Coffee Break: Introducing Instant Cappuccino

first_imgHi all,I’m taking a break from end-of-year packing to introduce myself, and this blog, to you. Mine is a big packing job, since I’m heading back to the US of A after 9 months as a Visiting Student in this watery isle and spire-y university. The year’s been incredible, and I leave with rich impressions of England and the English, most of which I’ve published in my opinions column at the Brown Daily Herald. If you’re interested, check out my musings.I’ve been writing for the Herald since 2004, on politics, culture and how our generation (Y, if you were born between 1980 and 2000), experiences the world. Oftentimes, defining Gen Y culture has a lot to do with the technology and trends (iPods, e-books, wikipedia, facebook and blogs like this one) for which we 20-somethings are the guinea-pigs. If there’s one place that the Internet has made its biggest impact, it’s in schools and universities—can you imagine writing an essay without Google or JStor? I can’t. And if you believe social theorists like David Brooks, who say that the biggest culture wars occur over education, that people are defined by educational experience, then changes in our world, in the lives of 20-something students, are the harbingers of changes in the world at large. The second front in the Internet culture war is the world of journalism. As a Herald columnist, a blogger here and elsewhere and a news reporter for Cherwell and Cherwell24, I’ve watched news media slowly adjust to the Internet Age. Mainstream print papers are diving into the blogosphere; blogs are turning into big business. As the place we turn for the truth about our world, changing news media means big changes in our social worldview. Once again, as the first group to grow up with GoogleNews, LexisNexis, RSS feeds and CNN Pipeline, we, generation Y, are the test case.Here at Instant Cappuccino, I’ll post news stories and videos about our changing world. I’ll post my thoughts on technology, politics and popular culture. As a forum for students, Cappuccino will focus on issues in education and the spread of information. As a blog, Cappuccino will be part of the transformation.Of course, what makes our culture of Wikipedia and YouTube different from the first Internet revolution of Yahoo and Netscape, is that interaction is overtaking information as the premium capital. So please, post your own thoughts. Tell me when (and this happens often) I am wrong about what’s trendy. Link to Cappuccino on your own blogs, and tell me what other sites I should be following. With your participation, over a cup of virtual coffee, we can make sense of the new world we live in, and predictions for the world to come.Cherwell 24 is not responsible for content of external linkslast_img read more

Other Sports Chinese farmers swap sheep for skis ahead of Olympics

first_imgBeijing: It may be hot outside but that doesn’t stop doctors and former shepherds on skis snowploughing on giant white treadmills on the outskirts of Beijing – part of the battalions of workers learning the sport ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.             China is scrambling to build enthusiasm for winter sports ahead of the Games with an ambitious goal to increase the number of fans tenfold, to 300 million, by 2022. ALSO READ | UEFA insists no talks on Champions League final in New York           The doctors, nurses and former sheep farmers are part of this mammoth effort, training for several days a week over the past year to make the cut as volunteers and workers during the Games.           The training continued through the searing summer in Yanqing district on the outskirts of Beijing, which will host several events in 2022, including Alpine skiing, bobsledding, skeleton, and luge.           Amid balmy temperatures outside, the students stood on skis on two inclined treadmills that were sprayed with water inside a gymnasium.           Lang Enge and his team of 25 farmers and shepherds practised their moves to be able to do “whatever the government arranges for us”, such as cable car maintenance work, snow gear repair and operating artificial snow machines.           “Almost all farmers sold their sheep in our village, there are no shepherds now in Yanqing,” says Lang, 29.           The sheepherders decided to sell their flocks after the local government told them they could keep them but could no longer take them to the mountains due to overgrazing.           Lang sold his 300 sheep and decided to focus on skiing instead. The local government finances all the training, promising jobs related to the Winter Olympics. Lang and his friends hope that by learning to ski, they can land permanent jobs in ski resorts after the Olympics. In the meantime, Lang is working as a temporary traffic and public security employee for the local government. He said other farmers are working as taxi drivers, factory workers or car salesmen. ALSO READ | ‘I could have died,” says paralysed Olympic champion Vogel           Doctors and nurses are also training at the same gym, but for a different challenge: working as medical volunteers who can rush down a slope to help an injured athlete.           “It’s a challenge for me. I hope to have more time to do my best,” said Jiang Wei, 30, a nurse at the local hospital, before jumping into the skiing simulator, wearing elbow and knee pads and a helmet, as an instructor gave her advice.           The farmers appeared more confident on the slope simulator, slowly slaloming on the moving carpet while the doctors and nurses were still grabbing onto a security pole at the bottom of the treadmill.           “I think the people I trained will be suitable for these jobs,” said E Yinchun, one of the trainers. China is not the first country to train medical staff to ski for the Olympic Games, where athletes can get injured by attempting risky jumps and making high-speed turns. But for the farmers in Yanqing this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a better-paying job. Lang and his team have left the countryside for good and now they are working for the district office while they prepare for the big event in February 2022. What will happen after the Games is still uncertain. Especially, he said, now that “there are no sheep farmers in town”. For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more