This Image was Banned on QQ, Chinese Social Media

This image was banned on 2 QQ (Chinese) social media forums. This is a label from a carton of 30 Burnbrae large eggs, made in the USA. Photo 1 by Don Tai

This image was banned on 2 QQ (Chinese) social media forums. This is a label from a carton of 30 Burnbrae large eggs, made in the USA. Photo 1 by Don Tai

I do not intend to be subversive on Chinese social media, nor very political. I also do stay away from sensitive issues on QQ, a Chinese social media messaging and forum site. This image ban, however, really took me by surprise. I teach some English on the Chinese forums, so I thought I’d show them a typical Canadian product label in English and French. I tried 3 times, and the QQ bot banned me all three times from posting to 2 separate QQ forums. Very odd.

Deep Ocean Marine Worm Laetmonice Wyvillei, Costa Rica

Laetmonice wyvillei, a species of marine worm that lives in the deep ocean, is examined in the main lab of the ship. Photo: JoAnna Klein

Laetmonice wyvillei, a species of marine worm that lives in the deep ocean, is examined in the main lab of the ship. Photo: JoAnna Klein

Laetmonice wyvillei, a species of marine worm that lives in the deep ocean, is examined in the main lab of the ship. Photo: JoAnna Klein

This marine worm, from a deep ocean near Costa Rica, looks pretty out of this world. There’s so much we don’t know about our oceans. There’s a lot to research. This photo was taken on the R/V Atlantis. Wonder and curiosity.

China’s Coast Guard Law, 2021 Jan 22: A Little Peek

China’s Coast Guard Law, adopted 2021 Jan 22, effective 2021 Feb 01, gives many of its neighbour countries great concern, and with good reason. The law, in Chinese, is quite long. If you view this document as concerning a police force, its contents are not as shocking, but as I believe, most country’s Coast Guards are not maritime police forces, but part of the Ministry of Natural Resources, or even part of the military during war times. This is not the case for China. China’s Coast Guard is certainly a maritime police force, and has all the powers of one.

Trigger, Willie Nelson’s Martin Guitar

Willie Nelson's Martin guitar, Trigger

Willie Nelson’s Martin guitar, Trigger

I do love this story, of a guitar that is so special, that has stood the test of time through maintenance and a bit of luck. Willie Nelson is not gentle with this guitar, Trigger. A testament to quality build.

It has been beaten up, but also maintained, and used to full capacity. The new sound hole might even enhance its sound. What more can a player ask from an instrument? This really goes against the glitz and glamour of the shiny new toys that you can buy off the shelf and throw away once you’re tired of it.

Sandstorms in Northern China, Horrendous Air Quality

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

The air quality in Northern China is the worst in a long time. The PM2.5 and PM 10 levels are off the scale it is so bad. This endangers the health of a wide swath of people in Northern and central China.

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

China, Changzhi air quality is so terrible it is off the AQI scale. 2021 Mar 15. aqicn.org

Sandstorms and pollution in China Beijing, 2021 Mar 15, where air quality levels were so terrible they were off the charts.

Sandstorms and pollution in China Beijing, 2021 Mar 15, where air quality levels were so terrible they were off the charts.

Moen 7400 Series Faucet: Overall Excellent Quality

Moen 7400 Series Kitchen faucet, Bought around year 2000, I don't even recall, but with free parts, it continues to work very well. Photo by Don Tai

Moen 7400 Series Kitchen faucet, Bought around year 2000, I don’t even recall, but with free parts, it continues to work very well. Photo by Don Tai

Some objects in life you just use every day and take them for granted. They just work, day in and day out, until something goes wrong and then you really notice them. Our Moen 7400 series kitchen faucet is one of our house appliances that just seems to last and last. When I think that, yes, it is time to replace it, I call Moen for free parts, they ship them to me, I install them and the faucet goes right back to working just as the day I bought and installed it. Smooth, problem free, drip free, to again fade into the background. Often times I use the kitchen faucet while thinking of something else and really don’t pay attention.

The Ingenuity of Virus Transmission

Viruses have been with mankind before there was mankind. I don’t even know if we can determine when they were created. As with all things that persist for a very long time, they have grown and adapted in surprising ways in order to stay alive and flourish. Our newest, and certainly not the last, virus is CoVid-19, which has thrown the world into a pandemic. This virus, and other corona viruses, may not have a brain, but are extremely smart in knowing how to use our human behaviours in order to proliferate. We do need to give credit where credit is due: These viruses are remarkably efficient.

Galanz Bread Maker MB15001A: First Use Review and User Manual

Galanz bread maker MB15001 in yellow, max 750g loaf, Made in China

Galanz bread maker MB15001 in yellow, max 750g loaf, Made in China

Kicked to the curb, this little Galanz bread maker MB15001A was. I could tell it was clean and little used. This little ditty did not need much work to get working, apart from brushing off some snow. I just plugged it in and it started beeping at me, telling me to feed it. Is this “Made in China” product any good?

Underlying Causes of Climate Change and Why Solutions are Difficult

As the world grapples with unexpected “100 year” weather events that seem to be more and more common, we need to acknowledge that climate change is real and needs urgent attention. Scientists are tracking unprecedented glacial melt that cannot be explained any other way. The damage to habitat and human existence is obvious to those experiencing it. But how do we repair and stabilize our planet?

I watched Bill Gates on the “60 minutes” TV series talk about investing in tech solutions, necessary to reverse climate change. I kept wondering how a tech solution can reverse our deep human mistakes, ones that we continue to make. I do not think it can.