8 roads with worst air

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SCMP Jun 23, 2010

Researchers have singled out eight urban roads – most of which are not monitored by the government’s air-quality network – as Hong Kong’s most polluted thoroughfares.

The roads have nitrogen dioxide readings of up to 300 micrograms per cubic metre of air, categorised as “very high” on the government scale.

Professors from the University of Science and Technology, in a study sponsored by the Jockey Club and supported by the think tank Civic Exchange, also found the eight roads far dirtier than two highways with far more traffic but better ventilation.

The information – released as the Environmental Protection Department is due to report progress of a review of air quality objectives to lawmakers on Monday – was collected with a mobile system the researchers and think tank said should be added to the network of fixed sites.

Using a specially equipped van, the team travelled through busy roads of all 18 districts from September last year to April. It spent four days on each district and measured each chosen road at least eight times, during and outside rush hours, to get an average.

They found high roadside pollution levels were not restricted to Central, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay, which the department monitors with fixed stations, but also existed in Kwun Tong, Hung Hom, Wan Chai, Kwai Chung and Eastern district.

Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide exceeded 300 on King’s Road and Ma Tau Wai Road, which are not officially monitored, as well as Hennessy Road, Des Voeux Road Central and Nathan Road, parts of which are covered by the department’s network.

And although Gloucester Road, Kwun Tong Road and Container Port Road South fared better, levels all exceeded 200, the more stringent target used by the World Health Organisation. All eight roads were more polluted than the more heavily used but better ventilated Tolo Highway and Kwun Tong Bypass.

The mobile monitor also found air quality varied dramatically within short distances, said Chan Chak-keung, director of the Institute for the Environment at the University of Science and Technology, who led the research. For example, the pollutant’s level on Gloucester and Hennessy roads dropped from over 300 to 75 as they reached Victoria Park.

“Although it doesn’t carry the heaviest traffic, the many high-rise buildings, buses, bus stops and traffic lights along Hennessy Road trap pollutants, making the corridor the dirtiest of all,” Chan said. “More bus stops along the road means convenience, but there is a trade-off between air quality and convenience. We should look into the health risks.”

As the van measured air at a height of 3.5 metres, “what we actually breathe in should be even worse”, he said.

In the case of Container Port Road South, sulphur dioxide emissions from container ships at the Kwai Chung port were spread by southwesterly winds to the more uphill and less busy Lai King Hill Road during one-third of the measured time.

He urged the government to exercise more traffic control on busy routes, create more urban open space and control marine emissions by requiring ships to use cleaner fuel.

Erica Chan Fong-ying, of the Clean Air Network, said the study showed the three low-emission zones a government consultant proposed last year for Central, Causeway Bay and Mong Kok were too small. The Central zone missed Bonham Road and Garden Road, and the Mong Kok zone did not cover Yau Ma Tei and Jordan – places with schools, hospitals and health rehabilitation centres, where children and patients were concentrated, Chan said.

Civic Exchange chief executive Christine Loh Kung-wai said the government should add the mobile monitor to its fixed-point network.

The department said it would examine the team’s data carefully. The siting of its roadside stations was in line with international practice, it said, and its measurements could not be compared with the team’s because of different methodologies.

More Ayn Rand

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“In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title.

Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.

Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”

~ Part Three / Chapter 7 This is John Galt Speaking

Choosing Men’s Suits – A Focus on Color

Most men choose a suit’s color based off of two factors. 1) The salesman says the color looks good and 2) it looks like a suit he has purchased in the past. The problem here is that most men do not know what colors compliment their complexion and instead of choosing a color that enhances their looks, they choose a color that simply fits in. The result is a closet full of suits made from the wrong fabric.

The purpose of this article is to open your eyes to the world of men’s suit colors and encourage you to choose a fabric that compliments your individual style.

The Triad: Navy Blue, Black and Charcoal Gray

These three colors dominate the men’s suit industry, and for good reason. Most men are complimented by one or more of these dark colors. Dark suits have the ability to seamlessly transition from business to pleasure, in addition to a slimming effect of the silhouette. Let us talk about each color quickly

Navy Blue

Navy blues strength lies in its sheer dominance. Most men own at least one, and if you have ever walked into a business meeting you can be sure more than half the men will be clad in one. But this is its chief weakness; how can you stand out when 90% of your body looks exactly the same as over 50% of the room. We tend to forget that our clothing sends off strong signals, and if you want to be anything but average you want to present yourself as such, not always try to blend in. In addition, those with a very light complexion need to pair navy blue with rich colored shirts; a white or ice blue shirt will drain the color right from their face. Finally, young men are advised to avoid this color as that it has a habit of accentuating youth.


Navy Blue suit made by WW Chan, Hong Kong


Black

A more difficult color to wear, it is perceived by many as the choice for funerals and weddings. No argument there; however, it is so much more for the man with the right complexion. No other color has such a slimming effect, and depending on the dress shirt it can go from regular office wear to drinks with friends at the hippest clubs in Asia. The key to wearing black is being a high contrast individual (which as most Asians are) is a man with dark hair with light to medium colored skin. The effect is a properly framed face to where all the attention is drawn.


Black suit by Kilgour, London

Charcoal Gray

Charcoal gray suits projects an image of authority, stability, and professionalism. It is an excellent choice for a first suit, especially for young men as that it does accentuate youth (unlike Navy Blue). Although clearly lighter than black or navy blue when placed side by side, it nonetheless is just as acceptable at all business functions and interview situations. Possibly the most versatile color, it looks good with almost any colored shirt imaginable.


Charcoal grey suit made by A Man Hing Cheong, Hong Kong

Colors more men should consider.

Brown

Brown ranges from a light through a deep chocolate hue. Many men look their best in earth-tones, making the brown suit an important part of their wardrobe; it is also a popular color for causal options including tweed suits and sports jackets. One caveat: until the early 1980s, brown was not considered a color for business (we can thank Ronald Reagan for their return). While the times have changed there are still some members of the old guard who continue to hold to the old rule that brown does not belong in town. This should not dissuade the well-dressed gentleman from wearing brown with confidence, but it is important to be aware.

Tan

The navy suit for warm weather, tan is an excellent choice. Less flashy than white, it none the less commands attention and can set you apart from the crowd while keeping you cool. If you live in a cold weather city, a tan suit is ideal for spring and summer while in a warmer climate it is appropriate year round. The tan suit pairs well with white, light blue, or any pale pastel shirt. Best of all, this gives you the chance to really make your dark ties stand out.

Taupe

A color that falls between gray and brown, taupe is a great choice for the man who has a couple of the basic colored suits in his wardrobe and is looking for a color out of the ordinary that still maintains a professional appearance. Great for use year round, the taupe suit is a little less dressy than a charcoal suit but more likely to draw compliments because of it’s ability to compliment a man’s finer features.

Light Grey

A great spring and summer color that doesn’t draw attention to the wearer but instead signals a suave persona confident in his own skin, light grey is an excellent choice for any complexion. Live in a warmer climate? Then light grey is appropriate year round. The light grey suit pairs well with white, light blue, and almost any pale colored shirt, although if you are light complected you may want to go with a bolder hue.

White

The classic color of summer. You don’t have to be Tom Wolfe to stay cool and look great. White compliments all but the lightest complexions, and even then the right shirt choice can remedy that situation. The key to wearing a white suit is confidence, especially in Hong Kong where a suit in this color is hard to come by.