Chinagog: What “Chinese With Mike” Does Wrong, And What It Does Right

Chinagog - Chinese with Mike
So I just stumbled across Chinese with Mike. I can’t decide if this gentleman is the worst Chinese teacher since my boss forced my coworkers and I to learn “Tianmimi,” or the best Chinese teacher ever, like a mullet-enhanced Dashan. He certainly holds my interest as a Chinese language learner, and that’s half the battle.... Read more » Read more »

Tragedy Politicized: Xinjiang Violence Used As Diplomatic Fodder, Already

Xinjiang violence
A mere two days after 21 were killed in violent attacks in Bachu county, Kashgar, including six police and six ethnic Uighurs, Beijing has politicized the incident, using it to call out the United States for failing to condemn the attacks as "terrorism." Reuters: But the U.S. State Department on Wednesday merely expressed regret at the loss of life and urged China to "provide all Chinese citizens, including Uighurs, the due process protections to which they're entitled." Read more »

Here Are The Stand-Up Comedy Finalists From The Beijing Improv Festival

Sherwin Jiang
The Stand-up Showcase portion of the Beijing Improv Festival took place this past Friday. Here's my takeaway after watching the five finalists: It turns out that there's an honest-to-goodness, thriving stand-up scene in Beijing. If you're a closeted comedy nerd who'll only risk coming out to see live shows in Beijing when big name comics fly in from the States, I hate to break it to you, but Louis CK isn't walking back onto that stage anytime soon. Why not try to get a laugh on at one of the many local venues in Beijing that host regular stand-up nights? Read more »

Are Dams Exacerbating Earthquakes In Sichuan? Authorities Aren’t Considering The Possibility

Sichuan earthquake victims hold banner saying officials don't care
On April 20, a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Lushan in Sichuan, 160 km southwest of the provincial capital of Chengdu. While much smaller than the 8.0-magnitude (125 times more severe) quake that hit the region in 2008, Xinhua reports that there are 192 dead and more than 11,000 injured. Sichuan is no stranger to earthquakes. Since records began there... Read more » Read more »

Watch: Cars And People On Fire After Accident In Beijing, Possibly Caused By Dueling Audis

Burning car in Beijing 3
A collision between three vehicles on Linglong Road in Beijing on Monday evening resulted in rolling fireballs that consumed four cars, resulting in five injuries. According to eyewitnesses, two Audis -- an A5 and A6 -- were "dueling" with one another on the road (or driving with a grudge, as it were). That might not mean street racing per se, but a degree of recklessness is implied. The A6 lost control first and rammed into another car, and the ensuing flames would engulf a fourth vehicle. Read more »

A High School In Beijing Employed An Alleged Child Rapist Who Is Still At Large [UPDATE]

Neil Robinson pedophile in China
Neil Robinson is wanted by the Surrey police “in connection with the distribution of indecent images of children and the rape of a child,” according to BBC’s Crimewatch. This bit of info was posted to Reddit China by user gaiushe yesterday, who claims he has known Robinson for the past five years and is certain that he... Read more » Read more »

“Terrorist Activities” Foiled In Xinjiang After Violent Clash Leaves 15 Dead: Chinese Media [UPDATE: 21 Dead]

Xinhua reports on Xinjiang violence
According to Chinese media, violence that broke out in Bachu county, Kashgar yesterday, leaving 15 dead; among those, 10 are Uighurs, 3 Han and 2 Mongols. Two other Uighurs were reportedly injured. Eight people have been arrested. The incident reportedly began when three community workers stumbled upon a shack of knives, and were subsequently held... Read more » Read more »

Gourmet Coffee Has Landed In Pyongyang

Third-wave coffeeshop in Pyongyang, North Korea
We know our friend Andray Abrahamian to be both a beer and coffee snob, so who better than he to discover an unnamed cafe in Pyongyang, next to the Pyongyang Hotel View Restaurant, that might well be North Korea’s first “third-wave coffeeshop.” (As Dray describes it: “For those of you unfamiliar with the term, ‘third wave’... Read more » Read more »

BJC Redux: The PRC’s “Human Rights Record Of The United States,” Explained

Human Rights Record of the United States
Ed’s note: On April 19, the US Department of State published its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which included a section on China. It was typical, mundane, and features nothing you don’t already know, including restriction of Uighur and Tibetan movement, harassment of journalists and dissidents, prison labor, discrimination, extrajudicial killings, etc. On... Read more » Read more »

This Elderly Couple, Holding Hands While Leaving Their Earthquake-Stricken Neighborhood, Will Melt Your Heart

Old couple walking while holding hands
If you'll allow yourself a quick moment of unabashedly sentimental feel-goodness, please turn your attention to this story out of Longmen Township in Sichuan province. A Youku citizen journalist encountered an old couple walking down a mountain road in this earthquake-striken part of town on Monday at 9 am. The woman, hard of hearing, is 90 years old this year, while her husband is 88. The couple has no home to return to -- "just a tent," says the husband. Read more »

Watch As A Demolition Team, As Part Of Post-Earthquake Efforts, Blows Up A Boulder Blocking A Road

Boulder blown up after Ya'an earthquake
The earth's convulsion along the Longmenshan front on Saturday jiggered a few rocks loose from the mountains of Sichuan, among other things, and on a narrow road connecting Longmentong and Baosheng Township, a boulder rested squarely in the middle, blocking everything. Two days later, the bulldozers were out, along with a demolition team. Uniformed young men, looking like China's version of the national guard, ushered villagers from the area. Experts drilled a hole into the boulder, then packed it with gunpowder. Then, beginning at the 2:40 mark, a silent countdown... toward... KABLOOEY. Read more »

Man Loses Bag Containing HK$74,000 Cash, Miraculously Recovers It At Police Station

Chan Chung-lam, Good Samaritan
What separates losing 10,000 dollars from not losing it? The honesty of the person who finds the money, nothing more. In Hong Kong, 23-year-old pub manager Lin Ho-kit fell asleep on a bus and dropped a small bag containing HK$74,000, or about 59,000 yuan ($9,500). Other passengers, probably not knowing there was a small fortune inside, kicked the bag off the bus, where it was scooped up by 60-year-old Chan Chung-lam. Read more »