2016 Photos from Asia
- Bento box lunch: Takayuki Hibi, me, and Lili
Mu in Kyoto.
- Dinner with Christos Athanasiadis and Lili
Mu at an eel (onagi) restaurant in Kyoto.
- Learning to make cloisonné with
Atsuko Kida, Kyoto.
- Cloisonné item made by me.
- Lili Mu giving a talk
at JCCA 2016, Kyoto
- Okonomiyaki, Kyoto.
- Shanghai skyscrapers. In the clouds is
the Shanghai Tower, the second-tallest building in the world at the
moment (2073 feet or 632 meters).
- My shoes, looking down from Pearl Tower, Shanghai.
- Opium den, Shanghai.
- Height loss of Jiyou Li and me at Pearl
- Longjin tea plantation, Hangzhou. The
yellow sheets are flypaper.
- Curious creature, Shanghai.
- Hongqiao Railroad Station,
Shanghai. "Hongqiao" means "rainbow bridge."
- Macaque monkeys from Tribe of the Three
Gorges (scenic area along the Xiling Gorge)
- Scene at Tribe of the Three Gorges.
- Inverted tetrahedron at Three Gorges Dam.
- Me with Three Gorges Dam in background. The
red characters say "Three Gorges Dam" (Sān Xiá Dà Bà).
- Three Gorges Dam.
- Xueshan (Teresa) Li practicing painting
inside a bottle on the Victoria Jenna cruise ship.
- Cruising through Three Gorges on Yangtze
River with Xueshan Li.
- Inside second lock (from the east) of Three Gorges
Dam. There are five locks, but the first was not needed due to low
water level on the Yangtze River.
- From a show on board the ship. All the
performers are part of the crew. They do the performances for fun in
their spare time.
- Three Gorges scenery.
- More scenery.
- Chinese characters made to resemble the
leaves of a bamboo tree. For a clearer picture, see the next item.
- Rubbing of characters from previous item.
- Astrology observation pavilion of Zhuge
Liang at White Emperor City (Baidicheng), near entrance to Qutang
- Temple at Baidicheng. The Three Gorges Dam
made the location of the temple into an island.
- Another view of part of the temple at Baidicheng.
- Qutang Gorge scene.
- Another ship performance.
- Western end of Qutang Gorge. The scene (from a
different viewpoint achieved by a helicopter) appears on the back of
the Chinese 10 yuan bill.
- Precious Stone Fortress (Shibaozhai) in
Zhong County, Chongqing. Although Chongqing is a single city, its
area is over three times that of Massachusetts, and it functions more
like a province than a city.
- Some female divinities at Shibaozhai.
- The cruise ship Victoria Jenna at Shibaozhai.
- Traditional method of washing clothes, next
to cruise ship at Shibaozhai.
- Dining room table companions on the
Victoria Jenna. The ship has a capacity for over 400 passengers, but
only 77 were on this cruise.
- Chongqing hotpot. The bowl in the center of
the pot is mild (no hot peppers), but I managed to eat about 3/4 of
the meal from the hot compartment. The items surrounding the bowl are
boiled in the pot. The white ovals in the bowl at the bottom left are
- Xueshan Li with long-necked companion, at
the Chongqing Natural History Museum in the Yuzhong District of
Chongqing. The museum opened in 2013.
- Some residents of Chongqing still live in a
- Roast fish, another Chongqing specialty.
- One of the Three Natural Bridges (Tiansheng
San Qiao) in Xiannüshan Town, Wulong County, Chongqing. They
are part of the Wulong Karst and are named after dragons, namely,
Tianlong (Sky Dragon), Qinglong (Azure Dragon), and Heilong (Black
- Wulong Karst scene.
- Holding knife. From a certain perspective
one of the bridge holes looks like a knife which I am holding in my
- Another scene at Wulong Karst.
- Waterfall at Wulong Karst.
- Mist spray at Wulong Karst.
- Fish hole. The same hole as the knife hole
above, but from the other side. Now it looks like a fish.
- Furong Cave in Wulong County. It was
discovered in 1993.
- Another scene from Furong Cave.
- Yet another scene from Furong Cave, with
colored lights. The structure on the left is called Wild Goose
Pagoda. The actual pagoda is located in Xi'an.
- Me at People's Liberation Monument at center of
Chongqing. It was built on March 12, 1940, to inspire Chinese people
to struggle for victory over Japan.
- Xueshan Li at a sculpture in center of Chongqing.
- Xueshan Li and Shishuo Fu at Dazu Lotus
Manor, Chongqing. It includes mutated lotuses grown from seeds sent
- Ringing a monkey bell at Dazu Rock
Carvings, Chongqing. There are twelve bells, one for each Chinese
zodiac animal. I am a monkey. Fortuitously, 2016 is a Year of the
- Me at Dazu Rock Carvings. The bottom part
of the scene behind me shows some torments from a Buddhist conception
- Xueshan Li at Dazu Rock Carvings.
- Another Chongqing meal.
- Drone at Chongqing University being used to
take photos of new graduates.
- Typical hotel elevator buttons in
China. Why no numbers 4 and 14? This is because the word for four is
"sì" (四, which is also part of the word for fourteen),
the same as the word for "to die" (死, sǐ) except for the tone.
- Talk announcement at Chongqing University.
- Cranes on the bank of the Jialing River.
- Chongqing skyline. The bridge is the
Qiansimen Jialing River Bridge. The Jialing River is a tributary of
the Yangtze. The confluence of the two rivers is in Chongqing.
- Me at the Qiansimen Bridge.
- Outside my hotel room in Chongqing. What is
the point of this photo? The room number has the property that it
begins and ends with 1, the interior numbers are greater than 1, and
each interior number divides the sum of its two neighbors. The
number of such sequences with n interior numbers is the
Catalan number Cn (!). This is item 92 in
Chapter 2 of my book Catalan Numbers. This remarkable fact
was pointed out by Shishuo Fu.
- Choosing a meal from a traditional Chinese menu.
- View from cable car across the Jialing River.
- Hongya Cave, along the Yangtze River in
Chongqing. Its architectural theme is called Stilted Buildings.
- Old and new in Chongqing. In the foreground
is part of the Hongya Cave.
- A sign in Chongqing. What is the significance?
It contains twice what may be the most complicated Chinese character
still in use (also the only character pronounced "biang" in any
tone), a kind of noodle from Shaanxi province. It has 57 strokes. See the
subsection "Rare and complex characters"
article. I don't know why one of the two
biáng's has an additional two strokes at the bottom left.
- Painting from a student exhibit at Sichuan Fine
Arts Institute, Chongqing.
- Me at Sichuan Fine Arts Institute.
- Talk announcement at Sichuan University,
- Chengdu scene with Jinjiang River.
- TV screen in my hotel room in Chengdu.
- Panda antics at Chengdu Research Base of
Giant Panda Breeding (mp4 movie).
- Infant panda at Chengdu Research Base of
Giant Panda Breeding. When they first started breeding pandas at this
research base (in 1987), the survival rate was close to 0. Now it is
- Xueshan Li, me, Guoyou Qian, and Jiuyu Fan
at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
- A calligraphy expert at a show in
Chengdu. During the show his calligraphy was auctioned off.
- Outdoor ear cleaning service in
Chengdu. The three large characters say "scoop ear" (tāo
- Interesting activity at People's Park
(人民公园) in Chengdu. Mothers and
grandmothers who are
worried that their daughters and granddaughters won't find a husband
post descriptions of them in the hopes of attracting a suitor. See
the next item.
- Example of some descriptions of
- Entrance to Department of Mathematics at
Sichuan University, Chengdu.
- A Sichuan analogue of shish kebab. The
object on the right with holes in it is lotus root.
- Deceptive food. Contrary to appearances,
this object is a kind of roll.
- Delicious Sichuan meal with some hot dishes.
- Elegant lobby of the CYNN Hotel Chengdu.
- Some of my hosts in Chengdu: Xueshan Li,
Jiuyu Fan, Feiyang (Iris) Wen (daughter of Yuhong Wang), Yuhong Wang,
- The weir (and complicated currents) at
Dujiangyan. This is an amazing
irrigation system built in 256 BCE to control flooding on the Min
River. It is still used today to irrigate over 5300 square kilometers
- Yuhong Wang at Dujiangyan.
- Near the Anlan Bridge, Dujiangyan: Jiuyu
Fan, me, Wenqin Du, Guoyou Qian.
- My opponents Jiuyu Fan and Guoyou Qian
just after I played my first game of mahjong. Beginner's luck was in
effect so I won the game!
- Buddhist deity at Mount Qingcheng (Qingcheng
Shan), near Dujiangyan. One could see a lot of damage along the trail
from the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province. It was recommended not
to use the last part of the trail (to the peak) due to damage. See
the next item.
- Earthquake damage on Mount Qingcheng.
- At Mount Qingcheng: Jiuyu Fan, Wenqin Du,
Yuhong Wang, and Guoyou Qian.
- Me at Mount Qingcheng.
- Interesting creature on Mount Qingcheng.
- Deer on a tile roof, Mount Qingcheng.
- Stamp of Chuan Zhao.
- Chuan Zhao with homemade fan. The fan says
"combinatorial mathematics" (zǔhé shùxué).
- Two yak meat dishes at an authentic
Tibetan restaurant in Chengdu.
- Napoleon birthday cake purchased by Yuhong
- Blowing out candles with Xueshan Li in
- Celebrating birthday at the Tibetan
restaurant: Feiyang (Iris) Wen, Yuhong Wang,
Xueshan Li, Jiuyu Fan, me, Guoyou Qian, Chuan Zhao, Qinjia Yang.