In case you didn't hear,
[info]fairyarmadillo and I went to Shanghai. I took lots of photos. Nadja took a far more sensible amount.

In any event, my little brother Nate 1000 is living there right now, so we all hung out a lot. Pretty fucking awesome. We went into a Dia convenience store so that we could find some strange foods to eat. Nathan picked several, we picked several, and we all sat down at the hotel one night to film:


There are only a few pics of the food. Somehow we took pictures of everything in Shanghai but the packages for this stuff.

So be it, for this is one of my favorite SYDHT's.

As always, my tics get worse when on camera. Weird.

Also, mind your Halloween bags this year for "Dry Beef Hot" and vacuum-sealed, shelf-stable meat. Or man/woman up and try 'em. Maybe you'll actually like it.

Hot dry beef

Duck and Donkey Meat


I still have another upload or two of China pics to put on Flickr. I also have some art that I haven't finished yet, and many other things are coming together, like the So You Don't Have To that I shot in China with my brother Nate 1000.

In the mean time, please enjoy the fact that in Shanghai, they label where the vampire orgies are. [ profile] fairyarmadillo still has a hard time not laughing at this one:

Nadja couldn't stop laughing about this vampire orgy sign

In other news, I FUCKING WARNED YOU:

I told your mother is a bear Engrish ashtray box

True story.



We had a fucking awesome week in Shanghai with my brother Nathan and old friends of hers--and new friends of mine--Tinny and Jarek. We are slowly putting up pics on our Flickr accounts. Here are some of mine and some of hers. Click on them to be whisked away to that person's Flickr account. More pics are forthcoming.


A relatively average apartment building:

A relatively average apartment building in Shanghai

If nobody's in your shop, why not nap with your dog? Makes sense to me.

Store owners get bored too

My lady eats delicious la mian Muslim noodles from a street vendor:

Nadja eats delicious cold la mian noodles from a Muslim street vendor in Shanghai


Red panda goes OM NOM NOM on some bamboo:

Delicious stick

Ancient temple, modern city:

Ancient temple, modern city

Me eating stinky tofu, which was delicious:

benjamin eats stinky tofu for the first time

And yes, [ profile] fairyarmadillo and I shot several So You Don't Have To videos, including one with my little brother Nathan.


I told Nadja that I was going to draw something that I sleepily described to her a few days ago. This thing involved a hippo, and I told her I might try to freehand it. She gave me one of those "O RLY?" looks and said we should both freehand one.

We did so--neither of us seeing what the other was drawing--and then compared notes.

I think that I should leave this without commentary, save for two from us:

"But whatever, yours does look like a pony." - [ profile] fairyarmadillo about mine
"Yours has long legs with different lengths! It's the elusive mountain hippo!" - me about hers

Nadja Hippo vs benjamin Hippo

I am so crazy in love and we go to China in four days, one day after the play she's been working her ass off for, where she's handmade over a dozen alien costumes for junior high kids.

Yes, you'll get pics of both.

Don't say I never do nothing for you little monkeys.




"Depart: 10:40 am - Chicago, IL (ORD)
Arrive: 02:05 pm - Shanghai Pu Dong, China (PVG)"
Going, after wanting to for nearly my entire life, to China.

And I'm going with my [ profile] fairyarmadillo.

Fuck yeah, life.


I saw this a long time ago, on real / reel film loaned by China to my cinema teacher.

Same with this one:

Too bad neither one seems to be available with English subtitles. :(


Also Sprach [profile] gdwessel:

"China recycling used condoms as cheap hair bands

Despite being recycled, the hair bands could still contain bacteria and viruses, it said.

"People could be infected with AIDS, (genital) warts or other diseases if they hold the rubber bands or strings in their mouths while waving their hair into plaits or buns," the paper quoted a local dermatologist who gave only his surname, Dong, as saying.

I said late last year that as far as dolphins were concerned, China could be hazardous to your health.

