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Phallus indusiatus, commonly called the bamboo mushrooms, bamboo pith, long net stinkhorn, crinoline stinkhorn or veiled lady, is a fungus in the family Phallaceae, or stinkhorns. It has a cosmopolitan distribution in tropical areas, and is found in southern Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Australia, where it grows in woodlands and gardens in rich soil and well-rotted woody material. The fruit body of the fungus is characterised by a conical to bell-shaped cap on a stalk and a delicate lacy "skirt", or indusium, that hangs from beneath the cap and reaches nearly to the ground. First described scientifically in 1798 by French botanist Étienne Pierre Ventenat, the species has often been referred to a separate genus Dictyophora along with other Phallus species featuring an indusium. P. indusiatus can be distinguished from other similar species by differences in distribution, size, color, and indusium length.
According to Chinese state media, a group of seven people had travelled to Beijing from Henan province, and five set themselves on fire on Tiananmen Square. One of them, Liu Chunling, died at Tiananmen under disputed circumstances, and another, 12-year-old Liu Siying, reportedly died in a hospital several weeks later; three survived. The incident received international news coverage, and video footage was broadcast a week later in China by China Central Television (CCTV). In the Chinese press, the event was used as proof of the "dangers" of Falun Gong, and was used to legitimise the government's campaign against the group. (Full article...)
Jin dynasty (blue) and Song dynasty (orange) in 1141
The Jin–Song Wars were a series of conflicts between the Jurchen-led Jin dynasty (1115–1234) and the Han-led Song dynasty (960–1279). In 1115, Jurchen tribes rebelled against their overlords, the Khitan-led Liao dynasty (916–1125), and declared the formation of the Jin. Allying with the Song against their common enemy the Liao dynasty, the Jin promised to cede to the Song the Sixteen Prefectures that had fallen under Liao control since 938. The Song agreed but the Jin's quick defeat of the Liao combined with Song military failures made the Jin reluctant to cede territory. After a series of negotiations that embittered both sides, the Jurchens attacked the Song in 1125, dispatching one army to Taiyuan and the other to Bianjing (modern Kaifeng), the Song capital. During the Song's northern expedition to the Liao, the Song general Tong Guan removed the long established defensive forest on the Song-Liao border for the troops to pass. This move exposed the vulnerable ground of the North China Plain to the north, which eventually facilitated the Jin invasion.
Surprised by news of an invasion, Song general Tong Guan retreated from Taiyuan, which was besieged and later captured. As the second Jin army approached the capital, Song emperor Huizong abdicated and fled south. Qinzong, his eldest son, was enthroned. The Jin dynasty laid siege to Kaifeng in 1126, but Qinzong negotiated their retreat from the capital by agreeing to a large annual indemnity. Qinzong reneged on the deal and ordered Song forces to defend the prefectures instead of fortifying the capital. The Jin resumed war and again besieged Kaifeng in 1127. They captured Qinzong, many members of the imperial family and high officials of the Song imperial court in an event known as the Jingkang Incident. This separated north and south China between Jin and Song. Remnants of the Song imperial family retreated to southern China and, after brief stays in several temporary capitals, eventually relocated to Lin'an (modern Hangzhou). The retreat divided the dynasty into two distinct periods, Northern Song and Southern Song. (Full article...)
St. Michael's Cathedral is the product of a strong German presence in Shandong Province in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the mid-19th century the European powers forcibly opened China to foreign trade. The Divine Word Missionaries built a church in the Jiaozhou Bay concession in Shandong in 1902, and in 1934 erected the cathedral, which remained nominally under their administration until 1964. In 1942 it came under the control of the Japanese Army, returning to Chinese control when the Japanese left Qingdao in 1945. In the early 1950s, all foreign missionaries, including the Bishop of Qingdao, were either imprisoned or expelled from China, and during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) the cathedral was defaced and abandoned. In 1981, it was repaired by the government and reopened for services, and in 1992 it was listed as a Provincial Historic Building by the government of Shandong Province. (Full article...)
Wong Liu-tsong (January 3, 1905 – February 3, 1961), known professionally as Anna May Wong, was an American actress, considered the first Chinese AmericanHollywood movie star, as well as the first Chinese-American actress to gain international recognition. Her varied career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, and radio. As one of the first women depicted on the reverse of the quarter in the 2022-2025 American Women quarters series, she is also the first Asian American to appear on US currency.
Born in Los Angeles to second-generation Taishanese Chinese-American parents, Wong became infatuated with films and began acting in films at an early age. During the silent film era, she acted in The Toll of the Sea (1922), one of the first films made in color, and in Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad (1924). Wong became a fashion icon and had achieved international stardom in 1924. Wong had been one of the first to embrace the flapper look. In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Society of New York voted her the "world's best dressed woman." In the 1920s and 1930s, Wong was acclaimed as one of the top fashion icons. (Full article...)
Gwoyeu Romatzyh in use on a park sign in Taipei. Taytzyy = 太子 = Tàizǐ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh (Chinese: 国语罗马字; pinyin: Guóyǔ Luómǎzì; lit. 'National Language Romanization'), abbreviated GR, is a system for writing Mandarin Chinese in the Latin alphabet. The system was conceived by Yuen Ren Chao and developed by a group of linguists including Chao and Lin Yutang from 1925 to 1926. Chao himself later published influential works in linguistics using GR. In addition a small number of other textbooks and dictionaries in GR were published in Hong Kong and overseas from 1942 to 2000. GR is the better known of the two romanization systems which indicate the four tones of Mandarin by varying the spelling of syllables ("tonal spelling"). These tones are fundamental to the Chinese language; their presence lets speakers discriminate between otherwise identical syllables and words. Other systems indicate the tones with either diacritics (for example Pinyin: āi, ái, ǎi and ài) or numbers (Wade–Giles: ai1, ai2, etc.). GR spells the four tones of the same vowel, ai, air, ae and ay. These spellings, which follow specific rules, indicate the tones while retaining the pronunciation of the syllable ai. (Full article...)
Peking opera, or Beijing opera (Chinese: 京劇; pinyin: Jīngjù), is the most dominant form of Chinese opera, which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It arose in Beijing in the mid-Qing dynasty (1644–1912) and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the Qing court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China. Major performance troupes are based in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. The art form is also preserved in Taiwan, where it is also known as Guójù (Chinese: 國劇; lit. 'National opera'). It has also spread to other regions such as the United States and Japan.
Peking opera features four main role types, sheng (gentlemen), dan (women), jing (rough men), and chou (clowns). Performing troupes often have several of each variety, as well as numerous secondary and tertiary performers. With their elaborate and colorful costumes, performers are the only focal points on Peking opera's characteristically sparse stage. They use the skills of speech, song, dance and combat in movements that are symbolic and suggestive, rather than realistic. Above all else, the skill of performers is evaluated according to the beauty of their movements. Performers also adhere to a variety of stylistic conventions that help audiences navigate the plot of the production. The layers of meaning within each movement must be expressed in time with music. The music of Peking opera can be divided into the xīpí (西皮) and èrhuáng (二黄) styles. Melodies include arias, fixed-tune melodies and percussion patterns. The repertoire of Peking opera includes over 1,400 works, which are based on Chinese history, folklore and, increasingly, contemporary life. (Full article...)
Nicole Cooke, gold medalist
The women's road race was one of the cycling events at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. It took place on 10 August 2008, featuring 66 women from 33 countries. It was the seventh appearance of an Olympic women's road race event and featured a longer course than any of the previous six races. The race was run on the Urban Road Cycling Course (one of Beijing's nine temporary venues), which is 102.6 kilometres (63.8 mi) total. Including a second lap around the 23.8 km (14.8 mi) final circuit, the total distance of the women's race was 126.4 km (78.5 mi), less than half the length of the men's race.
Heavy rain during most of the race made conditions difficult for the competitors. A group of five broke away during the final lap and worked together until the final sprint, where Nicole Cooke won the race. Cooke earned Great Britain's first medal at these Games and 200th Olympic gold medal overall. Emma Johansson of Sweden and Tatiana Guderzo of Italy, finishing second and third place with the same time as Cooke, received silver and bronze medals respectively. (Full article...)
The primary source of the screenplay is Cadwell's 1975 biography Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew. Other sources include Robert Clouse's book Bruce Lee: The Biography and research by Cohen, including interviews with Cadwell and Bruce's son, Brandon Lee. Rather than a traditional biographical film, Cohen decided to include elements of mysticism and to dramatise fight scenes to give it the same tone as the films in which Bruce starred. Dragon was filmed primarily in Hong Kong, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (Full article...)
The Battle of Caishi (Chinese: 采石之戰, approximately ts'eye-shee) was a major naval engagement of the Jin–Song Wars of China that took place on November 26–27, 1161. It ended with a decisive Song victory, aided by their use of gunpowder weapons.
Both in its lyrics and instruments, the song mixes traditional Chinese styles with modern rock elements. In the lyrics, the speaker addresses a girl who is scorning him because he has nothing. However, the song has also been interpreted as being about the dispossessed youth of the time, because it evokes a sense of disillusionment and lack of individual freedom that was common among the young generation during the 1980s. (Full article...)
Beato c. 1866
Felice Beato (1832 – 29 January 1909), also known as Felix Beato, was an Italian–British photographer. He was one of the first people to take photographs in East Asia and one of the first war photographers. He is noted for his genre works, portraits, and views and panoramas of the architecture and landscapes of Asia and the Mediterranean region. Beato's travels gave him the opportunity to create images of countries, people, and events that were unfamiliar and remote to most people in Europe and North America. His work provides images of such events like the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the Second Opium War, and represents the first substantial body of photojournalism. He influenced other photographers, and his influence in Japan, where he taught and worked with numerous other photographers and artists, was particularly deep and lasting. (Full article...)
Chinese noodles at a noodle shop in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
Chinese noodles vary widely according to the region of production, ingredients, shape or width, and manner of preparation. Noodles were invented in China, and are an essential ingredient and staple in Chinese cuisine. They are an important part of most regional cuisines within China, and other countries with sizable overseas Chinese populations. Chinese noodles can be made of wheat, buckwheat, rice, millet, oats, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and even fish. There are over 1,200 types of noodles commonly consumed in China today.
Wu Zuguang (Chinese: 吴祖光; pinyin: Wú Zǔguāng; Wade–Giles: Wu Tsu-kuang; 21 April 1917 – 9 April 2003) was a Chinese playwright, film director and social critic who has been called a "legendary figure in Chinese art and literary circles". He authored more than 40 plays and film scripts, including the patriotic drama City of Phoenix, one of the most influential plays during the Second Sino-Japanese War, and Return on a Snowy Night, which is generally considered his masterpiece. He directed The Soul of the Nation, Hong Kong's first colour film, based on his own historical drama Song of Righteousness.
He was also well known as an outspoken critic of China's cultural policies, both of the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist governments, and was repeatedly persecuted as a result. He fled to Hong Kong in 1945 to avoid being captured by KMT agents, and returned to Beijing after the foundation of the People's Republic China in 1949. He was denounced as a "rightist" during the Anti-Rightist Campaign and performed hard labour in the "Great Northern Wilderness" for three years, and was again persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. His wife, the celebrated pingju actress Xin Fengxia, refused to divorce him and became disabled after undergoing beatings and penal labour. Despite these ordeals, Wu continued to criticize government censorship and to call for political freedom, and was widely admired for his moral conviction. (Full article...)
Completed in 1916, the Trans-Siberian connects Moscow with Russian Pacific seaports such as Vladivostok. From the 1960s until the early 1990s the railway served as the primary land bridge between Asia and Europe, until several factors caused the use of the railway for transcontinental freight to dwindle. One factor is that the railways of the former Soviet Union use a wider rail gauge than most of the rest of Europe as well as China. Recently, however, the Trans-Siberian has regained ground as a viable land route between the two continents.[why?] (Full article...)
Sentences under re-education through labor were typically for one to three years, with the possibility of an additional one-year extension. They were issued as a form of administrative punishment by police, rather than through the judicial system. While they were incarcerated, detainees were often subject to some form of political education. Estimates on the number of RTL detainees on any given year range from 190,000 to two million. In 2013, there were approximately 350 RTL camps in operation. (Full article...)
Hu Lanqi in 1937, when she was awarded the rank of Major General
Based on her early life, the writer Mao Dun wrote the novel Rainbow (1929), whose heroine, Mei, would become more famous than Hu herself. (Full article...)
Map of the situation in China during the transition from the Sui to the Tang, with the main contenders for the throne and the main military operations
The Battle of Yanshi (Chinese: 偃師之戰) was fought on 5–6 October 618 between the armies of Wang Shichong and Li Mi, rival contenders for the succession of the Sui dynasty. Wang, who was still ostensibly a Sui loyalist and had been blockaded in Luoyang for months by Li, gambled on a decisive battle and led his troops out to attack the besieging army. Li assembled his forces on a naturally defensible position north of Yanshi town, but Wang managed to surprise Li's forces and approach their camp before they could react. Aided by a secondary cavalry attack from the rear, Wang secured a decisive victory over Li's forces. Although Li managed to escape with part of his army, his authority was shattered, and his followers joined Wang. While Li sought refuge in the rival Tang court, Wang consolidated his control over Henan and eventually deposed the Sui puppet ruler Yang Tong and declared himself as emperor of the new Zheng dynasty. Wang's power lasted until his surrender to the Tang prince Li Shimin in 621, and Li Mi was captured and executed by Sheng Yanshi (盛彥師). (Full article...)
Title page of a Song dynasty (c. 1100) edition of the I Ching
The I Ching or Yi Jing (Chinese: 易經, Mandarin:[î tɕíŋ](listen)), usually translated Book of Changes or Classic of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), the I Ching was transformed over the course of the Warring States and early imperial periods (500–200 BC) into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of East Asian philosophical thought.
