Bogda Mountains, China
The Turpan Depression, nestled at the foot of China’s Bogda Mountains, is a strange mix of salt lakes and sand dunes. It is one of the few landscapes in the world that lies below sea level.
This image was acquired by Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor.
Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch as part of the Earth as Art II image series

Bogda Mountains, China

The Turpan Depression, nestled at the foot of China’s Bogda Mountains, is a strange mix of salt lakes and sand dunes. It is one of the few landscapes in the world that lies below sea level.

This image was acquired by Landsat 7’s Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor.

Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch as part of the Earth as Art II image series

(via earth-as-art)

After firefighters in Zhejiang province were finally alerted to the blaze in the early hours of Monday they took 10 hours to extinguish the flames, which destroyed a large amount of furniture, the Xinhua news agency said.

"Because of the thick fog pervading the air at the time, the initial smoke and flames produced by the fire took an unexpected almost three hours to be discovered by nearby residents," Xinhua said.

The unusually dense air pollution across much of China this week reached levels dangerous to human health and prompted public criticism of the nation’s breakneck development.

At the height of the smog authorities in the capital said readings for PM2.5 - particles small enough to penetrate the lungs - hit 993 micrograms per cubic metre, almost 40 times the World Health Organisation’s safe limit.

The reduced visibility contributed to a 20-car pileup elsewhere in Zhejiang on Tuesday that left two people dead and eight injured, Xinhua said in a separate report, and forced flights in Beijing to be cancelled.

China Daily Europe:

A kiss not just a kiss
SHENZHEN, Guangdong - Like a real life version of Snow White, Liu Wenxiu’s kiss literally saved the life of a 16-year-old boy.
Liu just passing by a pedestrian bridge in downtown Shenzhen on June 11 when she spotted hundreds of onlookers watching a young man with a knife in his hand, threatening to jump.
"I saw him get more and more excited - everybody around was just looking, nobody was trying to step up and help," said Liu, a 19-year-old hotel waitress.
"He had to be saved - because I’ve been there before and I knew exactly how it was," continued Liu, who had attempted suicide several times.
The boy was outside the guardrail and only one step from falling. Local police had tried without success to persuade him to give up.
Liu managed to get close to the boy by telling the police that she was his girlfriend and also the reason for his attempt to commit suicide.
"The fact is I’d never seen him before, but that’s the only idea I could come up with at the time," she recalled.
According to local television, the boy’s mother had passed away, his stepmother didn’t treat him well and she left with all his father’s money. The father and son had to take part-time jobs and start their lives over again.
Liu started to sob when she heard the story.
"He told me he didn’t have a home anymore, nobody cared about him and no one trusted him. I said nothing but showed him the scars on my right wrist. I used to be suicidal - I’ve attempted cutting my artery, jumping from a high building and others," said Liu during a local TV interview after her successful rescue.
Born in Anhui province, Liu grew up amid quarrelling parents and the responsibility to take care of her elder sister who is a deaf-mute.
Life pressure forced her to quit high school and start working when she was only a teenager.
"Nobody in my family was happy - both of my parents spent days brawling, which left my sister and I gloomy. That boy, he was like a younger me," Liu said.
With the boy crying even harder, Liu knew he had a sense of being understood.
"He said he’s hopeless, ‘so don’t waste your time to save me’. But I told him, ‘I’m not saving your life, I just want you to realize how silly you are being. Look at me, I’ve been there and I’m now here,’" she said.
The negotiation on the bridge ended like a romantic comedy when Liu hugged the boy and kissed him unexpectedly. Police took advantage of the situation to take away the boy’s knife and pull him inside the handrail of the bridge.
"When I kissed him and when he put his hand (with the knife) on my waist, both of us were crying so hard," she said. "But I was happy as I knew I had saved him."
Liu said she didn’t think too much before she offered her kiss, only that she knew it would comfort him.
"I simply thought he has to be stabilized, so he won’t do anything stupid. The police were near us and I didn’t worry about being pulled down by the boy," she said.
Liu left after the rescue. Local police called her soon after because the boy refused to reveal his story without her presence.
"I didn’t go but we talked over the phone and exchanged our phone numbers. I promised him that I would call him later and I will, to encourage him to lead a better life," Liu said.
Liu feels very uneasy after the accident as her mobile phone has been bombarded with calls for interviews, according to Lai Shouyan, Liu’s boss at the Hepans Taipan SPA Boutique Hotel.
"Personally I hope this doesn’t affect my work and normal life. I didn’t want to think much of the accident just like I didn’t think much when I went forward to save the boy," Liu said. "For me the most important thing is that we live and enjoy each day."

China Daily Europe:

A kiss not just a kiss

SHENZHEN, Guangdong - Like a real life version of Snow White, Liu Wenxiu’s kiss literally saved the life of a 16-year-old boy.

Liu just passing by a pedestrian bridge in downtown Shenzhen on June 11 when she spotted hundreds of onlookers watching a young man with a knife in his hand, threatening to jump.

"I saw him get more and more excited - everybody around was just looking, nobody was trying to step up and help," said Liu, a 19-year-old hotel waitress.

"He had to be saved - because I’ve been there before and I knew exactly how it was," continued Liu, who had attempted suicide several times.

The boy was outside the guardrail and only one step from falling. Local police had tried without success to persuade him to give up.

Liu managed to get close to the boy by telling the police that she was his girlfriend and also the reason for his attempt to commit suicide.

"The fact is I’d never seen him before, but that’s the only idea I could come up with at the time," she recalled.

According to local television, the boy’s mother had passed away, his stepmother didn’t treat him well and she left with all his father’s money. The father and son had to take part-time jobs and start their lives over again.

Liu started to sob when she heard the story.

"He told me he didn’t have a home anymore, nobody cared about him and no one trusted him. I said nothing but showed him the scars on my right wrist. I used to be suicidal - I’ve attempted cutting my artery, jumping from a high building and others," said Liu during a local TV interview after her successful rescue.

Born in Anhui province, Liu grew up amid quarrelling parents and the responsibility to take care of her elder sister who is a deaf-mute.

Life pressure forced her to quit high school and start working when she was only a teenager.

"Nobody in my family was happy - both of my parents spent days brawling, which left my sister and I gloomy. That boy, he was like a younger me," Liu said.

With the boy crying even harder, Liu knew he had a sense of being understood.

"He said he’s hopeless, ‘so don’t waste your time to save me’. But I told him, ‘I’m not saving your life, I just want you to realize how silly you are being. Look at me, I’ve been there and I’m now here,’" she said.

The negotiation on the bridge ended like a romantic comedy when Liu hugged the boy and kissed him unexpectedly. Police took advantage of the situation to take away the boy’s knife and pull him inside the handrail of the bridge.

"When I kissed him and when he put his hand (with the knife) on my waist, both of us were crying so hard," she said. "But I was happy as I knew I had saved him."

Liu said she didn’t think too much before she offered her kiss, only that she knew it would comfort him.

"I simply thought he has to be stabilized, so he won’t do anything stupid. The police were near us and I didn’t worry about being pulled down by the boy," she said.

Liu left after the rescue. Local police called her soon after because the boy refused to reveal his story without her presence.

"I didn’t go but we talked over the phone and exchanged our phone numbers. I promised him that I would call him later and I will, to encourage him to lead a better life," Liu said.

Liu feels very uneasy after the accident as her mobile phone has been bombarded with calls for interviews, according to Lai Shouyan, Liu’s boss at the Hepans Taipan SPA Boutique Hotel.

"Personally I hope this doesn’t affect my work and normal life. I didn’t want to think much of the accident just like I didn’t think much when I went forward to save the boy," Liu said. "For me the most important thing is that we live and enjoy each day."

Sweden Is Planning To Teach Every Schoolchild Chinese In The Next 10 Years

AFP:

STOCKHOLM — Within a decade, all Swedish primary schools should offer Chinese lessons, Sweden’s education minister was quoted as saying Wednesday, insisting the move was needed to improve competitiveness.

"I want to see Sweden become the first country in Europe to introduce instruction in Chinese as a foreign language at all primary and secondary schools," said Jan Bjoerklund, who heads the Liberal Party, a junior member of the centre-right ruling coalition.

Getting Swedish pupils to learn Chinese was vital to strengthening Swedish competitiveness, the education minister told financial daily Dagens Industri.

"Not everyone in the business world speaks English. Very highly qualified activities are leaving Europe to move to China. Chinese will be much more important from an economic point of view than French or Spanish," he said.

English is today the main foreign language taught in Swedish schools, followed by Spanish, German and French.

Bjoerklund acknowledged that such a move would demand a lot of resources, especially for recruiting educators who can teach Chinese, but said that within a decade all primary schools should be equipped to teach the language, while it might take 15 years for secondary schools to readjust.

cheatsheet:

“There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.”

cheatsheet:

“There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.”

"The unity of China was more important than the people of Tiananmen Square."

— Outgoing Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi

Wonkette liveblogged Donald Trump at CPAC:

Woah! It is that guy with the money from that Joan Rivers show! Sure, we’ll liveblog this.
3:34 PM — Huge cheer. Of course he comes into his teevee show theme song.3:36 PM — Trump says he will decide on running for president by June. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney walks into the room (!!!), and the room suddenly gets chillier.3:40 PM — Trump now talking about China. He is mystifying these attendees by knowing names of countries that aren’t the U.S.! Foreign policy bona fides!3:42 PM — YEAH! SHIT ON OPEC! WOO!3:44 PM — Trump says OPEC better lower prices or else.3:45 PM — Trump shitting on Ron Paul. Paultards boo, everyone else cheers. Haha. Says Paul has no chance. The stool is falling apart!3:47 PM — “I’m also well acquainted with winning.” “I’m pro-life.” That’s all you need.3:48 PM — Trump wants to take money from other countries rather than tax people. What?3:48 PM — And that’s it. Again, what?3:49 PM — Trump has security guards, thankfully. Paultards can’t kidnap him and put him in the blimp.3:53 PM — Trump’s plan: “Tax” other countries, but have fair trade. Make OPEC lower prices or bomb them. A pragmatic approach to foreign policy, we guess.

Bolded my favorite.

Wonkette liveblogged Donald Trump at CPAC:

Woah! It is that guy with the money from that Joan Rivers show! Sure, we’ll liveblog this.

3:34 PM — Huge cheer. Of course he comes into his teevee show theme song.
3:36 PM — Trump says he will decide on running for president by June. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney walks into the room (!!!), and the room suddenly gets chillier.
3:40 PM — Trump now talking about China. He is mystifying these attendees by knowing names of countries that aren’t the U.S.! Foreign policy bona fides!
3:42 PM — YEAH! SHIT ON OPEC! WOO!
3:44 PM — Trump says OPEC better lower prices or else.
3:45 PM — Trump shitting on Ron Paul. Paultards boo, everyone else cheers. Haha. Says Paul has no chance. The stool is falling apart!
3:47 PM — “I’m also well acquainted with winning.” “I’m pro-life.” That’s all you need.
3:48 PM — Trump wants to take money from other countries rather than tax people. What?
3:48 PM — And that’s it. Again, what?
3:49 PM — Trump has security guards, thankfully. Paultards can’t kidnap him and put him in the blimp.
3:53 PM — Trump’s plan: “Tax” other countries, but have fair trade. Make OPEC lower prices or bomb them. A pragmatic approach to foreign policy, we guess.

Bolded my favorite.

Buzz Aldrin in China
"

Dans le Tea Party on veut qu’on nous foute la paix, qu’on nous laisse vivre comme avant, quand tout allait bien, quand l’Amérique vivait sous le status quo anglo-saxon, lorsque le Taliban était à la solde de la CIA, et que ni les Chinois ni Al Qaeda ne s’opposaient à l’hégémonie de l’oncle Sam. Dans le Tea Party on est typiquement blanc, et ok financièrement, du coup on panique un peu lorsque le monde change comme ces temps-ci. Par contre on ne se préoccupe pas trop du climat, car comment concevoir que l’homme puisse avoir en son pouvoir de défaire ce que Dieu a créé.


[In the Tea Party, they wish to be left alone, to live as before when everything was going well, when America embodied the Anglo-Saxon status quo, when the Taliban were on the CIA payroll, and when neither the Chinese nor al Qaeda opposed the hegemony of Uncle Sam. Those in the Tea Party are typically white, and ‘ok’ financially and hence in something of a panic ever since the world began to change as the times changed. They don’t worry about climate change, because they cannot imagine how mankind could have in its power to mess up what God created.]

"

Le Monde on the Tea Party

(via Foreign Policy)

Ha. Religion is so stupid.