I think it's time to upgrade this to PLANET EARTH: CHINA COULD BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH."

(As always, comments that degrade into pointless insults or utter horrificness will be frozen or deleted)

Special thanks to [personal profile] rick_day for this one.

I didn't see this in widespread news agencies when it happened. Was I asleep or, more likely, was it just not there? Did the mainstream media skip this for a reason? Were they encouraged to? How do you feel about it, one way or another?

(As always, comments that degrade into pointless insults or utter horrificness will be frozen or deleted)


U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced

Last updated at 00:13am on 10th November 2007

When the U.S. Navy deploys a battle fleet on exercises, it takes the security of its aircraft carriers very seriously indeed.

At least a dozen warships provide a physical guard while the technical wizardry of the world's only military superpower offers an invisible shield to detect and deter any intruders.

That is the theory. Or, rather, was the theory.

American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.

By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier.

According to senior Nato officials the incident caused consternation in the U.S. Navy.

The Americans had no idea China's fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat.

One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik" - a reference to the Soviet Union's first orbiting satellite in 1957 which marked the start of the space age.

The incident, which took place in the ocean between southern Japan and Taiwan, is a major embarrassment for the Pentagon.

The lone Chinese vessel slipped past at least a dozen other American warships which were supposed to protect the carrier from hostile aircraft or submarines.

And the rest of the costly defensive screen, which usually includes at least two U.S. submarines, was also apparently unable to detect it.

According to the Nato source, the encounter has forced a serious re-think of American and Nato naval strategy as commanders reconsider the level of threat from potentially hostile Chinese submarines.

It also led to tense diplomatic exchanges, with shaken American diplomats demanding to know why the submarine was "shadowing" the U.S. fleet while Beijing pleaded ignorance and dismissed the affair as coincidence.

Analysts believe Beijing was sending a message to America and the West demonstrating its rapidly-growing military capability to threaten foreign powers which try to interfere in its "backyard".

The People's Liberation Army Navy's submarine fleet includes at least two nuclear-missile launching vessels.

Its 13 Song Class submarines are extremely quiet and difficult to detect when running on electric motors.

Commodore Stephen Saunders, editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, and a former Royal Navy anti-submarine specialist, said the U.S. had paid relatively little attention to this form of warfare since the end of the Cold War.

He said: "It was certainly a wake-up call for the Americans.

"It would tie in with what we see the Chinese trying to do, which appears to be to deter the Americans from interfering or operating in their backyard, particularly in relation to Taiwan."

In January China carried a successful missile test, shooting down a satellite in orbit for the first time.

Oh hell no...

Did I do something...SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO?!

To: Stupid Earthlings

: Baiji Dolphin

You have been granted a temporary stay of execution.

          DO NOT FUCK THIS UP.

Remember this post of mine?

Well, guess what...

Yangtze river dolphin (Image: Stephen Leatherwood)
An extensive survey of its habitat failed to find any sign of the baiji
A freshwater dolphin found only in China is now "likely to be extinct", a team of scientists has concluded.

"The researchers failed to spot any Yangtze river dolphins, also known as baijis, during an extensive six-week survey of the mammals' habitat.

The team, writing in Biology Letters journal, blamed unregulated fishing as the main reason behind their demise.

If confirmed, it would be the first extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years."


And what have YOU been doing? Don't get me wrong, I haven't been doing everything I possibly can, but every damn little bit helps.

What if we all tried just a little harder? 6-and-a-half billion is a lot of people...
I debated for a long time, and I think that, rather than Japanese, I'll learn Mandarin.
In a perfect world I'd learn Cantonese, but it's supposed to be one of the hardest languages in the world to learn.

Besides, more people speak Mandarin than any other language.

I'll prolly start a night class in the fall.

Any advice from anybody?

Oh, interwebs, you're so lucky that my brother is such an awesome guy.

