Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Monday, December 28, 2015

While in Shanghai

My new favourite place to live, once I work out a way to afford it . . .

Waterfront and the Bund at night.

Night time bird magnets.

A look at the "bottle opener" by night.

Part of the French Quarter at night. 

Yes, I did actually go out during the day . . . sometimes.

The tunnel under the river - a modern example of psychetecture.

I am relieved to discover that the comic in the above link actually existed in the 1980s, and isn't a false memory.

 I eat Chinese food most of the time, but the alternative selections in Zhengzhou are limited and many times difficult to reach. Shanghai was loaded with alternatives.

Shanghai isn't all modern. A lot of the old city can be seen from the elevated train lines, and in a few popular tourist spots, including the Shanyin Road Cultural area, which is now an antique market. It was the home of several Communist leaders in the 1920s.

If you happen to be on the marriage market, perhaps you can find your match in the People's Park. It is normally of considerable size, but the number of ads swelled considerably during the holiday in October. The ads are rather specific in terms of the desired characteristics of potential mates, and there were a few looking specifically for foreigners.

We visited the Jewish refugee museum. In the late 1930s, Shanghai permitted some 30,000 Jewish refugees from Europe. Most of them left during the chaos of the civil war, after WW2 ended.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On the cost of living in China

Merry Christmas all.

It's the damndest thing. I went to Shanghai a couple of months ago for a short visit, and just never got back into the swing of posting.

I'm not sure what this represents. An igloo with a lamb inside? With Christmas presents?

Today, I thought I would cover some details about the cost of living in China. I took the above picture of the lamb today just outside a local shopping mall, where I often buy groceries.

Here's today's haul.

Some pumpkin, broccoli, bananas, three oranges, three apples, and a Peking duck kit. Total cost is between $5 and $6 (all prices US). The biggest price hit was for the Peking duck, but you have to splurge once in awhile.

It is cheap to cook your own, but on the other hand, you can go out and buy a bowl of dumplings in soup for about a buck. Most times when I go out to eat, I'll pay about $3. If you need an emergency snack, you can buy five fried quail eggs on a stick in a sweet chili sauce for 30 cents. for a real treat, they have this type of candied fruit which is similar to an apple, which you can get candied and stuffed with walnuts for about 65 cents. I was racking my brains trying to think of something I could buy in Canada in this price range, but unless there are still candy machines that take quarters, you are probably SOL. 

Good local meals cost between $5 and $10, and of course you can buy a good western type of meal for roughly the same price as at home.

I currently make about $3000 per month, which is after taxes, and my apartment is taken care of, meaning my primary expenses are food and alcohol (actually, just alcohol). Last year I paid $2/month for my cellphone plan, but it was a rudimentary cellphone. This year I moved up to a smart phone, and am scandalized that I have to pay about $20 every couple of months. Admittedly, I don't use a lot of bandwidth, as I only use WeChat to communicate with people at work.

Short taxi rides cost about $1.50, and the bus costs about 12 cents. I think there is a way to obtain transfers, but if I ever need to switch to another bus, I have just been paying the extra 12 cents.