Lai See

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 November, 2011, 12:00am


A lot of hot air from officials about fighting pollution in the city

Anyone who has tried grabbing hold of a wet bar of soap will have some sympathy for Civic Party legislative councillor Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, who has been trying to get the government to live up to its commitments and say when it intends to introduce the new air quality objectives.

These set benchmarks for the limits on the four major pollutants in the air - sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and respirable particulate matter. If pollutants breach these levels then they have an impact on public health. Hong Kong's air quality objectives are frequently breached and are out of date. Although the government came up with new objectives two years ago, it won't implement them. Eu has pursued this matter with both Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and Environment Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah.

We reported last week that Tsang told her that the new objectives would be introduced by the end of this year but her discussions with the Environment Bureau indicated that no time had been allocated in the Legislative Council. Eu pressed Yau in Legco last Thursday for an answer during a debate on the chief executive's policy speech. Yau ducked the question, would not give a date and made no promises, saying only that air quality had improved. So either someone is lying or there's been administrative incompetence.

It's that wiggle that counts

We've had some interesting feedback on our item last week on the dangers women put themselves through by wearing high-heeled shoes. We said women were happy to endure the discomfort of high heels because they were fashionable and flattering in that they made their legs look longer and their bottom smaller.

But one reader writes that there is something more primal at work here and revolves around the mating game, or sex. We understand from further research into this matter that women wearing stilettos consciously or unconsciously transmit messages to me. High heels raise the pelvis backwards and force women to walk with an accentuated roll or a wiggle - which we learn is one of the more or less subtle courtship gestures available to women.

Marilyn Monroe reputedly chopped three-quarters of an inch off the heel of her left shoe to emphasise her wiggle. We are reliably informed that the females of several species of beetle also wiggle their rears in front of potential mates to attract attention. This is why, according to experts, men feel edgy when a woman in high heels passes by, particularly if she has that all important hips-to-waist ratio of around 70 per cent. So high heels won't be going out of fashion any time soon despite the torment they inflict on those wearing them.

The downside for the twitteratti

Much has been made of the wonders of Twitter and the reach and power this social media bestows on its users. But it has its downside as an American university student named Alan Joyce found to his cost. People all over the world have wrongfully bombarded him on Twitter thinking he was the chief executive of Qantas who ordered the grounding of the airline's entire fleet, stranding thousands of passengers all over the world.

It was a drastic move in the airline's bitter dispute with unions representing pilots, aircraft mechanics, baggage handlers and caterers, whose rolling strikes have forced the cancellation of 600 flights in recent months, disrupted travel for 70,000 passengers and cost Qantas A$70 million (HK$574.53 million). The younger Alan Joyce appears to have taken the Twitter barrage in good spirit replying, 'I'm no more CEO of Qantas than @willsmith is a famous movie actor'.

Someone suggested he should be given a free trip to Australia for his pains. Last year Qantas offered an American woman with the username @theashes a free trip to Australia after she was inundated with updates about the cricket series. Such are the delights of the twitteratti.

Time for a Tiger or two

Not everyone in Bangkok is quaking in their wellington boots at the prospect of the advancing floodwaters. Best-selling author Stephen Leather who once served time as business editor at the South China Morning Post remarks on his Facebook page: 'The floodwaters are heading my way but Food By Phone has just delivered two cheeseburgers and 24 cans of Tiger beer so I have the basics covered ....' Such a wag.