Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mr. Brain

Mr Brain is the latest Japanese TV drama starring Kimura Takuya 木村拓哉 (きむら たくや).

The story is about a scientist at the Institute of Police Science using his knowledge in human brain to help the police to solve difficult cases. The idea is very similar to another Japanese TV drama Detective Galileo, starring Masaharu Fukuyama.

I like this TV drama because the story is interesting, tells you some knowledge of the human brain, how it works, how people think. What is shown on TV may not be 100% facts, but then at least it arises people's interests in science & knowledge.

In my opinion, those TV dramas are much more effective in attracting talents into the field of science and technology than all those boring teachings in school.

Ok, back to the drama. Some critics say the story is illogical. Well, which TV drama is completely logical? The story is good, the actings are not bad too. An enjoyable TV drama series. Looking forward to the coming episodes.

You can find the preview video clip at YouTube below.

7-Finger Dragons

Korea was a tributary kingdom to China and the country was a kingdom, not an empire; their monarch was a 'King', not an 'Emperor', meaning they were subordinate to the Chinese Emperor.

Chinese emperors used 5-finger dragons as their representation, so Korean kings could only use 3-finger dragons. After Korea became independent from the Qing Dynasty and claimed theirself to be the Empire of Korea, backed by their Japanese masters, the King of Korea became the Emperor of Korea, and he wanted to show that he was even more superior to their former Chinese masters. For that reason, they had 2 7-finger dragons decorating the ceiling of the Geunjeongieon Hall in Gyeongbokgung Palace, the equivalent of the Chinese Hall of Supreme Harmony. 2 more fingers than the Chinese emperor.

However, being sandwiched between military super powers of China & Japan, the Emperor of Korea didn't want to offend the Chinese too much either, so the 2 7-finger dragons are strategically located. If you look from the front of the hall, you won't be able to see the 2 7-finger dragons.

But if you want to the two sides of the hall, then you can see the dragons. If you don't look at them very carefully and actually count the number of fingers, you still won't notice the dragons actually have 7 fingers.

These are what our tour guide told us, how true it is, I don't know. I suppose there is some validity to it. The Geunjeongieon Hall 勤政殿 was actually restored in recent years. When I visited South Korea in 2001, this hall was still wrapped up and under restoration.

There are actually other signs in the Geunjeongieon Hall that tells that Korea was a tributary country to China. Notice the use of red in the hall, instead of yellow? Yellow could only used by Chinese emperors. Another sign is the use of blue tiles in the palace, instead of yellow. Not too difficult to guess the reason, right?

Anyway, we are no longer living in a feudal dynasty. Kings and emperors are no longer important to us, even less important whether the dragon has 5 or 7 fingers. If I like, I can even use 100 fingers, or 1000 fingers dragons for myself, although I am a nobody.

Public Feedback On New Bus Stop Pole Designs

LTA is seeking feedback on new bus stop pole designs. There are 3 different designs. I think all of them ugly. Anyway, how it looks is still secondary, the function is more important.

To me, it is mandatory to have detailed bus route information at the bus stop pole. At present, you will only see a pole showing which bus is passing by. It does not tell you where this bus is going to, what places this bus will pass by. You have to WAIT for the bus to come and ask the bus captain.

Sometimes you wait at the bus stop for the right bus but wrong direction, sometimes the bus you are waiting for does not go to the place you want to go, or makes a big detour. Passengers don't have the information to make an informed decision.

Take a look, and voice your views:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Microstock: Accepting the Fate

After one or two days of heated arguments at ShutterStock's forums, most people have come to terms with themselves and start to face the cruel reality that they have to pay the 30% tax to the nice old Uncle Sam.

Threads are coming out to share knowledge about how to file the various paper work and how to get the documents prepared. The paper work is for the lucky one whose countries have a tax treaty with the US and will have a lower tax rate once they go through all the troublesome paperwork. For people like me, living in a country with no tax treaty with the US, the 30% is gone.

I was wondering, the 30% is withholding by IRS only, can we get a tax refund at the end of the year if my income does not reach a certain threshold? I briefly read through IRS website, bad luck, it seems the 30% gone is gone. There is no way that I can get it back.

I am also disappointed that Singapore does not have a relevant tax treaty with the US. Even China has one and with that the tax rate is reduced down to 10%, instead of 30%! Russia is even better, 0%.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Great Singapore Sales 2009

Today is the first day of the annual Great Singapore Sales. In the past, the sales will only last for one month beginning end of May till end of Jun, but this year, amid deep economic crisis, they are extending it to 2 months, ending only in end July.

I went down to Causeway Point to take a look and wanted to get some good deals. Basically only you can only see some deep discounts on clothes, other than that, just the normal 10-20% discount, which is not that attractive.

Even the jewellery shops are no longer giving out 60-70% discounts, only about 20% discount, and some shops don't even have any discount at all.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Microstock: ShutterStock's 30% Withholding Tax

It is disgusting for me to learn that ShutterStock is going to withhold 30% of our earnings for US tax purposes.

For submitters from countries that have a tax agreement with the US, they can go through some paper work by applying for an individual tax identification number (ITIN), filling in W9 form, W8BEN form, blah, blah, blah, then they can get a better rate, from 20% down to 0%.

For submitters from countries that do not have a tax agreement with the US, then bad luck, no matter what you do, 30% of your earnings will go to US tax authority (IRS) and help to pay up the trillions of budget deficits in the US.

Non-US submitters now are having an uproar in ShutterStock's forum, venting their utmost dismay and anger over this drastic change.

I, for one, feel very disappointed. Why in the past we didn't have to pay that 30% tax? Why only now we have to pay? Why other agencies don't seem to have this problem but only ShutterStock?

My original plan is to have 800 photos in my portfolio in ShutterStock by the end of the year, but now, I think I will just stop submitting to ShutterStock. I don't want to waste my time and effort and only to make somebody else rich.

Creativity is what made US such a great country in the world, but this high tax rate on creativity is killing the progress of the country. No wonder US is in such deep sh*t right now. Their politicians are insane! They want to kill the goose that lays gold eggs!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Imelda - The Documentary

Okto channel showed the documentary on the former first lady of the Philippines - Imelda Marcos.

TODAY newspaper's introduction about the film is "Filmmaker Ramona Diaz's compelling and provocative new film, Imelda, which had its world premiere at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam and its North American premiere in official documentary competition at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival". Sounds like a good documentary, so I resisted the temptation to sleep and watched the film.

I must say it was a disappointment. The documentary didn't show the viewers anything new or interesting. It is only simply repeating things what people already know. Well, maybe the film maker provided Imelda an avenue to voice her own views, that's about all. The rest is still very much cliche, about her 1000 pairs of shoes, and a large collection of diamonds, clothes, etc.

This documentary is also far from objective or matter of fact. When the film discussed about the fall of Ferdinand Marcos, it left out one of the very important factors that caused his fall, that was the involvement of the Catholic church in the Philippines.

The only new maybe it does show how beautiful the First Lady was when she was young, and the film also provides a window to show how intelligent she is.

There is no such thing as absolute truth in this world, and truth is only true for people look at the events from the same angle. However, one thing we know is that her family is filthy rich while the rest of the people in the Philippines are filthy poor.

The documentary is also available at YouTube and below is its first part.

Music in a Shop Window

Haha, no that's not the actual name of the event, the proper name is "Blazing Music with Converse". I suppose it is some event sponsored or organized by Converse to promote something.
The concept is interesting. A live band performing behind a shop window at CK Tang in Orchard. It attracted quite a lot of eye-balls, judging by the crowd there.
In terms of music, haha, it was quite a disappointment. The speaker is lousy, no matter how good the singer sings, his voice came out from the speaker distorted. You can hardly hear anything clearly other than distortion, distortion & distortion.
You see, they never go to university to study electronics, they don't know what is total harmonic distortion (THD) and intermodulation distortion (IMD), haha....

Encounter of a Street Demostration in Seoul

On Labour day itself, we went to visit South Korea's Presidential Palace, and Gyeongbokgung Palace. On the way there, our local tour guide was a bit worried. She noticed some street demostration happening.

We saw many many riot police stationed along the roads leading to the presidential palace. How many? There are a group of two riot police officers every 5 meters! And then there are a group of about 50 riot police stationing every 500-1000 metres. This is probably the place with the most dense population of riot police in the world.

On both sides of the main road, riot police buses line with bumper to bumper along the road. There is no way any vehicle can possibly park or stop at the road side, other than the riot police buses, of course.

