Tag Archives: China

CHRISTMAS/NEW YEARS QUIZ ~ HAVE FUN WITH THIS!

 CHRISTMAS QUIZ  

  CHRISTMAS BLOG ANIMATED4~ SCROLL DOWN FOR ANSWERS ~

1)  Who invented electric Christmas lights?
Thomas Edison
Gottlieb Daimler
James Naismith 

2)  How many people in the world know the carol “Silent Night”?
10 million
1 billion
3 billion

3)  What is the ninth candle in the Hanukkah Menorah for?
It lights the other candles
It’s blown out first
It’s a candle for children

4)  Who flies through the air and fills children’s stockings with candy and presents?
Santa Claus
La Befana

5)  British people wear paper crowns at Christmas events because of
The Three Kings
Queen Elizabeth
Christmas crackers

6)  What does “Auld Lang Syne” mean?
Old friends
Long, long ago
Good memories

7)  Why do Southerners eat black-eyed peas and greens on New Years’ Day?
To honor farmer forefathers
To cure a hangover

8)  Who first used live people in a Nativity scene?
St. Francis of Assisi
Queen Victoria
Pope Pius XII

9)  How much does the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square weigh?
5,619 pounds
11,875 pounds
21,200 pounds

10)  Candied lotus seeds are a popular Chinese New Year’s treat and are said to bring:
Good luck
Better finances
Boy children

11)  Pointsettias get their name from?
Their lovely, pointed leaves
The Spanish word for flower
A U.S. minister to Mexico

12)  What sports activity is celebrated on Christmas Day in Ireland?
Cross country skiing
Skating
Swimming

13)  What do children leave outside the door in Germany on Nikolaustag on December 6th?
toque
mitten
boot

14)  In areas of France what burns in homes from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day?
incense
simmering fruit
a log

15)  What do Norwegian families hide on Christmas Eve?
boots
knives
brooms

CHRISTMAS BLOG ANIMATED4      ~ Here are your answers ~ 

CHRISTMAS STRING LIGHTS1)  Thomas Edison – he not only invented the electric light bulb, He also created the first strand of electric lights. He hung them outside his New Jersey lab during Christmas season in 1880. Lights for Christmas trees weren’t sold to the public until 1917.

SILENT NIGHT2)  3 billion – Of the roughly 7 billion people on Earth about 3 billion are familiar with “Silent Night.” The carol was first heard on Christmas Eve 1818, in Oberndorf, Austria, and was written by Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber. It has been translated into more than 300 languages

HANNUKKAH MANORAH3)  It lights the other candles – The ninth candle is the “shamash,” which is used to light the other candles. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday marking the defeat of an army that had invaded Israel. After the victory, the Jews celebrated at the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. They found enough oil to light the lamp for only one day. But the oil lasted eight days and nights, and it’s celebrated as a miracle.

SANTA CLAUS4)  Both – American children know Santa, but Italian children wait for La Befana, the good witch who rides a broomstick the night ofLA BEFANA January 5th. The children wake up on January 6th – the Feast of the Epiphany – to find toys, candy, and fruit that she left. Some families in Hispanic communities in the U.S. practice traditions brought from Latin  American countries. Children place hay and water under their beds the night of January 5, for the camels of the Three Kings, and wake up to find presents.

CRACKERS5)  Christmas crackers (pretty paper tubes that you pull apart) – are a British tradition. The tubes pop open with a bang when pulled. Inside, there’s a small gift like a mirror and a joke written on a piece of paper. There’s also a paper crown, a nod to the Lord of Misrule, an old custom that put a peasant in charge of village Christmas events. Brits wear the crown and read the joke out loud.

AULD LANG SYNE6)  long, long ago – This well-known New Year’s Eve tune is from a poem by Robert Burns, based on a Scottish folk song. “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne.” It’s a tribute to days gone by.  The words are in the Scots language, which today is spoken in the Lowlands and Northern Isles of Scotland.

