lucky canine can now walk. Albeit with a bit of limp.

After seeing a total of twelve needles go in, I thought that was it, time to pack up and go down the pub. But no. Electrodes were then attached to the needles. And a current was switched on. Then the fluffy white poodle began to twitch. According to vet Wong, this effectively unblocks the qi from the doggy's meridians, allowing increased blood circulation. Those of you who are familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) will understand this technique, which is adapted from TCM for humans. I won't get into all that now, as there is plenty of information on TCM out there written by far more qualified, and less skeptical, people than me.

The sight of that poor quivering mutt, looking more like a pin cushion than a dog, will be permanently etched in my mind as one of the more warped sights I have ever witnessed in this town. And that's saying something. I should have shot this on video. Next time I will, so watch this space.

ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER

Invisible Graffiti - A Valiant Attempt by Greenpeace To Raise Awareness Of 'World Carfree Day' Tomorrow

Nice try.

Except no one was really looking at it. It's World Carfree Day tomorrow, and, like the bike ride eight days ago, Greenpeace were out in force to promote it. Except they weren't, as they delivered their message late last night or very early this morning when everyone was asleep.

Not wanting to belittle Greenpeace Hong Kong's efforts or their message in any way, I witnessed no one looking at their 'reverse graffiti' messages today. The 'clean green street art' pavement messages done by their spray-cleaning activists last night were being thoroughly ignored by the passing desk meat this morning. Not that it really matters too much, I guess, as most people walking around Causeway Bay probably got there by MTR or bus anyway. And people in Hong Kong walk very fast and are usually very preoccupied with livlihood issues like paying the mortgage, getting the kids through school, skin whitening and horse-racing. Just take a look, next time, at the frowns on the faces that pass you by in the crowd here. Then you will understand why no-one was paying the slightest bit of attention to the anti-car and climate change awareness messages delivered by Greenpeace in various shades of grey in Causeway Bay today.

And while we're on the subject of vehicular emmissions, check out this air pollution shot I took in Central this morning. Four people in one frame with their hands to their mouths, no less. That's a record for me. Whether that means the pollution is getting worse and more people are covering their faces, or I'm just getting better at shooting this subject matter, as the issue drags out over the years, I don't know. Maybe a bit of both.

***STOP PRESS***

It seems the government were emabrassed by GP's action. Here's a picture from the morning set that I didn't post on the 21st, the reason for that being that I don't think it's a particularly great shot:-

And here's a link to Apple Daily's report on what the government did in it's response. And for those of you too lazy to click on a link, here's a screen grab from that report.

Disproportionately, the Government covered that small section of Lower Albert Road in concrete. Duh! It would have been cheaper and more discreet to 'clean' the non-dirty graffiti with a high pressured water gun, and pretend nothing had happened, just like the the way their civil service brethren at the Inland Revenue did earlier that day. What kind of intolerant message are the government sending out about their policies on the environment with their petty-minded reactionary response? Lip service to fixing the climate problem, that's what.

(Thanks, Todd)

Citibank Citicrook?

Despite the Hong Kong Government having arrived at a settlement with the majority of Lehman Brothers 'minibond' holders a few weeks ago for them to regain up to 60-70% of their failed investments, some 'minibonders' are still holding out for a full 100% refund. They should feel lucky to get away with only a 30-40% hit. Time to take it on the nose and move on guys, don't you think? Just get over it...

The more I see this well-heeled lot protesting on the street in Central day after day, the more their tiresome protest smacks to me of plain old-fashioned greed.

And here, for no particular reason, is a photo of the Happy Valley skyline I took last week from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

What Recession? Rolls-Royce Unveils A New Luxury Car In Hong Kong

Roll-Royce unveiled to the Asia Pacific region their latest creation in Hong Kong today.

This was hot on the heels of a worldwide launch which took place in Germany on Tuesday. Meet the 'Ghost'.

A four door luxury saloon which does nought to sixty in 4.7 seconds.

The price tag? "...less than HKD5million."

The 'Ghost' is aimed at the next generation of young up-and-coming tycoons in Asia who want a more contemporary look and feel compared to their Dad's old school 'roller'.

What financial meltdown? I don't think it ever really ever kicked in for the super rich...

Hong Kong Shek O Beach... After Typhoon Koppu, (It's A Bull Market)

Sam, a long time Shek O resident, assured me today that the amount of plastics dumped overnight on Shek O beach by Typhoon Koppu is, "nothing compared to previous years."

Well, it looks pretty bad to me.

I found this plastic bull all washed up. I'm amazed he was still standing. A bit like the financial markets.

And this Ultraman superhero figure too. Missing one leg.

So I made a little installation. This photograph isn't photojournalism, by the way!

Because beach toys are so cheap, most people in Hong Kong choose to leave them on the beach at the end of a day, instead of taking them home. Then the plastic toys and other crap end up getting washed out to sea. But Typhoon Koppu dumped a lot of them as trash back on land last night, where it belongs. Where we humans can collect it and dispose of it properly.

This baby turtle looks like its trying to reach the ocean like a baby leatherback. Oh, the irony!

Luckily, my tax dollars were hard at work today. The beach got cleaned up by government contractors. Not that this makes it OK. It doesn't. But to many in Hong Kong, it does. So they do it again, and again. Every weekend.

Filthy homo sapiens keeps chucking the bright placky stuff right back into the sea, because he just doesn't care.

Hong Kong Climate Change Cycle Ride / Journalist Protest / ICC Lift Plunge Horror

Much as I support the message of today's cycle ride to publicize the upcoming World Carfree Day and to raise awareness among Hong Kong people about climate change, was it really necessary to have a PA system and a huge red inflatable arch over the start line... powered by a gasoline generator?

Wouldn't it have been great if today's event had had a zero carbon footprint? I do despair sometimes, because if the organizers can't even get it right, then what hope is there really for the climate in general and for Hong Kong in particular? 

On a lighter note, check out these boots.

I know cyclists have a reputation the world over for being a bit batty, but it was upwards of 30C today. This girl was even wearing wooly socks under her huge black leather combat boots. Let's take a closer look.

I know it's a fashion statement, but I bet her feet really stank when she took off her 28 hole boots later.

The mind really boggles as to why one would ever want to put oneself through such sweaty discomfort.

So here are all the cyclists lined up on the starting line. The cycle ride was from Central to Causeway Bay and back.

And this is what they had to breathe. Poisonous rocks in the air, a climate emergency.

I took this photograph of the pollution on Hong Kong side from just in front of the International Commerce Centre (ICC) in West Kowloon. The ICC happens to be the city's highest building. And the reason I was there is because I was covering the tradgedy of five workers who died when a maintenance platform inside a lift shaft in the building gave way - sending them crashing 27 floors down to their death.

I had heard about the lift plunge horror whilst I was at a protest by Hong Kong journalists against the beating up and detention of three Hong Kong TV cameramen in Xinjiang Province by Chinese mainland paramilitary police earlier this month. I had to rush away from this scene.

Veteran journalist Ching Cheong was at the protest.

It was a busy day...

Hong Kong Corporate Schmooze

Tonight took the form of a fashion show followed by some pink champagne and corporate schmooze.

Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.

All images and text © Alex Hofford / Image Solutions Ltd. 2011 | Web design in Hong Kong by Ugli © 2011