The Clown Is Down in Beijing Town
A much-loved clowning classic is coming to Beijing for the first time this month. Slava’s Snowshow is the creation of Slava Polunin, former Master Clown at Cirque de Soleil, and this celebrated combination of slapstick and special effects been touring the world since 1993. It’s a magical experience for the whole family, and plays at the Tianqiao Performing Arts Center from August 30 to Sept 3.
Manchester: Even Worse than Beijing at Bike Sharing
Bike sharing has been a mixed blessing for Beijing. While we all welcome the convenience and potential environmental benefits, we’re also very familiar with the downside: thoughtless parking, vandalized bikes, and attempts to rip off customers with fake QR codes. One video circulating on social media even showed needles fixed onto saddles with the clear intention of injuring riders; although here at beijingkids, we found it suspicious that the video makers managed to find several such booby traps in just one location, when we’ve never heard of anybody else encountering a single one among the city’s hundreds of thousands of bikes.
However it appears there is now a place whose citizens are even worse at sharing than Beijingers: step forward Manchester, England. The Guardian newspaper reports that after just two weeks since Mobikes arrived on the city’s streets, the “scale of vandalism took [the company]by surprise. It has been far worse than in any of the Asian countries where Mobike operates 5 million bikes.”
Not to be outdone, China struck back, as it was reported that an umbrella-sharing startup had lost nearly all its 300,000 brollies in just three months of operation. Undeterred, Sharing E Umbrella have pledged to put another 3 million out by the end of the year. Look forward to climbing past mountains of umbrellas to get to the subway station some time this fall…
Mini Maker Faire Returns
Tech fans, teachers, tinkerers, and toy lovers will gather at China Millennium Monument from August 11 to 13, for Beijing’s third Mini Maker Faire (see Chinese website here). Maker Faires began in California in 2006, and are described as “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new”. Expect DIY creations, robots, offbeat competitions, and perhaps even to learn something about science and engineering.
Winnie the Pooh: Bear Ban Backfires
Back in April we reported that the government had been forced to deny banning Peppa Pig. Now it’s Winnie the Pooh that’s facing a crackdown. The issue first arose in 2013, when a photograph of two global leaders walking together was compared by mischievous netizens to a picture of Pooh Bear and Tigger. Since then other images of Winnie the Pooh beside a certain important politician have been circulated, and subsequently banned. Now all searches for the much-loved character (the bear, not the politician) are being blocked. As so often though with attempts to censor the internet, the tactic has backfired, and what was previously a Chinese in-joke has been picked up and reported across the media worldwide, in a classic example of what is known as “the Barbra Streisand Effect.”
Photos: Courtesy of Andy Penafuerte, Tianqiao Performing Arts Center, makerfaire.com
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