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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

Great Wall Of Dubstep

The Great Wall Of Dubstep ; Dubstep Previously On The Blue
posted by MechEng on Dec 20, 2011 - 10 comments

I bungled things and couldn’t even fix a match

The Buddha tells the people he can fulfil only one of their wishes. Someone asks: "Could you lower the price of property in China so that people can afford it?" Seeing the Buddha frown in silence, the person makes another wish: "Could you make the Chinese football team qualify for a World Cup?" After a long sigh, the Buddha says: "Let's talk about property prices." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Dec 20, 2011 - 20 comments

I'm gonna sing the Doom song now

China's economy poised to join the rest of us in the toilet. I certainly hope one of you smart people can prove this article wrong.
posted by coriolisdave on Dec 15, 2011 - 84 comments

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree

Chinese archeologists have mapped the layout of Shangdu (better known as Xanadu), after large scale excavations that included the use of GIS in remote sensing and aerial archeology. The capital, located in Inner Mongolia, was built in 1256 under the command of Kublai Khan, the first emperor of Yuan Dynasty, who was enthroned there four years later. It became a summer resort after the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) moved its capital to Ta-tu or Dadu (built by the same architect, located in present-day Beijing) in 1276, and was destroyed during a peasant war at the end of the dynasty. The regional government has submitted an application for World Cultural Heritage status for the site to UNESCO, currently under review. Xanadu has captured the imagination of the West ever since Marco Polo first extolled its beauties in his Books of the Marvels of the World, subsequently immortalized by Coleridge in a poem fuelled by opium fevered dreams. Other recently discovered Yuan Dynasty artifacts include a priceless porcelain vase as well as a sunken ship - part of an invading Mongol armada - off the coast of Japan.
posted by infini on Dec 3, 2011 - 24 comments

Trapped In China?

Anticipating a season long lockout, several NBA players signed contracts with teams in the Chinese Basketball Association. Now that a labor deal has been reached, leaving for the NBA won't be easy.
posted by reenum on Dec 2, 2011 - 25 comments

The Xinjiang Procedure

In 2009, Urumqi, China exploded in riots. The assessment of Western media was on-going ethnic clashes. Behind the scenes, Beijing now stands accused of The Xinjiang Procedure, ground zero for the organ harvesting of political prisoners. [more inside]
posted by nickrussell on Nov 29, 2011 - 28 comments

Integrating Chinese Students into American Universities

American colleges find the Chinese-student boom a tricky fit [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Nov 18, 2011 - 58 comments

Obama in Australia

US President Barack Obama is in Australia today. The main policy announcement is a new, permanent US Marine Corps presence on Australian soil. This is interpreted unambiguously as a 'containment strategy' for China and other Asian nations, with Australia playing the loyal deputy Sheriff. Most Australians don't think we should be forced to choose.
posted by wilful on Nov 16, 2011 - 130 comments

What Are These Mysterious Lines In China's Desert?

Some Google Earth enthusiasts have found a strange and unexplainable grid pattern in the middle of China's Gobi Desert.
posted by reenum on Nov 14, 2011 - 70 comments

Chinese heavy metals

About one tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals, with whole villages being poisoned. All too frequently, local governments have reacted by ignoring the problems and even denying treatment (HRW report).
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 9, 2011 - 37 comments

Space fail?

Yesterday, Russia's first interplanetary mission in 15 years launched sucessfully from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It ran into serious problems almost immediately. In jeopardy are a sample return mission from the Martian satellite Phobos, The Planetary Society's Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE), and China's Yinghuo-1 Mars orbiter.
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 9, 2011 - 40 comments

I don't speak Xiang, but I can if you like.

A group of retired Chinese senior citizens singing and dancing to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance on live TV. [SLYT]
posted by schmod on Nov 8, 2011 - 18 comments

Oops!

Carbon dioxide emissions increased by the largest amount on record in 2010, exceeding the worst case scenario outlined by the IPCC four years ago.
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 8, 2011 - 93 comments

A sticky situation

Testing by Food Safety News has shown that more than 75% of the honey being sold in the United States does not qualify to be labeled for sale as "honey". [more inside]
posted by tocts on Nov 7, 2011 - 156 comments

First Chinese space docking

The Divine Craft docked with the Space Palace on Wednesday, and no one said anything! Cmon space fans, this is the first Chinese space kiss!
posted by Tom-B on Nov 4, 2011 - 55 comments

Hu leads China's Fox News

China’s Fox News: Meet "Global Times", the angry Chinese government mouthpiece that makes Bill O'Reilly seem fair and balanced.
posted by vidur on Nov 3, 2011 - 14 comments

Devotional snail mail in the PRC

China's post office is not normally a place you would associate with love. However, Beijing authorities, alarmed at the skyrocketing divorce rate, are promoting a new service in which the post office will send a love letter to your partner – after a delay of seven year [sic]. [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Nov 1, 2011 - 16 comments

A China Skeptic

There is this perception that the only China skeptics are foreigners. Let me tell you that is completely wrong. The debate within China is much more interesting and much more ferocious than the debate outside of China about problems with the growth model. Michael Pettis is a professor at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management, where he specializes in Chinese financial markets. Here he talks about China's economic prospects.
posted by storybored on Oct 30, 2011 - 25 comments

Grabbing A

The California—based Oakland Institute released a report earlier this year that documents some of the problems caused by the acquisition of land by foreign firms, including Indian ones, in Ethiopia and other African countries. Putting this global trend of ‘land grab’ under the spotlight, the report highlights the social and environmental costs of this phenomenon that have been largely overlooked by the media. Outlook interviewed Anuradha Mittal, the India—born—and—educated founder and executive president of Oakland Institute, to find out why she thinks India ought to share part of the blame of causing “depravation and destitution” in Ethiopia. text via Outlook [more inside]
posted by infini on Oct 29, 2011 - 2 comments

Barbarian from Beyond the Clouds Collects Tribute from Barbarians Beyond the Seas.

The Eunuch Admiral: A Ming cup leads to a Berkeley scholar and the marvelous tale of China’s greatest seafarer.
posted by Winnemac on Oct 22, 2011 - 14 comments

Throwing molten iron for fun and profit

"To do this work all you need is strength. So long as you're not afraid to die, it's ok"
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Oct 22, 2011 - 35 comments

Blue scarves extra

Shame on you! Wear the green scarf! Do not put the green scarf in your schoolbag. Don't back down! Proudly wear the red scarf!
posted by twoleftfeet on Oct 19, 2011 - 66 comments

Bicycling the Globe at a Bargain

35 days, 2822 miles through 9 states at a cost of $252.51 ($7.21 per day). George 'the Cyclist' Christensen spends a good part of each year bicycling through a different country and wild camping in places like Iceland, Turkey, China, the foot of Mt Fuji and around Lake Victoria; And writing about his travels on his blog from libraries and internet cafés. For the past eight years, too, he has also followed the Tour de France after first watching upwards of 70 films [in 12 days] at the Cannes Film Festival.
posted by Rashomon on Oct 17, 2011 - 20 comments

'Perhaps their complacency is justified.'

Special report: China's debt pileup raises risk of hard landing. 'When China announced a nearly $600 billion package to ward off the 2008 global financial crisis, city planners across the country happily embarked on a frenzy of infrastructure projects, some of them of arguable need.' 'Barclays Capital has predicted a global recession would trigger a "hard landing" in China, with gross domestic product sinking well below the 8 percent mark seen as the minimum for assuring enough job creation to keep up with urban migration. A severe economic slump would depress land sales, a vital source of funding for local governments, and make their debt load even more precarious.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Oct 10, 2011 - 13 comments

wear dogwood like it’s yo’ bling

Fuck Yeah Chinese Myths is a more sober, Chinese-centric version of Myths RETOLD (previously).
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Oct 9, 2011 - 14 comments

Making pens

Making pens in china. [more inside]
posted by Ad hominem on Oct 8, 2011 - 36 comments

You don't need a visa on Google+

The Dalai Lama was prevented from going to South Africa for Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday by visa problems. So they used Google+ to "Hangout" instead.
posted by desjardins on Oct 8, 2011 - 24 comments

