Castle Black seemed a bleak and forlorn place in the

Castle Black seemed a bleak and forlorn place in the pale dawn light. My command, Jon Snow reflected ruefully, as much a ruin as it is a stronghold. The Lord Commander’s Tower was a shell, the Common Hall a pile of

blackened timbers, and Hardin’s Tower looked as if the next gust of wind would knock it over … though it had looked that way for years. Behind them rose the Wall: immense, forbidding, frigid, acrawl with builders pushing up a

new switchback stair to join the remnants of the old. They worked from dawn to dusk. Without the stair, there was no way to reach the top of the Wall save by winch. That would not serve if the wildlings should attack again.

“How well, though?” Ser Godry drew his own blade. “Show us. I promise not to hurt you, lad.”

How kind of you. “Some other time, ser. I fear that I have other duties just now.”

“You fear. I see that.” Ser Godry grinned at his friends. “He fears,” he repeated, for the slow ones.

“You will excuse me.” Jon showed them his back.

“Yes, it is,” said Father, annoyed. “It may very well savetheir lives.”Save our lives! It was no longer a small alarm bell thatwas ringing in my head – they

were big bells now, like theones we heard from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, not farfrom the zoo.

“But Piscine? He’s only eight,” Mother insisted.
“He’s the one who worries me the most.””I’m innocent!” I burst out. “It’s Ravi’s fault, whatever it is.

He did it!””What?” said Ravi. “I haven’t done anything wrong.” Hegave me the evil eye.

“Shush!” said Father, raising his hand. He was looking atMother. “Gita, you’ve seen Piscine. He’s at that age when boysrun around and poke their noses everywhere.”Me? A run-arounder? An everywhere-nose-poker? Not so,not

so! Defend me, Mother, defend me, I implored in myheart. But she only sighed and nodded, a signal that theterrible

 

business could

proceed.

“Come with me,”

said Father.

shlf19.com

Boy was not the worst of the things that Jon Snow had

Boy was not the worst of the things that Jon Snow had been called since being chosen lord commander. He ignored it.

“Snow,” the voice insisted, “Lord Commander.”

This time he stopped. “Ser?”

The knight overtopped him by six inches. “A man who bears Valyrian steel should use it for more than scratching his arse.”

Jon had seen this one about the castle—a knight of great renown, to hear him tell it. During the battle beneath the Wall, Ser Godry Farring had slain a fleeing giant, pounding after him on horseback and driving a lance through his back,

then dismounting to hack off the creature’s pitiful small head. The queen’s men had taken to calling him Godry the Giantslayer.

Jon remembered Ygritte, crying. I am the last of the giants. “I use Longclaw when I must, ser.”

Countless stories are told of them. They are the pendants ofthose “vicious”, “bloodthirsty”, “depraved” animals that inflamethe ire of the maniacs I have

just mentioned, who vent theirspite on them with walking sticks and umbrellas. In both caseswe look at an animal and see a mirror. The obsession

withputting ourselves at the centre of everything is the bane notonly of theologians but also of zoologists.

I learned the lesson that an animal is an animal, essentiallyand practically removed from us, twice: once with Father andonce with Richard Parker.

It was on a Sunday morning. I was quietly playing on myown. Father called out.

“Children, come here.”Something was wrong. His tone of voice set off a smallalarm bell in my head. I quickly reviewed my conscience. Itwas clear. Ravi must be in trouble again. I wondered what hehad done this time. I

“Ravi, Piscine, I have a very important lesson for you today.””Oh really, is this necessary?” interrupted Mother. Her facewas flushed.

I swallowed. If Mother, normally so unruffled, so calm, wasworried, even upset, it meant we were in serious trouble. Iexchanged glances with Ravi.

walked into the living room. Mother wasthere. That was unusual. The disciplining of children, like thetending of animals, was generally left to Father. Ravi

 

walked inlast,

guilt written

all over his

criminal face.

www.shlf19.com

Iron Emmett’s lads were well at it in the yard, blunted

Iron Emmett’s lads were well at it in the yard, blunted swords slamming into shields and ringing against one another.

Jon stopped to watch a moment as Horse pressed Hop-Robin back toward the well. Horse had the makings of a

good fighter, he decided. He was strong and getting stronger, and his instincts were sound. Hop-Robin was another tale. His clubfoot was bad enough, but he was

afraid of getting hit as well. Perhaps we can make a steward of him. The fight ended abruptly, with Hop-Robin on the ground.

“Well fought,” Jon said to Horse, “but you drop your shield too low when pressing an attack. You will want to correct that, or it is like to get you killed.”

“Yes, m’lord. I’ll keep it higher next time.” Horse pulled Hop-Robin to his feet, and the smaller boy made a clumsy bow.

A few of Stannis’s knights were sparring on the far side of the yard. King’s men in one corner and queen’s men in another,

Jon did not fail to note, but only a few. It’s too cold for most of them. As he strode past them, a booming voice called after him. “BOY! YOU THERE! BOY!”

Just beyond the ticket booth Father had had painted on awall in bright red letters the question:

DO YOU KNOW WHICH IS THE MOSTDANGEROUS ANIMAL IN THE ZOO?
An arrow pointed to a small curtain. There were so manyeager, curious hands

that pulled at the curtain that we had toreplace it regularly. Behind it was a mirror.

But I learned at my expense that Father believed there wasanother animal even more dangerous than us, and one thatwas extremely common, too,

found on every continent, in everyhabitat: the redoubtable species Animalus anthropomorphicus,the animal as seen through human eyes. We’ve all met

one,perhaps even owned one. It is an animal that is “cute”,”friendly”, “loving”, “devoted”, “merry”, “under-standing”.

 

Theseanimals lie in

ambush in every

toy store and

children’s zoo.

shlf20.com

“Three corns and one roast raven,” said Dolorous Edd.

“Three corns and one roast raven,” said Dolorous Edd. “Very good, m’lord, only Hobb’s made boiled eggs, black sausage, and apples stewed with prunes. The apples stewed with prunes are excellent, except for the prunes. I won’t

eat prunes myself. Well, there was one time when Hobb chopped them up with chestnuts and carrots and hid them in a hen. Never trust a cook, my lord. They’ll prune you when you least expect it.”

“Later.” Breakfast could wait; Stannis could not. “Any trouble from the stockades last night?”

“Not since you put guards on the guards, m’lord.”

“Good.” A thousand wildlings had been penned up beyond the Wall, the captives Stannis Baratheon had taken when his knights had smashed Mance Rayder’s patchwork host. Many of the prisoners were women, and some of the

guards had been sneaking them out to warm their beds. King’s men, queen’s men, it did not seem to matter; a few black brothers had tried the same thing. Men were men, and these were the only women for a thousand leagues.

“Two more wildlings turned up to surrender,” Edd went on. “A mother with a girl clinging to her skirts. She had a boy babe too, all swaddled up in fur, but he was dead.”

“Dead,” said the raven. It was one of the bird’s favorite words. “Dead, dead, dead.”

“Religion will save us,” I said. Since when I could remember,religion had been very close to my heart.

“Religion?” Mr. Kumar grinned broadly. “I don’t believe inreligion. Religion is darkness.”Darkness? I was puzzled. I thought, Darkness is the lastthing that

religion is. Religion is light. Was he testing me? Washe saying, “Religion is darkness,” the way he sometimes said inclass things like “Mammals lay eggs,”

to see if someone wouldcorrect him? (“Only platypuses, sir.”)”There are no grounds for going beyond a scientificexplanation of reality and no sound

reason for believinganything but our sense experience. A clear intellect, closeattention to detail and a little scientific knowledge will exposereligion as

superstitious bosh. God does not exist.” -Did he say that? Or am I remembering the lines of lateratheists? At any rate, it was something of the

sort. I had neverheard such words.
“Why tolerate darkness? Everything is here and clear, if onlywe look carefully.”He was pointing at Peak. Now though I had greatadmiration

 

for Peak, I had

never thought

of a rhinoceros

as alight bulb.

www.qianpadac.com

Jon pissed in darkness, filling his chamber pot

Jon pissed in darkness, filling his chamber pot as the Old Bear’s raven muttered complaints. The wolf dreams had been growing stronger, and he found

 

himself remembering them even when awake. Ghost knows that Grey Wind is dead. Robb had died at the Twins,

and his wolf had perished with him. Bran and Rickon had been murdered too,

beheaded at the behest of Theon Greyjoy, who had once been their lord father’s ward … but if dreams did not lie, their

direwolves had escaped. At Queenscrown, one had come out of the darkness to save Jon’s life. Summer, it had to be. His fur was grey, and Shaggydog is black. He

wondered if some part of his dead brothers lived on inside their wolves.

He filled his basin from the flagon of water beside his bed, washed his face and hands, donned a clean set of black

woolens, laced up a black leather jerkin, and pulled on a pair of well-worn boots. Mormont’s raven watched with shrewd

black eyes, then fluttered to the window. “Do you take me for your thrall?” When Jon folded back the window with its thick

diamond-shaped panes of yellow glass, the chill of the morning hit him in the face. He took a breath to clear away the cobwebs of the night as the raven flapped

away. That bird is too clever by half. It had been the Old Bear’s companion for long years, but that had not stopped it from eating Mormont’s face once he died.

I was more afraid thatin a few words thrown out he might destroy something that Iloved. What if his words had the

effect of polio on me? Whata terrible disease that must be if it could kill God in a man.

He walked off, pitching and rolling in the wild sea that wasthe steady ground. “Don’t forget the test on Tuesday.

Studyhard, 3.14!””Yes, Mr. Kumar.”He became my favourite teacher at Petit Seminaire and thereason I studied

zoology at the University of Toronto. I felt akinship with him. It was my first clue

that atheists are mybrothers and sisters of a different faith, and every word theyspeak speaks of faith. Like me,

 

they go as far as

the legs ofreason

will carry them –

and then they leap.

www.shlf20.com

They had free folk drifting in most every night,

They had free folk drifting in most every night, starved half-frozen creatures who had run from the battle beneath the Wall only to crawl back when they realized there was no safe place to run to. “Was the mother questioned?” Jon

asked. Stannis Baratheon had smashed Mance Rayder’s host and made the King-Beyond-the-Wall his captive … but the wildlings were still out there, the Weeper and Tormund Giantsbane and thousands more.

“Aye, m’lord,” said Edd, “but all she knows is that she ran off during the battle and hid in the woods after. We filled her full of porridge, sent her to the pens, and burned the babe.”

Burning dead children had ceased to trouble Jon Snow; live ones were another matter. Two kings to wake the dragon. The father first and then the

son, so both die kings. The words had been murmured by one of the queen’s men as Maester Aemon had cleaned his wounds. Jon had tried to dismiss

them as his fever talking. Aemon had demurred. “There is power in a king’s blood,” the old maester had warned, “and better men than Stannis have done

worse things than this.” The king can be harsh and unforgiving, aye, but a babe still on the breast? Only a monster would give a living child to the flames.

He spoke again. “Some people say God died during thePartition in 1947. He may have died in 1971 during the war.

Or he may have died yesterday here in Pondicherry in anorphanage. That’s what some people say, Pi. When I was yourage, I lived in bed, racked with

polio. I asked myself every day,‘Where is God? Where is God? Where is God?’ God nevercame. It wasn’t God who saved me – it was medicine. Reasonis my

prophet and it tells me that as a watch stops, so wedie. It’s the end. If the watch doesn’t work properly, it must befixed here and now by us. One day we will take hold of themeans of production and there will be justice on

earth.”This was all a bit much for me. The tone was right – lovingand brave – but the details seemed bleak.

 

I said nothing.

Itwasn’t for

fear of angering

Mr. Kumar.

qianpadac.com

Recently, a Dutch court ruled against a lawsuit by Fujian villagers of

Recently, a Dutch court ruled against a lawsuit by Fujian villagers of China

against Dutch Tibetans for reclaiming the statue of Master Zhang sitting in the body of Buddha, on the grounds that it was unclear whether the villagers’Committee of China had the right to file a lawsuit.

A lot of Chinese people are angry when news of the verdict comes out. This is the logic of robbers. The Buddha is ours. It also says that we have no right to appeal to the law. That’s a wonderful reason.

Maybe some netizens don’t know what happened. One night in December 1995,

the guard of Lin’s ancestral temple in Yangchun Village, Wushan Township,

Datian County, Fujian Province, fell asleep and the ancestor Zhang, who was enshrined in the ancestral temple, disappeared.

Zhang Gongzu, known by villagers in Yangchun Village, Fujian Province as

“the benefactor of Kaishan”, is a Taoist monk. Zhang Gongzu sat down and

became a Buddha. The ancestors of Yangchun Village in Fujian made it into a

body sitting Buddha, which has been enshrined in Lin’s ancestral temple.

In October 2014, the Hungarian Museum

of Natural Science held an exhibition “Mummy World”, where a statue of Chinese Buddhist and monk’s body,

labeled about 1100 A.D., was also displayed.

Some people are surprised to find that this Chinese Buddha statue is very similar to the body treasure of Zhang

Gong-liu Quan, who was stolen in the Song Dynasty in 1995. Moreover, there are some words on the Buddha cushion,

such as “this hall’s general seal of Zhang

this Buddha statue on display is the stolen Buddha statue in Yangchun Village.

So the villagers of Yangchun Village, Wushan Township, Datian County,

Fujian Province, submitted evidence to the Dutch court, saying that the

mummies in the exhibition were the Buddha statues they had lost.

According to Dutch media reports, the owner of the Buddha statue is an

architect in Amsterdam. He said his collection of Buddha statues is indeed very similar to those lost in Yangchun

Village, Fujian Province. However, the Yangchun village Buddha statue in Fujian Province was stolen in October of the Lunar calendar in 1995, and his

collection of Buddha statues was earlier than this time, that is to say, the possibility of the two Buddha statues

being the same is small. However, such collectors claim

that if it can be proved that the

Buddha was the one claimed

stolen by Fujian villages,

he would return the Buddha.

xpwaod.cn

The latest issue of Feng Wei has three guests, Zhang Yishan,

The latest issue of Feng Wei has three guests, Zhang Yishan,

Xie Xian and Wang Mingquan. Xie Xian seldom participates in variety arts.

This time, he and his friend Wang Mingquan are guests. They can say that they are very

supportive of Tse Tingfeng’s food cause. In the program, 82-year-old Xie Xian surprisingly appeared.

Xie Xian wore a white suit with a white high-collar shirt and a

golden necklace. He was very young, handsome and tasteful. He was not like a man in his eighties, but like a man in his forties.

Xie Xian and Wang Mingquan’s “The King of Thousand Kings”

is very popular. They are also good friends for more than 30 years. Once they meet again, they can’t help

talking about past interesting events. Wang Mingquan also mentioned that when making this play,

it happened to be a very meaningful memory of Tse Tingfeng when

he was born. Tingfeng Xie listened to Wang Mingquan and his father talk about his birth interesting,

Tingfeng Xie said that often listen to his father mentioned the

story, what is it, Wang Mingquan and Xie Xian restored to Tingfeng Xie interesting memories at that time.

When Xie Xian and Wang Mingquan were filming, Xie Xian received a

phone call from the hospital and told Xie Xian good news: your son was born. Xie Xian talked

and imitated the situation at that time. When he heard that his son was born,

Xie Xian was happy to leave immediately. He pushed Wang Mingquan aside and ran to

the hospital. Now mentioning this, Xie Xian is still excited, happy to say that he

came to the hospital, waiting at the door for 15 minutes, Tingfeng Tse was finally born, Xie Xian is also very excited.

However, when the children came out, Xie Xian said that he looked at the newly

born Nicholas Tse, but instantly abandoned him. He could not help but Tucao at the

scene in front of Nicholas Tse: so ugly. Ha ha, Nicholas Tse heard Dad Tucao himself

ugly, but really did not expect, a face can not believe. Zhang Yishan on the other side

also mended the knife “Say you are ugly”. Nicholas Tse was tucking up by his

father, and couldn’t resist laughing back at him: like you!

Haha, the dialogue between father and son is funny, but Xie Xian hasn’t finished

yet. Then Xie Xian said that although he saw Xie Tingfeng was ugly when he was born,

Xie Xian still couldn’t help crying with his new born Xie Tingfeng. Xie Xian is

also full of love from his father.

I can’t help recalling it again. When he heard that his

father was crying for his birth, Tse Tingfeng’s expression became

tearful and smiled in his emotional eyes.

Nicholas Tse was ugly by his father’s vomit. It was surprising, but it seemed

ugly when he was born. Xie Xian, 82, is still so young and handsome. His son, Tingfeng

Tse, is becoming more and

more handsome and charming.

It’s true that genetic factors are very important.

Do you like the father and son of

Xie Xian and Tse Tingfeng???

suiyincoin.cn

Late in the night of 29, Wang Sicong’s Weibo video

Late in the night of 29, Wang Sicong’s Weibo video was deleted in seconds,

and was hotly discussed on the Internet! What’s the matter? Originally, some

netizens saved the video content deleted by Wang Sicong seconds. It was a picture of three young women riding bicycles. The video was accompanied by the laughter of

Principal Wang. Afterwards, some netizens picked up a woman who was suspected of Cyber Red zz Xiaohei and was once exposed as Lin Renewal’s girlfriend.

Why did Wang Sicong delete videos in seconds?

Yesterday, late at night on December 29, Wang Sicong deleted a video in a second on his Weibo, but it was later saved by netizens. So what is the content of the video

deleted by Wang Sicong seconds? Viewed from the videos aired by netizens,

the picture shows three young women riding a motorcycle. The video is accompanied by the voiceover of Wang Sicong laughing, which is very attractive.

Video clipped by Wang Sicong in seconds

Although Wang Sicong deleted the video seconds, it was saved by the fast-moving netizens. So who are the women in the video? Does it have anything to do with Wang

Sicong? These questions are currently being debated on the Internet. Subsequently,

some netizens picked out the identity of a woman who was suspected to ride a bicycle. It was Xiao Hei, a net red zz. Who is zz Xiaohei? Let’s take a look at her information.

Women in Wang Sicong’s Video

It is learnt that zz Xiaohei’s real name is He Hongjuan, and he once had an affair with Lin Renewal. ZZ Xiaohei was born in 1981 and graduated from Northern

University of Technology. At present, he is a netizen on Weibo. He is also a good friend with Wang Sicong’s ex-girlfriend Sydney. Earlier,

zz Xiaohei and Lin Renewal were

picked up to go shopping together,

which led to rumors,

but the rumour is not long.

www.suiyincoin.cn

The news of the pyramid explosion in Egypt has been buzzing

The news of the pyramid explosion in Egypt has been buzzing in the past two days.

Many friends who want to travel to Egypt in the New Year are paying attention to

what’s going on. In fact, this mainly refers to the explosion near the Egyptian Pyramid at 6 p.m. yesterday, December 28.

A bus loaded with 14 people from Vietnam was driving along a section of the road near

the Giza Pyramid on the outskirts of Cairo when it was hit by a bomb, which resulted in three deaths and many injuries, including the driver of the bus.

So far no one or organization has claimed responsibility for the explosion, and the Egyptian police have made no substantial progress in their investigation. They only

know that the bomb placed behind a broken wall on the street is a homemade

improvised explosion. Although it is simple and indigenous, its power is not small. Half of the Vietnamese tour group’s cars are bombed.

Then, surprisingly, when Egyptian Prime Minister Madbury visited the victims and

contacted the Vietnamese Embassy, he said the following words: “Sometimes attacks like this happen, and it may happen again in the future. No country in the world can say 100 percent safe.”

For Prime Minister Madbury’s remarks, the Internet has been discussed by a large number of netizens, and even some netizens said that this is Egypt’s shirking

responsibility, so that many people want to travel to Egypt are disappointed. Some people also think that Prime Minister Madbury is telling the truth. No problem. So what do you think?

But let me remind you that tourists

who want to travel to Egypt

should pay attention to

safety and think carefully.

ax148.cn