Answer: Okay, this is looks to be too hard for some people, so I'll have to offer more hints.  First, divide the photo into two halves down the middle.  How many people are on the left?  How many people are on the right?  That is the first part.  By this time, you know that what you need to look for in order to find the second part of the answer.  You can see it quite clearly if you take this photo and invert the colors (i.e. black into white and white into black).  As I say, you have to very sharp-eyed (or paranoid) to be able to spot the message.

Postscript: Some people still can't see it, so here is the same photo with "Bright/Contrast" turned up.  Can you see it?

On June 26, 2007, <Life Morning News> signed an agreement with the Taiyuan post office (China Post) in which the latter agreed to deliver the newspapers to readers via either subscription or retail means.  The annual subscription fee was 152 RMB, but China Post only had to turn in 31 RMB back to <Life Morning News>.  The terms were favorable because the newspapers was primarily interested in boosting circulation, and China Post guaranteed that it will handle at least 50,000 copies.

Over the course of time, <Life Morning News> received feedback from advertisers and readers that they cannot find copies of the newspaper.  Even when the newspaper advertised its own job openings, there were no responses.  Then they heard that China Post was shipping the newspapers directly to recycling centers.  So they began their own investigation.

The newspaper found out that the newspapers were trucked everyday from the post office branches to warehouses and then resold to recycling plants or stations.  If 40,000 copies were recycled each day, then more than 20 million copies went unread over the past 22 months.

So what were they going to do about it?  At first, the newspaper wanted to handle it as an economic dispute.  Meanwhile, the reporters had not been paid and therefore decided to take matters into their own hands by going public on the Internet.  Thus came the post <China Post (Taiyuan) destroys 40,000 copies of Life Morning News every day> under the name of Life Morning News.  The post also included contact information with the assistant to the publisher.

What is the economic basis?  There are 50,000 copies shipped to China Post each day, 312 days per year.  China Post pays 32 RMB per copy to the newspaper.  Thus, each copy of the newspaper costs China Post only 32 RMB / 312 = 0.10 RMB.  Meanwhile, the price for recycled paper is higher than that.  So, there you have it.

Being reasonable is an honor, being unreasonable is a shame
Accepting legal compensation is an honor, demanding sky-high compensation is a shame
Winning the award for being the first is an honor, missing out on the bonuses is a shame
Signing the contract and handing over is an honor, petitioning and complaining is a shame

We will reward the first to leave
We will not praise the last to leave
We will let the troublemakers be sorry
We will not cheat the decent people

Be spirited and sign early
There is no medicine for regret in the world
If you only wake up from your dream only when forced relocation occurs
You will be crying in tears, feeling sorry and stomping your feet

These photos were first posed on the Internet on April 27.  On May 12, they were noticed by the media and reported.  The money quote: "In the past movies, the Japanese ghouls wanted the Chinese people to act like 'good citizens.'  But today the same kinds of demands are showing up in these banners.  Some citizens therefore feel many uneasy."

The term 争当良民 (Let's be good citizens) is now a popular term.  There are already more than 27,000 results at Google already.  A KDNet netizen joked: "I want to be be a good citizen of Taizhou."

The Democratic Progressive Party had provided an original estimate of 300,000 demonstrators before the May 17 march.  But at the scene, Taipei City DPP Councilor Hsu Jia-ching said: "Our voice at the scene is the voice of 600,000 persons."

At 7pm, Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming said: "In Kaohsiung and Taipei, more than 1 million people came out."

Meanwhile, Taipei City KMT Mayor Hao Long-bin said: "They have four march routes.  Although we have not come up with an estimate yet, my understanding was that there were just over 10,000 persons per route."  This meant that he thought that there were fewer than 50,000 persons in total.

According to private estimates from the police, the number of participants should be somewhere between 50,000 and 70,000 persons.

(Taipei Times)

As with every major display of public dissatisfaction in recent years, yesterday’s demonstrations in Taipei and Kaohsiung against the policies of the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration led to wildly variable speculation about the number of people who showed up. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which organized the protests, claims 600,000 participants in Taipei and 200,000 in Kaohsiung, while law-enforcement authorities put those numbers at about 50,000 and 30,000 respectively.

Different parties inevitably seek to manipulate, and thereby politicize, the estimates of turnouts at demonstrations. Accurate or not, crowd numbers nevertheless serve as indicators of the level of proactive, popular opposition to government policies — in this case, the opposition sees them as endangering the sovereignty of Taiwan.

The National Police Agency (NPA) said on Sunday that it deployed 2,000 police officers in Taipei and 800 in Kaohsiung (excluding forces on standby). The deployment on Sunday was therefore relatively low-key. (The ratio at Times Square in New York City on New Year’s Eve is usually 1:20 and was 1:17 during anti-war demonstrations there in 2003.)  This illustrates that the Ma administration, the Ministry of the Interior and the NPA have learned from their mistakes during the November visit of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), when a large police presence — 2,000 at the airport, 800 at Chen’s hotel and 7,000 altogether — served as a catalyst for public anger.

As a result, demonstrations over the weekend were for the most part orderly and both sides respected the rules of engagement. Both camps issued clear instructions and cautioned against overreaction and provocative behavior. Notwithstanding an incident involving a police vehicle, both performed commendably and showed that with restraint, public discontent can be freely expressed in a democracy. Memories of bloody clashes in November may also have subdued passions on both sides.

Ironically for the DPP, the orderliness that characterized the demonstrations could make it easier for the Ma administration to ignore its efforts and downplay the importance of the rallies. The last thing Ma and others want as they forge ahead with their cross-strait policies is more international attention.

By making sure that things would not get out of hand, the authorities ensured that the demonstration remained a very local one in news terms — and this they accomplished with brio. By claiming that far fewer demonstrators showed up at the protests than the DPP expected, the Ma administration will again be in a position to say that the majority of Taiwanese agree with his policies on China and that there is no need for more transparency or referendums. In other words, May 17 will be easy to sweep under the carpet and Ma can stay the course.

The DPP and police played by the rules. The Ma administration did not bite. Democracy worked to perfection, but in so doing it muted the opposition’s voice. The DPP will have to think of something else if it wants the world to hear its message.

The theory of drought-earthquake by Geng Qingguo states that earthquakes occur between 1 year to 3-1/2 years after a drought.  The more widespread the drought, the more intense the earthquake.  The later the earthquake occurs, the more intense the earthquake (0.5 in Richter scale for every six months).  On the basis of this theory, Geng Qingguo claimed to have successfully made correct mid-term calls for the earthquakes of Tangshan, Haicheng and Songpan-Pingwu.

So how did Geng Qingguo do on the Wenchuan earthquake of May 12, 2008 centered at latitude 31.0 and longitude 103.4?

Between 2005 and 2007, Geng Qingguo filed five earthquake predictions to the Earthquake Administration for this region.

Prediction #1: There will be magnitude 7.0-7.6 earthquake between May 7 and May 28, 2005 centered in the drought area of Ma'erkang-Songpan-Dari-Hezuo.

Fact: There were earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 and 7.1 in Indonesia on May 14 and May 19 respectively.  The earthquake was centered at latitude 0.6 and longitude 98.5.

Prediction #2: There will be a magnitude 7.5 (plus or minus 0.5) earthquake between April 14 and April 23, 2006 in the same coordinates.

Fact: On April 21, there was a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in the Kamchatka Peninsula (Russia).  The earthquake was centered at latitude 1.09 and longitude 167.1.

Prediction #3:  Prediction was repeated on November 7, 2006 about an earthquake in the same location.

Fact: On November 15, 2009, there was a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in the Kurile Archipelago (Japan/Russia).  The earthquake was centered at latitude 46.6 and longitude 153.3.

Prediction #4: On November 26, 2006 prediction was repeated about an earthquake in the same location to occur between November 29, 2006 and January 8, 2007.

Fact: On December 25, 2006, there was an earthquake in the Southern Sea (China).  The earthquake was centered at latitude 21.9 and longitude 120.

Prediction #5: On January 18, 2007, prediction was repeated for an earthquake of magnitude 7.3 to 7.7 in the Aba Prefecture-Hongyuan within five days before of after February 3, 2007.

Fact: On February 3, 2007, there was a magnitude 5.5 earthquake in Xizhou (Qinghai province).  The earthquake was centered at latitude 38 and longitude 91.8)

The Earthquake Administration considered the aforementioned five reports to be failures because no earthquake occurred at those locations during those times.  Thus, the Earthquake Administration and commentator Fang Zhouzi said on CCTV that Geng Qingguo had a zero success rate in these earthquake predictions.

Geng Qingguo fumed at those comments because he considered these people to be ignorant.  Although no earthquakes occurred at the predicted locations, all of the earthquakes (except the one at the Kamchatka Peninsula) at those times have either about the same latitude or the same longitude as Wenchuan.  Other than the location, his five predictions were close in time and magnitude.  Geng Qingquo also theorized that these earthquakes are all turning around and pointing towards the eventual earthquake center of Wenchuan.  Geng Qingguo said that it was an insult to say that he had a zero success rate and he wants to sue CCTV.

On April 28, 2008, at a meeting of the Natural Disasters Prediction Committee, Geng Qingguo announced that there was a dangerous solar magnetic storm.  Thus, there will be a magnitude 7.5 earthquake within ten days of May 8, 2008 within a radius of 150 kilometers centered at the Aba Prefecture-Hongyuan (latitude 32.7 and longitude 102.6).  However, Geng Qingguo did not file an earthquake prediction with the Earthquake Administration.

A magnitude 8.0 earthquake occurred at Wenchuan on May 12, 2008.  But Wenchuan is not within the 150 kilometer radius of the predicted area.  When Geng Qingguo was told that the Wenchuan epicenter was 176 kilometers away from Hongyuan, he was enraged.  "It is wrong to be so demanding on me given that I have been as accurate as I am!"

Previously, Geng Qingguo had filed a top-secret mid-term forecast to the Earthquake Administration and other government departments: There is likely going to be a magnitude 6 to 7 earthquake in the area south of Lanzhou to the borders of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai between May, 2008 and April 2009.  The time period for this forecast is long (namely, one full year) and the area is very wide (and it does not include Wenchuan).  The area is also a well-known seismically active area.


There is now an Internet-initiated legal campaign to defend Deng Yujiao, the service worker who killed a government official.  The deceased was said to have demanded 'special services,' slapped with a wad of money when she refused and pushed her down on a sofa.  The concern now is that the police are trying to make out that she suffers from mental depression which would explain why she reacted 'disproportionately.'  She is presently tied down on a hospital bed for observation.  In this video, she was seen to be crying: "Daddy, daddy, they are beating me!  Daddy, daddy, you are beating me!"

"70" is the newly popular term in the digital world.  If you enter the number "70" into Baidu, the top result is: <Police report that the vehicle in the May 7th traffic incident was traveling at 70 kilometers per hour>.  Actually, the top three results refer to the same incident.  Why would this number cause such an Internet opinion storm?

