Cherry blossom time

Cherry blossom time
JISHOU, HUNAN — These are from two weeks ago, when the blossoms were just coming out. Sorry for the delay. (Taken with with my cellphone.) ——— Tipjars:

The Baton Rouge ‘tank lady’ photographs by Reuters

JISHOU, HUNAN — leshia Evans was not standing in front of a line of Chinese PLA tanks, but her resolute and silent resistance to a phalanx of armored police officers in Baton Rouge shares some of the same meaning. Here’s the entire series of photos taken by Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman. A woman was standing calmly, her long dress the only thing moving in the breeze, as two police officers in full riot gear confronted her in the middle of a roadway to arrest her. "She had no facial expression at all. She just stood there," said photographer Jonathan Bachman, 31, who was on assignment in the Louisiana state capital Baton Rouge to cover the Black Lives Matter protests over last week's fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, in the city. "I knew it was a good frame and it was something that would tell a story," Bachman said about the moment he captured the image of Ieshia Evans, a nurse from Pennsylvania, before she was arrested. A Sheriff's Office jail log showed a 35-year-old woman with that name was booked on a charge of simple obstruction of a highway and had been released from custody. #IeshiaEvans #ReutersPhotos #BatonRouge ...

#PlutoTime in Jishou, China

#PlutoTime in Jishou, China
As you’ve probably heard by now, the New Horizons probe swung past Pluto yesterday, taking the first close-up photos of the most distant planet (now classified a dwarf planet) in the solar system. Pluto is almost 32 times further from the Sun than Earth is, so midday on the surface of Pluto is going to be a lot dimmer than it is here. But how much dimmer? Well, as it turns out, there’s enough light to read a book, though standing outside near a lake of frozen nitrogen is probably not a wise choice. Better bring a blanket. NASA has a web app, called Pluto Time, to give you an idea of the lighting conditions on Pluto’s surface. Find your location on a map of the Earth and it will tell you the time when the ambient light on Earth approximates the conditions on Pluto, minus the starry skies and frozen lakes of nitrogen that your feet have just melted into. Generally speaking, #PlutoTime on Earth is in twilight, either before sunrise or after sunset. For Jishou today, it was 7:44 pm. So after dinner, I went to the top of my apartment building and took five shots of the ...

Photo: Crescent Moon and Venus, March 23

Photo: Crescent Moon and Venus, March 23
TAOHUAYUAN, HUNAN — I was on my way back from Changsha Monday evening, and snapped this shot of the Moon and Venus in the western sky around 7:15 pm with my cellphone. The shots are grainy, because I didn’t have time to diddle with the phone’s settings. I just let it set the ISO, etc. automatically. Still, not bad for a cellphone. The Changsha-Jishou bus typically makes a pit stop at the TaoHuaYuan rest area — about halfway — so time was limited. The color in the left hand shot I corrected with IrfanView’s automatic mode. The color in the right hand shot I left as is.

Winter holiday 2015: The non-political part of my Hong Kong visit

Winter holiday 2015: The non-political part of my Hong Kong visit
Since I’ve already started in the middle of my travels, I’ll finish telling about my two days in Hong Kong. To recap, my friend, Sophia K., and I had traveled together to Guangzhou and Shenzhen for a week. That was all the time she had, and so had to return home. I, on the other hand, didn’t. But the question was, where to go next? Shenzhen and Hong Kong are separated only by a river, and a political boundary. I really like Hong Kong, but the hotel prices there are normally too high for my modest teacher salary. Yet, even though I had already spent five days in HK in December to hang out with my son, it beckoned to me. Quite by chance, Hotels.com sent me a low, low price offer for hotels in major cities. Most of the Hong Kong deals, though, were either still exorbitantly priced (for my budget, anyway) or shoeboxes that make my university flat seem palatial. Most were in Kowloon and the north side of Hong Kong Island, where I’ve stayed before. But one caught my eye: two nights for the price of one at the Ovolo Southside in Aberdeen. Even at 50% off, ...

Filipina domestic worker wins prestigious prize for Hong Kong photos

Filipina domestic worker wins prestigious prize for Hong Kong photos
CHANGSHA, HUNAN — Xyza Cruz Bacani, 27, a domestic worker in Hong Kong, has won a 2015 Human Rights Fellowship with the Magnum Foundation, which will allow her to study for six weeks at New York University, Petapixel.com reports. Another winner is Xiao Muyi, 23, a photographer for Tencent News. She’s worked for Reuters, as well. Bacani works for a wealthy Chinese family in Hong Kong. She borrowed money from her employers to buy a Nikon D90 (good choice, Xyza!), and on her off hours, captures stunning black and white images of HK street life. She hopes to use the fellowship to further human rights in her home country, the Philippines. For more details about Bacani, check out this New York Times Lens Blog profile of her. Here’s one of her photos. More can be seen at Petapixel and the NY Times Lens Blog.

