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Broadcast Transcript: Japan has just added two new words to the language of diplomacy: Hello Kitty. The popular cartoon character was recently called to serve her country as Tourism Ambassador to China and Hong Kong. She follows in the pawprints of Doraemon, the manga robot cat named Anime Ambassador last year in an attempt to "harness the power of pop culture in diplomacy." There is some irony to Kitty's appointment: China is the mother lode of faux kitty knockoffs with sales of about $800 million a year. Whatever. As one of the most powerful brands in the world, Kitty's image can be found on some 50,000 products worldwide including a deluxe leather document case. Think what you will about Miss Kitty: But you can never say she's an ambassador without a portfolio. #hacker #japan #ceas
Broadcast Transcript: For a thousand years, China was a bureaucratic meritocracy. Men from any walk of life could become high ranking officials if they did well on the Imperial examination. Failure meant dishonor, disgrace and poverty. In modern China, the Imperial exam has morphed into The National Examination for College Entrance. So much is at stake that cheating is rampant. Students buy answers, fake results and pay proxy test takers. Recently, an official was arrested for stealing the superior exam results of a village girl and passing them off as his daughter's. The scandal has become a hot topic on China's websites where bloggers are giving the official black marks for the injustice. One might say that, for this bureaucrat at least, it's become a blogocratic demeritocracy. #ceas #china #hacker
Broadcast Transcript: Back in the sixties, China's national idol was Lei Feng, the dedicated soldier whose accidental death by electrocution at the age of 24 secured his status as an icon. For more than 40 years now, Lei Feng propaganda has kept Chinese youth on their toes when it comes to doing what's right. Well, stand back, Lei Feng, Liu Wei, winner of the first series of the hit TV show, China's Got Talent is breathing down your iconic neck. Liu Wei is dedicated: he taught himself to play the piano when he was 18. Liu Wei is no stranger to electrocution: the 23-year-old lost both his arms at the age of 10 when he touched a live wire during a game of hide-and-seek. And this Chinese youth is kept on his toes because he uses them to play the piano. Liu Wei charmed the judges on the show by saying: At least I have a perfect pair of leg...
Broadcast Transcript: From Mongolia, land of fermented mare's milk, comes this beguiling morsel of nomadic oral tradition. It's called yertonciin gorav or Earth's Three. Earth's three what? Well, Earth's three top things in a number of categories. You have categories such as Fast and White. Within each category is a trio of elements, each meant to hand a soundbyte of nomadcentric lore down to the next generation. Under Earth's Three Fast, for example, you have clouds riding the wind across the sky, the thoughts of a clever person, a horse galloping and under Earth's Three White, you have an adult's teeth, an elder's hair, a corpse's bones. Call me corny, but I believe every country needs its own Earth's Three list. What would America's Three Fast be, I wonder? A meal at McDonald's, the movie-to-video turnaround time, Postcard from Asia...
Broadcast Transcript: So in Japan, the vending machines act alive: they talk to you and make recommendations. Here in China, the vending machines are not alive but their contents are. At a subway station in Nanjing, people can buy live hairy crabs from a machine. Hairy crabs are a local delicacy from the Yangtze River delta. Packed in see-through plastic tubs, their legs neatly tucked under them, they snooze away the hours in a state of suspended animation induced by the cool interior temperatures of their vending machine quarters. About 200 crabs sell per day at prices ranging from 2 to 7 dollars, depending on size. And there's even a guarantee: if your dinner should turn up dead: the company will give you free crabs for your troubles. Legally, that's known as the Live Crab Claws... #ceas #china #hacker
Broadcast Transcript: Dogs. They're not just for dinner anymore. Over the years, many a Chinese diner has cooked and served dog and there's a story about an emperor from ancient times whose favorite meat was dog meat. And while dog is still occasionally found on the menu, it's not that common anymore. As China's economy has evolved, so has the status of dog from meal to bourgeois luxury to beloved, pampered pet. Here in Beijing there are 900,000 registered dogs. And east of the city, there is a dog spa with a dog-and-owner restaurant a show ring, an agility course, a doggy burial ground and chapel, a dog-and-owner motel and two swimming pools shaped like bones. There is even legislation in the works to repeal the 14 inches or under restriction on dog size in the city and to prohibit entirely dining on dog. It's beginning to sound a lot...
Broadcast Transcript: Nothing says loss of traditional cultural values more completely than the appearance of your own nation-specific edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. Sixty countries around the world already boast their own version of the iconic publication and now Mongolia joins the ranks as 61. The first edition of Cosmo Mongolia went on sale in December 2010. Articles were typically Cosmo: sexiin yorinyus zovlomj or 99 sex tips and bi chamaig khusch gekhdee chi nogui biz? I want you but are you good for me? It's not that sex is new to Mongolia. Ygui! Good heavens ygui! Chinggis Khaan's stamina is legendary but this is a country whose women are known for being hard riders, ace archers and powerful queens. Do they really need to start thinking about taut tummies and faithless spouses? What next? Martha Stewart Yurt Living? #ceas #ha...
Broadcast Transcript: So is it Genghis Khaan or Jengis Khaan? Neither, actually. Here in Mongolia, they say Chinggis Khaan when they're talking about the man who founded an empire that extended into parts of China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe and lasted for 150 years after his death. Chinggis Khaan began life as Temujin. During his childhood, Mongolia was divided with different nomadic tribes waging war on one another for supremacy. When he was 9, Temujin's father was poisoned by a rival chieftain. It wasn't until he had unified the country that he took the title Chinggis Khaan--Chinggis for "universal", Khaan, for "king"--to set him above his peers. So you might summarize his progress from chieftain to ruler like this: "peer today... khaan tomorrow." #ceas #hacker #mongolia
Broadcast Transcript: No pets clauses: tragedy or a business opportunity? Here in Tokyo, there's a no pets clause in almost every apartment lease. And pet deprivation has opened up a viable and lucrative market niche. It has spawned at least two types of pet cafes: one where you can eat with cats and one where you can eat with bunnies. At Neko Jalala customers drop in after a stressful day at work and pay anywhere from eight to twelve bucks an hour to sip tea and pat a cat, or neko, in Japanese. Or, if you prefer your stress reduction to be a bit more lagomorphic, the Usagi-to-Café invites you to dine with any of the 18 staff rabbits available for hugging and cuddling. Or you can bring your own bunny to socialize with the working rabbits. Usagi is the word for bunny in Japanese so would that be BYOU? #ceas #hacker #japan
Broadcast Transcript: Breaking news from South Korea's hi-tech frontline. With the help of drosophila, or the fruit fly, scientists here have discovered strands of genetic material that control growth in the body. They're called micro-RNA and people have hundreds of them, that each control a wide range of functions. When they removed a strand of this material from the fat cells of both male and female fruit flies, the flies became smaller. When the RNA was injected back into the flies, they returned to their normal size. The futuristic speculation is that one day people will be able to customize their own physiques. Goodbye breast augmentation surgery, liposuction and spam promising the enhancement of a certain male organ. We do have one lingering question though: fruit flies have fat cells? #ceas #hacker #SouthKorea
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