Amazing time-lapse video from China shows 1,300-tonne bridge built in less than 43 hours

It took more time to design the plan than to actually construct the bridge.

The Sanyuan Bridge in Beijing links 48 key routes and three major highways: the Airport Expressway, the China National Highway 101 and the 3rd Ring Road. Over 200,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, so there were some major safety issues when it was discovered that the bridge was severely damaged due to the daily wear and tear from the hundreds of thousands of cars.

Engineers and city planners racked their brains in order to figure out the best and least intrusive way to overhaul the bridge in the fastest amount of time. It took 11 different iterations of the plans and countless hours of painstaking preparation, but the deconstruction of the old bridge and construction of a new one took only 43 hours to complete.

Beijing Universal Studios set to open in 2019

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Shanghaiist (by Daniel Cunningham):

The completion date for the Universal Studios theme park being built in Beijing‘s Tongzhou district has been set for 2019. Beijing Universal Studios will be the Hollywood corporation’s biggest theme park yet at 2.02 million square meters, or 11 times bigger than the theme park in Singapore.

In total, since Beijing’s approval this time last year, the multi-billion dollar project will take around five years to complete. Stephen Spielberg is involved with the design process, which will incorporate some “Chinese elements” to appeal to both foreign and local punters.

Meanwhile, Disney is still set on opening its new resort and theme park in Shanghai during the “first half of 2016”, with a Six Flags amusement park due to be complete in Tianjin by 2018.

Bon Jovi concerts in China cancelled due to support for Tibet and Dalai Lama

A string of Bon Jovi’s first-ever concerts in China have been cancelled, presumable after the Culture Ministry discovered a photo of Bon Jovi with the Dalai Lama

World Religion News:

It looks like Jon Bon Jovi won’t be singing “Livin’ on a Prayer” in Mandarin any time soon. The long-standing rock front man of the self-named band Bon Jovi would have been performing for the very first time in China at major concerts in Beijing and Shanghai if the Chinese government hadn’t forced those shows to be canceled, TIME reported. Currently on a major world tour with concert dates scheduled across Asia in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and others, the dates scheduled in Bangkok and Shanghai were canceled by Chinese authorities, who have not given any explicit reasons to the band or to the organizers of the tour, AEG Live Asia.

The most prevalent theory about why the sudden cancellations occurred that has been circulating the Internet is relatively obvious considering, if it turns out to be true, Bon Jovi would just be part of a string of bands to be banned from performing shows in China because of their support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama. As was reported in the Financial Times, apparently the very powerful and influential Culture Ministry for China’s ruling Communist Party found an image of Bon Jovi performing in front of a giant video screen with His Holiness the Dalai Lama featured on it at a concert in 2010.

“The issue of Tibet is especially sensitive right now as the Communist Party marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of what it calls the Tibet Autonomous Region”, said TIME.

Approaching the ever controversial 50th anniversary of what many in the Western world view as a continuing travesty in which China began governing Tibet after the Battle of Chamdo in 1950, the same time when the current Dalai Lama was enthroned. After being forced into exile in India with the remnants of the Tibetan government, where they established the Central Tibetan Administration in exile.

Pro-Tibet stances are not new or unusual, and many of the world’s most famous stars and celebrities have made public their support for Tibet and the Dalai Lama. There have been several other bands and musicians who have found themselves banned from China for support of Tibet, like Bjork in 2008, to Maroon 5, who were supposed to play a concert in China this month, but were forced to cancel after one member of the band tweeted a “Happy Birthday” message to the Dalai Lama’s active Twitter account of nearly 12 million followers.

TIME reports that Bon Jovi’s Chinese concerts’ organizers were attempting to convince the Culture Ministry of the People’s Republic of China to reconsider the move to cancel the concerts, but it does not appear at this time that Bon Jovi’s status in China is likely to change.

Contemporary artist Li Hongbo’s “Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day” arranges thousands of paper weapon sculptures into flowery rainbow towers

Li Hongbo - Sculpture

Design Boom/Beautiful Decay (by Hayley Evans):

Li Hongbo is a Beijing-based artist who builds elaborate and flexible paper sculptures that ripple and shift before our eyes. Featured here is “Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day,” a large-scale installation currently on display at the SCAD Museum of Art.

The work—which spans the entirety of a gallery—involves thousands of small paper objects bound together by honeycomb layers of glue. Close up, the bright shapes align themselves like an undulating, flowery rainbow; step back, however, and you’ll see that together the shapes amass into the greater form of guns and artillery. In a surprising clash of innocent colors and delicate paper with the brutality of war, Hongbo produces a curious (and potentially deceitful) optimism for deadly weapons.

Hongbo’s work draws upon the ancient, cultural tradition of paper-making in China, which dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). Inspired by this art form, Hongbo has reinvented it on a grand scale. Other projects include malleable bodies and busts, such as a version of Michelangelo’s David that unfolds spectacularly. The ability to metamorphose is integral to Hongbo’s works; with the politics left aside (or at least ambiguous), his sculptures challenge our perceptions by unsettling solid forms with their built-in fluidity. Whether it’s guns or classical statues, we can’t help but to reconsider the materiality and purpose of objects as they transform before our eyes.

Irons for the Ages, Flowers for the Day” will be showing until January 24th, 2016.

Check out SCAD’s website to learn more.

Li Hongbo - Sculpture

Li Hongbo - Sculpture

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Chinese woman chugs entire $200 bottle of cognac that was too big for carry-on

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FoodBeast/Next Shark (by Riley Schatzle):

The security staff at Beijing Capital International Airport forced a woman into the ultimate drinking challenge when they refused to let her bring a $200 bottle of cognac onto a plane.

Last Friday a woman surnamed Zhao was on her way to Wenzhou when Beijing airport security stopped her for having a 700mL bottle of Rémy Martin XO Excellence in her hand luggage, reports the South China Morning Post.

According to China security provisions, however, liquids over 100mL are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

Zhao, 40, decided that a $200 bottle of cognac should not go to waste, so she drank the entire bottle to herself.

When she attempted to board the plane, however, the captain refused to let her on board because she was traveling alone and he was concerned that her condition would be a safety liability once on board.

According to a police officer on the scene, Zhao then began rolling on the floor and screaming uncontrollably.

One of the officers who took Zhao to a convalescence room told the Beijing Times:

“She was so drunk… she couldn’t even stand up herself. We took her to a room in a wheelchair so she could rest.”

Zhao woke up several hours after her flight departed, but she was thankful that the airport security took care of her and contacted her family who picked her up from the airport later in the evening.

Slimy green algae is taking over China’s beaches for an alarming reason

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RocketNews 24/Business Insider:

Every summer for the past eight years, huge algae blooms have taken over the beaches near Qingdao, a city in the Shandong province of China.

The bright green stuff has blanketed at least 13,500 square miles of ocean this summer, according to the South China Morning Post.

And this isn’t the first time it’s happened. In 2013, the blooms got as big as the state of Connecticut! Check out this year’s algae infestation.

The algae blooms every year on the beaches in Qingdao, on China’s northeast coast between Beijing and Shanghai. The first blooms appeared in 2007 after seaweed farmers working south of Qingdao switched up how they clean off their rafts.

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Farmers use the rafts to make nori, a type of edible seaweed that’s popular in Japan. When the rafts are cleaned off in the spring, along comes the algae, which thrives off the leftover seaweed nutrients and the warm conditions in the Yellow Sea.

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Researchers think the reason for the algae growth in Qingdao is that seaweed farmers started cleaning their rafts farther offshore. This gave the algae the chance to spread out and make its way to the shore up near the city.

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Ever since the large blooms started popping up, tourists have viewed it as a summer tradition to head down to the beach and play in the algae.

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While it’s a ton of fun to play in, it’s actually connected to pollution from nearby agriculture and industrial plants that gets in the water.

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But luckily, there are some ways to use the algae to benefit the community: It makes for a good fertilizer and green energy source.

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Cleaning it up is no small feat — it has to be done quickly, because the algae begins to stink like rotten eggs when it decomposes. Here, workers scoop up the algae during the 2014 bloom.

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It’s not just stinky; it’s also incredibly heavy. Workers who cleaned up the 2013 bloom collected more than 19,800 tons of the stuff — about the same weight as 9,900 cars!

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If left where it is, the algae can spread to other beaches and become an even bigger environmental problem.

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