Naomi Osaka won the 2018 US Open Tennis Championships

The last time I watched a tournament live was almost 2 years ago with my best friend Andrew. Time flew and the US Open Tennis champion of this year was born this past week when a 20-year old Naomi Osaka beat the the six-time US Open champion Serena Williams in a controversial final.

The game was controversial and dramatic throughout. First, the young and fairly unknown Osaka beat the veteran and legendary Williams in straight-sets 6-2, 6-4. Second Williams was penalised twice and heavily fined for a coaching violation, slamming the racket and verbally abusing the umpire, with Williams accusing the umpire of sexist double standards. The game ended up bitter with the audience booing the awards ceremony.

Controversy aside, Osaka is a promising young athlete. She is the first player from Japan to win a Grand Slam singles tournament. And remarkably, she won straight sets except for the fourth match throughout the tournament. She will soon be coming to Hong Kong. I’m looking forward to seeing her live.


大坂娜奧米贏得2018年美國網球公開賽冠軍


上一次現場看網球比賽已是兩年前的香港網球公開賽,當時和好友Andrew一同觀賽。時間飛逝,今年的美國網球公開賽亦於上星期結束,年僅二十歲的大坂娜奧米(Naomi Osaka)擊敗六次奪得美網冠軍的沙蓮娜·威廉絲(Serena Williams),贏得大滿貫。

決賽結果充滿戲劇性,由年輕新星大坂以6-2,6-4擊敗戰績彪炳的名將威廉絲。比賽過程亦備受爭議,裁判指威廉絲違規接受教練場外指導,首次警告威廉絲,其後威廉絲因摔擲球拍被罰分,與裁判發生衝突,因侮辱裁判而被罰輸一局,威廉絲指責裁判性別歧視。比賽以威廉絲敗局結束,頒獎禮在全場觀眾噓聲中進行。事後威廉絲因三項違規而被罰款。

暫且不提比賽的爭議性,大坂的實力不容少覷,她是首個贏得大滿貫的日本球手,這次美網除了第四局外大坂都未輸一局完勝,表現精彩。大坂其後將到香港作賽,十分期待能現場觀賽。

Life in face of unpredictable climate events

Merely two months ago in July a catastrophic rainstorm broke out in Western Japan, causing many casualties, and I reflected on a city’s resilience against such extreme climate events. Last week Japan was again struck by two devastating hazards, the supertyphoon Jebi and the deadly earthquake in Hokkaido.

Jebi has been the worst typhoon striking Japan in 25 years, leaving so far 11 dead and causing imponderable economic damage, particularly to tourism. Osaka and neighbouring cities bore the brunt of the storm and the Kansai airport was closed indefinitely because of the flood. Just the same week Hokkaido experienced a 6.7-magnitude earthquake, which killed 44 and cut energy access to 5.3 million residents on the island.

The typhoon and earthquake struck Japan unpredictably, leaving residents suffering and tourists stranded in Osaka. Despite the innovative technologies we have at hand, we cannot predict all climate events and natural hazards. And when one breaks out, we are caught off guard, just like this time. And life is just as unpredictable. We never know what life has in store for us. So we should live in the moment, and enjoy.


天災難料 生命無常

今年七月,日本西部暴雨肆虐,造成大量傷亡,使我反思到城市建設在抵禦極端天氣上的重要性,不足兩個月,颱風「飛燕」襲日,北海道亦發生強烈地震,天災接二連三,帶來災難性傷亡。

「飛燕」是日本近二十五來最強勁的颱風,共造成十一人死亡。其中大阪和鄰近城市為重災區,關西機場亦因水浸不知何時重開,為日本經濟特別是旅遊業帶來難以估算的損失。同一星期,北海道經歷6.7級地震,共四十四人罹難,地震同時導致停電,受影響人數達五百三十萬。

颱風和地震毫無預警來襲,不僅使居民受苦,旅客亦滯留機場,受影響人不計其數。即使我們擁有多麼先進的科研和技術,亦不能準確預測自然災害,一旦災難性氣候事件爆發,我們又會像這次般被殺個措手不及,但後果可能更不堪想象。天災難料,生命無常,我們難以預計生命為我們準備了甚麼,因此此刻更應活在當下,享受生命。

How building a smart city means building a city’s climate resilience?

Recently a heavy rainstorm broke out in Western Japan, bringing serious landslides and flooding, resulting in one of the worst climate disasters in decades. While it is vital to carry out remedial measures, preventive ones are just as critical. This caused me to reflect on a city’s resilience to climate change and how a city can be smartened up against sudden climate catastrophes.