PEAS AND GREENS7)  To bring wealth in the New Year – The black-eyed peas stand for coins. The greens or collards stand for paper money. Eating these dishes is supposed to bring good luck and wealth in the coming year.  Cultures around the world celebrate the New Year with foods meant to bring prosperity: fish in China, lentils in Italy, and gold-colored food in Peru. (The tint often comes from the spice turmeric.)

NATIVITY SCENE8)  St. Francis of Assisi – widely known today for his love of animals — created the first live nativity scene, in 1223 in the Italian village of Greccio. He recreated the scene of Christ’s birth with people playing Mary and Joseph and animals from the village as the creatures in the stable.

N Y EVE BALL9)  11,875 – It’s also covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles. Americans began dropping a giant ball at New Year’s Eve in 1907. The first was a 700-pound iron-and-wood beauty lowered from a flagpole atop One Times Square.

LOTUS10)  Boy children – In China, lotus seeds symbolize male children. Eating the sweetened seeds is supposed to bring boy babies into your family.

POINTSETTIAS11)  U.S. minister to Mexico – The poinsettia is native to Mexico, where it’s used to decorate churches at Christmas. It gets its name from American diplomat Joel Poinsett, who introduced the flower to the U.S. in the 1800s. The red and white parts of the poinsettia — which some people think are petals — are actually colored leaves called bracts.

IRISH12)  Swimming!  There are some intrepid people who get out in the open air and away from all the excess on Christmas morning, though it can be fairly miserable out there at that time of year.  One long standing tradition in Sandycove, a suburb of South Dublin is the Christmas Day Swim – in the sea. Yes, in Ireland, in December, they swim in the freezing Irish sea – and let me tell you it is MUCH colder even that it looks in the picture! Crazy, but they say it’s fun!

BOOT13)  On December 6 is Nikolaustag, St. Claus day. A shoe or boot is left outside the door on Dec.5 with hopes the following morning you find presents, if you were good – or, unfortunately a rod if you had been bad.

BURNING LOG14)  In southern France, it is a tradition among some families to burn a log in their homes from Christmas Eve until New Year’s Day. In olden days, farmers would use a part of this log to make the wedge for the plough as good luck for the next harvest. In Lyon, December 8th is annually celebrated as the Festival of Lights or ‘fete des lumieres’ in honour of Mother Mary for all the blessings through the year. Other important French traditions include the Nativity Scene, the midnight feast called ‘le reveillon’ and Pere Noel.

BROOMS15)  Norwegian legend has it that when Christmas Eve arrives it brings with it a series of evil spirits and witches.  The evil spirits and witches could not just walk from place to place but needed a form of transportation to fly around and they often used brooms for this.  It is Christmas tradition for Norwegian families to hide all brooms, mops and brushes on Christmas Eve so that these trouble makers can not use them.

christmas_animated_gifs_05

link ~  http://www.webmd.com/balance/rm-quiz-holiday-traditions?ecd=wnl_wmh_122513&ctr=wnl-wmh-122513_ld-stry&mb=rHKmwhyk2PvM%40wJ88MZOheHnVev1imbCTxvaq5IOIhg%3d

     

 

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NATO PETITION ~ ARCTIC COUNCIL ~ WORTHWHILE!!

I’ve copied information I received from care2.com, regarding the petition I signed.  In my collage I’ve included a map of Greenland and Canada to point out the close proximity of the two countries and I find it rather alarming now that China’s interest in the area has been confirmed.

The Arctic Council is supposed to protect this incredible part of the earth from exploitation and destruction. But with climate change melting Greenland‘s waters, China is aggressively looking for a profit from mining and new shipping routes. Yet, it also wants to be an observer on the Council. Talk about conflict of interest!

I signed a petition voicing my concerns to NATO and Arctic Council officials and urged them to make sure they keep protecting the Arctic‘s natural resources.

I know you care about the health of our planet too, so I thought you’d want to join me and sign.

Here’s the link:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/869/770/954/dont-pave-the-arctic/

Greenland’s once frozen waters are now nearly ice-free. China’s not worried about the effect of global warming on the environment, though. They’re more concerned about getting first dibs on profiting from the area’s decline. 

China’s vying to become a permanent observer for the Arctic Council, a position that would allow them a say in decisions involving minerals and shipping
So far, they’ve been incredibly aggressive in the move to gain unclaimed Arctic regions. China has shown they’re uniquely qualified to access gas and oil sources in tricky locations in the northern Arctic. Since China also has an interest in exploring potential commercial shipping short-cuts through the area, they sent a ship to scout out possible routes.
Allowing countries to use the Arctic for shipping routes and mining will only expose Greenland waters to worse environmental distress.
Urge NATO and the Arctic Council to protect the Arctic and its natural resources!
 
If you did sign the petition thank you so very much.
 
 

CHINESE “SNOW DRAGON” ICEBREAKER FIRST

Chinese icebreaker sails to Atlantic Ocean and back via Arctic route, marking first for China

 

In this photo, provided by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, is harbored in Shanghai, after an 85-day scientific quest across the Arctic ocean, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012. The Chinese icebreaker has docked at Shanghai after becoming the first Chinese vessel to cross the Arctic Ocean. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Pei Xin)  

BEIJING, China – A Chinese icebreaker docked Thursday at Shanghai after becoming the first vessel from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, a landmark trip that is part of Beijing’s efforts to expand its presence in the Arctic.  With melting icecaps accelerating the opening of new shipping routes and the exploration of oil, gas and mineral deposits in the Arctic, China has been eager to gain a foothold in the region.   The icebreaker Snow Dragon returned to Shanghai after wrapping up a three-month mission that took it from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic via the Arctic, the Shanghai-based Polar Research Institute of China said in a statement. The vessel’s 119 crew members completed an oceanic survey in waters around Iceland with their Icelandic counterparts.  Though it has no territorial claims in the Arctic, China has been lobbying for permanent observer status on the eight-member Arctic Council in a bid to gain influence.  During summer months when they are passable, Arctic shipping routes between China and Europe are 40 per cent faster than travelling through the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.  The institute’s statement said Snow Dragon gained “first-hand information about navigation in Arctic sea lanes as well as the oceanic environment, and carried out useful exploration and practice for our nation’s ships that use Arctic passages in the future.”

The following excerpts are taken from ShanghaiDaily.com, ‘Bai steers a steady course to an Arctic first’, by Evan Liang, 9.27.12

A LOCAL university teacher has become the country’s first woman to have sailed across the Arctic Ocean.  Bai Xiang’en, 28, was one of four people at the helm of China’s only icebreaker Xue Long, or Snow Dragon, on an expedition from July to September… be part of the 90-day science exploration… “The journey has greatly improved my navigation skills,” she said… Bai was the only woman among four people selected due to her extensive knowledge and experience of sea travel… while teaching at the university’s Merchant Marine College… Bai said sailing in the East Siberian Sea presented an enormous challenge, with its floating pack ice and icebergs. She had to exercise extreme caution at all times to avoid hitting icebergs or getting trapped between sheets of ice.

Link ~  http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Chinese+icebreaker+sails+Atlantic+Ocean+back+Artic+route+marking/7305937/story.html#ixzz28Ab4d5rV

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/09/28/chinas-snow-dragon-icebreaker-makes-85-day-voyage-to-become-countrys-first-vessel-to-cross-arctic-ocean/

WATER POLLUTION THREAT TO CHINA’S POPULATION

Metro Basin Blues

Water pollution poses a real threat to china’s northern, urban population. Could constructed wetlands help? 

The following excerpts are taken from Water Canada Magazine, September/October publication.

Around the globe, there is concern about the effects of china’s rapid economic development on the air, land, water, and energy resources, as well as the ways that the country’s complex and sometimes less-than-efficient bureaucratic system may impact environmental policy implementation. the most serious of these challenges have been linked to the country’s declining water supply, which not only suffers from considerable pollutants, but also is insufficient for the country’s massive population and rapidly growing economy.  Water pollution is rampant nationwide, while water scarcity has worsened severely in north china. the problem is not only environmental— insufficient water is already limiting industrial and agricultural output in some areas. If solutions are not found and implemented, scarcity threatens to negatively impact china’s high economic growth rate and food production.

