Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A face-lift for Zhengzhou

Last week the street cleaners were everywhere. Heavy trucks sprayed water like a tidal wave across the road, while “Happy birthday to you”, or, alternatively, “Jingle Bells”, tinkled over their loudspeakers. On first hearing them, you might have thought they were ice cream trucks. No such luck.

Blue skies the last few days. These are a real rarity here—only possible when a lot of factories and power plants are shut down. Last time I saw such a deep blue sky here was during the festivities last September celebrating the end of the war.

There have been a lot of touch-ups in the buildings and walls facing the street. Purely cosmetic—the walls are still in pretty poor shape, but they’ve had a smoothing layer of cement smeared on to them covered by a fresh paint job. The effect is marred somewhat by the street sweepers who passed by immediately afterward, stirring up dust, which now forms a rough patina over the lower part of the freshly painted walls.

Rumour has it that one of the top politburo members is coming to town. The little brush-ups and the steady cleaning are in preparation. The blue skies too, no doubt. So for a few days we can pretend that the place isn’t too badly polluted, and most of the buildings will look fresh and new, as long as you don’t look too closely—or worse, use the plumbing, in which case you will see their true state of repair.

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