Isn’t it time to rethink who rules the roost?
It is said that the monasteries of medieval Europe served as beacons of light in those Dark Ages in the West. Amid a largely illiterate populace, generations of scribes devoted their lives to copying the works of ancient Greek, Roman and Middle Eastern scholars, carrying the torch of knowledge from the ancient to the modern world.
But the distinction between science and superstition was not so clearly marked back then. Among the natural science manuscripts were bestiaries, compendiums of real but also imaginary creatures, like winged lions. Even the entries on real animals would stray into the realm of fantasy.
This Day, That Year
ItemfromDec8,1982,in ChinaDaily:Xi’an,oneofthe oldestcitiesinChina,is famousforitsancientrelics, includingtheBellTower builtinthe14thcentury.
ThetowersofXi’an’s ancientcitywalls,builtin theHongwuReign(136898),areunderrepairand willbeopenedtotourists duringtheSpringFestival, whichfallsinmid-February nextyear,accordingtothe Xi’anCulturalBureau....
Xi’an City Wall is among the oldest and best preserved city fortifications in China,
Years ago, I had a translated reproduction of a medieval bestiary. I marveled at the beautiful drawings of animals and the strange things said in the text.
Recent news stories got me thinking about that bestiary again because they challenged the norms of how we think about animals and even verged on the fantastical.
Giant panda twin sisters Mei Lun and Mei Huan, who were born in a zoo in the United States, were moved at age 3 to the panda research base in Chengdu, Sichuan province.
A keeper there related that the girls ignored him when he spoke in the Sichuan dialect, but responded when he switched to English. Another keeper clarified that they don’t understand all English, just a few words.
Then came a report about research findings that suggest dogs have a sort of memory — episodic memory and one of the largest ancient military defense systems in the world.
Construction on the existing wall started during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) in the 14 th century. It has since been rebuilt several times. A deep moat surrounds the 14-kilometer wall.
It has always been one of the country’s most popular places for guests and visitors.
In 1998, US president Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton visited the wall. In 2014, another US first lady, Michelle Obama, toured the site with her two daughters. — that is considered typical of humans. Like us, they experience life as a succession of events occurring in a particular time and place. They remember the significant and trivial.
Finally, news emerged of German research documenting that a Fijian ant species farms a plant which in turn provides them with food and shelter. They collect the seeds, plant them in an appropriate environment and fertilize them with their waste.
It turns out, too, that many types of ants are known to farm. As a headline on inquisitr.com wryly put it: “Ants were farming long before humans invented agriculture”.
We tend to think that we rule the roost, that we are the superior species and rightful heir to all of Earth’s treasures because our thought is vastly different from and superior to that of the creatures we share this
And last year, President Xi Jinping had dinner with visiting Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi in Xi’an.
A basketball game was held in Xi’an when NBA star Kobe Bryant visited the city in the summer of 2013. Bryant watched the game and gave a live commentary of the game. planet with. These news stories chip away at that perception.
I wonder, what do the young pandas at the Chengdu research base really think when the keepers climb into their pens wearing panda costumes?
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Last year, the city held an international marathon. With 3,200 competitors from 85 countries, it also gave rise to concerns over the potential damage to the wall.
In another controversial case, plans to install an elevator were shelved in 2014 amid a public outcry.