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.

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.”

Watch: “Naked Run” In Beijing Olympic Park Features Bare Chests, Gas Masks

Naked pigs run Beijing Olympic Park featured image
Heavy smog couldn't deter runners of the annual "naked pigs run" in Beijing's Olympic Park on Sunday. According to China Daily, more than 300 participants -- "only allowed to wear underwear" -- partook in the event. (Clearly some people wore more than underwear, but let's let that be neither here nor there.) Some wore gas masks, making for interesting photos:

CCTV Imitates The Onion With “Five Surprising Benefits” Of Pollution Article

Shanghai smog
Just as the monthly nationwide freakout over Chinese air was winding down, Chinese Central Television had to go ahead and publish an article, since deleted, that lauded the "Five Surprising Benefits From China’s Haze." I really have nothing to add to a topic already covered by Tea Leaf Nation ("Although it may be satirical, the article reads more as a tin-eared attempt to wring an listicle from a genuine environmental menace"), Time, etc., but I do want to share the below video, from The Onion, posted three years ago.

New Chinese Buzzword “Feed People Smog,” Homophone For “Serve The People,” Highlights Country’s Pollution Problem

REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Shanghai, China’s financial hub, appears determined to compete with Beijing, China’s political epicenter, in every aspect, including pollution. Starting Thursday, smog has shrouded Shanghai and nearby provinces, with PM2.5 readings shooting from 200 micrograms per cubic meter to as high as 700 at some air quality monitoring stations. As of 1 pm Friday, the average PM2.5 reading in Shanghai reached an off-the-charts level of 602.5; the PM10 reading reached 671, with the highest reading recorded at 726 in Putuo district.

Harbin’s Air Is A National Disaster That’s Uniting The Country

Harbin smog 5
By now you surely know: Harbin in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, a city of 11 million, is blanketed in cancer-gray, toxic-smelling, blindingly thick smog. The AQI is over 500 and the PM2.5 measurement hit one thousand -- higher than it ever was during the worst of times in Beijing. Everything has closed down, from highways to airports to schools. Sinosphere and the Atlantic both have pictures and anecdotes. And AFP has this bit of funny:

Forget Pollution: It’s The Wind In Beijing Yesterday That Wreaked Havoc

Wind wrecking havoc in Beijing featured image
While many spent yesterday morning squalling over Beijing's pollution (caused in part by this season's first sandstorm), an actual squall of sorts blew through this region, causing more damage. (Incidentally, it was this very wind that cleared out the pollution, so that in a matter of one hour, from 10 am to 11 am, the AQI dropped from 506 to 279, and by 4 pm, it was under 100, according to @BeijingAir.)

Take A Look At Different Cities Under Beijing’s Smog

Paris pollution
Soon to be an iPad app, surely. Via Marketplace: We wondered what other cities around the globe might look like under these pollution conditions, so we built a simple simulator to illustrate. Using side-by-side photos of Beijing to calibrate our not-so-scientific “obscurity filter,” we applied the tool to photos of some major cities around the globe. Let’s... Read more »