Dam Happy

Public works should not have mascots. They shouldn’t need them. The benefits of the works should speak for themselves and not need to be praised by happy cartoon characters.

The Three Gorges Dam, the largest public work in history, has two loveable mascots. Here they are…

Dam Mascots

Creepy, huh? But effective. I talked with a handful of people today who live near the dam. When I ask where they lived before the dam, they all pointed down the bank into the water. Some of the families had lived in the homes for generations and were forced to move. The government compensated them up to $10,000/person, built them good roads, and provided them with reliable utilities. But the…

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“Spit Propaganda”

Reasons China shouldn’t change: The fact that we are discussing “spit propaganda” in a comment thread. And have a real life scientist (at least she claims to be) weighing her spit on her university’s dime.

Without China and all of its spitters none of this would have been possible. Different is good, China! Ignore all of the anti-spit propaganda. You live in a free country (kinda). You should be able to hack up some phlegm and spit it out whenever you darn well feel like it.

I hope I never see the day when China stops spitting. I’ve never been to Singapore, but a country that will punish you for spitting on the street is not a country I care to visit. I like…

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Wanna see my menu?

There’s a rumor that this place has Mexican food. And I’m Jonesan for a juicy burrito – hold the rice please.

I enter and approach the hostess. I motion by opening my hands like a book and presenting it to her. “Menu please?”

She looks a little puzzled. I once again present her with my imaginary menu. She smiles uncomfortably and motions me to follow her.

She doesn’t give me a menu, but she does show me to the toilet.

What about my hand gesture signified my needing to use the restroom, I will never know.

I don’t speak Chinese. They don’t speak English. Either I suck at hand gestures or they suck at reading them. Probably a little of both.

By the way they didn’t have…

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Study shows Chinese spitting leading to sea-level rise

Who conducted the study?


What authority do I have?

My brother has his PhD and my cousin is working at NASA

The very technical results that you probably won’t be able to understand, you dimwit:

Geeze, they sure do spit a lot.

I like to think of myself as an open-minded, culturally sensitive fella who doesn’t lump 1.3 Billion people under the pronoun “they.” But today, this happened:

My hotel room in Yichang is on the 15th floor and I heard a voice that sounded like it was standing just outside my window. This puzzled me. I went to the window – nobody. I looked below me – nobody. I finally pin-pointed the voice to be directly above me. My curiosity satisfied, I pulled…

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Shoe Quote of the Day

Flip-FlopsFrom a Deckers Outdoor executive that was kind enough to meet with me today:

“Nike produces 20 million pairs of shoes/month, Reebok 10 million. I wanna know who’s wearing all of those shoes?”

We had a nice talk about my sandals. I’ll share more later.

And today’s proof that I’m no journalist: I did not ask him if it was possible to step on a pop-top and blow out a flip-flop….

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I have a voice for radio?

I took this quiz. It said I didn’t have an accent. Why is it then that everybody thinks I’m from Kentucky? (via WorldHum)

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

“You have a Midland accent” is just another way of saying “you don’t have an accent.” You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all…

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Adoption Island

Free Stroller

Anyone that’s every adopted a kid from China has been to Shamian Island in Guangzhou.

I’ve seen many different types of tourism, but nothing every like this…

Shops advertise, “Free Stroller for All Customers.” Baby clothes hang in windows. Portraits of newly formed families are sketched into stone, matted and framed, and painted. Restaurants and shops have as down-home American names as possible: Lucy’s Diner, Bill’s Markets, Suzy’s Portraits. They serve applie pie. The White Swan hotel has a play room for babies.

It’s Sunday. People don’t get their kids until Monday or Tuesday so there are many anxious couples pacing about the quiet streets of the island. The process takes a week or two. Once the parent’s get…

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We're all Action Figures

You know that stuff at the counter that you purchase on a whim? Well, China has shopping malls full of that crap.

The one I’m in has eight floors of it to be exact.

There are key chains, mini-flashlights, stickers, stamps, pens, pins, and mini-play pins, laser lights, bouncy balls, and sticky wall crawlers. This place is paradise for a seven year old.

But just when I thought it was all junk, a store with a life size Venus de Milo. Who cares if it’s made of plastic?

And proof that this place just might have for sale everything that has ever existed – A Wally Szczerbiak plastic figurine in a Boston Celtics uniform. I was at Miami University with Wally. He’s now in the NBA and when he’s…

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Picture Guangzhou

Shoes! Shoes! SHOESSSS!!!

If this is an American company, they should fire the person that coined the name.

This 2000-year-old street brought to you by Coca-Cola.
Coke St

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Layers of Culture

The bottom layer, 15-feet below, is there, but you can’t see it. The Southern Yue kingdom placed loose rock to make a street here 2200 years ago.

Working our way up, the Tang dynasty built-up the road with large cut stones 1400 years ago.

At street-level, present day Guangzhou-nites zip by with their shopping bags from Adiddas and Gioradano. Some of them pause long enough to look through the Plexiglas windows, sponsored by Coca-Cola, and consider the exposed ancient street.

I watch over it all. I’m sitting at the window on the second-floor McDonald’s, relishing my first hamburger in over two months. The fries are pretty nice too. The Coca-Cola isn’t bad either.

I think I’ll get an ice cream cone….

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