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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: China

Monday September 05 2016

And in other bridge news …

I earlier linked to a Dezeen report which reported:

The world’s tallest and longest glass bridge opens in China

But now comes this:

World’s tallest and longest glass bridge closes after just two weeks

The more appealing the bridge, the more of a muddle its opening is liable to be, so this is not a particularly terrible thing.  This bridge, for instance, has opening problems because many more people than they expected want to walk upon it:

Thousands flocked to the attraction when it opened on 20 August 2016, but less than two weeks later its popularity has led to its closure.

The bridge is designed to hold up to 800 people and receive up to 8,000 visitors in a day, however demand has far outstripped capacity.

“We’re overwhelmed by the volume of visitors,” a spokesperson from the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon’s marketing department told CNN.

The spokesperson said that 80,000 visitors had attempted to visit the bridge each day, leading to its closure for improvement works on 2 September 2016.

There are no reports of when the attraction will reopen.

Whenever.  There’s nothing as cheap as a hit.  Especially if your target demographic is: China.  And then, when the word gets around, which the above story will hugely help it to: The World.

Thursday August 25 2016

Here:

image

So far as I can tell, though, this is not a glass bridge, more a metal bridge with lots of windows in its floor, which I don’t think is the same thing.  But, it’s still a step in the right direction, towards the day when they build a bridge entirely out of glass.

Thursday July 21 2016

Incoming!:

image

Most emails that arrive here at BMdotcom don’t grab me by the throat, but I liked this one, with its attached graphic as above.

I’ve often wondered how they do Chinese (?) writing with computers.  Now I am wondering some more.

My computer didn’t allow me to save this graphic in a different size, but my blogging software did.  Odd.

Thursday January 07 2016

City A.M. Is so excited that the headline writer, as of now, has decided that there is only one i in ambitious:

image

That headline is recycled here in case they correct it.  Thereby establishing that the (more) mainstream media behave just as I do, when it comes to correcting their mistakes.  Or else, alerting you to a permanently wrong headline, whichever.  And I’m guessing that even if they do correct the headline, they may feel obliged to keep the link spelling as it started out.

But more to the point, this ambtious plan refers to driverless flying cars, driverless flying cars that look like this:

image

When I first set eyes on that picture, my reaction was: That’s not a car, that’s a drone.  City A.M. agrees:

The futuristic, if slightly terrifying sounding vehicle, has been unveiled by Chinese tech company Ehang and manages to combine the top two trends predicted to dominate this year’s biggest tech show - drones and driverless cars - and claims to be the first Autonomous Aerial Vehicle in the world. Or, in other words, a driverless flying car.

Are you sceptical?  I am.  But City A.M. continues:

Ehang claims the 184 is already at the point of becoming a commercially selling vehicle, albeit with a £130,000-£200,000 price tag.  Belive it or not, it’s not just a concept - it’s already preparing for pre-orders and plans to ship to customers this year.

Well, I’m not sure that I do “belive” it, but I would be fascinated to be proved wrong.

Bizarre new forms of transport are definitely the Thing of the New Year, here at BrianMicklethwaitDotCom.  I haven’t been especially looking for such things.  They have merely presented themselves to me.  But now, perhaps (although I promise nothing), I will start looking for such things.  Anyone come across any other crazy transport stuff lately?

LATER: I googled “ambtious”, and was informed of a horse called “Ambtious Dragon”.  So, some kind of Chinese neologism?  But it turned out that this was a headline misprint also.

Sunday December 27 2015

Here is another excerpt (pp. 217-219) from Matt Ridley’s The Evolution of Everything, already plundered for this posting on Epicurus and Lucretius and for this posting on how genes follow culture:

Consider the reform of China’s economy that began under Dfen Xiapeng in 1978, leading to an economic flowering that raised half a billion people out of poverty. Plainly, Deng had a great impact on history and was in that sense a ‘Great Man’.  But if you examine closely what happened in China in 1978, it was a more evolutionary story than is usually assumed. It all began in the countryside, with the ‘privatisation’ of collective farms to allow individual ownership of land and of harvests.  But this change was not ordered from above by a reforming government.  It emerged from below. In the village of Xiaogang, a group of eighteen farmworkers who despaired at their dismal production under the collective system and their need to beg for food from other villages, gathered together secretly one evening to discuss what they could do.  Even to hold the meeting was a serious crime, let alone to breathe the scandalous ideas they came up with.

The first, brave man to speak was Yen Jingchang, who suggested that each family should own what it grew, and that they should divide the collective’s land among the families.  On a precious scrap of paper he wrote down a contract that they all signed.  He rolled it up and concealed it inside a bamboo tube in the rafters of the house.  The families went to work on the land, starting before the official’s whistle blew each morning and ending long after the day’s work was supposed to finish.  Incentivised by the knowledge that they could profit from their work, in the first year they grew more food than the land had produced in the previous five years combined.

The local party chief soon grew suspicious of all this work and this bountiful harvest, and sent for Yen, who faced imprisonment or worse. But during the interrogation the regional party chief intervened to save Yen, and recommended that the Xiaogang experiment be copied elsewhere.  This was the proposal that eventually reached Deng Xiaoping’s desk.  He chose not to stand in the way, that was all.  But it was not until 1982 that the party officially recognised that family farms could be allowed - by which time they were everywhere.  Farming was rapidly transformed by the incentives of private ownership; industry soon followed.  A less pragmatically Marxist version of Deng might have delayed the reform, but surely one day it would have come. 

Friday August 14 2015

Here (thank you Instapundit) are twelve photos of the destruction that just hit the Chinese city of Tianjin.

This one (number 9) is among the most vivid:

image

What (I think) makes this such a remarkable image is that, by showing how totally the cars have all been wrecked, the nature of what hit them is, as it were, permanently recorded, the way it might not have been registered by mere empty ground.  And because they are cars rather than buildings, each one a regular and very small distance from the ground, every ruined car is clearly visible, the way wrecked buildings might not have been.  It’s as if each car is a fire-sensitive cell, like digital cameras have inside them for nailing down light.

Fireball.  Nothing else could have done that.

However much the government of China and its various offshoots and local manifestations might have wanted to keep this amazing event under wraps, modern media, including digital photography, still and video, meant that they had no chance.

Sunday April 19 2015

I took this snap of a sign, in Chinatown (London manifestation of), just off Charing Cross Road:

image

What I like about it is how they had to add the English language explanation of what hair “magic” actually involves.  Presumably the oriental characters make it clear to orientals what’s on sale here.  But at first, the English weren’t buying.  I mean, “magic”?  Could be anything or nothing.  Hypnosis?  Pills?  Herbalism?  Magic mud of some sort?  Clearly the English needed further elaboration, however much it spoiled the original splendour of the original sign.

But alas, the nature of the service on offer, once explained, descended in one word from the transcendental to the commonplace.

Friday November 28 2014

The biggest cat news right now is that a tiger is causing an international incident, between Russia and China:

Chinese media claims the feline in question is Ustin, one of five electronically-tagged Siberian tigers released by Russian authorities in May and June 2014.

The big cat has since wandered into northeastern China where, national news agency Xinhua reports, he entered a farm, killing fifteen goats over two nights and leaving another three missing.

Xinhua claims Ustin was among the first group of tigers released in May by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia denies this claim, suggesting that he was released in June, by Russian conservationists.

Apart from that, the only decent cat story is about a place in America that smells of cat piss.  They don’t yet know why.  They may never know.

Russia unleashes tiger on China
A Sunday ramble
Jiaozhou Bay Bridge (aka Spaghetti Junction on Sea)
New train
Guangbiao Chen’s incredible business card
Proposed new footbridges for London and for Changsha
Is this the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Roof Clutter?
Hong Kong housing that looks like abstract art
Giant cranes made in China for new London super-port in Thurrock
Michael Jennings - pictures of globalisation
Some more presidential debate prophecy
Street social services management integrated command sub-centres
Release Ai Weiwei
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom narcissistic self-quote of the day
The most celebrated sporting win ever
Stunning aerial photo of Shanghai
Mmmmmm … Asian skyscrapers!
Links to this and that
Three Gorges Dam picture
One child poster
Rubbish bridge in Shangai
Sounds like a brothel with film star lookalikes
Does Google now rule the world of computing?
BrianMicklethwaitDotCom blog posting title of the day
Wuhan railway station under construction - with sunset behind
Decorated hippo
Tienanmen + Twitter = Teheran
“. . . and the air froze . . .”
Bike made entirely of wood
Lang Lang crushes Yundi Li!
Tom Burroughes on the banking crisis
Chinese Friday?
Africa is big
Smog returns to Beijing
Blue sky in Beijing
It’s blue!
“The air is apparently not getting better …”
Everything changes today
More Beijing smog-blogging
Bird’s Nest in smog
The original Burtynsky Nanpu bridge picture
Edward Burtynsky photos the towers of Shanghai
Nanpu Bridge in Quimper
Ducks - frogs - turtles – beavers – Galaxy Quest
They play a lot of snooker in China – and in Essex
F1 athletics?
Picture of Taipei 101 that came with Jesus
It’s true what they say about how hard it is to pronounce Chinese – oh beansprouts!
Spherical trouser sculpture
Pictures of the year
Fifty million Bible bombs
Will China fail?
Publogging
The cranes are migrating to China and Michael Jennings will be talking about China
“That’s not Minnie Mouse - that’s a cat with large ears”
Church dwarfed by modernity
What are the world’s biggest problems?
How I became a One Minute Crap Manager
Latest Brian and Antoine mp3 on democracy etc. - UK, Latin America, China
The latest Brian and Antoine elections around the world mp3
Latest Brian and Antoine elections around the world mp3
Chinamen playing cricket
At last - the latest mp3 from me and Antoine
Election Watch is postponed
On China Law Blog and on the reinforcing of prejudices
Made in China
“The basis is economic development”
Civilisation turns its attention to Chinese despotism