We go from the 'low carb diet', 'no carb diet', 'best lose-weight-fast diet' to the 'no-fad diet' to the 'weight gain diet', the 'keto diet' and so on. There's been a lot publicity regarding advertising during kidsa€™ television programs, and on what school cafeterias are dishing up. Too much pressure or negative emphasis on food and eating (whether healthy or unhealthy), the types and the portions, and we run the risk them developing image issues or eating disorders. Young children and adolescents alike, look to role models as they form their characters and seek social acceptance. Recent studies in the age-group 8 to 13 years, have revealed dramatic increases in eating disorders. Doing the whole fitness and healthy food lifestyle as a team helps spread the motivation and keeps you honest. Herea€™s how:Recognize that 'unhealthy' food (of either unbalanced, little or no nutritional value) exists in just about every society in the world a€“ particularly on special occasions. Do not simply label food as 'junk' because of the convenience in which it was obtained, or because it's in ready-to-eat format. Be prepared to get your hands 'dirty' if a team-member stumbles and needs help with an issue. I can't stress enough how important it is, to be informed about the broader health and nutritional issues we face when it comes to food. We find in the supermarkets (or eating establishments) exactly what the vendors know we want to buy a€“ healthy and unhealthy food. As dubious as you may be feeling, I'd bet you know of at least a few overweight people who pride themselves on eating 'healthy' whole unprocessed food.It boils down to balancing your calorie-intake with your calorie-output. Vehicles on a day of traffic restrictions from the Mexico City's government campaign to support antipollution measures.
Martin Vazquez glides silently through the pandemonium of rush hour in Mexico City, drives his sky-blue scooter up to a charging station and plugs it in.
When Vazquez, a 28-year-old professional, moved to the Mexican capital a year ago, he drove here by car.
He tried cycling to work, but eventually settled on the sky-blue electric scooters rented out by the half-hour by a company called Econduce.
Electric vehicles are gaining a foothold in this sprawling megacity of 21 million people and 5.5 million cars. But as an added bonus, these vehicles are not adding to the polluting emissions spewed by fuel-powered vehicles - which have surged back into the headlines just as the city was starting to shed its smog-choked image.
Authorities declared an air pollution alert in Mexico City last month - the first in more than a decade - and have imposed strict limits on car use.
On April 6, the smog was so bad officials doubled the restriction, ordering 40 percent of cars off the road - as well as, for the first time, 40 percent of motorcycles. But it was a boon for Eduardo Porta, the entrepreneur behind the Econduce scooters, who says his clients increased by 50 percent. The 33-year-old industrial engineer launched the company last year, modeling the service on bike-sharing programs in cities like Paris, Berlin, New York and, since 2010, Mexico City itself. The company has a network of charging stations throughout the city, enabling users to pick up a scooter near home and drop it off near work.
In a year, the company has expanded from five charging stations to 37 and tripled its initial fleet of 50 scooters.
The infrastructure for recharging cars has expanded, but it is still not enough, says Fausto Cuevas Mesa, head of the Mexican Automobile Industry Association.
But "with the new anti-pollution measures, people are starting to view our vehicles with greater interest," he says. Design classic and symbol of the dolce vita, the Vespa turned 70 last month and Italy's most celebrated scooter is buzzing along nicely after tripling sales in the last decade. It was on a Vespa that Gregory Peck pursued Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday, the 1953 film that helped make the marque synonymous internationally with the Roman capital. But it was actually in Florence that the wasp-shaped two-wheeler was born, Enrico Piaggio having registered the patent in the Tuscan capital on April 23, 1946.
Seventy years later, more than 18 million models have been sold and Piaggio's objective of reinventing the family aeronautical company has been realized and then some. With the company still dealing with the damage done to its production facilities by World War II bombing, Piaggio asked one of his engineers, Corradino d'Ascanio, to create a motorcycle that would be both easy to produce from the materials at hand and inexpensive for consumers. The simple brief proved inspired, as did the choice of d'Ascanio, who never made any secret of the fact that he found the motorbikes of the time uncomfortable, cumbersome and dirty.
The engineer addressed each issue one by one and the result was a scooter with a revolutionary design that remain barely untouched to this day. Obligatory helmets made the riding experience safer but less romantic and families were able to opt for cars as their main means of getting about. Since 2004 however the brand has been undergoing a worldwide revival thanks to a combination of enthusiasm for the Vespa's retro style and its utility for moving quickly around increasingly congested cities. From 58,000 units in 2004, production, now concentrated in Italy, Vietnam and India, reached nearly 170,000 last year and the allure of the Vespa brand means Piaggio can command higher prices than rivals.
To celebrate the 70th birthday hundreds of Vespa aficionados gather last month at Pontedera near Pisa, where the scooter has been produced continuously since 1946. Among them was Carlo Bozzetti, president of the Vespa Club of Milan and proud owner of six different models from different eras. A mother of a female student at a Tokyo primary school displays a technical manual to guide the gymnastic formation during an interview in Tokyo. Rushed in for emergency surgery to stop bleeding on the brain, doctors at Matsudo City Hospital said the child was lucky to be alive. Yet they are not young victims of violent crime in Japan, but children injured at school after taking part in kumitaiso (group gymnastics) class, an issue that has prompted angry parents and doctors to campaign for a ban, warning pushy teachers are putting children's lives at risk. Across the nation, more than 8,000 kids annually require medical treatment after taking part in the discipline, which sees students work together to contort their bodies into human pyramids and towers, according to the latest figures from the Japan Sport Council.
The worst cases have resulted in brain damage, spinal injuries and internal bleeding, and on rare occasions, even death. Recently, he operated on a 15-year-old who had internal bleeding and a broken leg after attempting a human pyramid during sports practice. Kumitaiso has been a mainstay of annual school sport festivals and is taught as part of the physical education curriculum to encourage teamwork and endurance. But parents and lawmakers argue schools are increasingly putting competition before pupil welfare, claiming a desire to best rival schools by creating dramatic displays has turned tradition into a circus. In September, six students were injured as they attempted a 10-tier human pyramid, which collapsed during a school sports festival in Yao in western Japan's Osaka prefecture.
Some parents agree the desire to impress - particularly in the video-sharing age - is making teachers and coaches negligent over safety. There have been nine deaths linked to kumitaiso since 1969, when JSC records for school sports injuries began.
Yao's board of education is considering a ban on kumitaiso, after public outcry over the September accident - which was filmed and posted on videosharing and social networking sites.
In M's case, she says teachers ignored a light injury to another child, before she was seriously hurt, and continued to push pupils to take part in the sport, citing it's importance for kizuna or bonding.
The school banned kumitaiso after her accident but neighboring ones continued, resulting in at least 17 injuries in 2015 in Tokyo's Kita ward, according to the local education board. The ward in March decided a ban on kumitaiso, following Tokyo Metropolitan Government's decision to stop it in some 250 schools it directly runs. In February, Hase, a former Olympic wrestler, made a U-turn on his previous stance on kumitaiso safety, calling for vigilance ahead of the school festival season, starting in May. The Japan Sports Agency, under Hase's ministry, has since issued a notice to education boards nationwide to halt the practice if "safety cannot be guaranteed".
The inaction has left M's mother enraged, and questioning whether Japan is fit to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympics when it is "ignoring the risks of serious accidents" and child injury in school sport. The musical pedicab is among a wave of new innovations helping Indonesians indulge their love of singing wherever they can, from specially equipped trains and buses to services that bring karaoke to your home. Once considered a morally-questionable pastime that went hand in hand with drinking alcohol and prostitution in the Muslim-majority nation, karaoke has cleaned up its image in recent years and is now a firmly mainstream form of entertainment, as in much of Asia. While the most popular venues for karaoke remain bars, where groups of friends typically sing together in private rooms, the new options are helping crooners belt out tunes in more unlikely settings. Among the new karaoke entrepreneurs is Rudi Hantoro, who has pimped his pedal-powered rickshaw, equipping it with a powerful sound system and a small screen that displays videos and lyrics.
Hantoro operates his "Karaoke Bike" in the city of Depok, on the main island of Java, cycling to people's houses when he receives an order, or setting up on a street corner. One of his regular spots is by food stalls that sit next to a minibus depot and train station, where he has a loyal band of followers, made up of mainly bus drivers. The cost is reasonable - three songs for 5,000 rupiah ($0.35) or seven for 10,000 rupiah - and his offerings include Indonesian rock, English-language classics and dangdut, a type of local pop music famed for its lewd lyrics and raunchy dance moves. Not all the new karaoke innovations are so competitively-priced, however, with some aimed at a growing army of consumers, whose wealth has increased in recent years on the back of strong economic growth.
One such option is train carriages fitted out with karaoke systems, which can be rented by groups who want to hold a party on the move for between 20 million and 40 million rupiah ($1,500 to $3,000). There is a choice of 20- to 28-seater carriages, which used to be part of a presidential train and are decorated with paraphernalia from the many different cultures found in the archipelago. Once rented, a carriage is fitted to a train making an already scheduled journey across Java, and there are several routes to choose from. In Jakarta, a party bus, "Royale VIP", is available for hire and boasts a karaoke machine, two poles for dancing and laser lights, so revelers can party as they battle through the capital's notorious traffic. For those wishing to enjoy a spot of crooning without leaving the comfort of their homes, there are several offerings in the capital, including "Splash Mobile Karaoke".
With the catchline "Karaoke whenever, wherever, you choose the place, we get everything ready", the service was set up two years ago and business is now booming, according to founder Benny Navaro. He provides music for a range of events, including weddings, birthdays, farewell parties and family reunions.
While most practice a moderate form of Islam in Indonesia and don't find karaoke offensive, there are still some conservative Muslim elements who view karaoke bars as dens of sin.
Some nightspots choose to close during Islam's holiest month of Ramadan rather than risk attracting the ire of hardliners. US chemist Theresa Dankovich, who is in her 30s, won the top prize at the Design Intelligence Award 2016 on Sunday in Hangzhou, the capital of East China's Zhejiang province. To use the "book", people have to pick out a filter-like page from it, slide it into a regular filter, and pour water through it for drinking.
The award, launched by the Zhejiang local government and the Hangzhou-based China Academy of Art, which will be given annually, is said to be the world's richest industrial design award for now.
For Dankovich, the needs of local communities are more important than a fancy appearance when it comes to developing the product. Responding to a question from one of the judges that her "book" is too delicate to be of use in poverty-stricken areas, she says she expects future versions to use plastic casing instead of the current hard cover and thus make the filters renewable. Her "book" is now being used in a pilot project in schools in Kenya and South Africa, and there are plans for it to be marketed there later this year at affordable prices, she says. While Dankovich's "book" impressed the judges, there were other entries that attracted attention. Wang, who was born in Zhejiang, also believes the mass manufacturing capacity of clothes in her home province can help turn her dream project into reality.
Touching on interdisciplinary cooperation, CAA professor Song Jianming, head of a professional judging panel, says this is one of the things encouraged in the competition, and that market potential is also a crucial criteria when it comes to picking winners. The organizers received more than 2,000 design blueprints from around the world for the award. Another judge Zhao Jian says while not every design could turn the world upside down, even enriching people's lives is a worthwhile effort.
The design explores to mix two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces, and allows a poster to be turned into a lamp shade, which can then be pasted on a wall. Chinese designer Zhu Xiaojie also entered the final with a chair, which uses a wooden cover to mask a thin metal frame. Looking at the future of the contest, Hang Jian, deputy head of CAA, says: "We expect more ideas suitable for the future. As micro enterprises gradually grow in the country, Hang believes designers will have the chance to turn their ideas into reality via multiple channels like crowdfunding.
Perhaps, with such efforts, it will not take too long to find the award-winning products on the market.
The Swedish designer brings her imaginative table settings to Beijing, where the concept is still new, with the launch on Monday of the Chinese edition of her second book Seasonal Table Settings: 21 Designs Inspired by Nature. Lindeberg-Bernhardsson began to use fruits, vegetables, plants and everything at hand to embellish her dining table instead of expensive vases and tablecloth a decade ago, which she says changed the Swedish idea that setting a dining table was expensive.
Explaining how she got involved with Lindeberg-Bernhardsson, Zeng says she originally planned to write a book on table settings in 2014. Many of the books she read featured designs using only luxurious porcelains, silver plates and expensive tablecloth, which she thought was not practical in daily life. Then she got a copy of Lindeberg-Bernhardsson's book, which showed her that setting a table can be fun. Inspired by Lindeberg-Bernhardsson, Zeng now cuts bamboo into small pieces and uses them as vases. Zeng and Lindeberg-Bernhardsson are holding a joint show on table setting at Beijing's Gallery All that opened on Monday.
For Chinese living in big cities, Lindeberg-Bernhardsson says the fresh vegetables and fruits in different colors in stores and markets can be the materials they use for table setting. However, Lindeberg-Bernhardsson says she hasn't seen designer table settings in the restaurants she visited in Beijing. Zeng, who has just published her second book on table setting, titled Fine Little Day, agrees, saying: "It's still new, but it's on the rise. Zeng says two years ago when she launched her first book on table settings she received few responses from readers. Zeng admits the Chinese way of sharing a plate of food affects the way people here look at table settings. Ma Yueyue, a 25-year-old housewife in Beijing, says she loves to set beautiful tables and enjoys seeing her son and husband marvel at her creativity. Catharina Lindeberg-Bernhardsson and Zeng Yanbing set a table (left) at a joint show; an image of an Easter table from the Swedish designer's book (right). The global popularity of Chinese food offers a lesson to the makers of baijiu, China's distinctive white spirit, says former Croatian ambassador to China Ante Simonic. Speaking at the World Famous Liquor Summit hosted by Moutai Group in Renhuai, Guizhou province on Tuesday, Simonic told a packed auditorium that he loves Chinese food, but sometimes likes it better at home in Europe than here in China. Chinese and foreign experts at the forum joined the former diplomat, a physician and president of the new World Wine Industry Alliance, in urging baijiu makers to be innovative as they pursue new markets abroad. Highlighting two US-based baijiu makers that have enjoyed some success in New York and the West Coast, author and baijiu fan Derek Sandhaus says he's convinced the case can be made for the fiery liquor abroad. Ye Xin, vice-president of the China Wine Writers Association, insists that the potential is great for expanding baijiu's global footprint.
He also told the assembled distillers and distributors a story: Old Shanghai Restaurant had adjusted its classic recipe for "lion's head", a stewed meatball of pork and fish, before a visit to the city by President Obama. Health is an issue for young and female drinkers both in China and abroad, and observers like Sandhaus have long pointed to baijiu's high ABV (alcohol by volume), in the 55-percent-plus range, as a deterrent in a changing market. Wang Yancai, president of the China Wine Industry Association, says the country's liquor makers need to promote a drinking culture that promotes consumption in a sensible, healthy way. Yuan Renguo, chairman of forum host Moutai Group, notes that baijiu first made waves abroad in 1915 at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
China's liquor industry has struggled in recent years, hit first by an economic slowdown and then by the country's campaign against extravagance and official gift-giving. Baudouin Havaux, chairman of International Organizing Committee of Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, notes that 40 percent of all wines and spirits are consumed outside the country that produces them.
The forum concluded with a cocktail reception that highlighted baijiu's potential in cocktails, featuring three Western bartenders with an affinity for the spirit. Guillaume Ferroni from France gave baijiu a bit more weight in his pink concoction Le Beau Voyage, which also featured absinthe and cherry liqueur. Baijiu seems alien to many Western drinkers, says Paul Mathew, the third guest bartender and a fixture on the Beijing cocktail scene for several years.
To make the tincture, macerate 15 g Sichuan pepper and 2 dried chili peppers in 100 ml Kweichow Moutai or a strong neutral spirit for two days. I was amazed to learn there were fig greenhouses in the Beijing suburbs, but I probably shouldn't have been. Figs are appearing on more and more elegant plates in China's restaurants - both for their sweetness and eye appeal.
