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mac t
脑残还是少动口 人丑就该多读书
脑残还是少动口 人丑就该多读书

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@hengcuo: 哈佛大学做的一个牛逼的中国地图,从古自今各种地理信息
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The art is red

Propaganda art is enjoying a new lease of life

Dec 20th 2014 | XI’AN | From the print edition

AS THE people of Xi’an file through the subway and along underpasses, rush past bus stops and buildings, they pass hundreds of posters. Some of these advertise the newest smartphone or fancy car, but many tout less marketable commodities: the importance of thrift, diligence, filial devotion, Chinese civilisation and the virtues of the ruling party. “The Communist Party is good, the people are happy” reads one, over an image of a couple bouncing their single child.

During the party’s rule, propaganda art has always been a feature of the urban landscape. But in recent years it has been relegated to the margins by the onslaught of commercial advertising. President Xi Jinping has been trying to revive it. Propaganda posters are now everywhere: on fences around construction sites, billboards and walls. The party is waging a low-tech, old-fashioned campaign to sell itself. At the same time it is tightening its grip on creative endeavours that do not have the party’s welfare in mind. Art for the sake of politics is back in vogue.

Art has a long political history in China. It was deployed by all sides in the revolutionary campaigns of the 20th century to fight for hearts and minds. In the 1920s the Communists used the arts to communicate their ideas to a largely illiterate population. In 1942, at Yan’an in northern China, Mao Zedong—then a guerrilla leader—famously called for all art to reflect the life of the working class and serve socialism.

Art and the party were aligned for the next 40 years. Art for art’s sake ceased to exist. Artists had little choice but to produce propaganda. Mao-era posters were often striking with their muscular steelworkers and relentlessly cheerful peasants. They provided a rare spot of colour in otherwise grey lives; many people decorated their walls with such images (unintentionally, the paper also proved useful as insulation).

The alliance between art and the party weakened almost as soon as commercial advertising started again in 1979. The party ceded its monopoly over public messages. Artists could earn more, and enjoy greater freedom and public standing in pursuit of goals other than political ones. The party’s message, meanwhile, became more nuanced. Deng Xiaoping’s “opening up and reform” did not lend itself to compelling imagery. Jiang Zemin, who took over as China’s leader in the early 1990s, summed up his political theory as the “three represents” in which the party represents China’s productive forces, advanced culture and the interests of its people. That was also tricky to depict visually.

The new posters appeal to a sense of pride in traditional Chinese culture and a common desire to make China strong again. Since taking office in 2012 Mr Xi has tried to tap into these sentiments by speaking of a “Chinese dream” and the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. The arts play a central role: schools run essay-writing contests to promote the dream; there is a nationwide photography competition to capture “My Chinese dream”; there are songs about it, too.

Posters are the most visible tool in Mr Xi’s campaign. Many praise the country or the party. (“Without the Communist party there would be no new China” sing three Chinese dolls in one poster.) Others promote moral values (a peasant girl with bows in her hair accompanies the platitude: “Everyone contributes a little love”). A handful call on people to protect the environment (a simple pen and ink drawing of a bicycle illustrates the wishful message: “Drive less, cycle more”). A ubiquitous one (pictured above) features an apple-cheeked girl and the words: “The Chinese dream is my dream”.

More than any leader since Mao, Mr Xi has embarked on a charm offensive to court public opinion. But he also wants to strengthen the party’s hold. By bombarding people with images, the party is trying to recover some of the psychological power it once enjoyed under Mao. The abundance of the posters and the uniformity of their style sends a message: the party is all-pervasive. In October, echoing Mao’s address in Yan’an, Mr Xi called on artists to promote socialism rather than be “slaves” to the market or chase popularity with “vulgar” works. This month the media regulator said artists, film-makers and television personalities should spend time in rural areas to “form a correct view of art”.

The imagery in the posters reflects Mr Xi’s artistic taste—nothing too adventurous. Many of them use works by an artist, Feng Zikai, who was popular during the party’s infancy in the 1920s and 1930s (he was criticised during Mao’s Cultural Revolution and died in 1975). They hark back to a traditional China with red lanterns and zodiac symbols.

By contrast, some of China’s living artists are feeling the squeeze of the state. Since the 1980s they have emerged from underground and have become part of the global contemporary-art scene. Constraints have remained on those who defy political taboos—Ai Weiwei, China’s best-known artist and an outspoken dissident, has not had his passport returned since it was confiscated more than three years ago. But the government is more suspicious of creative types than its immediate predecessor was. The annual Beijing Independent Film Festival was shut down in August, as were two others in 2013. Several artists who posted comments on social media about the recent protests in Hong Kong (seearticle) were arrested. The authorities are more vigorously enforcing rules that foreign artworks entering China must be vetted by the Ministry of Culture.

The government is wary of contemporary artists because their work reflects how people feel about society now, says Zhang Haitao, a curator and art critic in Beijing. It clearly irks Mr Xi that their vision of China’s future, their “Chinese dream”, is not always the same as his.

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The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy with Orion atop it lifted off at 7:05 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. 

The second stage of the Delta IV Heavy has completed its first engine burn, delivering Orion to its initial orbit. Approximately two hours into the flight test, the second stage of the Delta IV Heavy will undergo a second engine burn to send Orion on its way to its peak altitude of 3,600 miles.
The uncrewed flight is testing many of the riskiest events Orion will see when it carries astronauts and provide critical data to improve the spacecraft’s design and reduce risks to its future crews. During today's text, Orion will orbit Earth twice, reaching a peak altitude of 3,600 miles during its trip. The spacecraft is scheduled to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean in approximately 4.5 hours. Orion’s flight test is a critical step on NASA's Journey to Mars.

Watch live coverage now:

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昨天是我蛤对香港记者发表重要谈话14周年,在占中如火如荼的当下于朋友圈里复盘了当时怒斥记者的文字版还觉得意犹未尽,便哆哆嗦嗦上了油土鳖重温了当时视频,思绪万千夜不能寐,有些话想说。14年了,这段视频常看常新,每看一遍受益良多,我蛤为何风趣幽默逼格高,窃以为跟其教育背景有关,良好的城市氛围和家庭教育背景使得我蛤从扬州著名的东关中心小学伊始,就「每天在融合东西方文化的唱歌和游戏中度过」,就是在这所小学,我蛤开始接触一生的挚爱——音乐。中学六年则就读于当时号称「北有南开中学 南有扬州中学」的扬中,有趣的是扬州往北100公里出生的周半旗早其20年就在南开读的中学。扬中当时实行的是西式教育,「英国的语法书、美国的三角数学都列入课程」,其英文老师李宗义当时就教授杰斐逊的讲演和林肯1863年的名文——葛底斯堡演说,很多年后我蛤都说「我们那时教的英文程度比现在大学都高」,而先我蛤毕业的朱自清和胡乔木亦充分彰显了该校在传统教育中的厚重,在校期间浸淫传统艺术的我蛤甚至为同学篆刻过私章。大学期间则分别就读于现在的南大和交大机电系,当时宁沪两城都领一时风气之先,我蛤在这里接受了完整的民国教育。如果你包是直男癌晚期、胡四是暖男的话,那我蛤就是大受姑娘欢迎的文艺向工科男。




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□作者: 马 劲

12月2日 凤凰座流星雨 


凤凰座流星雨是一个很奇怪又神秘的流星雨,它只在1956年12月5日爆发过一次,ZHR达到300,从那之后就销声匿迹,每年的ZHR只有1~5左右。而它的母彗星D/1819 W1(Blanpain) 也只在1819年被观测到过一次。这些现象都给凤凰座流星雨蒙上了一层神秘的面纱。情况到了2005年才有所改观,天文学家人为小行星2003 WY25 就是那个失踪很久的 Blanpain 彗星,而如今它已经没有了会醒的模样。这颗小行星的公转周期只有5年多一点,在漫长的历史中,它多次在轨道上留下彗星的残骸,这些残骸是天文学家预测流星雨的来源。 

根据日本科学家 Mikiya SATO 预测,2014年是继1956年之后凤凰座流星雨最有可能爆发的年份。地球将在北京时间12月1日早上至2日早上穿过 Blanpain 彗星在20世纪初多次回归时流行的残骸,这情形非常类似1956年的爆发。根据预测,极大时间在北京时间2日早上8时左右,ZHR有可能达到150,超过每年三大流星雨的流量。而对我国来说,大部分地区只有在前半夜能够看到辐射点在地平线智商,因此只有在2日晚上的前半夜观测。 


12月14日 双子座流星雨 





12月23日 小熊座流星雨 






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