Month: May 2010

Chen mapo doufu

Last Saturday evening, I went to one of my favorite local Sichuan restaurants with two friends.  陳麻婆豆腐 Chen Mapo Doufu is just up the street from the University’s west gate, and I thought I’d share some pictures from our dinner.  The restaurant’s signature dish is, well, mapo doufu, the spicy bean-curd dish said to resemble an old woman’s pockmarked face.


spring rolls

Top to bottom:  kitchen view; 麻婆豆腐 mapo doufu; taro-filled spring rolls.

can frogs predict earthquakes?

From Weird Asia News:

 On May 5th, many Chinese locals noticed thousands of frogs on the move. They were seen traveling without fear of traffic as they crossed streets in mass floods.

Many Chinese sensed the migration as a bad omen of a coming natural disaster, but the Chinese government told them that it was just a natural migration for the purpose of propagation. This calmed the people and no one took the omen very seriously.


[click on photo to read story]


Here are 2 excerpts from news items in China Daily about animals and “sixth sense:”

 Beijing launched on Monday a new earthquake monitoring station at a wildlife park in the southwestern suburbs, using birds and animals as sensors rather than machines.

The station will use more than 50 horses, donkeys, peacocks, snakes, turtles, frogs, deer and other animals at the Beijing Wildlife Park in the outer Daxing District, where more than 10,000 birds and animals roam 240 hectares of land, said Liu Xinchen, deputy general manager of the park.

…Seismological experts say abnormal behavior can be observed in many wild animals before an impending earthquake: hibernating animals wake up and flee from their caves, and aquatic animals leap from the water.

Before and during [a 5.1 quake in Hebei Province last July], zoo workers at the Beijing Wildlife Park observed that parrots were abnormally fidgety with no apparent signs of disease or interference, said Liu.

John Philips, a behavioural biologist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the US, feels certain animals do have a “sixth sense” – but defines it as reactions to the Earth’s magnetic field. Philips has undertaken numerous experiments that indicate most creatures – from insects and frogs to lobsters and sparrows – respond to the magnetic field, reported NOVA science on PBS.

In addition, a biologist from The Open University in Britain reported on an uncommon disruption of sexual activity by male toads in advance of a temblor in L’Aquila, Italy, which left 300 dead and 40,000 homeless:  “…common toads…”warned” about the earthquake of 6.3 magnitude that occurred April 6, 2009 in Central Italy. ”

Read the rest of the story here: