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:
A nine-year-old boy is dead as the result of a firecracker dropped into a sewer. Reports say he was playing with another boy around 3 pm on Saturday near Fenghu Building in Shenzhen when one of them lit a firecracker and threw it down the drain. The ensuing explosion popped off two manhole covers, one of them flying as high as five meters. The victim, a third-grader in nearby Luohu district, reportedly fell in. His lifeless body was recovered about three hours later.
The folks over at the Bespoke Beijing travel agency put together this hilarious spoof promo for the CCTV Tower using a recording of the building's audio tour. Among other things, I learned that romance is worth 298元.
After sitting out more than two months with an injury and missing 22 games, Beijing Ducks superstar point guard Stephon Marbury returned to the court last night against the Shandong Flaming Bulls in his team's first game of the new lunar year.
It was an eventful night, to say the very least.
Hope everyone had a fun and -- more importantly -- safe Chinese New Year on Thursday night. By safe we mean: you didn't break a window, did you? You didn't burn anything down? Because there was both a broken window and a HUGE-ASS FIRE at 4corners, the Gulou bar with the healthy reputation for holding uproarious and unpredictable parties.
Louis CK was in Beijing in June 2012 to film the (wonderful) finale of (the wonderful) third season of his show Louie, and apparently he got enough material to tell stories for years. He was recently on David Letterman, where -- for whatever reason -- he was prompted to relive his experience.