Japanese arcade recreates gritty walled city of Kowloon

Kawasaki's Warehouse arcade, near Yokohama, is a fantastically detailed, gritty recreation of the old walled city of Kowloon, near Hong Kong. The Tokyo Times photos depict a place that's like a fevered Gibson dream, and note that there's an accompanying, spooky soundscape. This is going on my must-see list for our next Japan trip.

Read the rest

The neon of Hong Kong


Hong King's visual culture museum M+ has a fantastic site devoted to the city's ubiquitous neon signs, a glowing landscape of pop advertising that was one of the inspirations behind Ridley Scott's vision for Blade Runner. (via Laughing Squid)

Snowden spycraft: a fridge is a Faraday cage

NSA leaker Edward Snowden asked journalists who visited him in Hong Kong to put their phones in his room's refrigerator, relying on the fridge's material properties to serve as an inadvertent radio-wave-spoiling Faraday cage. Cory

Edward Snowden checks out of hotel, whereabouts unknown

Edward Snowden has reportedly checked out of the hotel in Hong Kong where he had holed up to leak a series of NSA documents to the Guardian and the Washington Post. The US will not say if it is seeking his extradition. His whereabouts are not presently known by various news-agencies, though it seems likely that he, himself, knows where he is.

Hong Kong's broadcaster RTHK said Mr Snowden checked out of the Mira hotel on Monday.

Reuters news agency quoted hotel staff as saying that he had left at noon.

Ewen MacAskill, a Guardian journalist, told the BBC he believed Mr Snowden was still in Hong Kong.

The Chinese territory has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.

US spy leaker Edward Snowden 'missing' in Hong Kong [BBC]

Inside Mystic Manor, Hong Kong Disneyland's Haunted Mansion

Everything I hear about Mystic Manor, the new Haunted Mansion at Hong Kong Disneyland, makes me insane with desire to ride this thing. It's like something that sprang full-blown out of my fevered imagination and into a pile of landfill in the South China Sea. Case in point: this short doc on the ride's operation from Inside the Magic.

Making of Mystic Manor with Imagineers and executives at Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland's Mystic Manor - an RFID/WiFi/electroluminscent driven spook-house for the XXI C.

Hong Kong Disneyland is finally going to get its own Haunted Mansion. Called "Mystic Manor," it opens in mid-May, and is a radical departure from the existing Mansions and Manor -- they've gone bananas with the old electroluminscent paint, in a very good way indeed. Here's a video of one of the preview ride-throughs.

The first area is Acquisitions and Cataloging Room, where Lord Mystic's collections are temporary placed and awaited to placed on shelves. The music box Lord Mystic mentioned is now in front of guests. Albert suddenly pops out and unlocks the box. The escaping magic dust floats in the air and brings life to all artifacts.

The first show case is the Music Room, in which weird and exotic music instruments are stored. A piano is placed in the centre of the room. The magic dust gives life to instrument and music plays. The music will follow the carriage and play the background music for the journey. Albert is excited and amazed. He follows the carriage, curious to visit all rooms.

The next stop is Mediterranean Antiquities. Paintings, ceramics, and Audio-Animatronic® statues start to move under the influence of the dust. An amphora with Hercules fighting with Nemean Lion to conquer Zeus’s quest spins and rocks when the carriage passes. The above description is taken from the Greek myths, the story of Hercules. As what the story told, Hercules only battled once with a lion, which is known as the Nemean Lion.

The carriages move into to a Solarium Room. Albert tries to toy around with the Venus fly traps as he is holding a piece of banana to them, then all of a sudden a large Venus fly trap open it's jaw as it tries to bite the guests, the room then becomes pitch black.

Soon afterward, the carriage enters the Slavic-Nordic Chamber. There is a painting of a Nordic God. He comes to life and blows freezing wind towards guests. Guests are able to feel cooling effect and see the special-effect smoke in this scene.

Mystic Manor