I went to Peking University to interview an environmental economist, and pottered around the campus for a bit afterward. It's lake and pagoda are famously beautiful, but what I didn't know is that it's also home to many stray, fairly tame cats. Bikes at the West Gate. This biking and talking on the phone at the same time business is something I've never mastered. Maybe it's something they teach here. The environmental economist's colleagues recently finished a large forestry survey covering several provinces. Now they have to start compiling the data, only a tiny bit of which is seen here. Pagoda! It's hard to imagine a nicer place to study. It was a perfectly temperate afternoon, if a little hazy, and this man was tootling away on the flute quite proficiently, creating a surreal soundtrack for the scene. Sometimes I feel like I rarely see things that are old, yet well maintained in Beijing, like this scruffy bench. Things are either new but have already had the crap used out of them, or are old and pulverized to pieces. From his shoes, to the bike parked nearby, to the magazine keeping his tuckus dirt-free, this guy is classic Beijing. Background: Sometimes one can only hope to learn through absorption. Foreground: This woman seems tense. I've know about Super Junior for a long time, but until I saw this graffiti I never really thought about looking up one of their songs. The result is that now I have “Mr Simple” stuck in my head. Go here [youtube.com] if you want to join the club. It's the kind of music video that makes you wonder what evolutionary incongruity led to Korean boy bands.