Mid-Week Links: Panda cub death, Chinese aircraft carrier, and a music video between Zhang Muyi, 24, and Akama Miki, 12

This afternoon in Beijing, overlooking Tiananmen Square (picture by Alicia)

The entire BJC editorial board is at trivia, and we swear we’re only here for the “fun.” Here are your links.

Sad: 6-day-old panda cub dies in Washington DC’s National Zoo. “Thousands of people had watched an online video feed of the cub’s mother, 14-year-old Mei Xiang, hoping to catch a glimpse of the newborn during its few days of life. Fans from around the country and the world shared their sympathy on social media sites, and many said they shared an emotional connection with the burly, black-and-white bear. // Since the cub’s death, Mei Xiang has started eating and interacting with her keepers again. She slept Sunday night while cradling a plastic toy in an apparent show of maternal instinct, Kelly said.” [Washington Post]

Report: Foxconn disturbances will recur unless there’s change from within. “But the improvements are not enough, many Foxconn workers say. ‘It’s not about the money. . . . It’s a problem of management. It’s a mess. The guards often abuse their power over the workers,’ said Wang Zhiqian, who used to work on Foxconn’s production line and now recruits workers for the company. ‘We attract many fewer workers now than in 2010. People would rather work at a hotel or other places. It’s not a lack of workers in these areas — it’s a problem of spiritual emptiness.’ // Wang and others describe workdays that routinely extend three hours into overtime, leaving little opportunity to do anything after hours but sleep. And they say there is little talk among the workers, who stew in their frustrations.” [Washington Post]

Corollary: “The riot at Foxconn — or any of the other five hundred ‘mass incidents’ that China records on an average day — has implications far beyond Apple. Labor activists say that they are happening more often this year than last.” [Evan Osnos, New Yorker]

Behold, China’s first aircraft carrier. “The 300m (990ft) Liaoning – named after the province where it was refitted – is a refurbished Soviet ship purchased from Ukraine. // For now the carrier has no operational aircraft and will be used for training. // But China says the vessel, which has undergone extensive sea trials, will increase its capacity to defend state interests.” [BBC]

People! “During last week’s Nanjing Live cosplay event in, well, Nanjing, a young girl was attacked while on stage by supposed anti-Japanese protesters. The cosplayer, who remains unnamed, was cosplaying as a character from the Chinese/Taiwanese classic rpg The Legend of Sword and Fairy (仙劍奇俠傳). // The Legend of Sword and Fairywas a martial arts fantasy RPG developed in Taiwan in 1995. The game reached cult status once it hit the Chinese Mainland. It had very little to do with Japan.” [Kotaku]

See, we don’t only link to Global Times when it does bad things; not sure about the byline though. “This spree of utilizing the Diaoyu Islands as a commercial catchword is shameful. // Patriotism is a profound feeling that should never be aroused through glib commercialism, used to amuse consumers and fatten wallets. // The country remembers a notice announcing ‘No dogs or Chinese allowed,’ at the entrance of Huangpu Park in Shanghai in the early 20th century as a racist sign symbolizing a dark era. It is ludicrous that such a despicable notice today has found a copycat in our country today.” [Chen Chenchen, Global Times]

Sad, again: bride killed by bus just days before wedding. “A young couple were standing on the side of the road waiting for the bus. The man noticed the bus they wanted to take was passing them, and the woman stuck her thumb out. The bus did not slow down and hit her, pushing her toward the roadside barrier 4 meters away.” [The Nanfang]

Raysissss? “By traveling from city to city on a map, microscopic protists known as slime molds have figured out how to take over the world. // Starting in Beijing, the slime mold Physarum polycephalum developed a well-organized network for global domination that mimicked historic trade routes like Asia’s Silk Road.” [Wired]

Remember 24-year-old Zhang Muyi and 12-year-old Akama Miki’s “love”? They’ve made a duet music video, via Gawker:


Interview with Ying Zhu, author of Two Billion Eyes – The Story of China Central Television. [Danwei]

David Schlesinger on China: “News doesn’t necessarily equal understanding.” [Tripod Advisers]

“Efforts to rescue a total of 22 miners, who were trapped following three separate accidents in different parts of China, continued on Monday.” [China Daily]

“24 funny differences between China and the United States.” [China Whisper]

Finally, finally…

Pedestrian crossing turns footsteps into leaves, via ad agency DDB9gag

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