Chinese Artist Creates Transformers Theme Park

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It might look like the set of a new low-budget Transformers movie, but Mr. Iron Robot is actually a newly-inaugurated Transformers-themed park in Jiaxing City, China’s Zhejiang Province.

49-year-old artist Zhu Kefeng and his team have spent the last 10 years building giant metal robots from recycled iron and steel parts. He started out by making a realistic model of a car, then opened his own studio and began creating more intricate sculptures. He soon started doing commission work for people who liked his art, and for large orders he even set up a recycle bin where people could donate discarded metal parts. Zhu started working on Mr. Iron Robot theme park in 2010, with the money he had raised for selling his metal sculptures and his apartment in Shanghai. He and his team of collaborators worked hard and managed to turn an old abandoned factory into a modern attraction featuring over 600 Transformers-inspired sculptures.

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Chinese Village Gives Every Villager Gold and Silver Bars

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of a village-owned business, Changjiang Village, in China’s Jinagsu Province, has given every one f its 3,000 villagers 100-gram bars of gold and silver.

It’s no secret that China has the world’s fastest growing major economy, but some of its residents like to flaunt their riches anyway. Take Changjiang village, for example. This little settlement happens to own the Jiangsu Xin Chang Jiang Group, one of the top 20 private enterprise in China. It is involved in eight different industries, including electricity, chemicals and metals, and it’s apparently very successful in all of them. At least that’s the signal they’re sending through their latest gesture of generosity. Following a promise made back in 2009, the village’s party leader recently ordered over 600 kilograms of gold and silver, and  handed it to every villager in 100-gram bars.

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Weird Chinese Massage Therapy Involves Meat Cleavers

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If a man came at you with a meat cleaver, your first instinct would obviously be to run for your life. But  not for the people of Hsinchu, in northern Taiwan. Because for them, being tapped with the sharp end of a cleaver is actually a form of therapy that is known to cure many ailments. They line up in large numbers to meet the therapist, who prepares by sharpening the instrument on a wet stone and rubbing iodine all over the blade.

The Chinese knife massage is probably a treatment you’d only expect in hell, but in reality it’s said to increase blood flow, release the body’s stored energy and wash away harmful toxins. The treatment itself is pretty simple: all the therapist does is hold a couple of cleavers and strike the patient repeatedly with the sharp edge. No, don’t be horrified, there’s no blood involved. The trick is to bring down the cleaver with just the right amount of force, and then to not push or pull it once it touches skin. The up-and-down movement of the cleaver is said to release static energy, which leads to self- cure. “Chop, chop, chop, and the pain will go away,” is the motto that the knife therapists use to convince clients.

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Chinese Family Turn Abandoned Toilet into Cozy Home

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“There’s no place like home!”, I believe the saying goes, and this modest migrant family from China proves it applies even when home is an abandoned public toilet in the city of Shenyang.

Zeng Lingjun was born in a small village, in the Jilin Province of Northeastern China. As a boy, he dreamed of one day attending college, but because his family was too poor he had to abandon his dream and settle for becoming a cobbler and repair shoes for a living. But just because he couldn’t afford to go to college, didn’t mean he was willing to spend the rest of his life in his village. He had bigger plans for himself, so one day, with just 50 yuan ($8) in his pocket, he left for Shenyang, the biggest city in northeast China. Being a hard worker and a skilled cobbler helped Zeng make a living in the big city, and he was soon earning around 2,000 yuan (315) per month. But this wasn’t enough for him to get his own place.

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Interviews Before Execution – China’s Successful Death Row Show

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A creepy show capturing the last moments of criminals on death row – that might sound like the worst kind of reality TV, but “Interviews Before Execution” has been hugely popular in China, where it was first aired on Henan Legal Channel on 18th November, 2006. After over 5 years, the show ended last Friday.

As a part of the reality show, journalist Ding Yu would interview a person on death row every week in almost cruel detail. So yes, every person featured on the show was a hardened criminal, whose fate had already been sealed – in death. Sometimes, the criminals were recorded speaking just minutes before their execution, many describing the details of their crimes, displaying remorse and even begging for forgiveness at times. It sure does sound like an unnecessary exploitation of people who are about to die, but the creators of the show have a different perspective. Lu Pejin, the director of the Legal Channel says that the purpose of the show was to warn audiences. “If they are warned, tragedies might be averted. That is good for society.”

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Zombie Woman Climbs from Casket Six Days after She Died

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A 95-year-old Chinese woman, thought to be dead and placed in a coffin, terrified her family and neighbors by climbing right out after six long days. Must have scared the living daylights out of her neighbor Mr. Qingwang, who was the first to discover the empty coffin.

Ms. Xiufeng lives alone in her home in China’s Guangxi Province. She had recently suffered a head injury,  and Mr. Qingwang found her motionless one morning when he went to give her breakfast. “No matter how hard I pushed her and caller her name, she had no reactions,” he said. “I felt something was wrong, so I tried her breath, and she has gone but her body was still warm.” So believing her to be dead, Mr. Qingwang and his son made funeral preparations, placing the old woman’s body in a coffin. Fortunately, in Chinese tradition the coffin is retained for several days, until family and friends pay their respects. Also, he chose not to nail the box shut until the day of burial.

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Chinese Hachiko Waits Outside for His Master from 9 to 5

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A while back, we did this story on OC about a dog that wouldn’t leave his master’s grave. So I wasn’t exactly surprised when I heard about Wang Cai, but the faithful dog certainly deserves a mention. After all, he has waited for his master outside a local bank, from 9 am to 5 pm, every single day for the past 4 years.

Wang Cai was a homeless dog found wandering on the streets of Chongqing, China, four years ago, when a kind soul decided to adopt him. Ever since, he has been accompanying his new owner to work every morning and waited outside patiently for the next 8 hours, only to return home in the evening. According to the dog’s master, the behavior perplexed him at first, since he didn’t really train Wang Cai to do anything of the sort. The owner suspects that the dog might be waiting for his previous master, but he has no issues with the strange behavior.

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The Mosuo Tribe – China’s Kingdom of Women

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There’s a popular one-liner that’s been doing the rounds on Facebook for a while now – “If women ruled the world, there would be no wars. Just a bunch of jealous countries not talking to each other.” While that’s something we’ve all laughed at and forgotten, there actually does exists a Chinese matriarchal tribe where things are seemingly always at peace. Also known as the Kingdom of Daughters, the Mosuo Tribe have been in existence for the past two thousand years in the Lugu Lake region of Southern China.

In the Mosuo tribe, women rule. To such an extent that their language doesn’t even have a word for ‘father’. Property is handed down from mother to daughter, and sons are treated as simple inhabitants of the house. Even after they are married with children of their own, the men continue to live in their maternal homes, while children live in the home of the mother. In fact, there isn’t even a concept of formal marriage. Couples who fall in love meet in the home of the woman, and continue to refer to each other as ‘friends’. Vows and bonds have no place in a “walking marriage” system where mutual affection is valued.

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Man Proposes to Girlfriend with Dress Made from 9,999 Red Roses

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This is just the stuff that fairytales are made of. The beautiful princess walks off into the sunset with her prince charming, dressed in a gown made from thousands of roses. You’d never think it could happen in real life, but it has. In an incredibly romantic gesture, this guy in China had a dress out of 9,999 deep red roses made for his girlfriend. After she put on the dress, he proposed.

Initially Xiao Fan considered proposing with only the roses, but realizing his girlfriend’s love for fashion, he decided to go a step further and get them sewn onto a dress. So the flowers were stitched together carefully to make a sweeping floral gown, fit for a bride. Several dressmakers worked round the clock on the project to get it completed on time. I think it’s pretty amazing how they managed it, keeping the flowers so fresh and lovely.

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Rent-a-Girlfriend Services Are Becoming Popular in China

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In recent years, young men and women pressed by their families to bring their girlfriends home with them for the seven-day Spring Festival prefer to rent total strangers, just to avoid long lectures and appease their relatives.

Single men and women have it tough in China, a country where most parents go to any lengths to see their offspring settled down with the right person. We’ve had posts about a school teaching girls to land rich powerful businessmen, about Shanghai’s famous marriage market, and about the Love Supermarket, but those were permanent fixes to the being-single “problem”. Nowadays, Chinese bachelors are looking for a temporary solution, and this led to the creation of a whole new niche – girlfriend/boyfriend rentals. All they have to do is go online, access Taobao (China’s version of eBay) and choose between the different sellers offering the unusual service.

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Chinese Cat-Boy Can See Perfectly in the Dark

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If you ever doubted real X-Men were among us, check out the neat super-power of Nong Youhui, a young Chinese boy who can see in total darkness.

Riddick, the cool antihero played by Vin Diesel in Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick is one of my all-time favorite  sci-fi  movie characters, but I never dreamed of someday reading about somebody who could actually see in the dark. The first news about a little Chinese child with cat-like eyes who could see in the dark as well as normal people see in clear daylight, first broke out in 2009. Doctors who examined little Nong Youhui said he was born with a rare condition known as luekodermia, which leaves his eyes exposed to sunlight damage, but also allow him to see clearly in the dark.

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Chinese Army Plays Lethal Pass-the-Bomb Game

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A video showing Chinese soldiers in a circle passing an explosive satchel from one man to another, until one of them decides to throw it in a hole just before it explodes, has been making the rounds online, leaving everyone flabbergasted.

Photos of South Korea’s special forces troops training in all kinds of extreme conditions have been showing up on the Internet for a few years now, but nothing those guys go through compares to the shocking drill the Chinese devised. During an exhibition drill in Hong Kong, last month, an elite garrison of 6,000 PLA troops staged a series of impressive exercises for the visit of the island’s chief executive, Sir Donald Tsang. Snipers shot tiny glasses, soldiers carried heavy logs and jumped through rings of fire, but nothing as incredible as a group of men playing a game of pass-the-bomb.

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Chinese Women Train Hard to Become Professional Bodyguards

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While many men may find it odd to have a woman protect them, the Chinese have no such qualms. How else could you explain the huge demand for female bodyguards? In fact, they are paid much higher than their male counterparts.

Tianjiao Special Guard Consultant Ltd is perhaps the first firm to provide open group training in China for female bodyguards. Each trainee is put through 10 months of rigorous instruction during which time they gain skills in martial arts, anti-terrorism training, reconnaissance and business etiquette. The best student could be invited to study further at the International Security Academy in Israel.A four-week training program at the beach forms a part of the 10-month curriculum.

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Bamboo Drift Racing – A Combination of Speed and Balance

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I couldn’t stand still on a cane of bamboo even if it was on land. To think that there are people who can balance themselves on a bamboo pole floating in water! It’s probably the world’s thinnest boat.

Bamboo Drift Racing is actually a sport in Southwest China’s Guizhou province. Competitors stand on a bamboo pole and paddle using a thin stick of bamboo. Considered an exotic minority sport in China, the rules have changed over the years. In fact, although the tradition is to use bamboo, competitors now use a similar-looking strip made from green fiberglass. This offers better buoyancy and makes the boat more durable . The fiberglass sticks also help increase speed, and can be taken apart with ease later on. Still wondering how in the world it’s possible to row while standing on a stick? The trick, apparently, lies in the waist. All the balancing is done by controlling the bamboo using your waistline.

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China’s Magical City of Ice

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Ice sculptures are common in wedding parties and other occasions, but nothing you’ve seen before can compare to the ones displayed every year in the city of Harbin in China. While the place is cursed with terrible winters, the tough locals have managed to make the most of it.

A typical winter in Harbin, northern China, would see temperatures go as low as 2°F (that’s –19°C). Strong, cold winds blow in from Siberia, making almost everything freeze over. But the residents of the city keep themselves busy for several weeks during the winter season, hosting the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. The sculptures made as a part of this festival aren’t anything like your typical faries and unicorns. Artists and engineers get together to build massive structures out of ice – a small town if you will, consisting of churches, pyramids, pagodas and palaces. The structures are filled with modern amenities like elevators and escalators. Multicolored lights are installed inside the sculptures, making them look very beautiful in the dark, after sunset.

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