Crossbow-Made In China

The Terracotta Army crossbow that could shoot twice as far as a modern-day rifle: Archaeologists unearth 2,200-year-old weapon at historic Chinese sitearticle-3004149-26D6689F00000578-893_636x382The crossbow (pictured), which was found intact this week in China’s famous Terracotta Warrior pits, near Xian, could have shot an arrow up to half a mile. Archaeologists have also uncovered an item which they had only ever heard about in history books – ‘a Qing.’ which was used to transport and store the 5 foot long bows. ‘This discovery of the most complete Qin Dynasty crossbow, especially the Qing, provides us with new historical evidence for the follow-up study of the Terracotta, especially the study of the Qin dynasty military force.

The pit is a fascinating find, which is still being explored – revealing hidden treasures daily. More so is the emperor’s burial mound close by that has been left untouched as it contains a poisonous mercury moat to keep out looters, as well as booby-traps. Investigators have been using ground penetrating radar around the emperor’s chamber in an effort to circumvent the deadly surprises within. The Terracotta Warrior pit is on my ‘to do list.’ Yours Aye.

Benedict Cumberbatch is Curly Fu?

Benedict Cumberbatch is Curly Fu and Hadrian’s Wall is ‘Mountain Earthworm’? Chinese give Mandarin names to British tourist attractions, celebrities and food…1590632Benedict Cumberbatch is nicknamed Curly Fu – for his floppy hair and his role as Sherlock Holmes British tourist attractions, celebrities and dishes are being given bizarre or amusing names as they are translated into Mandarin in China. It’s all part of a promotional campaign launched by VisitBritain to encourage Chinese tourists to visit the UK. Their wacky suggestions for Scotland’s Highland Games include ‘Special Skirt Party’ while long Welsh village names such as Llanfairpwllgwyngyll are being called ‘Martian Village’, ‘Word Puzzle Town’ or ‘The Endless’.23C3AC9F00000578-2861098-image-a-3_1417770971034Hadrian’s Wall translates into ‘Freedom Road’, ‘Glory Road’ or ‘Mountain Earthworm.’ Chinese give Mandarin names to British tourist attractions, celebrities and foodbp2

Once whilst yomping the length of Hadrian’s wall, I was rudely awoken at 07:00hrs in my overnight woodland ‘bivvie’ area – by a group of Chinese tourists who sounded like a flock of seagulls attacking the catch nets of a Whitby trawler… My Anglo-Saxon abuse may well have sounded strange to them – but at least I got it off my chest! Very much like the phlegm such Chinese tourists tend to do when they visit… “When in Rome!”    Yours Aye.

Obviously made In CHINA

New £400m railway station turns into enormous waterfall after heavy rain leaks through thousands of holes in the roof.  The reputation of China’s new £400million Shijiazhuang Railway Station has been washed away by thousands of leaks during a rainstorm that turned the inside of the building into a giant waterfall.Rainstorm creates 'indoor waterfall' at Shijiazhuang Railway Station, Hebei province, China - 28 Aug 20141409316942156_Image_galleryImage_Mandatory_Credit_Photo_byTorrential rain hit Shijiazhuang city, Hebei province, on Thursday night, but its railway station, which is served by China’s high-speed trains, was not up to the job of sheltering passengers. Water passed through the ceiling of the station, built-in 2012, soaking passengers waiting inside. ‘Water’ way to run a railway: New £400m Chinese railway station turns into enormous waterfall through leaky roof.

If I was one of the engineers responsible I would duck & run, as heads will surely roll… 😉 Yours Aye.

Hit the beach…

Thousands pack onto the beach in Chinese city of Qingdao as temperatures soar into the mid 35′ C range (95′ F) It’s no big thing for 100,000 or even more people to pack onto the main beach of Qingdao in China’s Shandong Province during a summer weekend but it was extra crowded this weekend as temperatures soared above 30-degrees C.article-0-1F9B02B000000578-437_964x641Along with being famed for its beer, Qingdao is proud of its beaches, especially its most popular and clean stretch of sand the Number One Bathing Beach. While the Number Two beach costs 2 Chinese Yuan (about 20 pence), Number One’s popularity is boosted by how close it is to the city centre and the fact it’s free of charge.article-0-1F9B02A800000578-968_964x641 No big thing for 100,000 or even more people to pack onto the main beach of Qingdao in China’s Shandong Province

This would be my absolute worst nightmare, without even thinking of the Chinese ‘hawking and spitting’ pollution that goes every where the Chinese muster! Look carefully, have you found Wally 沃利  yet?       Yours Aye.       ‘That is water they are standing in – right?’  😉

Todays special is…

wide-chengdu3The man was carrying a backpack full of brown rice when he entered the tigers’ pen… Chinese man survives mauling from Bengal tigers after jumping in their cage to ‘feed the animals’  A man has survived being mauled by a pair of white Bengal tigers in a Chinese zoo after he jumped into their enclosure with a bag of rice because he “wanted to feed the animals”. Shocked visitors watched on as the man, identified in local media reports as 27-year-old Yang Jinhai, was scratched, bitten and dragged around the tigers’ enclosure before keepers could intervene. ‘Looks like chinese for lunch’White_Bengal_TigersWitnesses said they initially thought Mr Yang must have been a member of staff at the zoo himself after he was spotted carrying a backpack in the branches of a tree overlooking the tiger pen. But after a number of fellow tourists started shouted at him to come back down, Mr Yang jumped from the branch into the enclosure. Eyewitness Feng Lin told local media: “He climbed up the outside of the cage and jumped inside expecting, I assume, that the tigers would pounce on him. Instead the two tigers, a male and a female, seemed more nervous than anything else and the female actually ran off. Man survives mauling from Bengal tigers after jumping into zoo pen to ‘feed the animals’ 

Mr Yang was treated at the 416 Hospital in Chengdu for around a dozen light puncture wounds, and upon his release told reporters he had “wanted to feed the tigers”. His backpack was found to be filled with brown rice, but local media agencies quoted family members saying he had been suffering mental health problems recently and would now be taken for counselling.eggfriedrice_67782_16x9

When eating chinese I much prefer egg fried rice with spring onions and bean sprouts, as opposed to plain brown rice  😉                  Yours Aye.

China kisses B-52 undercarriage…

AIR_B-52_Ordnance_Display_lgTwo unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers on a training mission flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without informing Beijing, Pentagon officials said Tuesday. The controversial action defies China’s declaration of a new airspace defense zone in the region. The Pentagon said the flight on Monday night did not prompt a response from China, and the White House urged Beijing to resolve its dispute with Japan over the islands diplomatically, without resorting to ‘threats or inflammatory language.’U.S. B-52s flew over China’s newly declared air zone after Beijing vowed to take ‘defensive’ action against unidentified aircraft

China published coordinates for an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the weekend and warned it would take ‘defensive emergency measures’ against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly in the airspace. The zone covers most of that sea and includes the skies over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute with Japan. ‘The policy announced by the Chinese over the weekend is unnecessarily inflammatory,’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in California, where President Barack Obama is traveling. ‘These are the kinds of differences that should not be addressed with threats or inflammatory language, but rather can and should be resolved diplomatically,’ he said. Two U.S. B-52 bombers carried out the flight, part of a long-planned exercise, on Monday night EST, a U.S. military official said.

The lumbering bombers appeared to send a message that the United States was not trying to hide its intentions and showed that China, so far at least, was unable or unwilling to defend the zone. imagesThe B-52s, which have been part of the Air Force fleet for more than half a century, are relatively slow compared with today’s more advanced fighter jets and far easier to spot than stealth aircraft. The dispute flared before a trip to the region by Vice President Joe Biden, who is scheduled to travel to Japan early next week and also has stops in China and South Korea. The White House announced the trip in early November. The East China Sea territorial dispute will figure prominently on Biden’s agenda.

After telling China to ‘kiss my undercarriage’ in an act of total defiance over their self imposed fly zone, you go an blow it by sending across the Vice Bumbling-Buffoon? (Or could it be a double bluff, showing utter contempt by sending him instead of some one of importance)     Yours Aye.

A 24 hour living nightmare

article-2509608-197B6A1400000578-889_964x629There’s a place for everything inside the Walsh family’s six-bedroom home, and everything is in its place. If only there was space for anything else. For wherever there is a nook or cranny, it is occupied by an ornament. There’s enough blue delft china to start a pottery shop and not one wall remains unadorned. Save for a few square inches of kitchen work-top (not counting the toilet lid and cistern) barely a single flat surface is visible.article-2509608-197B6A1C00000578-329_964x658 Minimalist is a word unlikely to have been used much in this house. Even the modest size bathroom boasts a chandelier. Nor is there any escape in the garden, awash with ornaments, statues and ironwork. Naturally, it is all a question of personal taste. Alas, in the 13 months the immaculately kept house has been on the market, it hasn’t been to anyone else’s. It is, as estate agents tend to say, still waiting for the right buyer. article-2509608-197B6A2C00000578-832_964x660And there’s more, so much more to look at… (a dose of mind bleach may be required)!$T2eC16FHJGQFFh+8K+)mBRqiKQNE,w~~60_35

To quote Einstein; “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign”? Albert mate, if your question was applied to this cluttered abode, the answer you  would receive is a ‘property sold sign’!


However, under normal circumstances, your question and theory has a ring of truth about it…    

Yours Aye.

Guinness World Record wood carving

article-2509367-197BDB7400000578-683_964x624A Chinese artist has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records after creating the world’s longest wooden carving. Zheng Chunhui, a famous wood carver, spent four years creating the artwork which is over 40 ft long and made from a single tree trunk. The scene is actually a copy of the famous Chinese painting ‘Along the River During the Qingming Festival’ which was created over 1,000 years ago. article-2509367-197BDB4C00000578-405_964x563Though it has been replicated many times, Chunhui’s version, which is made from a single piece of tree trunk, is surely the most spectacular. The intricate work features boats, bridges, building and even 550 individually carved people. The piece measures 12.286 meters long, is 3.075 meters tall at it highest point, and is also 2.401 meters wide. The original painting, referred to as the ‘Chinese Mona Lisa’ because of its fame, was completed during the Song Dynasty by artist Zhang Zeduan. A ‘whittle’ goes a long-long way! Chinese wood art breaks record for longest carving out of single piece of timberarticle-2509367-197BDB6900000578-306_964x565You would have to have a cold heart not to respect the workmanship, dedication, and artistic flair presented within this fascinating piece. Did someone mention Guinness?      Yours Aye.

Made in China…

For use in the West; Whether it is being used or sits dormant, white goods produced in China have been found to contain Spy-Bots that steal data from you…  Russian investigators claim to have found household appliances imported from China which contain hidden microchips that pump spam data and malware into wi-fi networks. Authorities in St Petersburg allegedly discovered 20 to 30 kettles and irons with ‘spy microchips that send some data to the foreign server’, according to Russian media. The revelation comes just as the EU launches an investigation into claims that Russia itself bugged gifts to delegates at last month’s G20 summit in an attempt to retrieve data from computers and telephones. article-2480900-0DAB506000000578-823_634x465 

This has led to speculation that the chips allegedly found in the home appliances may also have the ability to steal data, and send it back to Chinese servers. The allegations against the Chinese were made in St Petersburg news outlet Rosbalt, which quotes a source from customs broker Panimport, but does not detail what data was being sent or to where. According to The Register, which translated the article, it would be possible to build a malicious microchip – sometimes referred to as a spambot or spybot – small enough to hide in a kettle. China is spying on you through your KETTLE: Bugs that scan wi-fi devices found in imported kitchen gadgetsMy old tin mugWe are well and truly buggered, every thing is made in China; I’m going back to boiling my water in my old faithful tin mug.           Yours Aye.

Merchant Marine Captain Tom Wilder

Yesterday I was so tired that I fell asleep on a small bunk in a compartment next to the engine room. So tired that the clanking of the engine seemed to be in the far distance, I couldn’t even smell the heavy oil and heated diesel fumes that normally permeate the air, possibly because the heavy door to the compartment was closed.

The heat was almost unbearable; I was soaked to the skin, even though I had a small punkah-louvre above my head blowing a cool breeze over my body. The low audible hiss of air mixed with the rhythm of the far distant engine was enough to lull my tired bones back to sleep. A different noise brought my senses back to a dull awakening, it was the clanking of pipes, hot water pipes, expanding and gurgling with air trapped within; the same pipes that ran under the wooden frame of the bunk.         Click pic to enlarge…punkahlouvreAs I lay floating semi-conscious, another sound entered my head, a strange sound I’d never heard before… ‘pitter – patter – pitter – patter –  puff – puff  ~  pitter –patter – pitter – patter –  puff – puff ~ pitter – patter – pitter – patter –  puff – puff’ It was coming from beneath the wooden bunk? I slowly eased my self onto the warm deck and knelt down next the sliding storage door, and opened it.

There was Nipper running along the hot water pipes with his little paw’s making the noise ‘pitter – patter – pittter – patter’ then he quickly stopped to lift his front paws up so he could blow cold air on each of them ‘puff – puff’ I grabbed him and pulled him out just as the heavy compartment door opened; there stood Merchant Marine Captain Tom Wilder filling the whole door frame. In an unmistakable John Wayne drawl he said “So-I-see-yer-found-yer-dawg”? I stared at him as I held Nipper, except it wasn’t Captain Wilder, it actually was John Wayne… “Yes mate, I found him under my bunk” came my reply!bloodalley6I woke up from my dream with a jolt, (‘yes mate, to John Wayne’)? I was sweating, really sweating, I swung my legs around off the bed and put my feet onto the floor and sat up. The sun was just breaking and I was burning up, I needed a long gulp of water so I headed off along the landing to the bathroom. I could still hear clanking and banging, then I touched a radiator as it dawned on me… the central heating had kicked in for the first time since the last day of winter, and there was air trapped within the radiators and pipes. I must have brushed past the thermostat control prior to turning in (I had, and it was set up on 30 degrees)! Half dazed and disappointed, Nipper brought me back to reality by stretching up and raking his claws down the back of my legs, it looked like we were all going out for an early leg stretch around the fields.432Blood_AlleyBefore anyone recommends I need to see a trick cyclist psychiatrist, allow me to explain some thing. Prior to turning in I caught an old classic movie ‘Blood Alley’ with John Wayne & Lauren Bacall. What better way to accompany a film, except with a pot of tea, and cheese & crackers? After which, falling asleep exhausted with a clattering central heating system on full blast, stood side by side with John Wayne, fighting Chinese communists on the dangerous waters of the orient in a clapped out paddle steamer, with trusty Nipper only a whistle away.images  

It doesn’t get much better than that, unless I watch ‘The Quiet Man’ before I turn in tonight… with a pot of tea, and cheese & crackers…

Yours Aye. 

It is my own humble opinion

That the United Nations is nothing more than a glorified coffee shop for international business meetingsimagesCorruption of varying degrees is found at every level within its corridors of self-imposed power, which trickles out daily; interwoven with the money intended for aid into various third-world countries around the world. Potentially it has teeth, but the political muzzle that binds its jaws tightly has stopped it biting or puncturing a worldwide domestic problem successfully. Africa being a glaring example for all to see…633880615975213830-unitednations

The world is waking up this morning to an atrocity that requires the full investigative powers of the the U.N. Followed by a swift reaction against those responsible  The town that never woke up: Inside the devastated Damascus suburb where 1,300 innocent Syrians were gassed in their beds *Disturbing photos taken today show the aftermath of the deadly chemical weapons unleashed on a suburb. *Bodies of men, women and children are piled high in makeshift morgues as those who escaped fight for their lives. *Activists claim that government forces are firing rockets at neighbourhoods on eastern outskirts of Damascus today. *Devastating attack that killed hundreds prompts protests and vigils from around the world. *President Bashar Assad’s government denies using rockets to release fatal fumes over suburb. *U.S., Britain and France demand a U.N. team should be allowed to inspect chemical attack site. *U.N. team already in Syria to investigate previous attacks but need government permission to examine new site. *U.N. Security Council have not demanded new investigation into site but said ‘clarity’ into attack was needed. *Diplomats claim U.N.’s statement about attack was watered down to accommodate Russia and China’s objections.

The U.N. appears to have had its muzzle tightened one hole further already… The UN requires a powerful dose of industrial cleaner fluid, provided by an independent authority to sort it out, or just close it down, and allow NATO to run business.           Yours Aye.

Made in China, obviously

And let it remain so. Please keep the idea within the country, and do not export it!article-2398264-1B60B323000005DC-651_636x382

Chinese go undercover in Darth Vader-style visors as fear of exposure to the sun sweeps country All it would take is for one air head ‘celebrity’ to fashion it at a swanky hip bar on the boulevard… It may well happen!            Yours Aye.

Penny Arrow toffee, Risk Assessment and a Chinese Mountain

From an early age I have done some pretty stupid things, resulting in broken bones, dislocated limbs, and catching up a few deep cuts that required stitches. The majority of my injuries were always of my making, certainly not of my choosing. Without being a drama queen, I can honestly say that under the age of twelve I cheated death twice, both incidents were created through my own actions, they remain fresh in my mind to this day. (Each one without my parents knowledge, which would have seen me well and truly grounded had they known about it, and possibly placed in front of a ‘trickcyclist’)!

For a bet I once run full pelt across a field to slap a bull’s arse as it was grazing. As I raised my arm to slap it I slipped on a fresh cow pat and slid between its rear legs-through-under its belly and out along it’s side. I was up and gone with my legs going like steam pistons. As I ran one way the bull fortunately spooked and ran the opposite! I was 11, and I earned my bet, which was that of five ‘1-penny Toffee Arrow bars’, one from each of my friends present, who laughed hysterically about the whole thing as we walked home. They witnessed me banging my face against the bull’s ‘cojones‘, which is some thing that just flashed by me as the incident played itself out! Needless to say I caught it up for that one, as some stains as well as the fragrant smell just can’t be washed away in a stream.Penny Arrow bar

There is risk that has to be taken due to forced circumstances, and there is risk that requires an assessment before undertaking an action. The following sits within a category of ‘follow the leader and blind stupidity’… I definitely would have been grounded for this one!

What could possibly go wrong? The tourist trek thousands of feet up a Chinese mountain along wooden boards that were nailed together 700 years ago

Chang Kong cliff road

Yours Aye.

An Englishman’s (alleged) love affair?

Statistically I am classed as being a twenty two percent kind of person, who is having a (gulp) “love affair”! In addition to which I am also a seven percent thirsty Englishman?

(As well as being a seven percent ‘picky’ person)…

Yorkshire TeaIt appears they may be right, so I’ll just put the kettle on and let you read the rest…


Anyone else up for a nice ‘cuppa char’ and a chocolate digestive biscuit?

Yours Aye.

(Slurping, with my little pinky finger protruding outwards)!

Paulina Gretsky and the Chinese Oilers

Paulina Gretzky, Dustin Johnson
Paulina Gretzky, Dustin Johnson

When I hear the word Oilers, I think of Warren Moon and the Houston Oilers. Or the Edmonton Oilers, with Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, and Wayne Gretsky (but not Paulina Gretsky.) But this is another kind of oiler altogther, the upgraded Qiandaohu-class oilers, known as Type 903s:

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy now has an aircraft carrier, new jet fighters to fly off the flattop and even new submarines and guided-missile destroyers able to protect the refurbished Soviet carrier. And with the successful first sea trials of two new, 590-foot-long fleet oilers — tanker ships designed to keep other vessels fueled, or “replenished,” while sailing long distance — the PLAN could soon be able to deploy all this new hardware beyond coastal waters.

“Replenishment vessel construction rate will be a particularly revealing barometer of the PLAN’s future expeditionary intentions,” wrote Andrew Erickson, an analyst at the U.S. Naval War College. The more new oilers, the farther China will be able to send its new capital ships. Without underway replenishment, most naval vessels can travel only a few thousand miles; with fuel top-offs, they can circle the globe.

The latest, upgraded Qiandaohu-class oilers, also known as Type 903s, were launched at a shipyards in Guangzhou and Shanghai last spring. After additional work, the tankers began sea trials in the China Seas, testing out the vessels’ mechanical systems plus the storage tanks, valves, hoses and other gear for refueling other ships at sea. This week the first of the new Qiandaohus reportedly completed her trials, clearing her for frontline use.

upgraded Qiandaohu-class oilers, also known as Type 903s
Upgraded Qiandaohu-class oilers, also known as Type 903s, crewed by Paulina Gretsky?

When it comes to prepping new naval vessels for service, nine months is not a long time. Many U.S. vessels take years to go from launch through trials to commissioning. One U.S.-based Chinese military analyst, who blogs under the pseudonym “Coatepeque,” calls the oilers’ speedy trials “impressive.”

Impressive? Maybe. . .

Xi Jinping Kiboshes the Dim Sum

Bad news for all of you in the Chinese military, the diktat has cancelled those tasty banquets y’all like so much. No more kung pow chicken, no more pot-stickers:

China has banned senior military officers from holding alcohol- fuelled banquets or from staying in luxury hotels when on work trips in the latest move by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping to fight corruption, state media reported on Saturday.

Receptions will also no longer feature welcome banners, red carpets, flowers, honour guards, performances or souvenirs, the powerful Central Military Commission, which Xi oversees, has decreed, major newspapers reported.

Officers will have to cut back on both the number and length of inspection tours, overseas visits, meetings and reports, according to the new rules.

Speakers at meetings should avoid “empty talk”, while the use of vehicles equipped with sirens will be “rigorously controlled during official visits in order to prevent public disturbances”.

You win some and you dim sum. Only if you’re PRC military, you will not dim sum for free.