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Salad Engineering

You've just purchased a meal at a restaurant that offers a salad bar, with the stipulation that you can only take items from it once. How do you get the most out of your one trip? Simple: build a salad tower. [more inside]
posted by tocts on Jul 29, 2013 - 82 comments

 

A Secret Folk Music Holds Firm In China's Badlands

"Beijing-based music critic Wang Xiaofeng says that when he heard Lao Qiang for the first time about 18 years ago, it reminded him of heavy metal: very physical and somewhat operatic."
posted by deathpanels on Jul 27, 2013 - 6 comments

'让我介绍一个哥们儿'

Xiaoou is a Norwegian artist who raps in Mandarin Chinese about income inequality in China, his love for Beijing, and going through a breakup.
posted by klue on Jul 26, 2013 - 8 comments

Awaken Human Nature and Perceive the Value of Life

For over five years, journalist and TV presenter Ding Yu headed up a  massively popular Chinese TV talk show. Every week, She would sit down with convicted murderers and interview them about their life and crimes, before they were taken out and put to death by either firing squad or lethal injection. The show, "Interviews Before Execution", was taken off the air in March 2012. [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jul 24, 2013 - 18 comments

China's Black Market City

Chen Mingyuan has lived here all his life, but he still gets lost every time he drives into Wenzhou. “All the roads in this town were built by businessmen, so none of them make any sense,” Chen says as we back out of what we just discovered is a one-way street. For the last 30 years, private citizens in this southeastern China metropolis have largely taken over one of the least questioned prerogatives of governments the world over: infrastructure. Is Wenzhou, the richest city in China's richest province, a libertarian paradise?
posted by shivohum on Jul 20, 2013 - 13 comments

Basil Pao: The Man Who Shot Everything

Basil Pao (鲍皓昕) is a photographer, among other things. He's probably most famous for his involvement with Michael Palin's travel series. He was featured in the fifth episode of Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days*. After that, he became the stills photographer for subsequent series of Palin's travels (Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Sahara, Himalaya, New Europe and Brazil, so far). [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Jul 17, 2013 - 5 comments

Green tide in the Yellow Sea

For the sixth year in a row, green algae have invaded the beaches of Quingdao, China (video). This year's algal bloom covers 28,900 km² (about the size of Massachussets or Albania), more than twice the 2008 record (13,000 km²). Bonus: two research papers (PDF) dealing with the identification of the species (Ulva prolifera) and the origin (possibly aquaculture ponds on land) of the 2008 bloom (5 years ago on MeFi).
posted by elgilito on Jul 9, 2013 - 11 comments

Breaking: NSA conducts espionage on foreign targets

In an interview with Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, NSA leaker, Edward Snowden, claims that the US is "trying to bully the Hong Kong government" into extraditing him, and provides new documents which describe the NSA's routine hacking of targets in Hong Kong and mainland China since 2009, including regular access of large backbone networks. [more inside]
posted by pjenks on Jun 12, 2013 - 938 comments

China flings humans towards "Heavenly Palace"

Yesterday there were six humans beings in space. Today there are nine. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 11, 2013 - 91 comments

A New Path Between the Seas?

Nicaragua has awarded a Chinese company a 100-year concession to build an alternative to the Panama Canal. With uncertain costs and impact to the environment, the canal is expected to pass through Lake Nicaragua, and will accomodate ships of 250,000 metric tons- twice the size the Panama Canal will accomodate even after upgrades. This is not the first time a canal through Nicaragua has been attempted. [more inside]
posted by Esteemed Offendi on Jun 10, 2013 - 72 comments

Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China

One of the most striking features about daily life in China is how much of what one encounters has been appropriated from elsewhere. It’s not just the fake iPhones or luxury watches . . . . Above all are the physical spaces. . . . New architecture, when it is notable, is nearly always by foreigners or copying foreign styles, a tendency that has led Western architects to flood into China, often with second-rate projects for sale. . . . These are not just individual buildings but entire streetscapes, with cobblestone alleys, faux churches (often used as concert halls), towers, and landscaping designed to reproduce the feel of European and North American cities. The city of Huizhou features a replica of the Austrian village of Hallstatt; while Hangzhou, a city famous for its own waterfront culture, now includes a “Venice Water Town” that has Italian-style buildings, canals, and gondolas. Other cities in China now feature Dutch colonial-style townhouses, German row houses, and Spanish-style developments.
Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China from the NYRB blog.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Jun 9, 2013 - 12 comments

Traditional Chinese Folk Medicine vs. Animal Rights Groups

"...For China’s animal welfare advocates, the victory signaled the growing clout of a movement that is frequently derided as bourgeois, frivolous or worse. Its most vociferous opponents paint animal advocates as foreign-financed traitors who would do away with such hallowed Chinese traditions as dog meat hot pot, ivory carving and dried deer penis, consumed to increase virility." - Folk Remedy Extracted From Captive Bears Stirs Furor in China (SL NYTIMES) [more inside]
posted by beisny on Jun 1, 2013 - 23 comments

The WeiboScope is a peek at what's happening on Sina Weibo, right now.

The WeiboScope - Displays the most widely reposted posts on Weibo with pictures within a 10K user sample with 10,000 or more followers. Combine it with Google Translate and you get an insight into what's being talked about on Weibo! (from the good people at University of Hong Kong's Journalism & Media Studies Centre)
posted by awfurby on May 27, 2013 - 8 comments

Photography of China

"My intentions here are simple: avoid discussions about what exactly constitutes Chinese photography, evade overwhelming information, and instead visually examine the role that such photographs play in shaping China’s image" (English, French, Chinese). Some whimsical — Alain Delorme Totems, others moving — Song Chao Miners, Migrant workers and Hold.
posted by unliteral on May 19, 2013 - 5 comments

Rubber Ducky, you're my very best friend, it's true!

We've read about Florentijn Hofman's giant rubber duck before (previously), and it made it's way earlier this week to Hong Kong to spread joy :D

Well, unfortunately, the duck was also viciously murdered (warning: may be graphic to younger viewers), and many already blame chinese mainlanders for it. [more inside]
posted by yeoz on May 18, 2013 - 23 comments

How Censorship in China Silences Collective Action

How Censorship in China Allows Government Criticism but Silences Collective Expression Researchers at Harvard University (Gary King, Jennifer Pan, and Margaret Roberts) have conducted the first large scale analysis of internet censorship in China. Their findings? Criticism of the state is not censored. What is censored, however, are any comments that support collective action or social mobilization. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on May 3, 2013 - 24 comments

China: "Human Rights Record of the United States in 2012"

"The Human Rights Record of the U.S. in 2012 is hereby prepared to reveal the true human rights situation of the U.S. to people across the world by simply laying down some facts." Chinadaily.com, among others, has the full text of the report published by The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China. Last year's report on MeFi.
posted by dreinn on Apr 29, 2013 - 49 comments

Oh don't lean on me man, cause you can't afford the ticket

Chako Paul City is a women-only city in the north of Sweden, established in 1820 by a wealthy widow. It is "a place that is respectful of women's love, but with a rule that men cannot enter"; the few who have tried have found themselves beaten half to death by the formidable Amazonian sentries at its gates. It has a castle, and its main industry is forestry, with a sideline in lesbian tourism. Of the 25,000 women, from all over Europe, living in Chako Paul City, those wishing to seek male company are allowed to leave, but may only reenter after having bathed and undertaken several other measures to avoid negatively affecting the mental state of the other residents. [more inside]
posted by acb on Apr 24, 2013 - 76 comments

H7N9

Is China covering up another flu pandemic -- or getting it right this time? A long article from Foreign Policy regarding the recent outbreak of H7N9 flu. [readability link]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates on Apr 23, 2013 - 102 comments

Your Office Vending Machine Will Never Be This Awesome.

What makes a sweet street treat even better? Awesome artists. From Southern China, Sugar Painting makes elaborate, edible toffee masterpieces by carefully draping hot sugar onto cool marble. In Chongqing they make super floral sugar floss in a rainbow of colours. This artist from Xian blows hot sugar as if it were glass. From Istanbul, Tarihi Osmanlı Macunu (aka Traditional Ottoman Candy) is made with five different flavors of thick taffy spiraled deftly around a stick, creating a delicious lollipop. Dragon Beard Candy from Thailand is not only tasty but a great way to learn about geometric progression. And while a Thai banana pancake may seem pretty straightforward, there are always ways to jazz it up. [more inside]
posted by Jilder on Apr 16, 2013 - 13 comments

Matchmaking in China

"For Ms. Yang, Joy City is not so much a consumer mecca as an urban Serengeti that she prowls for potential wives for some of China’s richest bachelors." [more inside]
posted by cyml on Apr 13, 2013 - 15 comments

North Korea Sets April 10th Deadline

North Korea has warned foreign embassies in Pyongyang that it cannot guarantee their safety from the threat of conflict after 10 April, and has advised them to consider pulling their staff out of the capital. This follows North Korea blocking South Korean Workers from the Kaesong industrial complex - a sign that this might be more material than the usual posturing, warning that a 'moment of explosion' is nearing and moving missiles with "considerable range" to its east coast. Though the US is playing down the threat and the UK and Russia have no plans of moving their diplomats the possibility of an accident or miscalculation leading to war looms. North Korea has earned the reprobation of Russia and Fidel Castro in recent days and even longtime supporter China is beginning to lose patience with it - something some say is not before time.
posted by Artw on Apr 5, 2013 - 239 comments

Woof.

