Hong Kong Protests Surge Amid Growing Tension, Falling And Rising Barricades

Occupy Central 10.13.14a
On Monday morning, Hong Kong media reported that the barricades around Admiralty would be removed after two-plus weeks of bulwarking pro-democracy protesters in their concrete campground near government offices. The evidence was right there on the tele: moving pictures of police clearing the roads! And so, after lunch, I found myself in a friend's dad's car going from Wan Chai in the direction of our final destination in the western Mid-levels. We had just gotten onto Queensway and could see Pacific Place, a luxury complex of business and commerce, when we encountered... a barricade.

Watch: Hong Kongers Skirmish As Occupy Central Barricades Removed

Hong Kong Occupy Central students block road 3
Many of the barricades near Occupy Central began coming down this morning, but not without resistance. I took the above video at 1:40 pm today on Queensway in Admiralty, just below Hong Kong's police headquarters, a few blocks from the main protest grounds. A group of older men, apparently frustrated that the two-week Occupy Central protests have blocked their streets, rip down the barricades while others chant, "Open the roads." Some quick-thinking Occupy protesters immediately plant themselves in the middle of the street for an impromptu sit-in.

Watching The Hong Kong Protests Inside China Central Television

Watching HK protests on CCTV
I work for a sub-branch of CCTV geared toward international video news, and we have several TV screens in the office that run 24-hour feeds of CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera and others – ostensibly to keep up with the competition. But I returned from our canteen this past Sunday evening to find six or seven of my Chinese colleagues glued to a screen showing a live-feed from CNN.

Cantonese, Which Sounds Like A Jackhammer Mating With A Chainsaw, Is Apparently Less “Weird” Than Mandarin

Cantones character
In an interesting linguistic study published in June, Tyler Schnoebelen of the language data company Idibon looked at hundreds of languages and evaluated them against one another according to 165 features shared by at least 100 languages. What he came up with was a "Weirdness Index" -- downloadable here -- that ranks 239 languages according to how odd they are, i.e. how different one is from the others. (Perhaps a better word would be "distinct.")

Crazy Racist Hong Kong Woman Curses Foreigner At Mong Kok Post Office

Crazy racist Hong Kong woman at post office
A friend of ours, Neil from Hong Kong, had quite the interesting post office experience in Mong Kok this morning. He was standing in line, minding his own business, when a woman approached him and said, “Fucking white man is pig, you steal and you need to return the loot to its original owner.” Utterly flabbergasted, Neil -- who is, by the way, one of the coolest, nicest people we know -- pulled out his camera phone and began recording. “Return the loot to its original owner,” the woman says, followed by:

“Verax” Is The First Biopic Film About Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden movie featured image
It's only five minutes and the acting is notional, but Verax is officially the first dramatization featuring NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The film, made by Hong Kong-based videographer Edwin Lee and friends, isn't completely about Snowden -- it's as much a paean to Hong Kong -- but it's received ample media attention nonetheless.