China’s high local economic growth targets questioned by political advisors

China’s high local economic growth targets questioned by political advisors

  • Xinhua 


As developed nations search desperately for faster growth to escape the mire of their troubled economies, more people in China, the world’s second-largest economy, are demanding the opposite. Read more of this post

A 75-year-old Japanese man died after 25 hospitals refused to admit him to their emergency rooms 36 times over two hours, citing lack of beds or doctors to treat him

Japan man dies after hospitals reject him 36 times

Posted on 5 March 2013 – 03:53pm

Last updated on 5 March 2013 – 04:19pm

TOKYO (March 5, 2013): A 75-year-old Japanese man died after 25 hospitals refused to admit him to their emergency rooms 36 times over two hours, citing lack of beds or doctors to treat him, an official said Tuesday.

The man, who lived alone in a city north of Tokyo, called an ambulance after suffering breathing problems at his home in January.

Paramedics rushed to his house but were told in turn by all 25 hospitals in the area that they could not accept the man because they did not have enough doctors or any free beds, a local city official said, adding some institutions were contacted more than once.

The ambulance eventually made a 20 minute drive to a hospital in neighbouring Ibaraki prefecture, but the man was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The cause of death has not been made public.

One of the paramedics told Jiji Press they had never experienced “a patient being rejected so many times”. Read more of this post

Beautician Challenges Billionaire Over New Hong Kong Privacy Law

Beautician Challenges Billionaire Over New Hong Kong Privacy Law

Late last year, staff at a shuttered Hong Kong beauty salon turned to company filings to track down the boss they say vanished owing them HK$900,000 ($116,000).

Man Lee, 32, said she and five colleagues got some money back after protesting at another office they linked to their former employer.

Now, Hong Kong’s government wants to restrict public access to records of corporate directors. The move may make it harder for workers like Man to track down runaway bosses — and erode the city’s reputation by making it easier to launder money and cheat on taxes, according to lawyers, corporate transparency advocates and the former head of the Companies Registry.

“The less transparent a corporate entity is, then the greater the scope for criminal malpractice,” said Gordon Jones, Hong Kong’s registrar of companies from 1993 to 2007. “The free flow of information is Hong Kong’s big competitive advantage.”

Hong Kong, a part of China with its own legal system and currency, has Asia’s second-largest stock market by value, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s also the top destination for cash outflows from the mainland, totaling $525.6 billion by the end of 2011, according to official trade data. Greater secrecy increases the temptation for companies to launder assets through the former British colony, according to Jones.

Small businesses, due diligence firms and journalists are among those opposing the legal change to be put before lawmakers in May. The proposal will prevent the public accessing directors’ full identification numbers and home addresses. Read more of this post

Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft Market Caps (2006- )

Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft Market Caps (2006- )

By Caitlyn – March 4th, 2013, 11:30AM


Source: Daring Fireball

Fascinating chart via John Gruber looking at the relative change in market capitalizations of four of the largest publicly trading tech companies.

The ongoing strength of Amazon is nearly amazing as the continued weakness in Microsoft.

All the while, Google keeps chugging along . . .

Mutual fund investors are often their own worst enemies, prone to poor timing

Mutual fund investors are often their own worst enemies, prone to poor timing

Article by: MARK JEWELL , Associated Press

  • Updated: February 21, 2013 – 12:15 PM

BOSTON – The recipe for successful investing sounds pretty simple: have reasonably good timing over the long haul and avoid big mistakes. That’s what helps professionals build a worthy track record. For average investors, it’s advisable to set the bar lower. Construct a balanced portfolio of low-cost mutual funds, make regular contributions to invested savings, and stick with it until it’s time to retire.

The problem is that many investors seem to think they’re better than that and can beat the stock market. Yet research consistently shows that it’s a fool’s game.

The latest findings are from Morningstar Inc., which compared the performance numbers that mutual funds posted with the returns that the investors in those funds actually obtained over multiple years. It’s typical to see gaps between the figures. That’s because investors move cash in and out as markets rise and fall, and consequently don’t experience the same results as the funds they invest in. Read more of this post

Angry Swiss Aren’t Done Slimming the Fat Cats

Angry Swiss Aren’t Done Slimming the Fat Cats

The Swiss have approved a “fat-cat referendum” to limit executive pay by a crushing 68 percent to 32 percent, no great surprise perhaps given the current mood on bankers and other superrich around the globe. Yet this is Switzerland, not Greece, Italy or Spain and the vote isn’t the end of it. Switzerland is unhappy, and it is changing.

The referendum was the brainchild of Thomas Minder. The independent legislator began his struggle to give shareholders in Swiss-listed companies the right to control the pay of executives and board members in 2006. The anger that turned him into the man many Swiss see as an avenging angel was sparked as long ago as 2001, when Swissair, the national airline, went bankrupt.

Minder’s company, which supplied toothpaste to Swissair, was almost driven to the wall because its invoices initially went unpaid. Mario Corti, the chief executive officer of Swissair’s parent Sair Group, left the company after a few months, pocketing 12 million Swiss francs (then $7.5 million) in an advance payment he didn’t have to return.

Minder’s “yes” campaign in the referendum received a huge boost on Feb. 15, when it emerged that Daniel Vasella, the outgoing CEO of pharmaceuticals company Novartis AG, was to be given a $78 million payoff over six years in exchange for not working for any of the company’s competitors. Vasella renounced the payoff once the story broke, but it was too late.

On the face of it, with low unemployment and one of the best standards of living on the planet, ordinary Swiss have little to complain about. Still, they are worried about how long they can fend off the crisis that has engulfed the rest of Europe, and dissatisfied with a feeling of being ripped off by their elites. Read more of this post

Opera’s Mobile Browser Is Silently Conquering Asia

Opera’s Mobile Browser Is Silently Conquering Asia

Mar 5, 2013 at 13:19 PM by Anh-Minh Do, in Asia

In the USA, smartphones already dominate 50 percent of the mobile market. In Asia,smartphones now account for 66 percent of purchases but the overwhelming majority of existing mobiles out there are still feature phones. And if you’re on a feature phone, it’s even more likely that you use Opera as your web browser of choice. Out of the top five countries for Opera Mini users in the world, three of them are in Asia.

I chatted with Håkon Wium Lie, chief technology officer at Opera, who gave me the lowdown. To date, over 237 million people all over the world have used Opera. In Asia, Opera has already hit millions of monthly unique users in a handful of countries. According to Håkon:

Indonesia and India hit one million in 2008, China in 2009, and the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malaysia in 2011. Nepal and Thailand just made it on the million-user list last year. Read more of this post

New Drugs Slow a Fast-Spreading Cancer

Updated March 4, 2013, 8:51 p.m. ET

New Drugs Slow a Fast-Spreading Cancer


New generations of drugs have helped given victims of multiple myeloma hope for longer survival. WSJ’s Jonathan Rockoff and International Myeloma Foundation co-founder and chairman Dr. Brian Durie discuss on Lunch Break. Photo: AP.

Two new drugs for multiple myeloma, approved in recent months, promise to extend life expectancy for patients with the blood cancer.

They follow new treatments that over the last decade have transformed the prognosis for multiple myeloma—once a short death sentence—into a manageable condition that can be survived for up to seven years or more. There is still no cure for the disease.

The new drugs were approved for patients whose blood cancer returned after developing resistance to older treatments. Read more of this post

Scooters Rule as E-Commerce Grows in China; Couriers at office buildings in China’s large cities can earn several times more than factory workers

Updated March 4, 2013, 11:37 p.m. ET

Scooters Rule as E-Commerce Grows in China


Couriers at office buildings in China’s large cities can earn several times more than factory workers. Above, a deliveryman in Shanghai

BEIJING—David Li possesses a can-do work ethic and a willingness to zip around Beijing’s harrowing traffic on an electric scooter. That makes him highly valuable to a multibillion-dollar Chinese electronic-commerce industry struggling with how to deliver goods to demanding customers.

In 2011 Mr. Li left behind a wife, infant son and a job teaching middle-school math in the eastern city of Handan to became a courier for Chinese Internet retailer Beijing Jingdong Century Trading Co., which runs the shopping site.

Delivery companies say couriers who work the most profitable office buildings in large cities—where order flow is high and delivery is quick and easy—can earn more than $950 a month, well above the $200 to $650 brought in by factory workers.

Booming internet sales in China have the world’s largest manufacturing country racing to create new infrastructure systems to deliver goods to its own population. WSJ’s Paul Mozur reports via #WorldStream.

“It’s hard, but I’m ambitious,” Mr. Li says of the separation from his family. Early last year, after only five months on the job, he was promoted to manager of a distribution center that has 20 deliverymen.

E-commerce has exploded here in recent years as increasingly affluent consumers have learned to love online deals. China’s total online sales are expected to eclipse those of the U.S. in coming years, rising to $356.1 billion in 2016 from $169.4 billion last year, according to Forrester Research. U.S. online retail sales are forecast to reach $327 billion from $226 billion over the same period. That leaves Internet retailers and logistics companies attempting to build from scratch a complex distribution system to send goods purchased online to the distant corners of China. Read more of this post

François Sicart: The Value Investor’s Schizophrenia: Buy-and-Hold Sounds Good, but the Value Discipline Requires One Also To Sell

The Value Investor’s Schizophrenia: Buy-and-Hold Sounds Good, but the Value Discipline Requires One Also To Sell

Superstar investor Warren Buffett is widely quoted as having said, “The best time to sell a stock is…never.”

But Buffett, while a proclaimed disciple of Benjamin Graham, the “pope” of value investing, was later just as much influenced by Philip Fisher, the recognized “pope” of growth investing. In fact, it was Fisher who, in Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits (Harper, 1958), wrote that the best time to sell a stock was “almost never.”

I never met Ben Graham, and have not met Warren Buffet. But I did meet Phil Fisher, who invited me to visit a company with him after reading one of my papers, sometime in the 1980s. Without even a quote machine in his office, he was a voracious reader of company financials, but also a compulsive evaluator of corporate management. He wanted to know and talk to everyone he could in a company, from CEO to operations personnel; and once convinced that a management was among the best, he was willing to pay almost any price for the shares. If he overpaid, his logic went, the company’s earnings growth would make up for it over the ensuing years.

It is not clear that Warren Buffet puts the same premium on superior management. In a May 20, 2008, statement to the Associated Press, he even advised, “Buy into a business that’s doing so well an idiot could run it, because sooner or later, one will.”

This, by the way, was probably inspired by a similar comment from legendary growth investor Peter Lynch in his 1989 book, One Up on Wall Street (Simon & Schuster, 2000), so the feeling does not belong only to value investors.

Clearly, Buffet has retained a great sense of value. But nowadays his philosophy – probably imposed in part by the trading and liquidity restrictions of a very large portfolio – seems closer to that of Philip Fisher, as exemplified by this quote from his 1989 Letter to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders: “It’s far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price than a fair company at a wonderful price.”

Personally, I am still more at ease with the value discipline of investment: I feel more comfortable estimating a company’s reasonable worth than putting a dollar value on the quality and future achievements of its management. In addition, the contrarian bias of value investing also pleases me, since it means seizing occasions when the price the investing crowd is willing to pay for a stock is well below its value. Read more of this post

How Pervasive is Corporate Fraud?

How Pervasive is Corporate Fraud?

I. J. Alexander Dyck University of Toronto – Rotman School of Management

Adair Morse University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business; University of Chicago – Booth School of Business

Luigi Zingales University of Chicago Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); University of Chicago – Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

February 22, 2013

We estimate what percentage of firms engage in fraud and the economic cost of fraud. Our estimates are based on detected frauds, and frauds that we infer are started but are not caught. To identify the ‘iceberg’ of undetected fraud we take advantage of an exogenous shock to the incentives for fraud detection: Arthur Andersen’s demise, which forces companies to change auditors. By assuming that the new auditor will clean house, and examining the change in fraud detection by new auditors, we infer that the probability of a company engaging in a fraud in any given year is 14.5%. We validate the magnitude of this estimate using alternative methods. We estimate that on average corporate fraud costs investors 22 percent of enterprise value in fraud-committing firms and 3 percent of enterprise value across all firms.

Short Interest, Returns, and Fundamentals

Short Interest, Returns, and Fundamentals

Ferhat Akbas  University of Kansas

Ekkehart Boehmer EDHEC Business School

Bilal Erturk Oklahoma State University – Stillwater – Department of Finance

Sorin M. Sorescu Texas A&M University – Department of Finance

February 10, 2013

We show that short interest predicts stock returns because short sellers are able to anticipate bad news, negative earnings surprises, and downward revisions in analyst earnings forecasts. They appear to have information about these events several months before they become public. Most importantly, the cross-sectional relation between short interest and future stock returns vanishes when controlling for short sellers’ information about future fundamental news. Thus, short sellers contribute, in a significant manner, to price discovery about firm fundamentals, but the source of their information remains an open question.

What Do Stock Price Levels Tell Us about the Firms?

What Do Stock Price Levels Tell Us about the Firms?

Konan Chan National Chengchi University (NCCU)

Fengfei Li University of Hong Kong

Tse-Chun Lin University of Hong Kong – Faculty of Business and Economics

Ji-Chai Lin Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge – E.J. Ourso College of Business Administration

February 26, 2013

What do stock price levels tell us about the firms? Based on market microstructure theories, this paper hypothesizes that, ceteris paribus, high stock price levels impede informed trading on the stocks and reduce price informativeness because uninformed trading is needed to facilitate informed trading, and high stock prices may impose budget constraints on uninformed investors and limit their risk sharing capacity. This hypothesis suggests that since their stock prices are less informative, higher-price stocks’ listed options are more appealing to informed traders. Indeed, controlling for firm size, analyst coverage, and other determinants, we find that stock price informativeness about future earnings is lower and Roll et al.’s (2010) O/S, the relative trading of options over stock, is higher for firms with higher stock price levels. We also find that higher-price firms have lower investment sensitivity to stock price. For robustness checks, we further use a split sample as an event study and find evidence consistent with our hypothesis that firms can use stock splits to improve informed trading on their stocks and enhance price informativeness. Our findings imply that stock price levels matter in price informativeness and in where traders choose to trade. Furthermore, when firms need less feedback from the market, they tend to keep their stock prices at higher levels.

Emerging Value Summit 2013 (April 9-10). R.E.S.-ilient Compounders in (the Next) Crisis: Buffett + Bosch + Baiyao = Bamboo Innovators

Dear Friends and All,

Value investors focused on emerging markets will gather at the “Emerging Value Summit 2013” ( on April 9-10 to share their insights and ideas. Some of the speakers include Tata Capital CEO Mr Praveen Kadle, FCA Corp Founder & CEO Mr Robert Scharar, Ms Lauren Templeton etc. The Emerging Value Summit 2013 is organized by The Manual of Ideas, the definite source of value investing ideas (

I am honored to be invited by Oliver from The Manual of Ideas to be one of the speakers to share with you the topic:

R.E.S.-ilient Compounders in (the Next) Crisis: Buffett + Bosch + Baiyao = Bamboo Innovators”. Thank you Oliver.

Further updates will be uploaded on the Emerging Value Summit 2013 website from next week.

Thank you for your kind feedback and encouragement all along. Hope you will enjoy this latest upcoming presentation about Bamboo Innovators, a research series to establish thought leadership on resilient and innovative value creators in Asia and around the world.

Kind regards,

Koon Boon (KB)

Why innovation is sequester-proof

Why innovation is sequester-proof

By Vivek Wadhwa, Tuesday, March 5, 1:39 AM

This may come as surprise to people in Washington (or perhaps not), but the sequester is hardly a topic of discussion in Silicon Valley. Indeed, it’s not even a trending topic on Twitter. That is how unimportant short-term government decisions are to innovation. While lawmakers battle over taxes and fiscal cliffs, entrepreneurs are busy solving humanity’s problems so that we can go from debating how we distribute scarce resources to discussing how we equitably share the bounty we are creating.

In his bestselling book, “Abundance”, my colleague, XPRIZE Chairman and CEO and Singularity University founder Peter Diamandis, tells the story of how aluminum went from a rare metal to something we casually wrap our food in. When the king of Siam hosted Napoleon III in the 1840s, writes Diamandis, the people working for Napoleon were served with silver utensils. Those working for the king received gold. The king himself got aluminum-the rarest metal at the time. Aluminum was so valuable because it was extremely difficult to extract from bauxite-though it is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. Then came electrolysis technology, which used electricity to liberate aluminum from bauxite, driving down aluminum’s value.

It isn’t just aluminum that has become abundant — so have electrical power, refrigeration, television, telephones, cars, and air conditioning. Two hundred years ago, kings and queens didn’t have these luxuries. Today, many people who are classified as poor in the U.S. do. This prosperity has not reached most of the developing world yet. But the proliferation of mobile phones shows what is possible. Within ten years, their numbers have gone from zero to nearly 1 billion in both India and China. Even some of the poorest villagers own them. Read more of this post

How do you align your talent and motives?

Tuesday March 5, 2013

How do you align your talent and motives?

Talking HR with Elisa Dass

“THERE was an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so when we needed them, they could fight the battles that we never could.” Nick Fury, superspy and recruiter of the Avengers.

With that in mind, Fury formed a strong team of superheroes with Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. Although they were remarkable, Fury had different challenges with each of them. Like the Avengers, we often find that an organisation’s identified high potentials come with their own challenges. For today’s article, we will focus on the alignment of talent (T) and motives (M) of an individual and how we can approach it. Let’s define T and M before we unleash the superheroes.

Werner Barkhuizen, the managing director of Saville Consulting South Africa, defines M as what you want need or enjoy doing; and T as the behaviours you are effective in.

We often say we’d do well in what we enjoy. Is it always true? In our workplace, do we always find pleasure in what we do well in? Is there an alignment between our M and T? With these questions in mind, how does it impact an organisation’s development and succession planning of its talent pool? Read more of this post

Learning for life, the Finnish way; No tuition, only one major exam (with six hours given per paper) and classes that mix kids of all abilities. We discover how they do it, in our two-part special report

Learning for life, the Finnish way

No tuition, only one major exam (with six hours given per paper) and classes that mix kids of all abilities. We discover how they do it, in our two-part special report.

Mention private tuition, and one gets a bemused look from Finnish educators, pupils and parents. This is unheard of in their country, they say. When school ends, so do the lessons.


Mention private tuition, and one gets a bemused look from Finnish educators, pupils and parents. This is unheard of in their country, they say. When school ends, so do the lessons. Once bell rings at 2pm across schools in Finland, children run to the park to indulge in snowball fights or pastimes like ice hockey and music. The only group missing out on the fun, when TODAY visited last month shortly before the matriculation exam (the only national assessment in Finland), were the 18-year-olds, who duly trooped home to revise. Mr Juha Korhonen, who has three children, did not know of any tuition programmes in Finland. “Even if there were, I wouldn’t send my kids … Children need free time and rest after school and homework,” he said. Homework for Finnish students consists of a few Math problems or perhaps essay assignments. For the minority who have trouble keeping up, teachers provide remedial lessons after school. As Professor Jouni Valijarvi, an expert in international tests such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), notes: “In Finland, school is the only place where students study.” This has been the tradition, said the Director of Finnish Institute for Educational Research: “Children mark a very clear difference between school time and their free time.” Even the after-school sports or arts activities that students engage in — and which are managed by private or community organisations — are clearly treated as hobbies, and not the mandated co-curricular activities of Singapore schools. Hanna Korhonen, 13, trains in figure skating because “I enjoy it very much and I hope to be a professional skater someday”. Read more of this post

China Moves to Temper Growth; Property Bubble Is a Key Concern; The realization that leaders are retightening screws surprised market

Updated March 4, 2013, 7:49 p.m. ET

China Moves to Temper Growth

Property Bubble Is a Key Concern



BEIJING—China set a growth target of around 7.5% for this year as it kicked off a meeting to finalize its leadership transition, reflecting how Beijing is turning away from breakneck growth based on exports in favor of a broader economy driven by spending at home. China’s ambitions for more moderate growth come after decades of double-digit increases and are a centerpiece of new leaders’ plans to be detailed during the annual National People’s Congress, which began Tuesday. Beijing’s broader goal is to shift the economy away from reliance on investment and exports, with a stronger role for domestic consumption, as it kick starts painful reforms to rebalance the country’s economic model. In the days leading up to the legislative meeting, China’s government aggressively struck at once-again-surging housing prices, showing leaders’ determination not to let a property bubble push the economy off track or breed dissatisfaction with the government just as a new guard is taking over. The growth target maintains the goal for stable growth set out last year and isn’t a forecast—China routinely exceeds its targets. Last year’s growth was 7.8%. During the National People’s Congress, eyes are on the new leadership under Xi Jinping, the Communist Party chief to be named president during the meeting, to see whether it will go beyond rhetoric to make the difficult changes required to raise household income and boost consumption spending.

A bubbly property sector has been a key feature of China’s unbalanced growth. Rising house prices drove overinvestment in real estate, and also crimped consumption by forcing households to scrimp and save to get their foot on the housing ladder. Leaders have worried about social frictions caused by housing that is out of reach for average earners. The renewed controls to tame the property sector, a major contributor to growth, suggest the government is prepared to safeguard the gains from three years of attempts to make buying a home more affordable for the middle class—even if it dents the growth outlook. The realization that leaders are retightening screws surprised markets, which like many property buyers had concluded that leaders were satisfied with the results of repeated tightening and willing to tolerate a gradual return to rising prices and sales. Read more of this post

IPO Troubles in Trust-Heavy Singapore

March 4, 2013, 5:31 PM

IPO Troubles in Trust-Heavy Singapore

By Chun Han Wong and P.R. Venkat


Singapore’s listings scene is roaring back to life with a $1.3 billion initial public offering by a China-focused real-estate investment trust. But nontrust-related IPOs continue to elude the city-state, even as neighboring bourses are gearing up for a range of billion-dollar deals.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, companies from retailers to infrastructure firms are poised to cash in on rapid economic growth by launching large IPOs and secondary share sales. Singapore, despite its push to rival Hong Kong as an Asian listing hub, has a one-dimensional listings scene: It hasn’t hosted any major nontrust IPOs since 2010.

Its largest listing in two years—set for a Thursday debut—is a $1.3 billion China-focused REIT IPO by Mapletree Investments Pte. Ltd., the real-estate arm of Singaporean state investor Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd.

“The supply of IPOs is relatively low as the global economy is still weak…Competition [for IPOs] will intensify with other countries given that they are growing faster,” said Ken Ang, an investment analyst at Philip Securities. Read more of this post

Asia’s Taste for Robusta Coffee Transforms Market

Asia’s Taste for Robusta Coffee Transforms Market
Sarah McFarlane & Lewa Pardomuan | March 04, 2013

London/Singapore. Asia’s thirst for coffee is changing the shape of the market as demand for cheaper robusta beans dramatically outpaces that of arabica, tightening the price difference between the two varieties. Arabica coffee beans, which dominate gourmet blends, have long traded at substantial premiums to the hardier, more caffeine-rich robusta varieties, which are widely used in soluble or instant coffee. But surging coffee demand from Asia, the region where most of the world’s robusta is grown, is narrowing this premium. Most arabica coffee is grown in South America.

“In traditional markets consumption is flat, but in emerging markets and exporting countries it’s growing fast,” said Roberio Silva, executive director of the International Coffee Organization (ICO). “These trends suggest that future demand will generally be stronger for robusta coffee as emerging markets and exporting countries tend to prefer soluble coffee.” Read more of this post

Up all night: The science of sleeplessness


The science of sleeplessness.

by Elizabeth KolbertMARCH 11, 2013

Some people can’t go to sleep until late; others can’t sleep in. Both suffer “social jet lag.” Illustration by Nishant Choksi.

Nathaniel Kleitman, known as the “father of modern sleep research,” was born in 1895 in Bessarabia—now Moldova—and spent much of his youth on the run. First, pogroms drove him to Palestine; then the First World War chased him to the United States. At the age of twenty, he landed in New York penniless; by twenty-eight, he’d worked his way through City College and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Soon after, he joined the faculty there. An early sponsor of Kleitman’s sleep research was the Wander Company, which manufactured Ovaltine and hoped to promote it as a remedy for insomnia.

Until Kleitman came along, sleep was, as one commentator has put it, “a huge blind spot in the science of physiology.” No one bothered to study it because it was defined by what it wasn’t—sleep was a state of not being awake and, at the same time, of not being comatose or dead. (It’s unclear what exactly attracted Kleitman to this academically marginal topic, but it has been suggested that it fitted with his own marginalized background.) Read more of this post

Spielberg to make mini-series about Napoleon

Spielberg to make mini-series about Napoleon
Posted: 05 March 2013 0900 hrs

LOS ANGELES: Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg is to make a television mini-series about Napoleon, based on a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, he told a French broadcaster.

The 66-year-old “Schindler’s List” and “E.T.” filmmaker is working on the basis of a five-decade old script by Kubrick, who directed classics including “A Clockwork Orange” and “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

“I’ve been developing Stanley Kubrick’s screenplay for a mini series, not for a motion picture, about the life of Napoleon,” Spielberg told broadcaster Canal Plus, without saying if he would direct or just produce the project.

“Kubrick wrote the script in 1961, a long time ago,” he said, noting that he and Kubrick were both involved in the development of “A.I. Artificial Intelligence”, which came out in 2001.

Kubrick, famed for his obsessive perfectionism, abandoned the Napoleon biopic project in the 1970s because of budget and production challenges, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: