In a scientific study of Chinese online state censorship, Harvard researchers not only gathered large amounts of social media in real time from within the country but created a large amount themselves
to see what got through and what was removed. Through this method, they reverse-engineered what they describe as "the largest selective suppression of human communication in the recorded history of any country". The results, to use a popular term, will surprise you. [more inside]
posted by Devonian
on Aug 28, 2014 -
In the southern portion of China there is an expansive karst
landscape, formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. The region is home to the South China Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site
, which is actually seven different notable features, as well as the visually impressive Moon Hill
, some of China's supercaves
, and Xiaozhai Tiankeng, the world's deepest sinkhole
. You can climb Moon Hill
, but it's best to plan ahead
. You can also explore China's great caves, but it is necessary to explore between October-November and February-March
to avoid the monsoon seasons, and getting down Xiaozhai Tiankeng requires a lot of gear
. You can read more about the Tiankengs (giant dolines or sinkholes) in the karst of China
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 26, 2014 -
“The Price of Cold”— the story of my recent adventures exploring China’s artificial cryosphere — is now online in The New York Times Magazine. In it, I visit the world’s first and only frozen dumpling billionaire, hang out with the chef leading a one-man refrigeration resistance movement, and visit refrigerated warehouses and R&D labs across the country.
Meanwhile, for those of you for whom that is not enough refrigeration for one weekend, I compiled this list: ten stand-out destinations for the armchair Chinese cryotourist, based on my own travels while reporting the story.
posted by infini
on Jul 26, 2014 -
, poet, author of Bullets and Opium
and former political prisoner, writes on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.
My father died in the fall of 2002. At the last hour, he couldn’t speak any more, but he would fix his eyes on me, his son, the political prisoner. The police had searched me and taken me away in front of him many times. He died worried about me. Maybe in his last moments, when he couldn’t speak anymore, he still wanted to tell me not to provoke the Communist Party. Tank Man vanished into thin air—another proof my father was right.
posted by frimble
on Jun 4, 2014 -
How Reader's Digest Became a Chinese Stooge
Larkin was delighted when Reader's Digest said it would take her work for one of its anthologies of condensed novels. Thirst would reach a global audience and – who knows? – take off. Reader's Digest promised "to ensure that neither the purpose nor the opinion of the author is distorted or misrepresented", and all seemed well. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad
on Mar 30, 2014 -
Students take over Taiwan's Legislature amid massive protests against a trade bill with China.
Student protesters stormed Taiwan's Legislative Yuan last week, overwhelming police, and have occupied it since as protests grew outside. Last night, another group of students stormed the Executive Yuan, but were removed, sometimes violently, by riot police. The Presidential Office is surrounded by barricades and police checkpoints.
The protests began after the ruling party, the Kuomintang, declared a review of a China trade pact to be concluded after months of wrangling between it and the opposition in the Legislature. The students originally wanted the review to continue, but they're now demanding that it be scrapped altogether.
posted by Poagao
on Mar 23, 2014 -
Tencent Maps - Look at some of the remotest parts of China. While some of the off-the-beaten-path images on Tencent Maps are actually static panoramas, other more quirky routes offer full coverage for mile after mile, as seen on the Li river in Guangxi province where you can cruise on a boat amidst the famous karst peaks that don’t look like any other hill or mountain range you’ve ever seen before. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Feb 11, 2014 -
Sina, one of the biggest websites in China, is hosting its annual photojournalism contest
. The subjects range from:
a SARS patient
10 years on,
, the biggest fur market in China
(warning: somewhat graphic),
" amusement park, erstwhile beggars
, incense makers
, more workers
, and a school
on the Loess.
My favorite two: hermits
and mothers who pump
posted by of strange foe
on Jan 24, 2014 -
In China, there are certain "bad notes" that frighten people and are refused as legal tender. Why?
posted by reenum
on Jan 16, 2014 -
China’s Space Program Is Taking Off
— "Its engineers have caught up with Europe when Europe was 20 years behind the space-racing superpowers. But by 2020 or a little thereafter, when the International Space Station (ISS) may be on its last legs, Chinese space managers expect to have a Mir-class space station in orbit. ... As was the case with the Cold War space powers, China's leaders are using human spaceflight to signal the world—and the long-suffering Chinese people—that Beijing's state-capitalism approach has won modern superpower status for their ancient society." From Aviation Week & Space Technology
, November 25, 2013.
posted by cenoxo
on Dec 15, 2013 -
The Great War’s Ominous Echoes
— "It is tempting — and sobering — to compare today’s relationship between China and America to that between Germany and England a century ago. Lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety, we say that countries that have McDonald’s will never fight one another. Yet the extraordinary growth in trade and investment between China and the United States since the 1980s has not served to allay mutual suspicions. At a time when the two countries are competing for markets, resources and influence from the Caribbean to Central Asia, China has become increasingly ready to translate its economic strength into military power." By Margaret MacMillan
, New York Times
, December 13, 2013.
posted by cenoxo
on Dec 14, 2013 -
, or 光棍节
, began as a joke holiday
invented by some lonely Chinese college students, an anti-Valentine's Day on which singles could either revel in their singledom or double down on attempts to hook up. November 11th was chosen for the date because of a simple visual pun on the slang term for bachelor: a "bare stick," symbolized by the date 11/11. But in a few short years, this joke holiday has become the biggest retail sales day on Earth, surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined
So, what do all the 'bare sticks'
do on Singles' Day? It varies. Aside from eating four stick-shaped foods
to symbolize the date, you could try one of these 11 ideas
from Beijinger. Or watch this bizarre condom ad, featuring a compilation
of animals having air sex.
posted by showbiz_liz
on Nov 11, 2013 -
"By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America." -- tells the amazing story of how a small band of Kalmyk Mongols (all WWII Wehrmacht veterans) established Tibetan Buddhism in America
, as told by David Urubshurow, who was one of them. Featuring Leo Tolstoy's youngest daughter, Cold War CIA and Ivy League intrigues, how the Dalai Lama came to America and why this was only possible under president Carter and more.
posted by MartinWisse
on Nov 8, 2013 -
Channel C WISC
is a YouTube channel where UW-Madison undergrads from China talk about the experience of being Chinese at a big public American university, with the aim of both helping newly arrived international students understand what's going on around them, and helping American students have some sense of what's going on with their Chinese classmates. Videos include "Why Chinese Students Don't Party,"
, "Chinese Names,"
, "Pretty Chinese Women"
, "Who are the Chinese Second Generation Rich?"
, "Why Chinese Students Don't Speak English,"
and many more.
posted by escabeche
on Nov 1, 2013 -
In a remote corner of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles from the Philippines, lies a submerged reef the Filipinos call Ayungin. In most ways it resembles the hundreds of other reefs, islands, rock clusters and cays that collectively are called the Spratly Islands. But Ayungin is different. In the reef’s shallows there sits a forsaken ship, manned by eight Filipino troops whose job is to keep China in check... It was hard to imagine how such a forsaken place could become a flash point in a geopolitical power struggle.
Jeff Himmelman (words) and Ashley Gilbertson (images). A Game of Shark and Minnow
[SLNYTimes interactive, (calm) autoplaying audio]
posted by Chutzler
on Oct 25, 2013 -