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October, 2015:

A most dope badass, indeed.

Thanks to DF for the contribution. 

Do you push through your telephone banking?


Hope you’re hungry.

The German consulate’s national day party featured a 32-meter long sandwich. It was delicious.  

No nearing!


Japanese drumming

The Japanese consulate hosted a troop of traditional drummers to perform in Shenyang today. I was one of the few people from the consulate who were able to attend.

The performance was very interesting. Part of it was performing drum pieces, part of it was demonstration, part of it was education. The performance was very lively and interactive.

There may or may not have been the part where they called for volunteers to try it out, and I may or may not have been one of the volunteers, and there may or may not be video of me making a fool of myself on stage beating the drums like an idiot.

All in the interest of good foreign relations.

You have two options:

Either turn on the down, or the wall scone. You choose.


Not sure I’d announce that about myself…


Restaurant Worker Dance

Everyone knows that what makes a restaurant great is not the quality of food or service, but how well the employees dance. Infringing on others’ copyright by including Spongebob in your dance routine will give the place that extra edge as well.

The failure/triumph of results

I recently read an online essay rant that was written by a faculty member puppet at a military university in China, about how the superiority of the Chinese government is that it isn’t based on the “vapid” concept of human rights, but on results. The value of a government policy, the author wrote, is not whether it conforms with some abstract ideal, but whether it gets results. Real progress is made by focusing on results, not abstract ideology, the author wrote.

I recently witnessed a perfect example of this results-oriented thinking when I was out for a walk the other day. As summer is drawing to a close and autumn is approaching, we are starting to see some leaves turning color. I saw a nice example of the coming fall on the street.


My, what a lovely sight, fall foliage!

However, a closer look revealed a small defect in the presentation. Not only were the leaves actually pieces of plastic that had been wired to the tree, but the tree wasn’t even the same species.


Erm, wait a minute, maple leaves on an acacia tree?!

To an American eye, this is a hilarious failure. However, if you judge this action by the “results-oriented” standard, this is a tremendous success. If the goal was to give people the pleasure of seeing autumn colors, then tying fake leaves to the branches of a completely different species of tree, the leaves of which don’t change color in the fall, is reasonable.

It doesn’t matter that it’s all an illusion. It’s irrelevant that the people have been tricked by the government. A lie is justified if it achieves the government’s goal. The results are all that matter…

…or maybe not.

Am I crazy?

I see a human face in this picture. My wife does not. Can you see it? 

 BTW, this pic was taken in the Changbaishan park 長白山.