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).

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Stone by stone

One of the things I like about China is the way the Chinese use stone, even in modern-day life. Most bollards, for instance, a carved from stone. I suspect this is only possible due to the low value of labour.

Of course, there is a long history of using stone in China.

The Great Wall, seen from the air.

The Great Wall of China cannot be seen from the moon. It can be seen from commercial flights if you care to look.

It snakes across hills, built on what looks like the most difficult path possible, cresting hills and ridges in the parklands north of Beijing.

The most famous tourist sites have been extensively rebuilt. Some of them are wide enough for twelve men to march abreast. Many other places are falling apart, or have only been partially refurbished. I think these are more interesting.

Jinshanling is a less-visited section of the wall. Of course, travelling there in late fall also helps. In any case, there were few visitors other than the dozen or so on our day trip.

The terrain is rugged, with many steep climbs. Still, it must have been worse actually carrying the blocks of stone used to build the wall up to the construction site.

The Mongol side of the wall. Those are not solifluction terraces.

The wall was a barrier as well as a road. An army could move along the wall, easily keeping pace with an enemy army on the outside trying to outflank it.

As we walk along the wall, we start to reach places where repairs have not kept up with time.


The watchtower in the distance was the goal of our hike.

Along this stretch the climb was so steep it was tempting to go on all fours. Here was also where I really pondered the difficulty of carrying the stones while the wall was being built. I have been assured that they used donkeys.

At lunch I sat at a table with several others on the tour, who happened to be from Singapore. We were telling each other about ourselves, when one of them stopped me and told me I had a nice voice, and should go back with her to Singapore where she would get me a radio show. I told her that Singapore had too many of my ex-wife's relatives.

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