Sometimes, when life throws you an obstacle, simply call on a dozen people to move said obstacle out of the way. In Tianjin on Sunday morning, a van parked in front of a building blocked a coach bus from leaving the enclosed lot via the only road out. That bus happened to be carrying more than two dozen Beijing Ultimate Frisbee players who were in town for a tournament. They had an idea.
The WeChat-Facebook conflict, a battle for hearts and minds that has simmered for months around hotpot tables where expats and exchange students boast about their respective weaponry, has turned hot.
A series of ads recently released on the Youtube channel WeChatSouthAfrica poke fun at Social Network Boy Mark Zuckerberg. The ads -- currently three of them -- are set in the study of a German psychiatrist who prescribes "ze WeChat" to a despondent Zuckerberg.
Around 3 am on Monday, April 21, a suspected carjacker in Foshan, Guangdong province was tailed by police into a toll booth / checkpoint, where he was surrounded and ordered to get out of the car. The suspect, surnamed Tan, did no such thing. He did the opposite of getting out, which is stepping on the accelerator, even if it meant ramming his car backwards into police vehicles and officers alike.
DC rappers Pacman and Peso, who made waves in January after releasing a music video filmed in Pyongyang, North Korea (a trip that their friend and colleague, Ramsey Aburdene, documented for this site), are back with another video, this one set in Beijing. There's a lot to love about this, including:
There are some serious amateur filmmakers working for the United States's Federal Bureau of Investigation -- I can think of no other reason why Game of Pawns would exist: a nearly half-hour mini-movie that tells the story of Glenn Duffie Shriver, who was bribed by Chinese officials when he was studying in Shanghai to pass along sensitive information. Shriver made $70,000 before he was caught. He's now in the US serving out a four-year sentence in federal prison.
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.
This morning around 9 o'clock, a five-storey apartment building in Fenghua, Zhejiang province collapsed because it was old. (We're not sure what the technical term might be.) Details are scarce, but CCTV News reported around noon that up to five people had been rescued, though an untold number remained buried.
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:
Bao Bao is Washington DC National Zoo's seven-month-old panda cub, son of (the rather fertile) Mei Xiang, on loan from China. On Tuesday, he took his first steps in his mother's outdoor pen, and yes, there is video.
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
The Beijing Ducks won the CBA championship last night in Xinjiang, beating the Flying Tigers 98-88 in Game 6. Here are some photos and a video of the celebration. The top image, by the way, is now Stephon Marbury's profile pic on Sina Weibo:
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.)
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.
Several more months of terrible air, bad publicity and one inspired brainstorm session with my friend Kyle convinced me that this was a movie that needed be made. Beijing right now is one of the most fascinating clusters of humanity in the world and yet it’s almost perpetually shrouded in a layer of physical and public relations pollution. I get that. I’ve read the history, I breathe the air, I eat the gutter oil, and yeah, that all sucks. But at the end of the day this place just has an energy that I’m in love with.
Tom Chou played the Chinese character in the music videos for "Chinese Food" and "Get In My Car," both produced by "Friday" producer Patrice Wilson. Although criticized by some as racially insensitive and tacky, the two videos together have amassed more than 16 million views on Youtube and Youku.
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: