Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for April 20th, 2011

China Teaches How to Love at Its Universities- But Not its Homes

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

China, long known for its long faces, despair, edible air and ever present hong bao’s or bribes, is now apparently doing something to eradicate another of its perennial problems- inability to love. Although some may blame the typical Chinaman’s inability to love as the fault of his parents whose ‘ loving teeth’, were cut during China’s cultural revolution, a brutal period of anarchy. Whether it is this or cultural in nature, future Freuds may understand, but right now we can be secure in the knowledge that your typical chinaman is not known as a particularly loving soul.
The point of this rant is that China wants to teach its people how to love in school as in give classes in loving (from here). This is such a Chinese philosophy, how can love be taught? Although no expert, I would assume that I learned it from my family and friends not the cold pages of a text book, but alas I grow weary of this rant so I will do the following.
!-How to Think, as in have an independent thought
2-How to walk like adults
3-The essence of a smile
4-Oral hygiene
5-Anti-dandruff shampoo 101
6-Laugh like a human
7-Elements of interesting conversation
8-Independent research
9-Copyrights 101

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Abortions in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

From here:
“XI’AN, China — The leaf-strewn median on Eternal Peace Road hides a grim secret: Numerous tiny fetuses lie in unmarked graves dug by women from the abortion clinic across the street. The staff at the small clinic in the heart of this ancient city don’t bury most of the fetuses — only those that have reached three or four months, when they clearly resemble miniature babies. “This big,” says anesthesiologist Liu Jianmin, using her thumb and index finger to measure out the length of a lipstick tube. The burials are a gesture of respect for lives cut short, she adds, and the patients aren’t told. It is a secret hiding in plain sight, much like the rising rate of abortions among young, unmarried women in China.

While comprehensive data are hard to come by, official figures show abortions are increasing, and Chinese media and experts say many, if not most, of the abortion-seekers are young, single women.

That’s a change from the past, when abortion was used mainly to enforce the government’s one child per couple limit. Today, students are clearly a client base: The Beijing Modern Women’s Hospital offers a government-subsidized “Safe & Easy A+” discount abortion package at 880 yuan ($130). Others advertise in college handbooks.

continue here http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40967081/ns/health-womens_health/

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Largest Spider Fossil Found in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

From yahoo news
Fossil female golden orb-weaver spider (Nephila jurassica) from the Middle Jurassic of China.
 CREDIT: Paul Selden. News – Fossil female golden orb-weaver spider (Nephila jurassica) from the Middle Jurassic of China.


Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience Contributor,
LiveScience.com charles Q. Choi, Livescience Contributor,
livescience.com – Wed Apr 20, 7:54 am ET

The largest fossil spider uncovered to date once ensnared prey back in the age of dinosaurs, scientists find.

The spider, named Nephila jurassica, was discovered buried in ancient volcanic ash in Inner Mongolia, China. Tufts of hairlike fibers seen on its legs showed this 165-million-year-old arachnid to be the oldest known species of the largest web-weaving spiders alive today — the golden orb-weavers, or Nephila, which are big enough to catch birds and bats, and use silk that shines like gold in the sunlight.

The fossil was about as large as its modern relatives, with a body one inch (2.5 centimeters) wide and legs that reach up to 2.5 inches (6.3 cm) long. Golden orb-weavers nowadays are mainly tropical creatures, so the ancient environment of Nephila jurassica probably was similarly lush. [Image of fossil spider]

“It would have lived, like today’s Nephila, in its orb web of golden silk in a clearing in a forest, or more likely at the edge of a forest close to the lake,” researcher Paul Selden, director of the Paleontological Institute at the University of Kansas, told LiveScience. “There would have been volcanoes nearby producing the ash that forms the lake sediment it is entombed within.”

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China Fact-Only 53% of All Chinese Speak Mandarin

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

As of a little over 5 years ago, only 53% of all Chinese spoke Mandarin. According to xinhua, a chinese news source, the remainder of the population speak different dialects. This is interesting as most of us assume that all Chinese with the exception of Cantonese speakers, spoke mandarin….

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Pollution Watch in China- Daily Photos of Beijing Air Pollution for August 2010

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

Here are photos of the pollution in Beijing. The shots are taken around the same time of day so they are a good apples-to-apples comparison. I have read that in five years China wants to have 80% blue sky days. If you look at the photos below you will see that achieving such a feat will be a tall order. By my unofficial reckoning and being as liberal as possible, over the past year China has at least 65% gray sky horrible days. I’ve been taking these shots for about a year now and have lost some but will look for them. In any event, These are the pics I have for August. Also, I do not touch up nor alter the photos, they are like my blog, what you see is what you get (I use my nokia to take the shots). The gray in the photos is not fog, but pollution. A few photos may have cloud cover, but if you mouse over or click on them, you can see for yourself.

