Are you being ignored at parties? Finding that your friends have all mysteriously disappeared? You have the tell-tale signs of working for a controversial business or industry - something which Hong Kong seems to spawn with remarkable regularity. If you do belong to the not-so-elite club of Hong Kong's unfashionable corporate set, fret not, help is at hand. IBC Asia apparently has identified controversial businesses and industries as a bit of a growth industry, and thinks it can transform controversy into sweetness and light. 'It is very understandable that you are reluctant to admit that your business activity may be controversial,' the company's sales spiel begins. 'Of course, admitting to it, you argue, is definitely not good for the company's public image. But denying it, on the other hand, is not good for the company's bottom line,' it goes on. IBC has singled out the mining, tobacco, nuclear power, chemical, food and oil industries as prime controversy hotspots. Interestingly, this list fails to make any mention of property developers. Lai See's tirade against US knowledge of Asian geography last week appears to have struck a chord with our readers. So today, further evidence of the expansive US world view so apparent during the Olympics. One correspondence that has been sent from the Department of Finance of New York City to a reader is addressed to a certain investment company in Connaught Road West. All fine and dandy, except the building is meant to be in 'Hong Kong, Chile'. Another example of an interesting use of words was spotted by a reader in the sports section of last Tuesday's China Daily. A standard round-up on an early-season English Premier Division referred to favourites Chelsea being held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton, who barely escaped relegation from the top division last year. The story praises the efforts of the Southampton strugglers, who according to the paper, '. . . showed the virtues of English workilometresanship'. Sounds exhausting. In our endless quest to bring you hot news from around the globe, we can no longer ignore the scoops being dug up by that classy mag, Ropes, Grooming and Ropeway Building International. The racy, story-busting tone of the glossy publication - dominated by pretty pictures of chairlifts - is established from the first story in the latest edition to cross our desk. It begins - 'Anyone who thought that Doppelmayr ropeways were only to be found in wintersport resorts would be wrong.' 'Doppelmayr chairlifts and gondolas are also to be found in more tropical climates, and the company has recently delivered a ropeway to the Carribean, too.' And what of another potboiler about what's going on at some company called Semperit. 'Corporate strategy at Semperit's Mouldings and Profiles Division is based on a clear mission statement - to lead the way in Europe in the manufacture of rubber profiles and plastic mouldings!' Hold the front page. Maverick Aussie Mike Yalden, of Richardson Pacific (Asia), tells us of a trial road system between Hong Lok Yuen and Tai Po where chevrons - or inverted 'Vs' - are painted on the road at roughly 50-metre intervals. Drivers apparently are told on signs to leave two chevrons - or roughly 100 metres - between vehicles. Now, with so much available space, most Hong Kong drivers used to bumper-to-bumper traffic might scream with terror - rather like that Atlanta Olympics bus driver who had a nervous breakdown when confronted by a freeway. If such a system was implemented territory-wide, Lai See estimates that only 10 per cent of cars could be on the road at any one time. One of the joys of writing for Lai See is its unprecedented access to piles of useless information. So no doubt you'll be fascinated to know, courtesy of Reuter, that Philippe Cailleau from France has won this year's Melon Seed Spitters World Championship. He literally exploded the pip 6.93 metres, despite a slight headwind. Another Gallic fellow, Bernard Ricard, set a world record at the same event last year - but this year he wasn't in the top three. Nury Vittachi is on holiday.