In the Loop

In the Loop: April 6, 2007 Archive

The nail that sticks up gets bulldozed

Posted at 7:17 AM on April 6, 2007 by Sanden Totten

Well, it's finally come down . . . but talk about standing your ground!

(Robert Saiget/AFP/Getty Images)

For three years this little home was the center of a show down between Chinese developers and a brave little lady named Wu Ping. Wu Ping refused to give up her house. The developers refused to give up their plans for a new apartment building. Conflict ensued.

Wu held her ground even when it fell from around her property and even after the government sent her orders to move on. She turned down offers of money and free space in the new building's upper levels. She wanted a lower level space for her restaurant or nothing at all. Her stubborn defiance gave her home the nickname "nail house", like a nail that won't be hammered down. Now there have been other nail houses in China's past. But this one has been called the "coolest nail house in history". I mean seriously, look at it. It's pretty cool.

And now it's gone. It's not clear if Wu Ping was satisfied with the deal, but apparently she has agreed to take a similar sized home in another part of Chongqing, China.

Cheers to you nail house! Way to stick it to the man.

A once-avid golfer reflects

Posted at 1:24 PM on April 6, 2007 by Andrew Haeg

In a previous life, not terribly long ago, I was a golf nut ... and had the pleasure of working at the epicenter of my passion, Golf Magazine. I met famous golfers, and played at some amazing courses. But, as time passed, I realized I wanted to be a real journalist; and I found it harder and harder to take six hours out of a Saturday or give over a weekday night to the game I loved.

My enthusiasm for the game also waned as the rest of the country's waxed, with the rise of Tiger Woods. A round started to take 5 hours or more, cost more than $80--the whole pursuit became a lot less relaxing. Meanwhile the characters on the pro circuit began to seem blander, hyper-competitive and characterless--they'd become working stiffs trying to chase Tiger.

Gone were the days of the swashbuckling Spaniard Seve Ballesteros, the flinty Tom Watson, the flamboyant Texan Payne Stewart. Taking their place were the milquetoast Phil Mickelson, the one-track minded Tiger Woods, the inscrutable Vijay Singh. All nice people, I'm sure. But not very inspiring to me as sportsmen.

Still, during The Master's my dormant enthusiasm for the game re-awakens, and I find myself gripping a highlighter like a 3-iron and parcticing my swing with the phantom club near my cubicle (yes there are cubicles in public radio land). And today I was provided another moment to dwell in my prior fervor for the game, with an article about one of the few real characters left on the Tour (and he doesn't even play golf anymore!). Take a read, you'll learn something.

April 2007
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