Tag Archives: China

China Has Declared War on Mosquitoes

One of the greatest threats that mankind faces today is mosquitoes. These pesky little bugs have claimed more human lives than any war has, and now China is entering the battlefield.

According to a senior scientist involved in a Chinese Government project, China is developing a super-sensitive radar that can detect a mosquito’s wing-flapping from 1.2 miles away.

Currently, a prototype of the device is being tested at the Beijing Institute Technology (BIT). The scientist, who declined to be named since this project involves technology used in China’s missile defense system, said that “identifying and tracking individual, mosquito-sized targets is no longer science fiction.”

According to the World Health Organization, at least 1 million people die each year from mosquito-related bites. Mosquitos are the hosts to many diseases like Malaria and Zika.

Controlling the pest is a challenge itself, as they can pass by someone almost without a trace unless they are close by and you can hear that familiar buzzing.

It took decades before military radars could pick up the echoes of small objects at an impressive distance. For example, The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based X-band radar can detect a baseball-sized object from over 2 miles away.

Liu Xingyue, a professor at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, has very high expectations for the radar. He says that it will be a “precision-guided weapon in our war against the deadliest creature on Earth.”

While it seems that China has great intentions, we do not know for sure how this technology will be used. We can only hope that this radar will be used for good reasons, not unnecessary ones.

Yes, A Satellite Is Falling But You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much

Don’t start to scream yet; it’s not the end of the world if a big satellite from China is crashing down into an ocean.

Tiangong 1, a defunct satellite from China was projected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday. Now, according to the European Space Agency, which has released new information on the satellite, it is re-entering the atmosphere on Easter Sunday.

The spacecraft poses very little danger to people on the ground since most of the 8.5 ton vehicle is likely going to burn up on re-entry. The question is: What damage can the carcass of the satellite do to the planet?

As of now, the space object is projected to land in the Pacific Ocean which would be the best case situation for everyone. There was a possibility that the spacecraft would land on a strip of land in southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. That possibility prompted the governor of Michigan to activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center to keep an eye on the situation.

Tiangong 1 was launched by the Chinese in 2011 and it was China’s first space station (China has nothing to do with the International Space Station since they were barred by the U.S. legislation). The last crew of Tiangong 1 left in 2013 since the station was merely an experimental project for Tiangong 2, which will be in full service by 2022. Tiangong, which translates to “Heavenly Palace,” lost contact with China in 2016 and since then, the station has been monitored for re-entry.

People here in the U.S. shouldn’t worry about any space objects hitting a person. There is only one documented case of someone getting hit by space debris and that person was not injured. You’re more likely to die in space, be killed by a shark or hit by lighting before even getting hit with a piece of space junk.

So don’t worry, you’ll be fine for now.


Cover: An artist’s illustration of Tiangong 1; photo from theverge.com

Radford Partnering with a Chinese University

Radford University is giving serious consideration to partnering with Shandong Youth University of Political Science for student and faculty exchanges, joint degree programs, and international collaboration. On November 30, President Hemphill met with five representatives from Shandong, including their vice president Linshan Wang. He toured several of the academic buildings on campus and discussed a potential partnership.

A partnership with an international university would be a great thing for Radford University. It would be a wonderful opportunity for students from both universities to travel internationally and participate in new experiences. It would also help ease a lot of the tension and misconceptions that many people have about foreign countries and their people.

hemphill and chinese president
“On November 30, President Hemphill met with five representatives from Shandong, including their vice president Linshan Wang.” Photo from: www.radford.edu

It’s more possible and convenient than it has ever been for people to travel internationally, but people are also very worried and suspicious about other countries. Bringing in international students and having our students travel would help ease some of the tension. This gives the people of Radford University a chance to learn more about people from different places.

In order for Radford University to be more welcoming to foreign students, we must open our doors and welcome them into our lives and programs. Humanity as a whole often negatively judges people and things they don’t know well simply because that is our natural reaction to the unknown. But it is not the appropriate reaction to the unknown. You have to get to know people and learn about them and their way of life. You can’t say one way or the other what sort of person they are or what their culture is like without getting to know them. This partnership is a great way to foster new connections and broaden the horizons of Radford students.

Air pollution takes 5.5 million lives prematurely each year

Contaminated air is responsible for taking more than 5.5 million lives prematurely each year, with more than 50 percent of those deaths occurring in China and India, as indicated by new research presented on Feb 12.

Smog in Santiago. Image from joeskitchen.com
Air pollution causes lung cancer, heart disease and other respiratory diseases. Image from joeskitchen.com

Researchers are giving notice that the premature death toll will increase throughout the next two decades unless we do more to battle the issue.

The research was carried out by scientists from Canada, the United States, India and China who collected approximates of air pollution levels in India and China and evaluated their effect on health.

“Air pollution is the fourth highest risk factor for death globally and by far the leading environmental risk factor for disease,” said Michael Brauer, University of British Columbia professor, on Friday, ”reducing air pollution is an incredibly efficient way to improve the health of a population.”

The research concludes that two of the planet’s most populated countries, India and China, have the most contaminated air on the planet.

Specialists state that minuscule matter radiated into the atmosphere in those countries causes 55 percent of deaths caused by air pollution worldwide.

Dan Greenbaum, president of the non profit organization Health Effects Institute in Boston, that examines the health effects from several sources of air contamination, said that “living in areas with higher pollution can cause people to have increased heart and lung disease, and to die prematurely as a result.”

The greatest origin of air pollution is burning coal, in China, although Greenbaum said that they were beginning to try to solve the general issue. In India, meanwhile, individuals burn wood and biomass fuels, cow dung and several other sources.

Greenbaum expressed that “the levels in China are eight to 10 times higher than the healthy standards set by the World Health Organization”. Unless China embraces more rigorous air pollution standards, restricting coal burning and emissions from power plants and factories, the report approximated that over 1 million individuals would have premature deaths by 2030.

Medical specialists say air pollution causes lung cancer, heart disease, and other respiratory illnesses.

The research’s findings on air pollution were exhibited at the conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.

China: To the moon and back

Asia has been on a space roll this year! First with India successfully joining the few who have reached Mars (and on a shoestring budget, no less), and now with China making it to the moon and back to earth again — a first for the country. In fact, this is he first round-trip to the moon and back that has been made in the last forty years and puts China in an exclusive club which houses both the U.S. and Soviet Union.

Xiaofei, after successfully returning to Earth. Graphic from China.org
Xiaofei, after successfully returning to Earth. Graphic from China.org

Previously, in Dec. 2013, China made worldwide headlines with its successful landing of a lunar probe onto the surface of the moon — another rare fete, only performed before by the U.S. and Soviet Union. At the time of this first historic step in their world advancement, Chinese media celebrated the landing. They hailed it a demonstration of the country’s growing scientific stature and swelled with national pride rather deservedly.

And while comparable, the return of this Chinese expedition, which kicked off Nov. for space news, involved a much smaller craft than the U.S. one, leaving the number people who have left footprints on the moon still that even dozen. China opted to send an unmanned probe named Xiaofei (or “little flyer”) on their historic mission. The little flyer who flew so true is part of a much larger goal for China’s space program. China’s long-term intention is to send another lunar probe to the moon in order to extract samples from the surface in 2017. The purpose, therefore, of Xiaofei was to gather information about the effectiveness of the technology for this upcoming mission.

This further lunar probe is just another step in China’s game plan to first put a permanent lunar orbiter in place and eventually to send a man to walk on the moon. All, of course, are badges of honor for the Chinese government as they take their rightful place alongside other world superpowers in economic and technological advancements. China has expressed that their interstellar exploits only further display their continuing growth and race to the front of the international stage.

Although this return journey is only one of many steps in China’s winning lunar plans, the success is a worthy one for the nation.


Cirque Peking

They came direct from Beijing, and were presented through RU’s College of Visual and Performing Arts! On Oct 15 at 8 p.m. was the most daring and fantastic show to ever be performed on the Bondurant stage!

The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, who have performed all over the world and been awarded for their outstanding routines and innovative new techniques, put on a jaw-dropping performance in Preston Hall for those lucky enough to attend.

The two-hour show featured drums, laughs, and what seemed like terrifying mistakes (though they were well-practiced). It was a heart-pounding experience as the performers came out on unicycles, each one taller than the last. They juggled bowls between their feet and each others heads. A young boy on stilts executed a perfect full-body flip on a Russian bar, and a contortionist showed us just how low — and around and around — she could go.

