Tag Archives | China

UK and China Agree £45m Pig Semen Export Deal

giphyIt’s been a big week for pigs. First it has been revealed that humans could be descended from a pig and chimpanzee hybrid, like some kind of Kool Keith creation. Now there’s this.

via The Guardian

Britain has won the right to export pig semen to China in a deal worth £45m a year.

Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, who is accompanying David Cameron on his trip to China, has also embarked on negotiations to export pigs’ trotters – a local delicacy – to China.

Under the deal with China, the “porcine semen” can be flown to the country in frozen and fresh form. Pigs will not be flyingbut their seed will take to the air.

A No 10 spokesperson said: “We’re doing all we can to ensure that businesses up and down the country reap the rewards from our relationship with China. And that includes our pig farmers. This new deal to export pig semen will be worth £45m to UK firms and means Britain’s best pigs will help sustain the largest pig population in the world.

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China’s Smog Problem Is Reportedly Impairing the Country’s Surveillance Networks

chinaKatie Drummond writing at the Verge:

The dense clouds of smog that sometimes blanket cities in China have myriad ramifications: they close businesses and schools, force residents indoors for days at a time, and are a notorious health hazard. They’re reportedly also, as the Chinese government is now acutely aware, a danger to national security.

Extensive networks of surveillance cameras in major Chinese cities are essentially useless during severe bouts of smog, according to a new report from the South China Morning Post. An estimated 20 million cameras have become a pervasive presence in the country, but they can’t operate through thick layers of particulate matter that characterize smog pollution. And as smoggy days become more common, authorities reportedly worry that criminal and terror activity will increase.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean officials are looking to curb pollution levels. Rather, they’re funding two research programs to design new security cameras that can cut through all that haze — and looking for solutions within four years.

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Pollution Makes Computers Sick, Too

Pic: Pluke (CC)

Pic: Pluke (CC)

Mike Rogoway writes at OregonLive:

The symptoms of industrial pollution are everywhere in Asia, where pedestrians wear surgical masks to filter the air and urban smog is sometimes so thick that Beijing’s Forbidden City is rendered nearly invisible behind a cloak of soot. Just this month, Chinese authorities canceled flights at Beijing’s main airport amid especially heavy pollution, and shuttered highways in and out of the city.

The implications for human health are obvious; studies show that pollution is shortening lifespans in northern China by five years or more.

Intel engineers in Oregon are now discovering that rotten air is also taking a toll on electronics in China and India, with sulfur corroding the copper circuitry that provides neural networks for PCs and servers and wrecking the motherboards that run whole systems.

“We got the board and it was pretty obvious. You open the chassis up and you see blackish material on every type of surface,” said Anil Kurella, the Hillsboro material scientist who’s leading Intel’s research effort.

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Giant Hornets Kill 42 People In China

giant hornets

The New York Times reports:

Swarms of giant hornets have killed 42 people in Shaanxi Province and injured more than 1,600 in recent months, according to Xinhua, the official news agency. Government officials have yet to figure out why their attacks have been so widespread and deadly.

Officials said on Thursday that emergency response teams were working to locate and destroy the nests of Asian giant hornets, the species involved in the attacks. Their venom is highly toxic and can cause shock and renal failure.

Hornet attacks have been reported elsewhere in China as well. Last month, a swarm attacked a primary school in the Guangxi Autonomous Region in southern China, injuring 30 people, including 23 children.

Up to two inches long, the brown and gold Asian giant, or Vespa mandarinia, is the world’s largest hornet species.

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China Criminalizes Spreading False Rumors Online That Go Viral

online rumorsWill the jails of the future be filled with those condemned for trollcrimes? ZDNet reports:

Online users in China who share false information that is defamatory or affect national interest will face up to three years in prison if their posts are viewed 5,000 times or forwarded 500 times.

This is a new judicial interpretation issued Monday by the country’s Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate, which defines the criteria for convicting and sentencing offenders who spread rumors online that defame, blackmail or provoke, China Daily reported.

The judicial interpretation also states that profiting from helping people delete posts is illegal, and anyone who gains more than 20,000 yuan (US$3,270) through this practice will see their case treated as “serious”. So far, prominent Chinese venture capitalist Charles Xue Biqun, investigative journalist Liu Hu, and Weibo users Yang Xiuyu and Qin Zhihui have been arrested and detained for fabricating online rumors.

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Chinese Man Turns Green After Eating Too Many River Snails

greenI imagine that there are people who will now do this intentionally. AsiaOne reports:

A 24-year-old man was hospitalised in Guizhou province, China, after he ate too many river snails too frequently and turned green as a result.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control reportedly confirmed that he was infected by parasitic flatworms that live in animal livers. The parasite apparently entered his body because he was eating river snails on a daily basis.

He began complaining of a sharp abdominal pain about two months ago, but did not seek medical attention until he started exhibiting some very strange symptoms. His skin and the whites of his eyes started to turn green.

Doctors finally removed four common liver fluke (fasciola hepatica) from his common bile duct. Doctors said that the four parasites were each about 10mm long.

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The Pop Culture Edition – What Had Happened Was Ep. 27

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by Susan M Omand, Omand Original, All Rights Reserved

From ModernMythology:

What Had Happened Was is a grumpyhawk collective podcast co-hosted by grumpyhawk (that would be me) and Benjamin Combs. In this “week-in-review style” show, we cover and comment on stories with a tech, science, weird, or strange sort of angle. Visit grumpyhawk.com to see and hear more from the collective. 

Hello people of the internet! Today grumpyhawk and Benjamin Combs are talking about China collecting body parts from prisoners and how that will now be optional, Snowden denies giving sensitive information to the Guardian, Arkansas bill limiting body modification goes to the State House of Representatives, Time Warner Cable offering antennae to their customers as a way to alleviate the CBS situation, Marvel to bring superhero-themed road show to the US next year, and Ben Affleck as the new Batman. All on today’s episode, The pop culture edition.

Show Notes:

  1. China says it will stop harvesting organs from prisoners
  2. Snowden denies being source of The Independent’s “NSA leak” story exposing UK base
  3. Senate Passes Bill That Bans Certain Tattoos, Body Markings
  4. Time Warner Cable offers free antennas, Best Buy credit to customers caught in CBS blackout
  5. Marvel to bring superhero-themed road show to the US next year
  6. Ben Affleck is the next Batman

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China’s Scary And Fast-Growing Cult Eastern Lightning

eastern lightning

Chinese Christians live in fear of being kidnapped and brainwashed into Eastern Lightning. Vice writes:

In some ways, Eastern Lightning are hilarious. For starters, the cult’s core belief is that Jesus Christ has been reincarnated as a middle-aged Chinese woman called Lightning Deng who now lives in Chinatown in New York. Then there are the bizarre evangelizing attempts to recruit China’s rural communities—stuff like the sudden appearance of live snakes painted with scripture and mysterious glow sticks hidden in people’s homes that somehow (I’m really not sure how) signal the second coming of Christ.

To their victims, though, Eastern Lightning aren’t a joke. The cult operates by infiltrating China’s underground house churches (proper ones are banned in China) and integrating themselves into the community, before allegedly seducing, kidnapping, bribing, or blackmailing members into joining them. Highly organized and comprised of more than a million members, according to some estimates, Eastern Lightning train their leaders to build trust slowly over months before making their move.

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Monstrous 33 Pound Mushroom Discovered in China

china-s-monster-mushroom-weighing-33-pounds-could-be-a-world-record-breaker

Fungi from Yuggoth. I mean China.

How…Lovecraftian.

Via Science World Report:

A huge mushroom that is almost the size of a tire weighing 33 pounds has been unearthed by locals from the township of Puxiong in China’s Yunnan province.

The giant mushroom that stretches across 36 inches in diameter may be one of the largest ever mushroom discovered. The finder proudly put the large mushroom on display, triggering great excitement among the locals eager to take photographs of the unusual mushroom.

Keep reading.

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Chinese Wizard Makes Nearly $2 Million In A Year Selling Magic Spells Online

spellsWhen is someone going to found a metaphysical eBay? Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

A Chinese magician’s online “spell” emporium that is reportedly earning him more than one million yuan ($180,000) each month from clients who hoped to find love, atone for sins or improve relations with their mothers-in-law.

University dropout Luo Shun, 31, began working as a freelance feng shui consultant, charging for advice on auspicious dates and names, in 2002. He opened an online store on Taobao, China’s answer to Amazon, in the hope of reaching some of the country’s 538 million-plus internet users, last October.

Mr. Luo’s site offers more than 160 spells or products. Last month it sold 2,825 spells, the most popular a $53 love charm. Mr Luo declined to discuss how much money he was making but promised to channel his wealth into philanthropy.

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