Bizarre news: Biology, adoption and taboo.

March 10th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption

Squicky story from Germany about an adopted son discovering his biological sister and, well, starting a not-exactly storybook romance. Patrick, who is 30 years old, was adopted and, as a child, he lived in Potsdam. He did not meet his mother and biological family until he was 23. He travelled to Leipzig with a friend in 2000, determined to make contact with his other relatives. He met his sister Susan for the first time, and according to the couple, after their mother died, they fell in love. "When I was younger, I didn't know that I had a brother. I met Patrick and I was so surprised," said Susan, who is 22. She says she does not feel guilty about their relationship. "I hope this law will be overturned," Susan said… [more]

Bizarre news: Rainbow… of BLOOD!

March 9th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: China Today

Danwei reports on a truly bizarre-sounding cartoon. Rainbow Cat and Blue Rabbit. It's about brightly colored, sweet-looking talking animals. And their large, lightning-fast swords. In the first episode (shown below), we are treated to a delightful music video of frolicking woodland creatures before the backstory is dropped in our laps - half a century ago, seven swordsmen defeated the evil Tiger, head of the Demon sect. Tiger has returned in search of the Jade Qilin, who preserves harmony when alive but apparently offers immense power to anyone who drinks his blood. The show's been controversial for a while, actually. In January, a parent complained that her son wanted to cut his wrists in imitation of Blue Rabbit's self-sacrifice in one episode. There's a video clip at the link. (Or… [more]

Bat Mitvah for the former Fu Qian

March 9th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption

court ladies in the tang dynasty, public doman image from wikimedia commonsAdopted from China, tonight she is a woman. Fu Qian, renamed Cecelia Nealon-Shapiro at 3 months, was one of the first Chinese children — most of them girls — taken in by American families after China opened its doors to international adoption in the early 1990s. Now, at 13, she is one of the first to complete the rite of passage into Jewish womanhood known as bat mitzvah. She will not be the last. Across the country, many Jewish girls like her will be studying their Torah portions, struggling to master the plaintive singsong of Hebrew liturgy and trying to decide whether to wear Ann Taylor or a traditional Chinese outfit to… [more]

Futbol Chinoise — Kicking off!

March 8th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: China Today

from Wikimedia Commons comes this Creative Commons image of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, distributed under  Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.From the sage at Useless Tree comes word of China's invasion of the NFL. That's right. They're trying out Chinese athletes on the gridiron -- hoping to grab some of that 1 billion-strong market share. The plan was devised by the N.F.L. to penetrate China, that fertile untapped market, by giving Chinese sports fans someone in a helmet and shoulder pads they can readily connect with. Gao, Ding and Shen knew next to nothing about football when they were selected by the N.F.L. at a tryout last summer in China. Now they are immersed in the experiment, a crash course on… [more]

China’s Missing Girls

March 8th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: China Today

public domain image from wikimedia commonsHere, in case you missed this in the latest round of comments on the missing girls of China: An interactive map of gender imbalance. The magnifying glass makes for some interesting functionality, and the little gray bars are decoded in the upper right corner. It's based on data from the 2000 Census, so it wouldn't count anyone who, for whatever reason, wasn't being counted on the census. Still, the interesting thing is the way the gender disparity really shows up in second children -- that's where the ratio of female-to-male births gets really screwy. Especially, it seems, in those provinces that participate in the international adoption programs. I wonder if orphanages were counted on the census… [more]

The Blood of Yingzhou District

March 7th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: China Today

public domain image of HIV from the US Dept of Energy, via wikimedia commons

The AIDS virus in cross-section.

I haven't seen this film yet, but I think I'd like to. It's a short documentary about AIDS orphans in China (remember them?), and it won an Oscar. "It was a very emotional journey for me" to make the film in China, as it's very difficult to open oneself up to inner feelings, Ruby Yang said backstage at the Kodak Theater. Yang said she and co-producer Thomas Lennon also had a difficult time in the editing room because there were so many sad segments, resulting in numerous shouting matches over what to let go and what to put in. Lennon said that he… [more]

Chinese Pod on the mean streets….

March 7th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Chinese Culture

I'd forgotten how useful the audio lessons at Chinese Pod can be. The show keeps getting more and more useful. It's not just the basics, like this easy lesson in lost keys, or the more advanced cultural notes in their complicated look at the Spring Festival. No, what you really need to know is how to conduct a black market gun deal. Or how not to, as the case may be. The vocab list includes such vital vocabulary as: (hēishèhuì) criminal underworld, (jīqiāng) machine gun and (”Wújiàn Dào”) Chinese movie “Infernal Affairs”, and the audio has sirens and stuff on it. And you learn the difference between a submachine gun and a machine gun in Chinese, and how to say "large caliber." It's a… [more]

Su Song’s Water Clock

March 6th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: China Yesterday

su song water clock, from wikimedia commons public domain archive. The Su Song Water Clock was built in Kaifeng, Henan, around 1090 A.D. by a rather clever Buddhist monk. The power comes from a water wheel occupying the lower part of the tower. Su Song has designed a device which stops the water wheel except for a brief spell, once every quarter of an hour, when the weight of the water (accumulated in vessels on the rim) is sufficient to trip a mechanism. The wheel, lurching forward, drives the machinery of the tower to the next stationary point in a continuing cycle. It's a clock, of course, but it's also a functioning model of the universe -- probably the most… [more]

Hazards of the family

March 5th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: Family Life

You're going to have to imagine a really striking series of photos of my kids here with the three lions from the Lion Dance at our local FCC's Little New Year picnic over the weekend. Daughter, she loves dancing, but especially the lion dancers. Son (son!) liked the food and the running around on the playground. And Lulu, the dog, she likes chewing things. Son (son!) helpfully procures things to chew on -- things like, oh, camera cables. So if you've been wondering when the cute pictures of the cute kids are going to be reappearing on this space, well, you'll have to bear with us. Happy Year of the Pig! It interested me to meet as many waiting families as we did at the picnic. I don't think we… [more]

Book of Changes: Hexagram 30 – Li

March 5th, 2007
Posted By: on China Adoption
Categories: The I Ching

hexagram 30, li Like the previous hexagram, kan (and, for that matter, like the first two hexagrams in the whole book), this is a hexagram made by repeating the same trigram twice -- in this case, double li, the essence of fire. According to some commentators, li and kan are what everything is made from. While all-yang qian is full, pure energy and all-yin kun is the ultimate in earthy receptivity, to really make changes in the world, you have to be mostly one or mostly the other -- you have to start with a compromise. Li is generally described as being like the sun, a heavenly fire, while kan is the trigram of the moon, the watery light… [more]