You remember the Incredible Hulk POWER figure from a few days ago, the one I bought at a 99 cent store in Houston?

This one:

Well, I just got this from Matthew, when I asked if he could buy out their stock for me:

"There were 7 POWER figurines.  However, I cannot guarantee that all of the glowing red 3rd nipples work on all of them. I will send them in a box.  If the postman can make it through the blizzard"

What does this mean to all of you?
It means that, after probably pulling out a few for myself or friends, I will have at least a few figures for you to fight over.

Then it will be time for...


I don't yet know what the contest for them will be, nor how many I'll be giving out...



benji liebowitz
To make you feel ever so slightly better about yesterday's depressing post--as well as to highlight the awesomely bizarre world we live in--I bring you the following:

World's Tallest Man Saves Plastic-Eating Dolphins.
benchilada: (Bird People)
This is the baiji dolphin:

And this is why it was declared extinct today:

benchilada: (Automat)
Why does Chinese folk music move my heart so much?


Follow that to the website or click ADD and select URL on WinAmp.
Dunno how to do it wth iTunes, but I'm sure it can be done.

Listen for at least 10, 20 minutes, you're sure to get some really great stuff.

benchilada: (Bird People)
Been ignoring all those Save Tibet bumper stickers?

Watch for five minutes and understand what they're talking about.

Thanks to [profile] kunde_yidang for pointing me to this.

Recommended Music: Flowing Water from the High Mountains.mp3

    Mok Leung stood at the entrance to the Cave of the Mo-Lan Devils, the ocean's waves licking at his feet, and held aloft his spear, Seventh Tooth of Golden Dragon.
    "Mo-Lan Devils!" he shouted into the darkness, his powerful voice echoing deep within, "I, Mok Leung, come to fight your champion. You have kept this fortress  hidden for many years, but on this day, red-faced Kwan himself has guided us! Give me face and present your champion, that I may defeat him with my Serpent Fist kung-fu!"
    There was a quiet shuffling in the cave, but no response to the challenge.
    "Mo-Lan Devils! If you do not give me face," he continued, his face turning red, "we will block up your cave with a thousand stones, leaving you to die slowly of hunger and madness!"
    Far inside the cave, a single ember glowed brightly and a torch flared up beside it. The small old man holding it walked slowly to the entrance of the cave, staring with white eyes at the six men who stood before him.
    "Since I cannot see you," he said to Mok's chest, "you must tell me. Are you strong?"
    "I am stronger than any man in the prefecture! These hands have pulled a running boar to the ground and broken its neck!"
    "Ah. Tell me, are you handsome?"
    "When the time came for me to marry, I chose the most beautiful woman in the land, and a dozen maidens dove to the bottom of Bronze Gar Lake, drowning with their sorrow."
    "Of course. And are you brave?"
    "When nobody would seek the Seventh Tooth of Golden Dragon, I alone went to the peak of Tung Ting to wrest it from the grasp of the Shou tribe's leader!"
    "And your men? Are they loyal?"
    "Only these men came with me to the Fog Plateau, where the spirits of corrupt ancestors can pit brother against brother, and we emerged with stronger hearts than ever!"
    The old man smiled, and pulled at the loose, rotting tunic that hung over his thin and bony frame.
    "So now you seek to destroy the Mo-Lan Devils, whose faces have not been seen in daylight for hundreds of winters?"
    Mok said nothing, but slammed the butt of his spear against the rocky ground, the brass rings at its tip smashing loudly together. The old man laughed, and turned back towards the cave.
    "Wait!" shouted Mok, thrusting Seventh Tooth at the old man's back.
    Like lightning, the wizened man spun and stopped the spear with the middle of his thumb.
    "Mok Leung," he said quietly, "if you kill me, who will teach you how to be King of the Mo-Lan Devils? Now come, my wife is making us dumplings."
    As they followed him into the cave, the sound of the waves grew almost deafening behind them.

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