China’s Plans to Explore the Solar System

May 2, 2017

This might come as a surprise to some. China is planning to go where no human has gone before and get there second or in some cases first. After all, only a few Americans have walked on the moon and nowhere else in the solar system, and it shouldn’t be a surprise because many Chinese are into UFOs and science fiction too.

The Indian Express.com reports, “China plans to become first country to land on dark side of the moon.” China announced  that it will launch a lunar probe in 2018 to achieve the world’s first soft landing on the far side of the moon to showcase its ambitious space programme.

In March 2017, China Daily reported on China’s next goal in space, to ride an asteroid.  A similar program was approved by President Obama but the Malignant Narcissist in the White House Donald Trump wants to cancel those plans. After sending a probe to Mars in 2020, China plans to explore three asteroids and land on one of them to conduct scientific research, according to a Chinese asteroid research expert.

Late in 2017, China’s first space station, Tiangon-1 will be falling to Earth, but China has already launched its second space lab Tiangon-2  into orbit and plans a larger space station in 2020.

NBC News reports, “With the current U.S.-led International Space Station expected to retire in 2024, China could be the only nation left with a permanent presence in space. China is ‘on the rise and the U.S. is in very real danger of falling behind in the future,’ warned Leroy Chiao, a former NASA astronaut and veteran of four space flights, one of which included commanding the International Space Station. … China is building its own capability and their aim is clearly to become the world leader in space exploration,” Chiao told NBC News. He was the first American allowed into the Astronaut Center of China in 2006 and has visited several times since.

Popular Science.com  says, “After years of investment and strategy, China is well on its way to becoming a space superpower—and maybe even a dominant one. … There are plans (in China) for heavy-lift rockets, manned space stations, and one of the world’s largest satellite-imaging and -navigation networks. Meanwhile the U.S. —particularly where human spaceflight is concerned—is hardly moving at all.”

Discover Anna May Wong, the American actress who died a thousand times.

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine, Crazy is Normal, Running with the Enemy, and The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova.

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The Earth was Flat Once

July 30, 2014

In 1610, Galileo published Sidereus Nuncius, the Starry Messenger, about discoveries he made with his new telescope. He was attacked for his theory because it seemed to contradict Scripture and what the Church told people to believe if they wanted to get into heaven.  Because of this, in 1633, Galileo was tried and convicted of heresy.


Have you heard of the Flat Earth Society?

Fifteen hundred years prior to Galileo’s discovery that the earth was round and orbited the sun, there is evidence that Chinese mathematicians had calculated the size of the earth on the basis that it must have been spherical (round). However, similar to what happened to Galileo, the Chinese people would continue to believe the earth was flat for centuries.  It’s possible that when Qin Shi Huangdi (259 – 210 BC), China’s first emperor, had the great book burning, he burned the evidence of earlier Chinese mathematical texts.

In addition, older Chinese creation myths included details that accounted for the tilt of the earth and other astronomical facts.  Several existing, ancient Chinese applied mathematics texts prove the Chinese were the first to use some of the most basic and advanced mathematical principles and concepts utilized in modern times. Two of these texts are the Chou Pei and Chiu Chang (these texts date from the period of the Zhou Dynasty from 1046—256 BCE).

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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China’s long affair with the universe: Part 2 of 2

September 5, 2013

The Milky Way Maid says that the (ancient) Chinese focused more on the constellations, creating one of the earliest star maps ever found.

Chinese astronomers gave distinctive names to familiar Western constellations. For example, the Big Dipper was called The Plow. The North Star was Bei Ji. Another constellation was called the Winnowing Basket.

From the 16th century B.C. to the end of the 19th Century A.D., almost every (Chinese) dynasty appointed officials who were charged with the sole task of observing and recording the changes in the heavens.

However, the Chinese were not alone in mapping the heavens. 

Ancient cultures in the West studied the skies too. The “Nebra Sky Disc”, discovered in Europe, dates to about 1,600 BC. 

National Geographic says the Nebra Sky Disc is the oldest depiction of the night sky in history.  It is a hundred years older than the oldest images found in ancient Egypt.

The Nebra Sky Disc may be the first representation of the universe in human history.

However, in China about 4,000 years ago, the oldest astronomical instrument known to man appeared. It was merely a bamboo pole planted in the ground so that the movement of the sun could be observed from the direction and length of the shadow of the pole. Source: China.org – Astronomy and Mathematics

Historians consider that the Chinese were the most persistent and accurate observers of celestial phenomena.

Return to or start with China’s long affair with the universe: Part 1 or discover Chinese inventions.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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Sex, Sex, Sex as Reported by “The China Law Blog”

January 3, 2011

The China Law Blog posted a piece in August 2009 that I became aware of recently titled “A Western Woman in China….Sex, Sex, Sex????!!!!

Dan of The China Law Blog mentions a post at Gina in Shanghai, another Blog. He summarizes Gina’s post with “Chinese view Western women to be like the women in “Sex in the city”.

Then he finishes his brief post with a question “How do you feel about attitudes toward sex in China?”

Actually, I don’t think I have an opinion on that topic.

After all, how others behave or think is not my problem to carry around like a burden, as Gina seems to be doing.


Does this episode of “Sexy Beijing” hosted by Sufei support the “Sex in the City” Stereotype Gina is talking about?

Then I clicked on the link that took me to Gina in Shanghai to read her longer post.

I discovered that Gina is from Palo Alto in the US, which isn’t far from where I live in the East Bay.

Reading her post, I sensed her frustration but also saw her inability to accept others for who they are and what they believe. From what I’ve learned, 85% of an individual’s personality is formed by the environment he or she grew up in and only 15% comes from genetics.

In fact, the multitude of environments in China are very different from the US, where most people grow up as if they live in a jar expecting the rest of the world outside the jar to learn how to act and think like them as if all Americans were the same–isn’t that a reverse stereotype?

In her conclusion, Gina wrote, “There are frustrations with the way we are treated differently, and that the way we look comes associated with really heavy assumptions about our personality, our behavior, our way of life, and even our country…”

When I finished reading Gina’s post, I thought how Americans do the same thing to the Chinese—stereotype them with heavy assumptions about their personalities, their behavior, their way of life and even their country.

Most of those assumptions are supported by American politicians and the Western media and of course maybe individuals such as Gina when she says, “At first, I found these statements funny, but this quickly became something that made me incredibly angry and defensive. As a woman who is quite proud of my independence and my personal choices, I hated being pigeonholed into this ‘morally degenerate’ category. But it seemed like a losing battle…”

That poses a question—is there a double standard when it comes to sex or is it because women and men are different genetically and they grow up in different individual environments?

Shatter your stereotype of China (if you have one) and learn about China’s Sexual Revolution

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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China’s Stonehenge

November 21, 2010

 In August 2008, The Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco sent a team to China to film a total-solar eclipse.

While in China, Pauld Doherty, a physicist, teacher, author and rock climber, visited China’s Stonehenge of the Gobi Desert, a Stonehenge like structure in Xinjiang Province.

Pauld says, “The Gobi Stonehenge is made with a central pillar where a viewer stands and 6 pillars that mark the positions of sunrise and sunset on the equinoxes and the solstices. There are also pillars to mark due north and south. When the sun passes over the south pillar, it marks local-solar noon.”

“The shape of an observatory like this one depends upon the latitude,” he says, “and my calculations show that the excellent Chinese astronomer who designed this one did a superb job.”

Patsy Burns left a comment, “The Stonehenge and center of Asia markers note Chinese have long been studying the skies…. Have you been to the remnants of the Emperor’s observatory just east of Tiananmen Sq by the Gloria Plaza hotel…if it is still there? Supposedly Marco Polo’s star gazing Jesuits matched calculations with the Emperor’s people there and that knowledge gave Marco Polo guanxi, credibility.”

To answer Patsy’s question, yes, the Ming Emperor’s observatory is still there and a planetarium was added.

To study astronomy, the Ming Dynasty built an observatory in Beijing in 1442. The observatory covers 1,000 square meters (more than 10,000 square feet).

Eight bronze astronomical instruments stand on a platform. The design of the instruments reflects both the influence of oriental craftsmanship and the European Renaissance demonstrating an understanding of measurements and physics.

In 1955, a new hall covering 7,000 square meters (more than 75,000 square feet) was built, and it opened to the public two years later. It has an exhibition hall, a video projection room and observatory for everyone. 

In 2004, a new hall covering about 20,000 square meters (more than 215,000 square feet) was added.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.


The Earth was Flat

May 14, 2010

In 1610, Galileo published Sidereus Nuncius, the Starry Messenger, about discoveries he made with his new telescope. He was attacked for his theory because it seemed to contradict Scripture.  Because of this, in 1633, Galileo was tried and convicted of heresy.

Fifteen hundred years prior to Galileo’s discovery that the earth was round and orbited the sun, there is evidence that Chinese mathematicians had calculated the size of the earth on the basis that it must have been spherical (round). However, similar to Galileo, the Chinese people would continue to believe the earth was flat for centuries.  It is possible that when Qin Shi Huangdi (259 – 210 BC), China’s first emperor, had the great book burning, he burned the evidence of earlier Chinese mathematical texts.

Chinese astronomer

In addition, older Chinese creation myths included details that accounted for the tilt of the earth and other astronomical facts.  Several existing, ancient Chinese applied mathematics texts prove the Chinese were the first to use some of the most basic and advanced mathematical principles and concepts utilized in modern times. Two of these texts are the Chou Pei and Chiu Chang.

Learn more about China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Haungdi by reading and watching this nine part series on his life.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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