In 1986, workers in Sichuan province in China were digging for clay for bricks when they stumbled onto an archaeological treasure: a major site for a Bronze Age civilization previously only guessed at. The civilization, called Sanxingdui (wikipedia), had an art style unlike any other Chinese civilization previously encountered. Archaeologists had suspected there was a major city in the area since an early jade find in 1929 and a team went to work immediately, unearthing burial pits and gorgeous artifacts. (More history of the site.) An exhibit of treasures from Sanxingdui is on display in Houston until September; a permanent display can be found at a museum dedicated to the culture in Chengdu. Meanwhile, archaeologists continue to discover more of the city (warning: autoplay video) and even the remains of some of the inhabitants.
The Washington Post investigates how chef Peter Chang stopped running and started empire-building:
The pursuit of Chang soon became an all-consuming story among exotic-food hunters: a tale of obsession, devotion and love for one chef’s authentic Chinese fare. The chase narrative transformed a Hubei province farm boy with minimal English language skills into an American cult figure, an image that, years later, still clings to the chef despite his restaurant chain that keeps expanding year after year.[more inside]
Ding Baozhen (1820-1886) was a governor of Sichuan province during the Qing dynasty. The emperor bestowed upon him the title Gōng Bǎo - "palatial guardian". He supervised the reconstruction of the Dujiangyan Irrigation System. But he achieved immortality through the dish named for him: Kung Pao Chicken. [more inside]
Each bite brought a delicate balance between pleasure and pain—deliciously peppery flavor, bought at the price of having your mouth feel like you’d swallowed fire. But the pain was a good pain, somehow. It forced you to slow down and experience each bite, and that’s a rare experience these days. No one mindlessly gobbles Sichuan hot pot, simply because it’s physically impossible to do so without powerful anesthetic.
The date was February 15, 1996. The place was the Xichang Satellite Launch Center (Google Map), situated some 64 km northwest of Xichang City, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province. At 2:50 AM, the Chinese Long March 3B rocket launched carrying the Intelsat 708, an American communications satellite. Seconds later, the worst space-related disaster in history occurred sparking a technology transfer controversy. Chinese authorities said 6 people died but video footage tells a different story.
Chinese Are Left to Ask Why Schools Crumbled. "A staggering number of students died as schools collapsed in the May 12 earthquake, and grieving parents are speaking out about shoddy construction."
Until recently, earthquake lights were folklore. It wasn't until the phenomenon was captured in photographs, taken during the Matsushiro earthquake swarm in Japan between 1965 and 1967, that the seismological community acknowledged their occurrence. The precise mechanism is unknown. A stunning example was captured on video thirty minutes prior to the Sichuan earthquake.