Part 3 in a long series of posts about my month and a half in China. Part 1 can be read here, Part 2 can be read here, and Part 3 can be read here.
On my first weekend in Jinan, I vowed to get out and brave the city by myself. On that Sunday, I went to Baotu Spring, which I wrote about in Part 1. On that Saturday, though, I went to the Shandong Museum, which I will cover in this post.
Why am I writing about my first experience in Jinan in Part 4 of my series of posts? Well, it takes a lot more research and effort to properly describe a history museum, so I wanted to take extra time to get around to it!
The Shandong Museum is, as its name suggests, is the principal museum of Shandong Province, a province on the east coast of the country. It is one of the largest museums in the country, in fact, and has a significant history to it, though the current building was completed and opened to the public in 2010.
The Shandong Museum.
The first incarnation of the museum was in fact founded by a Baptist missionary in Qingzhou in 1887, and was called the Yidu Museum. It was moved to Jinan in 1904 and renamed Guangzhi Yuan. In 1942, the museum expanded to a compound in the (I kid you not) Red Swastika Society. The Shandong Provincial Museum was founded in 1954, and divided its collection between the Guangzhi Yuan and the Red Swastika Society locations. A new unified museum location was opened in 1992, but more space was needed, leading to the construction of the current building.
Part 3 in a long series of posts about my month and a half in China. Part 1 can be read here, and Part 2 can be read here.
On my first weekend in Jinan I hit two of the major attractions of the city: the Shandong Museum and Baotu Spring. On my second weekend I opted to see a third major attraction, and a centerpiece of the city: Daming Lake, “Lake of the Great Splendor.” This 110 acre lake is fed by the artesian springs of the city, and has a lovely tree-lined walking trail around it with a number of historic buildings.
View of Daming Lake from above.
Part 2 in a long series of posts about my month and a half in China. Part 1 can be read here.
Before I dive into a post of more history, culture and scenery of China, I thought I would do a short post on a question that was really weighing heavily on my mind when I arrived: what do I eat here?
China is a country with an incredibly diverse culinary tradition, and there are in fact officially eight major cuisine styles: Shandong, Sichuan, Hunan, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and Fujian. I believe I sampled three or four different styles on this trip, though I am not proficient enough at this point to be able to tell you the differences.
Jumping into Chinese cuisine for a midwestern-raised American like me is a bit of a culture shock, and I spent the first couple of weeks of the trip trying to eat things that were at least vaguely familiar to me. At one of the first banquets, we were given fresh salmon, which is rare in that part of China and quite expensive, and it looked it. Since I’m used to eating sushi these days, I was able to happily enjoy it.
So I’m back home after my epic month and a half trip to China! It was a really lovely experience: my hosts were incredibly kind and generous, I got to see and do a lot of things that I’ve only dreamed of, and I was able to get a lot of work done.
I also, of course, took a lot of photos! During my trip, I not only took a few trips to other cities, but spent my weekends wandering the city of Jinan, where I was based. I worked at Shandong Normal University, at their newer campus situated in the suburbs.
Me, outside the Center of Light Manipulations and Applications.
During the late spring/early summer, Jinan is a very hot and dry city. Fortunately, it is also a city filled with water — there are a large number of natural artesian springs in the city, 72 of which are important “named” springs. On my first weekend in Jinan, I opted to go to the most famous of these, Baotu Spring, whose name may be translated as the “Spurting” Spring. This blog post is about that visit, and several more visits which I took there during my stay!
Hi all, I just wanted to apologize for being rather quiet with posting lately, as work has been incredibly busy! Alas, things probably won’t pick up for another month, yet, as I am currently spending a month and a half in China to work on research collaborations!
I am hoping to share a few short posts here and there while I’m away, both on physics and on my travels in country. Talk to you all soon!
This blog post is based on some early experimental writing that was done for my Falling Felines and Fundamental Physics book that was cut from the final draft! As you will see, it was much too long and too much of a digression to include in the book, so I’ve posted it here sorta as a preview of not-quite-the-book!
Some of the most fascinating physics demonstrations are some of the oldest. In my office, I have several versions of a device known as a Crookes radiometer, including both quality display pieces as well as a cheap plastic version.
A Crookes radiometer looks very much like a four-armed weathervane, each arm of the vane having a white side and a black side, or a glossy side and a matte side. The entire vane is contained within a thin glass (or plastic) case. When direct light, from the sun or a flashlight, is shined upon the device, it begins to rotate: it is a device whose movement is entirely powered by light!
Though the radiometer is simple in design, its discovery resulted in an epic 50 year history of physicists attempting to adequately explain the origin of its motion. The device would attract the interest of some of the most famous scientists of its time, and provoke lively scientific arguments. It is, in fact, a good illustration of how the solution of problems in physics can often be trickier than they first appear to be!
(NOTE: Updated the post to include one additional Tomb-related adventure, which I completely forgot about while first writing!)
Part of this feeling on my part is certainly nostalgia, but there really isn’t anything quite like the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and its associated published adventure modules. Recently on twitter, I’ve been reminiscing about “Old School Dungeons & Dragons” and discussing some of the classics of D&D and AD&D.
However, there are some adventures that deserve more than a handful of tweets to discuss. One of these, and one of the greatest of all time is the Tomb of Horrors, a 1981 adventure that was the first official “deathtrap dungeon,” designed solely to torment, challenge, and exterminate the player characters. It is incredible for a number of ways, and I thought I would take a little time to talk about why it is so great, and a bit of its legacy!