Rice and its History

August 28, 2019

When you think of rice, do you think of China? If not, you should. China is the world’s largest producer of rice with 208-million metric tons in 2017, and the crop makes up a little less than half of the country’s total grain output.

Ricepedia.org reports, “Based on archeological evidence, rice was believed to have first been domesticated in the region of the Yangtze River Valley in China.” Then “In the late 3rd millennium BC, there was a rapid expansion of rice cultivation into mainland Southeast Asia and westwards across India and Nepal.”

Fast forward ten-to-eleven thousand years from the domestication of rice in China to 2017, and Statista reported, that almost 496-million metric tons of husked rice were produced in the last harvest year worldwide, and China’s share was almost 42-percent of the global total.

When we compare rice to wheat production, “the global amount of wheat produced came to about 755-million metric tons in crop year 2016-2017.”

World Atlas.com says, China is (also) the largest producer of wheat in the world. “China produces more wheat than any other country, followed by India, Russia, and the United States.”

How difficult is it to grow rice? “All rice cultivation is highly labour intensive. Rice is generally grown as a wetland crop in fields flooded to supply water during the growing season. Transplanting seedlings requires many hours of labor, as does harvesting. Mechanization of rice cultivation is only minimally advanced. Rice cultivation also demands more of other inputs, such as fertilizer, than most other crops.”

When comparing the benefits of rice to wheat, “A study published … by a group of psychologists in the journal Science finds that China’s noodle-slurping northerners are more individualistic, show more ‘analytic thought’ and divorce more frequently. By contrast, the authors write, rice-eating southerners show more hallmarks traditionally associated with East Asian culture, including more ‘holistic thought’ and lower divorce rates. The reason? Cultivating rice, the authors say, is a lot harder.”

How important is rice when it comes to feeding the world? Thought Co.com tells us: “Today, rice feeds more than half the world’s population and accounts for 20-percent of the world’s total calorie intake.”

Next time you eat a bowl of rice, you might want to thank the Chinese for domesticating it for the world?

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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Still in Use Today

August 21, 2019

Several years ago, I had a debate on this Blog with an individual who claimed the Chinese could not be innovative because they did not live in a democracy. Eventually, as I tore his opinion to shreds, the debate turned mean and he started to attack me with insults and threats like internet trolls often do.

For anyone that thinks the Chinese cannot be innovative unless they live in a democracy like the United States with its current repressive, mean President Donald Trump, who is not innovative, I want you to know a few things about China.

First, most of the world knows about China’s Great Wall (first built during the Spring and Autumn period (771 – 476 BC) and portions of that Great Wall, rebuilt by the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD) is still around for tourists to visit today.

China’s Grand Canal is not as well-known as the Great Wall, but that canal (started building in 486 BC) is the longest one in the world and it is still in use today. To make it work, the Chinese invented the Pound Lock in the 10th century more than a thousand years ago. The Pound Lock is a Chinese innovation and without it, there would be no Suez and Panama canals. The first Pound Lock built in the West was in the Netherlands in 1373 AD.

Did someone in the Netherlands reinvent the Pound Lock or was that innovation stolen from China?

What most of the world doesn’t know is that seventeen ancient irrigation sites in China have been inscribed as world Heritage Irrigation Structures, reports China Central Television.

One of those seventeen irrigation sites was built 2,275 years ago, and it is still in operation. The Dujiangyan irrigation system is located in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province and was built for irrigation and flood control. Even massive earthquakes have not destroyed it. Japanese troops in World War II were ordered to destroy it, but they couldn’t find it.

UNESCO says, “The Dujiangyan irrigation system, located in the western portion of the Chengdu flatlands at the junction between the Sichuan basin and the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, is an ecological engineering feat originally constructed around 256 BC. Modified and enlarged during the Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming dynasties, it uses natural topographic and hydrological features to solve problems of diverting water for irrigation, draining sediment, flood control, and flow control without the use of dams.”

Is there another country in the world that can match what China built more than two thousand years ago that is still in use today?

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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According to the Ancient Chinese, I was born as a Rooster

August 14, 2019

I was born in 1945 on August 14. Each Chinese zodiac animal has personality traits assigned to it by the ancient Chinese. Chinese people believe these traits will be embodied in people, according to their zodiac sign.

The Chinese Zodiac says as a Rooster, I am observant, hardworking, and courageous.

China’s ancient calendar is based on a twelve-year lunar cycle. At one time, the Chinese calendar was confusing and complex. Buddhists have been given credit for simplifying it by replacing a complex system of numerical symbols with the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

There are several Chinese calendars, which are still in use today. Each has its own purpose. Farmers in rural China use one. There’s even a Chinese gender calendar to help conceive a boy or girl.

In addition to the lunar, numerical, astronomical, gender and agricultural calendars, each day also has a name from one of twenty-eight constellations, with a ruling spirit for the day.

In charting the sky, the Chinese divided the heavens into 28 constellations located along the Equator and the ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere), each named after a star in the vicinity.

Explorable.com says (see previous link), “Unlike other cultures charting the stars at this period, astrologers were separate from astronomers and their job was to interpret occurrences and omens portended in the sky. As the astronomers began to chart regular events, such as lunar eclipses, these were removed from the realm of astrologers, who Emperors consulted before every major decision.

“As a result, the Chinese developed an extensive system of the zodiac designed to help guide the life of people on Earth. Their version of the zodiac was called the ‘yellow path’, a reference to the sun traveling along the ecliptic. As is the case with Western astrology, the Chinese had twelve houses along the yellow path, although the names they gave were different.”

2019 is the Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac.

Chinese years are counted in a repeating twelve-year sequence, each year symbolized by an animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

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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Army Day in China

August 7, 2019

China and the United States both honor their military. The United States does this on Veterans Day (Monday, November 11) and Memorial Day (Monday, May 25). China celebrates its annual Army Day on August 1st.

Veterans Day in the United States is a federal holiday to honor military veterans that have served in the United States Armed Forces.

History.com says, “Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military.”

In the United States, federal employees get the day off for Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

China celebrates Army Day August 1st, and according to China HIGHLIGHTS.com, the men and women that are active-duty troops have half a day off. Although Army Day in China is a holiday, it is a working holiday and not an official day off.

Army Techology.com says, China Military Online estimated in 2015, that 53,000 women (less than 5 percent of the total number of troops) also serve in China’s Army. In the United States, according to the Defense Department, women now make up 20 percent of the Air Force, 19 percent of the Navy, 15 percent of the Army and almost 9 percent of the Marine Corps.

The Basics explained by Chinese American Family.com: The People’s Liberation Army was founded on August 1, 1927, in Nanchang during a rebellion against nationalist Kuomintang forces. They were known simply as the Red Army during the Chinese Civil War (April 1927 – May 1, 1950). The People’s Liberation Army assumed its role as the armed forces of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Today, the People’s Liberation Army counts more than two million troops.

I think it is important to note that China’s Civil War started days after the Shanghai massacre of April 12, 1927 when Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had his troops slaughter thousands of Communist Party members and union workers without warning followed by a full-scale purge (executions without trials) of Communists in all areas under the KMT’s military control. Before April 12, 1927, the Communist Party was one of the political parties that made up the fledgling Republic of China started by Dr. Sun Yat-sen.

“You’re unlikely to see any public celebration of Army Day outside of China, except for perhaps a joint ceremony with a host country at a foreign embassy. Otherwise, this is a domestic state occasion marked by speeches and military demonstrations.”

AnydayGuide reports, “The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China established Red Army Day in 1933.”

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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China’s Shrinking Carbon Footprint

July 31, 2019

If you don’t know what per capita means, you will not understand that the United States is a much bigger polluter than China is.

Collins Dictionary.com says, “The per capita amount of something is the total amount of it in a country or area divided by the number of people in that country or area.” Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers

i.e., per-individual person.

The Union of Concerned Scientists reports each country’s share of CO2 Emissions and ranks the world’s countries. China is ranked #1 for total carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion but is #36 for per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion.

China’s population at 4:49 p.m. on 5-19-2019 when I first wrote this post was 1,419,480,841, and the U.S. population was 328,912,052.

Based on those population numbers, China’s per capita carbon dioxide emission from fuel combustion (metric tons) was 6.59 metric tons per person for a total of 9,354.5 million metric tons.

For the United States, the per capita was 15.53 metric tons or 5,107.8 million metric tons total.

To put it another way: if China’s per capita carbon dioxide emissions from fuel consumption were the same as the United States, China would be producing 21,589.2 million metric tons or 2.3 times more than it actually is.

And if the United State emitted the same per capita carbon dioxide that China does, then the U.S. would reduce its total carbon dioxide emissions by more than half to 2,167.4 million metric tons instead of 5,107.8.

Then there is what I call the Trump Factor that will increase pollution.


President Donald Trump is replacing the Clean Power Plan with a dirty one, and he will deny it because he is a serious serial liar.

Thankfully, China is not following in the tracks of Donald Trump’s golf cart.

The South China Morning Post reports, “China is stepping up its push into renewable energy, proposing higher green power consumption targets and penalizing those who fail to meet goals to help fund government subsidies to producers.”

Forbes.com reports, “No country has put itself in a better position to become the world’s renewable energy superpower than China, … China has taken a lead in renewable energy and is now the world’s largest producer, exporter, and installer of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and electric vehicles.”

However, in the United States, Donald Trump wants to cut renewable energy and energy efficiency by 70-percent. Does that mean everything China does to improve clean energy consumption will be reversed by Trump’s agenda in the United States?

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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Just because they are Chinese, Trump is having them persecuted

July 24, 2019

Illegitimate President Donald Trump is waging a war against everyone that lives south of the U.S. border and against China and even Chinese-Americans in an attempt to isolate China from the world.

Bloomberg.com recently reported, “The greatest fear is that history may repeat itself in this political climate, and Chinese Americans may be rounded up like Japanese Americans during World War II. The fear and worry is real.”

“The NIH and the FBI are (even) targeting ethnic Chinese scientists, including U.S. citizens, searching for a cancer cure.”

There is what happened to Xifeng Wu, an award-winning epidemiologist and naturalized American citizen, who lost her job of 27-years because of the Trump administration’s attempt to counter Chinese influence at U.S. research institutions. Xifeng Wu was only doing her job and following directions from MD Anderson, the company she worked for.

No matter how many lives they destroy, the Trump administration’s goal is to stanch China’s well-documented theft of U.S. innovation and know-how. The collateral effect, however, is to stymie basic science, and the foundational research that underlies new medical treatments.

Do you know anyone that has cancer and is waiting for the cure that might save their lives? If so, break the news to them softly that Donald Trump might be responsible for their death caused by that cancer.

Xifeng Wu was never charged with stealing anyone’s ideas, but in the political climate created by Trump, a documented serial liar, a documented failed businessman, and a documented racist, she was forced to resign from a company she had been with for 27 of her 56 years. “A month after resigning,” Bloomberg reported, “she left her husband and two kids in the U.S. and took a job as dean of a school of public health in Shanghai.”

U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Moonshot program, the government’s $1 billion blitz to double the pace of treatment discoveries by 2022. One of the program’s tag lines: “Cancer knows no borders,” … except for China’s borders.

Scientists and researchers want to save lives. Donald Trump doesn’t care.

Adam Kuspa, the dean of research at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston said, “Faculty don’t see international borders anymore. If someone in another country has a piece of the puzzle, they want to work with them.”

Bloomberg said, “Relationships often begin at academic conferences, jell during invited visits for symposiums or lectureships, and culminate in the melding of research into scientific papers.”

Thanks to the Deplorable Trump Administration, “Innocent yet meaningful scientific collaborations have been portrayed as somehow corrupt and detrimental to American interests,” Adam Kuspa said. “Nothing could be further from the truth”

Bloomberg continues, “Federal agents have also made an alarming number of spy arrests that proved unwarranted. From 1997 to 2009, 17% of defendants indicted under the U.S. Economic Espionage Act had Chinese names. From 2009 to 2015, that rate tripled, to 52%, according to a December 2018 article in the Cardozo Law Review. As the number of cases soared, evidence of actual espionage lagged behind. One in five of the Chinese-named defendants was never found guilty of espionage or any other serious crime in the cases between 1997 and 2015—almost twice the rate of wrongful accusations among non-Chinese defendants.”

The University of Wisconsin at Madison, Yale, Stanford, and Berkeley, have all published letters of support for Chinese faculty members and research collaborations. “An automatic suspicion of people based on their national origin can lead to terrible consequences,” wrote Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ in February.

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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Fox’s Bimbo vs China’s Brain

July 17, 2019

The Bimbo, an attractive but unintelligent young woman is Trish Regan, a mouthpiece for untrustworthy Fox News, and the Brain is China’s Liu Xin who is an anchor for China’s CGTN.

The South China Morning Post reported, both women are well known in their own countries and regularly deliver opinions that support the administrations of their respective countries. The debate will focus on the trade war, but the two anchors could also clash on topics ranging from foreign policy to human rights.

“Liu, 44, hosts a current affairs programme called The Point and was an English literature major at Nanjing University, winning a number of awards in English competitions,” explaining why I call Liu the Brain.

Trish Regan, a former beauty pageant contestant, was Miss New Hampshire and represented her home state in Miss America 1994 pageant where she probably met Donald Trump who bought the pageant in 1996.

Regan went on to study voice (singing) in Austria and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston before earning a B.A. in history at Columbia University in 2000.

How do you think Regan’s education helped qualify her to become a Fox News mouthpiece for Donald Trump? In her shows, Trish Regan typically supports President Donald Trump’s line on China policy. Trump is an avid Fox viewer.

“We can make China’s life much harder economically, I promise you that, than they can make us,” Regan said on May 6. “We are their number one customer … Tariffs are our weapon. This is an example of a president [Trump] doing exactly what a president should do.”

Regan went on to say: “From logos to software, you name it, the Chinese have stolen it. And they will keep on stealing it if left unchecked … I’m not willing to give up on being the world’s largest economy so easily. I’m not OK with another country stealing it away from us.”

Liu replied, “Compared to other developed countries, the US has the highest income inequality, the highest youth poverty rate, one of the highest infant mortality rates. Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives.”

Fox’s Trish Regan opened the 15-minute encounter with the show’s only real argument – over whether Liu was speaking for herself or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – which led to the two talking over each other in the most intense moments of the interview.

“Trish, I have to get it straight. I am not a member of the Communist Party of China (CCP),” Liu said after Regan introduced her as a member of the CCP. “This is on the record, so please don’t assume that I’m a member, and I don’t speak for the Communist Party of China; and I’m here today, only speaking for myself as Liu Xin, a journalist working for CGTN.”

When the Fox-Trump Bimbo attempted to pin down the Brain over the theft of intellectual property she told Liu there was “evidence that China has stolen enormous amounts of intellectual property, hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth.”

Liu replied that IP infringements were “a common practice probably in every part of the world”, including the United States.

The Fox Bimbo was wrong and Liu was right. Chief Executive Dot Net listed the Best and Worst Countries for Intellectual Property Protection and China “came in just over halfway down the list and China was praised for the introduction of basic IP rights and proposed patent reforms.”

If you are curious about the actual ranking that is published annually by The Global IP Center dot com, click the link in this sentence and discover that there are 25-countries ranked lower than China and Venezuela is in last place proving that Liu was right when she said IP infringements was “a common practice probably in every part of the world.”

The Global IP Center’s annual report says, “according to Index data in this edition and in previous editions, only China has shown real—albeit incremental—signs of positive reform efforts. China’s score has increased again this year, and China has been a consistent performer across all six editions of the Index.” … “However, over the past 3 editions, America’s performance has weakened.”

In addition, if you take the time to check Media Bias/Fact Check, you will discover the Bimbo’s employer Fox News (this link will take you to the Media Bias site) is rated strongly Right-Biased due to wording and story selection that favors the right based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared.

“Fox hosts may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit (leave out) reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy.”

Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: USA
World Press Freedom Rank: USA 45/180

How about Liu Xin’s employer CGTN?

China Global Television Network was rated LEAST BIASED by Media Bias/Fact Check. These sources have minimal bias and use very few loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes). The reporting is factual and usually sourced. These are the most credible media sources.

Factual Reporting: HIGH
Country: China
World Press Freedom Rank: 176/180

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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