Figs, called wu hua guo in Chinese, have been known in China for "hundreds and hundreds of years," writes Jacqueline M. Newman observes that Chinese traditional medicine doctors have used different wild figs for many centuries: "They believe this fruit invigorates the spleen, moistens the bowels, induces urination, etc. Other reports note that the fig has also been part of traditional treatments for "sexual weakness".
The best-known Western fig, the Ficus carioca, did not come to China until some time in the early Tang dynasty (AD 618-907 ), and it arrived already dried. Today, the fig is one of the "next generation fruits" - a group that also includes pomegranates and blueberries. Such fruits have been popularized for their health benefits, says professor Ma, which appeal to more and more consumers in China. In 2008, a group of Ma's fellow professors won support from more than one provincial government for a fig project. Her dream: Producing figs on a big scale in Xinjiang one day, both for the ready market there and ultimately for export.
That goal, with its economic potential for China's west, has kept the energetic Ma traveling from her own test plots at the university in suburban Beijing to commercial growers in far-flung provinces. If you've been mourning the untimely closure of Tim's Texas Bar-B-Q in the Silk Market #2 building, take heart. Germany's ancient purity law, which dictates beer-making only with barley, hops, yeast and water, celebrated five centuries of tradition around the globe this month. Tin Lung Heen head chef Paul Lau and wine sommelier Benson Yan are presenting a six-course dinner menu featuring the finest selection of wines from Chateau Palmer, one of the oldest wineries in Bordeaux, established in 1748. Tin Lung Heen at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon district; 852-2263-2270.
Colin Mackerras was pursuing his master's degree at Cambridge University when he learned that foreign-language teachers were needed in China in the 1960s.
His visits over half a century have resulted in hundreds of academic papers and dozens of books with views from within China and the West. An early Australian to follow Asian studies with a focus on China, Mackerras is today known as an established Sinologist.
Despite the challenges of living in a foreign country, they were able to make friends in China, and many remain so to date. The couple taught until 1966 and left before the start of the "cultural revolution" (1966-76). Fluent in Chinese, Mackerras usually rides an old bike to class and spends a lot of time with his students. In all these years, he has also followed his passion for Chinese opera, which he describes as "music of the people" as it was played outdoors. Mackerras, who wrote his PhD thesis on Peking Opera, still has gramophones of the ancient art form. As an admirer of Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang, Mackerras says he is happy to see the art form being revived with government support today. Mackerras, who has written books on Chinese opera, has explored the relationship between Chinese opera and society. Other than research, his knowledge comes from extensive travels within the country, including in remote ethnic regions.
Last year, he received the Special Book Award of China for foreign authors, translators and publishers who make significant contributions to China's literary and cultural exchanges with other countries. He also continues to work on papers about China's ethnic groups and general social changes. In Western Images of China Since 1949, he chronicles the background and reasons behind that change, placing them in context of the ground realities he experienced.
While he tries to bring different perspectives with his writings, he says the process isn't easy. In many ways, Mackerras, who has been involved in academic and cultural exchanges between China and his home country, is a pioneer in bringing people together. In 2007, Mackerras received one of Australia's highest awards for helping education and Sino-Australian ties.
He is a founding member of the School of Modern Asian Studies at Griffith University on the Australian east coast, where he has worked since mid-1970s. Mackerras says there has been significant improvement in the relationship between the two countries. In 2014, Mackerras received the Friendship Award, the highest honor given by the Chinese government to foreigners who have made significant contributions to the country's social and economic development. His life experience in China was noted by President Xi Jinping when he visited Australia that year.
During a speech at the Australian parliament, Xi thanked Mackerras for his contribution to the mutual friendship and especially mentioned Mackerras' 51-year-old son, who has the unique distinction of being the first Australian to be born in New China.
Monroe, one of the most iconic stars of Hollywood's "golden age" of cinema, left numerous items in her will to her acting mentor, Lee Strasberg. Julien's Auctions says the items had never been on the auction block and are being offered for sale by the estate of Strasberg, who taught stars such as James Dean, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson and Jane Fonda.
Many of the items are preserved exactly as they were when Monroe died of a drug overdose in 1962, aged 36. A small clutch evening bag or minaudiere is being sold with two 10-cent coins, eight Philip Morris cigarettes and a used Revlon lipstick in the shade "bachelor's carnation", a vibrant red hue.
Amid the items are glimpses into Monroe's life, such as a taxi receipt to 20th Century Fox, dated Feb 2, 1960, the year she was starring in Let's Make Love for the film studio, and tax documents that detailed the actress' expenditures. A jewelry case owned by Monroe's former husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio, is expected to fetch between $3,000 and $5,000. Another highlight in the auction is a platinum diamond Blancpain watch, estimated to fetch between $80,000 and $120,000, Nolan says. Ahead of the auction, key pieces from the Monroe collection will be exhibited aboard the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner that will sail from New York to Southampton, England. More than 1,000 people have gathered on Wednesday morning, not only to witness this year's Egyptian final of Chinese Bridge - a language competition - but also to mingle with the large community of Chinese-language learners in Egypt.
Chinese Bridge is not only a platform where students showcase their language proficiency but also a festival for them to get together, says Han Bing, minister-counselor at the Chinese embassy in Cairo.
Watching her students performing onstage, Rehab Mahmoud, director of the Confucius Institute at Cairo University, speaks of how she perceives the change of Chinese learning in Egypt over time.