The university student Hu Bin was speed-racing in Hangzhou city and his spree stopped when he hit and killed the young man named Tan Zhuo.  In the press conference, the Hangzhou traffic police cited the statements from Hu Bin and his racing friends that the vehicles were traveling at 70 km/hr.

But eyewitnesses said that the vehicle was traveling at faster than 100 km/hr.  Furthermore, eyewitnesses said that the victim was tossed five meters into the air and twenty meters down the street.  Professional racer Han Han wrote in this blog that his personal opinion was that the vehicle was speeding between 100 to 130 km/hr based upon the information on distance and injury. 

What is the significance of 70 as opposed to some other number?  Han Han wrote: "Why did the traffic police say that the vehicle was traveling at 70 km/hr?  Because the driver said so.  70 km/hr is just under 50% higher than 50 km/hr, which is the speed limit in that zone.  If the vehicle had traveled at faster than 75 km/hr, this incident becomes more serious in nature.  Someone who is familiar with traffic regulations and incident handling may have pointed this out.  Usually, the traffic police spokesperson will not make such a hasty preliminary conclusion.  Obviously, by saying so, they want to help the driver with respect to public opinion."

On the Internet, there is a 70 km/hr t-shirt for sale.  The speedometer runs from 0 to 60, puts nonsense characters in the next three slots and starts with 70 again at where 100 is supposed to be.  Any revenue from t-shirt sales will be given to the parents of the victim Tan Zhuo.

By the way, the Hangzhou police eventually came back with an official statement that the vehicle was traveling between 84 to 101 km/hr.



(SCMP)  June 4 is history, I speak for HK, says Tsang - then has to apologise   By Ambrose Leung and Gary Cheung.  May 15, 2009.

Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was forced to apologise yesterday after claiming to speak for "Hong Kong people" in expressing hopes for an "objective assessment" of the Tiananmen Square crackdown in light of China's economic development.

The chief executive's remarks in the Legislative Council, three weeks before the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement, sparked a walkout by pan-democrats, who accused him of burying his conscience.

The row erupted at a question-and-answer session after Mr Tsang sidestepped a request by the Civic Party's Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee to back the public's demand for vindication of students killed in the crackdown.

"I understand Hong Kong people's feelings about June 4, but the incident happened many years ago. The country's development in many areas has since achieved tremendous results and brought economic prosperity to Hong Kong. I believe Hong Kong people will make an objective assessment of the nation's development."

Ms Ng asked: "Are you saying that as long as the economy is developing well we cannot admit people were killed? Should we bury our conscience to share economic benefits?"

Mr Tsang replied: "My view represents the opinion of Hong Kong people in general, and the opinion of citizens has affected my view. What I have just said is how I feel about the views of the people of Hong Kong."

A government source later called the remarks a slip of the tongue.

Mr Tsang's remarks led to uproar among pan-democrats and drew jeers from the public gallery. Lawmakers took turns to demand he withdraw his statement. "How can you claim you are representing me? You have raped public opinion," unionist Lee Cheuk-yan said. All 23 pan-democrats then walked out and the meeting adjourned for seven minutes before resuming without them.

Mr Tsang then made his first apology, saying he was sorry for having caused people to become "emotional" . Meanwhile, pan-democrats, several with tears in their eyes, spoke to reporters outside the chamber, condemning Mr Tsang for shaming the memories of those killed while fighting for democracy.

"He can bury his own conscience to keep his chief executive position, but he cannot force Hong Kong people to bury their conscience together. Anyone who has a conscience should show that in the June 4 vigil in Victoria Park," Democrat Cheung Man-kwong said.

Mr Tsang disappeared into the Legco antechamber for more than 30 minutes after the question-and- answer session ended, before meeting waiting journalists outside the chamber and reading a statement. "I fully understand that different people have different feelings and views on the June 4 incident," he said.

"I said in the chamber that `my views represent those of Hong Kong people in general'. This is a wrong expression. This is not what I intended to mean. It is absolutely not my intention to say that my views can represent the views of all Hong Kong people. If this has caused any person any misunderstanding, I am prepared to offer my apology."

He left without taking questions. A government source later said Mr Tsang's "slip of the tongue" was because his fluency in English was "far better than his Cantonese". Mr Tsang was also forced to apologise in October 2007 after he said, in English, that democracy could result in chaos similar to the Cultural Revolution if taken to the extreme.

Tiananmen Mothers leader Ding Zilin, who lost her son in the crackdown, said in Beijing: "Judging from his remarks, which follow closely the central government's verdict on the crackdown, Donald Tsang has lost his conscience as a person."

(The Standard)  Uproar at Tsang June 4 view   By Bonnie Chen and Diana Lee.  May 15, 2009.

About 20 pan-democratic lawmakers stormed out of the Legislative Council chamber yesterday after Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said his views on the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 represented those of the community. He later apologized for the wrong choice of words.

Civic Party legislator Margaret Ng Oi-yee had asked if he supported the vindication of the students involved in the June 4, 1989 crackdown. Instead, he spoke of what had been accomplished since then. "Do you mean as long as the economy is doing well, it's fine to not admit killing people?" Ng asked. Tsang replied: "What I said just now is Hong Kong people's impression of the event. This is also my view."  His remarks sparked outrage among democrats who jumped from their seats to be heard.

"You are raping public opinion. Human blood is not rouge," the League of Social Democrats' Leung Kwok-hung shouted. "How can he represent me? I want the chief executive to withdraw his remark," unionist Lee Cheuk-yan added. Cheung Man-kwong of the Democratic Party demanded a clarification.

Legco president Jasper Tsang Yok- sing tried to intervene but in vain.

Ng said: "We have to walk out because, according to the chief executive, Hong Kong people focus on interest and forget about justice."

While walking out, LSD lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip accused the pro- Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and the Federation of Trade Unions of being "running dogs."

The meeting was suspended for seven minutes during which the pan- democrats held a press conference to demand an apology. "I am very sorry if there is a misunderstanding," Tsang said when the meeting resumed. He later told the press: "When I said my view represents Hong Kong people's overall view, I used the wrong words. That's not what I mean. I don't mean my view can represent all the Hong Kong people. I am sorry."

The coverage in the Chinese-language newspapers falls along the usual political lines, including:
- Nothing was found at Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po
- One small story in Oriental Daily, The Sun, Sing Tao and Headline Daily
- One front page story in am730 and Metro
- Multiple stories in Apple Daily, but the front page was assigned to the related story about the secret memoirs of Zhao Ziyang

am730: Donald Tsang blasted for burying his conscience

(Hong Kong Economic Journal)  You don't have to represent the people of Hong Kong, it is enough that you represent conscience

It has been 20 years since the tragedy of June 4th took place.  Over this period, the Beijing officials have turned from forceful suppression to avoiding comments in order to make the issue fade away.  In mainland China, all reporting and commentary about June 4th are banned.  But outside of mainland China and especially in Hong Kong, memorial activities for June 4th have never ceased and the condemnations go unabated.  The number of people who participate in the commemorative ceremony in Victoria Park each year and the pan-democrats who use "vindicate June 4th" as a major part of their political platform have consistently obtained 60% of election votes.  This shows the mainstream opinion of what the people of Hong Kong think about the June 4th tragedy!  It is the basic requirement for a politician to know the pulse and thinking of the people.  When Donald Tsang slipped up yesterday, it was clearly unintentional.  He tried to present a different interpretation of the June 4th incident as the mainstream opinion of the people of Hong Kong.  This "rape of public opinion" which uses a subjective wish to replace objective facts ignores popular opinion and offends public feelings.  This was destined to be scorned by the people of Hong Kong so that he had no choice but to apologize!

... Many people believes that under "one country, two systems," Hong Kong should not meddle in mainland politics.  June 4th is a fast know between Hong Kong and mainland China which means that anything that Hong Kong government officials say is going to displease one side or the other.  We don't think so.  With the gradual revision of the Chinese Communists' position on the June 4th incident, it is no longer heresy for a Hong Kong SAR government official to express their personal views on public occasions.  Meanwhile to use all manners of contortions to be evasive will merely be detested and reviled by the people of Hong Kong.

(Apple Daily)

... It is still unclear how Donald Tsang slipped up, but people in politics are shaking their heads in wonderment.  The democrats criticized him for memory loss because he thinks that as long as the people of Hong Kong can make money, they will forget to vindicate June 4th.  This kind of thinking clearly does not represent what the people of Hong Kong think.  A pro-Beijing legislator was mumbling about the true intentions of Tsang and asked the pan-democrats whether this was Tsang's way of boosting attendance at the June 4th candlelight vigil in Victoria Park.

What then is the true public opinion of the people of Hong Kong that all manners of people claim to represent?

(HKU POP)  June Fourth Incident

Do you think the Beijing students did the right thing in the June 4th incident?
50.1%: Right
15.0%: Wrong
34.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Do you think the Chinese government did the right thing in the June 4th incident?
14.9%: Right
58.0%: Wrong
27.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Compared to 1989, do you think China's human right condition has become better or worse?
85.4%: Better
  9.0%: Same
  2.4%: Worse
  3.2%: Don't know/hard to say

Do you think the human right condition in China will be better or even worse in three years' time?
77.2%: Better
12.1%: Same
  1.9%: Worse
  8.9%: Don't know/hard to say

Do you think Hong Kong people have a responsibility to instigate the development of democracy in China?
75.5%: Yes
14.4%: No
10.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Do you think Hong Kong people have a responsibility to instigate economic development in China?

81.3%: Yes
10.6%: No
  8.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Do you think Hong Kong people should put more effort on instigating development in China's economy or democracy?
41.7%: Economic
29.1%: Same
23.1%: Democratic
  6.1%: Don't know/hard to say

Which do you think China needs more: economic or democratic development?
46.2%: Economic
22.7%: Same
26.6%: Democratic
  4.5%: Don't know/hard to say

Do you support a reversion of the official stand on the June 4th incident?
49.1%: Yes
26.5%: No
24.5%: Don't know/hard to say

(HKU POPWould you say Zhao Ziyang has accrued more merit or demerit in the development of China?
        51.9%: More merit
        17.2%: Half-half
          2.8%: More demerit
        28.2%: Don't know/hard to say

(HKU POPWould you say Deng Xiaoping has accrued more merit or demerit in the development of China?
        83.3%: More merit
          7.1%: Half-half
          3.1%: More demerit
          6.6%: Don't know/hard to say

(HKU POPOn the whole, do you trust the Beijing Central Government?
         16.7%: Very trust
         40.2%: Quite trust
         26.6%: Half-half
           9.8%: Quite distrust
           4.2%: Very distrust
           2.4%: Don't know/hard to say

Possibly related link Distorting public opinion on torture investigations   Glenn Greenwald

Behind the footsteps of Kappa girl and Electrolux girl now comes another Sexy Photo Gate in the form of Maritime Girl.  Netizens say that this is even "more Edison Chen than Edison Chen."  The associated keyword is the most rapidly rising keyword over at Google.

According to the poster "garros," the female (initials YH) in the set of about 30 photos is his ex-girlfriend.  They had been in love for about 30 months.  Recently, his career was in the doldrums and she left him for another man.  Beginning May 8, "garros" began posting photos of YH.  Information about her name, age, home address, school and other details was also made known.  She is known as Maritime Girl because she is from the Shanghai Maritime University.  According to "garros," he is doing this in order to marry her.

Even the websites feel helpless.  According to the person over at Broadband Mountain, they have been deleted photos of the Maritime Girl as soon as they appear but they are only reacting after the fact.  They have attempted to contact "garros" to get him to cease and desist, but they have not been able to make contact.

This reporter has found out that the police have entered the investigation.  They have gathered the relevant photos and sent them to the Ministry of Culture to determine if they are obscene.  The police reminds people that disseminating obscene photos is a crime whose punishment depends on the quantities involved (the number of photos and the size of the audience).

U.S. Supreme Court justice Potter Stewart said that while he could not come up with a definition of hard pornography, "I know it when I see it."  Well, I can tell you that some of the photos are definitely obscene.

This is one of the non-obscene photos from the set:

At around 7:30pm on the evening of May 10, Hubei province Badong county Yesanguan town Trade Development Department director Deng Guida and two companions (one of whom was named Huang Dezhe) went to the Dream City leisure center of the Xiongfeng Hotel.  The three proceeded to a room on the second floor.  Inside the room, a female employee Deng Yujiao was doing laundry.  Huang asked her if she could provide "special services."  She replied that she was an employee at the KTV on the third floor and she does not provide "special services."

When Huang heard the reply, he was very angry.  He said that since she worked at a service facility, why she was there except to provide "service"?  There was an argument.  Deng Yujiao got up to leave.  But Deng Guida said: "Are you afraid that we don't have money?" and then proceed to take a wad of money from his pocket and wave it in front of her.  Deng Yujiao ignored him and got up again to leave.  But Deng Guida held her back down on the sofa.  She did that once again, but was pushed back on the sofa again.

At this point, Deng Yujiao took out a fruit knife and stabbed Deng Guida three times.  Huang Dezhi stepped up to intervene and was stabbed on the right hard.  The third companion was too scared to approach.

Deng Guida was stabbed on his artery and lung, and died on his way to the hospital.

Deng Yujiao has been detained by the police.  She called the police herself after the incident to turn herself in.  The police were confounded by the way she talked, because she was sometimes very articulate but other times quite incoherent.  As the police got ready to take her away, she attacked them with a glass cup.  The militia police officers found anti-depression medication in her possession.

The sections in bold above were new developments in the case.  In the initial news report, Deng Yujiao was a pedicurist and the knife was an instrument used to cut toe nails or calluses.  There was also no mention of depression or any attempted assault on the militia police officers.

These new details led to netizen comments:


The following facts are simple and easily understood:

1. Three hooligans went down to Dream City to have fun.

2. Upon learning that Deng Yujiao was not a "sex worker," the three continued to insult her.

3. They used money to insult Deng Yujiao and used force on her.

4. Deng Yujiao was surrounded by three rapists and used her pedicurist's instrument to defend herself.

5. Deng Yujiao killed the director and wounded another person.

These facts are indisputable.  There is no point in wrangling over the details, such as her stabbing the second person who was merely trying to mediate.  That is idiotic!  If he wanted to mediate, he should have done while his friend was insulting Deng Yujiao.  By the time that rape was being attempted, any bystander is an accessory to rape.

As for the medication in Deng Yujiao's possession, fuck!, what has that got to do with resisting rape?  Do you mean that she ought to let them rape her!?  What a stupid logic!  When someone is trying to rape her, she has the right to do whatever it takes to defend her, including killing the rapist!

The facts are clear no matter what the tricky excuses are!  Deng Yujiao is innocent!  The two other companions should be prosecuted!  She should be be released immediately!

Do not believe in anything that tries to cover up the original crime or smear the victim!  The facts are the facts!

Q: Certain articles that contain obvious problems can still be published in academic journals after editorial review?  Why is that?

Hsia Xinyu: The main reason is that those academic journals are of low quality.  For example, <Inland Earthquake> and <Disaster Studies> are sponsored respectively by the Xinjiang Earthquake Administration and the Shaanxi Earthquake Administration.  Many provincial earthquake administration bureaus sponsor their own publications.  The Chinese Academy of Science's Geology Research Institute sponsors two journals, the better one is <Geology Journal> whereas <Progress in Geology> is not as good.  <Natural Disaster Journal> is sponsored by the Earthquake Administration's Engineering Mechanics Institute.  The quality of these publications do not match up to <Earthquake Journal> and <Geology Journal>, never mind the international journals.  In the past, academic journals have published articles such as <The Proof of the Goldbach conjecture> and <A Critique of Relativity Theory>.  Therefore, it is not surprising that these articles on earthquake prediction based upon false science would be published in these kinds of journals.  It only shows that the publications are of low quality, or the reviewers are of poor quality or the articles are published through connections.

Only Guo Zengjian's <The summary of geology research for natural disaster prediction in China> was published in the more respectable <Geology Journal> but only in a less respected supplement.  If you consulted the table of contents of that supplement, you will see that this special issue is an overall summary of the various specialties within the Chinese Geology Society.  Since the "Natural Disaster Prediction Specialists Committee" is part of the Chinese Geology Society, this article which summarizes various natural disaster prediction techniques was also included.  But out of the 40 summaries in this supplement, this article and another article on natural disaster prediction were the bottom two articles.  This showed that the mainstream scholars in the field of geology are wary about these articles on prediction.

Q: Why do the mainstream scientists not come out and criticize Weng Wenbo and other false scientists openly?  Why do they demand anonymity?

Hsia: There are many reasons.  One reason is that researchers are self-respecting and they do not want to hold so-called "discussions" with false scientists.  When they start a genuine debate, their colleagues may think that they are "busy bodies" who "neglect their proper work."  Outsiders may think that this is an "academic debate," but this is overestimating the standing of the false scientists.  Secondly, they may not want to hurt people's feelings.  For example, Weng Wenbo used to be a leader in the Department of Petroleum and there are still many people around who had worked for him or were his students.  Thirdly, they must consider their own interests.  The false scientists have plenty of time and energy and they sometimes have connections with higher authorities.  So the mainstream scientists may end up not being able to carry out their normal duties if they begin to tussle with false scientists.

Q: When a so-called expert claimed to be able to predict earthquakes, what is the impact on the public?

Hsia: The impact will be much more harmful than claiming to have proven the Goldbach conjecture or to have overturned the theory of relativity.  Earthquake prediction is not like the more academically flavored mathematical research because it touches the lives of many people.  The Chinese people are not scientifically learned and they have been subjected to many misleading reports over time to the point that many people think that earthquakes can be predicted.  So when these people make statements as members of the "Natural disaster prediction specialists committee" or experts with the "Chinese Earthquake Prediction Consultative Committee," the public may think that these are authoritative conclusions and thus become less concerned about earthquake preparation and recoveries.

By comparison, the governments and citizens of the United States and Japan all clearly know that earthquakes cannot be predicted.  Therefore, they are usually more concerned about getting prepared for earthquakes and making recoveries afterwards.  They don't care so much about earthquake predictions.  Also, the so-called experts included large amounts of false science involving geology, meteorology, physics and other fields.  These materials will further damage public knowledge because most people will only listen to the conclusions and not spend the effort to analyze the arguments.  This is without even saying that how their predictions have led to public panics in the past.

To avoid these consequences, the relevant scientific organizations and their workers should take up the responsibility.  Based upon the performance of these false science promoters over the year, the Chinese Geology Society and the Earthquake Administration should disband the "Natural Disaster Prediction Specialists Committee" and the "Chinese Earthquake Prediction Consultative Committee."  The Earthquake Administration should publish the prediction records of these people over the years and let the public evaluate their performances.  If someone should boast about being able to predict earthquakes, the professionals should come out immediately to clarify.  By comparison, overseas professional act very responsibly.  When someone at NASA claimed to have achieved a breakthrough in earthquake prediction, or when someone claimed to have predicted the earthquake in Italy this year, the earthquake scholars in the United States, Germany and elsewhere came out to clarify.

Q: Why is it that certain people who used to be experts in the field would conduct improper science after they retire.  Some of these recent cases even include academicians.

Hsia: First of all, many people lacked scientific training to begin with, at least with respect to minimal logical reasoning and knowledge of statistics.  Therefore, they associate certain natural phenomena with earthquakes without any statistical analyses.

Secondly, these people do not have adequate scientific knowledge, especially with respect to geology.  Earthquake prediction cannot be done without some basis in geology, which is a field of science in which practical experience is very much required.  When the Earthquake Administration was initially founded, many people with no background in geology were recruited and they came up with many prediction methods that contradict known geological science.  For example, in 1974, the petroleum exploration engineer Zhang Tiezheng invented the "Double Magnetic Surge Theory" because he believed that earthquakes were due to the massive migration of "highly magnetic" magma.  Later on, Guo Zengjian (who has a background in physics) and others continued to justify this theory.  Ren Zhenqiu, who boasts loudly about his earthquake predictions and constantly demand to have funding, was a graduate from a Fabric Industry Technology School and his "three planets in a line" theory violates scientific knowledge and experimental observations in geology, meteorology and physics.  Other people had specialized in geology or physics, but they graduated a lot time ago and they are fairly ignorant about the new data and developments in theory in the past several decades, and therefore their prediction methods are full of speculations.

There is a special issue of Science News magazine titled <The Truth Behind Earthquake Prediction>.  The article above is just one selection.

For the other side of the story, there is a series of blog posts by Zhai Minglei at

(Southern Metropolis Daily)

Yesterday around noon, the Langya News website in Linyi city (Shandong province) carried a response to the denunciation of the Linyi government office building being a waste of taxpayers' money.  The title of this response was "The 'Eight Star Office Building' and the author dying during interrogation were rumors."  From that report:

Investigation showed that the authors of these Internet posts used the style of "sarcastic jokes" to fabricate contents.  As such, these are pure rumors and smears with no factual basis.  There is no such thing as some person being beaten to death for posting to the Internet.  The action of the writers have broken the law, and the public security department has set up a case file to deal with the matter.

Our reporter checked the local party newspapers and evening newspapers, but this response was not mentioned.  However, the Linyi city party committee publicity department Internet news administration bureau director said authoritatively that the Langya News website if an official Linyi city government website and therefore the statement is authoritative.  When asked directly whether this was the official position, he responded with "Yes."

The reporter wanted to know which department set up the case file.  So he called up the public security department of Linyi city.  The public security office, its publicity department and its public safety department all said that "they have not heard of such a matter."  The Internet supervision squad said that "he just came back from vacation and he has no idea."

A netizen raised this question: Everybody who read the first post <The only "Eight Star Government Office Building" in the world has been recognized by Guinness> must know that it was a spoof which cannot cause material damage.  Even the Linyi authorities said that the author used the style of a "sarcastic joke."  So is it now illegal to tell jokes on the Internet?

(Southern Metropolis Daily)

On May 12, our newspaper reported that the Linyi city government office building has become a red-hot topic on the Internet.  In that report, we recited certain facts taken from the Linyi City Modern Real Estate Company website and the Linyi City Audit Deprartment website, which mentioned that this building occupies 103,000 square meters, had 18 elevators and 48 conference rooms, etc.  Yesterday, we noticed that the relevant web pages have been deleted.

At the Linyi City Modern Real Estate Company website, the photograph-illustrated presentation of its management of the Linyi City Government Office Building has been deleted, although it can be retrieved from the search engine caches.  At the Linyi City Quality Audit Department website, the report about the <Satisfactory completion of inspection of the 18 elevators in the city government office building> published on August 20, 2008 has been deleted.

But at the same time, netizens discovered that the Shandong Province Special Equipment Testing Laboratory has foresight.  On August 21, 2008, it reported on the completion of the inspection of the 18 elevators by writing the following text: "The Linyi Audit Department mustered its forces and organized a sudden inspection of the 18 elevators in a certain office building in Linyi city.  The inspection mission was successfully completed."  This so-called office building was "located in the Nanfang New District nad has an building area of more than 120,000 square meters, 23 floors (including 2 below ground) and 18 elevators."

Linyi city has three districts and nine counties, of which five of those counties are classified as "impoverished."  But under the leadership of the Linyi city Party Committee and Government, a world-class government office building has been constructed.  This building has an area of 120,000 plus square meters spread over 23 floors (including two basement levels) serviced by 18 elevators.  The building was constructed for 38.2 billion RMB at an average cost of 3,200,000 RMB per square meter.  Today it was announced by Guinness (China) proclaimed that this to be the only eight-star government office building in the world.  According to a Guinness spokeswoman, "The construction of the sole eight-star government office building in the world proved that extraordinary creativity of the local people!"

(Cat898)  Here comes a follow-up sarcastic spoof forum post about the spate of recent crackdowns on the Internet.

In the morning of May 10, netizens began to distribute the post <The netizen who revealed the eight-star government building was beaten to death during interrogation>.  Supposedly, the netizen named Zhang was arrested by local police in the evening of May 9.  He was interrogated that night and the police used heavy tactics that caused Zhang to lose conscious and die.

Supposedly Zhang wrote a forum post with this story: "President Obama went on the Internet to browse and came across the photos of a government office building in an impoverished county in China.  He felt so ashamed of American and himself that he tried to kill himself with a knife.  Fortunately vice-president Biden was quick to stop him."

Although this forum post does not make any direct charge, it is clearly an oblique complaint about how the Linyi city party/government has broken state regulations to use farmland and build this extravagant building that goes far beyond any reasonable budget.  When the Linyi city part committee learned about this forum post, they were very concerned.  The Linyi city party secretary personally took charge and mobilized more than 1,000 people to carry several tens of millions in cash to pay the major forums to delete all related posts.  At the same time, the police went looking for the author in order to find the mastermind behind the scene.

On May 11, the Linyi city publicity department said that this was no such thing as a netizen being beaten to death.

At around 8:30pm on May 7, 25-year-old Hangzhou resident Tan Zhuo was killed by a speeding Mitsubishi sports car as he walked across a pedestrian crossing.  He was dead on arrival at the hospital.  According to the police, the driver was a 20-year-old man named Hu and he is presently a sports major at the Hangzhou Normal University.  At the time, he was racing in city streets against two other cars driven by friends.

The contrast between the "rich second generation" background of the driver Hu Bin and the "ordinary working-class background" of the deceased Tan Zhuo caused netizens to rage.  The reports noted that "many eyewitnesses said that the car was going at a speed of at least 150 km/hour.  The young driver could not care less afterwards.  He got out of the car to make telephone calls.  Ten minutes of so later, seven or eight fashionably dressed companions arrived in Porsche, Ferrari and other luxury cars.  The young people stood around, smoked cigarettes and chatted.  They said that 'money can take care of everything'."  This riled the netizens even more.

Very quickly, human flesh searches began.

By looking up the vehicle license number 'Zhejiang A608Z0', netizens suspected that on November 30, 2008, this was the "modified race car that was practicing 'drifting' near the supermarket on Jianguobei Road."  The incident was reported on Zhejiang Online on December 1, 2008.  The report had noted that "Zhejiang A608Z0 had a lane violation on November 27, 2008 on a road near the airport."  Also other netizens found out that "Zhejing A608Z0" had two speeding incidents.  On December 7, 2008, it was going at 210 km/hour in a zone with speed limit of 120 km/hr.  This reporter was able to verify these data.

The QQ space for Hu Bin was also broken into because his password was simply "A608Z0."  It was noticed that at 2:49am on May 8, the QQ space was updated with "My mind is blank, I am in big trouble."  This caused netizens to doubt whether the police had placed him under detention after the incident.

Hu Bin's family members were also targeted by human flesh search.  From early morning of May 9, netizens published the names, occupations, work units, home address and contact information of his family.  Some netizens said that Hu Bin's mother Lu Hongying is the car owner and she is the legal representative for the Hangzhou Baokong Internet Communication Company Limited.  That company quickly became the target and its website was getting nasty comments.  On May 9, the company website declared that their legal representative is a different person also named Lu Hongying.  "Our company's legal representative is not the owner of the car involved in the incident.  We ask people to check out the truth."

At this point, certain forum administrators noted that the human flesh searches were in danger of inflaming netizen emotions.  Therefore, they took counter-measures.

On the relevant main page at Tianya, the administrator wrote the first comment in red on each comment page to remind netizens to "pay attention to how far you go and only make your comments in a civilized manner.  Please do not post human flesh search results."  This page, which has already garnered more than 20,000 comments, went on to state that "all ID's which publish human flesh search information will be banned for one month for troublemaking."

At other forums such as KDnet, there are some reflective essays.  Some netizens are concerned that the popular rage may affect objectivity and fairness.  Other netizens wondered if there is a hatred for wealth people: "If a taxi or an ordinary car hits and kills a person, would there be so much attention?  Would the netizens get so worked up?"  Some netizens wondered if the traditional and Internet media are deliberately highlighting the "rich young man" aspect in order to hype up the story.

Related Link: 人肉出来的\"浙A608Z0\"

On the road in Chaoyang District (Beijing) where the Wangjing Hospital is located, there are two universities.  Consequently, the road has many small shops.  The Wangjingdu Bookstore is located across the Wangjing Hospital.  It was founded 13 years ago and covers 45 square meters in area.  The owner is a forty-something-year old woman named Shi.  On May 8, she reflected: "Bookselling is a business with low profit margins.  Fewer and fewer people buy books nowadays and the online bookstores are offering steep discounts.  This bookstore is losing money now."

Wangjingdu Bookdstore started to lose money in the last two or three years.  This was the period when the online bookstores grew rapidly.  In order to open up the sales channels and cultivate the buying habits of the readers, low price is an important sales strategy for the online bookstores.

Ms. Shi offers a 10% discount to customers.  Club members can receive as much as 15% in discount.  "At this discount level, we often don't make any money.  But if we don't offer discounts, nobody will buy from us."  Ms. Shi said that the store rent is 10,000 RMB per month and the store has three employees.  Given that level of expenses, the discount cannot go any deeper.

This level of discount is clearly not as deep as that at the online bookstores.  At the recommendation of Ms. Shi, the reporter compared the prices for several bestselling books.:
- Eileen Chang's <Small Reunions>: 26.2 RMB at Wangjingdu Bookdstore but 19 RMB at Dangdang
- Han Han's <His Nation>: 22.5 RMB at Wangjingdu Bookstore but 15 RMB at Dangdang
- Li Min's <Speaking of Health From Head To Feet>: 26.1 RMB at Wangjingdu Bookstore but 21.7 RMB at Dangdang.
The online bookstores are clearly superior in terms of pricing.

"The online bookstores don't have to pay rent, so that represents a huge saving."  Ms. Shi believes that the low cost of operation is a big reason why the online bookstores are growing so quickly.

A survey showed that online bookstores is already accounting for more than 10% of all retail book sales in China.  In the large cities, online sales has become the principal consumption mode for books.  In the small cities, online books is beginning to creep in.

At a time when online bookstores are gradually getting a foothold in the book retail market, the hardship for brick-and-mortar bookstores are becoming increasingly obvious.  A while ago, the Shanghai cultural landmark Jifengshuyuan was facing the choice of life and death under the dual pressures from online competition and rent.

Ms. Shi thinks that the problems of Jifengshuyuan is representative of most brick-and-mortar bookstores.  "It is a matter of time before we disappear," said Ms. Shi pessimistically.

Many book industry insiders are calling for standardizing retail book prices.  But there has always been two kinds of voices on this topic.  On one hand, supporters believe that standardizing the prices will help to maintain cultural diversity.  On the other hand, detractors believe that standardizing the prices violates free market principles.

This reporter interviewed several legal scholars about legislating for standardized book prices.  Everybody was against legislation.

"The laws against unfair competition and monopoly already have regulations."  China Political Law University Commercial Law professor Li Dongfang pointed out during the interview with our reporter that the law against unfair competition forbids booksellers from selling below cost in order to force competitors out; the anti-monopoly law forbids monopolistic pricing.  Li does not believe that further legislation is required to regulate book prices.

Last year, Beijing Republic Book sued for selling three of its books at prices that are below cost.  The plaintiff believed that this would lead to a vicious cycle in the market that is detrimental to the interests of many publishers including Republic Book.  The legal basis for that lawsuit was that violated the law against unfair competition.

"Legislating for standardized book prices is not good for the vibrancy of the market for books."  China Political Law University Commercial Law professor Wu Hongwei said.  "Books should have prices that are free to vary within a legally allowable range."

Wu Hongwei told the reporter that if the book prices are to be standardized, they may have to be set by an industry group and this will violate that part in the anti-monopoly law that prohibits price-fixing by industry groups.  If the book prices are to be set by a government department, then it would be an overreach of administrative authority.

But at a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores are facing hardships, Taiwan's Eslite Bookstore is doing marvelously well.  Eslite was founded in 1989 and as of year 2000, very few Eslite bookstores sell only books.  Instead most of the store space is given to stationery, audio-visual products, clothes, fashion accessories and other high-profit items.  This is how Eslite pay for their rent.