China’s Moon Shot Rains Rocket Parts on the Countryside

China sent their unmanned lunar probe Chang’e II (nickname: Moon Safari?) skywards last Friday, packing the usual assortment of stereo cameras, laser spectrometers and microwave detectors to scour the lunar surface as it orbits the moon for six months or better.  What it didn’t take with it, however, was a few large chunks of its launch rocket.  These fell to earth two days later, landing in a rural part of Jiangxi, China. Villagers thought they were being struck by an earthquake as the debris crashed down.  Luckily, no one was hurt and no structures were impacted.  While snarkier blogs than this one will no doubt bag on China’s devil-may-care approach to space debris management, I’m just glad no one was hurt.  Besides, there’s not a space program out there (not even Mr. Veer’s), that has its hands completely clean. Remember Skylab?  Australia does. Take a closer look at the above […]

Two Fists, Two X Chromosomes and a Love of Country

A post on China Military Report this weekend gave some glowing praise for an apparently all-female unit of the Chinese Navy, along with some possibly-for-the-eye-candy shots to accompany the swells of patriotism.  A couple thoughts rolled through my head while looking at these: I always thought that blue cammo was just a suburban mallrat cargo shorts kind of pattern, not actually used by any military operating outside of an aquarium.  The blue face paint seems to indicate they’re somewhat serious about this.  Maybe it’s a Braveheart thing? Are they really leaping like dolphins through the water in that one photo? What’s the deal with all-female military units? Photo threads of female soldiers on military blogs are a pretty common thing, often with some careful language at the start about how the point isn’t hot ogling of government property but to pay tribute to our fighting sisters.  Of course, after a […]

China Needs More Gay

Two China-related stories kept coming up in the blog chum bucket today, one sounding like a clear solution for the other. First there was this look at China’s surplus of young men in the Wall Street Journal: Thanks to its 30-year-old population-planning policy and customary preference for boys, China has one of the largest male-to-female ratios in the world. Using data from the 2005 China census — the most recent — a study published in last month’s British Journal of Medicine estimates there was a surplus of 32 million males under the age of 20 at the time the census was taken. That’s roughly the size of Canada’s population. 32 Million males who can’t get laid is a lot of Limp Bizkit concerts. On this point, Kenneth Anderson notes that with such a gender difference, you’ve ended up in a situation similar to polygamous societies, with their accompanying troubles with […]