What did China’s capital look like before everyone had a camera in their pocket? This rare historical footage gives us all a unique look at Beijing just under a century ago.
It took more time to design the plan than to actually construct the bridge.
Despite their capital city having been chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games just five days ago, the people of China are not currently in the best of moods. Rather than being filled with messages of pride and anticipation, online message boards and micro-blogging sites in China are brimming with anger and negative comments following the release of an official Olympic anthem titled “The Ice and Snow Dance”, written by celebrated pianist Zhao Zhao.
It’s a powerful, stirring piece that elicits the kind of chills you’d expect from a musical tribute to the Winter Olympics. But when you hear the song for yourselves, we think you’ll understand why people are not entirely happy about it.
In a lot of major cities around the world, people are hesitant to get involved when they see an injured person. After all, if movies have taught us one thing, it’s that the people who go to check on the fallen hero are often the first to get picked off by a terminator or Mike Myers in hot pursuit.
At best stopping to assist someone with a wound will likely set you off on a journey that Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls “an rip-roaring, edge-of-your-seat adventure” and seriously, who has time for all that?
That might be why Good Samaritans are hard to come by in big cities everywhere, and in Beijing the government is looking to change that by offering protections in what is casually being referred to as the Good Person Protection Ordinance. However, rather than killbots and monsters, this measure will protect helpful souls from a much more real threat.
You have to hand it to one-party systems. Despite their many flaws, one positive point is that they can get things done quickly. Over the past decade or so, Japan has been gradually reducing the number of public places where smoking is permitted, and raising the price of tobacco in baby steps in an effort to curb the once rampant smoking culture in the country.
In Beijing, meanwhile, from 1 June the entire city has been put on lockdown for smokers. From now on, anyone caught smoking inside any enclosed place of business will be fined. Just like that.
Xia Jun fell under the media spotlight recently for his unique offer of one punch for 10 yuan. Setting up shop in front of train stations around Beijing he laid out a cardboard box and wore a white shirt with “Human Punching Bag: 1 Punch, 10 Yuan [US$1.60]” scrawled down it.
Far from a Jackass-type stunt that we might have seen before, it’s hard to believe that anyone after hearing Xia’s story actually would have taken him up on his offer. In fact, it’d be hard to resist giving him at least 100 yuan and a hug instead.
Undoubtedly one of the many great things about traveling abroad is experiencing a new country’s culture through its food. As the world has become more and more connected, it’s easier to get a taste of foreign cuisine in our own home countries, but often times, due to regulations on or the price of imported ingredients, and because of local tastes, what we think we know of one country’s food may not exactly be like the real thing.
But, thanks to a little camera strapped to a pair of chopsticks, we get to take a peek at some authentic Chinese cuisine in this unique video, as we follow a group of exchange students on a food-filled adventure through Beijing.
The man pictured above is Beijing, China resident Gunther. You might be wondering why Gunther appears to be on the set of the hit ’90s sitcom Friends complete with the two leather Lazyboy recliners and over-sized handmade entertainment center owned by Chandler and Joey for much of ten seasons.
That is not a set from the award-winning comedy, however. This is Gunther’s apartment, painstakingly decorated to be nearly identical to that famous Manhattan room. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Gunther attachment to Friends.
However, before you go thinking “Could he BE any more insane?” emulating Friends actually may have been the best thing to happen to him.
“You can also call me a future police officer. I’m more than proud to introduce my university to all of you.”
Meet Jin Pin Xuan (金品軒), a 21-year-old junior (third year student) currently enrolled at the top-ranking Chinese People’s Public Security University (中国人民公安大学) in Beijing, which is under the direct tutelage of China’s Ministry of Public Security.
In late December, Jin starred in a promotional video for her school, in which she spoke about her daily life as an officer-in-training, her reasons for choosing this career path, how dedicated she is to studying English, and some of the other exciting opportunities available to her in this program. Speaking of English, did we mention that she gives the entire presentation in almost flawless, close-to-native English?
While Chinese tourists have occasionally made the headlines for their less-than-stellar behavior while abroad, their biggest critics are in fact those at home, as well-to-do Chinese lash out with harsh criticism of their “barbaric” countrymen.
In an effort to curb the unruly behavior of some Chinese tourists overseas, the Chinese government has announced that it will be launching several campaigns to better educate people on how to conduct themselves when outside the country, and is even encouraging the public shaming of those who bring shame on China through their behavior.