The number of students at the Confucius Institute at Cairo University has increased from 30 in 2007 to more than 1,500 in 2015, says Mahmoud. Eleven students from seven universities took part in Wednesday's competition, but there are 2,000 students learning Chinese from 10 universities across Egypt, says Han. As the number of Chinese learners has sharply climbed in the country, the methods of learning have also changed. Salma Ragab, a Chinese major at Cairo University, says: "I have watched many Chinese movies and TV dramas online, including Love Is Not Blind, Jin Tailang's Happy Life and The Legend of Zhen Huan, just to name a few.
As more Chinese TV dramas, movies, pop music and mobile apps become readily accessible to Egyptians, Chinese learners find the language gradually becoming a part of their lives. Lu Chuan has been making films for the past 17 years but the changes he has encountered at work in the last few years have been huge. The Chinese director now finds himself speaking English more frequently, leading members of international filmmaking units and even supervising shoots in China's remote areas from Beijing.
Born in China, the upcoming Disneynature feature directed by Lu Chuan, focuses on the lives of endangered animals in China. Hailed as one of the best directors of his generation, Lu's recent experiences can be attributed to one thing - an upcoming Disneynature feature called Born in China, which is set to hit mainland theaters in the second week of August. The film is being made jointly by Disneynature, a film label of Walt Disney Studios and Lu's Chinese film studio. Typically, foreign films in China are released either simultaneously with the rest of the world, or a few days after their global release.
The film covers the lives of five animal families in China - snow leopards, giant pandas, snub-nosed monkeys, Tibetan antelopes and red-crowned cranes. Lu's international camera units - from Germany, Britain and the United States - went deep into the animals' habitats and filmed for 18 months. Although the trailer of the film makes it appear like a documentary, Lu says it is actually a "narrative feature". China is home to more than 120 endangered wildlife species, and Lu had initially selected 10 for the film.
His award-winning Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (2004) is based on a volunteer patrol that tries to protect endangered Tibetan antelopes from poachers. But the Disneynature film gave him a new understanding of the craft and filmmaking management. He found that the main priority of the five teams of photographers, who were each assigned one species, was "not to disturb the animals or the locations". With the snow leopards, for instance, it was very hard to get the right footage for sequences, so Lu was forced to rewrite this bit of the story. The wild giant panda, described by Lu as a "lonely creature", and the Tibetan antelope, which moves hundreds of kilometers every summer, were also challenging when it came to filming. Though the film took more time than his other projects, Lu says it was worthwhile, as it gave him a lot of insight into both nature and people. Lu says while China has enhanced its protection of endangered species and natural habitats in recent years, an expanding population and increasing urbanization has meant a shrinking space for wild animals. Based on American author and journalist Peter Hessler's best-selling memoir River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, the film is produced by Jamie Gordon and Courtney Potts from Fugitive Films. While Lu is reluctant to give details of the film, he says American scriptwriter Tristine Skyler is now working on the film. The book is about Hessler's teaching experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote town in southwestern China in the 1990s.
Lu says the most interesting part for him is that it reflects the life of ordinary Chinese amid the country's unprecedented transformation. An English major, Lu does not face problems with the language, which is a barrier for many Chinese directors when it comes to working internationally.
Lu who recently won two awards at the 2016 WorldFest-Houston, one of North America's longest-running film festivals, has just returned from a trip of Britain, where he supervised the post-production work for Born in China besides delivering a speech at Oxford University. Lu first gained international recognition in 2009 for City of Life and Death, a war epic based on the 1937 Nanjing Massacre. His earlier works of note include The Missing Gun (2002) and Kekexili: Mountain Patrol (2004). In recent years, Lu has directed several big-budget commercial films, such as the Daniel Wu-starrer The Last Supper and adventure fantasy Chronicles of the Ghostly Tribe. But despite his big-budget work, Lu is widely regarded as a diligent filmmaker who works hard to strike a balance between art and commercial interests.
The country's largest online broadcasting platform held a two-day seminar in Beijing called iQiyi World last week to offer a view of the company's ambitions in TV dramas and films. According to iQiyi, 304 feature-length films were released via the website in 2014, which Yang Xianghua, vice-president of the company describes as the "first year of big films online".
As of now, only a certain portion of the money that iQiyi makes from advertisements or paid programs is given to filmmakers. Explaining the rise in the number of films expected to cross the mark of 1 million yuan, Yang says this is due to improved quality of film making.
He also says that the lower cost of distribution online compared with the cinemas will attract major production houses to switch to online distribution channels. Both online films and drama series are often rapped for focusing mainly on horror, soft porn or supernatural themes which the authorities keep a close eye on. It has since cooperated with South Korean producers to make and release Descendants of the Sun, a military romance which attracted more than 2.6 billion views since its premiere in February, making it the most watched Korean drama broadcast on Chinese websites.
Hou, who was speaking at an industry forum at iQiyi World, says: "There is no such thing as material which typically suits online drama or TV drama. But Xia Chen'an, CEO of Beijing Culture, a new film studio, says online dramas have their advantages.
