Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Impressions from China - James Blunt

James Blunt's concert was wonderful. I have read about how many people dislike his "whiny, annoying" voice but I disagree. And by the looks of the sold out crowd at the concert last week, many are with me.

It was a bit strange, this concert, not because of James Blunt & his band, but because of the behavior of the security people. There were three of them standing in front of the stage. This venue is set up more like a nightclub than the typical concert-on-a -stage style. The people standing in the front row (standing room only downstairs) could literally reach out & touch James. And he did try to reach out to them too. But the security guards, whom I could tell, were very zealous about keeping Mr Blunt safe from the hands of his audience, raised their arms whenever the audience tried to reach for James (& vice versa). At one point, I thought they were going to slap James' hands away from the audiences'!!!

And so many people were taking pictures during the concert, flashing away rather annoyingly. I even saw the red point of a laser light shining on one of the musician's faces!!! Chinese concert etiquette certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The security people should have made an announcement before the start of the concert letting everyone know that the use of recording devices was not allowed & so on & so forth. Instead, the above mentioned security guards basically just used their hands to block anyone using cameras in the front area of the audience pit. Which meant the ones in the back could do as they please.

So this is the kind of thing that makes me wonder what will happen during the Olympics....hardware ready, but what about the software?


Friday, April 11, 2008

Impressions from China - Oh-dear-lympics

We all know about the "disturbances" that the poor Olympic torch has been through the last few weeks. And about Mr Gere's diatribe & Mr Spielberg's "withdrawal" from being part of the production team of the opening ceremony.

But it looks like these outsiders are not the only ones feeling a bit peeved at the coming Games. I am not sure how the local citizens will feel about the inconveniences that they will have to bear with, some more severe than others...
  • the residents living around the Olympics venues will need to have special passes to get into the area to go home
  • that whole odd-number-even-number car plate tag team arrangement to try to improve traffic conditions & (maybe) air pollution
  • apparently, merchants with stores in a large market near the Olympic venues have been asked, oops, I mean told, to close shop for two months.
Oh dear.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Hands On

Man, I wish this recommendation had come out years ago.

The one & only time I've ever done mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a real-life human being was several years ago in my first month of work in a downtown GP clinic. Security had called up to inform us that someone had fainted & they were bringing up the lady. This was at lunchtime when I was one of two doctors on duty, the other one having gone out to lunch, & we were operating on a skeleton crew of clinic assistants.

As soon as I saw the patient's condition, I knew this was not a simple case of syncope, but that she was in cardiopulmonary arrest. She was blue, no pulse, no respiration, & probably had been in this state for at least 15 minutes judging from what the security guard told us.

Adrenaline kicked in immediately as I called for one of the nurses to help me give CPR & look for the crash cart which no one could find as the assistants in charge of "taking care" of the cart had gone out to much for being prepared.

Anyhoo, given the urgency of the situation, I had no choice but to give direct mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while the nurse did chest compressions. Fortunately, the patient had a relatively dry mouth (could have been bad - use your imagination). Unfortunately, given that she had probably been down for at least 15 minutes, despite our continued attempts at CPR, there was no response. The ambulance medics continued CPR as they brought her to the nearest hospital.

Alas, this was not a happy ending.