November’s cold hands begin slowly replacing the stage’s scenery as autumn begins gracefully ending her performance. The different sets are part of the seasonal show’s charm; and in the last moments of this autumnal act we can savour our final glimpses of autumn’s auburn bloom, and look forward to the icey beauty of winter.
Part 1: This week’s moments
1. The 7th Mobile Industries Exchange (2016)
(Beijing, 31st October, 2016)
(Shanghai, 3rd November, 2016)
2. The Sino-British TV Programme Innovation Workshop (Guangzhou, 10th October, 2016)
3. The Energy-Saving and New Automotive Development Forum (Shanghai, 2nd November, 2016)
4. Laser Energy to Open a new Era in Chinese Manufacturing (Wuhan, 3rd November, 2016)
5. The 8th International China New Energy and Innovation Conference & Exhibition (Wuxi, 3-4th November, 2016)
6. Digital Marketing Pioneering Conference (Shanghai, 3-4th November, 2016)
Part 2: Knowledge
Teaching a fish how to swim
Have you ever heard of a fish that drowns because it can’t swim? This reminds us of the Qi people who were worried that the sky would collapse. It is similar to the notion of ‘showing off one’s ability to write articles in front of Confucius’. Therefore, this phrase’s meaning is the same as the Chinese idiom ‘班门弄斧’ (ban men nong fu: to show off one’s skill with the axe before the master carpenter Lu Ban; display one’s slight skill before an expert). English has other similar sayings: teach a dog to chase rabbits；show the President where the White House is; teach the Pope how to pray.
In political cartoons, America is usually represented by the tall thin figure of Uncle Sam and the UK by the ruddy faced and overweight John Bull.
Where did the name ‘John Bull’ come from? The relationship between the Brits and dogs is well-known, especially with regards to the bulldog, so in the early 18th century when Dr Arbuthnot published The History of John Bull, the eponymous hero’s name is meant to echo this association (as well as the British infatuation with roast beef).
Whenever ‘romance’ is mentioned, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is a form of passionate, youthful love. However, this word has many associations.
It is, of course, also linked to Rome. Today, even though the Roman empire has long since vanished, we still refer to Latin, Spanish, French, Portuguese as romance languages.
In Medieval times, tales of warriors fighting amongst castles surrounded by forests and mountains to earn the right to marry a beautiful young maiden were written in romance languages, mainly French. Therefore, perhaps thanks to this, we still think of the French as romantic today.
Part 3: A joke
One day, a grinning father and his little son were walking home. At this age, the boy was interested in all kinds of things and was always asking questions. Now, he asked, “What’s the meaning of the word ‘Drunk’, dad?” “Well, my son,” his father replied, “look at those two policemen standing there. If I think that the two policemen are four policemen, then I am drunk.”
“But, dad,” the boy said, “there’s only ONE policeman!”
Translated by Kain Jagger