Friday, March 12, 2004

Great Wall Not So Great After All

Prompted by a bit of myth-dispelling from China's first cosmonaut, who spilled the beans upon his return from a day in space last year, China announced this week that they're finally going to excise the age-old myth from the nation's textbooks, admitting to little kids who don't know any better that they've been lying to them all along, and no, the infamous Great Wall is not, after all, visible from space. Given that the wall is both the same color as its surroundings and only a few yards wide, whereas the average Beijing skyscraper is shiny, twice as large, and lit up like a christmas tree at night, one has to wonder if kids might have been able to figure this out on their own. Still, in an age of intelligent design curricula, it's nice to hear about a case of the scientific method trumping propaganda.

Chinese textbooks are expected to continue propogating other cultural myths, however, including the myth that the United States is an unholy sinkhole of moral decay populated solely by drive-by rap artists, imperialistic dogs, and prostitutes. Well, you can't change a totalitarian, mind-controlling regime in a day. (Oh, wait -- that's not a myth...)

Interestingly, in citing the Web site for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration as confirmation, CNN points out that many other manmade objects can be seen from space without magnification. Bet you can't name just one.

posted by boyhowdy | 10:43 PM |

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