Chinese officials float over road and around the world

Utterance more often than not tackles relatively serious and reflective issues but can’t resist the hilarity that has surrounded China’s three levitating officials inspecting roads in Huili, south-west China.

The original badly doctored photo has spawned a creative range of imitations and even prompted a re-issuing of the original photos.

The three men will probably remain nameless forever which is a shame, I hope they can have a good laugh with the rest of us. And let’s hope the person who posed them floating over the new road is not locked up! Enjoy…

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Huge Chinese mattress hides $US1.4 trillion…

There is no political, social, educational or philosophical quick-fix for human nature. Figures showing the growing gap between the rich and poor in so-called communist China highlight this once again.

Despite decades of communist indoctrination and more recently, greater freedoms and openness to world markets, the Chinese people still like to keep money under their mattress so they can spend it on ‘things’.

And like anything in China, or India for that matter, that’s one big mattress.

A study conducted for Credit Suisse Group shows that China’s households hide as much as 9.3 trillion yuan ($US1.4 trillion) of income not reported in official figures – 80 per cent of it by the nation’s wealthiest.

One reason economists believe this figure is because the strongest area of economic demand in China right now is the domestic purchase of consumer items from designer handbags to flat screen televisions.

Taking the mattress cash figure into account, it turns out the average urban disposable household income is 32,154 yuan, or 90 per cent more than official figures. The bad news is that this means China’s rich-poor gap is most likely much bigger than realised.

The Gini coefficient is a single statistic used by economists to summarise the distribution of income across the population.Read More »

Noah’s Ark claims highlight shift in global church

The Chinese-Turkish Noah's Ark team

Who claimed to find Noah’s Ark this week is almost as interesting as what they found.

The team is described as being led by ‘Chinese and Turkish evangelical Christians’. Neither country is renowned for freedoms given to evangelical Christians and yet here they are – exploring Mt Ararat, conducting press conferences and influencing Christian and world agendas.

It is a reminder of how the burden of Christian faith has moved from the west to the east. While the western church languishes in its past glory, the churches of Asia and even the Middle East are rapidly growing, fiercely faithful and increasingly see their mission to the world. But that’s a blog for another day. What of Noah’s Ark?

Christians are understandably nervous of mention of Noah’s Ark discoveries as the world’s press and scientific communities love nothing more than to pour scorn on poorly researched and prematurely declared discoveries. Perhaps the journalists and scientists are so ready to pounce because if a valid, scientifically-sound discovery is reported, they will all be forced back to their Bibles…

It is early days for this latest claim and Christians are among those that are wary of it.

In case you missed it, a Chinese-Turkish team from Noah’s Ark Ministries International held a press conference on April 25 in Hong Kong to present their findings and say they were “99 percent sure” that pieces of wood found at above 4,000 metres elevation and dated as 4,800 years old were from the biblical Noah’s ark. Read More »