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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

Sunday July 27 2014

I just heard someone say in an American TV sitcom (I love American TV sitcoms) that they’re not going to answer the phone without knowing who it is, “like it’s 1994”.

I still do this, with my old 1994 style phone, which I greatly prefer to mobiles, because when I am out and about, I don’t have to answer it, and because phones connected to your house with wire cannot be lost, and because I know exactly where it is when it rings, and because that ring never changes.

Quite often, when I do answer, it’s a junk phone call, offering to extricate me from a financial error that I personally have not made by urging me to commit another financial error, and as soon as I realise it’s junk, I put the phone down.  Does this constitute some sort of “success” for the junk phoning enterprise?  Look, they answered!  Because obviously they knew who we were, this not being 1994, and yet still they picked up the phone!  Hey, we’re getting through!

Much of life these days seems to consist of doing many futile things, but contriving for these things the appearance of non-futility.  These days?  I suspect all days that have ever been, with humans involved, and no doubt many other species also, both before and now during the human epoch.  Only the futile things and the means of contriving a non-futile appearance for them change from time to time.

I don’t mind junk phone calls.  If they were more frequent, they would annoy me.  As it is, if there is a pause in incoming phone calls lasting a few hours, it is soothing to be informed, even if only by a robot actor voice spouting nonsense, that my phone is still working.  The pause was because nobody wanted to talk to me.

When answering junk phone calls, I pause any music that may be playing.  I do not mind this.  There is a part of my brain (yours too?) where you remember the musical phrase you were listening to when you last paused the music, and when you unpause it you carry on listening just as you would have done normally.  I even suspect that pausing deepens my response to particular pieces of music, by fixing particular moments of them in my brain more firmly than might have happened otherwise.

Since I am now rambling like the really old person that I am rapidly becoming, let me ramble some more.  In connection with none of the above, here are the wheels of a big mobile crane that I photoed in Victoria Street a while back.  Click on it to get the crane:

image

I like cranes.  That one is, I think, the Spierings SK599-AT5.  I love how you can find out about things like this, these days.  And this time it really is these days, rather than all days. 

Here is a link to a toy version of this crane.  Do contractors use toys like this to plan their jobs, I wonder?  As well as just to decorate their offices or amuse their spoilt children?

It is now late morning on Sunday.  Are sermons like this, when the priest is getting old, but is too well liked for anyone to want to sack him?  With a blog you can ramble anyway, because nobody can sack you.

Monday April 21 2014

Indeed:

image

Follow the link above, and you’ll read the headline “China build the World’s Longest Bridge - Jiaozhou Bay Bridge”.  But bridges like this, across huge chunks of sea and with hugely long approaches over that sea, are fairly common now, even if this particular one happens to be the biggest in this genre, for the moment.  The photo has it right.  The bridge is just another bridge, and is rightly stuck away in the distance.  The motorway junction is in the foreground, and quite right too.  Is there, anywhere else on the planet, a motorway junction resembling this one, all at sea?

Ordinary bridge, astonishing approach.  Reminds me of this.

Monday March 24 2014

Indeed:

image

But for where?  Would you believe, Iraq?  No?

Yes.

Built in China, apparently.

Thursday January 09 2014

Incoming from Michael J (where would this blog be without incomings from Michael J?):

image

More here.

Monday November 04 2013

London already has many interesting bridges, but might be about to get another:

image

That’s the bridge now being proposed by Thomas Heatherwick, he of roly-poly bridge (see also my recent take on that bridge), Olympic cauldron, and new London bus fame.

Changsha on the other hand, a place I had never heard of until today, and going only by the picture below, has rather little by way of visual excitement, or will have until they build this bridge, as it appears they definitely intend to:

image

Architect John van de Water says the form is also intended to reference traditional Chinese crafts. “It refers to a Chinese knot that comes from an ancient decorative Chinese folk art,” he explained.

Ingratiating bullshit being a core architectural skill.

Not that this makes it a bad bridge.  On the contrary, it looks like a lot of fun, that will cheer the place up no end.

And I agree with Heatherwick, and with his celebrity booster Joanna Lumley, that the exact part of the Thames (the north end would be at Temple tube station) where they have put their proposed bridge could indeed do with some further livening up.

See also, an earlier posting here about another cool footbridge, in Hull, also featured on Dezeen, which I continue to enjoy daily, despite a lot of what is shown there being, I think, boring tat.

Friday August 16 2013

I have, very belatedly, made Roof clutter a new category, and now face lots of backtracking to do justice to that innovation.  So far you only get a few entries if you click on that.  But it’s a start.

And, as a devotee of roof clutter, I can’t ignore this:

A Chinese man who built a rock-covered roof-top villa on top of a high-rise building has told the BBC he will comply with an order to demolish it.

The villa, surrounded by fake rocks but real trees and bushes, sits on top of a 26-storey building in Beijing.

State-run China Daily says it was built without the proper permissions.

Ooh dear.  Can’t do anything without the proper permissions.

Here’s what it looks like.  Let us celebrate it while it lasts, and never allow it to be forgotten:

image

I am actually a tiny bit angry with this Chinese man, because I fear that by drawing attention to the top of his particular building, he may have provoked control freak bureaucrats everywhere to take an interest in the tops of buildings, with a view to putting a stop to All That Sort of Thing, which until now they have largely neglected to do.  The Golden Age of Roof Clutter is not about to end immediately.  But might this perhaps be the beginning of its end?

A good video view of this Chinese man’s castle in the air can be seen at Shanghaist, here.  Also at Shanghaist, a picture of another posh house on a tower roof, rather more discreetly done.

And as an addition (one of the joys of blogging is that you google your subject and find more great stuff) feast your eyes on this:

image

Presumably, for that, they did get the necessary permissions.  It has that look about it, doesn’t it?

I now learn that the Daily Mail got there first.  They also supplied the top picture above, which they featured in this report.

Saturday April 13 2013

My thanks to my next Last Friday speaker Rob Fisher, for the link to these photos:

image

My inclination is not to discuss the matter of supposed overcrowding, more to note that here we have more Art without Artists.  Although perhaps photographer Michael Wolf would say he is an artist.

The idea of that category of photo is that here is a photo of something real, which resembles (reduces the thing to?) abstract art.

Were all those abstract modernists prophesying the inceasing rectangularity of regular life to come?

Friday March 01 2013

Picture of them setting sail, so to speak, here.  Arriving this month, ish:

Bosses moving three of the world’s largest quay cranes cannot give an exact arrival date as they could be delayed en route from China.

The 138m tall, semi-automatic cranes are taller than the London Eye and weigh 1,848 tonnes.

Semi-automatic?  Does that make them assault cranes?

They are to go here.  I smell photo ops.

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