Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Poetic Justice

As a China physics blog it seems sensible to provide a link to the New York Times article (linked from The Reference Frame) recently published in relation to particle physics in China, in particular the current accelerator at IHEP, the upgrade which will be taking place relatively soon and the possible scale of Chinese involvement in the ILC. I have a naive suspicion that China, increasing its power in so many ways so quickly, may play a greater role in the ILC than expected. In fact with the current trend to construct objects far greater in magnitude than most other nations would dare (three gorges dam and Beijing-Lhasa train) that I wouldn't be surprised to see it built out here. I'm sure many would not be so amused and the last statement was not said with any inside knowledge!

Anyway, I shall hopefully be able to give more of a first-hand account of the current research happening at Beijing's particle accelerator centre when I go there next Thursday to give a seminar. I look forward to finding out the current climate and will report back with what's news.

In the mean time I've been having once of those rather surreal afternoons. Having been asked to help out with the Beijing postdoctoral New Year's festivities I agreed to do what I could, though I will not be present when they take place.

Those who were reading this 11 months ago will know about my Spring Festival antics (Jan 17th and 18th entries here). I had presumed that my poetic rantings had gone unheard, but, apparently not and the sound of an Englishman reading poetry to a group of 200 Chinese scientists and their families was enough to get some people interested. This afternoon I stood in front of a group of a dozen postdoctoral researchers teaching them to read poetry. The looks on their faces were a reasonable mixture of bemusement and disconnected disinterest. This makes a little more sense when I mention that I was teaching these poor souls to recite Spike Milligan's On The Ning Nang Nong. I chose this (along with the Jabberwocky) to perform last year as I was fully aware that the meaning would probably be lost in the recital and so it was better for their to be no meaning at all. However, now that it's not a native English speaker reciting, things seem all the more surreal.

By the end of the hour I'd got them all bonging, booing, Pinging and Jibber, Jabber, Jooing in time and so, when they come to do this in front of however many hundred other people will be watching in January, an experience will undoubtedly be had by all.

I wish I had more time to write up some reviews of the books and movies that I've been collapsing to recently but that will have to wait.

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