Happy Halloween!

I’m on my way back! I’ve been completely out of touch for the last few days — it turns out that China has completely blocked Google, Twitter, YouTube, and…FreethoughtBlogs (I think that last one is an accident of our google adserver code), so I’ve had no access to email or FtB since Thursday. You don’t have to wag a finger at me, since my daughter has “tsk, tsk”ed me already for failing to set up a VPN before I left.

But aside from that one little deficiency, I have had a wonderful time in China. I was blown away by Chinese hospitality, and got so much good food, and got to tour the Forbidden Palace, the Great Wall, and the Summer Palace — it was a terrific experience, and I want to do it again.


At least you had a couple of slymepitters around for a little low quality entertainment — one of them made 107 comments all by his little self. It’s kind of sad and pathetic.

I’ve done a little cleanup, now that I’ve left Chinese airspace, but you’ll have to wait a bit for more substantive posts. I expect I’ll arrive home in Morris around 2am, and I have to get up bright and early to teach a 9am course.


  1. redwood says

    Glad you’re communicado, PZ. We’re looking forward to reading about your Chinese adventures.

  2. joel says

    I was in China this past summer and found that practically the entire English-language internet was blocked. Not just facebook and the nytimes, which I expected, but also ESPN and formula1. I mean, those Chinese web-blockers are thorough.

    Welcome back.

  3. Silver Fox says

    My wife went to Beijing in 2012 and we were able to communicate just fine via Skype on her iPad. Her hotel had pretty decent Wifi. The authorities may have been listening in on us, but except for me yelling Down With The Party! just once we never said anything objectionable.

  4. coragyps says

    “and got so much good food….”

    Obviously you didn’t get the chicken feet. They taste like chicken feet marinated in the stuff chickens stroll around in.

  5. randall says

    For what it is worth, on a trip to France some years ago, I found the French to be remarkably warm and accommodating (great food,too, of course). Later, I found my clumsy attempts at guidebook French were actually appreciated. I also got to see two world wars played out in miniature at a little restaurant in southern France. Glad to hear you got similar experiences!

  6. davidporter says

    I believe that, as PZ suggests, many non-Chinese sites are blocked not because they are targeted specifically, but because of their reliance on (or at least inclusion of) some sort of architecture related to a blocked website, whether Google adserver or otherwise. Even the little Twitter/Facebook widgets that tons of pages have can cause problems. When I was living in China, I did basically all my online stuff via VPN for this reason.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed Beijing, PZ! It’s a terrific city that I’m missing a ton right now.

  7. says

    OK PZ, no tsk tsk, but how about an “I Told You So”? Because I did. FTB isn’t blocked, but your captcha provider is, so without a VPN you can’t answer the captcha code to get access.

  8. Silentbob says

    I’ve done a little cleanup…

    Ahhhhhhh….  I love the smell of deleted troll in the morning.

  9. kimberly1091 says

    Can we have a mini travelogue, please!? I’d love to travel to china. Was it a work gig plus some down-time?

  10. bachfiend says

    I went to Beijing from October 4 to 14. I found Google blocked (but not Yahoo). Phil Plait’s blog was accessible, but not PZ’s. I could download ‘the West Australian’ digital edition newspaper but not the Melbourne ‘Age’ (despite ‘the Age’ being in the habit of publishing soft propoganda supplements on China).

    I enjoyed most of my stay in China save for the last two days when the pollution was terrible with atmospheric particulates (probably from coal power plants) reaching dangerous levels.

    I wouldn’t want to live, let alone work, in such a dangerous atmosphere. The last two days, I only left the hotel when I had to, and even then I wasn’t able to do much, having to take multiple rests to get my breath back.

    And I thought I was fit.

  11. Vivec says

    That is absolutely not my experience with chicken feet – they’re one of my favorite things to get at chinese places when I can.

  12. anchor says

    Welcome back PZ! Good to see you’re back safe and sound. Sounds like you’ve been to another world.

    Only 107 posts by the smartass slymepitter? It felt more like 10 times that.

    Its pretty impressive how a schmuck can post a quarter of a 430+ comment thread all by his puny self and not realize that his purpose in life as a disruptor falls somewhere beneath that of a cancer. It doesn’t take much imagination to suspect that type acquires esteem from like-mindless sorts in the elaborate craft of Wasting Time. Poor things. My empathy almost makes me want to shed a tear on their behalf…except I hate cancers absolutely.