In ancient China, it was believed that whenever unusual climate or weather phenomena occurred, it foretold the future. If a dragon appeared in the sky, it meant that a new emperor would reign. Why would dragons appear in the sky, you ask? We don’t know, but on the 23rd of December, a fire phoenix flew across the Beijing sky, creating stunningly beautiful views in an otherwise heavily polluted sky.
In some countries where bicycles are a major means of transportation, such as in China, cyclists enjoy the privilege of having their own lane on the road separate from cars and buses for better road safety. Understandably, cars are not supposed to be driven on these bicycle-only lanes, but there are always a couple of rebels who like to think that rules exist to be broken instead of abided by.
Well, bad luck for this rule-breaking driver spotted driving on a bicycle lane in Beijing, because he got stuck in a face-off with a gutsy foreigner who simply refused to let him have his way!
As reported by China Youth Daily and Shanghaiist, during another typical day in Beijing, a woman whipped off her bra and handed it to a man in public. Wait, what??
You might think that this kind of erratic behavior means she was participating in some kind of women’s rights demonstration, or felt like getting a super early head start protesting the next World Cup like these other Chinese women did earlier this summer. But actually, the real purpose for her ‘liberation’ was for a completely unrelated reason–to prove that she was indeed the owner of a luxury item.
People who can’t start a meal until they’ve snapped the perfect picture and shared it on Facebook or Instagram, with hashtags, of course. People who walk slower than your grandma in a crowded mall or train station because they’re engaged in some mobile game or have their eyes glued on to some soap opera on their tiny screens. And then there are those who feel the incessant need to check if anyone “liked” their recent status update, or consistently have twenty group chats to reply to. There are so many of such cases these days, I’m sure you know what I’m driving at.
I’m talking about people who are addicted to their smartphones. Apparently some of them get so engrossed in their phones that they can’t walk or board the subway with their own legs.
Earlier this month, a group of eleven university students in Beijing got together to hold a small protest. Their mission was not to push for less homework or fewer partying restrictions, but to advocate for something extremely important to their bodily health and overall well-being–better sex education throughout schools in China.
Recently, streaking and naked demonstrations have increased in popularity in China. The benefits are clear, as having pictures of naked women (and to a much, much lesser extent men) is a pretty solid way to get attention for your cause. It’s also a more peaceful form of expression that can gain sympathy from the public.
I’d gladly take my political messages from a few people who are standing naked in a park rather than say… driving around shouting through a megaphone while blasting patriotic music at full volume. On the flipside, naked protests also carry the risk of the message getting lost in a sea of people shouting, “Hey! Boobs!”
It’s a dilemma that sociologists aim to tackle at the 18th symposium of Politica…“Hey! Boobs!”
Beijing’s subway network is the busiest in the world, with commuters taking about 10 million rides a day throughout nearly 200 subway stations.
These commuters, who already deal with massive traffic jams, overcrowded public transportation, and air so filthy that biking or even walking to work is often not an option, are experiencing a new obstacle: airport-style security at major subway stations.
On Saturday, Beijing tightened security checks at subway stations following an attack in China’s troubled Xinjiang region which killed 31 people.
Here are photos from this morning’s massive lines during rush hour at Beijing’s Tiantongyuan North Station.
On 17 March, Beijing Capital International Airport was ordered to perform an emergency evacuation. The event was triggered when a man reportedly told a worker at the security checkpoint, “I have a bomb up my ass.”
As a result, the security gate was closed off and all other passengers and guests of the airport were evacuated. A thorough sweep of facility was performed and the man was detained according to China’s Qian Long Network.
Asia is certainly not short of good-looking women, and it seems like every other day that some new model or wannabe pop idol appears online and wins legions of fans. But this week a selection of 10 photos of one university student in Beijing are being pored over by men all over the country, who seemingly can’t get enough of her “bewitching purity and innocence“.
But what do you think?
We humans sometimes get over confident with our wide range of life-improving technologies and stranglehold on much of what Mother Nature has to offer. Walking down the street with a typical homo sapien swagger, we might scoff at the feeble little flowers growing between the cracks of our manmade concrete, feeling sure that we could take them in a fight whenever the need should arise.
However, every once in a while the flowers remind us how deadly they can be, much like they did in China recently. Try not to unconciously touch your ears while reading this story.