The latest meme to overtake the internet in China? "Gou gou chuan siwa" (狗狗穿丝袜), or in English, "Dogs wearing pantyhose". (NSFW? I really don't know.) [more inside]
posted by item on Apr 5, 2013 - 41 comments

"Usually we don't hit anybody"

"Chinese citizens can file petitions about their grievance with so-called letters and visits offices of various levels of government organs and courts, a mechanism set up in the 1950s. Under the current system, the number of petitions filed during an official's tenure is used as a yardstick for performance evaluation, prompting local governments to use every means possible to stop petitioners and shuffle them home. It has become an open secret that local governments hire "black guards" in the capital to stop petitioners from filing a grievance, thus reducing the number of petitions that are recorded." -- A day in the life of a Beijing "black guard".
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 3, 2013 - 17 comments

H7N9: The next pandemic?

Is this a pandemic being born? [Google cache] The H7N9 (Bird) Flu Virus May Have Adapted To Mammals. The WHO is investigating. Four new human cases were identified late Tuesday.
posted by spock on Apr 2, 2013 - 139 comments

We're Going To Have To Find Out How To Deal With Lots Of Idle Hands

The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like? (Youtube 56:43)
posted by The Whelk on Mar 27, 2013 - 18 comments

"There was no return from apostasy."

Leaving the Witness. "In one of the most restrictive, totalitarian countries in the world, for the first time in my life, I had the freedom to think." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 21, 2013 - 26 comments

China is engineering genius babies

I just attended a debate in New York a few weeks ago about whether or not we should outlaw genetic engineering in babies and the audience was pretty split. In China, 95 percent of an audience would say, “Obviously you should make babies genetically healthier, happier, and brighter!
posted by Tom-B on Mar 18, 2013 - 147 comments

a global trade in expensive white powder

The Netherlands has of course long been a hub in the international illegal drugs trade, but the white powder currently being exported to China on such a scale that it leads to local shortages is not quite the powder you're thinking of: infant milk formula. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 14, 2013 - 61 comments

Watching the watchmen

Weibo, China's most popular microblogging website, is manually censored for "impropriety" and political content. By observing the time taken for censored posts to disappear, researchers have exposed some of the the working patterns and methods of the censors. [more inside]
posted by Pre-Taped Call In Show on Mar 13, 2013 - 17 comments

Hell of a handcart

"For being such a seemingly ordinary vehicle, the wheelbarrow has a surprisingly exciting history." Low-tech magazine gives an illustrated overview of the history of the Chinese wheelbarrow. [Via]
posted by Abiezer on Mar 13, 2013 - 45 comments

The Balinghou

Generation Gap: "The parents of China’s post-1980 generation [the bā líng hòu (八零後)] (themselves born between 1950 and 1965) grew up in a rural, Maoist world utterly different from that of their children. In their adolescence, there was one phone per village, the universities were closed and jobs were assigned from above. If you imagine the disorientation and confusion of many parents in the West when it comes to the internet and its role in their children’s lives, and then add to that dating, university life and career choices, you come close to the generational dilemma. Parents who spent their own early twenties labouring on remote farms have to deal with children who measure their world in malls, iPhones and casual dates." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 7, 2013 - 16 comments

Air Pollution in Asia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map

Air Pollution in Asia: Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Mar 7, 2013 - 14 comments

“The tea was really bitter”

Nine Tips for “Drinking Tea” With Chinese Police [more inside]
posted by telstar on Mar 3, 2013 - 10 comments

echoes

A brief history of the Chinese growth model [note: not so brief] - "the Chinese development model is an old one, and can trace its roots at least as far back as the 'American System' of the 1820s and 1830s. This 'system' was itself based primarily on the works of the brilliant first US Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton..." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 2, 2013 - 6 comments

The Yellow River Surging Northward Rumblingly

Zhang Kechun's photo series "The Yellow River" contains 40 photos of China's second longest river, ranging from cinematic to surreal, plus a lyrical introduction to the series. [via BoringPostcards at MetaChat]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 26, 2013 - 8 comments

Yang Yongliang

Digitally Assembled Futuristic Megalopolises and other works by Yang Yongliang.
posted by homunculus on Feb 24, 2013 - 4 comments

The momentary madness of Mao's mangoes

For 2,000 years, the peach was the iconic fruit of China, an auspicious symbol of good health and a long life (Google books). But from August of 1968 until roughly the fall of the following year, the mango was China’s most revered produce item, whose meaning was unwittingly bestowed upon it by none other than Mao Zedong. (via Presurfer) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 22, 2013 - 14 comments

Leftover at 27?

BBC/NRI reports that women in China are being labeled "sheng nu" or "leftover women" after the age of 27. Beyond the traditional family pressure to get married, the Chinese government is applying pressure on single women to get married, fearful that a growing population of single men could cause civil unrest. [more inside]
posted by arcticseal on Feb 21, 2013 - 57 comments

A "suicide," GaN semiconductors, a found hard drive, China, intrigue

Death in Singapore The body of a young US electronics engineer, Shane Todd, was found hanging in his Singapore apartment. Police said it was suicide, but the Todd family believe he was murdered. Shane had feared that a project he was working on was compromising US national security. His parents want to know if that project sent him to his grave.
posted by donovan on Feb 19, 2013 - 17 comments

All Your Nets Are Belong to the PLA

The Mandiant security firm has released a report attributing a number of hacking events to Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) activity perpetrated by China's 2nd Bureau of the People's Liberation Army General Staff Deparment's 3rd Department. They have also released an appendix containing multiple artifacts that can be used to detect intrusions on networks.
posted by bfranklin on Feb 19, 2013 - 64 comments

Roy Chapman Andrews, adventurer.

[Roy Chapman] Andrews is best remembered for the series of dramatic expeditions he led to the Gobi of Mongolia (shorter films: 1, 2) from 1922 to 1930. Andrews took a team of scientists into previously unexplored parts of the desert using some of the region’s first automobiles with extra supplies transported by camel caravan. Andrews – for whom adventure and narrow escapes from death were a staple of exploring – is said to have served as inspiration for the Hollywood character “Indiana Jones.” Andrews’s expeditions to the Gobi remain significant for, among other discoveries, their finds of the first nests of dinosaur eggs, new species of dinosaurs, and the fossils of early mammals that co-existed with dinosaurs. [more inside]
posted by ersatz on Feb 17, 2013 - 8 comments

Playing the ancient Chinese meritocracy game

Shengguan Tu (升官圖) "Promoting the Officials" is a Chinese board game " where players assume the of an aspiring mandarin, moving through the imperial examinations and through the bureaucracy, eventually rising to the “Da Nei” or inner sanctum Grand Secretariat in the imperial household. Along the way, players pay “donations” to higher ranked players in each department." It has existed in some form since the Tang dynasty (618 - 906 CE) at least and now it's a Flash game. Programmed by Dave Lyons who also wrote a quick introduction to the game, from which the above is taken.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 14, 2013 - 7 comments

The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs

The World’s Oldest Pornography. The Kangjiashimenji Petroglyphs in the Tien Shan Mountains: A Fertility Ritual Tableau.
posted by homunculus on Feb 14, 2013 - 21 comments

the mundane face of evil: Chinese state-sponsored hackers

A new report, the National Intelligence Estimate, released by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence "represents the consensus view of the U.S. intelligence community, describes a wide range of sectors that have been the focus of [China-based] hacking over the past five years, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive." One face of Chinese state-sponsored hackers profiled by Bloomberg Business Week is Zhang Changhe, an instructor at the People's Liberation Army Information Engineering University in Zhengzhou. [more inside]
posted by gen on Feb 14, 2013 - 11 comments

How you like me now

Ad agency Ogilvy & Mather has created a new animated campaign for PETA [more inside]
posted by Megami on Feb 8, 2013 - 60 comments

On a path to liberation....

Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 5, 2013 - 16 comments

Significant hacking activity targeting journalists at large newspapers

The New York Times has detailed a successful 4-month hacking campaign by China, infiltrating its computer systems and acquiring passwords for reporters/employees. The campaign was likely in retaliation for the NYT investigation of the wealth amassed by relatives of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. Following the NYT announcement, the Wall Street Journal announced that it too was hacked last year. The Washington Post may also have been infiltrated. Slate asks if this could have a chilling effect on journalists writing about China. [more inside]
posted by gemmy on Feb 1, 2013 - 102 comments

Freedom From Famine - The Norman Borlaug Story

A documentary film about Norman Borlaug, the Iowa farm boy who saved over a billion people from starvation. (1:06:47) Americans have little knowledge of one of their greatest sons. Why do schoolchildren in China, India, Mexico, and Pakistan know the name and work of Nobel Peace Prize winner [His speech] Norman Borlaug while so few of his countrymen have never heard of him? How did a dirt-poor farm boy from rural Iowa grow up to save a billion people worldwide from starvation and malnutrition and become the father of the Green Revolution? What were the inherited traits and environmental factors that shaped his astonishing journey and led to successes that surprised even him? What can we learn from his life and views that might help the human race survive the next critical century? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Jan 28, 2013 - 84 comments

Apple Takes Bite out of Child Labor

After their annual audit showed a large spike in underage workers, Apple made good on its promise to take more responsibility for its suppliers.
posted by gilrain on Jan 26, 2013 - 65 comments

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