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Old 2012-01-10, 06:31   Link #18961
ganbaru
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Syria's Assad promises "iron fist" and reforms
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8041A820120110
So it mean much more death and some tiny reforms ?
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Old 2012-01-10, 09:17   Link #18962
andyjay729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
I realized that this is 2012...So in April I'm starting to expect a rash of Titanic stuff everyplace for the 100th Anniversary of the sinking. There are no survivors left that I am aware of.
James Cameron is actually rereleasing the movie... in 3-D! I saw a trailer a couple weeks ago.
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Old 2012-01-10, 11:29   Link #18963
TinyRedLeaf
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HK bargain hunters seek haunted homes
Quote:
Hong Kong (Jan 10, Tue): It may not be everyone's idea of a dream home, but for bargain hunters in Hong Kong's turbo-charged property market, apartments that belonged to the recently deceased are proving irresistible — and the more gruesome the occupant's demise, the better.

Popular belief in a city awash with superstition runs that the ghost of a person who dies in unnatural circumstances — a suicide, murder or bad accident — inhabits their home, passing misfortune onto the new occupants.

By law, buyers are entitled to details on so-called "haunted houses" — or hongza (凶宅) in Cantonese — and many rigorously check the backstory to their potential purchase.

But not everyone is afraid of ghosts, and in the cut and thrust of Hong Kong's runaway property market, some investors are actively following the tragedies, aware that dark incidents push the price down.

Discounts of between 20 and 40 per cent are the standard for haunted houses with a knock-on for the rental yield, says Mr Eric Wong of the squarefoot.com.hk property website, which has a channel dedicated to the phenomenon.

And for the savvy buyer, there are plenty to choose from.

Among the hundreds of macabre listings on the website is the home of a local football player who, crushed by the weight of debt and relationship problems, jumped from his 36th-floor flat.

Then there is the divorcee whose body was discovered a month after she poisoned herself with the fumes of burning charcoal, or the woman hacked to death and mutilated by her domestic helper in an exclusive apartment block.

Such morbid tales are a boon to investors who would not live in a haunted house themselves, but will gladly put it up for rent.

"There's a group of investors who specifically bid for these places and then rent it to people who don't mind its bad history," says Mr Wong.

More often than not, the takers are Western expatriates — widely known in local slang as gweilo (鬼佬), a derogatory term that means, aptly enough, "ghost people" — who are not overly concerned about the history of their apartment.

"Gweilo don't have the same beliefs as Hong Kong people and just want a cheaper price in a nice area," says Ms Winnie Ng of Rich Harvest property agency.

Haunted houses may be sold for 40 per cent below market price depending on what has happened there and how recently it took place, she says. That is equal to the impact of the 2003 SARS outbreak that had investors fleeing the city.

Home prices in Hong Kong have leapt more than 70 per cent since 2009, while banks have increased mortgage rates five times since March last year, pricing all but the wealthiest out of the market.

With many young Hong Kongers forced to live at home deep into their 20s or 30s, haunted houses are providing an unlikely route onto the housing ladder.

AFP
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Old 2012-01-10, 13:50   Link #18964
bladeofdarkness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Syria's Assad promises "iron fist" and reforms
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8041A820120110
So it mean much more death and some tiny reforms ?
don't be absurd.
it means that significant population reduction would be one of the primary reforms.
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Old 2012-01-10, 14:06   Link #18965
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyjay729 View Post
James Cameron is actually rereleasing the movie... in 3-D! I saw a trailer a couple weeks ago.
Between "Beauty and the Beast" and this... expect to see a rash of "pretend" 3-d re-releases.
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Old 2012-01-10, 16:53   Link #18966
Haak
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The US rescues Iranians at sea again:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-16493551

I'm seeing a pattern emerging...
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Old 2012-01-10, 18:54   Link #18967
Ithekro
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Hmmm...


Court: Okla. ban on Islamic law unconstitutional
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...jFmeqeRXqVoAUq

Somtimes you have to wonder is the Constitution protecting me or harming me. I guess that is the question on the minds of the 70% that voted for this law. But then the Bill of Rights is there so that the majority doesn't dictate to the minority.

A lot of Americans object to Sharia law. It is not the rule of the land, but it is still protected under the First Amendment. If it doesn't contradict other laws I'm assuming, which would be worked out in a court case.


Guantanamo closure hopes fade as prison turns 10
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/s...H0uZGHiSnsgGSL

Some are being held due to congressional regulation....like that their country be stable before shipping them home.
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Old 2012-01-10, 21:40   Link #18968
andyjay729
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Hey, some haunted hotels make their ghosts the main draw. For instance, you can stay in the Lizzie Borden House, including right in the rooms where the murders happened. Also the Stanley Hotel, which inspired The Shining.
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Old 2012-01-10, 21:43   Link #18969
andyjay729
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http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/s...ast/52482024/1

This year is getting off to a shaky start. Of course...is 7.3 considered a slightly larger than average quake in Indonesia (considering that's near where the huge one in 2004 occurred)?
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Old 2012-01-10, 22:13   Link #18970
ganbaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Hmmm... Guantanamo closure hopes fade as prison turns 10
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/s...H0uZGHiSnsgGSL

Some are being held due to congressional regulation....like that their country be stable before shipping them home.
Others, because their country, like us in Canada, do not make any effort to get them back home.
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Old 2012-01-11, 02:17   Link #18971
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
Hmmm...


Court: Okla. ban on Islamic law unconstitutional
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religio...jFmeqeRXqVoAUq

Somtimes you have to wonder is the Constitution protecting me or harming me. I guess that is the question on the minds of the 70% that voted for this law. But then the Bill of Rights is there so that the majority doesn't dictate to the minority.

A lot of Americans object to Sharia law. It is not the rule of the land, but it is still protected under the First Amendment. If it doesn't contradict other laws I'm assuming, which would be worked out in a court case.
I don't get it. How could laws other than the land's be relevant?
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Old 2012-01-11, 02:20   Link #18972
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I don't get it. How could laws other than the land's be relevant?
Dunno, it would be up to individual judges to decide to refer to Sharia law in resolving disputes and that would immediately red flag the case for appeal since it reaches outside of jurisprudence for justification. I suspect that the court said you can't "ban Sharia law" since it is religious in basis but it doesn't mean any secular court in the land has to pay a bit of attention to it nor would application of Sharia law exempt anyone from secular law.

I should note that religion in the US is NOT utterly exempt from judicial review. If your religion involves practices that violate secular law, you're going to have trouble. No torturing of animals, human sacrifice, use of illegal drugs (small exception for indigenous), marrying of old men to small girls, no "honor killings" (I hate that term, it is dishonorable and bollocks), etc.
---------------------------------
In unrelated news, here's an interesting piece of analysis correlating skyscraper construction with financial collapse. Sort of "ego == recklessness".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16494013

Quote:
"Often the world's tallest buildings are simply the edifice of a broader skyscraper building boom, reflecting a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction," Barclays Capital analysts said.
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Old 2012-01-11, 02:40   Link #18973
Ithekro
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I would like to know what sort of evidence the lawyer brought out for his case as to why not allowing Shairia law in courts would hurt him directly (something about his Will was the only thing mentioned).

The only real grievance I can see is it being "singled out" as discrimitory and against the ideals of the First Amendment. Though I think the article also mentioned that the State of Oklahoma has never used any laws outside of those of the country or state in court cases. So one wonders why this Amendment to the State Constitution even came up in the first place.
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Last edited by Ithekro; 2012-01-11 at 02:51.
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Old 2012-01-11, 02:47   Link #18974
Anh_Minh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
I would like to know what sort of evidence the lawyer brought out for his case as to why not allowing Shairia law in courts would hurt him directly (something about his Will was the only thing mentioned).
Maybe his will is "follow the sharia"? But even then, why can't he just say what he wants done?

Quote:
The only real grievance I can see is it being "singled out" as discrimitory anf against the ideals of the First Amendment. Though I think the article also mentioned that the State of Oklahoma has never used any laws outside of those of the country or state in court cases. So one wonders why this Amendment to the State Constitution even came up in the first place.
Maybe plaintiffs brought it up, and judges got tired of telling them they didn't care about sharia?
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Old 2012-01-11, 03:11   Link #18975
Ithekro
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I'm not sure how Oklahoma's bill process works, but in California we get a lot of public created propositions to be added via out Progressive era State Constitution. Sometimes I wish we let the judges have a run at them first before we vote on them...as it would be quicker since so many get rejected by the Federal Court (9th Circuit of Appeals).
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Old 2012-01-11, 03:16   Link #18976
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
How to sell property in Hong Kong :

1. Take any house
2. Spread ghost rumours about it (most effective being a female suicide in red)
3. ?????
4. PROFIT
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Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-01-11, 03:26   Link #18977
Ithekro
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Quote:
---------------------------------
In unrelated news, here's an interesting piece of analysis correlating skyscraper construction with financial collapse. Sort of "ego == recklessness".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16494013


Quote:
Quote:
"Often the world's tallest buildings are simply the edifice of a broader skyscraper building boom, reflecting a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction," Barclays Capital analysts said.
So they have a giant, nearly empty building in Dubai. And the Brits are building something called the Shard? (Isn't that for the Dark Crystal?)

