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Bizzare & Odd

Chinese authorities ban ghost and zombie films

The Chinese authorities prohibit ghost films, and are also actively fighting superstitions and feng shui. 

The Chinese are superstitious people. Hundreds of ancient superstitions are still relevant in Chinese society. And if some of them are completely harmless from the point of view of the law (you can’t leave chopsticks in an upright position or bite noodles), then others threaten criminal prosecution (finding a bride for a dead man). With ideologically dangerous superstitions, the Communist Party of China is engaged in an active and implacable struggle.

A major problem in China is superstition, according to which the deceased, if he was a bachelor, must be buried with his “wife.” The Chinese believed that in the afterlife, a man would be lonely if he was buried alone. These customs are still observed in Chinese villages, although post-mortem marriages were forbidden under Mao Zedong. Relatives of the deceased ordered the corpse of a young woman from the “black grave diggers”, the deceased are symbolically engaged and buried nearby. Dozens of people are judged annually for kidnapping corpses in the country.

Strong in China is also a belief in demons. Many Chinese wear amulets that scare away evil spirits. The country still uses the services of exorcists, which help to clear themselves of the negative.

The Chinese Communist Party has been fighting religion and superstition for nearly 70 years. Members of the Communist Party were always obliged to avoid religion, but with the advent of Xi Jinping, the struggle against faith intensified. In 2017, the rector of the Central Party School of China, Chen Xi, stated that belief in the supernatural flourishes at the lower and higher levels of the party, which is a betrayal of the teachings of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. And this is a direct road to belief in Western values ​​and a threat to the existence of the party.

Superstition and Corruption. Chinese newspapers never tire of repeating that communism begins with atheism, and that superstition only pollutes the brain. Professor Cheng Ping said most superstitious officials are bribes and thieves. Anti-corruption activist Duan Xiaowen adds that feng shui officials are not interested in helping people, they only think about promotion and personal gain.

It is significant that many high-profile trials against officials in China are associated with superstition. For example, the ex-Minister of Railways of China, Liu Zhijun, in addition to corruption, was accused of superstition. Former Minister of Public Security of the PRC, Zhou Yongkang – in revealing state secrets to the forecaster of the future and the doctor. An official from Gansu Province spent 5 million yuan to transfer a 370-ton block of stone to a place advised by a feng shui expert. For the desire to “protect the city from negative energy,” the official was fired and expelled from the party.

The ruling party intends to help people establish the right worldview and with the help of science to deal with birth, aging, disease and death. They decided to start with party workers. In 2016, new rules for communists entered into force. Belief in the supernatural is now considered a violation of party discipline, for which expelled from the party. In order to “save” the minds of ordinary citizens, films with ghosts, spirits and zombies were banned in China .

According to a 2015 WIN / Gallup poll, 61% of China’s population is atheist. This is the highest rate in the world. At the same time, the country has not yet been able to completely get rid of religion, despite strict restrictions. Chinese churches are separated from their world organizations, religious meetings are held in places registered with the authorities, theology must take into account the socialist path of development, special services monitor parishioners, and priests regularly transmit their sermons to censors for examination. Since 2018, fines have been raised for unauthorized church events. By the way, only ethnic Chinese can preach.

Despite the bans, the craving for superstition and religion is growing in China. According to Yang Johnson , winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion after Mao, the country is currently experiencing a religious boom, and the actual number of believers is much higher than the statistics show. Sociology professor at Purdue University in the United States, Yang Fangang, predicts that more Christians will live in China in one generation than in the most “Christian” countries in the world. Perhaps the Communist Party will have to establish cooperation with world religions.

Bizzare & Odd

Meet Susan: how working remotely will change us in the future

© DirectlyApply

The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously affected the labor market. Employers transferred employees to a remote mode of operation, scientists are trying to understand how the new conditions will affect us and what will happen if we keep them. 

Some large companies are already thinking about closing their offices and points of sale in favor of working through the Internet, and Twitter invited all employees to stay on the remote forever.

Susan model illustrating the effect of office work on the body / © DirectlyApply
Susan model illustrating the effect of office work on the body / © DirectlyApply

According to a study conducted by IWG (International Workplace Group) , before the pandemic, 80% of respondents would prefer a job with more flexible working conditions. In April of this year, commercial property provider Cresa presented its study, which showed that 29% of people who switched to remote work feel less productive than in the office, despite the control of their bosses.

At the same time, some companies noted that the hybrid mode of operation (combining an office and a remote office) seems to them effective, and they are going to use it further. But such a schedule can affect people’s health. The DirectlyApply job search platform has shown what consequences await the “remote” workers if they do not change their daily habits.

Its creators invited a group of clinical psychologists and fitness experts to study how udalenka affects a person physically and psychologically. Experts explained what changes will occur with this mode of operation after 25 years. As a result, Susan appeared – a model of a typical remote employee of the future, on which they analyze in detail all the negative consequences.

50% of people around the world work outside the office for approximately 2.5 days

So, a constant presence in front of the monitor will cause “computer vision syndrome”, in which the eyes become dry and sore, and vision – blurred. In addition, red spots will begin to appear on the squirrels, and large bruises under the eyes.

Lack of physical activity and sitting in the wrong position will lead to curvature of the spine, back and neck pain, obesity and a tech neck (the effect of constantly looking at mobile devices and tablets): the skin will sag around the neck, and a second chin will appear. From constant work on the keyboard, the hands are deformed. A lack of vitamin D will cause hair loss, the skin will turn pale, dull and wrinkle.

Susan / © DirectlyApply
Susan / © DirectlyApply

Finally, a person working remotely will be constantly under stress, which will cause a mode of work and lack of personal contacts. From this, in turn, blood pressure rises, and the state of health worsens even more.