He also says interactions between online platforms and users offer a major way for online platforms to maximize their earnings. For example, users can immediately purchase apparel that actors wear in online dramas, offering the platforms a lucrative opportunity. Meanwhile, the internet conglomerate signed agreements last week with Warner Brothers to produce a Chinese version of popular American teen TV series Gossip Girl, which will be released in 2017. Separately, despite the growing popularity of the online platforms, producers seem to be getting the message that ultimately it is about quality. For instance, iQiyi's founder and CEO Gong Yu has said they will now try and follow the example of American drama series which restrict their episodes to 12 - unlike typical Chinese TV series that have an average of 45 episodes - to maintain the quality of each episode and ensure that the budget for each can match a regular film. A still from The Destiny, directed by Zhang Wei, which portrays conflicts in the lives of an autistic child and his mother.
Zhang Wei again courts controversy with his latest film about how the world treats an autistic child. Two years ago, Zhang Wei made his name by directing The Factory Boss, a plot based on true stories that tells of the rise and fall of made-in-China products through the perspective of a sweatshop owner.
This new film earned him an invitation to the 18th Far East Film Festival in the city for a premiere on April 29. His classmates' parents protest and have their children boycott classes, forcing the school to expel him. Zhang depicts Xi's mother shouldering pressure from all sides and begging to send Xi back to a normal school. Zhang initially tried to dodge questions about his motivation, which drove him to interview more than 100 families facing such challenges and people working in the special-education system across the country. He eventually disclosed that a close relative faces this reality and declined to say more, citing privacy concerns. In 2012, a 9-year-old autistic boy in Shenzhen jumped out of a window and died after other parents' protests kept him out of school, the local New Express Daily reported. The World Health Organization estimates one in 160 children has an autism-spectrum disorder.
The four films Zhang has finished focus on sensitive social topics that trigger public debate.
Many scenes of Xi and his mother in The Destiny were shot in two subway cars that Shenzhen's government offered for free, partly because of his reputation. He paid all the passengers who appear in the film 80 yuan ($12) per day, which added up to 30,000 yuan daily. Zhang is unique among China's big-name directors in that he spent most of his life as a businessman and finances his films with his own company. Zhang started out as a migrant worker in Shenzhen at age 16, when he left his family in Hunan province's Hengyang in 1981. His company, Shidean, was the top producer of video-intercom doorbells and paid more than 10 million yuan in taxes to Shenzhen a year, he says. He sold a major chunk of Shidean to Legrand, a multinational electrical-installation supplier based in France, in 2006. The Destiny made it to the final rounds of the Golden Mulberry at the 18th Far East Film Festival but lost to A Melody to Remember, a wartime drama directed by Lee Han from the Republic of Korea.
Back in his studio in Beijing, Zhang says he has received invitations to screen The Destiny at international film festivals in the United States, Russia, India, Italy, among other places. Director George Miller, president of the 69th Cannes Film Festival, holds a film clapper on the eve of the opening.
With almost enough star wattage to forget the grim anti-terror measures in place, the Cannes film festival opened on Wednesday with Woody Allen's Cafe Society, starring Kristen Stewart.
The red carpet awaits some of Hollywood's biggest stars, such as Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, Charlize Theron and George Clooney, as the French Riviera town transforms into the film capital of the world for 12 heady and exhausting days.
The event has heaped pressure on French authorities already on high alert six months after a terror attack left 130 dead in Paris. Hundreds of extra police officers have been deployed, with daily bomb sweeps to take place at the main venue, the Palais des Festivals. Authorities have vowed security measures will not dampen the party atmosphere that lures billionaires, celebrities, film-industry schmoozers and tourists to Cannes. This year is one of the most star-studded in recent times, and Twilight megastar-turned-indie-darling Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively and Steve Carell are among those appearing on the red carpet for the opening film.
Allen, 80, gets the party started with his coming-of-age tale about a young couple who fall in love in 1930s Hollywood, which is being screened out of competition. Allen is the narrator of Cafe Society, his 46th film which he describes as "like reading a novel on his life". The feature is Allen's 14th presented out of competition in Cannes and his third - Hollywood Ending in 2002 and Midnight in Paris in 2011 - to open what is arguably the world's most prestigious film festival. Cafe Society is also one of five films whose rights are held by Amazon, a sign of a shift in the cinema industry, which is increasingly opening up to subscription services, although straight-to-streaming site Netflix is still being snubbed by Cannes. Nearly 90 feature films from all over the world will be shown in this year's official selection. These include 21 which are in the running for the Palme d'Or main prize, such as The Last Face by actor-director Penn featuring his ex-girlfriend Theron and the latest offering from French-Canadian wonderkid Xavier Dolan of Mommy fame.
The first of the big Hollywood films, Foster's drama about a Wall Street tipster Money Monster, starring Clooney and Roberts, screens on Thursday.
Hundreds of other films are showing in the film market, and the Director's Fortnight and Critics' Week sections. The population of Cannes is set to nearly triple to some 200,000 people as film producers, industry workers and actors roll in to soak up the glamour, sell films, network and party.
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has visited Cannes to ensure all was in place to secure the event, declaring an "extraordinary mobilization" of security forces. Police on horseback, foot and motorbikes patrolled the Croisette, a strip of beach lined with ultraluxury stores as hardened autograph hunters braved blustery winds to set up chairs and folding ladders at the foot of the red carpet. Xu's latest directorial work beat Mr Six, starring Feng Xiaogang, and three other domestic titles to claim the festival's highest honor. The film is about a Wingchun school practitioner's ambitious journey to establish his reputation in what was then northern China's martial arts hub, Tianjin. Many film fans hailed the award as an overdue recognition for Xu, who has imbued the struggling martial arts genre with innovation. While the films traditionally feature dizzying fight scenes and fantastical moves, Xu's movies employ simple and real moves.
