Posts Tagged 'china'

CCTV Fire Photoshop Hilarity

PD*26805528On February 10, in what has to be one of the most misguided attempts at boosting company morale in corporate history, CCTV decided to launch an olympic-sized  fireworks display in celebration of Chinese New Year. They got a much more spectacular show than they expected when the fireworks ignited Rem Koolhas’ nearly finished Television Cultural Center like a sparkler. The building was one of the center pieces of Beijing’s modernization push and apparently the zinc-titanium alloy that wraps around the building was not quite as flame resistant as one would hope.

Though CCTV refused to cover the event until 24 hours after the fact. The Chinese net community swung into action — with Photoshop. You can see more on these Chinese message boards: here, here, and here.

cctvfire1

cctvfire2cctvfire3

Links (10/3/08)

From my regular trolling of the interwebs:

First off, there’s this really cool, very creepy gallery of abandoned cities in Asia.

Two links from one of my favorite blogs, Strange Maps. One shows the route taken by someone going around the world but besting Phileas Fogg but 40 days. And the other one compares the population of Chinese provinces versus that of whole nations. Bottom line: there are a lot of Chinese out there.

China freaks out over rising teen suicide rate and takes decisive action. No, not encouraging its citizens to consult mental health professionals. Instead they pull “Bunny Suicides.” [h/t Ted]

Scientists in the UK are developing a thinking cap. No, really. it supposedly stimulates the part of the brain that lets you see the big picture, allowing you to unlock your “inner genius.” Or something like that.

Time Cube. WTF is this all about?

Here’s a really perversely fascinating article about Benjamin Franklin and his numerous conquests.

And then there’s this really freaky story about pirates and something suspicious in an Iranian tanker.

A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates.

Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill “within days” of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.

Requisite Sarah Palin link: you knew this was coming. From Craigslist:

Looking for a Sarah Palin lookalike for an adult film to be shot in next 10 days.
Major adult studio.
Please send pix, stats etc. ASAP
Pay: $2000-3000
No anal required

No word on who’s playing the moose.

And then there’s this video, which gave me a headache.

Links (9/3/08)

A handy diagram of what to say and what not to say during sex.

A Japanese company, catering to women who want to divorce, employ professional seducers on their soon-to-be ex-husbands.

The top 25 movies about LA in the past 25 years according to the L.A. Times.

‘Camoflague’ by Chinese artist Liu Bolin.

A great article from k-punk about Wall-E and sci-fi. [h/t Ted]

Really no idea what to make of this blog called “The Pryamid at the Center of the World.” (sic)

A fascinating article about the future of English.

2000 AD: We children beg you, teacher, that you should teach us to speak correctly, because we are ignorant and we speak corruptly…

3000 AD: *ZA kiad w’-exùn ya tijuh, da ya-gAr’-eduketan zA da wa-tAgan lidla, kaz ‘ban iagnaran an wa-tAg kurrap…

[Via Boingboing]

And then there’s this heart-warming tale.

By The Associated Press

MODESTO, Calif. – Police say a man tried to cut off his own arm at a restaurant in Modesto, Calif., because he thought he had injected air into a vein while shooting cocaine and feared he would die unless he took drastic action.

Authorities say 33-year-old Michael Lasiter rushed into the Denny’s restaurant late Friday and started stabbing himself in one arm with a butter knife he grabbed from a table.

They say that when that knife didn’t work Lasiter took a butcher knife from the kitchen and dug it into his arm.

Police Sgt. Brian Findlen says Lasiter told officers he thought he needed to amputate his arm to keep himself from dying from the cocaine injection.

Lasiter was taken to a hospital for treatment of severe cuts.

The Denny’s closed for the night.

That last line is the clincher for me.

Finally, a youtube clip that’s been posted a lot but deserves to be seen more.

Links (8/25/08)

From my obsessive-compulsive wanderings on the web:

An, er, eye-opening article about all the wild hot sex going on in the Olympic village.

And here’s a blog about some of those who probably aren’t getting any nookie. The ones who finished last in the Olympics. China not only won the most golds, but it also had the most athletes come in dead last.

Mother Jones has put together a fascinating/disturbing map of America’s troop presence abroad for the past 57 years.

A photo essay of women in the Israeli military. [via Boingboing]

Photos from Venice Beach’s annual Go Topless Rally. Y’know for equality. [LA Curbed]

Today’s cities that might be ghost towns by 2100. Check out the slide show here.