“The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China, who have performed all over the world and been awarded for their outstanding routines and innovative new techniques, put on a jaw-dropping performance in Preston Hall.”

Dances were performed in amazing, flamboyant costumes. A human pyramid that would make Torrence and her rivals, The Clovers, want to bring it on again and again. The high chairs performance was particularly terrifying as a man stacked and climbed chair after chair with almost no safety wire, at one point performing a single-handed hand-stand on a a narrow, padded stand connected to the top of his chair pile. To close the first half of the show, an impish fox and his fellow clowns ran about and dived head-first through ever higher and smaller hoops.

After a short intermission where the audience could get a breath of fresh air and calm their fluttering hearts (or seek medical attention for those heart attacks), the show kicked-off again with an All-American lasso routine. Then it got a little crazy with the performers jumping, flipping, and spinning through their own and others spinning ropes.

This glorious routine was followed by an adorable lion and clown routine with the fox from earlier and several children. Although a uniquely eastern pole dance would have followed, that act was replaced by the two strong men who got all up in each others junk to exhibit their incredible ability to hold not only their own wait, but another man’s as well — in ungodly positions, no less.

With another dance and an initially erotic and then just weird performance between a strong man and the contortionist woman from earlier the show came to its grande finale. With choreography combining acrobatics, martial arts, contortion, and gymnastics the show ended as strongly as could be imagined.

With men and women standing on each others heads, flips, and feats that seemed beyond human capability, it wasn’t a night to be missed! If you were one of those unfortunate souls, though, look up their schedule and catch them next time they’re nearby!

China: Handset Battleground

Apple has consistently tried to make a dent in the handset market in China. The iPhone 5C was supposed to change the game for the Cupertino-based computer company. It didn’t. Analysts have concluded that maintaining Apple’s current pricing strategy with the 5C is hurting its sales in China. Only one hundred dollars less than the 5S, the 5C is considered a preemptive failure to squash down the Android market share. Continue reading China: Handset Battleground

Hot air, the solar power of the future

Solar power has been hailed by many to be a practical power source of the future. A recent proposal offers a different type of solar power for the future.

Photo from Creative Commons.

This alternative solar power does not make use of solar panels, but instead makes use of one of the most basic building blocks of scientific knowledge, hot air rises. Hot air could be harnessed to create a free and effective form of power. Australian entrepreneur Roger Davey wants to make use of this.

He plans to develop and build a solar thermal power generator. This would not be the first such generator created. There have been other examples of similar projects throughout the world. A solar thermal generator ran in Spain toppled in 1989 after running successfully for seven years. A similar structure has also been erected in China, and is responsible for creating 200 kw a day according to the state news agency.

A very basic explanation on how this would work is that a large tower known as an updraft tower would funnel hot air up through a number of turbines. The higher the tower, the faster the updraft and the more energy it ultimately produces. The hot air is formed in a structure at the base of the tower designed to channel and absorb the sun’s energy, and in theory, heating the air to 194 degrees F.

This type of solar power has a massive advantage over solar panels in that it does not require the sun to work. On sunny days, the same structure responsible for heating the air would also bake the ground, leaving enough residual heat to work overnight or on cloudy days, though below its peak output.

This type of power generation is one of the few aqua-friendly means of power generation. Generators such as coal and nuclear power use water. Nuclear power plants use water to keep the fuel rods cool, and coal fired-plants use water to produce steam. Even solar panel power plants use a great deal of water. The panels need to be cleaned on a regular basis to ensure the panels continue to work at optimal performance.

Solar thermal energy is not a new concept but has not been very focused on due to its price. Such power plants are several times more costly than traditional power plants or solar panel plants. However, money may be the least of our concern as we continue to run out of time using what limited oil resources we have left.

The American dream and whatnot

Creative Commons

Last spring I sat in my American literature class and my teacher asked us something I had never considered. Is the American dream still alive? Not a bad question considering the state of our economy. I’m going to have to say the American dream got run over by a Hummer.

In this time of instant gratification and general laziness, I believe the only people who have the dream anymore are the immigrants. That’s who the dream was for in the first place.

People who are from the US have the unattainable dream. As if someday they will quit their tiresome job as a drive-through window worker and write a best-selling novel. Maybe they think they’ll hit it big and win the lottery. It doesn’t matter what the case is; I don’t know too many natural-born citizens who are willing to get dirty to make a life for themselves.

The funny part is that our education isn’t the best in the world, and yet our people have these strange ideas that everything will work out in their favor in the end. It’s not the American dream anymore; it’s the dream 2.0. Everything in this culture should be bigger and better than it used to be, so why should we have to work as hard as our ancestors if everything is better? I guess the answer is because nothing’s better.

There is no such thing as being a powerful country forever. The U.S. is just as doomed as any other country that has such a big headed, self-serving attitude. I don’t even feel like we ever managed to accomplish the mixing pot they taught us to be so proud of in elementary school. Sorry School House Rock, but I don’t believe that a country that merely tolerates its own citizens really qualifies as a great mixing pot.

That’s not to say I think we need to have more patriotism in this country. Forget that. Patriotism only blinds people to the imperfections that make you a terrible person if you aren’t as patriotic as everyone else. Yes, I went there. We use patriotism as a weapon against people who are different. Where’s your mixing pot now?

My solution to these problems is to have less of that useless self-esteem this country has. We should be seeing problems and changing our behavior because of it, not blaming our government because everything went wrong. In the end it’s our own stupidity that put us where we are.

Stupidity is definitely based in our education system, as well as the values that we take from our home. The different cultures that used to make up this country held education to a high standard. Sadly not everyone could be educated, but at least those who were did it right. Now that everyone has access to education, they take it for granted and expect to be considered intelligent just because they have a degree in bullshitting. Don’t lie to yourself; plenty of us have gotten through certain classes on our ability to bullshit alone.

Basically, the American dream will never be for Americans. There are too many factors that keep us from working that hard or developing the skills to be more intelligent than anyone else. Maybe a day will come when we’ve dug ourselves into the hole that reaches to China, and we’ll develop a new dream.

Big Trouble in Little China; big lame in big cinema

The movie “Big Trouble in Little China was clearly made for one specific reason: the makers wanted to have a film filled with lots of corny Chinese action. The action scenes in this movie are so obviously fake that even a preschooler would be able to tell the difference. However, the movie does have its laughs at certain points. But while it had a very interesting storyline behind it, the plot was not very well developed. The movie stars a truck driver named Jack Burton who takes his best friend to the airport to meet his fiance. His best friend is a young Chinese man who is eager to see the woman that he loves because he hasn’t been able to see her in a long time.

Things turn sour really quickly. When they arrive at the airport to meet her, she’s kidnapped by three mysterious suspects who tie her up, throw her in their car and take off with her. If I were her, I’d be thinking something like “Jesus Christ, I’m never going to that airport again!” So Jack and his friend set off on an adventure to save her and make a few new friends along the way. The two of them get involved in something thats much bigger than their rescue adventure and must fight numerous enemies along the way.

The action scenes in this movie, as mentioned earlier, are obviously fake. The sorcerers that Jack and his friends must battle are clearly being lifted by cables in the scenes where they fly. Also, in some of the fighting scenes, when the fighters are jumping around like in The Matrix and sword fighting midair, the effects behind it could have been much better. This movie was either extremely low budget or the makers of the movie were just extremely lazy. There were also monsters in this movie that were kind of scary but not very convincing.

As you get more and more into this movie, it becomes obvious that it’s nothing but a movie with Jacki Chan-style action. If the writers had taken a little more time with the story and made a better effort with the special effects, this would have been a pretty cool movie. Even though this is a movie that came out in the 80s, the special effects still could have been much better. A lot of cool sci-fi series were out at that time, like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation and Terminator.”

This movie is a pretty good comedy. It has some pretty clever jokes here and there, and seeing how corny the special effects are, it can easily make you laugh. The ending to this movie was sort of creepy, when the monster was hiding on Jack’s truck. This ending was clearly designed to leave the audience with a little bit of fear. The movie had the potential to be great. While it was still ok, the makers should have made a better effort with it.

This is another featured story from Life Manager, Peter Mason, reviewing (or demolishing), older films. Enjoy; along with this video from the film.

Photos from of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Video from of YouTube.com