Global Times Writing Contest Asks For Misconceptions About China, e.g…

Global Times misconception contest
Global Times is back with another reader contest, "What are your misconceptions?" Those who answer that question as it relates to China -- with either short essay (150-250 words), photo, video, etc. ("the possibilities are endless!" Endless?) -- can win a stay at the Grand Millennium Beijing. So, Global Times, mind if we get an example?

Hundreds Gather In Brooklyn To Support Ai Weiwei And Freedom Of Expression

Brooklyn free expression - Ai Weiwei
PEN America organized a protest called "Take a Stand for Free Expression in China: An Evening of Literary Protest" last Thursday, April 10, in front of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York. Ai Weiwei was more or less the face of the event, attended by several hundreds of people / bored Brooklynites, which was also had the purpose of raising awareness of persecuted Chinese writers. Art Daily reports that Ai Weiwei appeared via video message to thank his supporters.

Pictures And Videos From The 11th Annual Shanghai Sexpo

Shanghai Sexpo 1
The 11th Adult Care Expo, i.e. Shanghai Sexpo, ended on Sunday, and if you weren't there for any of the three-day extravaganza of awkward gazing/touching/posing and shameless mobile recording inside the Shanghai International Exhibition Center, we'll fill you in: there were a lot of sex toys and aphrodisiacs, a lot of phalluses, a few AV stars but way more scantily clad girls -- sometimes dancing, sometimes doing something... we don't know -- and a lot of QPR codes, often on skin, because sexpos have gone digital, baby.

Chinese Passenger Train Derails En Route To Harbin [UPDATE: Sabotage]

Passenger train derails on way to Harbin 4
At least 15 people were sent to the hospital after a passenger train derailed early Sunday morning (3:17 am) in Hailun county in the city of Suihua, Heilongjiang province, Xinhua reports. The train, K7034, departed from Heihe, Heilongjiang and was headed for Harbin, the provincial capital. There were no reported deaths.

Beijing Air Quality Is Bad. Will We Ever Get Over It?

Beijing air quality index last six years featured image
Forget human rights, which will not, I promise you, get the man on the 5F dancefloor to lose his groove. Forget censorship, because who cares about cultural emasculation? Forget Zhou Yongkang, school stabbings, Diaoyu Islands, corruption, Sichuan earthquakes, shoddy construction. Take a lesson from the New York Times when it wants to link-bait: head over to the US embassy's Beijing air Twitter account and report the latest AQI, because nothing -- absolutely nothing -- unites the English-reading populace of China quite like bad air.

Dispatches From Xinjiang: A Uyghur Dream Manifesto

A Uyghur Dream Manifesto
In an earlier version of her “Wild Pigeon” project the award-winning National Geographic photographer Carolyn Drake dedicated one category of her images to dreams and what Uyghur viewers of her images said about them. One viewer told her: “Good dreams, you tell your good friends. If you do, maybe the dream will come true. If someone says ‘I was in a forest, I faced a tiger, and the tiger attacked me,’ some people will say, ‘don’t speak about it.’ If someone speaks bad words, they will come true.”

Art Thrown Out With Trash In Hong Kong (And Not As Meta Commentary On Art)

Snowy Mountain
An expensive work of art was reportedly thrown out with the garbage at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong on Tuesday, and it wasn't made by Damien Hirst. As Coconuts Hong Kong, SCMP, WSJ, and basically everyone else is reporting, Cui Ruzhuo's "Snowy Mountain," pictured above, was sold at auction for HK$28.8 million (US$3.7 million) on Monday, and one day later, police were searching for it among the city's rubbish.

Guangdong Farmer Builds Brilliant Model Space Shuttle On Rooftop

Model rocket on top of building
Via Ecns.cn, here's a photo of a model space shuttle and rocket on a rooftop in Jiexi, Guangdong province, reportedly built by a 60-year-old farmer named Huang Yuzhan. We love everything about this: as a celebration of the can-do spirit, the very human tendency to detach from our worldly fetters and drift and spin alongside imagination as boundless as the pale blue sky, and as a simple expression of craftsmanship, patience, and (dare I say?) innovation. This photo deserves a song.

Dispatches From Xinjiang: Shiralijan’s Fist And The Xinjiang Spirit

Shiralijan's fist CBA finals
The Xinjiang Flying Tigers may have lost the CBA championship to the Beijing Ducks, but Xinjiangers around the world came away from the games with a powerful meme. It came at the end of Game 5, after the Tigers rallied and pulled off an improbable win in front of a hostile Beijing crowd of 18,000. Shiralijan, the star Uyghur point guard for the Tigers who had been tasked with defending Stephan Marbury -- the star of the Ducks (and best player in the league, according to Anthony Tao!) --threw the ball in the air and raised a twirling, emphatic fist:

Stephen Colbert Addresses Dumb #CancelColbert Movement

CancelColbert
An episode of The Colbert Report last Wednesday used the words "ching-chong ding-dong" in an attempt to satirize / skewer Washington dunderhead Dan Synder. When the show's Twitter account tweeted the joke the next day without context -- “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever” -- a bit of hell broke loose on social media, resulting in Korean-American Twitter activist Suey Park starting the hashtag #CancelColbert. It reeked of so much faux outrage and willful ignorance

Fun With Baidu Autofill: “Eating Sperm Can Lead To What?”

Eating sperm Baidu result page featured image
Ran E. of the the Chinese food appreciation blog FOODragon witnessed something interesting recently when he typed the Chinese character "eat" into Baidu: the autofill / auto-complete function -- which incidentally also likes to reinforce the stereotype that Americans love sluts -- suggested this as the top hit: "吃了精子会怎么样" - Eating sperm can lead to what?

Hail The Size Of Golf Balls Terrifies Hongkongers [UPDATE]

Hailstorm in Hong Kong 2
Being from Hong Kong, storms no longer faze me. But hailstones the size of golf balls? That's a different story. An upscale mall in Kowloon Tong recently had its windows smashed by hail, and certain subway stations were flooded; planes were diverted, containers at our ports were blown sideways... what a way to end a weekend of Rugby Sevens! (Which New Zealand won, by the way.)

First Lady Michelle Obama Feeding Pandas Makes For Innocent Viewing Delight

First Lady Michelle Obama Feeding Pandas featured image
I didn't intend to publish this video via WhiteHouse.gov's "The First Lady's Trip to China" blog -- it's Michelle Obama and her family's last day in China, spent in Chengdu with pandas -- but near the minute-mark, I found myself inadvertently chuckling at the sight of a panda pawing, with oversized mitts, at a slice of apple dangling from a hole, and -- you know what? -- why the heck not, here's the First Lady and family feeding pandas.

Dispatches From Xinjiang: The Legacy Of Uyghur Rock Icon Exmetjan

The Legacy of a Uyghur Rock Icon Exmetjan
People still remember where they were the day Exmetjan died. It was Thursday, June 13, 1991. He was only 22 years old. As is common with the death of an icon, many people refused to believe he was gone. Instead, rumors spread that thugs from a rival disco had knifed him in a back alley or that he had faked his death and gone abroad to marry a princess.