Sometimes using a computer is just an excuse not to look at the underlying problem. China has decided to use their Tianhe-1A supercomputer, the one that headed the top 500 in 2010 for a while, to work out why the country has so much smog. If you are keeping track of such things, the current top of the list in terms of most powerful computer is the Chinese Tianhe-2.
The plan is to run a three- to five-year simulation model and see what pops out at the end. The simplified version of the model question is: Why are some days smoggy and others not? The other aim is to improve predictions of upcoming smoggy days. After consulting a few random oracles, here is my prediction for the outcome. China is a rapidly developing nation, or a developed nation that is expanding (depending on your viewpoint). It is building a massive number of power plants, manufacturing facilities, cities and lots of other things. Certain kinds of weather patterns will concentrate the particles generated from this development into certain areas like Shanghai, producing smog.
I want to officially declare the latest version of Yahoo Mail to be the worst web-based mail system I have ever used. It is slow, clunky, contains bugs and never seems to work the way I expect it to. For example, moving the editing cursor back into a word and backspacing over some characters, in order to correct them, results in characters being removed, not from where the cursor is located but off the end of the line. I'm not sure what the Yahoo developers were thinking when they designed this release, certainly not the user base.
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