Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014: Google Doodle celebrates the Year of the Horse

This year is the Year of the Horse, which is said to bring prosperity and wealth. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the Chinese calendar, and this year it will fall on 31 January.
The doodle features an image of a girl on a rocking horse and a boy holding fire crackers and Chinese lanterns.
Celebrations usually begin on Chinese New Year's Eve, signalling the end of the Year of the Snake. The lunar calendar is based upon the cycles of the moon and has 12 animals, one to represent each year of the lunisolar cycle.
At Chinese New Year people traditionally wear red clothes and give children "lucky money" contained in red envelopes. The colour red symbolises fire to drive away bad luck.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Surgeon general’s report was milestone

This weekend marks a momentous anniversary in the war on tobacco. Fifty years ago the U.S. Surgeon General released the first report on tobacco. Dr. Steven Brown is a pulmonologist and volunteer with the American Lung Association in Wisconsin.
“I was the first formal recognition by a governmental agency that cigarettes are harmful,” he said. “This was a report that was not to the tobacco companies, and it wasn’t a report to the doctors. This was a report to the masses.
The report was released to a public in which nearly half of adults smoked. “In the 1960s, would wold walk into a bank, and the bank tellers would be smoking cigarettes while dispensing money. Teachers would be smoking in classrooms. People were smoking on airplanes. People would hand out cigarettes as party favors,” Brown recalled.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chinese film mogul Run Run Shaw dies at 106

Hong Kong film magnate Run Run Shaw, who built the Shaw Bros. studio into the largest in Asia in the 1960s and ’70s, popularized the kung fu genre around the world and later became a major philanthropist, died Tuesday at 106.

Shaw’s studio – which he ran with his brother, Runme – churned out more than 1,000 films over more than five decades, from romances and musicals to action pictures. He even co-produced American films, including Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner.” The legacy of Shaw Bros. films can be seen in the works of contemporary filmmakers from Quentin Tarantino to John Woo and Ang Lee.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Other leakers: What happened to them?

(CNN) -- Two prominent newspapers this week used their editorial pages to call for mercy for intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, with one arguing "he deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight."
The New York Times and The Guardian make the case for some sort of plea deal or clemency that would allow Snowden to return to the United States from Russia, where he was granted asylum.
Mercy or dropped charges have occurred in past cases of other high-profile whistle-blowers, such as Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst behind the leak of the Pentagon Papers. But in recent years, the United States has aggressively pursued those who leak government secrets.
Here's a look at how the cases of five prominent leakers -- including Snowden -- have played out: