First Report from Gail in China

Greetings Finite Worlders!   Gail is on her 1 month lecture tour of China.  She’s unable to access WordPress from China, but does have access to email, so she’s sending me updates to publish here on OFW.  My Byline/About appears at the bottom here, but the China Travelogue articles are authored by her and all photos are from her  We will try to keep you updated as the trip progresses. -RE

Here’s the email Recap so far from Gail

Greeting from Beijing!

I am being treated well at China University of Petroleum in Beijing. I have given four lectures to my class so far, and will give four more lectures (and a short test) to my students next week. The classroom is not heated after March 15, so students have their coats on.

I understand cutting off the heat on March 15 is pretty much standard in Beijing. Some of the graduate students have reported that their apartments are quite cold at this time of year–the night temperature gets down below 40 degrees.

The apartment I am in has  a separate heating and cooling unit, in addition to central heat. So my apartment has been as warm as I have wanted it. My apartment is intended for guests that the university wants to treat well. The apartment is not luxurious by United States standards, but it is very adequate for my needs. It is conveniently located, in the middle of the campus, so it is easy to get wherever I want to go. It even has its own machine for washing clothes, plus a rack for drying clothes. It is quite large, with a big kitchen area, living room, bedroom, and bathroom.

I have given four lectures so far to my class, and will give another four lectures next week. I have discovered that students don’t like talking very much in class. Usually, they understand written English better than spoken English, so I have tried to see that copies of my presentations are available in class. Professor Feng who invited me occasionally spends a few minutes explaining something I have said in Chinese so that the student have another chance to understand what is being said.

The classes are being video taped. I understand that they will be edited (probably to remove the Chinese portion) so that I can put the videos of the lectures up on I am attaching here the first of the lectures I gave. I will try to do write-ups of these lectures as well.

On Saturday afternoon, I am giving a lecture to MBA students. This will be a shorter overview of our problems. Actually, that lecture will be very soon. I need go over to that lecture in a few minutes.

I am being treated very well, with graduate students going with me to meals and taking me sight seeing. This is a photo of a group of us, after the dinner we had the first day I was in Beijing.

A few Pics from the trip so far…

Group who had lunch together first day

students from my class

Note from RE: Gail also included an Acrobat file of her presentation slides, however I will leave that for Gail to add after she returns.

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About Reverse Engineer

Reverse Engineer is Admin and Chief Cook & Bottlewasher on the Doomstead Diner Blog & Forum, and hosts the Collapse Cafe Video Discussions and Podcasts, and the Frostbite Falls Daily Rant spleen venting Collapse-tainment show. Fans of George Carlin, Bill Hicks and Rick Mercer tend to like the material, Academic folks, not so much.

110 thoughts on “First Report from Gail in China

  1. Here’s the latest 2 replies from Gail to the first 100 Comments. She is going to work on a new article to add here. I will post that when it arrives.


    To Glenn Stehle at March 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

    I agree that we seem to have a new religion that a huge number of people are following. Somehow, humans possess such great characteristics that we can solve all problems. The world economy can grow and grow. Our problems might be (1) a shortage of fossil fuels and (2) climate change, but with human ingenuity we can solve these. Wind and solar PV are believed to be a big part of the solution.

    To jeremy890 March 23, 2015 at 3:10 am

    I wrote an article a few years ago about electric cars that a person can probably get to by searching for “electric cars”. One of the problems I mentioned with electric cars was that resale value would be a problem. I received a lot of criticism from some The Oil Drum staff with respect to the view. (I am pretty sure they never published the article). One of the staff members couldn’t imagine why low resale value would be a problem that someone would worry about.

  2. When I was young there was extreme concern about the possibility of nuclear war. On occasion, I made limited plans to survive. I still maintain moderate supplies of water, food and critical medicines. But at my current age survival has less to offer. It is encouraging to know that nuclear war has been averted for almost 70 years. Curious factoid: Massive x-ray files and lead lined x-ray rooms might have made effective shielding, if not destroyed.

    • X-ray rooms, *GRUNT*

      In college, I did some construction on them. Code calls for lead lined sheet rock. 1/16″ of lead on a 4’x8′ sheet of the stuff (it only goes up 7′ of it) is kind of heavy and hard to handle. Code further requires that you put a little piece of lead over the screw. If 1 1/4″ of screw won’t stop it, something is wrong. But code says…

      • I was sort of joking about the lead lined radiographic rooms but I might have had some faith in the huge rooms containing X-ray files and of course the buildings. Or I could have attempted to shelter at home. Then there was my lead apron. One problem. From 1966 on I lived in Southern California fairly close to some important military installations. I own an old Geiger counter. Some posters might be interested in the NukAlert

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