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Camels

Galleries of old photographs of camels in America, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, China, Mongolia and India, in war | camel breeds | How the Camel Got His Hump from Camel Tales, Folklore & Legends| baby camels and lots more at this one stop site all about Camels. Previously.
posted by nickyskye on May 14, 2012 - 17 comments

Ferrari's troubles in China

In March, a young, male driver crashed a Ferrari in snowy conditions, killing himself and wounding the two female passengers. The Beijing Evening News posted a short story, complete with a picture of the wrecked car, but deleted it a short time later. A new story was put up a short time later, apparently without the picture of the wrecked car, but terms related to the crash were blocked from the micro-blogging site Sina Weibo (blocking on Weibo, previously). The news of the crash, and the subsequent (partial) cover-up were further marks against the Rich2G, the second generation of China’s moneyed class. More recently, Ferrari held an event to celebrate twenty years of the luxury car maker in China, spending $12,670 to rent a section (and drive a special edition "Marco Polo Red" 458 Italia) on top of the City Wall of Nanjing. The driver was caught on film driving tight circles on the ancient wall, leaving tire marks and further souring the public against Ferrari in specific, and the wealthy at large. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 10, 2012 - 52 comments

再见, Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera is closing its Chinese bureau after the authorities have refused to renew its reporters' press credentials and visas [NYT]. The Chinese government's reasons for this aren't clear, but Al Jazeera's recent coverage of China's "black jails" has been less than flattering.
posted by reductiondesign on May 8, 2012 - 28 comments

"What appears as discipline or “tough love” from one perspective often appears as abuse from another."

On Tiger Moms: "What the controversy surrounding Chua demonstrates, however inadvertently, is that parenting techniques are always grounded in basic assumptions about the way things are and what matters to us. And they are always guided by some answer to the most fundamental of ethical questions—how to live?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 7, 2012 - 52 comments

A Rare Insight Into Kowloon Walled City

A Rare Insight Into Kowloon Walled City: photos from Greg Girard. Previously.
posted by milquetoast on May 7, 2012 - 29 comments

What Could Go Wrong?

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer has commissioned a Chinese shipyard to build Titanic II, a modernized replica of the unsinkable Titanic.
posted by swift on Apr 30, 2012 - 98 comments

"The safest place in Beijing."

The blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has fled home imprisonment and sought refuge, according to Chinese dissidents, at the US Embassy in Beijing. Chen gained fame for organizing opposition to forced abortions under China's one-child policy. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Apr 28, 2012 - 35 comments

You must've heard of a few

The Most Powerful Women You've Never Heard Of [more inside]
posted by vidur on Apr 22, 2012 - 41 comments

domestic violence in China

Li Yang, founder of the most popular English-language school in China, Crazy English, (previously on MeFi) is now found to have beaten his American wife multiple times. Domestic violence is found in some 25% of Chinese marriages (!) but the actions of Li's wife Kim Lee to publicize the abuse has raised the profile of spousal abuse in a country where this was not often publicly discussed previously.
posted by gen on Apr 22, 2012 - 42 comments

It's on the Internet; it must be true

The Previous And Current Lives Of A World-Class Joke "At first, it was limited only to the Chinese-language Internet. More recently, it has appeared among foreign media. I just watched a clip of director James Cameron being interviewed on a talk show during which he said: "They were afraid that the Chinese men will reach out to touch the screen." When Cameron emphasized that "This is true," I knew that this is one of the most successful fake stories in recent years." [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson on Apr 21, 2012 - 19 comments

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

"The world's most important story" – A decade of environmental journalism in China, by Guardian environment reporter Jonathan Watts.
posted by nickrussell on Apr 20, 2012 - 3 comments

Foxconn and Apple.

This is an article which contains several interesting links about Foxconn's factories.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 12, 2012 - 34 comments

"The biennial exposition, said to be the largest in Asia"

India's DEFEXPO 2012, is 'not a carnival in the truest sense', but rather ' the seventh in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Security Systems Exhibition . . . clearly steering the path of steady growth . . . receiving overwhelming and unprecedented international response.' As for arms dealers? 'On arms dealers, the minister [India’s Defence Minister AK Antony] insisted, “There are none I am aware of.”' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 12, 2012 - 3 comments

Exit stage left

Gu Kailai, the wife of senior Chinese party leader Bo Xilai, has been arrested for the murder of an English businessman. Bo, until his sudden fall from power this year, one of the most popular politicians in China, the leading figure of the Chinese New Left and Party Committee Secretary of the megacity of Chongqing, has completed his downfall by being expelled from the politburo and stripped of all party positions. The collapse started in February, when his top lieutenant, Wang Lijun, was suddenly demoted and then fled to the US consulate for a day - supposedly, either attempting to defect or to give incriminating evidence on Bo and Gu to the Americans for safekeeping. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Apr 10, 2012 - 38 comments

Kill Inveterate Gambler Ping: Macau and "The God of Gamblers"

The files of the God of Gamblers case can be read as a string of accidents, good and bad: Siu’s run at the baccarat table; Wong’s luck to be assigned an assassin with a conscience; Adelson’s misfortune that reporters noticed an obscure murder plot involving his casino. But the tale, viewed another way, depends as little on luck as a casino does. It is, rather, about the fierce collision of self-interests. If Las Vegas is a burlesque of America—the “ethos of our time run amok,” as Hal Rothman, the historian, put it—then Macau is a caricature of China’s boom, its opportunities and rackets, its erratic sorting of winners and losers.
Evan Osnos on a real-life "God of Gamblers" and the rise of Macau, The New Yorker
posted by jng on Apr 6, 2012 - 13 comments

The Beer Game

Mark Sweep describes an interesting game from his childhood which helps explain why companies move and keep their manufacturing in China.
posted by gilrain on Apr 5, 2012 - 34 comments

Coming Up Like A Flower

" Thus in today’s China one confronts the paradox of a communist regime that is at ideological loggerheads with left-leaning intellectuals, but which finds pro-Western, liberal intellectuals on the whole quite congenial." Richard Wolin is Dreaming In Chinese...
posted by artof.mulata on Mar 26, 2012 - 12 comments

The end of the Chongqing Model? Bo Xilai’s rapid fall from office examined.

Bo Xilai, former Party Secretary of Chongqing and current Politburo member, was recently sacked by Chinese leadership. He is well known for his economic success at growing Chongqing, and his flamboyant leadership style which included the revival of “Red Culture”[previously]. [more inside]
posted by HabeasCorpus on Mar 26, 2012 - 20 comments

In a sympathetic biochemical photo-reactive process, the Biosphere has altered the litho-sphere into the pedosphere, the cryo-sphere, the hydrosphere and the atmosphere*

The Loess Plateau in China’s Northwest is home to more than 50 million people. Centuries of overuse led to one of the highest erosion rates in the world and widespread poverty. Two projects (results) set out to restore the Loess Plateau. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Mar 22, 2012 - 7 comments

"I have difficult news."

Ira Glass retracts the This American Life episode "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory". Mike Daisey responds. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Mar 16, 2012 - 545 comments

Blocked on Weibo: Censored Searches of China's Largest Microblogging Service

The fact that Chinese internet access is censored and monitored is not new, but Sina Weibo (新浪微博, literally "Sina Microblog,"), handles the task differently. Commonly referred to by the generic name Weibo, the social service that is likened to Twitter and Facebook is more open in what you can post, but searches for certain words are blocked. Without context, a list of blocked searches is fairly abstract. Blocked on Weibo adds translations and context to the blocked words. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 14, 2012 - 14 comments

One Year Later

On the one year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, the Economist magazine now considers Nuclear energy to be "the dream that failed", in an issue with articles covering the history, safety issues, handling of nuclear waste, and costs (with emphasis on China) of nuclear power. [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 11, 2012 - 50 comments

Skinhua

FP Passport Blog: In an attempt to highlight the role of women in Beijing's annual National People's Congress, China's party newspaper the People's Daily published "Beautiful female journalists at two sessions," consisting of women asking questions and "beautifying" China's legislative session. It's hard to think of a more awkward way for a media outlet to celebrate International Women's Day, except maybe last year's offering from China's state news wire Xinhua: "Attractive females at NPC, CPCC sessions."
posted by vidur on Mar 8, 2012 - 8 comments

Chinese Women's Olympic Weightlifting

It’s a very specialized set of sports that the Chinese focus on but they simply kick absolute ass at them. ... If you look at the 2008 Olympic weightlifting results in Beijing... the women didn’t just squeak by to win a medal; most were simply so far ahead of their competition that it was a joke. In most cases, the Chinese women took their first attempt after everyone else had already finished lifting for the day. And they came out and just dispatched their weights in perfect form, setting new world records and winning medals with abandon. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 4, 2012 - 52 comments

形左实右、形右实左

A Pictorial Guide to China’s Politics: Left v. Right Translation of a neat infographic that does a fair job of summing up some of the broad differences between the left and right in popular Chinese political discourse.
posted by Abiezer on Mar 3, 2012 - 18 comments

DAVID POGUE IS ONLY COMPETENT TO REVIEW GADGETS

David Pogue weighed in yesterday about the Nightline piece on the terrible working conditions in Apple's subcontractor factories in China. Mike Daisey has been trying to engage with Mr. Pogue, but it hasn't gone well. Here's his final response to Mr. Pogue's story.
posted by garlic on Feb 24, 2012 - 150 comments

a 300 million year old fossilized forest discovered

Photographs of an almost perfectly preserved 298 million year-old fossilized forest discovered under a coal mine in China [pdf] (In Wuda, Inner Mongolia). [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Feb 22, 2012 - 27 comments

Economic Development: The Examples of India and China

"This is an intriguing little video summarizing the hypothesis of a new study by Vamsi Vakulabharanam. It looks at the puzzle of why China and India are exceptions to the Kuznets curve, that economic development at first increases income inequality but then starts to produce less disparity. But that did not occur in India and China. Vakulabharanam argues that the difference lies in changes in institutional arrangements, and the inflection point was roughly 1980."
posted by marienbad on Feb 18, 2012 - 3 comments

California is the future

Why China’s Political Model Is Superior [SLNYT] [more inside]
posted by metaplectic on Feb 17, 2012 - 105 comments

Kuang Grade Mark Eleven

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop." - Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage.
posted by Artw on Feb 13, 2012 - 125 comments

The End of the Free Market?

We're All State Capitalists Now 'No, according to some commentators, the contest between the two Asian superpowers is also fundamentally a contest between economic models: market capitalism vs. state capitalism.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 10, 2012 - 29 comments

"Those are not cats or kneeling cats on the bank note"

Cartoon images of "worshiping cats" on the Chinese 100 yuan RMB banknotes, "the equivalent of the 'Eye of Providence' on the US dollar," probably weren't designed as cartoon cats. A coin expert noted that there were no cat's whiskers on the bank note, as shown on the "clarified" image. But if you're looking for hidden images in Chinese currency, World War II era Chinese currency has many cases of hidden messages and over-printed propaganda (part 2 of a series on WWII Allied banknote propaganda).
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 9, 2012 - 13 comments

Watch out, Walter White!

Spreading Meth Across the China-North Korea Border [more inside]
posted by astapasta24 on Feb 8, 2012 - 15 comments

Responsibility to protect?

"I saw bodies of women and children lying on roads, beheaded." At least 260 people were killed last night in a government assault on Homs, the epicenter of the Syrian uprising. This came right before a key UN vote to support the Arab League's plan to have President Bashar al-Assad hand over power to the vice president and hold early elections for a national unity government, which failed this morning with 13 in favor and a double veto by China and Russia. [more inside]
posted by lullaby on Feb 4, 2012 - 252 comments

U.S. Press Freedom Rankings Plummet

“The United States [owes] its fall of 27 places [to 47th] to the many arrests of journalist covering Occupy Wall Street protests.” -Reporters Without Borders

Btw, Occupy Wall St. has begun heating up again for the spring with 400 arrested in Oakland yesterday. And a blooming Occupy K Street movement (DC, FB) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 30, 2012 - 232 comments

