Thursday, August 09, 2007

Impressions from China - Interesting Finds & Factoids

I discovered amazing/unusual finds during our recent trip to Xi'an:

  • Manchurian writing looks like there is some Indian influence, but vertical...try turning the picture around & you see what I mean...

  • Ingenious inventions like the no-spill water pot which reminds me of child-proof cups I used to buy for my sons to use when they were toddlers. Same principle, different time period.
  • the versatile heater-in-the-winter/air-cooler-in-the-summer device from the Qin dynasty - put heated coal in it to warm up a room, or ice carved out from the river (& stored underground) to cool it down & voilá!
  • Sudoku! Actually, they used this (replica below)as a charm to ward off evil back in the Tang, I think, Dynasty, because they didn't understand the magic of Mathematics. They thought that this combination of numbers had magical powers because no matter which row it is, the sum of the numbers is always 111!!!
  • the Tang Dynasty ideal of the perfect woman had a full figure...hmm...I wonder how I might be able to bring that fad back into the 21st century! (apologies for the flash reflected in the was crowded & huge & was rushing through so didn't have time to review pictures)

  • plumbing actually existed way back then! Remnants of pipes were excavated from the foundations of old buildings. (no picture, sorry)
  • and finally, something not quite ancient but I thought rather unusual..., not an ancient way of watering trees in China. We saw quite a number of trees hooked up to IV's!!! We think this is how they treat diseases in the trees.

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