"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia
— or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men
," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 10, 2011 -
The Honeymoon From Hell.
Stefan and Erika Svanstrom had planned a long trip that would start in Singapore in early December and end in China four months later.
But things didn't go exactly as planned. They encountered floods, fires, tsunamis and earthquakes along the way.
posted by mannequito
on May 6, 2011 -
Current TV previously & previously
, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Apr 30, 2011 -
is a blog by Ben Breen, a graduate student of early modern history, which styles itself "a compendium of obscure things." Indeed, even the asides are full of wonder, such as the one about Boy, the famous Royalist war poodle of the English Civil War, which is but a short addendum to a post about witches' familiars
. Here are some of my favorite posts, Pirate Surgeon in Panama
(and a related post about 18th Century Jamaica
), vanished civilizations
, asemic pseudo-Arabic and -Hebrew writing in Renaissance art
, and a series of posts about the way the Chinese and Japanese understood the world outside Asia in the early modern period (Europeans as 'Other'
, Europeans as 'Other,' Redux
and Early Chinese World Maps
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 30, 2010 -
The scene was the siege of Shanghai, the year 1932. It was more than half a year since the Mukden Incident had provided a pretext for Japan to invade Manchuria
and begin moving down through Northern China. Three Imperial Japanese soldiers from an engineering division died in a bomb blast that took out a section of the Chinese fortifications, allowing Japanese forces to surge through the breach and advance.
The fallen soldiers became known as the "Three Human Bombs
" (Bakudan Sanyushi / 爆弾三勇士). Memorials were built
and murals were painted
and the Three Human Bombs were remembered as gallant and selfless heroes who gave their lives for the greater good of Japan, lauded on stage, in film, and in song
. A military medal
was created to award heroism in honor of the three.
Problem is, it was all a lie
. The story of the Three Human Bombs was one of the most successful propaganda campaigns of the early twentieth century.
posted by XMLicious
on Sep 30, 2009 -
ran a series of articles looking at the state of high-speed rail travel today. France intends to double its length of track over the next decade
, and China is planning a massive rail-building programme
, including a high-speed line which will halve the travel time between Beijing and Shanghai to 4 hours. In Germany
, domestic air travel is rapidly going extinct, and Spain's network has made day trips between Madrid and Barcelona a possibility
. The USA, which has long neglected its rail network, is planning up to 10 high-speed lines
. Meanwhile, Britain's only high-speed line goes to France, but there is talk of a 250mph line from London to Birmingham and beyond
, possibly by the early 2020s. Meanwhile, the CEO of France's rail operator, SNCF, weighs in on what the UK should do
posted by acb
on Aug 7, 2009 -
For over a thousand years, fishermen all over the world have been using cormorants
to help them fish in lakes and rivers. In Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan, cormorant fishing
on the Nagara river
has continued uninterrupted for the past 1,300 years. In Guilin
, China, cormorant birds are famous for fishing on the shallow Lijiang River
. The islands of the Beaver Island archipelago in Northern Lake Michigan
host what may be the densest concentration of the big, black diving birds on the continent, an estimated 50,000 that eat about 9 million pounds of fish from the surrounding waters from spring through fall. Fishermen and tourism interests want the state and federal governments to cut the number of double-crested cormorants around the Beaver Island group by half
, raising the ire of bird lovers and animal-rights activists who say the cormorants aren't at the root of the problem.
posted by mrducts
on Jul 1, 2008 -
The 400 Million 四萬萬人民 - China, 1938 (53 minutes / sound / black&white / 35mm) Directed: Joris Ivens. Camera: ROBERT CAPA. Parts:
"The Japanese aggression against China in 1937 forced the Chinese communists and Chiang Kai-shek's Kwomintang to take up the joint battle against their common enemy. With modern weapons the Chinese are pursuing their struggle behind enemy lines. This film shows all aspects of a war: the battle, the preparations, refugees, casualties and victims, the fear and distress, the human misery and the courage, and the land under fire."
posted by vronsky
on Mar 20, 2008 -
Howard French - Asia photos
Photos from across Asia by Howard French, who works for the New York Times. Includes many photos of the 'Disappearing Shanghai' that is being obliterated by the city's relentless urbanization.
posted by carter
on May 29, 2006 -
Anti-Japan War Online "The game will allow players, especially younger players, to learn from history. They will get a patriotic feeling when fighting invaders to safeguard their motherland"
The background for "Anti-Japan War Online" is the Japanese invasion of China during World War II, from 1937 through 1945.
Nothing like a good MMORPG to foster a little patriotism.
posted by bigmusic
on Aug 24, 2005 -
Business Card Etiquette
Do not play or fiddle with people's business cards - treat them with respect. A Western businessman once famously lost a big deal for picking his teeth with one of his colleagues' business cards, and was never given the opportunity to do business with the company again.
posted by KevinSkomsvold
on Apr 22, 2005 -
A Tale of Two Chinas,
by photographer James Whitlow Delano
Whole swaths of cities have vanished
, to be transformed with developments that have quickly made them look more like Houston, Qatar, or Singapore than the ancient China
of our mind's eye. The old hutong, or alleyways, of Beijing that once formed a mosaic of passageways and the siheyuan, or walled courtyard houses, have been largely razed
. The old brick rowhouses of Shanghai, are now being leveled and replaced by modern high-rises. Traditional marketplaces, residential neighborhoods
, streets where medicine shops or bookstores bunched together, are now either gone or have been rouged up as tourist destinations
, part of a new synthetic, virtual version of China's incredible past.
The energy fueling this transformation bespeaks a powerful but often blind, unquestioning faith
in an inchoate idea of progress that takes one's breath away
, often literally. (Unrestrained growth has left China with the dubious honor of having 9 of the 10 most polluted cities in the world). Delano
's new book is
"Empire: Impressions from China
". More inside.
posted by matteo
on Feb 17, 2005 -
UnificationChurch Under Siege in Brazil
Rev. Moon's massive land purchases lead to major search-and-seizure operation. Money laundering and other no-no activities. This cult, the Avis to Scientology's Hertz, has paid President Bush I handsome money to speak in their behalf when they began operations in Brazil. They also own the Washington Times, Insight Magazine and many many other businesses, including a university, jewelry stores nationwide, and a ballet company. Their found, Rev. Moon, a convicted felon (taxes). Rumored to get money from Japanese mob to do their conservative activities, and now want to open car plant in China. Gone the days of merely selling roses.
posted by Postroad
on May 14, 2002 -
is a documentary featuring 14 veterans of the Imperial Army testifying to their brutal participation in Japan's 15-year war against China. Director Matsui Minoru presents a powerful historical record of these soldiers' individual crimes, helping to break Japan's long silence about its wartime atrocities in China.
Please also see Iris Chang's "The Rape of Nanking''
and be aware that the Japanese government is still whitewashing
their brutal WWII history via school textbooks
. We must understand the truth of history so that we are not doomed to repeat it.
posted by gen
on Apr 4, 2002 -