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Dong Hua Men Night Market, Beijing – NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED!

If you are going to Beijing and you have a free evening, you must go to the Dong Hua Men Night Market (address: Dong Hua Men Avenue, West of Wang Fu Jing AvenueBeijing 100005China). The stalls open from 5pm to about 11pm. The market has about a hundred food stalls that offer everything from rice and noodles to cupcakes to deep-fried starfish, grasshoppers and snakes on sticks. Locals and toursists walk around to watch other brave people devour some of the most un-imaginable food items in this market.

I went there one evening a couple of weeks ago with my parents and sister. We were all curious to see whether this place can live up to the hype built by the media and other tourists who have been here before.

I was so excited when we arrived:

We arrived just as the owners were opening their stalls so we were among the first few people they enticed to try everything. The first few items were not so bad.

Cute pastries
Insides of pigs
Lobsters
Lobsters, deep-fried seafood on sticks

Then, as we carried on walking, the items on sale became weirder…

Pig intestines

…and weirder…

Dried and fried lizards (?), grasshoppers and seahorses
A closer look at the grasshoppers
Some sort of lizards
Yes. Seahorses!

…and weirder…

Scorpions
Deep-fried breaded starfish
Snakes, millipedes, spiders, etc. on sticks

But hey, some people tried them. Here’s a picture of a man who is a lot braver than I was:

Take a bow, Sir. Take a bow!

We have had an amazing night people-watching. I definitely would recommend this place to anyone who comes to Beijing. If you feel brave, try any of their food, take a picture and post it on your blog and let me know!

Despite having a rather interesting and fun night, I went back to my hotel wearing this expression on my face:

The Psychology of The Savants Series: Memory Masters

Savants (the knowing ones) are people with neurological conditions like Autism Spectrum Conditions, who also possess incredible intellectual abilities. The videos below are about Savants with impressive memories. Watch and be amazed:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

 

More on Autism:

Vote for Miss Montana, Alexis Wineman

What does Autism mean?

Communication difficulties in Autism

Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper: Asperger’s Syndrome’s Poster Boy?

Guide to parents of students with ASD on coping with the first day back to school

Inspiring People with Autism:

Dr. Temple Grandin

Jessica-Jane Applegate (British Paralympian)

Satoshi Tajiri (Pokemon creator)

Carly Fleischmann

My favourite guitar solos of all

As a guitar player, I’ve always been asked to name my favourite guitar solos of all time. I’ve been inspired by players from different genres and my favourite solos/songs change from time to time. Below are only a few of my favourite ones. Please note that they are not ranked and I am not claiming that they are better than any other songs that were not on the list. This is simply a list of the solos that inspired my own personal style of playing. These songs are the ones that I would listen to time and time again:

Mr. Big’s Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy. Introduced to me by one of my best friends, Mr Big features Paul Gilbert- one of the best alternate-pickers of all time. This song took me a month to learn and 3 months to perfect.

Ozzy Osbourne and guitarist Randy Rhodes’ Crazy Train. This song has the groove that makes me wanna pick up my guitar everytime I hear it. The solo’s easy to learn but involves leggatos and tapping techniques that I believe every guitarist should have in their arsenal:

Guns n Roses’ Paradise City. No, it’s not Sweet Child o’ Mine. This song’s solos are far more complicated (for me) than Sweet Child’s and far more harder to learn and play- I still don’t know how to play this song in full.

Pantera’s Walk. I don’t need to explain why I like this song and it’s solo. If you’re a guitarist, you SHOULD know how to play this note for note. This is one of those solos that you don’t change when you play it live.

Avenged Sevefold’s Afterife. Yes, A7X lost it’s appeal when they went mainstream, but this song’s riff and solo is just out of this world. Learn to play this really really slow in order to play it up-tempo:

Derek Trucks’ I Wish I Knew. Honestly, I can’t pick a single song that will represent the genius of Derek Trucks. Just watch and learn:

Poison’s (Ritchie Konzen) Until You Suffer Some (Fire and Ice). I know the songs cheesy. But everytime I hear the solo, I always wish that I was the one who wrote it!

Al Di Meola’s Mediterranean Sundance. I know this is not your typical song and it may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but watch him! I am too scared to try to play like him!

Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues. Slow, easy listening song with a mean, mean solo!

B.B King’s The Thrill is Gone. This man plays fewer note than most guitarists, but the notes that he plays are the right ones. I never knew what the BLUES is until I’ve seen this man live:

Lastly, my favourite solo of them all is John Mayer’s Slow Dancin’ in a Burning Room. I honestly don’t know why I love this solo so much. Everytime I hear/play it, I discover something new. I would never get tired of this song: