The forbidden city where diesel vehicles are banned

I came across this illustration named “the forbidden city” (figure 1) recently, which was an interesting allusion to Germany’s ruling to allow its cities to ban diesel vehicles, except for those that meet the Euro 6 emission standard, in restricted areas. The Euro 6 standard is an European emission standard that sets limits for exhaust emissions such as carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, etc, emitted by new vehicles manufactured in the European Union (EU).

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figure 1

The first European emission standard, Euro 1, was introduced in 1992, which was amended with stricter limits as time went by. The latest Euro 6 standard was adopted in 2014. The illustration tells the story of a forbidden city, where the blue vehicle, an Euro 6 automobile, is allowed in the city, and the red one, an Euro 5 vehicle, is banned. This points to Hamburg, the first German city that banned diesel vehicles that failed to meet the Euro 6 standard from entering some of its busy roads. More German cities will follow suit. Stuttgart will ban diesel vehicles of the Euro 4 or older standards from 2019. Frankfurt was obliged to implement the same ban on Euro 4 or older standards vehicles from February 2019, and a stricter ban on Euro 5 as well from September next year.

As more countries are on their ways to ban fossil fuel vehicles, more environmentally-friendly vehicles such as electric ones are the future. The road may be bumpier for some countries, but hopefully that leads to greener and more sustainable societies.


最近看到以上名為「禁城」的報刊插圖(見圖一 figure 1),詼諧地報道了德國今年二月起允許各城市頒布柴油汽車禁令,除符合歐洲汽車廢氣排放標準(European emission standards)歐盟六期(Euro 6)的車輛外,德國城市可對不符合標準的柴油車實施限行。歐盟六期是由歐盟國家共同採納的歐洲汽車廢氣排放標準,限制了不同類型汽車的廢氣污染物排放,包括一氧化碳(CO)、碳氫化合物(HC)、氮氧化物(NOx)和懸浮粒子(PM)。



A memorable name card of Mr Po Chung

Along my entrepreneurial journey there are moments I reflect upon the work I do and the people I meet. And I think about the values I uphold in getting along with different people, like business partners, friends, colleagues, clients, competitors and so on. There are still a lot of things to learn.

The other day I met Mr Po Chung, co-founder of DHL. We had a nice gathering with other friends. Mr Chung truly is a role model to learn from. And on his name card I came across this uplifting message:

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Mr Chung has retired and is still passing on his belief. It bears 3 essential values in conducting oneself and one’s business that can be summarised with 3Cs: competencies, character and caring. It’s always something to remember.




內裏說到的正是鍾先生從事服務業多年所堅持的3C信念,即competency(才能), character(品格), care(關懷),值得深思、銘記。


How to charge a smartphone to optimise the battery life

I’ve been wondering why my iPhone battery drains so fast as It dies on me quite often. My friend said it had to do with my incorrect charging patterns. My friend said I should charge my phone when the battery’s about 20% rather than when it’s almost empty or rather full at 80 or 90%. And a battery needs to be fully charged to 100%. This sounds plausible and may be the common practice of most people. But a little research on the Internet just revealed that most of us, or at least my friend and I, do charge our phones wrong.

According to several websites, charging a phone from a low battery level (under 20%) to 100% in one go is one of the practices that shorten the battery lifespan because “a high voltage stresses the battery”. It turns out that charging a phone battery several times throughout the day from around 30~50% to 80% is most desirable. That means several short charging sessions a day rather than a long heavy one optimises the battery performance. So should I start charging my phone bit by bit whenever I can? Let me try and see how it goes.




The Art of Choosing a Gift

Before each business trip, I plan out the meetings and prepare for them with the support of my very nice colleagues. One of the biggest challenges is to select an appropriate gift for the host.

This is something I have to learn from my friends in Japan. They always come up with nice gift ideas with nice packages, among which I like most is this:


A delicately packed Japanese sweets box from “嘉ぎ”, which is located inside the Nakanoshima Festival Tower, opposite to Conrad Osaka. There are 6 Japanese flavours of the 嘉ぎ biscuits, namely matcha, roasted green tea, soy sauce, ginger, sake and roasted soybean. The sweets taste delicious and the Japanese style reminds me of my friends. That’s what makes it a good present: something that brings back the people and memories.




「嘉ぎ」位於大阪康萊德酒店對面的中之島慶典塔(Nakanoshima Festival Tower)內,一盒糖果共有抹茶、焙茶、醬油、生薑、清酒和黄豆粉六種味道,特別好吃,而且都是日本獨有的風味,總讓我想起我的日本朋友。一份好的禮物大概如此,能讓人回憶起送禮的人和事。