Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Dec 1, 2017

Size Matters

Did you know Russia's eastern border is with the US and its western border is with China.
In the middle of the Bering Strait are two small, sparsely populated islands: Big Diomede, which sits in Russian territory, and Little Diomede, which is part of the United States. At their closest, these two islands are a little less than two and a half miles apart, which means that, on a clear day, you can definitely see one from the other.  Big Diomede, Russia is 21 hours ahead of Little Diomede, US, because of this the islands are sometimes called Tomorrow Island (Big Diomede) and Yesterday Isle (Little Diomede). Yes, it is true that you can see Russia from Alaska.

Incidentally, China is bordered by the most countries. In total, China borders 14 other countries: On the northern border, China borders (west to east) Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia. To the west, China shares boundaries with (north to south) Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Jan 29, 2016

Robot Progression

According to a research study by Tractica, annual shipments of consumer robots - a category that includes robotic vacuums, lawn mowers, and pool cleaners as well as social robots - will increase from 6.6 million units in 2015 to 31.2 million units worldwide by 2020 with a cumulative total of nearly 100 million consumer robots shipped during that period.

The fastest growth will occur in robotic personal assistants, a category that is nascent today. According to the report, "the next 5 years will set the stage for how these robots could fundamentally transform our homes and daily lives."

China, Japan, and South Korea are responsible for 40% of all new robot installations. China has more than 25% of all annual installations. The world market for robots grew 17% during 2015 and has had steady growth since 2009. Indications are that this growth rate will continue.

It used to be that the largest market for robotics was the United States. By 2014 China took over as the single largest market. During the past two years it had 50% annual growth in terms of new robot installations. China still has much below average installations of robots per capita. The maturity of a market is typically compared by number of robots installed per 10,000 workers in the manufacturing industry. Mature industries, such as automotive, will typically have 1 robot for every 10 workers.

South Korea has the most robots for manufacturing with 478 robots per 10,000 workers. Japan is second with 314 per 10,000 workers. Germany is at 292, USA is at 164. The world average is 87. China is currently at 36. Even with twice as many robots sold, China would still be below average in its use of robots.

Jan 22, 2016

China's Wealth

China has 190 billionaires, more than two million millionaires, and ranks a bit behind the US in number of high-net-worth individuals, according to research from Forbes magazine and Boston Consulting Group. Not bad for a communist country.

Oct 2, 2015

Chinese Glass Suspension Bridge

China's first high-altitude suspension bridge made of GLASS opened in Hunan.

The 984 foot (300-meter) long bridge spans the gap between two cliffs at the Shiniuzhai National Geological Park in Pingjiang County. It's 590 feet (180 meters) to the ground below. The glass floor panels are 24mm (about .9 inch) thick and 25 times stronger than normal glass. Click the link to see pictures.  LINK

Aug 15, 2015

Chinese Currency

With the recent devaluation of China's currency, many articles have been written about the Renimbi and the Yuan. Renminbi is the official name for the currency, and Yuan is the main unit of currency. This is akin to the British currency being pound sterling and the units are pounds.

Jul 24, 2015

Top 10 Viewers of Shubsthoughts

The top ten countries viewing my blog this month, in order are: Russia, US, Germany, France, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Portugal, India, China. Thank you to all my new BFFs. I hope you continue to enjoy. Hey Soedinyonnye Shtaty Amerik watzup! 

Jun 19, 2015

How to Move a Mountain

Mother Nature can do in seconds what mankind has never been able to do. Geologists in China announced the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April caused Mount Everest to move three centimeters (1.2 inches) to the southwest.

The world's highest peak had been moving northeast at a pace of four centimeters (1.6 inches) per year during the past decade and China's national surveying administration said the height of the mountain has risen by three centimeters (1.2 inches) from 2005 to 2015.

The April 25th earthquake, which triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, was one of two major quakes that struck Nepal this spring, leaving more than 8,700 people dead.

Sep 26, 2014

Love Your Teeth Day

A bit late on this. To increase awareness of the importance of dental care, the Chinese government designated September 20 as national “Love Your Teeth Day.” This day involves promotions from dentists to attract clients, as well as information meant to encourage people to see a dentist and take better care to avoid cavities in the future. The campaign has been running for decades and has been successful in getting more people to the dentist.

Aug 30, 2014

Wordology, Napkin

When eating bacon with your fingers, you need a napkin. The word comes from Middle English, borrowing the French nappe, a cloth covering for a table and adding kin, the diminutive suffix. The English word napkin means, “A usually square piece of cloth, paper, etc., used at a meal to wipe the fingers and lips and to protect the clothes”

That same “nappe,” led to the English “apron,” which was originally “napron.” Through a linguistic process the initial “n” of “napron” in the phrase “a napron” shifted and produced “an apron.”

The use of paper napkins is documented in ancient China, where paper was invented in the 2nd century BC. In Roman times, each guest supplied his own mappa and, on departure it was filled with delicacies leftover from the feast. German-speaking people were reputed to be such neat diners that they seldom used a napkin.

In the United Kingdom and Canada both terms, serviette and napkin, are used. In Australia, 'serviette' generally refers to the paper variety and napkin refers to the cloth variety.

There is no relation to taking a nap or snooze during the day, that 'nap' comes from the Old English word 'hnappian', meaning “to doze or sleep lightly.”

Jun 20, 2014

Socks and Puppets

Socks have been around as a form of footwear for thousands of years. They initially started as matted animal hair shaped to fit inside a shoe or around the foot and ankle. The ancient Greeks were known to have used this technique as far back as 750 BC. The Romans innovated with thick fabrics that were wrapped around the legs to form a shaped sock.

Knitting was invented in Egypt during the 12th century AD by nomadic sheep herders who would create fabric through the simple use of knotting wool yarn using straight twigs. The technique had advantages over traditional weaving and allowed any shepherd and his wife to produce a more valuable product instead of just selling their wool. The practice quickly spread from Egypt throughout the Middle East and into Europe. Muslim knitters in Spain started developing a variety of knitting stitches that allowed them to create shaped fabrics, the sock being one of the first knitted items of clothing to be produced.

In 1589, William Lee of Calverton in England invented the first knitting machine which overnight transformed knitted garments into something almost everyone could afford. Knitting is credited with transforming the textile industry and became the precursor to the industrial age.

In China and Japan during the first millennium BC puppets were being intricately carved from wood. Puppets were being used in India by the 11th century as devices to give morality stories a visual impact that words couldn't convey. Puppets have been used to represent good, evil, jealousy, and greed without running the risk of identifying individuals who might exact revenge against the storyteller. In ancient India puppets were constructed from carved sticks, and were often elaborately decorated. Sock puppets were likely invented when knitted socks became more widely in use.

As the puritan movement in England gained momentum, traditional puppetry was banned along with all other forms of theater. During these years in England and France, radicals would organize secret theater shows and used puppets, as they were easier to transport and conceal than sets, costumes, and large bands of actors. Socks and very basic stages made of suspended fabric hung behind a table became a popular way of getting around the ban. It was about this time that the puppet character Punch was created.

After the return of the monarchy and the end of puritan times Punch and Judy, puppets became more commonly associated with glove or hand puppets. Children used discarded socks that could be decorated to mimic a hand puppet.

Recently the term sock puppet is also used to describe a fictitious identity used online to promote a particular point of view or defend a person who is seen as controversial.

Feb 7, 2014

Porcelain, Fine China, and Bone China

Exported Chinese porcelains were held in such great esteem in Europe that in the English language china became a synonym for porcelain.

Bone china is made from cow bone ash and other ingredients. The addition of animal bone ash gives bone china a warm color, while fine china is a brighter white. Bone china has a translucent quality compared to fine china. Fine china is made the same way, replacing bone with kaolin clay. 

Spone china - American artist Charles Krafft replaced cow bone ash with human bone ash, retrieved from a crematorium.

Porcelain is fired at a higher temperature and is much harder. Porcelain gets its name from old Italian porcellana (cowrie shell) because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell. The raw materials are finely ground, cleaned, formed in a mold, and then fired.

If the temperature is high the finished product is more durable and known as porcelain. If it’s fired at a lower temperature it becomes fine china. Fine china is much softer than porcelain, making it suitable for plates and cups. Porcelain is strong enough and durable enough for a wide range of products, such as electrical insulators and toilets. Bottom line, all china is porcelain, but not all porcelain is china.

Jan 24, 2014

Shubsthoughts Blogviews

The top ten viewers to my blog last month in order are:
United States
United Kingdom
Thank you to all my new best friends from Russia for being number one. Thank you to all the rest of my new friends from around the globe. Hope you enjoy the content.

Jan 17, 2014

Laughing Buddha

The Laughing Buddha also Happy Hotei is the nickname for Budai or Pu-Tai, which means “Cloth Sack”. Budai was a real zen monk who lived in China during the 10th century, and he has always been portrayed as a smiling or laughing fat man. Though he is called the Laughing Buddha, do not confuse him with Gautama Buddha, the sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded.

Budai or Hotei (in Japanese) is one of the seven lucky gods in Japan, and you can find statues of him in many shrines and temples just like in China and other East Asian countries.

Oct 11, 2013

Potato Facts

China grows the most potatoes of any nation on earth, followed by Russia, India, and US in fourth place. China consumes almost half of all potatoes produced and the Europeans, per capita consume the most potatoes annually. Potatoes rank as the world's fourth most important food crop, after corn, wheat, and rice.

A fresh potato contains about 80 percent water and 20 percent dry matter. About 60 to 80 percent of the dry matter is starch. On a dry weight basis, the protein content of potato is similar to that of cereals and is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers. In addition, the potato is low in fat. Potatoes are rich in several micronutrients, especially vitamin C, if eaten with its skin. A single medium sized potato provides nearly half the daily adult requirement. The potato is a moderate source of iron, and its high vitamin C content promotes iron absorption. It is a good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and contains folate, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. Potatoes also contain dietary antioxidants and dietary fiber.

Boiling potatoes in their skins prevents loss of nutrients. Baking causes slightly higher losses of vitamin C than boiling due to the higher oven temperatures, but losses of other vitamins and minerals during baking are lower.

More than 5 000 native varieties are still grown in the Andes. While the Incas called it papa (as do modern-day Latin Americans), Spaniards called the potato patata, apparently confusing it with another New World crop, the sweet potato, known as batata. In 1797, the English herbalist Gerard referred to the sweet potato as "common potato", and for many years S. tuberosum was known as the "Virginia potato" or "Irish potato" before finally displacing batata as the potato.

Oct 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Confucius

Sorry I missed it last Saturday Sep 28, when ceremonies were held across China to mark the 2,564th birthday anniversary of Confucius. Not many are remembered that long.

"If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself." Confucius

Aug 30, 2013

Watermelon Facts

The watermelon grows on vines on the ground. It is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family and is related to cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin. Some varieties of watermelon come with a variety of rind and flesh colors. The inside flesh of the popular varieties are red or yellow. The watermelon grows in many different shapes. Watermelon has 92% water. Watermelon contains vitamins A, B6 and C. You can eat every part of a watermelon, including the seeds and rinds.

Thought to be the ancestor of the original watermelon, the white-skinned citron first grew in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. Egyptians recorded the earliest harvest of them 5,000 years ago. Watermelons were depicted in hieroglyphics that adorned the ancient walls of their structures. They buried the fruit in the tombs of their kings, because they believed it nourished them in the afterlife.

Watermelons spread by merchant ships to other countries as they traveled to conduct their business. The plants flourished along the Mediterranean Sea, and by the 10th century they made their way to China. Later in the 13th century the Moors helped spread the watermelon throughout Europe.

The watermelon may have made its way to the United States during the African slavery trade via slaves carrying the seeds on the ships. The word watermelon made its first debut in the English Dictionary in 1615. There are five states that currently lead watermelon production in the US - Florida, Texas, California, Georgia, and Arizona. The United States ranks as number four in worldwide production of watermelon. China is number one. 96 countries grow watermelons globally. Chinese and Japanese often give watermelons to the host when they visit. Israelis and Egyptians enjoy salads made with sweet watermelon and salty feta cheese.

Watermelons come in 1200 different varieties. Recent cultivations led to development of several desirable characteristics of the fruit, including seedless varieties and ones with thin rinds.

Aug 2, 2013

Internet Usage

Iceland (96%), Norway (95%), and Sweden (94%) have the highest percent of populations using the Internet. The Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, Bermuda, and Finland all have over 90% of their respective populations using the net.

Canada is 16th with 86% of its population using the Internet. The US ranks 28th, with 78% (244 million people) online.

China has 591 million people using the Internet, but that is just 44% of the country's 1.3 billion population.

May 31, 2013

May 35th

May 35 is next week. That date is used by some people in China to refer to June 4, which is the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on student protesters at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Other names include the Tiananmen Square massacre or the June Fourth Incident. Variations of the date June 4 are periodically banned from internet postings and search engines within China. "The 35th of May, or Conrad's Ride to the South Seas" is also the title of a 1931 novel.

Gregorian Calendar Exception

Most of the world uses the Gregorian Calendar. We are currently in the year 2013. Even China also follows this calendar, although it also celebrates its own New year.

North Korea uses the names of months we are familiar with, but the calendar year one begins in 1912 rather than two thousand years ago. That year, 1912 was the birth of former North Korea despot Kim Il-sung (grandfather of Kim Jong-un). Three years after Kim Il-sung’s death, the nation promulgated the new Juche calendar after the state’s official ideology of the same name.

It is a government allusion to the idea of Kim Il-sung as god. When Kim Il-sung died, his son and successor, Kim Jong-il redid the calendar to imply that his father was divine. In September 1998, the North Korean constitution deemed Kim Il-sung the “Eternal President of the Republic.” Nice to have a family tradition that changes the calendar for an entire nation.

Apr 13, 2013

Renminbi and Sterling

Now that Australia joins a host of nations that are bypassing the US Dollar as the world's "reserve currency" and trading currency directly with China, I thought it might be good to discuss confusion about the name of the Chinese currency.

Renminbi is the name of China’s currency, but yuan is the denomination of bills. It is equivalent to Britain’s currency, which is sterling with its pound as denomination of bills. The number of renminbi per dollar or sterling per dollar is incorrect. Renminbi and Sterling are the currency, but not a unit of the currency.  Prices and exchanges are measured in yuan and pounds, not Renminbi or Sterling.

The primary unit of renminbi is the yuan. One yuan is subdivided into 10 jiao , which is subdivided into 10 fen. Renminbi banknotes are available in denominations from 1 jiao to 100 yuan and coins have denominations from 1 fen to 1 yuan.

During the past two years - China and Japan economies bypass dollar and engage in direct currency trade, China and Russia drop dollar for direct trade, China and Iran bypass dollar, India and Japan bypass dollar, Iran and Russia replace dollar with rial and ruble in trade, India and Iran transact directly in rupees, Brazil bypasses dollar for direct China currency, Australia and China bypass dollar for direct currency trade.