But his knowledge of weapons, schools and history have failed to hit the spot in the box office fight, where special effects and lowbrow laughs bring in big bucks. Actor Chen Jianbin's directorial debut A Fool (jury award), Jia Zhangke's Mountains May Depart (best director), and the Tibetan movies Tharlo (best art-house picture) and River (best new rising star) have faced the same situation. The primary demographic of Chinese filmgoers were born in the 1990s, China Film Association figures show. Feng Xiaogang, who won the best actor award for his performance as a Beijing hoodlum in Mr Six, and Go Away, Mr Tumor's lead actress Bai Baihe, who won best actress, were among the ceremony's most spotlighted stars.
Others included Taiwan singer-actor-director Alec Su, who won "the director most welcomed by students", and actor Li Chen, who took "the actor most welcomed by students".
More than 300 domestic movies released in 2015 competed for the main awards of the annual festival, staged by Beijing Normal University and the capital's top movie regulator.
The event also received more than 4,000 original films and 15,000 photographs submitted by students. What defies all logic and reason a€“ is that the number of people are a€?on a dieta€™ is growing, yet obesity levels and public health spending continue to rise at alarming rates. Gone are the days when pizzas or burgers and fries with a coke or a shake were idealistic meals. Older kids see a€?forbidden itemsa€™ during their TV programs, and duly report to their younger siblings and friends at home or at school a€“ so there's little sense.Adults, on the other hand, can better reason the need to kerb or abstain from certain food a€“ and should be more proactive and involved. Teenagers a€“ girls especially a€“ are vulnerable during adolescence as they work to establishing their identities and grapple with issues at home, school and within themselves as changing individuals. Even if your group consists of only two people, there is strength in numbers.If you live alone, set up an accountability-arrangement with a like-minded friend or family member. Leta€™s make it better so that we spend less on our health and medical bills, and put more of our well-earned money to better use. You can actually stay slim or athletic all year round while eating junk food in moderation.
But the city's notorious traffic soon convinced him to sell it and look for ways to cut through the gridlock.
They can go up to 30 kilometers per hour and cover up to 60 kilometers with a single battery charge. Sales have doubled," says electric bike salesman Daniel Cruz of a local firm called Prodecotech. However, officials say more money is needed to make the city's bus fleet electric and expand the number of electric taxis from around 20 to a target of 1,500. From sales of 2,284 in 1946, annual production increased to nearly 20,000 within two years, and to 60,000 in 1950. Shocked by the injuries he has seen, Shoko is now calling on educational establishments to ensure children are better protected. He has launched a petition, already backed by thousands, calling on education minister Hiroshi Hase to regulate kumitaiso formation size. Her entry called a "drinkable book" uses technologically advanced filter paper, which is said to be capable of killing deadly germs that cause cholera and typhoid. For instance, Wang Wen, a postdoctoral fellow from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, showed her team's entry called "second skin".
They can spontaneously expand and shrink in accordance with changes in humidity and temperature on human skin. A designer shouldn't only be immersed in self-expression and ignore functionality," he adds.
It can help reduce lumber consumption, improve a chair's capacity to bear weight and retain the original flavor of traditional Chinese furniture. Everything found in nature can be turned into an embellishment - from colorful cabbages and boxes of seed potatoes to a bed of moss.
Fruits, vegetables and plants used to decorate a table can also help start conversations between diners," says the 62-year-old. She then began to communicate with Lindeberg-Bernhardsson and wrote her first book on the subject.
The show has seven table designs, with one done jointly by the Chinese and Swedish designers on the spot.
But, she says many Chinese have changed their way of eating, and now combine Asian and Western lifestyles. She spent 6,800 yuan ($1,045) on a one-day course taught by Lindeberg-Bernhardsson and Zeng.
Like other speakers, he points to sake, Japan's popular but potent spirit, as a trailblazer in the West that can be a model. The White House asked for a more health-conscious version with less pork, and the chefs obliged by making the meatballs 75 percent fish.
Some brands in the international marketplace have pared the alcohol down to about 45 percent, in line with globally distributed vodka, rum and other liquors widely used in cocktails. He and other speakers also made the case for quality and more automated production, participation in wine competitions globally, investing in science, and seeking international opportunities to promote China's wine industry.
Moutai and Xinghuacun were two distillers who came back from the show with awards of distinction. That's fueled a push to reach new markets abroad, but the challenge of winning foreign drinkers is common throughout the global industry. China's distillers have focused on domestic consumption in the past, so there is plenty of room to grow if there's a change in the world view of Chinese wines and spirits, he says. The expert from China Agricultural University in Beijing hosts regular grape and wine workshops, and she has a formal position with the Ningxia Bureau of Grape Industry Development.
Some European chefs, for example, combine figs and fennel with pork or fish to give dishes a smooth, sweet-savory finish. While fresh figs are a seasonal delicacy that don't keep well, travelers on the ancient network, however, appreciated how tasty dried figs could be. But when a colleague noted that Uygur farmers in western China grew and liked the fruits, she says, she realized that figs could be big in China. Newman in a 2008 article for Flavor and Fortune, a journal dedicated to the art and science of Chinese cuisine. By the 16th century, this fig and many others were planted, probably by missionaries, around the lower Yangtze, joining other varieties already there. Figs contain a type of antioxidant called phenols, which studies have shown may lower your risk of heart disease and cancer by preventing cell damage. That's a big plus in a society that has seen people become more sedentary, sitting in front of computers or televisions for much of the day. Owner Tim Hilbert has reopened not one but two venues serving up smoky brisket, ribs and other grilled specialties as well as American classics and Tex-Mex dishes. The law, or Reinheitsgebot, was introduced in 1516 by Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria, and while the strict recipe has produced classic brews for generations, tastes are changing - even in Berlin, where craft brewers have noticed that today's beer-making awards are going everywhere but Germany.
Wine produced in this 55-hectare vinery was classified as one of the 14 Troisiemes Crus (Third Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. He decided to give it a try despite the different geopolitical conditions back then.]]> An early Sinologist from Australia, Colin Mackerras is still discovering China, especially its ancient art forms. He returned to China in 1977 and has since visited time after time, mainly to teach and for research.
They are more open and confident than before," Mackerras says, adding that in the '60s, he couldn't have imagined the country's rapid transformation. While exchanges in culture and education have been growing fast, China has also become Australia's top trading partner.
More than 500 lots of Monroe's belongings will be on auction in Los Angeles on Nov 19 and 20, and they are expected to fetch between $2 million and $4 million.
The case has a brass monogram and a combination lock set to 555, reflecting DiMaggio's No 5 player number for the New York Yankees. Students not only learn Chinese language at the institute, but can also enjoy Chinese movies, TV shows and literature, among other things," she says. But his list was cropped and among the animals left out was the Asian elephant as it is found in India as well. But, after they completed preparations for the shoot, only the photographer and an assistant would stay on in the wild, with the rest leaving the area," says Lu. Right: South Korean drama Descendants of the Sun becomes a hit with China's online community. So, where will the rest go?" asks Yang, who believes that websites will give them the opening.
For example, iQiyi says it plans to focus on more positive material after paid users on its platform surpassed 10 million in December 2015.
But as the technology develops and efficiency improves, it is inevitable that more bigger themes will be tackled," he says.
It is claimed that the series has a storyline that can compete with the Game of Thrones series. Two years later, the director has again grabbed media attention by turning his camera toward autistic children with The Destiny. Those scenes took over two weeks to shoot, and Zhang loathed the notion of wasting any shots. And Steven Spielberg will roll out his blockbuster version of Roald Dahl's The BFG on the weekend, although neither are competing for the main Palme d'Or prize.
A much larger number watched the live broadcast on CCTV 6, China's most watched film channel. Adopt a sensible healthy attitude towards these 'undesirables' and enjoy eating them now-and-then. So many of us begrudge the same food we claim makes us unhealthy, merely because we gorge ourselves on it.Make it your business to better familiarize yourself about food and healthy eating habits in general. As responsible and knowledgeable consumers, we can actually demand different, better or more suitable products.In this way, vendors and franchises will be obliged to follow suit, or face going out of business.
And there is information inked on the pages, which is mainly to remind people about water safety. His "poster lamp" failed to make the first-round appraisal for the final selection, but was praised by many at the event. Noting that sake is now often an automatic part of meals in Japanese restaurants worldwide, he suggests that a "baijiu cuisine" could be developed, pairing dishes that highlighted and even included the flavor of the spirit. Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline and George Strait are all back, too, singing their hearts out in the background.
Robin Weber, CEO of Berliner Berg, says he and his colleagues used to work overseas and were impressed by the variety of flavors available in places like the United States and Australia.
Through July 31, guests at the two-Michelin-starred restaurant can enjoy a carefully crafted menu paired with 1995 and 2011 Chateau Palmer, two remarkable vintages from the legendary winery.
I'm also trying hard to show the life struggles of a mother facing desperation," the 51-year-old says, while sitting up in bed in his signature red T-shirt and plaid pajama shorts in his room at the Ambassador Palace Hotel in Udine, Italy. That is why some well-intended campaigns (at home or at school) could backfire on children. Recalling unpleasant emotions associated with food and eating can lead to the development of eating disorders in adults. It needna€™t be seen as a threat, but rather a simple requirement through normal consumer-behavior.
If we feel strongly opposed, we need to respond and buy or behave differently.Only by becoming aware, can we actively voice these educated points-of-view to collectively influence society, as well as the food and beverage industries.
And there is information inked on the pages, which is mainly to remind people about water safety.]]> From water filters to chairs, China's top design awards celebrate unusual ideas. Weber told US-based National Public Radio that Germany's brewing standards wouldn't stop his team from adding other ingredients in the future, such as orange peel or coriander. The two wines are served with roasted crispy French duck with honey and vintage tangerine peel.
Schooling is to be enjoyed a€“ in association with positive feelings and experiences about food and eating. They in fact have a role in the Sensible Fitness Program and, can help contribute to overall wellness. The pairing dinner is HK$2,888 ($372) per person and a five-course lunch menu is HK$1,888 per person.
I think consumers who lay blame in this knee-jerk manner are naive.Of course, ensuring the quality levels of specific ingredients is essential. By all means, let the consumer watch dogs loose, so they can monitor the manufacturing of processed foods a€“ and the food industry as a whole.However, many campaigns have caused widespread changes in so-called a€?junk fooda€™ marketing because of claims that children are being targeted.
To that I say that we as parents need be responsible and informed, in order to guide our children to make healthy choices and decisions.
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