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Chinese residents are parking themselves in subways and public spaces in an effort to keep cool


RocketNews 24 (by Aleisha Riboldi):

With the mercury reaching 39 degrees celsius in the city of Hangzhou in southern China, residents are trying to keep cool in the most unusual of places. Citizens without residential air conditioning have turned to parking themselves in subways, libraries and other public spaces to escape the summer heat wave.

Calling themselves the “Summer Solace Group,” hordes of Hangzhou residents have been taking over public spaces as they attempt to seek refuge in air-conditioned venues and enjoy the comfort of being cool. Apparently, one of the most popular places to seek a respite from the heat is Hangzhou subway station. For the last few years, it has been a popular place to flock to in the heat of summer, as those living in housing without air conditioning seek somewhere to just chill out.

Some people are making themselves right at home there, too, bringing along mats and cardboard to lie on and food, drinks, games and books to pass the time and get a reprieve from the heat.

subway cool

It’s essentially a home away from home for those without the luxury of private air conditioning. It’s not welcome by everyone, though, as there are public health concerns in relation to the rubbish being left behind such as cigarette butts, food waste such as watermelon rinds and corn cobs, and human excrement as young children freely do their business out in the open rather than in toilets.

The station management has been forced to turn off the air conditioning at times to deter people from hanging out in the subway, in addition to setting up designated areas to confine the public space they occupy.

designated subway coolzone

Some Hangzhou residents have had the smarts to find more comfortable places to keep cool such as public libraries and at the IKEA furniture store which opened earlier this year. Invading the sofa and bedding department, a much more luxurious escape from the heat wave than a subway station, people are literally parking themselves on sofas within the spacious air-conditioned complex. This no doubt has the side effect of making things difficult for those who’re legitimately trying to shop for home furnishings, though, as they have to navigate through an IKEA with throngs of people loitering around the showrooms.

ikea sofa

Unbelievably, parents are even putting kids to sleep within the model display bedrooms, much to the annoyance of IKEA staff.

ikea bed

Everyone here is looking pretty relaxed and settled. It would seem they have been lounging around for a considerable amount of time, passing time on their phones, catching up on sleep and listening to music. They certainly don’t look like they have any intent on making purchases within the store, nor to be in a hurry to leave anytime soon.

ikea chilling

ikea living

Air conditioning is a luxury many of us take for granted. When it’s nearly 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in a place as densely populated as China, one can hardly blame people for seeking out an air-conditioned haven, but where do you draw the line at what’s acceptable? What lengths would you go to in order to escape the summer heat?

Red skies and mud rain in China as apocalypse begins earlier than expected


RocketNews 24:

The apocalypse is clearly happening right now, and if you’re in China, Mongolia or that general region, you may want to go ahead and kiss your loved ones goodbye, because Cthulhu himself, or some other terrible dark deity, is already sending warning of the end times in the form of blood-red skies and freaking black stuff raining from the heavens. Sorry, guys, but we’re clearly all doomed.

The below photographs come from a city in Inner Mongolia (which is, confusingly, actually part of China) called Aershan, where, on April 16, the sky – apparently out of the, er… blue – turned such an unnaturally vibrant shade of red that many residents reportedly for realsies thought the end-times were nigh.

And who can blame them? I mean, look at it. That’s the kind of red only seen by those who have gazed into the mouth of madness and lived to tell the tale. We should know.


Of course, there’s also the Aershan, which we are suspicious isn’t mud at all but actually petrified pieces of unicorn soul being regurgitated by Dark Lord Cthulhu, whom you should probably repent to immediately just to be safe. In fact, you should go ahead and repent to whatever deities you can think of in a long, stream-of-consciousness ramble, preferably while wearing a sandwich board about the end times and a tinfoil hat. People will understand because, look at this!


Adding to the craziness is the fact that Beijing apparently experienced a bizarre sandstorm of Biblical proportions on the same day as Aershan’s apocalyptic mud rain. You might want to get started on bucket list of yours sometime soon.

Rare footage of volcanic lightning storm captured during eruption of a Japanese volcano

German videographer Marc Szeglat managed to capture video of an extremely rare volcanic lightning storm in the plume of Sakurajima, a highly active volcano location on the Japanese island of Kyushu. The phenomenon, also known as a dirty thunderstorm, occurs when particles from the eruption collide to produce static charges.

A Christmas Miracle: Firebird graces the skies of Beijing


RocketNews 24:

In ancient China, it was believed that whenever unusual climate or weather phenomena occurred, it foretold the future. If a dragon appeared in the sky, it meant that a new emperor would reign. Why would dragons appear in the sky, you ask? We don’t know, but on the 23rd of December, a fire phoenix flew across the Beijing sky, creating stunningly beautiful views in an otherwise heavily polluted sky.

No one is quite certain what had caused this ‘bird’ appear in the sky. All we know is that it wasn’t Photoshopped, and that many people saw it as a sign of hope for the future. We wish we were there to see it for ourselves!



Chinese netizens were as usual quick to offer their two cents:

A phoenix from the heavens meant that China will start anew amid the corruption.”

A rooster!

Phoenixes are reborn from ashes. This means that the Chinese will first burn into ashes. This is a bad sign…

This means that all your wishes will come true in the new year!


Clearly there are many different interpretations of this beautiful, mysterious sight over Beijing. We’d like to believe that it would bring good luck not only to the largest population in the world, but also peace around them. Perhaps a phoenix reborn from fire is a sign that 2015 will be a year of rejuvenation, and we should start making some resolutions that we can keep for the new year.

Spooky “radiation fog” turns Saitama cityscape into Silent Hill overnight

RocketNews 24:


Halloween may be over for this year, but the weather gods in Saitama clearly hadn’t got the message on Wednesday morning this week, as the city was shrouded in a mysterious thick fog – with an even more mysterious name!

Radiation fog is a kind of winter fog that occurs on clear, calm nights as thermal radiation causes the air near the surface to cool, and condensation forms. The freak weather, which enveloped the city’s skyscrapers, typically doesn’t last long, but it stuck around long enough to be broadcast live…

View image on Twitter


Japanese netizens really had only one thing to say though:

“RADIATION FOG?? Even Saitama isn’t safe!”

“It’s radioactive!? No more nukes! No more nukes!”

Oh, and one more thing:

It’s not Saitama, it’s Shizuoka!” [the kanji for Shizuoka (静岡) means ‘silent hill‘…geddit?]

There’s also this timelapse video, which is definitely the coolest video of fog I’ve ever seen:



16 facts about India that will blow your mind



RocketNews 24:


India is one of the world’s largest economies, and it has the second largest population. This means things in India tend to be fairly large-scaled — consider its network of roads, consumer spending, or its youth population. But it also experiences some problems on a large scale like suicides and road accidents. We pulled together some staggering statistics from the sub-continent.


India’s road network is long enough to loop around Earth over 117 times.


India’s road network totals 4.7 million kilometers and is the second largest in the world. Earth has a circumference of 40,075 kms.

Source: CIA World FactBook


New Delhi’s air is the most polluted in the world.


The World Health Organization found that New Delhi’s PM 2.5 — particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less and that is dangerous for lungs — mean was 152 micrograms per cubic meter. This was nearly three times that of Beijing which has an annual mean of 59.

Source: The New York Times

The wettest place in the world is in India, and it averages about 40 feet of rain a year.


While Cherrapunji, India, likes to advertise itself as the wettest place in the world, it is argued that a neighboring town, Mawsynram, could in fact top it. On average, Mawsynram gets about 467.35 inches of rain per year, while Cherrapunji gets up 463.66 inches. Hawaii’s Mount Waialeale receives about 450 inches of rain each year.


One person died on the road in India every three minutes in 2012.


India saw 138,258 people die in road accidents in 2012. But in terms of the number of deaths per 100,000, India’s accident death rate equaled 18.9 for every 100,00 people, only slightly higher than the global average of 18.

Source: Quartz

India will become the world’s youngest country by 2020.

By 2020, the median age in India will be 29. The population in the 15-34 age group is expected to rise from 430 million in 2011 to 464 million in 2021.


India consumes about half of the world’s whiskey.


India consumed about 1.2 billion liters of whiskey in 2012. While India is the world’s largest whiskey market by volume, on a per capita basis, France takes the top spot.

Source: Quartz


India exports over $415 million worth of hair a year.


Hindus donate their hair in temples as a spiritual offering, especially those who can’t afford to donate money or jewelry. About 40,000 pilgrims are believed to donate their hair every day.

Source: The Economic Times


India’s 25 richest people have a combined net worth of $174.8 billion, which is about as much as Ukraine’s GDP.


Mukesh Ambani is India’s richest man and is worth $24.2 billion. Ukraine has a nominal GDP of $176.2 billion, according to the IMF.

Source: Forbes

About 25% of India’s land is turning into desert — that’s the equivalent of three United Kingdoms.


Overuse and changing rainfall patterns have led to massive land degradation in India. Of the land in India, 81 million hectares (810,000 km2) face “desertification.” This has raised concerns about food security.

Source: Reuters

Consumer spending in India is expected to triple by 2020.


Indian consumer spending is projected to rise to $3.6 trillion in 2020, from $991 billion in 2010.


India has the world’s largest dairy cow population.


There were 44.9 million dairy cows in India in 2011 and about 260 dairy million cows in the world. Of the world’s dairy cows, 17.2% reside in India.

Source: DairyCo

India saw 371 suicides a day in 2012.


In 2012, 135,445 people committed suicide in India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Suicide rates were the highest in Puducherry at 36.8 for every 100,000 people. Student suicides are a huge problem as well.

Source: The Hindu

India’s medical tourism industry is set to equal $2 billion by next year — that’s about the GDP of Greenland.


Medical tourism in India is centered on orthopedics and cardiology. “India is the world’s medical travel thrift destination with savings of 60-90% on an array of procedures. Harvard-affiliated Wockhardt Hospital has performed more than 20,000 heart procedures, with 98%+ success rates (surpassing US and EU standards).”

Source: Medical Tourism Resource Guide/The Economic Times

India has over 275 billion tons of coal reserves: That’s the equivalent of 1.37 billion blue whales.


India is expected to pass the U.S. to become the world’s second largest coal consumer over the next 20 years. This will primarily be driven by its electric power sector. A blue whale weighs 200 tons.

Source: EIA/Business Standard

India was the fourth most dangerous country for journalists last year.


India saw 13 reporters killed in 2013, according to the International News Safety Institute (INSI). Syria and Iraq, both countries dealing with armed conflict, had the highest number of deaths, followed by the Philippines.

Source: Reuters


The most expensive home in India cost $1 billion to make, about the same as Somalia’s GDP.


Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s home, Antilla, cost $1 billion to construct, making it the most expensive home in the world. Somalia has a GDP of $1.3 billion.


Check out this link:

16 facts about India that will blow your mind


Freak hailstorms hit Tokyo in June


TS 2

RocketNews 24:


The weather in Tokyo can be a little unpredictable in June. Spring still wasn’t that long ago, and sometimes we’ll get a day with a cool breeze or nighttime temperatures low enough that you’ll want a windbreaker, or at least a long-sleeved shirt.

On the other hand, midsummer is just around the corner, and steamy, sweltering days with high humidity and temperatures aren’t at all unusual. On just about any day the cloud layer has the potential to turn into a squall, too.

One thing Tokyo usually doesn’t see at this time of the year, though, is hailstorms.

Depending on what part of Tokyo you were in on June 24, you were in for one of three very different weather scenarios. In the eastern part of the capital, the skies were overcast, but you probably didn’t need to pop open an umbrella at any point during the day. On the south end of town, and in the area just over the prefectural border in Kawasaki and Yokohama, the afternoon say a sudden downpour with deafening thunderclaps.


And in west Tokyo there was hail.

TS 1


Tons and tons of hail.

TS 5


Residents of the Mitaka and Sengawa neighborhoods saw their surroundings suddenly transform into a winter wonderland (or hellhole, depending on how much you’ve been looking forward to summer).


TS 2


Depending on the exact spot, Twitter users reported drifts of between seven and 50 centimeters (3-20 inches). Hiroshi Hiranuma, who snapped the above photo, said there was so much solid-state precipitation it flooded his neighbor’s garage.

This wasn’t all soft, snow cone-grade slush either, as some reported the hail was so hard that getting pelted by it was genuinely painful.


TS 3


Unfortunately, the continuing rainfall soon turned the ice into sludge, preventing anything like the awesome snow art Tokyo saw back in winter.

Hopefully everyone who hates hot weather scooped up a couple handfuls of ice to save. The fluke hailstorm seems to have been a one-time-only deal, as the seven-day forecast for Tokyo shows a trend of rising temperatures from here on out.


TS 6


Check out this link:


Freak hailstorms hit Tokyo in June