Posted in Beijing Smog, Beijing Smog- Daily pics | 1 Comment »

Even Anicent Chinese Scholarship Flawed

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

No wonder the Chinese still dont get academia rigth, it’s historical.
Historic China, and other sketches (Herbert Allen Giles)

EDUCATIONAL LITERATURE A ramble through a native town in China must often have discovered to the observant foreigner small collections of second-hand books and pamphlets displayed on some umbrella-shaded stall, or arranged less pretentiously on the door-step of a temple. If innocent of all claims to a knowledge of the written language, he may take them for cheap editions of Confucius, with which literary chair-coolies are wont to solace their leisure hours; at the worst, some of these myriad novels of which he has heard so much, and read–in translations–so little. It possibly never enters our barbarian’s head that many of these itinerant book-sellers are vendors of educational works, much after the style of Pinnock’s Catechisms and other such guides to knowledge. Buying a handful the other day for a few cash,[*] we were much amused at the nature of the subjects therein discussed, and the manner in which they were treated. The first we opened was on Ethnology and Zoology, and gave an account of the wonderful types of men and beasts which exist in far-off regions beyond the pale of China and civilisation. There was the long-legged nation, the people of which have legs three chang (thirty feet) long to support bodies of no more than ordinary size, followed by a short account of a cross-legged race, a term which explains itself. We are next told of a country where all the inhabitants have a large round hole right through the middle of their bodies, the officials and wealthy citizens being easily and comfortably carried a la sedan chair by means of a strong bamboo pole passed through it. Then there is the feathered or bird nation, the pictures of which people remind us very much of Lapps and Greenlanders. A few lines are devoted to a pygmy race of nine-inch men, also to a people who walk with their bodies at an angle of 45 degrees. There is the one-armed nation, and a three-headed nation, besides fish-bodied and bird-headed representatives of humanity; last but not least we have a race of beings without heads at all, their mouth, eyes, nose, &c., occupying their chests and pit of the stomach! “And of the cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders.” The little work which contains the above valuable information was published in 1783, and has consequently been nearly one hundred years before an enlightened and approving public. [*]

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Chinese Parenting or – No Child Left Behind in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

Yesterday as I entered the jaws of hell- the subway, I assumed my usual role of resident cynic and china watcher. China, being an obedient proletariat complied as she usually does. As I approached Xidan the realities of the Chinese tiger mom hit me dead in the face, so to speak.
As the gaping maw of the beast opened to allow irritated and road worn chinese to leave, another set of them chomping at the bit, readied themselves to enter. One trio in particular caught my eye. It was a pair of Chinese of indistinguishable age, looked 55 so probably 31. They were apparenlty a mother and her sister with their future disappointment (child- probably 6) lagging behind.
So the women, coming from china, did what chinese do when the subway doors close, they thrust themselves Clinton Portis like into the steaming mass of angry humanity. Then the doors doing what electronic doors do, closed. The twin Chinese geniuses then turned around and spied their little child looking up at them like wtf? For in their haste and being from China, they did what Chinese do, they took care of themselves and the rest be damned. The result was the little 7 year old now being left behind as the subway pulled away. Being from China, they made sure their needs were met but failed to account for the little girl…
The two geniuses quickly conferred with a host of other Chinese who no doubt had pulled such a ‘smart stunt’ not too long ago. The other Chinese in a fit of mandarin diarrhea tried to calm the dimwitted matron by saying that all she needed to do was to exit at the next station and reverse her steps and go the other way to find her kid.
While I’d like to think the exemplary mother did as she was told and waited a minute then disembarked at tianan man west and then crossed over to the other side and returned to Xidan to find her kid, but i have my doubts. Somehow I can picture that old squaw roaming from Li Yuan to Baobaoshan wondering ‘where the hell that kid ran off to’, all the while the sweet little girl is still waiting exactly where she was left.

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Funny China Photo from thisridiculousworld.com

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

Here is a funny post from this site. The site is pretty good as it has an excellent selection of funny photos and smart assed comments.

Very Fashion China 10: Big Bleached Hair!

Whether your strutting down the ready-made catwalks of “not yet skyscraper” alley or swinging your hips through the fake goods of Fashion Lady Mall: curl, fluff, extend, bleach, set, everything-else-you-can-think-of that hair and claim those extra inches you deserve! More persuasive and direct than a billboard and less money too! Bound to attract the attention of your wayward husband and maybe someone else’s!

This is a trend not to be missed!

You Buy Now!


Read more here

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Daily Shocker- Shitty Chinese Movies Make No Money

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 20, 2011

I am unleashing my sensitive side today. The following is a blurb from this site. The site says that shockingly enough, all of those excellent chinese movies where people fly thorugh the air and kick each other and shoot balls of light from their fists, all the while dressed like Obiwan, are not interesting, or are not making money. I would like to say that this news floored me, but in all honesty, how much of a world appetite is there for a storyline set a few hundred years ago where the main plot is to avoid making any negative cultural remarks whatsoever and present China in the best light possible- even the Chinese are smart enough to disdain this junk….

from here
“Quoting statistics issued by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the paper said that China produced 526 films in 2010….However, only around 200 of the 526 films were ever screened in public and the average profit made by each film made was less than 20%. About 80% of the films that managed to be screened failed to recover their production costs…By contrast, nine foreign films broke the 100 million yuan mark in 2010. These were led by Avatar, which took 1.32 billion yuan (US$200.47m), and Inception, which made 457 million yuan (US$69.4m)…From the 10.17 billion yuan of revenues, about half went to the owners of theaters; 30% went to producers, while another 5-10% went to distributors.

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