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Beijing AQI improvement over 6 years

Beijing air quality

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The China government proudly announced improvement in Beijing air quality in 2015. This is just the reason I set up the monitoring site, so when they made the obligatory positive report I would be able to check up on it. And the result is... they are absolutely right, 2015 (despite a bad last 6 weeks) was a significant improvement. Average dropped from 158 in 2014 to 142 in 2015, and 5 of the top 10 days in the last 6 years were in 2015. The images above show the improvement: notice the rotation of the red section. There is more detail here
visit my AQI recorder, or get more detail here

Surmang video (2014)

Summer 2014 Aaron was in Tibet filming a documentary on a hospital run in a remote region. It has now been released and is available on youtube: Surmang Foundation: Shining Through

Aaron's Graduation (2012)

WAB's graduation ceremony was held Saturday, June 2 at the 700-year-old Confucian Temple in Beijing. The temple is a particularly appropriate place for this ceremony because steles in the first courtyard were used to record the names of the 50,000 scholars who passed the highest level of the imperial exams from 1300 to 1900. WAB graduates just held the ceremony here, their names were not inscribed on a tablet.

The setting was perfect, the weather was good, the speakers were not too verbose: all in all, it was as close to a perfect graduation ceremony as possible. WAB had a streaming video of it, which apparently was viewed in something like 20 countries around the world. Unfortunately they are not making the video available, but it was a great way to share the day with family and friends that could not make it to Beijing. For those of you who could not make the ceremony or the video stream, I put some photos here to help give the flavor of what it was like.

Aaron's ballet video

Last year Aaron and some classmates made a creative ballet interpretation of Nawal El Saadawi's book Women at Point Zero. It was well received by all viewers, and (in a world exclusive) you can now view it here at Young-0.com.

Great and Interesting News

The pilot from the bomber my father flew in as radio operator in WWII found the diary online and got in touch with us. Mr. Wildrick Hart had, since his retirement 20 years ago, used his genealogical skills to trace down 9 of the 10 crew members, missing only Sgt. Young. His discovery of the flight diary online let him "complete the set". Read about it here

No one really cares, but...

I actually made changes in the software running this site for the first time since Aaron left NSCL, which was 8 years ago. The only change visible to visitors is that the URLs are now simpler, but now that it has 100 pages (wow!) I also added some functionality to the admin function to make it easier to use. It is not the greatest code (I learned PHP while writing it), but it has worked flawlessly for NSCL and me for over 10 years. Changing hosts inspired me to update the backend software, now it is Hosted By Arvixe

How to Speak Badly Accented English

I found a book at Xinhua which uses the worst technique for learning a language I have ever heard. See and hear it here.
Anyone interested in that might also want to see my Pinyinglish page.

Dad's journal

Carol recently sent out an excerpt from a journal Dad kept of business trips. Left Wellsville NY at 7?30 bound for Warren Pennsylvania on a cloudy, threatening day. A few miles out of town a dismal creature stood in the rain thumbing a ride. Although it is against company policy and common sense to pick up strangers, I did so and was rewarded with the following:...

For Father's Day Andy wrote an article based on the last letter Dad wrote us. You can find it in his collection of articles.

Bob Evans in Ultimate Frisbee Hall of Fame

My college captain, Bob Evans, was elected to the Ultimate Hall of Fame in 2009. I have to agree with the selection, and I think the writeup is quite good. Excerpts:
...At a time when competitive Ultimate was rare, Evans brought a revolutionary approach: a long game based on his legendary backhand; aggressive athletic play at the deep back position; relentless pressure after turnovers; laying out for the disc; recruitment of athletes; and a profoundly serious, intelligent and analytical approach to the game.
... While having a reputation as a sharp-tongued curmudgeon, Evans was, in fact, invariably gracious in victory and humorously sullen in defeat. ...
...A fine teacher, Evans’ approach was instilled in his younger teammates and also widely adopted by opponents, spreading virally throughout the Ultimate community, echoing down to the present day. ...
Uncle Peter recently discovered and sent me the papers from one of the hoaxes he did with Dad, the Mushrooms of Zanzibar. I scanned them, transcribed them, and made them available here for family or anyone else interested.

And here is another one he found and I got online:
The Great Abominable Snowman Hunt

I like this photo as symbolic of China's reforms: red and green lights on at once.

This picture was taken on the major highway that goes through the Olympic park, where I pass daily on my way to work. This highway is, at its narrowest, 3 lanes in each direction, and as wide as 6. It is also blocked off in the middle, as part of the "park". Blocked off not only from cars, but officially from bicycles too - why? If they want to extend the Olympic green to the park, why did they build a 6-lane highway? Perhaps grass and flowers would be more appreciated than blacktop. It makes no sense.

Update: Here is what it looks like now - this is not quite the same place, but you can see the above light in the background. They almost-new and very convenient highway has had its middle section torn out and replaced with grass and trees, leaving only one bicycle lane. It would have been even nicer if this remnant of the "Green Olympics" hadn't blocked off a bridge on the bicycle lane, forcing cyclists to move over to the pedestrian lane for a stretch to weave through walkers. Here is the bridge they built for bicycle and vehicular traffic. But that's all water over the bridge.

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