May 19, 2008

For What It's Worth

Some quick things about the earthquake:

  • Yesterday at 2:28 PM, exactly one week after the quake, China held a three-minute moment of "silence". I have "silence" in quotes because outside our office, the air-raid siren blared and cars outside leaned on their horns for three minutes. Still, it was meaningful, as all my co-workers stopped talking and working and stood up at their desks, heads bowed. Other reports indicate that traffic, including the online variety, came to a standstill.
  • Web sites are being directed to scuttle entertainment-related content for the official three-day mourning period that also began yesterday. I've heard that entertainment venues, such as bars and clubs, also will be closed. The national flag, which I saw in Beijing, will be at half-staff during this time -- the first time it's ever been lowered for ordinary citizens.
  • All TV channels I get via cable are showing either CCTV 1 (the main station) or CCTV 9 (the English-language station). I've heard reports that foreign-owned stations or satellite stations are blacked out.
  • Some of the SHist staff have reported being approached on the street by beggars saying that they are soliciting $$ for earthquake victims. Sad that people have to stoop that low.

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