Wild Grass by Ian Johnson. Interesting book, in three sections, about three different people in China resisting the authorities in different ways. One is a lawyer battling illegally high local taxes, one a woman trying to investigate the death in custody of her mother (a follower of the Falun Gong sect), one a man trying to protect historical buildings and neighbourhoods in Beijing.
Gives an interesting insight into China. Author makes the point that while Chinese people often claim not to be interested in "politics", they are strongly interested in anti-corruption, and in civic issues.
Worth a look if you're interested in China.
What I'm Reading
Logistics and Supply Chain Management by Martin Christopher seems like an effective introduction to logistics. Read this as preparation for the new job I start next week, it's not that fascinating in its own right.
Does have a few interesting case facts though. Points out that Tesco and Wal-Mart have IT systems where everyone in their supply network has real-time extranet access to some of their till data, so potentially a sheep-farmer can see someone's bought a lamb chop.
What I'm Reading
Chez Max by Jakob Arjouni. Short near-future novel about a kind of Gestapo-lite "Ashcroft Agent", a German in Paris, who suspects his partner of being a terrorist agent. Has a nice depiction of the obnoxiously self-deluded protagonist. Plot didn't seem that interesting though.
There seems to be a spate of dystopian future novels written by mainstream writers, I've got a couple more in the stack.
Not too sure about this one, I would have liked to see a bit more about how this world operates, though there's some interesting satire of the future Fortress Europe.
Overall, not bad, not unmissable.
What I'm Watching
Saw The Hot Tub Time Machine. Comedy about dysfunctional middle-aged men who get the chance to revisit their Eighties heyday.
Has a bit of an odd mix of teen gross-out comedy and a somewhat sensitive depiction of failed lives, but it actually works pretty well.
So I need to pick out a wedding ring and I'm struggling to decide since I'm not a big jewellery wearer.
Girl B wants rose gold to match the engagement ring, but the pink looks a bit girly and I don't think suits my skin colour. I initially thought that his'n'hers had to match, but apparently not, so at least that leaves me free.
I usually wear a silver-coloured watch and glasses these days so I was thinking of a similar coloured ring. I liked the look of the white gold rings in the shop, but apparently that comes from a rhodium plating which wears off in a couple of years to a yellowy-grey I'm not keen on. Palladium looks good, but apparently that develops a dull grey patina over time too. Also worried it might seem a bit gimmicky in a few years since it's apparently trendy now.
So, not sure whether to go for good old-fashioned yellow gold, or one of the white metals which can apparently be replated or repolished fairly easily anyway.
Socioeconomics. What's not wrong, wrong with economics. Short abstract: Why Systematically Poor Performing Asset Managers Survive. Americans overestimate number of gays and lesbians.
Articles. The History of the Female Shipwright, 18th century cross-dressing sailor/ Marketer reckons Olympic logo fascism is a mistake: "They have focused all their efforts on identity at the expense of equity."
Sci/Tech. Followup on exercise and depression study. Why VB6 thrives (I think it misses the point a bit, it was often the fastest way to solve a real-world business problem and probably still is sometimes). Adieu Minitel.
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