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Thursday, October 3, 2013


I somehow magically began to be sent monthly issues of News China last year.  The September 2013 issue is somewhat tame, but, combined with other news about the country, here are some items of interest:
  • What do you think of eating dog meat?
    • 43%  Understandable--it's tradition
    • 21%  Barbaric--it should be banned
    • 18%  It's a health risk
    • 10%  It might encourage theft of pet dog
    •   6%  I don't care
    •   2%  None of the above
  • China is not noted for gua bao, pork belly buns, found in the night markets of Taiwan and New York City:
  • There are classical Chinese wines like Baijiu or Maotai, generally a sorghum distillate, traditionally at 106 proof.  Prices for this liquor, toasted at banquets, are soaring, and now can't be found for less than $100.  There are cheaper local versions, but to me, they all have peculiar earthy tastes specific to the soil.  Imported grape wines too are expensive, for consider the transport cost and 50% duty.  However, Shanxi's Grace Vineyard is respectable, and vintners in Xinjiang and Ningxia are improving their products.
  • 1,500,000 American cockroaches escaped from a Dafeng breeding facility in Jiangsu.  Huh?  You might wonder where traditional Chinese medicines come from?  Well, cockroach extract is "known" to treat cancer and inflammation.  However, such is the accuracy of news coming out of the country, for another report shows another strain of cockroach, and says this medicine can renew bone fractures and cure swollen tongues.  Pulverized cockroaches cost $89/pound.  Anyway, the Central Government reacted by sending five investigators to stamp out the pests.  For the sake of my reader, I chose not to show any pictures of cockroaches.
  • As I'm only now just about recovering from my few days in China earlier this year, I just had to report that air pollution is not only lowering the life expectancy of the population, but tourism is dropping.  During the past six months, visitors from Japan dropped by 50%.  During the worst period earlier this year, the pollution wafted across to Japan, where a large number of pedestrians were seeing wearing masks, not to prevent the transmission of viruses or avoid pollen, but to reduce the inhalation of particulates from China

The more fanciful and colorful ones are from China.  In Japan, they wear surgical masks, which are white:

There are five ocean storms:

The Gulf of Mexico has Tropical Storm Karen, to soon become a hurricane, with landfall projected to be Pensacola this weekend:

The West Pacific has two storms.  Typhoon Fitow, now at 75 MPH, but will strengthen into a Category 2, is projected to squeeze between Taiwan and Okinawa, and appears to have a track in the general direction of Shanghai:

Interestingly enough, Tropical Depression 23 has formed around the Northern Mariana Islands, and is currently modeled to approach Typhoon Fitow as a typhoon:


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