SHINER: Gay night in Singapore

Guest Column

Group says Yale invests irresponsibly

Organizers of the Responsible Endowment Project on Monday accused Yale of placing endowment dollars in ethically questionable investments and called on the University to curtail the practice. At a panel discussion that drew an audience of about 150, REP leaders argued that some of Yale’s investments support environmentally unsustainable practices and worker mistreatment. To humanize […]


Media Slave

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 12:37 p.m. — My close range perspective has defined my Olympic experience. Although I’ve seen the athletes and venues in person and experienced five weeks of the host city’s culture, I know little about America’s Olympic pursuits. Realize my situation: I don’t understand any televised Olympic coverage and many high-priority Chinese […]


American palate

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 11:03 p.m. — I don’t care for McDonalds. Everything on the menu tastes the same: soft textured protein and carbs, occasionally with a mild crunch, mixed with a creamy sauce and a limp vegetable. But whereas the food is merely boring it’s the image that’s actively bothersome. The Golden Arches symbolize something foodies […]


Sexed-up karaoke: awkward

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 7:31 p.m. — “Which do you think is the prettiest?” I was shocked. “They’re all very attractive,” I said with an astonished smile.“ I knew you’d say that.” Ten young women, all identically dressed in black miniskirts and plunging neckline tops, lined the front wall. I leaned towards Sam, “Are […]


Olympic machinery

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 12:30 p.m. — The Olympic Green Archery Field was somewhere in North Beijing — that I knew. The hundreds of blue and white-shirted Olympic volunteers swarming the subway entrance would know precisely where and would speak English. That I knew too. I whipped out my ticket (high quality card stock, very […]


Rainy day (with presidential entertainment)

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 9:54 a.m. — Late summer usually brings heavy rains to Beijing, yet the first three weeks of my stay saw zero precipitation and gallons of perspiration. That changed today, big time. Archery is postponed! Rain hammers against the apartment windows and now I’m consigned to watch sharp shooting, archery’s indoor equivalent, […]


Without a hitch

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 12:01 a.m. — John Williams’ “Olympic Centennial: Summon The Heroes” makes me cry. Every time. This Olympics was no exception — unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with Bob Costas and his consistently brilliant NBC Olympics coverage, but the fireworks filled in. And what a show: those drummers! The scroll, the dancing, […]


Hong Kong stops, only when it rains

By Ruth Kim HONG KONG, China, 5:28 p.m. — There’s been a lot of rain these two past months in Hong Kong, but those storm clouds and slicks don’t really matter. Those that do, I discovered yesterday, are produced by typhoon warning Signal No. 8 — the only legitimate excuse to stay home from work. […]


Games Time

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 4:03 p.m. — Four hours and counting. This city is ready — you may have read that surface-to-air missiles guard the National Stadium. It’s true. Some of the rocket canisters are said to hold fireworks – here’s to hoping that the launch operator hasn’t partaken in any Opening Ceremony alcoholic […]


Gastronomic Globalization

By Austin Shiner BEIJING, China, 3:16 p.m. — Culinary variety indicates globalization. It makes sense: restauranteurship is a good option for immigrants adjusting to a new culture yet striving to maintain their own. American cuisine is both bolstered and battered by our melting-pot society (although melting-pot is hardly an appropriate metaphor — it suggests homogeneity, […]


By Ruth Kim HONG KONG, China, 10:10 a.m. — In a country where a moustache or a howling dog is considered bad luck, it’s no surprise that the Chinese picked such an opportune date for the opening ceremonies — August 8, 2008 — at 8:08:08 pm. Eight, the luckiest number in China, sounds very close […]