Here's the classic story of a man who lost his phone in New York's East Village only to discover -- due to a stranger's pictures appearing on his photo stream -- that the phone is still alive, though halfway across the world. This is undoubtedly the cross-culture social media story of the year, featuring Avril Lavigne, firework pics (iPhones have amazing cameras, never forget), and a human flesh engine search initiated by Chinese netizens.
CCTV recently published an article called "Tips for Chinese choosing an English name," which is frankly exactly the type of piece I think CCTV should be publishing more of. It features delightful sentences such as, "Many Chinese like to pick names that are in fact, not names," and, "Meanwhile, Dong and Wang is used as slang for male genitalia. So avoid anything like ‘Bunny Wang’ at all times." It got us thinking: what are the best Chinese-chosen English names we know?
Driving in China can be a pain, for reasons I hardly need to list here (but will, since Web Logs were created for just this sort of venting) -- traffic, severe traffic, traffic caused by fights between traffic cops, traffic regulations, traffic accidents.... Luckily, China's Ministry of Public Security has an extensive test to prepare this country's would-be drivers for the stress, frustration, and Weltschmerz of the road...
There was a Dutch website called Beautiful Agony that asked people to upload videos of their orgasm face as a "multimedia experiment." This was done in the name of art. There was a video we watched in high school biology of a live childbirth, PBS Nova's The Miracle of Life. This was done in the name of science. Now there's a reality show on Shenzhen Television, "Laiba Haizi" (Come On, Child), that shows the faces of women in labor. This is done in the name of...
Longtime China fellow Brendon O'Kane may have left for grad school in the US, but he's still sporadically China-blogging, now on a Tumblr. He's responsible for finding the above ad, which we can't thank him enough for translating:
Authorities in Beijing's have reportedly used concrete to seal off wells that had served as makeshift homes for migrant workers in a particularly impoverished area in Chaoyang district. Hug China reports:
One of O. Henry's most famous stories is "The Last Leaf," a tale of hope, perseverance, and sacrifice. In it, a young girl dying in a New York hospital believes that once the last leaf falls from a vine outside her window, it'll be time for her to go. "Oh, I never heard of such nonsense," her friend, Sue, tells her, but she believes it, and so, lying in bed, she counts down the leaves. Five. Four. Three. Two...
The biggest building in the world recently opened in Chengdu, China. The New Century Global Center's colossal undulating roof, which I'd been eyeing from my apartment window these past few months, is visible from any high point in the city. I hadn't known what it was until last week, when relatives informed me through a flurry of news articles that it was part of a 1.7 million square-meter complex that is nearly the size of Monaco, and has an artificial sun.
Last Monday, a curious new Chinese law called the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly went into effect, forcing the country's healthy adults to visit their parents on a semi-regular basis. “Family members who live apart from their parents should visit often or send their regards to their parents," the law stated. (That same day, a court in Wuxi, Jiangsu province cited the law in an actual court case.) But most people say the law is more symbolic than anything, a piece of regulation designed to remind the cosmopolitan, rapidly modernizing citizens of China of their traditional Chinaness, which includes filial piety.
Here's a great idea for a souvenir. Counterfeit ID cards of world leaders -- Barack Obama, Vladmir Putin, Kim Jung-un, and (of course) Osama Bin Laden (who I suppose doesn't fall into this "world leader" category, but bear with me) -- have recently appeared on the streets of Guangzhou, according to Sina. Counterfeiting, kitsch, and absurdity: a perfect memento of China. Go buy one now, Guangzhou folks.
China Daily has published one heck of a lede sure to make journalists cover their mouths and titter. Go read this five times:
Beijing, Shanghai and the eastern province of Jiangsu were found to be the three happiest places in China in 2012, chinanews.com reported, citing research.
It's mysterious. It came up, then went down. "Sentient," said Gawker.
So far, no one has been able to provide locals with a straight answer — so they've taken to social networking sites to make up their own.
Immediately following the ooze's mysterious arrival, authorities arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area, ordering evacuations of nearby homes.
If your truck carries a commodity and it flips over, it will be raided. This we have seen again and again and again, and now we know -- thanks to the latest incident -- that villagers are perfectly willing to risk death to collect what they can. In Huanggang, Hubei province on Saturday at 7 am, a 35-ton oil tanker lost control and overturned, spilling petroleum over the pavement.