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Everything posted by SerHaHa

  1. The first thread is full, I've not done this before, but so far as I understand it anyone can begin a new thread on a continuing subject, at least I hope so. Episode 3 tonight - after pondering the first 2 episodes, after a good 3 re watches per ep, I've decided I'm going to enjoy this new Trek. I'm actually in the stages of becoming a bit smitten. Yes, I believe I could fall into deep smitt. There are some pretty solid performances going on here, it's undeniably beautiful to look at, but where a lot of fans are seeing a lack of depth - among an infinite number of other issues, many of which I can identify with too - for me the experience has been a gradual improvement every episode. Many liked the first, and hated the second, for me I felt they were relatively equal, but this third episode IMO was the best of the three so far. It had elements of some older Trek series like TNG/DS9, and we've finally been given a look at the external and internal Discovery ship in a bit more detail. I'm picking up what they're puttin down. Also, Rekha Sharma is a great actress from here in Canada, formerly of BSG, and I really loved her scenes in this third episode, and am looking forward to see how they develop her as a high ranking (Commander?!) security chief in future eps. I also love Jason Isaacs, another British actor like Sean Bean whom I'll always make time to watch anything they're involved in. Great casting decision here, could be a great "Captain" even though the vibe I'm getting (obviously, right) is that the Captain isn't going to be the primary protagonist, at least not for a while. Yes, I realize this is obvious since we're already on Captain numéro deux already.
  2. Hah, I'm surprised I've not thought of that before, but you're absolutely right, so much of B5's portrayal of the media through ISN was very prescient. Everyone always gives ST TNG and DS9 cred for things like Ipads and such, but B5 and how they handled the press is even better IMO. Surprising to me in a way too, as JMS is and always has been a big supporter of the freedom of the press - impressive that he wasn't afraid to criticize them, particularly since back then the only "big" cable news service was the mighty CNN.
  3. Again - you can't use a negative to prove a positive future outcome regarding this issue. I'm telling you and everyone else, again, that I can set up a simulation with cardboard targets on a 360 range in the desert or on safe crown land some place, with one of the LEAST "offensive" types of firearms allowed in Australia, and PROVE that any barely or untrained nut can create a mass casualty event. I'm talking 50+ fatalities. Easily. Australian, Canadian, British, etc, firearms legislation and regulations are NOT enough. I'll grant that at least they are a start, but that's all they are, and the illusion that they protect the population is exactly that - an illusion. More drastic action is going to be required. The next event that happens in Canada, Australia, what have you, anyplace held up as a "safe" example nation due to their laws, I"ll bump/link this. I wish I'd never have to, but it's inevitable. Regarding Canada, the very semi auto rifle that started our firearms act legislation back in 1989, bill C17 that came into force after the Ecole Polytechnique mass shooting by Gamil Gharbil/Mark Lepine, is still a NON restricted firearm. See what I mean?
  4. While I agree with the sentiment, he didn't NEED to own more than just one. One semi auto AR15 with a bumpfire stock, and 100 60 or 100 round SureFire magazines would keep a nut shooting for 1/2 an hour or longer. Bucket of water nearby to cool the barrel/rifle, and there is nothing going to stop him. This is just one of many full auto to fail videos, all without a bucket/water to cool it, just air cooled. 2500 rounds non stop, enough said? Also, a revolver, in any caliber, be it 38/357/44/whatever - I can reload one with speed loaders in under 2 seconds. I've seen guys who focus on revolvers do it much faster than that. Anyone can self train to reload a revolver in a few seconds. See where I'm going? While your concept has merit, the specific idea doesn't - one revolver in a major caliber, 50 speed loaders in a bag/on belt/whatever - 300 rounds of rapidly replenish-able ammunition for that "safer" revolver solution. I'll continue to repeat - even the most basic firearm in even untrained or little-trained hand, can be a massive threat. This isn't going to be fixed with restrictions on calibers and types, or magazine capacities.
  5. Even then, there are still areas where people in the "free West" congregate in large groups at scheduled/regular times. The malls, churches, etc etc - it doesn't need to be a concert or sports event to give a nutjob a large soft target. If you were speaking metaphorically, I do believe that some in the media are complicit with this, while paying lip service and wringing their hands on air, they certainly aren't donating the extra $ in add revenue they get from the increased CPM views to things like the victims groups of the very events they are covering. If we don't start taking action, and fast, freedoms we enjoy in the West, even the very nature and fabric of our societies, can, and will, rapidly unravel. I've seen it in other places. Nobody who saw Sarajevo in 84 would in their wildest dreams have guessed what it would look like 10, 15 years later. I do NOT want that happening here, not that firearms were necessarily the primary cause of the collapse/war in Yugoslavia, but they certainly could be here, and it all looks the same once it comes tumbling down, the reasons don't matter. We have a reason. One we CAN stop, but it'll require radical action and change.
  6. This is what I've been alluded to all along - more than alluded, I've essentially said much the same thing. Until there is a fundamental shift in culture - including, in fact mostly in the "gun" culture, these mass shooting events will never stop. Disarmament, a massive culture/attitude shift, or likely BOTH, will be required IMO. I realize that many see hope in new forms of restricitions and laws. Who knows, maybe they will have some effect on the culture, it's possible. I still maintain that this alone will still leave the window open for more mass shootings. Nobody is willing to restrict bolt action/basic weapons, that's always a "non starter", but I'm telling all of you, and I can prove it, that such a weapon is ALL someone needs, even an untrained someone, to kill 50+ people over, and over, and over again. Until we're ready to face the facts that even the most basic firearm is capable of mass destruction versus unarmed civilians, nothing will change. Certainly the risk for more mass shootings won't, and that's what should be concerning us all, more than hunting safety and other related subjects. It's not going to stop unless we as a society and culture decide it's worth taking drastic action over, and by drastic I mean more than just training, restrictions (like Canada/Australia) and so forth. That, in my humble - not humble, but trained and experienced opinion, is what is going to HAVE to happen. Or it'll just be same time, same channel, thoughts and prayers and we're sorry for your loss, catch you at the next event! Over, and over, infinitum.
  7. If you guys discussing Cromwell/etc want to read some interesting stuff about how difficult it was for America to raise troops and arm them in the first conflicts (and potential conflicts, also one of the first potential acts of succession that President Washington had to march to put down), I have an excellent source material collection of this I can lend you to read, a lot of similar threads to your posts. PM me a contact if you're interested. TrueMetis - you have the makings of a great soldier based on that mindset, and if you follow it through with action, IMO. Story time 2 - my direct anscestor was tried and convicted of supplying arms and other logistical support to Louis Riel during his Metis/NorthWest rebellion.
  8. I'm Canadian, but grew up for my formative years in the USA, and left before much of the gun culture had filtered into me. So bear this in mind with my response, as we have a different view up here, as well as very recently I've done an about face on the entire idea of civilians owning firearms at all. Since it's believed to be fact by enough of the courts and government in the USA that the 2A provides a constitutional right to keep and bear small arms I'll proceed under this assumption here. There are no licensing or training requirements in America, at least most of it, to own firearms. Here in Canada there are requirements, however there is little that is really retained in just a 3 or 4 hour course, and I'm a certified instructor by the government and AHEIA here in Alberta to teach the restricted PAL course. I'm also one of 4 civilian instructors that has the cert to train the VERY few people granted a concealed weapons permit up here. Based on my experience training not just civilians, but SOME armed professionals like police and other units, until you get a lot more advanced training and experience, safety with firearms can be a fleeting thing. Sweeping/flagging things with the muzzle of the firearm, finger on the trigger when not making a conscious decision to fire, not taking account of what is in the background of your target should you miss or overpenetrate it...these things happen with shocking regularity in formal training classes, even with guys who claim "I've been shooting all my life etc etc etc", and even with some - not a majority, but enough to take notice of - police officers and other armed professionals. So yes, there is a right to own firearms and carry them concealed, but the training required to do so is a joke IMO, and the vast, vast majority who do so are as dangerous to others and themselves as they are to any potential threat. This is proven IMO as well, as even police officers with the mininum 80 hours of range/classroom training time, as well as the benefit of being with a partner/other officers unlike Joe Blow with his CCW permit, miss 80% of their targets, frequently hit bystanders or other officers, and also frequently wound themselves. The FBI stats on this are shocking. So, if a L/E officer does so poorly after weeks or months of training, how safe is Joe Blow with his 2 hour CCW course really going to be under fire? As I said before, any nutjob can be effective in terms of mass shootings, but to be effective and SAFE as an armed civilian trying to the "right" thing, or as a L/E officer even, when engaging actual threats in a civilian environment...even L/E screws that up as frequently as they don't. As for other posts, I agree, or at least used to, with some of the arguments FOR civilians keeping and bearing small arms. I now maintain that nothing short of a complete ban on civilian ownership of firearms will ever change things as they are now. Until we commit to doing that, nothing WILL change. I've already posted my reasons for believing this in the thread. I'm not sure it can be done, but if somebody doesn't start trying, we're in for more of the same.
  9. This CAN be the case, for some individuals, while others will respond in the exact opposite manner. TrueMetis sounds a lot like a reservist to me, not that his service isn't brave and valid, it's just that he is too new to this, and is still without combat experience. I've been in 3 warzones, the Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanitan, and for the last 10 years before retiring worked for 4 of the best companies in the world, training troops/security everywhere from Jordan, to Canada, to the USA. (Sig Sauer Academy, Triple Canopy, Globe Risk, Tundra Security). Stress reaction under combat conditions is an extremely unpredictable science, at least in terms of how individuals will react to the common physiological body reactions - (fine motor skill loss, auditory exclusion, flattening of the eye causing the retina/etc tunnel vision effect, the elastic time effect, and so on). I've seen people snap to and become very switched on under fire for the first time, people who under normal conditions weren't very skilled or impressive. I've also seen people who set the world on fire on the range and in training exercises come apart when under fire. The average is usually a few instants of pause, and then training begins to take over, and the majority of those under fire for their first few times function more than adaqutely. So, unless you've been in combat, and/or spent a decade or two studying and applying the adult learning techniques as they relate to combat of all kinds, you really don't have any idea about what people are capable of. This is DANGEROUS, as spouting off regarding public safety, particularly that the threat is somehow "less than" because potential nuts don't have training and won't be able to accomplish x because of y, is completely false. So what you and TrueMetis are saying can SOMETIMES be accurate, but you can't count on that. It doesn't take much if any training at all for a random joe nutjob to become an incredibly hard to deal with threat, thanks to modern firepower and technology. Ask anyone who has investigated many of the mass shootings in recent history, other than the Major at the military base - and he was a desk driver - few if any had any formal training, and had either self taught/trained, or had no training at all. The reasons for this are simple - sane people fear death and bodily harm, so the first time a round cracks by their head, or some kind of outside stress that threatens safety happens (car accident, whatever), the body alarm reaction will take over. Insane, or even sane but nutty people are the ones initiating that first contact, and also frequently don't have the same care for life, in fact they've most often already decided to end their own life very shortly after their mass shooting, and this typically causes the common body alarm and stress reactions to not occur in the same manner as the rest of us to them, if at all. That's according to the FBI and most of the others in the industry that have studied this at least, and I agree based on my own experience.
  10. Since you put it so nicely, and since you`re obviously so well read and educated on the subject, I shouldn't have to explain this. Things such as the 39 Supreme court decision on the matter, or Lepore at Harvard's articles and papers regarding this specifically, and so on. I'm happy to email you their work. The English words "bear arms" were used for a specific reason in the second when it was written. Again, the British crown didn't stir much, if at all, regarding the subject of restricting small arms ownership or use in the colonies, before, or even during the revolutionary war. They did however take specific measures to seize artillery and its associated equipment and ammunition, in fact that was when the first shots were fired which arguable started the war for independence. Nor was there any particular movement to restrict small arms by the new American government. So why even write "bearing arms, people, militia" into the second amendment then? According to two of the most respected profs on this subject, one from Standford, my school, and the other from Harvard - the second, particularly because of these stated reasons, and specifically due to the British military terminology "to bear arms" being included, as "arms" as was used them did NOT mean just small arms, in fact it specifically was a term used to describe the most powerful weapons of the day. Perhaps you misunderstand my intentions by bringing this specific subject or military arms, artillery, and the 2A as it was written, UP in the first place. IMO what it does is it removes small arms from the equation, ie that there is a strong argument that since small arms - and their restriction - weren't much of an issue for either the crown OR the newly formed US government - and that's true based on numerous sources out there, that the 2A today doesn't afford them any special protections. This IMO opens a door for the legality of mass confiscation, which, as per my posts after the one that has you so upset, is what I believe is the only solution to this problem. Tracking ownership, regulating amounts of ammunition, restrictions on this device or that type - none of it will work, as all of these restrictions will be too easy to ignore or break, not that it matters, as a nut with a few hundred rounds with a common bolt action rifle, and very little experience or training, can easily accomplish large casualty event mass shootings still. Firearms - it all needs to go, as a culture collectively, or it's never, ever, going to end. No middle road legislation will stop them, or the potential for them (re Australia/Canada/etc).
  11. You're using a negative to try and prove a positive regarding Australia. Mass shootings were already an incredibly rare event there, and as I've explained, with the weapons Australians are still allowed - even the legal ones (illegal ones are easy to obtain there, check the dark web for some laughs regarding that, and it isn't very funny IMO) - are enough firepower that one individual could very easily cause 50+ deaths at will at crowded events or areas. I can set up cardboard targets and prove that to you with a video on my 2000 meter range if you wish. Restrictions in Australia and Canada are nothing more than feel good lip service laws designed to strike a middle ground that won't push the right into civil war, yet allow politicians to fool those on the left that these rules actually make some kind of difference in terms of public safety. They only give an illusion of more safety, again, using a variety of weapons allowed in both those countries still, I or anyone even remotely competent can demonstrate and prove that in a range simulation.
  12. See above, I agree, nothing short of a complete ban will accomplish anything. We either accept as a society that we don't need firearms, and ban them all and have door to door confiscation, or we don't, and accept that the future holds nothing but more slaughter of our own people. The middle ground of "restrictions" such as Canada or Australia still leaves plenty of firepower in the hands of civilians. We either grow up and leave firearms behind culturally, or we don't. If we don't, more and more of these things will happen. I'm sick of them. I also believe that until people like myself, who worked in the firearms/training/military industry and are very familiar with the capabilities, functionality, and legal framework around firearms, start speaking out against guns, that the Democrats/left will continue to get picked apart due to incorrect information, terminology, and so forth. Being able to argue these points and facts with 2A supporters toe to toe, and say some things as I posted above, is the one of the critical things that needs to start happening if America is ever going to get off this course IMO. A few of us have already began, even some of the entertainers at that concert that were huge 2A supporters are starting to come around. I know the standard defense will be what about hunting? - Muzzle loaders and archery I feel would suffice, but nothing more. If we don't start moving in that direction, more and more incidents will happen.
  13. Also, I firmly believe nothing short of a complete ban on all firearms will have ANY effect on stopping these types of recent attacks. The lunatic in Vegas chose a specific caliber and type of firearm, to fit the method and MO he was going for - to spray down a large crowd with inaccurate but high rate of fire medium caliber rounds. This is why there were 10x as many wounded, the 556 round isn't necessarily all that lethal, and often causes wounds instead of fatalities. He wanted a mass casualty spectacle. Had he chosen a different weapon and method, any common 30 caliber or larger deer rifle with a decent optic on it, at that close range of 600 feet every single shot could have been a lethal hit. In 15 minutes of sustained shooting (which he did), with any common deer rifle, there could, and would have been several times as many fatalities, with much fewer wounded. The British army from the early 1900s to World War 2 used a 10 shot 303 bolt action rifle - pretty much the lowest common denominator when it comes to "lethality" in firearms owned by Americans these days. They did a competition throughout the army and empire called "the mad minute". Every decent rifleman could shoot 20 shots in a minute, and hit a 15 inch target at 300 yards, every time. The best riflemen could do 30 and even 40 hits per minute. See what I'm getting at? With even some basic training, or even little or no training, average nutcase joe can get himself a basic and common bolt action rifle, and if he chooses his location thinking of cover and concealment, near a crowded event....point is even with the most "acceptable" form of 'sporting" firearm, anyone who snaps and goes on a rampage has the firepower to create mass casualty events. Only solution is a complete ban, or this will never stop. That's it IMO, either it'll happen, or it won't, and this sort of thing will never stop.
  14. This is only true because 2/3 of all firearms fatalities in the USA are suicides, suicides predominantly done in the home. The other largest group of firearms deaths is young men, particularly those involved in gang culture, in cities like Chicago, 1/4 to 1/5 of the fatalities. Remove these two statistics, and the number of firearms deaths and incidents plummets, and certainly IMO shows that average joe gun owner certainly isn't contributing to the violence and deaths nationwide in any meaningful way. Regarding the second ammendment: Originally, the writers of the 2A around 1790 didn't write it for small arms. The British before and during the revolutionary war coulnd't have given a tinkers damn about small arms or restricting them with laws. In fact there were times and places then where the Crown demanded that colonists be armed with flintlock rifles and pistols, in order to aid in the common defense of towns and settlements. The King/Parliament just did NOT care about gun law legislation then. What they DID care about was proven at Concord - seizing powder, shot, and artillery. THAT is what the second was written for, to protect the rights of the people and the militas they could form, the rights to possess artillery and ammunition for it. Artillery was responsible for 2/3 or more of the casualties in the war which formed America, as well as 2/3 or more in every major conflict since, be it WW1, WW2, Vietnam, or the Gulf wars. That is what the writers of the 2A wanted to ensure, that the people would have equal firepower to any invading power, or any standing army raised by their own American government. I guess the question is, is that sentiment compatible with American life and culture today? Do the people still need, and do they benefit from having equal firepower that their military has? They only generally do in terms of small arms now, something again that wasn't a concern or the purpose of the second originally in the first place. Interesting article in the Washington Post today below.
  15. Heh, I've had many similar thoughts this week. If you need a waiter or dishwasher, let me know.
  16. Easy to understand why, excellent writing and putting those words into some great scenes. After reading the book and some other material on Andre, I have much respect for him as a man, and I feel they honored him by having his character be portrayed in such an interesting and likeable manner. I'd forgotten much of the first season, and re watching it now and seeing Andre's character with different eyes than the first time around - fantastic stuff. The actress playing Shippen did great work as well, they did a great job IMO of portraying a woman and her family caught in the middle of two sides, and being in love with one man in the middle of all that, and then having another foisted upon her character so to speak. This brings the ...triangle for lack of a better term, arc to Arnold, and wow, did he ever knock this role out of the park, based on what I've read so far as what's been written about B Arnold and the slights he felt...just simply an outstanding part of a great all round story and program, you're absolutely correct.
  17. Such an excellent bit of work, Turn is one of my favorites, and seeing it end was very bittersweet for me. I'm re watching it right now in fact, just a few eps in on season 1. I can't think of a single character that I find boring, every single one has some interesting aspects in their arc. Due to my career pre retiring (I can still quote the 28 rules of ranging verbatim), Rogers from the Queen's Rangers (initially) is one of my favorites, and I've loved other things the actor Angus Macfadyen has done, including Californication and Braveheart. After the first season I read the book from author Alexander Rose, and enjoyed reading through his website and other articles and works too. No matter how much you think you know about American and military history, there is always so much more to find. Excellent series built on an excellent book. One thing I really appreciated is the balance they show from both sides in the conflict in the TV series, extremely well done on this account IMO. Must C T V.
  18. I liked the concept of Inhumans, and the show as said ^^^ wasn't nearly as bad as the critics said. I could see myself making time to follow it, IF it improves. Time will tell. Could be one of the few Marvel belly flops.
  19. ^^ Agree on all counts Drawcabi. I was lamenting this, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. There is some potential here, more than enough to keep me around for the future episodes. Remember how terrible DS9 was after the pilot for the next 2 years? I feel there is enough here to make great strides in the first season. I'm not disappointed, not one bit, and I was certain that's what I'd be feeling this time tonight. Instead, I have hope. I think at least 1/2 of the critical opinions here will be somewhat mitigated once everyone has seen the second epidsode. I watched them both, and I could see how the first ep alone would create some of the more negative reactions on its own.
  20. Arguably yes, but Rome is neck and neck on this score. What could have been - Deadwood, Rome, and Firefly, my triumvirate of disappointing early ends. Great post Bard, Doc was my favorite character as well. Brad Dourif played a favorite character of mine on the otherwise lamentable Star Trek Voyager, Lon Suder, and his arc was fantastic, probably the only good thing that came out of that series for me. As Doc in Deadwood, Dourif did what IMO was his best work, and right from the first episode, he put on a clinic. I agree regarding a community rewatch, if by some miracle the Deadwood HBO film happens - I rate that as likely as getting Winds of Winter in 2018 - I think I'd enjoy a rewatch thread with all the talent that is here doing such things like Werthead and so on. I had just started my own re watch of Deadwood last week, I'm 1/2 way through the first season or so, it's a yearly event still to this day. I get something new out of each episode, every time, even after seeing them all at least a 1/2 dozen times or more.
  21. I`d never read the comics, nor did I know any of their stories or information. Very interesting indeed, it`s odd that being such a huge B5 fan, rewatching the series yearly, that I`ve never known this... Great work Werthead, I hope you continue this thread and work.
  22. Regarding chess, this is my opinion regarding male/female disparity right now. It's not a question of intelligence or capacity for intelligence and intellect. I firmly believe women are every bit as intelligent as men and have the capacity for equal brilliance. Chess is a game though, and a game where tactics, strategy, aggression, and defense all play a massive part, as well as obviously memorization skills, experience, and everything else. The first 4 are where women are at a disadvantage IMO through thousands of years of genetic history. It's nearly always been the male who has engaged in fighting wars and the hunting duties - the things that have shaped our genetic experience and abilities throughout our history, and only recently have women started to filter into combat roles in a larger part. Chess, a game, yet the game requires these instincts which men have had the advantage of acquiring through most of our common past. Is it not also a recent invention, opening up competitive chess to both sexes in the same divisions? Certainly less than 30 years I think. I'd bet in another 50 once women become more interested in chess and are competing and advancing with other men and women, it'll become a more equal split in terms of numbers, and rankings. I feel the instinct/genetic bit is only about 10% of it, and that it's mainly due just to a lack of inclusion until recent times, and that a a culture chess just wasn't something that women were "supposed" to be interested in. That's changing, and IMO it'll change quickly comparatively speaking. I don't necessarily believe some of this, there are incredible amounts of great women into all things nerd/geek, look at all the great YT channels run by women into nerdish things such as code, gaming - eventually chess will catch up. "Important issues". I think that entertaining oneself, gaming, and nerdism are all very important issues. I agree with where you're coming from in the first bit though, that it's primarily due to just fewer women into chess, but that'll change IMO, as chess is pretty far down the "geek" flowchart these days, but more women will filter down and find it. Again, 50 years, I believe and hope there can be a female world champion chess player, or at least several ranked among the top players. Just a generation or two.
  23. 100% agree. Ridiculous how powerful and rife with abuse the asset search/seizure methods of L/E and the government have become. Also, I know many libertarians or classic liberals such as myself who think very poorly of Trump. America was cursed with two horrible options in the last election IMO. I wonder how it would have been had Bernie actually won frequently now... 2018 is going to be interesting, hopefully the USA can keep things together until 2020.
  24. I watched it as well, it's becoming almost "normal" now, watching these rockets return to earth and land. It's incredible what SpaceX has done in such a short period of time. Great to see them helping the USAF loft their bird too, it'll be interesting to find out what that x37 has been up to all these years, should that ever become declassified. It's amazing tech in its own right too, staying in orbit literally for years, doing things we can only guess at. I was hoping after the 2nd stage separation sequence they'd turn the camera towards to payload, as they did with the last satellite launch, so we could watch the X37 deploy - alas, I'm sure that USAF/DND classification rules cut that feed to us mere civilians. I think if just a matter of a couple/few years, civilians will be going into space, even orbiting the moon, thanks to SpaceX and other civilian space tech companies. I still feel we should get our feet under us by establishing a moon base or colony before taking shots to Mars, and I hope that advances in tech will do that. Does anyone else who watches these launches frequently think that if we could only have peace, and not waste SO much on defense, that we could as humans be moving so much faster into our solar system? Such resources and lives we waste fighting each other, over nonsense mostly, and every time I see how fast our tech and space capabilities are advancing, I wonder just how much farther we could be going by putting our efforts into peaceful and helpful endeavors. Every new launch and landing I watch, it's a marvel, but I can't help but still have these feelings, every single time. This is a great thread, SpaceChampion, Scot, others, it's always a good visit to the board when I see this thread near the top.
  25. The former poster already mentioned the VPN thing, as the Golden Firewall Project, or Golden Shower project as I prefer to call it, blocks the majority of the common Western apps you may be using, and some sites. I haven't been to the mainland in a few years, but I lived in Hong Kong for nearly 2 total, and visit every 2nd year for a month. China is a great place, make sure to visit cities in various "categories" that they have, not just the big/high rated ones, if you get the chance. ADVCHina is a great Youtube channel to check out, lots of info from 2 Americans living and working in China right now. Make sure you don't bring any prescriptions on the banned list in, and other than that, I can't think of anything else you need to be concerned with - great opportunity for you IMO, it's an interesting and rich nation and culture, enjoy soaking it all up. Re languages, I'd start working on picking up some basic Mandarin, Beijing dialect if you want to be specific, but you can also use various translator apps with your phone/tablet, which work incredibly well in my experience. You can interact with people who can use these apps to communicate back with you, as well as translate whatever you type or say into vocalized Mand through the speaker. Beats the "old" ways of trying to hand sign and mime and such, until you pick it up, which will happen quickly if you try just a bit. It is one of the more difficult languages to learn, especially to write, but to become passable should happen easily in your first stay there in my experience.