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Archive for April, 2008

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A Blog For China Watchers

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

An excellent site in English for people wanting to understand China is “The China Beat…Blogging How The East Is Read.”

One of the writers is Peter Hessler Peter Hessler (b. June 14, 1968) who is an American writer and journalist. He is currently the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker and a contributor to National Geographic. He has previously written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and other American newspapers and magazines. He is best known for his two books on China: River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze (2001), a Kiriyama Prize-winning book about his experiences in two years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in China, and Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present (2006), a collection of journalistic stories he wrote living in Beijing. His stories are about ordinary people’s lives in China and are not politically themed.

In 1996, he joined the Peace Corps and spent the next two years teaching English at a local college in Fuling, China. Since 1999, he has lived in Beijing as a freelance writer.

Geography Trivia

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Found some trivia in a Bootsnall article:

Portland, Oregon, where it rarely snows, is about 130 miles further north than Toronto, and over 200 miles further north than Boston.

The entire country of England, with over 50 million residents, is a wee bit smaller than the state of Louisiana.

If you combine England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, then together they are a bit smaller than the deceivingly large state of Michigan.

France is about 30% larger than the state of California.

Crescent City, California is about 15 miles south of the Oregon border, but it’s about 10 miles further north than Newport, Rhode Island. In other words, you can still be in California and be further north than coastal Rhode Island.

Madrid, with summers so blazing hot that most people take a long break from work every afternoon, is about 10 miles further north than Salt Lake City, Utah.

About two-thirds of Africa is in the Northern Hemisphere.

Rome, which is located in the center of Italy, is located at the exact same latitude as Chicago.

Tehran, Iran, with its scorching summers, is located on the exact same latitude as relatively mild Tokyo, Japan.

About 90% of the world’s population lives in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you are trying to get a handle on the climate of India it helps to know its northern border is the same as the northern border of Mexico in Tijuana, and the southern border is about the same as the southern border of Panama.

Sunny and just-barely-tropical Rio de Janeiro is about 25 miles further from the equator than Hong Kong.

Scientists recently discovered that Florida and Hudson Bay in Canada are getting about 1 inch closer every 36 years.

Chinese Students Fight View Of Their Home

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

New York Times Article By SHAILA DEWAN Published: April 29, 2008 LOS ANGELES — When the time came for the smiling Tibetan monk at ... [Continue reading this entry]

Another View Of The Torch Runs

Monday, April 28th, 2008
This is an interesting post in response to the Australian who described his experience in Canberra with the passing of the torch (read below.) This writer was born in China and has lived in China, Mexico ... [Continue reading this entry]

A German And Prussian Poland

Sunday, April 27th, 2008
Had a great conversation with a German guy in his 40's the other night. Culture, politics, language, heritage...then I told him my maternal grandparents were from Poland. "When, did they immigrate...after WWII" he asked. No, they immigrated ... [Continue reading this entry]

A Protest That Didn’t Make CNN

Saturday, April 26th, 2008
I have been following a thread on a discussion forum on about the Olympic Torch Relay in Australia. An Australian fellow who was among the Tibetan supporters wrote the following posts in response to what he experienced ... [Continue reading this entry]

You Know You Are A Traveller When…

Friday, April 25th, 2008
Found a great thread on a Bootsnall Forum so I picked out the ones I could relate to and added some of my own. You know you are a traveller when: you spell traveller with two l’s. (Every other English speaker in ... [Continue reading this entry]

Fun For Young And Old

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
Young and old revelers hanging off of pickups and sangtaews fling plastic pans of water from a garbage can at the traffic going in the opposite direction. Small children aim at cars and pedestrians alike from the sidewalks. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Koh Samui

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
I arrived on Samui, an island in the south of Thailand, from Bangkok on tuesday. Doug, my son and his Thai wife Luk found me a lovely quiet hotel with a pool right in the middle of Lamai but ... [Continue reading this entry]

Rice Tsunami

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
The price of rice has sky-rocketed in Thailand to such a degree that gangs have taken to raiding farmers' rice fields. Some farmers have taken to sleeping in the fields to guard against thefts. One economic advisor on ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dinner From The Street

Saturday, April 5th, 2008
Tonight I went out to the street and bought my dinner which I brought back to my room to eat. First, a Papaya Salad with only one little red chili and it's still hot! 80 cents. The two sticks with ... [Continue reading this entry]