My friend Carla Wu gets married

My friend Carla Wu gets married
CILI, HUNAN — Here’s a happy story for the second day of 2015. My friend and former student, Carla Wu, is a cancer survivor, and celebrated her marriage in her husband’s home village near here on New Year’s Day. Carla (吴双 Wu Shuang) was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in summer 2013. After surgery to remove a tumor from her thigh and aggressive chemotherapy since then, her cancer seems to be in remission. Her hair has grown back, long enough for a pixie cut, and she’s gained some of her weight back. Her husband Mu Yanhui (牟颜辉) is a nurse. They met while both were working in Guangdong province. He is from a small village near Cili, and she is from Yueyang city, several hours away. So, that means two wedding parties! The date of the Yueyang party has not been set. In his village, the local custom is for the groom to pick up the bride in her home, and carry her by car and on his back, as the case may be, to his home. There, they pay respects to their ancestors, and serve sweetened boiled eggs to family and friends. Then, there’s a big dinner. In recent years, Chinese ...

A peek at a Chinese couple in Zhangjiajie

A peek at a Chinese couple in Zhangjiajie
JISHOU, HUNAN — Many couples in China choose scenic spots for their wedding photos. Few, however, choose to pose nude while doing it. This couple, who may or may not be participating in a publicity stunt for the Zhangjiajie tourism industry, has got tongues wagging here in China. They’re blue as a nod to the movie Avatar. Director James Cameron supposedly saw the rugged terrain in the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park and was inspired to recreate the terrain for the movie’s planet, Pandora. Whether that’s true or not, the Zhangjiajie tourist board is running with it. One of the peaks in the park was renamed “Hallelujah Mountain” shortly after the movie came out. You can see more photos here (Chinese language) and here (English language). The photos are SFW, because the couples’ “naughty bits” have been pixelated or concealed to satisfy strict censorship regulations in China. On the other hand, saturation levels have been Photoshopped. Zhangjiajie is beautiful, but the colors there are not that vivid.

Two moons, two planets, one asteroid and now a comet! 1

JISHOU, HUNAN — The European Space Agency’s successful landing of a probe on the surface of a comet Thursday is yet another milestone in our exploration of the solar system. It’s the latest in a series of missions that bring the exotic down to Earth. It’s also the most impressive, considering the Rosetta probe had to loop around the inner solar system for 10 years to catch up to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and the Philae lander had to guide itself to land on an object only 4 km across at its widest point. Comet 67P is more than 500 million kilometers from Earth, so it’s very unlikely any of us will have a chance to stand (carefully) on its surface. But Philae is our stand-in, and in just a day’s time sent back some impressive images. Now, you might be thinking, “So what? It’s not especially interesting. Some rocks and stuff.” But consider that this is a place 500 million km away that no one has ever seen before, a place that has been undisturbed for at least 4.5 billion years, and we get to see it! Planetary scientists are naturally also interested in the composition and structure of the comet, ...

Slideshow of protesters and police in Hong Kong

This is one photo in the slideshow at Yahoo.com To see more, go to Yahoo News.

Bing.com makes Jishou famous

Bing.com makes Jishou famous
JISHOU, HUNAN — Of course, Bing likes to tease you with their hints. This is the Aizhai Suspension Bridge, which is about 40 minutes from Jishou. It sails over the small town of Aizhai, which is nestled between two peaks of the Wuling Range.

NZ photog uses quadcopter to shoots Beijing, meets police

JISHOU, HUNAN — So, this photographer from New Zealand, Trey Ratcliff, had a great idea: visit Beijing and take bird’s-eye-view images of the city’s landmarks using his remote control quadcopter. One example is shown here. But he forgot one tiny detail. Beijing is not just the location of hundreds of historical sites, like the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. It’s also the national capital, which means there are lots of government buildings and official residences. The authorities don’t look too kindly on aerial photography of these sensitive areas. I’ll refer you to his blog about the whole adventure. He wasn’t arrested, but the police did pull Ratcliff and his interpreter — both very personable sorts — in for questioning. His quadcopter was confiscated, but returned to him before he flew out of China. In all, Ratcliff was a very lucky fellow, and the photos he took with his setup are gorgeous! Take a look.
Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com