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.

Savills Is Offering Bullshit Medical Advice: “Tricks To Protect You From Haze”

Savills featured image
When it comes to toadying up to authority, you can’t beat foreign business. While smog comes and goes like a dissident in the night, its legacy lives on -- for example, in the missive below from Savills, the London-based real estate agency, which wins our coveted Beijing Cream Corporate Whore of the Month Award with “Twelve tricks to protect you from haze.”

Russian Embassy Compares Crimea Crisis With Tiananmen Incident On Weibo

Russia Embassy microblog Tiananmen comparison
As the US and EU prepare to levy economic sanctions on Russia for its actions in Ukraine, Russia's leaders may be growing desperate to find support wherever they can. On Tuesday at 12:14 pm, the official Sina Weibo microblog of the Russian Embassy posted a message that, in no uncertain terms, sought Chinese empathy. There was one big problem: the post contained a remarkably tone deaf reference to the "Tiananmen Incident," i.e. the 1989 student protests in Beijing that resulted in a violent government crackdown, i.e. the one event that no one here is supposed to talk about.

No Survivors On MH370, Says Malaysian PM, Sparking Sanctioned Protest In Beijing

MH370 headlines in black and white
In a televised statement on Monday at Lido Hotel in Beijing, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which has now been missing for 18 days, likely "ended in the southern Indian Ocean." After his statement, family and friends of MH370 passengers were reportedly notified by text that "none of those on board have survived."

Former Bloomberg Editor Says China Reporting “Undermined By A Tiny Band Of Fools”

Ben Richardson LinkedIn featured image
Bloomberg continues to lose longtime reporters because it values financial services over journalism. On Monday, Bloomberg News editor Ben Richardson, based in Hong Kong, resigned after 13 years with the company over the mishandling of an investigative piece -- it was unceremoniously spiked -- about a Chinese entrepreneur's financial ties with Communist Party leaders and their families.