Got Milk?

Of course the big news out of post-Olympics China is the great milk scandal–the discovery of a nasty substance being added to milk and milk powder that has sickened tens of thousands and killed a handful of infants.  Apparantly milk and milk powder and milk products have practically disappeared from the shelves in China.  Today I read that even the beloved White Rabbit Candy has gone down.  For those of you unfamiliar to Chinese confectionary, White Rabbit is one of the few products from the old days (hard-line Socialist China) that has survived and thrived in modern China. A more basic candy could not be found. Basically, it's just a toffee-like candy, that is just, well milk.  Hard milk.  A milk candy that is guaranteed to keep dentists in business for a long time.  When I first went to China in the 80's it was pretty much the only candy that was available.  And now it's off the shelves.  Wow.  Hopefully it will be a temporary absence.

Foreign Baby Alert

A friend of mine who teaches at a university in China (with his wife and baby) recently posted a very funny video on his YouTube site called My China Experiment.   Watch it to find out what attracts more attention in China–a foreign baby or a man with a box on his head.

The Air-conditioner War

I'm in the Palm Springs (CA) area this week, speaking at a training conference.  It is being held at a very very nice resort, complete with all the things one would expect of a resort out here in the desert:  palm trees, swimming pools, golf courses, and friendly staff.  And given that it's been over 100 degrees everyday, of course the nice rooms have air-conditioning—kind of a necessity out here, really.

The first night here, my roommate and I turned the  AC on high (really cold), but woke up a few hours later to find that it had gone off, and the temperature had climbed to nearly 80.  I got up and turned the AC back on, and stumbled back to bed.  In the morning I talked to the front desk about this and they kindly sent an engineer up to check it out. He said it seemed to be working fine.  But when I then asked him why a correctly functioning AC would suddenly shut off in the night, he informed me that it was motion-sensor activated. In other words, when the sensor does not sense movement in the room, it assumes that the room is empty and shuts off.  Which, of course, is exactly what happens when the occupant of the room GOES TO BED AT NIGHT!!!  Whatever were the engineers who designed this thinking?

The upshot of all this is that numerous times during the night my roommate and I need to get up and wave our hand in front of the AC to get it turned back on.  We are not amused.