Thanks to the US Embassy, Beijingers now know how toxic the air over their capital can be. Yesterday, the Embassy’s Air Quality Index, using North American standards, reported an ohmygosh reading of 755 at 8 pm. The World Health Organization deems a score above 500, to be more than 20 times the level of airborne particulate matter considered safe.
According to the New York Times, residents described the air as “post-apocalyptic”, “terrifying”, and “beyond belief.” The American Embassy’s pollution measuring machine (which, according to a spokesman, was functioning perfectly) and its Twitter feed are unpopular among Chinese officials. In 2009, a Chinese Foreign Ministry officlal, Wang Shu’ai told the Americans to halt the Twitter feed, saying it “is not only confusing, but also insulting.” (WikiLeaks)
CHANGSHA, capital of Hunan Province, seems to be suffering from severe penis envy. It’s hoping to erect the world’s tallest building – Sky City Tower – in three months, using prefabricated components and go-go-go construction. Building it is one thing; filling its 1 million square metres of floor space will be another.
Broad Group, the builders, have already erected a 30-storey tower in a little over two weeks last year, using prefab components. So, maybe it can be done. The company awaits central government approval.
Stressed-out transit riders work out on Adidas punching bags in the Shanghai subway. This could be a hit at Toronto City Hall.
CHONGQING is the world’s largest city. With a population of more than 32 million people and one technicolor dog, it’s built around a series of small mountains, and is heavily industrialized.