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Stephanie Dychiu
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What do ancient love stories have to do with China’s lunar space program?

In a Weibo “tweet” last week, the Yutu 2 (“Jade Rabbit 2”) moon rover mused:

“Chang’e and the Jade Rabbit used to be mythical storybook characters, but now they’re the names of our lunar exploration devices. Someday when kids ask ‘What’s on the moon?’, we can tell them there's a real Chang’e with two Jade Rabbits on the moon.”

(“嫦娥和玉兔,从神话故事人物变成了月面上的探测器。以后,当小孩子再问 ’月亮上有什么?’ 时,可以告诉他们,上面真的有 ’嫦娥’ 和两只 ’玉兔’。”)

The Chang'e lunar probes of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) are named after the moon goddess Chang’e, whose bittersweet separation from her lover Houyi 后羿 is narrated in “Chang’e Flies to the Moon” (“嫦娥奔月”), a tale that dates back to as early as the Tang Dynasty, when the Mooncake Festival was first celebrated.

The moon rover Yutu is named after the lonely Chang'e's only companion on the moon, the Jade Rabbit, who has his own origin story, “Jade Rabbit Pounds Medicine” (“玉兔捣药“ ). And, it must be noted, the Jade Rabbit is made of white jade, not green.

Until January 2019, the dark side of the moon was unexplored since it faces away from the earth and cannot be directly penetrated by communication signals. To solve this, CNSA launched a relay satellite to orbit above the dark side of the moon, then bounced signals off it to Chang’e and the Jade Rabbit, so they can communicate with CNSA base ops on earth.

This relay satellite is named Queqiao 鹊桥 (“Magpie Bridge”), after the mythical bridge that a flock of magpies is said to form with their wings once a year, so another pair of ill-fated lovers, Niu Lang 牛郎 and Zhi Nu 织女 (from the Han Dynasty tale “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”), can meet every seventh day of the seventh lunar month, also known as the Qixi Festival 七夕节, or “Chinese Valentine’s Day”.

From thousand-year-old ancient literature to today's cutting-edge science, man’s fascination with the moon is never-ending.

See below to know more about the story of Chang’e the Moon Goddess, her Jade Rabbit, the Magpie Bridge, and their CNSA counterparts.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/2180587/what-you-need-know-about-change-4-chinas-mission-far-side-moon

Curious bit:

"During the Apollo 11 mission, NASA headquarters told the astronauts the story as they were orbiting the moon, urging them to look out for a 'lovely girl with a big rabbit'. Michael Collins, who remained on board the orbiter throughout the mission, replied saying: 'OK. We’ll keep a close eye out for the bunny girl.'”

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One small hop for the Jade Rabbit, one giant leap for mankind.

On Jan 3, 2019, the lunar rover Yutu 2 玉兔二号 (“Jade Rabbit 2”) skipped out of China’s Chang’e 4 嫦娥四号 space probe and gave humanity its first glimpse of the dark side of the moon . . . by means of a “tweet”.

The Jade Rabbit now has thousands of fans on Weibo, the “Chinese Twitter” (https://www.weibo.com/6873517353), where it posts selfies, gossips about “Big Sister 4” (the Chang’e 4), and gives updates about taking lunar naps for "self-care" and what it’s wearing like a true social media star, i.e.

呀,开始热起来了。
(Dang, it’s getting hot.)

现在月球背面进入白昼,没有大气层隔热,温度会达到将近200℃。为了保护重要部件,避免极端情况,我要午休一会。
(Daylight’s creeping on the moon’s surface. Unlike earth back home, there’s no atmosphere here to block the heat, so the temperature can reach close to 200℃.)

师父们给我包了厚厚的隔热组件,我的金黄色外套可以反射强光,体内还有可变热导热管、可控两相流体回路等等,把体温控制在55℃之下。(必须要骄傲的是:我胸口的小国旗都是抗高温的!没有照片,只有一张效果图,给你们看看。)
(Good thing my masters packed real thick insulation gear for me. My golden overcoat can reflect strong rays of light, and my inner body also has variable heat conduction pipe, controllable two-phase fluid loop, etc. to keep my body temp below 55℃. [Specially proud of the super-heat-resistant Chinese flag on my chest! No pix yet but here’s a drawing.] )

四姐的热控能力比我强,她在午间仍会进行一系列探测工作,辛苦了~
(Big Sister 4’s heat control features are greater than mine. Even at lunchtime, she keeps surveying and exploring. So hardworking.)

其实午休期间我不会睡着,我仍然醒着,只是原地待命,充充电,写写日志,传输一些监控数据,还可以给你们讲月球上的事儿。
(But hey, I don’t just doze off when it’s siesta time. I stay awake, I go on standby mode, recharging [my solar panels], writing my daily logs, transferring monitoring data, plus, I use this time to tell you guys a lot of stuff about the moon.)

没想到刚刚工作了一天就要休息,但保护好自己也是很重要的任务。#嫦娥四号任务#
(Didn’t think I’d have to take a breather so soon after one day’s work. Then again, protecting myself is also an important task. #Chang’e4Mission#)

师父,开工的时候记得早点叫我啊!@中国探月工程
(Hey Master, when it’s time to get back to work, remember to wake me up! #ChinaLunarExplorationProject#)

#月球车工作日志#
#LunarRoverDailyWorkLogs#

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dlaSaQYXJI
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Former US President Jimmy Carter on US-China relations:

- "Neither country should use 'national security' as an excuse to obstruct the other’s legitimate commercial activities."

- "In 1979, Deng Xiaoping and I knew we were advancing the cause of peace . . . the United States and China need to build their futures together, for themselves and for humanity at large."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/jimmy-carter-how-to-repair-the-us-china-relationship--and-prevent-a-modern-cold-war/2018/12/31/cc1d6b94-0927-11e9-85b6-41c0fe0c5b8f_story.html?utm_term=.0ecb7d7c3f71
washingtonpost
washingtonpost
washingtonpost.com
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Today is the 122nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, an Oriental who stood up to western colonizers.

"Genius knows no country. It blossoms everywhere. Genius is like the light, the air. It is the heritage of all."

Prescient words by Rizal in his famous toast to Filipino painters Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo who won the top prizes at the Madrid Expo in 1884, beating western contenders.

Rizal used the occasion to show that Filipinos are equal to Spaniards, a cause that ultimately cost him his life.
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Lord & Taylor will be closed for good in a few days, following the other grand dames of luxury Fifth Avenue multi-brand department stores, Bendel's and Saks.

The tide of brands opting to sell direct-to-consumer and bypassing multi-brand stores seems unstoppable. Brings to mind the words of Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon:

"The future of retail is the end of wholesale."

Mellon now sells her own luxury shoe brand direct to consumers at http://www.tamaramellon.com and her own Palisades Village specialty store.

According to Mellon, cutting out the middleman enabled her to reduce the traditional 6x retail markup on luxury footwear without sacrificing quality, and made offering truly luxurious bespoke services possible (Mellon works directly with shoemakers in Italy, her shoes come with "Concierge Cobbler" after-sales service).

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/lord-taylor-closes-flagship-store-165809868.html
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After inventing the compass over 1,000 years ago, China makes its Beidou navigation system (BDS) available worldwide from the start of 2019. BDS is compatible with existing navigation systems GPS (US), Glonass (Russia), and Galileo (Europe).

Video below previews the exciting possibilities this brings. In China, BDS is already used to manage logistics, transport, agriculture, and disaster rescue, and is a must-have on consumer devices such as smartphones and cars.

Aptly named after the constellation that guided travelers for centuries--Beidou 北斗 is Chinese for the Big Dipper--BDS's margin of error is currently 5 meters within Asia-Pacific, but will be reduced to just nanometers in the near future as additional satellites are deployed to complete the Beidou network.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSJxbbLMyZU
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Mercedes-Benz launched luxury ride-hailing service in Shanghai with 50 brand-new E200L's and trained VIP chauffeurs, using Volkswagen ride-hailing app.

Free drinks and free Wi-Fi onboard. Chauffeur can ferry passengers around with umbrella too.

New car sales dropped more than 20% in China in 2018.

Government will ban construction/expansion of factories for fuel-powered cars in 2019.

Tough times for petrol carmakers.

https://www.thepaper.cn/newsDetail_forward_2748492
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From Linden dollars to QQ coins, absolutely true.

"The original communities built around online gaming platforms were more complex than you might imagine. People created ways to exchange goods and services, just like any culture."

"[In-game virtual money] was the precursor to the current cryptocurrency boom."

"It’s interesting that many people are still unaware how the bitcoin they buy on an exchange is connected to the concept of in-game value."

https://www.forbes.com/sites/samantharadocchia/2018/12/04/why-gamers-and-blockchain-are-creating-the-future-of-work-and-society/#4512dbc055eb
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“The logic of doing business in Japan is a logic of commitment rather than a logic of choice,” Whittaker says, stressing that owners privilege longevity over the present moment. In other words, Japan’s business culture is not one to obsess over quarterly reports. “Family-owned enterprises are always going to have a lot more persistence,” Weinstein says. “They continue in the same sense that the name continues.”

Keeping business in the family is often aided and abetted by adult adoption, in which the company head legally adopts the right person to run his firm and then passes it on. (These adult adoptions are sometimes facilitated by a marriage between the heir presumptive and the owner’s daughter.)  Firms run by adopted heirs, research shows, outperform those run by “blood” heirs—and both adopted and blood heirs outperform non-family firms.

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/continuously_operating/2014/10/world_s_oldest_companies_why_are_so_many_of_them_in_japan.html?utm_content=buffer2feac&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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Design lessons for Manila's MRT from the London Underground:
- build shorter (not longer) carriages, and more of them
- build bigger doors
- it's not about the volume of people, but how quickly they can get in and out of the trains

http://www.wired.com/2014/10/design-thinking-behind-londons-4b-driverless-subways/?mbid=social_twitter#slide-id-1592351
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