34 Years Later, A Finished Pashto-Chinese Dictionary

Che Hongcai and Pashto Dictionary
A receptionist at the Wangfujing Branch of China’s Commercial Publishing House got the surprise of her life when an old man walked in with a several-thousand-page handwritten manuscript. At 76-years-old, Che Hongcai had only one thing to say: “I’m finished.” In his hands was the first ever Pashto-Chinese dictionary, a project commissioned, re-commissioned and eventually lost by the State Council.

The Man Who Loves Rum

Badr knows his rums 2
There's the only picture evidence you need that Badr Benjelloun's tipple of choice is rum -- pure rum, navy rum, sweet rum, fragrant Yunnan rum, Cuban rum ("love, passion")... Captain Morgan's... it doesn't matter. The man will take your rum and sell it back, likely with a historical anecdote on the side.

Oliver Stone Rails Against Chinese Film Industry “Platitudes,” Coddling Of Mao

2014 Beijing International Film Festival - Director Oliver Stone Interview
The fourth Beijing International Film Festival opened on Wednesday, and it looks like it's already less boring than last year's. For that we have the Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone to thank, who on Thursday in a panel discussion spoke provocatively on Mao Zedong and urged the Chinese to confront their history. As The Hollywood Reporter reports:

Poetry Night In Beijing: Stephen Nashef

Poetry Night in Beijing - Stephen Nashef
Beginning today, we'll be posting, piecemeal, the entirety of our March 16 event Poetry Night in Beijing, co-hosted by Pathlight Magazine for the Bookworm Literary Festival. (A big shout-out to Patrick Lozada for filming.) Up first was physics teacher / poet Stephen Nashef, introduced by Pathlight poetry editor Canaan Morse.

Sichuan Police vs. Iron Man: Who You Got?

Sichuan police vs. Iron Man
If you're not following Chris Buckley (@ChuBailiang) on Twitter, you probably should. The New York Times reporter who gave us panda TV (addendum: postmodern panda watching pandas on TV), double-decker bus-driving fail, and his timely "Pulitzer Prize" series of tweets (e.g., "...for urban planning goes to Zhengzhou for planting trees under an expressway") is who we should thank for the above, via People.cn, which really needs no additional commentary.

Xi Jinping Impersonator Deemed Too Sensitive For C4 Episode

C4 Xi Jinping impersonator 2
Those of you who follow us will know about C4, the sometimes funny, certainly unique, not-unnoteworthy comedy/variety show via China Radio International that we sporadically syndicate. Among the fun things that hosts Rob Hemsley and Stuart Wiggin have done recently -- though not quite as good as "The Panda" -- is a bloopers segment that featured none other than Xi Jinping.

New York Times: China Has Been Unhelpful In MH370 Search

Haixun 01
The latest update on still-missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 -- New York Times: "China’s Actions in Hunt for Jet Are Seen as Hurting as Much as Helping" -- puts the attention on China's naval incompetence and prestige hunting. Apparently good intentions don't get you good press. I read the Times's article while slowly shaking my head at the entirety of the MH370 situation/mess. Then I came to this quote:

The FBI Made A 30-Minute Beware-Of-China Film Called “Game Of Pawns”

Game of Pawns
There are some serious amateur filmmakers working for the United States's Federal Bureau of Investigation -- I can think of no other reason why Game of Pawns would exist: a nearly half-hour mini-movie that tells the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, who was bribed by Chinese officials when he was studying in Shanghai to pass along sensitive information. Shriver made $70,000 before he was caught. He's now in the US serving out a four-year sentence in federal prison.

Asian Student At Yale Tries Hard To Gain Weight, Fails

Yale student Frances Chan
Here's a strange little story from the other side of the world. Frances Chan, a 20-year-old history major at Yale, was apparently told by her school's health center officials that she was dangerously underweight at 92 pounds. She's 5-foot-2, and according to the ideal weight calculator, someone between her age and height should weigh at least 97 pounds. As Chan wrote on Huffington Post last month about her ordeal: