Saturday, January 30, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
INT/EXT HUMVEE DAY
Find the humvee driving across the desert void. ... Outside, horizon of sand and sun. Inside, shell-shocked men.
Jeremy Renner, actor: It was a really important scene for all three of our characters. It was the hinging point to where they all become cohesive. Before that it was always very tense, "Is he trying to kill us, this guy (James)?" It was intense shooting that, for sure.
Barry Ackroyd, cinematographer: One of the most important things is to find the right location. It had a dry riverbed for them to get stuck in, the bridge in the distance, and a real building.
MERCENARY TEAM LEADER
We've got a flat tire. Can you help us?
Mark Boal, writer (and former embedded journalist): The flat tire being the beginning of the ambush came out of a conversation I once had with a military contractor who told me one of the scariest things that ever happened to him in Iraq was getting stranded with a flat tire and not having the right wrench.
Compass Rule of Planning and Preparation: Anticipate the projected state of your grand settings in terms of normality and extremity. Plan and prepare your tool set in order to adapt to the extreme elements. Be aware of the spacing of your gear pac and the total weight of the tools that you are carrying. Always Assess. Position and Influence (API).
Amateurs guess. Professionals know.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Cao Cao was a general and a ruler during the Three Kingdoms era, who utilized a blitz-like assault that devastated and demoralized his opposition. One of his favorite modus operandi was to create technical mismatches by targeting his lightning-fast vanguard cavalry at the opposition's weak points.
Biographically, Cao Cao was also proficient in the military and literary studies. He was also famous for his commentary in the the Art of War. .
"Appear at voids (undefended areas) and assault at the opposition's weakness, evade all of their defensive points and assault him where he does not expect you. ... " --- Cao Cao
More information on Cao Cao's life can be found at Wikipedia.
China finds likely tomb of 3rd century general
BEIJING – Chinese archaeologists have found what could be the tomb of Cao Cao, a skillful general and ruler in the who was later depicted in popular folklore as the archetypal cunning politician.
Archaeological officials say Cao's 8,000-square feet (740-square meter) tomb complex, with a 130-feet (40-meter) passage leading to an underground chamber, was found in Xigaoxue, a village near the ancient capital of in central Henan province, according to the official .
Historians say Cao Cao's outstanding military and political talents enabled him to build the strongest and most prosperous state in northern China during the period in 208 to 280 A.D., when China had three separate rulers.
Characters based on Cao are depicted as shrewd and unscrupulous villains in traditional Chinese operas and in one of China's best-loved historical novels, "." In the fictionalized account, Cao says, "Better for me to wrong the world than for the world to wrong me."
The common saying in Chinese "speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives" is the equivalent of the English expression "speak of the devil." Cao was also a prolific poet.
From the tomb complex, the bones of three people and more than 250 relics have been unearthed in nearly one year of excavation work, Chinese archaeological officials were quoted as saying. The bones were identified as the remains of a man aged about 60 and two women, one in her 50s and the other between 20 and 25 years.
Experts say the male was Cao, who died at age 65 in 220 A.D., the elder woman his empress, and the younger woman her servant. The report said among the relics found were stone paintings featuring the social life of Cao's time, stone tablets bearing inscriptions of sacrificial objects, and Cao's personal belongings.
Tablets carrying the inscription "King Wu of Wei," Cao's posthumous title, were seized from people who had apparently stolen them from the tomb, the report said.
"The stone tablets bearing inscriptions of Cao's posthumous reference are the strongest evidence," archaeologist Liu Qingzhu, of the , was quoted as saying. "No one would or could have so many relics inscribed with Cao's posthumous reference in the tomb unless it was Cao's."
BEIJING, Jan. 7 -- Excavation of Three Kingdoms ruler Cao Cao's tomb is posing as many questions as it answers.
When archaeologists revealed last month the discovery of Cao Cao's tomb it aroused a lot of interest in the legendary ruler, but also doubts.
Cao is a historical character who played an important role during the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-280) and was also known as "King Wu of Wei (Kingdom)".
Soon after confirmation of the discovery of Cao's mausoleum in Xigaoxue, a village in Anyang county, Henan province, on Dec 27, the skeptics started raising questions.
They said the austere burial site did not tally with the legend of him building up to 72 tombs to thwart tomb raiders.
"We did expect doubt and controversy," says archaeologist Liu Qingzhu of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), one of the leaders of the excavation team. "We've been thinking about revealing our findings to the public for six months. But we thought it would be better to come up with solid evidence first."
By solid evidence, Liu means sound archaeological reasoning about the tomb's location, layout, and sacrificial offerings bearing the inscription: "Personal belongings frequently used by King Wu of Wei."
While this evidence has convinced some people, others remain skeptical. They point to the six-year difference between Cao's recorded age upon death, 66, and the male figure unearthed from the tomb, whose age is estimated to be at most 60, derived from analyzing his skull and teeth.
Netizens began calling for a DNA test and someone who declared himself Cao's descendant said he would be prepared to take such a test.
Experts retorted no one can be sure they are Cao's descendant after 1,800 years.Li Meitian, deputy professor of history from Beijing Normal University, says if the skeleton of Cao Zhi, one of Cao's sons, can be found then comparison of their DNA would suffice as evidence that Cao Cao is the real deal.
Cao Zhi's tomb was discovered and unearthed in 1951, yielding 28 bones, but these were misplaced.
"Unfortunately we have no idea of the whereabouts of Cao Zhi's bones," says Liu Yuxin, director of the Cultural Relics Administration of Dong'e County, Shandong province.
"Even if we had Cao Zhi's bones, I don't think a DNA test would be a good idea," says archaeologist Wang Minghui from CASS, a human bone identification expert, who identified the skeleton unearthed from Cao Cao's tomb. He says a DNA test would damage the bones.
Then, after tourists and journalists visited the excavation site during the New Year holiday they found there are actually two tombs being excavated.
Alongside the mausoleum believed to be Cao Cao's is another tomb built with a similar layout, just 70 m away.
"We didn't mention the other tomb (at the press conference) because the excavation of that tomb had just started," says Hao Benxing, a researcher from the Henan Provincial Cultural Relics Administration. "We haven't recovered any relics worth mentioning."
Even so, it is thought the smaller tomb might contain confirmation of Cao's ownership of the bigger tomb.
In the bigger tomb, there were also remains of two females, one estimated to be 50, the other between 20 and 25. Experts thought the older female was Cao's wife, buried 10 years later, in accordance with historical records.
But there is a disparity between Cao's wife's recorded age upon death, 60, and that identified by skull and teeth identification of the older female.
So, if the smaller tomb contains remains of a female aged 60, Cao's wife, ownership of the bigger tomb would be much less controversial because it would prove that she was indeed "buried alongside" with him as historical record puts it, says professor Liu Xinchang from Handan Research Institute of History and Culture, Hebei province.
He says the archaeologists could have waited three months to find this out.
Archaeologist Liu Qingzhu responds they "waited long enough".
"After one year of excavation and research, we've secured enough evidence to make our conclusion. Secondly, news of the excavation reached some of the media," Liu says.
"It is Cao Cao who we are talking about here. If speculation began he would appear to be more a legend rather than a character. We want our findings to reveal historical truth, not to start or repeat a legend."
(Source: China Daily)
Saturday, January 2, 2010
One of our associates is considering the pursuit of writing a comprehensive book on The Art of War.