Beijing China Temple of Heaven


The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China is one of Beijing’s top attractions for both foreign and local folks who come here to pray and play cards.


China. Beijing. Temple of Heaven 842
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

I’m watching the Women’s Marathon at the Beijing Olympics and they just ran through the Temple of Heaven, one of the big Beijing attractions where the emperor, and now regular people come to pray.

The architecture there is a lot like that of the Forbidden City, and although the Temple of Heaven is a large area it has far fewer buildings than the Forbidden City.

Kudos to China’s Tourism Marketing folks (ha – maybe the same as their Olympic folks?) for getting Beijing attractions in front of billions of people.

Google Dance at the GooglePlex. Search Engine Strategies Event


Google Dance at the GooglePlex

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Last year they had “Candy Bars” where you could fill a bag with all sorts of great candy. I brought one home for my daughter who now dreams of going to a Google party.

The Google Dance has been going on for several years as part of the SES Conference series. Held at the Googleplex the party features a huge buffet, food, wine, and beer stations all over the Google commons. For those who can’t separate work from leisure (which would be most tech folks), there are demonstrations of new technologies from Google and a “meet the engineers” face to face talk that is always very enjoyable.

Me and Mao, Forbidden City, Beijing China




Me and Mao, Forbidden City, Beijing China

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

This is in front of the Meridian Gate, through which is the Forbidden City.

Across the street is the world’s largest and in many ways most significant and controversial square – Tiananmen Square.

The Beijing Olympics have had surprisingly few protests so far and I’m wondering if this has been due to a lack of interest in protesting or
just careful management by the government. I think a combination of these factors is in play.

Contrary to what I had expected, police security in China was not conspicuous at all. I don’t think this is from secrecy, rather in Chinese culture people simply do not challenge authority the way people here in the USA are used to taking on “the man”. Also I think in China it is considered more acceptable for the government to crack down severely when they are challenged.

For this reason I think many Americans may wrongly think that there is a large desire for major democratic reforms in China. I think there is a *very* powerful desire in China to continue with the laissez faire business reforms that have brought prosperity to a much greater number of people than ever before, but I don’t think “democracy” is high on the personal agenda for most of the Chines on the street.

Beijing Meridian Gate, Forbidden City Entrance


Meridian Gate, Forbidden City Entrance

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Wikipedia History

Meridian Gate guards the Forbidden City and is directly across from Tianenmen Square in the heard of Beijing. Although the gate offers a great view of the square, I’d recommend you go on in to the Forbidden City since packs are not allowed on the gate and it’ll take you some time to check bag, tour the gate, and uncheck your bag.

Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California, USA




Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

I was reviewing Yosemite pictures from five years ago and this one really stood out of my son Ben at Glacier Point, with Half Dome in the background.

We camped a week at Yosemite with friends and it was a really great trip. I hiked Half Dome, something I’d wanted to do since I had moved to California in the 1980s.

It’s been five years so we are definitely due for a trip back to Yosemite.

Bigfoot and the Bigfoot Hoax – why so much interest?


I don’t understand why people have so much interest in things like the latest Bigfoot hoax, or in Bigfoot stories at all.   These things are kind of fun, but unless I’m mistaken people really are curious to know if the “creature” in the pictures is bigfoot.

It’s not. There is little compelling evidence for the existence of any Bigfoot Bigfeet?  Bigfoots? anywhere on earth, and when you combine the lack of evidence with the number of people who love to perpetrate bigfoot hoaxes and the mythology of bigfoot you get … sightings!

The Georgia / Palo Alto bigfoot stuff Is so obviously a hoax I’m not clear why this has struck such a chord, but maybe we are all tired from international tensions and Olympics?  Olympic bigfoots?    Hey, Michael Phelps has Bigfoot feet, right?     It’s not even a good hoax in my opinion though these clowns are getting an unbelievable amount of internet buzz and press interest, so I guess maybe this *is* a good Bigfoot hoax?

First of all, the guys who dreamed up the hoax are *bigfoot hunters*.   Even if you are gullible enough to think there is quality evidence that a real bigfoot like creature exists, what are the chances the “body” would be found by true believers?

Oh, and if they really did find it  would they stuff it in a box in a pose that makes it hard to tell what the heck is going on?   Ummmm no, they would have good pictures and bring in a doctor to examine the creature….unless of course they were perpetrating a hoax, in which case they would do exactly as they have done.

So, if this is such nonsense why am I bothering to write about it?  Because “Bigfoot” has become a key search term and I’m curious how this blog post will rank for the term “Bigfoot” and “bigfoot hoax”.