The Dafa Canal

Saturday, May 20, 2017

In the post Machines to Raise Water we saw examples of various machines the ancients used to raise water to a higher level. The residents of the village of Cao Wang Ba, in the Guizhou Province of China faced a different problem -- how to move water. In their case, how to move water across 3 mountains.

In 1959, with their wells dry and water for their village scarce, 23 yr old Huang Dafa convinced his fellow villagers that they had to dig an irrigation ditch that would be several kilometers long and cross 3 mountains and cliff faces. Further, they had to do it all with hand tools.

Their first attempts failed, but they persisted. Huang studied irrigation methods to better understand how to successfully dig the canal. Finally, in 1995, the 7,200-meter-long water canal and a 2,200-meter-long branch channel were completed and a plentiful water supply flowed to Cao Wang Ba once again.

HT: Oddity Central.

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Stairway To Heaven As Covered By The Fab Four

Friday, May 19, 2017

It has been a while since I've done a 'Lead into the Weekend' music post, here one is ... from the 1990s, the Beatnix, an Australian Beatles tribute band, covering Stairway to Heaven ala the Fab Four.

Chinese Junks

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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Junk is a fairly generic term for Chinese sailing vessels. It encompasses a wide variety of vessels, from pleasure boats to warships, but westerners most often think of the deep water merchant Junks.

Above, flying the British flag, is the Junk the Keying. She was bought in Hong Kong by English business men and sailed around the Cape to New York in 1847, where she became the first Chinese ship to visit U.S. waters.

The images are European, Chinese and Japanese. As always, there are a few more images after the jump.

The World's Greatest Car Mechanic

Monday, May 15, 2017

Pro tip: if your engine catches on fire when you're working on it remember to blow on it like you do with candles on a birthday cake.

Engravings From Sir John Franklin's Expeditions

Sunday, May 14, 2017
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 Prior to photography a regular position on a scientific expedition was an artist. As well as recording flora and fauna, they would draw landscapes of the areas they traveled through.

These engravings are from the expeditions of Sir John Franklin. Franklin was a British naval officer who, in the early to mid 19th Century, explored parts of northern Canada and the arctic. In 1845 he was lost on his last exploration -- an attempt to find the Northwest Passage.

These images are from the Luna Archive of his various travels. There are more after the jump, and of course many more at the Luna Archive, including etchings of flora, fauna and the indigenous Eskimaux (I love that archaic spelling).

Oh No! It Looks Like Gender Appropriation To Me

Friday, May 12, 2017

I Will Survive as covered by Cake.

Which Green Light Do I Obey?

Thursday, May 11, 2017
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"James Comey is an enemy. No he's an ally. Firing him is great. No, you fools. Firing him is terrible. Only filthy Trump supporters think so!"
The firing of FBI Director James Comey has been yet another milepost in his transformation to-and-fro between hero, villain and victim in the public's eye (with his particular role at any moment defined by the viewer's politics). In the latest, Democrats --who a week earlier had railed on Comey for stealing the election from Hillary -- are now outraged over his firing.

Frontpage has an entertaining article, Comey, Colbert and Orwell, that compares the confusion of Stephen Colbert's audiance to the news of the firing to a scene in Orwell's 1984. Truth be told, over the last several months, the right end of the political spectrum has suffered the same whiplash in their opinions of Comey . He has been an odd news story.   

Regardless, Comey will be an interesting footnote in history. Tasked with the election-year investigation of Hillary Clinton I think he was stuck with the unenviable task of trying to square a political circle. In the process he managed to support, bewilder and enrage - with the emphasis mainly on enrage - both sides of the political spectrum.

By the way, the Traffic Light Tree statue in England I've used to illustrate this story is supposed to represent the fusion of technology and nature, not mixed signals, but I guess I've reinterpreted it. It seems that nothing is safe from the Comey news maelstrom.