Monkeys running rampant in Shibuya train station.

Ninjas in New Jersey arrested for attacking drug dealers. No really!

A company that will turn your pic into a Mao Zedong-era propaganda poster.

The crippling problem of PSAS (Permanent Sexual Arousal Syndrome).

“In six months I was having 150 orgasms a day—and it has been as many as 200.”

More about this problem can be see here and here.

And finally, this completely awesome (and gory) claymation zombie flick.

Links (8/8/08)

My regular trolling of the intertubes:

A great article about how materialists are more likely to be miserable.

Here’s a really fascinating article about the (welcomed) death of mall culture in America. Seems that driving 30 miles to shop at the mall is becoming less and less appealing with $4 a gallon gas. Some mall are being opened up and converted in insta-town centers. [via Boingboing]

A man in Hong Kong almost loses his yang humping a metal park bench. [h/t Ted] UPDATE: Here’s a Hong Kong computer graphic re-enactment of the incident.

That crazy woman who spend a small fortune to clone her dog might been the same person who kidnapped a Mormon missionary, chained him to a bed and used him as a sexual slave. While he cried rape, she declared her love.

‘I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.’

Link. [via BoingBoing]

And then there’s this terrific article in the Washington Post about corporate influence in the Olympics. Was it found on in the news or opinion sections? No, it was in sports.

So what is this Olympics really about? It’s about 12 major corporations and their panting ambitions to tap into China’s 1.3 billion consumers, the world’s third-largest economy. Understand this: The International Olympic Committee is nothing more than a puppet for its corporate “partners,” without whom there would be no Games. These major sponsors pay the IOC’s bills for staging the Olympics to the tune of $7 billion per cycle. Without them, and their designs on the China market, Beijing probably would not have won the right to host the Summer Games.

Link.

And finally, there’s this brilliantly cynical opening rant from the cult flick How to Get a Head in Advertising.

Links (8/5/08)

From my regular trolling of the interwebs:

A huge scale model of Shanghai in 2020. Looks like they’re going to trash all of those beautiful traditional houses. [via Boingboing]

And here’s series of pics about how a post-apocalyptic Tokyo might look. [h/t Ted]

Looks like Franz Kafka was something of a porn hound.

Creepy weird jokes tech jokes from the Aphex Twins.

This is the best example of Rickrolling I’ve seen yet.

The 5 best human accomplishments done totally high.

And finally, a music video Godard-style. From his cinematic rant La Chinoise.

[h/t Joan]

Links (7/21/08)

From my trolling of the internets:

The Chinese government, terrified of something embarrassing happening during the Olympics, have successfully embarrassed themselves. They’re forcing bars not to serve blacks or Mongolians. Link

And there’s this really depressed photo essay of the down and out Silvertown neighborhood of London. Link [h/t Ted]

More green screen hilarity with John McCain. [h/t Joan]

A really cool, if regrettably short, article about the town of Baarle-Hertog in Belgium.

Baarle-Hertog borders the Netherlands – but, because of its unique history of political division, the town is sort of marbled with competing national loyalties. In other words, pockets of the town are Dutch; most of the town is Belgian. You can thus wander from country to country on an afternoon stroll, as if island-hopping between sovereignties. [via BoingBoing]

Believe it or not, Los Angeles used to have the finest public transportation around, thanks in part to Henry Huntington. There was the Pacific Electric Railway company AKA “The Red Cars” which had streetcar lines reaching to the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica, and Santa Ana and there was the competing Los Angeles Railway (LARy) that was also known as the “Yellow Cars.” They were ripped out in the early ’60s and soon afterwards Los Angeles became synonymous with traffic snarls and freeway shootings. Some historical background can be found here. And here’s this youtube clip from LA Curbed about the last days of the LA Railways. Sigh.

Links (6/24/08)

Brian Eno and Kevin Kelly published a list of unthinkable futures 15 years ago in the Whole Earth Catalog. Now you can read in here. [via Boing Boing]

A very cute cartoon series about pandas and the recent Sichuan earthquake.

You all will be glad to know that the 61-year old British grandmother who started running around the world in 2003 has returned back to the UK in spite of being approached by a drunken guy with a bloody ax in Siberia, encountering a polar bear, and receiving 29 marriage proposals.

Really cool animation of a John Lennon press conference.

Continuing with Hilarious McCain blow ups — a funny viral video about John McCain dropping the C bomb on his wife.

I should have been a lot nicer to Steve Guttenberg.

East-side Angeleno culture in the Far East. [via LA Curbed]

The top ten political sex scandals in US history.

A helpful guide to the shadowy groups that run the world.

Now, THIS is a resignation letter.

Geek gets a 15 inch tall robot girlfriend.

Snake Woman’s Curse (1968)

Alex Kerr argues that one of the main difference between Japanese and Chinese literature is that while Chinese literature is focused primarily on justice, Japanese lit is focused on debt. A sweeping generalization, yes, but there’s a grain of truth there. Watch any Hong Kong kung fu flick and nine times out of ten the plot will be about a pure, if physically fit, guy who runs afoul of some evil corrupt gangster/warlord/high-ranking bureaucrat. The hero loses face and frequently a trusted friend or mentor, but in the end the baddie gets his ass kicked and justice is restored. Watch any Japanese yakuza/samurai flick and nine times out ten it’s about a low level peon with integrity who has to juggle his sense of morality with his obligations to his group and superiors. The film ends with either the main character getting killed or disillusioned with the cupidity of his superiors.

Rarely have I seen the dichotomy as vividly illustrated as with Nobuo Nakagawa’s Snake Woman’s Curse. The film’s set in the waning days of the Edo period, in a backwater feudal estate. The landowners – the Onuma clan – are greedy, corrupt landlords, utterly indifferent to the suffering of the farmers tilling their field. One such farmer, Yasuke, grown too sick with TB to farm and has fallen deep into debt. At his funeral, Onuma orders that their ramshackle house be torn down and that his attractive wife, Sutematsu, and even more attractive daughter Asa work off their debt at their estate. The Onuma’s wife, fearing that her husband might seduce (i.e. rape) the beleaguered Sutematsu, she has her beaten for stealing an egg. The woman eventually dies. Asa gets raped by landlord’s thuggish son, ruining any hope of getting married. She eventually kills herself. No Jet Li-style ass-kicking here. No earthly justice.

Instead, justice is meted out in the form supernatural visitations. Onuma, his wife, and his son start having hallucinations of the dead family and, for some reason never really made clear, snakes. It really bums them out, so much so that they eventually off themselves. This has to be the most passive aggressive revenge drama I’ve ever seen. The poor family suffers all sorts of pain and indignities, but that’s OK in the long run because the landlord will feel really bad about it. It’s the sort of pathetic fatalism that bullied kid might dream of while planning a suicide.

Yes, this is a ghost movie in the spirit of Nakagawa’s Jigoku. And there’s some nicely surreal moments, like when Onuma’s son’s new bride turns slowly into a snake. Yet this strangely disempowering ending felt at odds with other elements in the movie. Nakagawa imbues the movie such a loathing for the rich upper class here that you are practically begging for a Marxist revolution. His critique of feudal economic disparity and in particular the hierarchical mindset that still shapes Japanese culture today was pointed and filled with barely contained rage. I kept hoping that the daughter would take the straight razor she commits suicide with and slash the landlord’s throat in his sleep. But no. The family had debt, as unjust as it might have been, and they paid it off with their lives.

Links (6/6/08)

My regular culling from the internets:

I think we’ve all felt like this sometimes at the office.

Holy crap! The thing people will do for attention. Some guy in China, in commemoration of the Beijing Olympics, stuck 2008 needles in his head.

Werner Herzog is my hero. Check out this bizarre interview he had with Defamer.

Seven gestures that could, just could, get you killed abroad.

Anthony Lane from the New Yorker articulates why I don’t like Sex and the City.

Someone called “The Decapitator” is lopping off the heads of billboard ads and replacing them with bloody stumps. Bloody good work, I say.

Cheap renders of a cool idea for L.A. — The Hollywood Freeway Central Park. Basically, they would cover a stretch of the 101 Hollywood freeway, which is already below grade, with a park.

Top 10 scientists that almost killed themselves for science.[h/t Ted]

And then there’s this trailer for a Korean film called The Good, The Bad, and The Weird.[h/t Joan]

There’s an interesting article about the failed fascist coup against FDR in 1933. I referenced previous here regarding Hitchcock’s WWII era flick Saboteur.

And speaking of that, Behold! Stalin’s crazy attempt at recreating a breed of half-man/half-ape for crude industrial work.


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