To preserve it, the authors of the study advise to adhere to several rules. It is important to maintain a constant mode of work, regularly perform physical exercises and from time to time go out to recover after a day spent at the computer. Psychologist Rachel Allan notes:

“Adhering to one lifestyle and level of productivity is necessary to maintain emotional health when working remotely. Routine gives us the opportunity to manage our time and maintain our attention. Think about how you want to manage your time and what will work best in the wider context of your life.”

One of the main problems that we encounter when working remotely is the lack of direct contact with people. Staying alone for long periods can increase the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Dr. Allan believes that “some of our most important professional relationships come from informal conversations and unstructured moments that organically arise in the physical workplace.” According to her, “remote work may require us to consciously create opportunities for informal communication with colleagues.”

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Bizzare & Odd

1947 film predicts smartphones and other modern technology

Inspired by Barjavel’s essay, a 70-year-old documentary offers the evolution of portable pocket television as well as a way people interact with objects. Today, parallels are drawn between the objects, like smartphones described in a short documentary.

Anne-Katrin Weber, television historian at Lausanne University, said:

People using miniature television devices in public places; professional meetings held by telephones with a picture; cars equipped with television screens; shops that advertise their products on television: these topics are from the 1947 short film Television: Oeil de Demain. Produced and directed by Raymond-Millet.

The film combines documentary and science fiction sequences, while also offering a television image in post-war France, as well as creative speculation about future developments.

While Raymond-Millet’s work is almost forgotten today, his film received a standing ovation for “predicting our present” and although the small portable devices used in the film have long retractable antennas that resemble the first cell phones, it shows that 70 years ago smartphones already existed. In fact, they mirror today’s smartphones that are in the pockets of almost every person.

At the end of the film, the audience is transferred to the bedroom, where the man is having trouble sleeping. He seems to be “invoking” the hologram of a dancing woman who appears on the bed and looks at her while his wife is sleeping.

The film outline about upcoming television shows, really look like a fairly accurate forecast of modern digital media in terms of flexibility and hybridity of media technologies and their various forms of consumption.

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Bizzare & Odd

The time when US wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon

In the United States during the Cold War, there was a plan to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon as a “demonstration of dominance” before the Soviet Union. New details of the secret mission are revealed in a recently published book.

Intimidate the Soviet Union: Americans wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moonPhoto: nasa.gov

The secret mission, codenamed Project A119, was conceived at the dawn of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the US Air Force Division, located at the Kirtland Air Base in New Mexico.

A report written in June 1959, entitled A Study of Lunar Research Flights, outlines plans for an atomic bomb exploded on the Moon’s “terminator,” the region between the Sun-lit portion of the surface and the darker portion of our planet’s natural satellite.

The explosion would probably be visible to the naked eye from the Earth, because the military planned to add sodium to the bomb, which was supposed to glow during the explosion.

A nuclear explosion on the lunar surface was certainly “one of the stupidest things the government could do,” says John Greenwald, Jr., author of Secrets from the Vault.

According to the Daily Mail, a recently published book details some of the most surrealistic offers in history.

John Greenwald has been interested in the secrets of the US government since he was 15 and has filed more than 3,000 requests for freedom of information. He oversees The Black Vault’s online repository, which has collected about 2.1 million pages of previously classified documents related to UFOs, mysterious murders and other mysterious phenomena.

According to Greenwald, the US Air Force was developing a lunar project to “show US dominance in space over the Soviet Union and, ultimately, over the whole world.”

The plan, of course, has never been implemented – perhaps because of a potential “unprecedented scientific disaster,” as one declassified document says.

The existence of this scheme was first discovered in 1999 in the biography of the world famous astronomer Carl Sagan, who died in 1996. Sagan was hired to work with him in Chicago by Dr. Leonard Raiffel, a physicist who was studying the possibility of creating a lunar nuclear bomb.

Leonard Raiffel (he died in 2017 at the age of 89) in an interview in 2000 claimed that the bomb would be as big as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

“It was clear that the main purpose of the proposed detonation was a PR act and a demonstration of sole domination,” the scientist told The Observer. – The Air Force wanted the mushroom cloud to be so large that it could be seen on Earth. The United States lagged behind in the space race.”

Photo: nasa.gov

In 1958, Raiffel was approached by senior US Air Force officers who asked him to “expedite” a project to study the visibility and consequences of a nuclear explosion on the moon.

According to the scientist, he made it clear that as a result, the pristine lunar environment will be destroyed, and this will be a huge damage, “but the US Air Force was mainly concerned about how a nuclear explosion would be perceived on Earth.”

“If the project were made public, there would be protests,” Raiffel said.

Greenwald’s book also explores the 1959 Army project on building a military base on the moon, code-named Project Horizon. The aim of the project was to create a permanent lunar colony for 10-20 people by the end of 1966. To get equipment there, it was projected to require an average of 5.3 Saturn rocket launches per month from August 1964 to November 1966.

In the entire history of the American space program, only 19 Saturns were launched.

“Military power based on the moon will be a strong deterrent to war because of the extreme difficulty, from the enemy’s point of view, of eliminating our ability to strike back,” the project suggested.

In a 1959 memorandum, US Army Research and Development Head Lieutenant Arthur Trudeau argued that if the United States created a permanent base on the moon, the prestige and psychological advantage for the American nation would be invaluable in confronting the Soviets.

The report indicated that creating an outpost of 12 people and maintaining it in working condition over the course of the year would cost more than $ 6 billion (which is equivalent to more than $ 53 billion in modern money).

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