Beijing 798 arts district

Blog 16

4-15-18

798 is a cool area I visited recently while in Beijing. You can read about my other adventures here.

798 used to be a military factory, one of the biggest in China. The buildings there were designed by a German designer and have a cool industrial look to them. The top of each building section is curved with big windows which lets the light in. The whole place is now divided up into many studios, cafes, and shops.

Beijing 798

Beijing 798

I shared in a previous post about the Hyundai gallery. They also have a neat air filter display which was titled “Cleanest air in Beijing.” It consists of a large glass walled air filter system with five filtration stages. It also included a long video screen showing different colored dots representing sensor data on measured pollutants flowing into the air filter system from outdoors. Cool!

Beijing 798 cleanest air exhibitMultistage air filterParticle counter display

We also saw the beautiful sculptures of cast metal shown below.

798 arts district

Crafts people are also selling various goods, including these neat sounding and colorful steel drums.

Steel drums

All in all, a bit commercial, but worth a visit I think.

北京798艺术区。

北京798艺术区是一个很酷的地方。你可以在我的博客上了解更多。

798以前是中国的最大的军工厂之一。那里的建筑由德国设计师设计的。建筑的工业外观看起来很酷。每一个建筑的顶部都是弧形的,有很大天窗可以让光线进来。整个地方现在分成许多画廊,咖啡馆和商店。

我以前分享了关于Hyundai画廊无人驾驶汽车的照片。那里也有一个有意思的艺术装置叫“北京最干净的空气“。它由一个有五个过滤阶段的大型玻璃幕墙空气过滤器系统组成。它还包括一个长视频屏幕,显示不同颜色的点,这些点代表测量污染物的传感器数据,从室外进入空气过滤器系统。很棒!

空气过滤器很多点

以下的照片是我在画廊外面看到很漂亮的金属雕塑。艺术家和手工艺人卖很多产品,例如一些声音清脆的彩色钢鼓。总而言之,有点商业化,但我认为值得一看。

钢鼓

Blue skies in Beijing and the power of deciding.

Blog 15

4-11-18.

One of the most interesting things about my recent trip to Beijing was the sky – totally blue skies! Unbelievable! In the past, every trip to Beijing meant me getting sick from the pollution. Why are the skies blue now?

Back in November the Chinese government banned coal burning for all areas around Beijing. Just like that, the terrible pollution problems of Beijing are solved. This is one of the most amazing things about the Chinese government. When they make a decision to change something, it changes immediately. It is unbelievable. I don’t think any other large country in the world can make changes like this.

Another good example: I remember about 10 years ago, both China and USA both said they were going to invest in high speed rail. USA debated and talked about how and where to build rail, whereas China got to work building. China now has 25,000 km (16,000 mi) of high speed rail connecting the entire country built over 10 years. How much does the US have? In the US we have zero.

That’s the characteristics of a decisive government. It can be a good thing or a bad thing but you are guaranteed things will happen.

一件很有意思的事情是北京的天最近都是蓝色的。真不可思议!以前每一次去北京那里的污染让我生病。为什么现在天都是蓝色的?

去年十一月中国政府觉得北京污染太多。因此政府开始禁止燃煤。很快北京的污染问题大部分解决了。我觉得这是中国政府最有意思的特点。如果中国政府要变化一个事情,可能马上改变。真不可思议!我觉得在世界上可能没有其他的国家能这么快做这么大的变化。

还有一个好例子,十年以前中国和美国都说了我们要做高铁。在美国我们一直在说这件事而没有做,然而,中国决定开始做高铁。现在中国有25000公里的高铁。中国所有的城市都有高铁。美国有多少高铁呢?美国现在有0公里高铁。

这是决定性的政府的特点。我觉得可能有好的地方可能有坏的地方,但是不管怎么样保证活动做完了。

Stone lions at Forbidden City

Blog 14

4-7-18

I was revisiting all the big sights on my recent trip to Beijing, including the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City has lots of dragons, but I like the guardian lions as shown in the picture above best. There are usually a pair of them guarding various palace entrances. And once you see them, you will begin to notice them all over Beijing, bronze lions and stone lions. One has a ball under its paw and the other looks like it is crushing a baby lion. Looks pretty scary. What are they? What do they mean?

The first lion is a male, and has his paw resting on top of a ball or sphere.  That is supposed to represent the yang male force and the paw on the ball represents dominance of the world. The second lion is a female and has her paw resting upon or restraining a child lion cub. This is supposed to represent nurture and the female yin force.

There is a famous Chinese tongue twister about stone lions

四 是 四 , 十 是 十 , 十 四 是 十 四 , 四 十 是 四 十 , 四 十 四 只 石 狮 子 是 死 的。

Pronunciation: sì shì sì, shí shì shí, shí sì shì shí sì, sì shí shì sì shí, sì shí sì zhī shí shī zì shì sǐ de.

Translation: 4 is 4, 10 is 10, 14 is 14, 40 is 40, 44 stone lions are dead.

Can you see why it’s difficult for foreigners to learn Chinese?

我最近在北京出差去看了看紫禁城。虽然紫禁城有很多龙,但是我最喜欢里面的狮子。常常有两个石狮子坐在宫廷门口外。看了这些狮子以后,我发现可以在全北京找到很多和紫禁城一样的狮子。北京有青铜狮子和石狮子。在紫禁城里面狮子总是一对一对的。第一个狮子有一个球在爪子下面。第二个狮子有一个小狮子宝宝在爪子下面。看起来很可怕。为什么要这样呢?有什么其他的意思吗?

第一个是雄狮子,他的爪子在球上代表控制世界。第二个是母狮子,她的爪子放在小狮子上代表照顾孩子。

中文有一个关于石狮子有名的绕口令:四是四,十是十,十四是十四,四十是四十,四十四石狮子是死的。

你现在可以明白为什么学中文给外国人带来很多困难了吗?