A landscape of the mind

''Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains'' is the greatest surviving masterpiece by Huang Gongwang (黄公望 1269-1354), one of the Four Yuan Masters; considered one of the finest of all Chinese paintings, it served as a model and inspiration for many subsequent literati artists. The scroll suffered fire damage in the early Qing and was divided into two parts. This summer, a special exhibition at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan reunited these two portions of Huang's masterwork for the first time in 360 years.
posted by Abiezer on Oct 1, 2011 - 18 comments

♫ For purple mountain majesties / [Several miles] Above the fruited [Chinese] plain! ♫

Tiangong 1, [the] latest demonstration of Beijing's otherworldly ambitions comes in a year when the US has wound down its space shuttle fleet and its partners have said the International Space Station (previously) should be buried at sea in 2020. Perhaps in its honor, [s]trains of the famed American patriotic tune (America the Beautiful) rang out following the launch of the Tiang Gong-1 experimental space station module late Thursday night. [more inside]
posted by obscurator on Sep 30, 2011 - 27 comments

!$#@ing Margins – How Do They Work?

The hacker group Anonymous has ventured into new territory today with the launch of Anonymous Analytics, a site specifically targeted at corporate fraud. Their first report [PDF] is a caustic, entertaining evisceration of Chaoda, a Hong Kong agricultural company which has seen a wave of smaller scandals over the past year. Their stock is not looking good [more inside]
posted by crayz on Sep 27, 2011 - 106 comments

I am your stalwart African brother

Red Song King Hao Di (Good Brother) sings "Without the Communist Party There Would Be No New China" (traditional recording), "The Words of Chairman Mao are Memorized by Heart” (info and lyrics), "Lake Water". [more inside]
posted by griphus on Sep 24, 2011 - 25 comments

Theme Park Piracy

An unauthorized Angry Birds theme park has opened in China. There is also a Blizzard-themed park called Joyland.
posted by finite on Sep 16, 2011 - 40 comments

High Speed Rail in China

How Fast Can China Go? On June 30, China had the first official run of a $32 billion high-speed train line between Shanghai and Beijing. "Faster (820 miles in 288 minutes) and sleeker than any other, the needle-nosed CRH380A symbolizes China’s accelerating pace, even as it faces questions about safety, and taps into an ancient rivalry with Japan." On page four, the article discusses what happened less than a month afterwards on July 23rd: the country's first accident involving a bullet train that killed 40 people near Wenzhou. As a result, 54 high speed trains were recalled, train speeds were reduced and an overhaul of the high-speed rail system was launched by Chinese authorities. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 13, 2011 - 25 comments

An invitation to rebellion, and your window to weight gain!

For China, yesterday marked the Mid-Autumn Festival, when Chinese at home and abroad gather to worship the Moon Rabbit, carry paper lanterns, and eat mooncakes. From its humble beginning as an agitprop-stuffed pastry, the mooncake has become a strong futures commodity in the People's Republic. Accordingly, authorities are stepping in; apparently everyone wants a piece of the pie cake.
posted by obscurator on Sep 13, 2011 - 31 comments

Looking for love, with pictographic assembly instructions.

Shanghai singles are using IKEA to find love. Yes, IKEA has become a semi-public social space in Beijing and elsewhere in China (previously), but now one Shanghai IKEA is twice-weekly "taken over by a swarm of locals between the ages of 45 and 65 who come to seek out new love over free cups of coffee — a perk offered to holders of the Ikea Family membership card — and boxed lunches brought from home."
posted by liketitanic on Sep 8, 2011 - 38 comments

Shanghai: The Finland of the East?

Which countries match the GDP and population of ● Brazil's States?China's Provinces?India's States and Territories? [more inside]
posted by Winnemac on Sep 5, 2011 - 11 comments

What humans are doing in space these days

Hey, remember the ISS, that space station the Space Shuttle helped build before the shuttle was retired? Turns out humans might have to vacate that nifty space station for a bit. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 30, 2011 - 93 comments

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