Treating China’s wastewater: Centralized wastewater treatment systems are the prevailing solution for water pollution control in many industrialized countries. to a large degree, this approach solves the problems of sanitation very efficiently. However, at the end of 2002, the official rate of municipal wastewater treatment in china was approximately 36.5 per cent, which is far from adequate given China’s serious water pollution.  Constructed wetlands (CWs) for wastewater treatment have great potential for application in china. the biogeochemical cycles of wetland plants can help transform and mineralized organic matter found in wastewater.  over the last 100 years, we’ve learned how these processes work, and recognized that many could be replicated with CWs. they’re now viewed as a viable treatment option for many different waste streams, including municipal, mining, dairy and wine-making. they’re also an attractive and stable alternative due to cost and energy savings. additionally, there are the advantages of multi-purpose reuse of the resulting high quality effluent, as well as self-remediation and self-adaptation to the surrounding conditions and environment.

Case study: Tianjin Airport Economic development Zone:  Two mega cities of china, Beijing and Tianjin, as well as the Hubei Provinces are within the region of the HaiHe river basin. the HaiHe river basin contains 10 per cent of the entire population of china, which is about 118 million people, as well as being the main source for providing fresh water to Beijing and Tianjin (Domagalski et al., 2001). this basin is facing a decrease in water levels during low precipitation leading to drought and water shortage during the dry season. It also faces serious contamination problem—the annual amount of wastewater discharged into the rivers is about four billion megagrams, and is also a major contributor to pollutant loadings in the nearby Bohai sea (Domagalski et al., 2001).

Located southeast of Beijing, Tianjin is the sixth-largest city in China (greater metropolitan population of 13,000,000). considered the economic hub of Tianjin, the Binhai new area is a new zone designated to host a number of key industrial zones, waterfront development areas, and commercial and residential properties, for nearly two million people. the region is a representation of china’s objective to modernize its coastal cities while promoting economic development.

Due to the severe impacts of urban development on water quality in Binhai new area, Tianjin, and the HaiHe river basin, the proposed solution is the implementation of two CWs at TaedZ. In collaboration with Tianjin University (TJU), Lindsay, Ontario’s Centre For Alternative Wastewater treatment at Fleming college (CAWT), Queen’s University in Kingston, and aqua treatment technologies, this location has been selected as a demonstration site for wetlands technology in a rapidly developing urban area, to address the issues of surface water degradation… China’s diverse climate and sources of wastewater allow for unique research conditions and a variety of parameters to be addressed simultaneously that would not be possible in another location.  In addition, China’s economic growth conditions add to the innovative nature of the project, and allow for new developments while taking into consideration social issues. after extensive applications in similar geographic and climatic regions in Canada such as the prairie region and southwestern Ontario, the technology may eventually benefit Canadian communities as well. 

Annie Chouinard is a graduate student in the department of civil engineering at Queen’s University.  She is conducting research in China at TJU.

INCREDIBLE LAKES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Wouldn’t it be an awesome experience to be fortunate enough to relax by any one of these lakes surrounded by the magnificence of nature?  The natural beauty of these lakes is unsurpassed ~ an artist’s dream come true! 

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me!

I’ve created a video for you that I uploaded to YouTube ~ sit back, relax and enjoy ~ turn up your speakers!!!

 

 Five of my favorites are:

 PLITVICE LAKE

The stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park lies in the Lika region of Croatia. The park is surrounded by the mountains Plješevica, Mala Kapela, and Medveđak, which are part of the Dinaric Alps. The 16 blue-green Plitvice Lakes, which are separated by natural dams of travertine, are situated on the Plitvice plateau. Waterfalls connect the lakes, and the tallest waterfall is Veliki Slap at 70 meters (230 feet) tall.

FIVE-FLOWER LAKE

The pristine water of Wuhua Hai, or Five-Flower Lake, is the pride of Jiuzhaigon National Park in China. This lake contains such auspicious colors of nature, such flourishing flowers and trees of various kinds that it gives a multi-colored exquisite grandeur. This is why the lake is also called the ‘five-flower lake’. The lake displays all sorts of colors but the main to be sighted are blue, dark green, pinkish red, even goose feather yellow and light yellow, etc. This lake is actually one of the dozen natural lakes. It is quite shallow, and its bottom, which is as clearly visible as through clear glass, is littered with fallen tree trunks. The water of this lake never freezes and never dries up.

LAKE BLED

Lake Bled is located in Slovenia in the region of  Upper Carniola. It takes it’s name after the Bled castle. The lake finds it’s beauty in the reflection of the marvelously beautiful castle standing magnificently on a rock overlooking the lake. It is a well known tourist attraction because of it’s mystic and royal appearance and cultural rooting of the castle.  The island on the lake has 99 steps and a beautiful and touching tradition is that groom carries his bride up these steps on their wedding day.

YUCATAN CAVE LAKE

Yucatan Cave Lake is yet another masterpiece of nature. The lake is considered forbidden though, but the lake itself is so beautiful, one can hardly resist the sight. It is found in Mexico, in the basement of Tiger Che in Yucatan peninsula. The lake consists of various caves in and around it, and they are the real amazing and delightful sight. One can hear deep and beautiful musical instrumental sounds, more like the sounds of bells, if any flat place there is struck hard with a fist.

LAKE TAHOE

At a surface elevation of 6,225 ft (1,897 m), Lake Tahoe is located along the border between California and Nevada, west of Carson City. Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. Lake Tahoe is a major tourist attraction in both Nevada and California.

~ AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST ~

Naturally I’d be remiss if I neglected to include one of our own beautiful Canadian lakes ~ Moraine Lake ~ located in Banff National Park, Alberta

Moraine Lake is a glacially fed lake in Banff National Park, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) outside the Village of Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. It is situated in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of approximately 6,183 feet (1,885 m). The lake has a surface area of .5 square kilometres (0.19 sq mi).  The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinct shade of blue. The color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis.

Link ~

http://www.theworldgeography.com/2012/03/12-of-most-beautiful-lakes-in-world.html

HOVER CAR ~ CHINA ~ NO WAY! ~ YES, WAY! ~ AWESOME!

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY THE ULTIMATE in the ‘MOST AMAZING THING YOU’VE EVER SEEN’ CATEGORY!!!

Volkswagen gathers ideas from the people of China to help innovate future cars. We took one girl’s idea for a hover car and made it into reality ~ uploaded May 7, 2012 by

Click link below and choose the FIRST OPTION on this web site for a short video with background info of the life of a young Chinese girl, Wang Jia, living in Chengdu, China and her dream come true.
http://www.zaoche.cn

THIS IS ONE VIDEO,Volkswagen’s The People’s Car Project: Hover Car, Part 2″  YOU WILL DEFINITELY WANT TO SEE “FULL SCREEN”

Volkswagen takes ideas from the people of China to innovate future cars. We secretly took one girl’s idea for a hover car and made it into reality. Watch how Volkswagen – with the help of her friends and family – reveals the surprise to Wang Jia in the following YouTube video ~ “Volkswagen’s The People’s Car Project: Hover Car, Part 2”

I don’t know how any of our viewers feel about this car, but I KNOW that I DEFINITELY WANT ONE!!! 

Ottawa had better have the prerequisite underground minerals to enable me to ‘fly’ around this wonderful city of ours ~ no more traffic gridlocks ~ YAHOO!!!

Let us know what you think.

HARBIN, CHINA 2012 ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL

BEST SLIDES I COULD FIND ON THE INTERNET:
Last year’s Harbin Ice and Snow Festival image set was very popular, so who are we to deny your fix for 2012. Some amazing sculptures and buildings have been carved out of the ice and snow in Harbin, China once again.

Enjoy, from your friends at Rainsoft, Ottawa
http://totallycoolpix.com/2012/01/harbin-international-ice-festival-2012/