Archive for April 21st, 2009

The Pyramidal Hills of Luoping, China

Sophistication of Ancestors, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Apr 21 2009

Photo by George Steinmetz for Nat Geo. “Blooming fields of rapeseed plants weave around hills near Luoping in Yunnan Province”.

If nothing else, pictures of the vast rapeseed fields of Luoping, China make beautiful photographs. We however were immediately struck by the large number of triangular “hills” that dot the fields for some distance. Despite all our research, we could find no direct discussion of the hills–at all. How old are they? How did they get there?

No doubt, the explanation for the hills is an unremarkable one and no doubt, archeologists would say that they are natural–if they were in any way anomalous. Provided for your viewing pleasure…s8intcom

Luoping, Yunnan

Photo: Edwin Cheng

“Luoping is a small county in Yunnan located about 228 kilometers north east of Kunming. It is located close to the border of Yunnan with Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. The town was often overlooked by tourists passing through the region until recently. It had become a Mecca for photographers, who flock to this small county every early spring to capture the magnificent “sea of yellow” of blooming rapeseed flowers. The majestic photos in turn, draw more and more tourists to this beautiful rural photographic haven.

In early spring, the sprawling farmlands in Luoping are covered in golden, yellow rapeseed flowers stretching as far as the eyes can see, all the way to the horizon. The blooming buds fill the air with the refreshing smell of spring that not only attracts human, but also bees. The beauty of the yellow sea of rapeseed flowers swaying in slow swirling waves in the gentle breeze is a sight that is out of this world.


Rapeseed flowers are planted to harvest cooking oil from their seeds after the flowers had withered after their colorful bloom. They are planted all over China but bloom at different times of the year, depending on the temperature of the locations. The rapeseed farms in Luoping are among the largest scale in China. They are normally the “first-off-the-block” every year, followed by those in Guizhou and other provinces.

It is also the season for beekeeping and honey processing. Beekeepers set up base in tents amongst the rapeseed farms every spring to keep bees and harvest their honey- the bees feed on the rapeseed flowers. Hence most rapeseed farms are also abuzz with bees in the spring and can be a little irritating. These beekeepers move on to other locations within Luoping after the rapeseed season, using wildflowers as feedstock for their bees.”……

Larger Photos can be enjoyed at these links:
Link 1 (
Link 2 (Edwin Cheng)
Link 3 (Poorfish)
Link 4 (Danny Xu)

Comments? Theories? Knowledge? email to

Lake Monster Videoed in China

Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Apr 21 2009


This video is provided by Liupanshui TV, apparently showing a lake monster spotted in the Zangkejiang River flowing through Liupanshui, a small city located in the southwest of China in the fall of 2008.

A witness estimates the monster is about 8-meter long.

No Video? Try Here

Send comments to be posted to
*Thanks to Shiv

Miss California: I stand by Gay Marriage Remark

Church of Darwin, Religious, Uncategorized | Posted by Chris Parker
Apr 21 2009

Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. …Genesis 2

By Michael Inbar, MSNBC.COM contributor

April 21, 2009
Being a straight shooter likely shot down any chance Carrie Prejean had of being crowned Miss USA Sunday night. But the Miss California told TODAY Tuesday she’s proud she offered her honest opinion on gay marriage, even as her questioner says she should have kept her politics to herself.

“I’m so proud of myself,” Prejean told Matt Lauer live on the TODAY set. “I wouldn’t change a thing. I knew I had a purpose, and I don’t take back what I said.”

The often bland goings-on at the annual Miss USA pageant took on a decidedly heated political tone when openly gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, a pageant judge, asked Prejean: “Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?”

Beauty and the blogger
Prejean, then among the final five contestants for the coveted crown, replied, “In my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be — between a man and a woman.”

Prejean’s pointed response raised eyebrows, but didn’t raise her enough votes to put a crown on her head. Judge Claudia Jordan told NBC, “The judges were really against her, they were bothered by her answer.”

Still, Prejean finished first runner-up to Miss North Carolina, Kristen Dalton.

With Prejean saying that she likely would have won had she not spoken so forthrightly, Hilton told TODAY he was “offended that she is still walking around saying that she should have won the pageant.” And he told Lauer Tuesday via Skype that Prejean had no business offering such an obviously divisive answer to a question she could have easily danced around.

“I want [a Miss USA] who is going to be politically savvy, and that means saying things that will make everyone feel welcome,” Hilton told Lauer. “She’s a Christian, but I don’t want her talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that’s offensive to all of the Jewish Americans, all the Muslim Americans, to all the atheist Americans.

“It’s about balance, it’s about finding the perfect Miss USA, and unfortunately, Miss California was not the perfect Miss USA,” Hilton continued. “I would have appreciated it had she left her politics and her religion out, because Miss USA represents all Americans.”

Sticking to her stand
Prejean found herself in the unlikely position of being a divider, not a uniter, at the NBC-televised pageant — her comments even spurred a dustup between a gay audience member and the mother of one of the contestants.

But she told Lauer she had her eyes wide open when responding to Hilton’s question, saying, “After I answered the question, I knew that I was not going to win because of my answer.”

When Lauer asked Prejean if, given a do-over, she might offer up a more middle-of-the-road response, she replied, “No, I wouldn’t have answered differently.

“It’s not about being politically correct; for me, it was being biblically correct,” Prejean explained. “When I’m asked a specific question, I’m going to give a specific answer. I’m not going to stand in the middle. I’m going to take one side or another.”

To thine own self be true
Lauer asked Hilton why he would offer up a political hot potato of a question in the first place, since the Miss USA pageant usually has judges asking questions that allow the contestants to pray for world peace and tell how much they love puppies and kittens.

Hilton told Lauer he believes his question “was very relevant and extremely important,” and noted other contestants, including the eventual winner, were also posed pointed political questions.

Prejean now finds herself in the unlikely position of actually gaining more fame than the new Miss USA, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina. And she told Lauer she plans to use her newfound bully pulpit to encourage others to speak their minds.

“I was true to myself, and I know now I can go out and speak to young people about standing up for what you believe in and never compromising anything, for anyone or anything, even if it is the crown of Miss USA,” Prejean said.