It's the future, Jim, but not as we know it...

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

What's wrong with this beach?

You’ve got ten seconds to answer the question above? Play the video, and then tell me what’s wrong with this beach? And what has that problem got to do with our futures?

10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1… bzzt!, Time's up!

The beach looks pretty nice doesn’t it? Taken on a warm spring day where the temperature was mid-twenties Celsius, (March 21st), this video is of the lovely little beach in Discovery Bay, on Lantau Island in Hong Kong. Discovery Bay (or “DB”, as it is often called) is where I live, and it’s one of the nicest places in Hong Kong to call home.

Also, there's nothing wrong with the focus of the camera, and the footage was taken about 300m from the lefty-hand side of the beach.

Here’s a clue which might give you a clue about the answer to the question in this post’s title.

There is lots of space in and around Discovery Bay, a very rare commodity in Asia’s World City. Another treasured experience here is the sound of chattering birds. Birds seem to be all over the place in DB. I have been to many places in China, and one of the most striking things for me is the lack of wildlife, and especially birds. Mao Ze Dong once famously extolled his beloved people to “Fell every sparrow from every tree”, and the people seem to have taken that statement literally! Not so in DB.

Haven’t got it yet? Here’s a riddle. What’s sometimes brilliant blue, but usually dull grey, and sparkles like diamonds a few days of the year, and yet is so toxic even Batman wouldn’t touch it in his rubber Bat Suit.

OK, enough hints. In a few days I’ll write again, and tell you what’s wrong in the video (besides bad camera work), and why it is important for our futures.



  1. Yes, Nancy. You get the prize! OK, there's no prize, just the honours! I'll write a little more on this today in another post.