Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Friday, January 9, 2009

Kung Fu Killers - Top 10 Deadliest Kung Fu Weapons (National Geograpghic)

From iron claws and meteor hammers to deer antler blades and emei needles, ancient Kung Fu weapons range greatly in shape and design, yet all have only one purpose - to injure. In the hands of a skilled assassin, even the humble chopsticks can become savage weapons. Brutal metal-link whips, miniature swords disguised as tobacco pipes, fans edges with razor-sharp blades and poison-tipped arrows are all lethal in their own right but pale in comparison with an almost mystical weapon of decapitation. This countdown reveals the ten deadliest Kung Fu weapons of all time, uncovering the dark secrets of their creation and the unbelievable ways in which they’ve been used.

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Are Emerging Economies the New Innovators?

QQ, Tudou, Mixi and CyWorld are not familiar names in the West, but these websites based in China, Japan and South Korea are more popular, profitable and technically innovative than their Western counterparts, MySpace, Facebook and YouTube.

South Korea and Japan are the most advanced internet markets in the world, with China and India rapidly catching up. Yet we in the West seem oblivious to the development of such technologies in Asia.

The dynamic emerging economies of the East are conveniently pigeonholed as the world’s new manufacturing base (China) or a powerhouse for service industries (India), while the high-end 'knowledge economy' is still seen as the preserve of the West.Is it time to revise this view and hail the innovative character of the rising East?

The fast-paced economic development of the emerging economies seems bound up with a wider culture of dynamism. Innovation in China, for example, seems unhindered by the risk-aversion, regulation, and short-term instrumentalism that hampers innovation in the West. So is risk-taking Eastern ‘can-do’ outstripping overly-cautious Western 'know-how'?

How far can the pioneer pragmatism of the emerging economies take us in innovating new technologies? How far can a country such as China really extend the boundaries of technical and intellectual innovation while freedom of thought is confined by censorship, and democracy is curtailed? What, if anything, can the West learn from technical innovation coming out of the emerging economies? - Institute of Ideas

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