The amazing thing is that, although there are so many riot police present in the vicinity, people on the streets still go on their life as usual. Shopping as normal, talking as normal. Everything looks normal. Nobody seems to be bothered by the police presence, other than the curious tourists, like me :)

The riot police officers are most young people around the age of 18-20. South Korean males have to serve either in the police or the army for a certain period of time, as one form of preparation for the potential war with the North.

In the evening, while we were happily shopping at Myungdong, the demostration occurred. We saw flocks of students carrying flags, shouting slogans and walked along the main street. There were many people from the media too. The atmosphere was a bit tense.

Being the first time encountering a real street demostration, in a foreign land, and not knowing what they are demostrating against, I was a bit cautious. I snapped some photos, quickly left the main crowd.

Street demostrations, in my humble opinion, are never truly peaceful. In the labour day demostration, I saw people started to fight. You can hardly tell whether the demostrators were purposely provoked. And then I found that the street demostrators are mostly students too! It is said that before the boys have to serve in the army (after they grauduate from university), they do all kinds of crazy things, including go for demostrations. Then after they start their service in the police, they confront the demostrators. Anyway, interesting life.

At the end, I still don't know what they were demostrating against. Our local guide only told us it was an anti-Lee Myung-bak demostration.

Friday, May 22, 2009

EY's House-Warming

Went to EY's place for his house-warming tonight. His flat in at Sembawang, a S$320,000 4-room HDB flat, corridor unit.

This flat is one of the rare big flats that I have seen at Sembawang, 102 squared meter in total. It is quite exceptional considering most 4-room flats at Sembawang are in the range of 88 to 90 meter squared.

The layout of the flat is also exceptional too. All the bedrooms, living room, dinning room, kitchen & toilets are all perfectly rectangle in shape. This is also rare for Sembawang flats. In general, the flats have very odd shapes in that area.

The renovation is done in hotel style. The moment you step into the flat, you feel like entering a condo or a hotel. The feel is very good. They even have crescent and stars on the ceiling for you to gaze at night.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pelangi Hawker Food

We had our dinner at a hawker center near Pelangi Plaza. It is a really small hawker centre, with around 20+ stalls only.
We ordered samba stingray, herbal roast duck & satay. Notice there is no photo of the satay? Because the satay was not very nice. Too dry and the meat is too hard to chew.
The stingray is big in size with a thick layer of meat. You can tell that it is from a bigger size stingray. The bad thing about it is that the bigger the stingray, the less tender the meat is. So this time the stingray is not as good as the last time I had at the food back alley near City Square, but it is still not bad. In terms of price, it is the same, RM20.00.
For the herbal roast duck, what they do is roast the whole duck first, then chop it into smaller pieces, then dip the whole thing into herbal soup. By hawker center standard, I think it is not bad, especially at that price (RM18.00). Of course, you can't compare it with Dian Xiao Er, it is a different class.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Johor Bahru Cinema

Yesterday was the very first time for me to watch a movie in a Malaysia cinema. The one we picked is Golden Screen Cinema (Pelangi).

For a Saturday movie ticket, the price is RM9.00, at the current exchange rate of S$1.00=RM2.38, it is equivalent to S$3.80. It is considered to be very cheap by Singapore standard.

What is the difference between Singapore cinemas & JB cinemas then? Here are some of my observations: (Note: GSC Pelangi is considered to be an old cinema in JB)

1. The halls are bigger in JB.
2. The deco and the seats are simpler in JB.
3. The cinema hall in JB is on a much gentler slope, so the entire floor is almost flat; whilst in Singapore, the floor is more steeply sloped for better viewing.

The above are the major difference I noticed. I am not very good at judging sound quality, so I can't really comment on that, but as least they claim they use Dolby Digital sound as well.

If you are not too critical, I think it is pretty acceptable to watch a movie in JB, even taken into account the cost of transport.

JB Dry Fried Rice Noodle (Mee Hoon)

Had lunch at a typical shop house near Leisure Mall in Johor Bahru yesterday. The shop is famous for its dry version of fried rice noodle (mee hoon).

The rice noodle they use is slim & tender. They fried it, I guess, with very little oil, and until the juices is almost completely dry out. It has a slight fragrance due to the frying. Served together with their own version of chili sauce, this dish is not too bad. The speciality in their chili sauce is that they add in some lime juice, I suppose, as the chili sauce has some slight sour taste (not because it has gone bad!)

Another dish worth mentioning is their signature Tofu (Beancurd). The crust of the tofu is crispy, but inside the tenderness of tofu remains intact.

We also ordered two other dishes. One is the wild boar meat, the other is lettuce. The wild boar meat is just so so. The meat is more chewy than pork, not everybody will like it. The lettuce dish is normal.
Here are what we ordered:

Drinks: 6
Fried Rice noodle: 3 plates
wild boar meat: 1 plate
lettuce: 1 plate
signature tofu: 1 plate

total damage is RM47.80 for 3 persons. I think it is reasonable by Singapore standard, but not actually cheap by Malaysian standard.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Angels & Demons - The Movie

Angels & Demons - The Movie, is a movie based on Dan Brown's novel of the same name, but the movie changes the story & characters quite significantly.

Some major changes are:

1. In the novel, all 4 cardinals who had been kidnapped were killed, but in the movie, the last cardinal was successfully rescued by Robert Langdon and became the new pope.

2. The role of the director general of CERN is completely removed.

3. Cardinal Mortati didn't become the new pope in the movie, but he did in the novel.

There are many many other changes to the movie from the novel. You may wonder, with so many changes, would the story still be as interesting as the original novel?

Well, I must say that if you have never read the novel before, the movie still has a pretty good story, the essence of the novel is there. The script-writer changed the story and characters most probably for the purpose of squeezing in the limit of a 2-hour movie. The movie cut out a lot of side stories, details, that may be too much to cramp into a movie.

Overall, I think the movie is still good, with some suspense and twist & cross. It is much much better than its predecessor The Da Vinci Code. Tom Hanks is no longer a boring decoration. He actually did some acting.

My rating: 3/5

Friday, May 15, 2009

Visit to the DMZ

The visit the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea is quite an experience. It is peace time, yet you still have a certain sense of war.

To visit Mt Dora Observation Platform, we had to first stop at Imjingak station to get our tickets as well as a name list. The rule says that you need at least 30 passengers in the tour bus then you can have your own tour bus going into the restricted area; otherwise, you have to take the bus from Imjingak tourist bureau.

Our local guide was a dare-devil. There were only 26 tourists, plus our local guide, our tour leader and bus driver, then total was still only 29 people. The she borrowed 4 more passports from another group to make it 30.

When our tour bus reached Tongil Brigde (I guess), we were stopped at the sentry point jointly manned by both South Korean & American soldiers. A South Korean soldier boarded the bus, check our passport and count the number of people. Then he discovered the discrepancy in the number of passengers. So? So we were turned back to Imjingak station, and changed to the normal tour bus there.

The bus first brought us through the Tongil Bridge, then passed by the American barracks, then stopped at Mt Dora Observation Platform. We were only given about 20 mins to 'worship' our 'great' North Korea!

The next stop is the 3rd tunnel. In total, South Korea discovered a total of 4 tunnels said to be dug by North Korea for invasion purpose. The 3rd tunnel is the longest, and the only one open to the public.

I walked down the entire length of the tunnel that is opened to the public. The tunnel is wide, around 2m by 2m at the widest, but narrower at some sections. The rock formation along the tunnel is granite, but with water sipping in in some places. I wonder, how much effort the North needed to dig such a big & long tunnel?!

After the 3rd tunnel, we arrived at the north most train station in South Korea, which is the Dorasan Station. The station is said to be built with money donated by the South Korea public. Inside the station, you can buy post cards and have them stamped the Dorasan station stamp, which is said to be 'precious'. And you can also stamp it on the observation page in your passport.

Then that's the end of the DMZ tour. It is quite boring if you have no interest in the Korean war, you have no idea about the those stories associated with the 38 degrees parallel.

If you want to know more, you can visit the DMZ website at

Too bad, most of the places in the DMZ don't allow photography, so no photo to show :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Dora Observation Platform

Mt Dora Observation Platform is one of the few observation platforms along the 38 degree parallel, which separates the Korea Penisular into two vastly different countries.

On a sunny day, you can see Kaesŏng Industrial Park in North Korea clearly. Unfortunately, my visit was on a rainy day. North Korea is covered by a secret veil of haze. At point A in the photo above, you can see a bit of the buildings in Kaesŏng Industrial Park.

The road that arrow B is pointing at, is the road linking South Korea with Kaesŏng Industrial Park. And North Korea just closed this road, cutting off the link between the two Koreas in protest against the US, and threatened to restart their nuclear program.

Then arrow C is pointing in the direction of where ShangGanLing(上甘岭) is. I met a South Korean soldier who can speak fluent Mandarin Chinese at the platform. He told us that from Dora Observation Platform, you can't really see ShangGanLing(上甘岭), as it is way too far. The tour guides are just bluffing people, especially tourists from China.

As a Chinese, I wonder, China is North Korea's ally in the Korean War, yet now we can only stand on the land of South Korea, once our enemy, to see the battle field where our soldiers died, for the sake of North Korea! Why can't we go directly to North Korea and pay our respects to our heroes there! Seems like Chinese, just like the Americans, are not welcomed by North Korea!

You may wonder why Chinese tourists are so interested in ShangGanLing(上甘岭). Basically the battle there is said to be a great military victory for the Chinese and a battle that the Americans don't want to ever mention again or remember.

You can find some write-ups about the battle (in English, the name is 'the battle of Triangle Hill' or 'Operation Showdown') at the links below:


Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju Island

In Jeju Island in South Korea, there is a Teddy Bear Museum. It has a large collection of teddy bears. There are two galleries, with many different themes.

Being a museum for Teddy Bears, how can it miss out the most expensive Teddy Bear in the world? Yes, this LV Teddy Bear is the world's most expensive piece of Teddy Bear. It will set you back by around 2 billion wons (~S$200K).

In the museum, it is truely a world of Teddy Bears. You see, they even invaded the Qing Emperor's terra cotta's :)

And the 'creation' of Teddy Bear version of Adam ...

And the thinking Teddy Bear...

It is actually quite fun to pay a visit to this museum. It brings you back to your childhood days, with all the cute bears. The museum also has a gift shop, selling everything Teddy Bear. Just for you information, almost all the goods in the gift shop is 'Made in China'.

The museum has a website too, but the last time I tried it didn't work. Anyway, it is:

You can find more information at the following links:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Daylight 'Robbery' at Baiyun Airport

You may sometimes wonder how the Chinese make so much money. Now I show you how. I bought a bottle of 600ml water at a typical convenience store, it costs me RMB2.00. This is a pretty typical price for bottled water.

Then today, I bought exactly the same brand, same volume of water at Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou. Guess how much it cost me? 2 times? 3 times? Nah, far from it. It was 10 times!!!
That bottle of water cost me RMB20.00. They can charge such high price because they are the monopoly. Nobody else in the restricted area sells bottled water. With the new safety measures prohibiting passengers from carrying liquid more than 100ml, the only obvious party benefited from this measure seems to be the stores selling bottled water. And guess what, usually it is those passengers taking budget airlines have to buy from them, as water will cost about the same onboard the budget flight.

Moral of the story? Better get rich and make sure you always have the luxury to take the full-fledged airlines, which provides drinks & food onboard :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pollution in Guangzhou

It has been a week since I came back from South Korea to Guangzhou. The pollution is Guangzhou is, one word, BAD!!!

On a sunny day, you will still see the blue sky, but it is only limited to the sky right above you. If you look around from a high rise building, you can see very clearly a layer of smog covering the city, covering all the buildings. Pollutants are rampant in the air we breath.

The leading professor in the battle with SARS, Prof. Zhong Nan-shan(钟南山), who is a specialist in respiratory system deseases, once said that the lungs of people living in Guangzhou are mostly black! The reason? The air is too polluted!

I am kind of afraid of staying in Guangzhou for more than one week. My sensitive nose always complains like hell. Don't think Guangzhou is a nice city to live in, until it cleans up its air & the environment.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Guangzhou Travel (广之旅)

For the South Korea trip, I traveled with Guangzhou Travel (广之旅). Guangzhou Travel, and its South Korea partner - Lotte Travel, are both supposed to be reputable travel companies in their respective countries, and the cost for Guangzhou Travel is much higher than other Chinese travel companies. However, I am actually a bit disappointed with their service, especially when it comes to food.

When I went to South Korea 8 years ago, with a Singapore travel tour, the South Korean tour guide, who was from Lotte Travel too, told us that South Korean food may not be of our taste, but at least we should eat enough rice to make ourselves full. This time round, the food was quite bad overall (except 1 or 2 meals), and in some cases, we didn't even have enough rice! The gingsen chicken and the bibimban are a bit sub-standard too. The fish in the seafood hotpot meal were not fresh.

The reason for such poor food being served has a lot to do with the budget for meals, which is set by Guangzhou Travel. Can you imagine that the budget for breakfast is RMB10/person, lunch/dinner is RMB20/person. Don't you think it is way too low for an expensive country such as South Korea?

Guangzhou Travel's website:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Chinese Super Mart Security Beating Up Customers

This is a video clip showing the security guards of a well-known supermart in Henan Province beating up some customers in broad light. It is scary.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Microstock: Erratic Review

Just another example to show you how erratic photo reviews can be with the various microstock sites.

I uploaded the same photos with exactly the same model release to a couple of microstock sites. The photos and model release were both accepted by ALL of them.

Then when I submit my 2nd batch of photos, the model release was rejected by two of the sites. One sites says that there is no date on when the model release was signed by the witness; the other says that the name of the model is not complete.

Photo review remains to be a manual process by humans, so continue to expect sometimes unreasonable rejections.

Again, don't take the rejections personally :)

Japanese Animal Cruelity

Watched a live demo of sashimi making last night. The chef peeled off the flesh from a fish till its skeleton, and then put the fish back into the tank, the fish can still swimming around in the tank, albeit off balance.

This reminds me of a sashimi dish in Japan. The sushi chef skillfully peeled off the flesh from a fish, again down to its bare skeleton. The flesh is then cut into small pieces, the skeleton is fixed in a plate, with the fish's mouth still breathing, and the flesh put on top, then served to customers as an expensive sashimi dish.

In ancient times, there was one cruelest capital punishment, which the executioner will cut off the prisoner's flesh bit by bit until his/her skeleton is left. This is one of the most painful ways to die.

Do you see similarities between that ancient punishment and the way they prepare the sashimi?

I wonder why the animal rights advocates from the west never make any noise about this cruel practice.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Nanta Show (乱打)

One of the highlights of my South Korea trip is watching the Nanta (乱打) show at the media centre in Jeju Island.

Nanta is a theatre comedy which integrates traditional Korean rythm, modern dance, and theatre play.

My personal opinions:

1. I like it, because in the first place it is a comedy. I like comedies.
2. I like it, because this comedy has tastefully homourous, through actor's facial expressions as well as body language.
3. I like it, because it can't be easily imitated. The play involves quite a lot of skill in dangerous object handling, such as hot oil, sharp knives.
4. I like it, because it has good interaction between actors & audiences. The audiences are involved, not just simple people watching.

Is this show perfect? No, not really. For certain part, it is a bit slow and the audiences aren't able to catch the idea.

My rating: 4.5/5

This show seems to be on the itinerary of most Chinese tour groups to South Korea. On the night when we watched the show, the whole threater was fully packed with Chinese tourists. Strangely, Nanta is never included in Singapore tour itineraries. Interesting...

There are a total of 7 teams performing this show at 3 different locations across South Korea. The show we watched was performed by the WHITE team.

You can find more information about this show at their website:

Tour to South Korea - Part I

Just concluded a trip to South Korea, and back in Guangzhou yesterday. My first trip to South Korea was in 2001, 8 years ago. Some things never change, some change for the best, some change for the worse.

In the coming days, I will write about my trip there with more details.

Overall, it was a pleasant trip. :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Swine Flu Prevention Measures at Baiyun Airport

I traveled from South Korea back to Guangzhou today. As there is one confirmed case of swine flu in South Korea, measures are taken to quarantine the airplane and checks on the passengers.

For the air plane, after passengers disembark, quarantine staff will board the air plane and suppose to do some checking and cleaning.

For the passengers, starting from 1 May 2009, all visitors to China have to fill up a health declaration form. However, the ridiculous part is that, passengers from 2 or 3 flights have to crowded in an enclosed, crowded area, queue up, just to submit the form to the quarantine officers on duty. The queues are long, the waiting time is long too. Many passengers are very unhappy, as this so-called prevention measure is worse than there is no measure. If really there is a passenger with swine flu, he/she would have spread the virus to almost all the passengers queuing up to submit the form.

It is necessary to implement prevention measures, but those measures should be effective to reduce the risk, not increase the risk. This is something for the authorities to improve.