As a divination text, the I Ching is used for a traditional Chinese form of cleromancy known as I Ching divination, in which bundles of yarrow stalks are manipulated to produce sets of six apparently random numbers ranging from 6 to 9. Each of the 64 possible sets corresponds to a hexagram, which can be looked up in the text. The hexagrams are arranged in an order known as the King Wen sequence. The interpretation of the readings found in the I Ching has been endlessly discussed and debated over the centuries. Many commentators have used the book symbolically, often to provide guidance for moral decision making as informed by Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. The hexagrams themselves have often acquired cosmological significance and been paralleled with many other traditional names for the processes of change such as yin and yang and Wu Xing. (Full article...)
Ni has gone through multiple arrests, three prison sentences, and torture following her human rights cases against the Chinese government. Her license to practice law was later revoked by Chinese authorities. (Full article...)
Dhondup Wangchen's wife Lhamo Tso (left) protesting on his behalf
Sanzō Nosaka (野坂 参三, Nosaka Sanzō, March 30, 1892 – November 14, 1993) was a founder of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) who worked for periods as a writer, editor, labor organizer, communist agent, politician, and university professor. He was the son of a wealthy Japanese merchant, and attended the prestigious Keio University. While in university, Nosaka became interested in social movements, and joined a moderate labor organization after graduation, working as a research staff member, and as a writer and editor of the organization's magazine. He traveled to Britain in 1919 to study political economy, where he deepened his studies of Marxism and became a confirmed communist. Nosaka was a founding member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, but his activity within British communist circles led to him being deported from Britain in 1921.
After leaving Britain, Nosaka traveled through the Soviet Union (USSR). He returned to Japan in 1922, where he co-founded the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). Nosaka became a labor organizer, but was arrested twice by the Japanese government for his activities. After being released from prison a second time, Nosaka secretly returned to the USSR in 1931, where he became an agent of the Comintern. He traveled to the West Coast of the United States, where he worked as a spy from 1934 to 1938. (Full article...)
The Shifang protest was a large-scale environmental protest in the southwestern Chinese city of Shifang, Sichuan province, against a copper plant that residents feared posed environmental and public health risks. The protests spanned 1–3 July 2012, and drew thousands of participants. Police were dispatched to break up the demonstrations, and reportedly shot tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd. Chinese authorities said some protesters has stormed a government building and smashed vehicles. Images and video of the protest circulated on the microblogs and social networking websites throughout China, some showing the protesters—many of them students—badly beaten. The protests ended late on 3 July when the local government announced that it had terminated construction of the metals plant and released all but six protesters who had been taken into custody.
The protest was notable for its size and the composition of its participants, as well as for its success in derailing the copper plant project. It was one of a growing number of large-scale environmental protests in China that achieved success. (Full article...)
Xin Fengxia (Chinese: 新凤霞; pinyin: Xīn Fèngxiá; Wade–Giles: Hsin Feng-hsia; 1927 – 12 April 1998) was a Chinese pingju opera performer, known as the "Queen of Pingju". She was also a film actress, writer, and painter. She starred in the highly popular films Liu Qiao'er (1956) and Flowers as Matchmakers (1964), both adapted from her operas.
Xin was married to Wu Zuguang, a prominent playwright and an outspoken critic of government policies. When Wu was denounced as a "rightist" in Mao Zedong's Anti-Rightist Campaign, Xin refused to divorce him and was herself denounced as a result. She was later severely persecuted during the Cultural Revolution, becoming disabled after a beating and was later paralyzed due to a stroke. No longer able to perform, she dedicated the remainder of her life to teaching, writing, and painting. She studied painting with her godfather Qi Baishi, a master of Chinese painting, and studied writing with her husband. She published a two-million-word memoir, which has been translated into English and Urdu. (Full article...)
Xu Shunshou at graduation from Tsinghua University (1937)
Image 46Gilin with the head and scaly body of a dragon, tail of a lion and cloven hoofs like a deer. Its body enveloped in sacred flames. Detail from Entrance of General Zu Dashou Tomb (Ming Tomb). (from Chinese culture)
Image 58Photo showing serving chopsticks (gongkuai) on the far right, personal chopsticks (putongkuai) in the middle, and a spoon. Serving chopsticks are usually more ornate than the personal ones. (from Chinese culture)
One person is killed and two others are injured when a gunman opens fire against Chinese-Pakistani nationals at a dental clinic in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. All of the victims were in their 70s and had worked for the clinic for more than 40 years. (BBC News)
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state of the Republic of China (ROC).
The Constitution names the president as head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China Armed Forces (formerly known as the National Revolutionary Army). The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and has no right to veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations.