Saturday, 9 February 2013

The Chinese Way

Here's today's:

The Chinese New Year 2013 will be the Year of the Snake, more specifically the water snake, as the Chinese calendar is organised according to the Chinese zodiac, which does not really correspond to the Western zodiac except for one thing:  Jupiter takes almost twelve years to orbit the sun and therefore shifts by approximately one sign of the zodiac each year.  There is a second system superimposed on this one, which is based on the Chinese "element" system, somewhat like the "paper rock scissors" game in that it's a non-transitive hierarchy.  Yin and Yang are also involved, in that each year corresponds to an element and they occur in pairs, so for example there is a Yin water animal year followed by a Yang water year of the next animal.

The Chinese New Year starts on the first new moon after the winter solstice, allegedly, but i can't make that work since it's clearly quite some time after the winter solstice now.  Maybe.

This is also about the duodecimal system and the chronemics of traditional Chinese culture, which resembles that of the Mesoamerican civilisations such as the Maya and the Aztecs.  Clearly China seems to have been polychronic rather than monochronic, at least in this respect.

Well, i say "2013" but i mean something else, clearly the year which begins tomorrow and ends next year.

Shameless tentpoling of course, which i hope means it'll pick up views in a bit.  I got lazy i'm afraid.  There were going to be animations on the Chinese element images but it was taking a long time and i needed to get it out for the Chinese New Year itself, which started at 4 pm GMT in China and 3 pm in Japan.  This is a reverse sweep compared to the usual approach because whereas i've normally tried to pick up views in North America, the east is ahead of me rather than behind.  However, i haven't anticipated picking views up in -influenced parts of the world - apart from anything else, the video's in English and made by an Anglo-Saxon.  I also have the impression that weekends are not good times for views, although the apparently arbitrary fluctuation of views over the week suggests otherwise.

Here are some of the graphics from the vid:

五行 vanquishing relationships.

五行 generative relationships.
I'm not particularly oikophobic, and whereas Chinese cosmology is interesting i wouldn't prefer it over our own humoural system.  The general background of the scheme is remarkably similar, leading me to wonder if it's part of human nature.  Another parallel between the and ourselves is shown in the following diagram:

There seem to be similarities between the Western zodiac and the 漢 circle of animals, and of course on Jupiter the distinction vanishes.

Another theme which emerges here is the cybernetic status of herbalism, something which i really need to re-visit in depth soon.

The outro screen announces my plan for the coming week, something i came up with this morning:

Yes:  "Nineteenthly's Valentine week of luurve".  This is going to have to run concurrently with the three other themes, namely the Sunday videos, Webcam Wednesdays and Big Science Goes Global, meaning that i'll either have to do two uploads on those days or make the ones i'll do anyway relevant.  The Sunday one is quite straightforward, and in fact i have two ideas already for it.  Monday is more challenging as it involves shoehorning a Valentine theme into a GCSE chemistry syllabus although i have a few thoughts about manganese.  Wednesday?  Well, i have no idea what i'll be doing that day except that it'll probably be relevant - shouldn't be too hard.

The most successful video in December was the one about mistletoe, so it's fairly clear how to get views - do something topical, tie it in with something which elicits an emotional response and involve either romantic love or sex.  My hope is that Valentine's can be a bit like Christmas.

Incidentally, should you happen to be reading this and expecting something slushy and lame, you will be surprised.  This is Valentine's my way.