0305 HKSAR Name of the Day

November 26, 2009

Lemuella Ng Ling Yan (Miss), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare


Hocus Pocus For Premiership Players

November 26, 2009

It appears some local bloggers (e.g. Ulaca and In Black and White) like to comment on football or soccer, particularly but not exclusively from England’s Premier League. I’m also a fan so I’ve been thinking about posting something about soccer but with HKSARblog’s usual skepticism about certain practices.

So how about: Desperate and Injured Premiership Players Place Faith on Placental Fluid Miracle Cure?
The media circus started when Arsenal’s star striker Robin van Persie injured his ankle a week ago when playing for Holland against Italy. The initial diagnosis was that he had a partial tear in his ankle ligaments and would be sidelined for six weeks. He then announced that he was going to Belgrade in Serbia to seek a “mysterious housewife” who apparently can help players recover quicker by using placental fluid. Initially, the media did not know much about the treatment, by first saying that the woman massaged placental fluid taken from horses on the injured area. Next, it was dripped on. And now, there are reports that injections of placental fluid are involved. No one appears to know exactly what this alternative therapy is, or who this woman is.

Despite this, it later emerged that a whole gaggle (plethora? pile? posse?) of premiership players (e.g. Liverpool’s Glen Johnson, Fabio Aurelio, Yossi Benayoun and Albert Riera; Chelsea’s Frank Lampard; Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta) and some top European players have also been treated by this “Mariana Kovacevic” who has at least three aliases and four different addresses. Why all the secrecy? Tax evasion perhaps, or something more sinister?

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (usually considered rational, relative to other Premiership managers that is) said he “recognised the psychological benefits such a treatment may have on an injured player”. Yes, Arsene may be on to something here. As with many alternative therapies, the placebo effect can sometimes be significant.

Furthermore, we are talking here about elite athletes in the prime of their lives, whose body conditioning can be significantly different compared with “normal” people (i.e. ordinary citizens who do not maintain their bodies at above-average condition on a full-time and prolonged basis). For instance, if you treat a bunch of injured people with the same therapy and divide them in to two groups (one group being young elite athletes; the other being older, unfit and overweight people), it would not be unreasonable to perhaps expect a difference between the groups in their recovery period and performance. A good example would be swine flu: there have been cases of professional football players who have caught swine flu, and none have died. Whereas in other demographics, some people have died from swine flu.

This is why proper clinical trials should always be arranged, rather than relying on testimonies; in this case testimonies from superfit elite athletes.

Still, all this Hocus Pocus malarkey in the Premiership is interesting to follow. Eventually, the truth will out.


0304 HKSAR Name of the Day

November 25, 2009

Hebe HH How (Ms), lecturer, Department of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare


0303 HKSAR Name of the Day

November 24, 2009

Letty Luk Man Wai (Miss), student, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare


Vanity Plate: KINGKONG

November 24, 2009

Move over, big ape comin’ thru’ …


About car plate, licence plate, number plate, registration plate, vanity plate


About car plate, licence plate, number plate, registration plate, vanity plate

November 24, 2009

This blog loves names and labels, in whatever shape or form!

In 2006, Henry Tang Ying-yen (then Financial Secretary) announced a relatively minor money-making scheme by allowing the auction of personalised car number plates. This scheme cleverly undermines the intellectual property rights of creative types, and rewards those who have the means (i.e. money) to buy unique car plates. The HKSAR Government justifies this scheme by saying the annual net proceeds from auctioning these car plates would be used to fund poverty alleviation initiatives. HKSAR car plates must use a combination of eight numbers, letters or blanks.

A positive effect of the scheme is that Bloggers like HKSARblog profit (albeit not financially) by being able to comment on the potentially weird and wonderful car plates that zip along Hong Kong’s roads. It’s always nice to be able to take a picture of weird vanity plates (search this Blog for “Vanity Plate“).

Here are some examples reported at some auctions:

16 September 2006 Government Auction

1 L0VE U [HK$1.4 million (US$180,000)]
TVB [HK$800,000]
P0RSCHE [HK$700,000]
C00L [HK$450,000]
K1NG [HK$300,000]
AAR0N [HK$250,000]
SKY [HK$$220,000]

4 August 2007 Government Auction

FC [HK$450,000]
RS [HK$360,000]
NOSIE
JUICY
TOYZONE
INVENTOR
PAPER

15 September 2007 Government Auction

JW [HK$500,000]
JP [HK$400,000]
CM [HK$400,000]
MACAU 1 [HK$80,000]
BILLION [HK$30,000]
DAB [HK$15,000]

17 October 2008 Government Auction

AK [HK$230,000]
HANDSOME [HK$130,000]
OOPS [HK$20,000]
LAZY BOY [HK$10,000]
PHYS10
SOCIAL
HORMONE
UPSET

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Meet The Wife
Laughter Is The Best Medicine
Dinosaur and Monica driving past chinese boys in white pants
Idiots


0302 HKSAR Name of the Day

November 23, 2009

Christabel Ho Man-fong (Dr), lecturer, Department Of Building & Real Estate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Rare