I will show you the tips for China Travel, the Traditional Chinese Culture, Chinese Food and some other interesting things in China here.

September 26, 2008

Launch of Shenzhou-7 Manned Spacecraft

Shenzhou 7 was the third Chinese human spaceflight. This mission commenced as the second phase of Project 921. Three crew members inside a Shenzhou spacecraft were launched on September 25, 2008 at 21:10 CST on a Long March 2F (CZ-2F) launch vehicle. The mission is scheduled to last three to five days. Shenzhou 7 began to unpack and assemble the indigenous Feitian extra-vehicular activity (EVA) suit at 10:20 a.m. yesterday in preparation for the first spacewalk.

As of 11:51 a.m. on Sep 26, the spaceship has made 11 orbits around the earth as scheduled. Physical conditions of the three astronauts who are in duty shift, all stay normal. Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming took on assembling in the orbital module while Jing Haipeng stayed in the re-entry module to keep an eye on the vessel operation.

September 17, 2008

5 Essential Weight Loss Foods

There are many fad diets that promise to help you lose weight in almost no time at all. After two or three weeks on the diet you find yourself losing enough to be able to brag to your family and friends about it, and you're so optimistic that this new lifestyle will be your ticket to a smaller waistline that you start to browse the stores for new clothes.
You continue to lose weight for another couple of weeks, and then something happens: you start to feel sluggish, you begin craving something that your diet absolutely forbids you to have, or the general sense of optimism begins to transform itself into a feeling of constriction, frustration, and even dietary imprisonment.
You decide to have just one snack, or spend just one day eating whatever you want with the intention of going back to the diet the following day. What happens then, is that you feel such satisfaction from that treat that the entire effort falls apart and you put the weight back on in practically no time at all.
Does this scenario sound at all familiar?
Diets are very hard, as is the feeling of being overweight. Many of these fad diets may promise instant and significant weight loss results, but most of them rely on depriving your body of certain nutrients and disrupting the natural function of your body's metabolism. Chinese medicine considers obesity to be partly the result of declining function of the metabolic fire of the kidney network and a diet that provides a well-balanced array of nutrients is the key to losing weight in a healthy way. What follows are five foods that will help you restore your body's ability to use energy and help you become your healthy weight.1. Millet: A well-balanced diet should consist of whole grains instead of refined grains like white rice and pasta, and millet is a beneficial and delicious staple of this category of food. This non-glutinous grain is over 10-percent protein, has high amounts of fiber and B-complex vitamins, and because it isn't an acid forming food, is easy to digest.
2. Asparagus: When losing weight, it's important to favor chlorophyll-rich foods, including asparagus. Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable packed with folate, vitamins A, C, and K, and fiber. Asparagus also contains a carbohydrate known as inulin (not to be confused with insulin) that promotes healthy bacteria in the large intestine - which in turn promotes a healthier digestive function.
3. Pomegranates: Eating a balanced diet to lose weight should include eating fresh fruits, and pomegranates are a wonderful example of a healthy, nutritious fruit that has antioxidant properties and will help prevent cancer. While the benefits of drinking pomegranate juice have gained a lot of attention recently, you will be more likely to lose weight by eating the fruit fresh to increase your fiber intake and keep the calories down.
4. Pine Nuts: Pine nuts are the edible seeds of pine trees and are considered an essential ingredient in the tasty Italian mixture pesto. Chinese medicine uses pine nuts to improve gastrointestinal tract and digestive functions, and pine nut oil is even used for appetite suppression. Pine nuts and other nuts are a tasty part of a well-balanced diet intended for weight loss.
5. Green Tea: It has been found that consuming large amounts of coffee and caffeine can lead to food cravings, increase one's appetite, and induce stress-related eating. Green tea is a wonderful alternative to coffee in that it does provide a little caffeine but also contains beneficial antioxidants. So drink up!A healthy diet also includes lean proteins like chicken breast, legumes such as lentils, and other whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. While fad diets may promise a large amount of weight loss in a short period of time, there's almost a guarantee that you will put that weight back on-and then some!
Eat five smaller meals a day, avoid processed foods, chew more slowly, and incorporate more healthy foods into your diet-starting with these five.
I hope this article helps you find foods that can aid in your weight loss goals! I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me. May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

This article is quoted from Yahoo.

September 10, 2008

Legend of Mid Autumn Festival

There are many beautiful legends about the moon in China. the most popular one tells how a goddess named Chang'e flies to the moon.

A long, long time ago, a terrible drought plagued the earth. Ten suns burned fiercely in the sky like smoldering volcanoes. The trees and grass were scorched. The land was cracked and parched, and rivers ran dry. Many people died of hunger and thirst.

The King of Heaven sent Hou Yi down to the earth to help. When Hou Yi arrived, he took out his red bow and white arrows and shot down nine suns one after another. The weather immediately turned cooler. Heavy rains filled the rivers with fresh water and the grass and trees turned green. Life had been restored and humanity was saved.

One day, a charming young woman, Chang'e makes her way home from a stream, holding a bamboo contaiver, A young man comes forward, asking for a drink. When she sees the red bow and white arrows hanging from his belt, Chang'e tealizes that he is their savior, Hou Yi. Inviting him to drink, Chang'e plucks a beautiful flower and gives it to him as a token of respect. Hou Yi, in turn, selects a beautiful silver fox fur as his gift for her. This meeting kindles the spark of their love. And soon after that, they get married.
A mortal's life is limited, of course. So in order to enjoy his happy life with Chang'e forever, Hou Yi decides to look for an elixir of life.He goes to the Kunlun Mountains where the Western Queen Mother lives.

Out of respect for the good deeds the has done, the Western Queen Mother rewards Hou Yi with elixir, a fine powder made from kerndls of fruit which grows on the tree of eternity. At the same time, she tells him:If you and your wife share the elixir, you will both enjoy eternal life. But if only one of you takes it,that one will ascend to Heaven and become immortal.

Hou Yi returns home and tells his wife all that has happened and they decide to drink the elixir together on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month when the moon is full and bright.

A wicked and merciless man named Feng Meng secretly hears about their plan.He wishes Hou Yi an early death so that he can drink the elixir himeslf and become immortal.His opportunity finally arrives. One day,when the full moon is rising, Hou Yi is on his way home from hunting. Feng Meng kills him. The murderer then runs to Hou Yi's home and forces Chang'e to give him the elixir, Without hesitating, Chang'e picks up the elixir and drinks it all.
Overcome with grief, Chang'e rushes to her dead husband's sied, weeping bitterly.Soon the elixir begins to have its effect and Chang'e feels herself being lifted towards Heaven.

Chang'e decides to live on the moon because it is nearest to the earth. There she lives a simple and contented life. Even though she is in Heaven, her heart remains in the world of mortals. Never does she forget the deep love she has for Hou Yi and the love she feels for the people who have shared their sadness and happiness.

Another legend explained the role of the Old Man on the Moon, the Divine Match-maker. The Chinese believed that marriages were made in Heaven but prepared on the moon. The Old Man on the Moon tied the feet of young men and women with red cords for marriage. Thus a maiden made offerings and prayed to him during the Mid-Autumn Festival, hoping that some day she would ride in the red bridal sedan chair.

Moon Cakes: A Mid-Autumn Delicacy

Today, Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with dances, feasting and moon gazing. Not to mention mooncakes. While baked goods are a common feature at most Chinese celebrations, mooncakes are inextricably linked with the Moon festival. Traditional fillings include lotus seed paste, jujube paste or sweet bean paste. The cakes are usually sliced into thin wedges and served with tea as a holiday snack; they are very rich and dense, so a small wedge is enough to satisfy. Moon cakes date to at least the 14th century. They represent the moon and symbolize the gathering of friends and family.

More elaborate versions of mooncakes contain four egg yolks (representing the four phases of the moon). Besides lotus seed paste, other traditional fillings include red bean paste and black bean paste.

While in the past mooncakes took up to four weeks to make, automation has speeded up the process considerably. Today, mooncakes may be filled with everything from dates, nuts, and fruit to Chinese sausages. More exotic creations include green tea mooncakes, and ping pei or snowskin mooncakes, a Southeast Asian variation made with cooked glutinous rice flour. Haagen-Daz has even gotten into the act by introducing a line of ice cream mooncakes in Asian markets.

Given the difficulty of making them, most people prefer to purchase their mooncakes instead of making them.

Mid Autumn Festival

One of the most important traditional Chinese festivals, the Mid-Autumn Festival (this year celebrated on Sept. 14) falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, around the time of the autumn equinox (usually September 22). Many refer to it simply as the "Fifteenth of the Eighth Month." It is a time for families to be together, so people far from home will gaze longingly at the moon and think about their families.

This day is also considered a harvest festival since farmers have just finished gathering their crops and bringing in fruits from the orchards. Overwhelmed with joy when they have a bumper harvest and quite relaxed after a year of hard work, they feel it is a time for relaxation and celebration.

Food offerings -- including moon cakes, apples, pears, peaches, grapes, pomegranates, watermelons, oranges, and so on -- are placed on an altar set up in the courtyard. of all these foods, moon cakes and watermelons (cut into the shape of a lotus) are indispensable for the Mid-Autumn Festival. Bathing in the silver moonlight, the families will sit together and take turns to worship the moon, chatting and sharing the moon offerings.

September 7, 2008

Have a Perfect Manicure at Home

Don't have time to run to a salon for a perfect manicure? Treat yourself to an at home manicure.

Pretty manicured nails can easily be attained at home without spending the time and money at a salon. Some key manicure products and a little bit of time is all that is needed for an at home manicure. Sit down and relax to your favorite movie or favorite television show and enjoy some much needed "me" time.

Manicure Tools needed: Nail polish remover, cotton balls, nail clipper and nail scissors, nail file, bowl, nail brush, cuticle clipper, orange stick, cuticle oil, hand cream, nail strengthener, clear nail polish, color nail polish.

At Home Manicure Tips:
1. Start by taking off any remainder nail polish. Use cotton balls and nail polish remover. Nail polish remover can be very damaging to your nails, try to use a nail polish remover that is acetone free. Another option would be to use a salon brand nail polish remover, they work a lot better and remove the polish very easily.
2. The next step is to shape your nails. If your nails are weak or damage it would be better to keep them short. Use a file for this step unless the nails are very short and you need to trim off a lot with scissors or clippers before. Remember to file your nails filing in one direction to prevent damage to your nails.
3. Clean your nails with a nail brush and soak for a couple of minutes to soften your cuticles.
4. Next take an orange stick with a tiny piece of cotton wrapped around it and push back cuticles. If you have hangnails or rugged cuticles, clip them with cuticle scissors. Massage cuticles with cuticle oil and apply hand cream.
5. Use the nail polish remover one more time and remove any oil or lotion that may remain on your nails from the previous step. This will help your nail polish to stay longer and better.
6. Apply a base coat or nail strengthener, depending on what you need. Never forget this step if you enjoy dark polishes, this will help prevent staining. For a simple look, you can stop now.
7. Pick out your favorite color of nail color and apply two light coats.
8. Last but not least, apply a clear nail polish or top coat to help make your at home manicure last longer.

French Manicure: Don’t rush off to the salon if you prefer a French Manicure. Available at any beauty store is a French Manicure kit. Inside the kit will be White and Natural nail colors plus strips that stick to the nails to paint the white on the tips of the nails.

September 4, 2008

Sanqing Mountain

If you want to find a good mountain, follow the Taoists. Eager to find a tranquil place to cultivate themselves and to meet the immortals, they are regular visitors of beautiful mountains.

Sanqing Mountain in Jiangxi Province, although not very well-known to many people today, was regarded as a sacred place for Taoists in the Tang Dynasty period (618-907), when Taoism was at its most popular. The mountain remained very popular among people seeking immortality until the 18th century, when Emperor Qianlong preferred Buddhism to Taoism.

Sanqing Mountain's fame as a Taoist resort has faded, but its natural beauty remains. Stay on the mountain for a day, and you will understand why ancient Taoist master Ge Hong (284-364) made pills of immortality here more than 1,700 years ago.

With beautiful clouds, mist and strange-shaped pine trees, Sanqing Mountain is a fairyland far from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The mountain is shrouded in mist for about 200 days each year. On misty days, dense fog envelops the mountain completely and makes you think you are wandering in the clouds. Once in a while, wind blows away the mist, and a stiff, imposing peak suddenly appears right in front of you. Sometimes you can even see the fog creep up on you, gently penetrating the pine trees on the cliff.

About 80 percent of Sanqing Mountain is covered by primeval forests. More than 2,500 kinds of plants exist here, most of which can be used to make traditional Chinese medicine.

Because it has plenty of clouds, the mountain is an excellent place to watch the sun rise and set. Huge clouds become splendidly red, as if half the sky were on fire.

Pine trees on Sanqing Mountain are as beautiful as those on Huangshan Mountain in Anhui Province, where they are regarded as the most beautiful in China. Many pine trees on the mountain are more than 100 years old. Many years of exposure to wind, sunshine and rain have twisted their branches and wrinkled their trunks and bark, which has given them strength and charm like old men's wisdom.

A 500-year-old pine tree on the 1,500-meter-high Yutai platform is a good example of the mountain's pine trees. The tree is 1.1 meters in perimeter and three meters in height. Its branches twist like a snake, while its roots are anchored deep in the narrow gaps between rocks.

Like most mountains, the most beautiful view is from the summit of Sanqing Mountain, though the 1,800-meter-high mountain peak has remained inaccessible to ordinary tourists until recently because it is very rugged and steep.

In 1995, a cable car was built to take tourists up to about 1,600 meters high. From 1,600 meters to the peak, a concrete path was built along the sheer rock face. Walking on the path -- said to be the highest tourist trail in the world -- is an exciting experience. On one side the cliffs rise sheer above you, while on the other side a deep valley falls below you. But for the handrail, one would easily fall a thousand meters to the foot of the rock face.

Travel tips
To go to Sanqing Mountain, take a train to Shangrao or Yingtan station in Jiangxi Province and transfer to the mountain by bus. There is no direct train from Shenzhen and you have to take a train in Guangzhou Railway Station or East Guangzhou station.

Recommended trains: K48, which starts at 9:14 a.m. from Guangzhou Railway Station and arrives at Shangrao at 1:46 a.m. the next morning; K210, which leaves Guangzhou Railway Station at 2:58 p.m. and arrives at Shangrao at 7:43 a.m. the next day, and 2091, which leaves Guangzhou East Railway Station at 1:12 p.m. and arrives at Yingtan at 5:47 a.m. the next morning.

To watch sunrise, stay near Yuntai Platform. The best seasons for watching sunsets are autumn and winter, when there is less rainfall.

Take warm coats with you even in summertime, as it might be quite cold in early mornings and late evenings.

The area is famous for its local fish, chicken, tea and pears.

Yellow Mountain

Yellow Mountain is a blend of the majesty of Taishan Mountain, the ruggedness of Huashan Mountain, the cloud of Hengshan Mountain, the flying waterfall of Lushan Mountain, the bizarre rock of Yandangshan Mountain and the beauty of E'mei Mountain. Mt. Huangshan is famous for its four supreme sights: strange pines, grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds and hot springs in the world. It has the reputation of being "China's strangest mountain".

Legend has it that Huangdi, the famous Emperor from ancient times, lives at Huangshan as a supernatural being. There are hundreds of peaks and thousands of ravines in the Yellow Mountain area and 72 of which have been given names. The Heavenly Capital Peak, The Lotus Flower Peak and the Brightness Peak are the three major peaks and all rise more than 1,800 meters above sea level.

Yellow Mountain covers an area of 1200 square kilometers, with a well developed scenic area of 154 square kilometers. Yellow Mountain is a blend of the majesty of Taishan Mountain, the ruggedness of Hushan Mountain, the clouds of Hengshan Mountain, the flying waterfall of Lushan Mountain, the bizarre rock of Yandangshan Mountain and the beauty of E'mei Mountain. 2 lakes, 3 waterfalls, 16 springs and 24 brooks also show their beauty. Yellow Mountain is famous for its "four wonders"-odd-shaded pines, grotesque rocks, the sea of clouds and the hot springs in the world. Xu Xiake a noted Chinese geologist from the Ming Dynasty who has visited Yellow Mountain twice, said "Don't visit Yellow Mountain after you have been to the other for Mountains, and don't visit other four mountains after traveling Huangshan".

September 2, 2008

Choosing Outdoor lighting - 3

Providing good outdoor lighting can offer added security as well as extend your outside parties or other activities well into the night. Adding outdoor flood lighting will also enhance the beauty of your home and increase its value. There is a wide selection of decorative outdoor lighting from which to choose. Before beginning your project, consider these valuable tips.
Contact your local municipality on code requirements and adhere to these closely.
Call the electric company to arrange for them to mark any areas with underground wiring prior to your dig.
Purchase lighting fixtures that are comprised of approved properties and made for outdoor usage. Look for the Underwriter's Laboratory seal.
Obtain a ground fault interrupter to stop the current should the hot wire become compromised in any way.
Disconnect the power source to prevent electrical shock.
Ground the cable and lighting fixtures.
Dig your trench at least 2 feet deep to protect your cable. If there is above ground exposure use a conduit to prevent weather damage. Local codes may require the entire line be protected. Consider key placements for your fixtures and direct them away from the home. Prevent glare by using lower watt bulbs. Test your angles to make sure you are not flooding your neighbors yard or the street with your flood lights.

You can create many other different effects without much investment if you take the time to plan your lighting blueprint as carefully as you do your landscaping. Find interesting features in your landscape and use light to accent them at night. Do keep in mind that light pollution has become a serious consideration when lighting at night. Keep the lights low, and angle them so that they do not disturb neighbors or local wildlife.

September 1, 2008

Choosing Outdoor lighting - 2

Consider solar powered lights for walkways and paths. Solar powered stake lights are an extremely budget conscious option for path and safety lighting. You can buy them in sets of four or six at your local home and garden store for as little as $30. Installation is as simple as driving a stake into the ground. There are no wires, and no drain on your electric bill. Most are powered with a battery backup for those days when there's not enough sun to power the lights.

Consider safety first. Decoration is wonderful, but your first concern should be safety. Use motion sensor lighting to illuminate dark areas on your property without having lights glaring all night long. Do not skimp here – your safety is vital. Do, however, check with your insurance company. You may get a break on the premiums for making safety improvements.

The second safety issue is illuminating pathways and steps to avoid falls and injuries. Path and stair lighting can be very decorative and attractive. One inexpensive option for stairway lighting are strips that fit along the edges of the risers. The light is indirect and shines down on each step so you and your visitors can see where you're putting your feet.

Less is definitely more when it comes to outdoor lighting. Avoid garish, overbright lights. An additional benefit to using fewer lights is a savings of wattage, and, in turn, expenses; both up front and in long term maintenance.

Backlighting and low lights can add drama to a bland landscape. Choose a feature to highlight and use a single light behind it to cast it in silhouette. If you shine lights through a tree, the overall effect can be truly dramatic.

Don't be afraid to be tacky. Twinkling fairy lights may be overdone, but a single strand of tiny white Christmas lights twining a potted patio plant or edging the patio deck can be surprisingly effective.

Turn to unusual sources. For instance, instead of using overhead or spotlighting for your patio or deck, rely on battery or solar operated table lanterns on your patio tables. Light your outdoor space just as you would your indoor space, taking into account ambient light and task lighting. Do not light what doesn't need lighting.

Driveway lighting serves two purposes. It should illuminate paths and walkways so that your guests and family can make their way safely from vehicle to house, and it should outline your driveway enough that drivers can navigate it safely. Consider walkway lights along the edges of the driveway, especially if the driveway is edged with stones, bushes or raised flowerbeds.

Funny Refrigerator Magnet

These whacky, and funny mini refrigerator magnets are sure to give you a smile in the morning, or every time you go and open up the ice box door. They make great additions to greeting cards, and gifts. These look great on any metal surface.

Refrigerator magnets are a fun way to dress up an otherwise ordinary refrigerator. Not only are they decorative, refrigerator magnets are also a very useful tool for posting notes, pictures, and other lightweight items.

Mood Magnets provide a humorous and fun way to express yourself. The Mood Swinger Refrigerator Magnets are available in 4 versions, each with a distinct set of mood swing. Our custom magnets provide an excellent way to increase awareness by engaging your customers and associating emotions with your brand.

These funny fridge magnets also make a unique gift idea for that mood swinger we all know so well. Even they will appreciate this funny gift. Each refrigerator magnet version comes with a large magnetic frame and a themed collection of funny face mood magnets. Perfect for work, home, and school. These refrigerator magnets are not only fun and stylish, but also strong enough to hold your papers and pictures to any metal surface