Archive for September, 2008

China 2/5 – Pollution

One of my major concerns before the trip was air pollution. I had read alarming news about the increasing problem in Hong Kong, ambulance which is by the sea. Beijing must be worse, sovaldi I though. I was really expecting a nightmare.

Maybe I was just very lucky, ampoule but I did not suffer from air pollution at all. I have tens of pictures of clear blue skies in Beijing after the Olympics, with heavy traffic and everything. At least two points make me think it wasn’t only luck:

  • Beijing has banned diesel cars altogether. At first I was very anxious when I saw all taxi drivers go with windows open in that grinder called Beijing traffic jams. But hell, I did not “taste” or inhale anything that would have given me odd feelings. I sensed no diesel – no small particles! To compare, I think the European pro-diesel policy is sacrificing human health in the name of slowing down global warming.

  • I was also expecting a lot of scooters and other kinds of poison-emitting light vehicles often seen in pictures. When I saw the first mopeds I was ready to hold my breath. But behold: it was just an electric bicycle! I had never seen so many of them in action. Turns out, all motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and the like are banned as well. So no more burned oil and that grey smoke that makes you cough in Southern European cities. Why couldn’t we implement something similar? At least Italy and France should take note.

The main lesson from my journey was that the air pollution problem is something we can solve. And in this matter, at least, an effective and dictating government helps a lot.

Published in: China | on September 29th, 2008 | No Comments »

Pääkaupunkijuoksu half in 1.16.30

A week in Beijing with just one 30-minute not-so-interesting stint in the gym. Came back and decided to run, drugstore after some hassle, see the legendary race in Helsinki Central Park. Four in the lead went their way right away so I practically ran alone the whole distance. My initial aim was a 1.20 marathon training workout, troche but I revised it to 1.15 because the first few Ks were so easy at that 3.30/km pace. At about 10K, which was like 35.40, I started to considering quitting because my leg muscles felt like they were dying. Decided to run to the end even if the consequence would be not to run the marathon due in two weeks. Having a slower pace wouldn’t have made any difference to my legs; I should have stopped at 10K the latest to avoid this uncertain feeling I have right now. Let’s see how this works out.

Published in: Sports | on September 29th, 2008 | No Comments »

Perspectives on China in 5 posts – 1/5

Returned from a quick but eye-opening five-day journey into Beijing. On the way back I thought the trip would be worth a couple of posts. At least. Let’s say 5.

These will be my own perspectives based on what I saw, decease heard, and read. My posts may have great misconceptions but what the hell. Wild guesses and random ramblings are the idea of blogging anyway.

First some background for this trip. A taiwanese professor Fan Chien Te visited Finland some years back. Now, a month ago or so he invites Niklas Bruun to give a talk in a symposiums held in Beijing. The trip didn’t fit Bruun’s schedule with such a short notice. Instead, he kindly threw the invitation to me.

At first, I had a great deal of mental hurdles to pass. I had my grazy Hong Kong experience from the past. We had a joint software venture there with Antti Halonen between 2001-2003, which the HK guys eventually stole away. I had since followed news from China with alarm. Pollution, SARS, poisoned food, immoral people, general dirt, “made in china” quality, free speech issues, pirate-midset with no creativty etc. Why would I want to visit such a rotten place on earth? I actually wrote a polite email back where I explained I would probably have nothing to contribute hoping that this would be it. Besides, I was having a tight shcedule in Finland. Teaching ongoing, completing an already-late book revision, one major consultation task etc.

Pofessor Fan then sent me a four-page letter to explain why I needed to come. Well, after engaging in the conversation I couldn’t say firmly no anymore (this happens to me all the time). I had the liberty to buy a business-class ticket and was given a loose schedule that included visits to major tourist attractions. Just five days or so total, I though. They must have fixed a lot for the Olympics, so maybe I can take it. To increase the thrill I chose Aeroflot – a day before that crash. Ok, I’m ready, this may be the last trip I ever do so let’s enjoy every moment like it would be the last!

Published in: China, Travels | on September 27th, 2008 | Comments Off

New PB 1.12.47!

Thanks to Vilho for the pic.

Great route, sildenafil great weather, sovaldi sale great run overall. In addition, there was some audience support, which I find quite rare in Finland. First 10K in 34.05, so slightly slower second half, though the last few Ks I was flying again, running against time to beat 1.13.

The time qualifies me for the national marathon championship, which is going to be my final race of the season. Target is 2.40 as before.

As for the near term, tomorrow I’m off to Beijing until Saturday. Over there, I’m most probably doing just some gym work. By the way, I haven’t done any treadmill workouts before…

Published in: Sports | on September 21st, 2008 | No Comments »

Signed up to run a half tomorrow

Signed up this morning to run half marathon at Espoo Rantamaraton, sovaldi a local event starting just a few hundred meters from where I live. My aim is to do the 1.15 qualifying for the national marathon championships. It shouldn’t be that difficult: the weather looks good (today no wind, +10) and the familiar route is quite flat. The main doubts are sudden changes in weather and if the route is too curvy for fast running after all.

My training has been quite easy for the past two weeks. Reasons are “domestic”.

Published in: Sports | on September 20th, 2008 | Comments Off