I finally have a face to place with the mind!
I'm in Red China!
ooooh, your storytelling is lovely. You travel like I want to, observing the culture and the people. Thank you so much for sharing.
mustang....When I was going up the Great Wall, feeling totally exhausted, I saw an old man carrying his grandson on his sholders going up with finesse and ease. Made me feel like a real lazy American!
I didn't get to go to Shanghai, tho my partner is going there for business in a few months. I love neon lights and Shanghai is filled with them, but I'm glad I didn't go because I read in the paper that Shanghai is suffering from a terrible power shortage (due to too rapid development) and the hotels were forced by the govt. to cut most air conditioning. That would've made things miserable. I can just recall my trip to France last year and how the hotel in Paris had miserable, wimpy air conditioning in my room, and that was one week before the big heat wave that killed ppl began in France. We complained to the hotel, and they told us that the locals there really don't use air conditioning. Yeah right, I thought.
One thing I like to do at night when I'm in the desert, away from the light-polluting glare of civilization, is scan the night sky for satellites and space junk. You'd be surprised how many orbiting things you can see in the sky. At Dunhuang, I was able to see about one per minute, and occasionally we'd see two simultaneously crossing the sky. They're about as bright as a dim star, but they move rather fast at a steady pace across the sky. Very slow compared to a shooting star, but fast enough to easily spot moving across the starfield. They are also easily distinguished from airplanes which move faster and do not appear as a single dim white dot (there's also far too many of them to be zooming overhead to be high-altitude airplanes, which are rather rare in that region). It's a bit more difficult to distinguish between satellites and space junk. I suspect I've spotted one of the latter when the path across the sky is somewhat erratic, wobbling from side to side rather than in a straight line, and fluctuate widely in brightness (suggesting a tumbling piece of debris than a satellite in a stable, non-tumbling orbit).
Anyway, I took a few pictures of what I saw. These are timed 30-second exposures, so the actual stars have moved slightly in the time period (looking a little streaked), while the satellite appears as a long line. I also increased the contrast in photoshop, so the noise resulting from the long exposure is unfortunately more visible as grain.
Here two orbiting objects can be seen crossing paths. The top one increased greatly in brightness during this exposure, emerging from great dimness and then dimming out again. The one moving upward from the bottom had steady brightness and only got as far as it did in the photo until the exposure ended.
Here is an example of a "wobble". You can see in the above picture that for a short time the object abruptly moved to the right and then went back to its original course. Actual stars appear as short stubby streaks.
Anyway, it's a lot of fun looking for satellites and space junk, and fun as a family -- trying to be the first one to find a new object crossing the sky. I wonder how many "UFOs" ppl spot are of such objects.
We did this, btw, while we waited for the Chinese neighbors using the back of the hotel to shoot of fireworks for certain guests of the hotel. When they shot them off, we are standing directly below where the exploded. It's really something hearing them pound and blast right above your ears.
PP....Hey, I don't think I've ever seen your mug before...
Maybe soon we will come out of the closet having nothing left to lose.
Sorry to hear about your nothing left to lose situation,, I sure hope things will turn around for you. This is what makes the WT so bad is that they force people to live in fear of shunning. That's a lot of bad karma they are piling up. You have my sympathies and any good vibrations I can muster..
Me too....I hope things work out eventually for you...