A smart city can be the key to boosting up a city’s resilience against natural hazards. A smart city is one that adopts information and communication technology (ICT) for a better management of urban resources to achieve a higher quality of life and work efficiency. If a city is smart enough, it should be resilient to sudden climate disasters and emergencies. For example, Internet of Things (IoTs) sensors and big data analysis can be adopted to establish monitoring and alarm systems against many types of climate hazards, like earthquakes, flooding, storms, etc. Such an alarm system can be adopted in the form of a mobile app, to be easily and widely accessible to the public. Emergency navigation can be provided on the same system to guide people to safe places as well.

While it is important to build a city’s climate resilience, it is essential to make the city eco-friendly to cut down carbon emissions to fight against climate change in the first place. Copenhagen for instance, set a role model in transiting to a zero carbon economy by implementing a climate plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. This shows that a smart city does not simply folster climate resilience but can even combat climate change!

Hopefully in the future technologies and innovations can be adopted to solve many more urban problems and make life happier.


建立智慧城市能如何加強城市面對氣候變化的適應力

近期日本西部暴雨成災,造成嚴重山泥傾瀉和水浸,是近幾十年來最嚴峻的暴雨。救災行動固然重要,但未雨綢繆的預防工作亦必不可少。是次水災讓我反思到城市適應氣候變化的能力的重要性,以及發展智慧城市(Smart City)能如何提升城市面對氣候變化的抵抗力,減輕天災禍害的影響。

智慧城市以資訊及通訊科技(Information and Communications Technology)來管理城市和城市資源,以提高生活質素和工作效率。建立智慧城市同時有助增強城市抵禦氣候變化的能力。一個有足夠「智慧」的智慧城市足以抵抗突發的氣候災禍和緊急狀況,例如,利用物聯網(Internet of Things)感測器和大數據(Big Data)分析技術針對各類氣候災害如地震、水浸、風災等建立監察和警報系統,以手機程式的形式供大眾使用。系統亦可包括緊急路線導航的功能來引導民眾疏散至安全地方。

雖然加強城市的氣候變化適應力相當重要,但卻只是治標的做法,讓城市變得低碳環保從而緩和氣候變化才是治本的措施。以哥本哈根為例,該城計劃在二零二五年前達到零碳排放,減輕全球暖化,可見智慧城市不但能抵禦氣候變化,更能夠緩和改善氣候變化。

期望未來創新科技能被應用解決更多城市問題,讓生活變得更好。

Why I Like the Chinatown in Yokohama, Japan

On my way to Izu from Chiba last month, I could not stop myself from routing to Yokohama to have lunch at the Chinatown.  It’s the biggest Chinatown in Japan and Asia. It’s a vibrant place; there’s always something going on especially during festivals. If you’ve been to Yokohama Chinatown, you sure won’t forget the richly Chinese elements in its architecture, like the grandly decorated gates, plaques, and the must-see Kwan Tai Temple and Ma Zhu Temple. It’s interesting to know that the design and location of the gates are combined with Chinese feng shui.

Despite being impressed by the construction style, what I like most is the food. And I believe it’s one of the places with the best Chinese cuisine! There are numerous Chinese restaurants. I always like to try out some whenever I’m there. I’m never let down.

Perhaps it’s homesickness or maybe it’s pure curiosity, when I’m abroad, I like to check out the Chinatown there. I’ve been to some unforgettable Chinatowns in the world and my favourite one is in Yokohama.  What is yours?

Read more or book: Hotels in Yokohama


日本橫濱中華街讓我留連忘返的原因

上月從千葉到伊豆途中,還是忍不住跑了一趟橫濱,特意到它的中華街去吃午飯。橫濱中華街是日本和亞洲最大的唐人街,總是熱鬧非常,節慶時更是熙來攘往。說到橫濱,到過的人難免想起其華麗及富濃厚中國特色的街道、牌樓、匾額,當然少不了必到的關帝廟和媽祖廟。其中牌樓的設計和方位更揉合了中國風水。

橫濱的建築和街道固然讓人神往,但最讓我留連忘返的還是它的餐廳。橫濱是一個吃中菜的好地方,有很多好吃的中菜館,每次到橫濱我總愛到不同餐廳大快朵頤。

不知是思鄉還是好奇心的關係,每次人在外地總喜歡逛逛該處的唐人街,雖然到過不少富有特色的唐人街,橫濱的中華街始終最讓我難忘,你呢?

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