Now if they were building real Arcologies, then we might have something interesting (which it seems some people are).
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Old 2012-01-11, 03:31   Link #18978
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
So they have a giant, nearly empty building in Dubai. And the Brits are building something called the Shard? (Isn't that for the Dark Crystal?)

Now if they were building real Arcologies, then we might have something interesting (which it seems some people are).
Construction sector has always been the main job-creator in any industry (unless you count military in "defence-oriented" states). Of course, the real problem is : how is anyone going to be able to pay off the money used to finance the construction when nobody wants to reside in such expensive places? Plus the bank loans out millions to construct such buildings......defaulting on those loans isn't good for the economy unless the bank is able to repackage those housing bonds the way the did before 2008.

They are better off building a highway and charging a toll for it.

With regards to arcologies, they aren't good for the human race because sooner or later after building them, there'd be a giant artillery gun or laser cannon on top of each of them, aimed at another arcology. I'd say space colonies are better - nobody dares to shoot them down at least unless they want to redo the movie Deep Impact.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-01-11, 04:44   Link #18979
TinyRedLeaf
. . .
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyjay729 View Post
Hey, some haunted hotels make their ghosts the main draw. For instance, you can stay in the Lizzie Borden House, including right in the rooms where the murders happened. Also the Stanley Hotel, which inspired The Shining.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
How to sell property in Hong Kong :

1. Take any house
2. Spread ghost rumours about it (most effective being a female suicide in red)
3. ?????
4. PROFIT
Heh, all amusing certainly, but after the chuckles, it's the story beneath the story that attracted me to an otherwise innocuous news article. It says a few things about 1) the extent of superstition in Chinese culture in general, and in Hong Kong society specifically; 2) the extent of the rich-poor divide in Hong Kong, as manifested in its massively overpriced property market; 3) the ingenuity of Hong Kong people; sure, there have been haunted hotels, but people (superstitious Chinese people) specifically looking to buy haunted homes? That's news.

There's also the sideways shot of endemic racism, coming from the reference about Westerners. Yup, that all-pervading sense of Chinese superiority that is quite common in Hong Kong, and deliberately fanned by its cutthroat media industry.

Finally, the story makes a perfect, universal illustration of how desperate necessity is, as always, the mother of all invention.

As a news reader (and a history buff), I'm increasingly drawn to articles such as this, rather than the headline stories of the day. Because such material are the stuff of popular history, the story of the little people who matter just as much as the big guys who apparently call the shots.
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Old 2012-01-11, 08:17   Link #18980
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Heh, all amusing certainly, but after the chuckles, it's the story beneath the story that attracted me to an otherwise innocuous news article. It says a few things about 1) the extent of superstition in Chinese culture in general, and in Hong Kong society specifically; 2) the extent of the rich-poor divide in Hong Kong, as manifested in its massively overpriced property market; 3) the ingenuity of Hong Kong people; sure, there have been haunted hotels, but people (superstitious Chinese people) specifically looking to buy haunted homes? That's news.

There's also the sideways shot of endemic racism, coming from the reference about Westerners. Yup, that all-pervading sense of Chinese superiority that is quite common in Hong Kong, and deliberately fanned by its cutthroat media industry.

Finally, the story makes a perfect, universal illustration of how desperate necessity is, as always, the mother of all invention.

As a news reader (and a history buff), I'm increasingly drawn to articles such as this, rather than the headline stories of the day. Because such material are the stuff of popular history, the story of the little people who matter just as much as the big guys who apparently call the shots.
Actually, if we look over the course of history, infrastructure tends to be one of the first few sectors to pick up (if there is government intervention) from any doldrum. Playing Bob the Builder keeps people employed for a long time due to safety measures, quality control, cost effeciency, search for tenants, etc - a good way to keep people distracted and from holding riots.

The problem is that many building magnates take this a step too far, constantly building higher-cost buildings with inflated market value, assuming that they will be populated as the economy recovers and people's incomes increase. However, not everyone will pay in cash, a down economy will indicate a lower interest rate, thus all these people will borrow to buy homes.

Those who buy into property flipping schemes by gurus (I wish your boss would stop accepting their ads) at the peak where interest rates are high and borrowing top off bring in the next crash - by increasing money flow, heating up the market through "money friction" (transaction costs, commissions & interest rates).

Hot property prices tend to be fanned by extreme greed. Many refuse to enter into renting contracts for fear of not being able to sell the property once a deal comes along. What's more, as mentioned above, gurus like to advertise themselves and "teach" to earn a secondary income - thus driving the wave of "property investment".

I don't think you have to look far for an example, there is already one at (y)our doorstep (property pun unintended, so is the alliteration). I was hoping for a weasel to pop somewhere this year so I can buy and own my very own cake shop - always wanted to run one.

Damn the cooling measures.
__________________

When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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