The SAR is not charmed

"Hong Kong people are dogs," mainland professor Kong Qingdong said (video in Mandarin with English subtitles; "dog" comments are around 1:06) in response to a widely-viewed video (Cantonese/Mandarin, no subtitles, but a English-subtitled news report is here) of mainland tourists eating on the Hong Kong subway, where eating is banned. This has incited an uproar in the former British colony, but is not the only flare-up between Hong Kong and the mainland recently. [more inside]
posted by andrewesque on Jan 23, 2012 - 88 comments

How U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 21, 2012 - 158 comments

Desperate Times in Xiaogang Village

The Secret Document That Transformed China. Planet Money story about Xiaogang village in China that was hungry and desperate in 1978, and how the risk the farmers took ended up influencing the transformation of China.
posted by Eekacat on Jan 21, 2012 - 4 comments

An African in Guangzhou

A unique urban ecology prompts a new look at globalization. Japanese architect Naohiko Hino visited Guangzhou's 'Africatown' after being inspired by an article in Le Monde Diplomatique* and wrote his view on the unique model of globalization he saw in the heart of China's manufacturing powerhouse. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jan 15, 2012 - 19 comments

That's not what we meant by top-down.

Buildings being torn, literally, down[wards].
posted by dmd on Jan 11, 2012 - 27 comments

Does he secretly eat children or something?

Dashan represents or symbolizes something very powerful to a Chinese audience...[the] Chinese have a very complex and conflicting view of themselves and the world at large...Dashan represents a Westerner who appreciates and respects China, who has learned the language and understands the culture and has even become “more Chinese than the Chinese”. It’s a very powerful and reassuring image that appeals to very deep-rooted emotions.
Mark Rowswell, aka "大山" Dà shān, the massively popular, Canadian-born 相声 xiàng sheng performer and celebrity in China, offers his own thoughts on his persona (mostly referring to it in third person), why the Chinese public is enamored with it, and why his fellow Western expats tend to resent it. [more inside]
posted by stroke_count on Jan 10, 2012 - 33 comments

RINOA SUR

A leaked memo by India's Military Intelligence indicates they eavesdropped on a U.S. government department (USCC) that reports to congress on "the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship [between the U.S. and China]" using "lawful intercept" backdoors provided to the Indian government by Apple, RIM, and Nokia. (previously) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 8, 2012 - 48 comments

Using a Camera Lens to Illustrate

Don Hong-Oai (1929 - 2004), was a master of creating artwork which appeared to be Chinese ink illustrations, but were actually photographs. [gallery] [more inside]
posted by quin on Jan 6, 2012 - 18 comments

The mid-century will be about "old people in big cities who are afraid of the sky."

Bruce Sterling's State Of The World - 2012
posted by The Whelk on Jan 5, 2012 - 115 comments

X-37B spaceplane spying on Chinese space station?

In March last year, the unmanned X-37B US military spaceplane launched from Cape Canaveral on mission USA-226, to "demonstrate various experiments", sensors and technology. Its original 270 day mission was extended in November "as circumstances allow" for "additional experimentation opportunities", but a dedicated group of optical tracking specialists in the US and Europe believe that the X-37B is in fact spying on the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon on Jan 5, 2012 - 59 comments

A Man. A Van. A Surprising Business Plan.

Adam Humphreys created a successful business helping people navigate the Chinese embassy's bureaucracy (in a van parked across the street).
posted by reenum on Jan 4, 2012 - 11 comments

Christmas Light Recycling

How Christmas lights are recycled in one of China's many recycling factories (with video). Reported by Adam Minter (whose blog, Shanghai Scrap, explores many aspects of the scrap and recycling industry in China).
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 27, 2011 - 20 comments

China radically increases patent filings

China became the world's top patent filer in 2011, issuing 58% of global intellectual property filings. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 23, 2011 - 49 comments

Charlie Chan: The (Not Entirely) Fictional Chinese Detective

Charlie Chan is more than a fictional character created the author Earl Derr Biggers, or the star of 50 movies (played by 8 different actors). His origin goes beyond the illiterate Chinese-Hawaiian detective with a bull whip instead of a pistol (previously). Charlie Chan is more than racial stereotypes and yellow-face. A part of his far-reaching story is told inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2011 - 19 comments

"Because clouds are boundless, weather control is boundless."

Five regional weather control programs in northeastern China seek to increase precipitation by 10 percent. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 22, 2011 - 16 comments

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