Category Archives: China

A Chinese in Vienna

During some meeting of some committee of some sub-organization at the United Nations in Vienna, I got to know a young lady from China. Qian was doing an internship as a simultaneous interpreter for Mandarin and English. Simultaneous interpreters are … Continue reading

Posted in Austria, China, Language, Statistics, Travel | Tagged | 9 Comments

Random Thoughts (14)

If I am ever on a quiz show, my telephone joker will be the dude who wrote Wikipedia. Suki Kim has done impressive undercover reporting in North Korea, fooling both her employer, by pretending that she was a devout Christian, and of course the … Continue reading

Posted in Bolivia, Books, China, Colombia, Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Language, Life, Mexico, North Korea, Religion, Saudi Arabia, Technology, Travel, UK | Tagged , , , , | 19 Comments

How far can you get by train?

Zur deutschen Fassung dieses Artikels. One of my readers wrote that he had been wondering how far he could get if he took his local commuter train and continued traveling with no other means of transport than the railway. As a train enthusiast, … Continue reading

Posted in Belarus, China, Europe, Germany, Italy, Maps, Montenegro, North Korea, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Sicily, Syria, Technology, Travel, UK | Tagged , , | 25 Comments

Smoking against Mosquitoes

Whenever I walk through a mosquito- or fly-infested forest or swamp, I light up a cigar. A strong one preferably. It keeps these rowdy little animals at bay. Now I am happy to have discovered that this is no excuse … Continue reading

Posted in Books, China, Death, Health, History | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Revolutions of 1989

1989, those were the times! With each broadcast of the evening news, the world changed so quickly that most people already lost track back then. Now, 25 years later, only a vague recollection of falling walls, fired shots and popping champagne … Continue reading

Posted in China, Cold War, Estonia, Europe, Germany, History, Human Rights, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Politics, Romania | 8 Comments

Nobel Peace Prize 2014 for Liu Xiaobo

My suggestion for the Nobel Peace Prize 2014: Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese writer and human rights activist. Yes, I know that Liu Xiaobo already won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010 and it would be the first time that one person … Continue reading

Posted in China, History, Human Rights, Politics | Tagged , | 14 Comments

“1493” by Charles C. Mann

1493 refers to the year after Christopher Columbus “discovered” America and as the second part of the title suggests, the book describes how Europe’s discovery of the Americas revolutionized trade, ecology and life on earth. That sounds like an enormous … Continue reading

Posted in Books, China, Economics, Environment, Europe, Health, History, Maps, Military, Politics, Technology, Travel, UK, USA | Tagged | 7 Comments

When to Smoke (and when not to)

Around 1774, the former Chinese provincial governor Lu Yao provided a set of smoking rules in his book Yan Pu (Smoking Manual). In great detail he addressed the question of when to smoke (and when not to): Do smoke: after … Continue reading

Posted in Books, China, Health, History | Tagged | Leave a comment

Exclusive: Chinese moon landing is fake

The media are full with stories on a Chinese rover landing and driving around on the moon. In an exclusive scoop I have however uncovered that this whole story is a hoax and a swindle. Last night, when the moon … Continue reading

Posted in China, Photography, Technology | Tagged , | 28 Comments

Nobel Peace Prize 2013 – four perspectives

10 December 2013, Oslo, Norway: The hitherto largely unknown Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) receives the Nobel Peace Prize, is happy about the free publicity, the effects of which surpass those of all its previous image campaigns, … Continue reading

Posted in China, Human Rights, Politics, Syria | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments