Saturday, September 26, 2009

Slightly More About 建国大业

Here's the trailer. Watch this and try not to be stirred. Do it. I dare you.




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In other news, Gus and I went to a famous museum in Guangzhou today. I assume this is the sort of thing that archaeologists dream about when they're not going to bazaars or eating dates with Sallah: an extremely old and well-preserved tomb was found in Guangzhou in the mid 80s during construction of a mall. The tomb itself is fairly small, but you get to walk around inside it and see most of the artifacts that were discovered there. Evidently people at that time believed that jade protects against decomposition, so the king was buried in a suit made entirely out of little squares of jade, and large jade medallions were arranged around his body.

Spoiler alert: jade does not protect against decomposition. There was a glass box which claimed to contain the remains of one of the king's prostitutes; in fact, as far as we could tell, it was a glass box with dirt at the bottom. Score one for the Egyptians, because mummification actually kinda works. Though in the box of the king's remains we could see something that was clearly part of a jawbone, and he was buried with much more jade than the prostitute, so you never know.

Hey speaking of the prostitute, she was sacrificed to be buried alongside the king. Along with 16 other people. And this was not a big tomb. The remains of 6 of the people were found in a side chamber mixed with "assorted animal remains." As far as getting human-sacrificed goes, that has to be pretty much the bottom of the barrel.

Other news from the museum:

1. An exhibition hall in the museum about early Chinese religions was labeled "The World of Wizards and Deities," which, again, sounds like a Warcraft III add-on.

2. The same exhibition hall contained a section discussing the relationship between eye size and status in religious statues of the era. The case was labeled "眼睛=身份" (eyes = status), after which someone (presumably an employee, since it was behind glass) had written a question mark with a magic marker. I like that commitment to honesty in museum signage.

3. One of the corpses was labeled "Front Chamber Eunuch". I would listen to an album by "Front Chamber Eunuch", so long as Pitchfork gave it at least a 7.5.

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When we got home today, I went into the kitchen and saw this:



If you cannot see the photo for some reason (to all my blind readers, thanks for sticking around! To all my sighted readers, sorry that you have to look at our disgusting tile floor!), that is a colander in the middle of our kitchen. That was confusing for us because neither of us has ever used our colander, seeing as we rarely have opportunities to make ravioli. I didn't even know we had a colander.

We figured out eventually that it probably fell off the wall, but the jury's still out. Stay tuned for more info of the case of the "why is there a colander on my floor."

Finally, speaking of food, when I was in the supermarket yesterday, I thought about buying some protein powder, but then I realized that that was a really stupid idea, because of what I will now officially call

Proverbs for Paranoids (in China), 1: Ground-up kitten brains and ground-up soybeans both are technically "protein powder", and in China you never know.