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With the socio-cultural rise of China and India over recent years, we are constantly being told that sooner our later the gap between east and west will need to be bridged. A new project by entrepreneur ShaoLan Hsueh and illustrator Noma Bar is setting out to do just that by helping non-Mandarin speakers pick up some of the language’s basic building blocks. ShaoLan and Noma developed a set of easily recognisable illustrated symbols which both individually and in conjunction with each other help learners create a set of words and phrases.

This week sees the launch of an ambitious one-month Kickstarter campaign to raise £75,000 for a Chineasy book, which it is hoped will open up this innovative approach to language-learning to a much wider audience. Whether they make it or not (and we sincerely hope they do) it’s great to see illustration harnessed for such potentially significant ends.

  • Person-singular

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Sun

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Tree

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Woods

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Japan_today

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy

  • Chineasy_webv2_mouth-17

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy (Mouth)

  • Chineasy_webv2_door-17

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy (Door)

  • Chineasy_webv2_roof__3_cs5_nobleed-17

    Noma Bar and ShaoLan Hsueh: Chineasy (Roof)

Further reading:

www.chineasy.org

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Pei-Shen Qian was a quiet, unassuming neighbor — but according to a recent New York Times article, he was responsible for dozens of modernist forgeries that, together, netted more than $80 million. In his youth, Qian had been part of an experimental art movement in China, but friends say he had become frustrated with the American art market in recent years, selling art on the street and working briefly at a construction site. According to a recent indictment, he responded by turning to fraud, painting forgeries of "undiscovered masterpieces" by famous painters like Jackson Pollock and Barrett Newman and selling them to art dealers beginning in 1994. The scheme caught the FBI's attention in 2009, when questions were raised about the authenticity of some of Qian's work, and one art dealer has already been indicted for peddling Qian's fakes. But while the FBI has caught up with many of Qian's art-world accomplices, the forger himself is still at large.

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You might not know Paul Robertson's name, but there's a good chance you've seen his pixels. Robertson made his first big splash with the animated short Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006, a 12-minute-long black-and-white movie depicting an amazing, though sadly fictional, side-scrolling action game. Since then he's gone on to produce art and animation for a number of terrific games, including Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game and Wizorb.

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This book could be titled “How and Why You Should Do Everything Possible to Avoid Getting Into a Fight.” The authors (both martial artists who’ve been around the block a few times and have the scars to show it) spend a good number of pages explaining why fighting is always terrible idea — even if you manage to win, you end up losing (your attacker’s relatives could sue you or seek revenge, you could go to prison, and for the rest of your life you could carry the knowledge of having crippled or maimed another person).

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Esther Schindler writes "If you ever needed evidence that Isaac Asimov was a genius at extrapolating future technology from limited data, you'll enjoy this 1964 article in which he predicts what we'll see at the 2014 world's fair. For instance: "Robots will neither be common nor very good in 2014, but they will be in existence. The I.B.M. exhibit at the present fair has no robots but it is dedicated to computers, which are shown in all their amazing complexity, notably in the task of translating Russian into English. If machines are that smart today, what may not be in the works 50 years hence? It will be such computers, much miniaturized, that will serve as the "brains" of robots. In fact, the I.B.M. building at the 2014 World's Fair may have, as one of its prime exhibits, a robot housemaid*large, clumsy, slow- moving but capable of general picking-up, arranging, cleaning and manipulation of various appliances. It will undoubtedly amuse the fairgoers to scatter debris over the floor in order to see the robot lumberingly remove it and classify it into 'throw away' and 'set aside.' (Robots for gardening work will also have made their appearance.)" It's really fun (and sometimes sigh-inducing) to see where he was accurate and where he wasn't. And, of course, the whole notion that we'd have a world's fair is among the inaccurate predictions."

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The Art of Taboo – Ren Hang<br />
Being a radical artist in China is a pretty tricky prospect. Considering censors banned paradigm of inoffensive banality Katy Perry from the country&#8217;s airwaves for supposedly being too vulgar (and not forgetting that time authorities made Ai Weiwei disappear for posting seminude photos of himself online), you would have thought that Chinese photographer Ren Hang would lay off filling his portfolio with gaping buttholes and models pissing on each other, or sustaining his unparalleled level of dedication to photographing erect penises.<br />
But he hasn&#8217;t, which is a good thing, because his photos are great—somehow managing to desexualize naked bodies and turn them into sometimes funny, sometimes beautiful, sometimes gnarled, hairy, human-shaped sculptures that make you want to get naked with all your friends, paint your dick red, and hang out on a roof in Beijing. Which is basically the end game all photographers are going for, right? I wanted to talk to Ren about his work, so I did. Here&#8217;s that conversation.<br />
VICE: First off, why is everyone naked in basically every single one of your photos?Ren Hang: Well, people come into this world naked and I consider naked bodies to be people&#8217;s original, authentic look. So I feel the real existence of people through their naked bodies.<br />
Is that why the bodies aren&#8217;t presented in a kind of conventionally &#8220;sexy&#8221; way, even if the photos are sexual? No, I don&#8217;t take photos with any particular purpose or plan—I just grasp whatever comes into my mind, arrange that in front of me and take a photo of it. I don&#8217;t pay too much attention to whether a scene is sexy or not when I&#8217;m taking photos.<br />
Yeah, a lot of the bodies end up looking more like kind of grotesque sculptures.That&#8217;s not really intentional, although I do consider bodies as sculptural—or, as you say, grotesque sculptures—so I suppose the sculptures exist because the bodies exist.<br />
Continue + Watch the documentary

The Art of Taboo – Ren Hang

Being a radical artist in China is a pretty tricky prospect. Considering censors banned paradigm of inoffensive banality Katy Perry from the country’s airwaves for supposedly being too vulgar (and not forgetting that time authorities made Ai Weiwei disappear for posting seminude photos of himself online), you would have thought that Chinese photographer Ren Hang would lay off filling his portfolio with gaping buttholes and models pissing on each other, or sustaining his unparalleled level of dedication to photographing erect penises.

But he hasn’t, which is a good thing, because his photos are great—somehow managing to desexualize naked bodies and turn them into sometimes funny, sometimes beautiful, sometimes gnarled, hairy, human-shaped sculptures that make you want to get naked with all your friends, paint your dick red, and hang out on a roof in Beijing. Which is basically the end game all photographers are going for, right? I wanted to talk to Ren about his work, so I did. Here’s that conversation.

VICE: First off, why is everyone naked in basically every single one of your photos?

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Reddit user D3cker posted this amazing photo of an electronic billboard showing a gorgeous blue sky in a smoggy Beijing square. No idea if the photo is original to D3cker or whether it's been shooped, but it's pretty sweet contrast, and plays neatly into the China-is-collapsing narrative.

Beijing Tv Sky.

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Original author: 
Cyrus Farivar

Aurich Lawson

This is the first in a two-part series exploring Butterfly Labs and its lineup of dedicated Bitcoin-mining hardware. In part one, we look at the company and the experiences customers have had with it. In part two, to be published on June 29, we share our experiences running a Bitcoin miner for a couple weeks. Spoiler alert: we made money.

The more I dig into Bitcoin, the stranger it gets. There’s gray-market online gambling and Russian-operated futures markets—to say nothing of the virtual currency’s wild ride over the last several months. It’s full of characters with names like “artforz” and “Tycho,” supposedly two of the largest Bitcoin holders out there. Of course, like most things Bitcoin, it’s nearly impossible to know for sure.

While reporting on a Bitcoin-based gambling story earlier this year, I interviewed Bryan Micon, who works with a Bitcoin-based poker site called Seals With Clubs. (To continue the lack of information, Micon won’t say who owns the site.) Micon has taken it upon himself to investigate what he believes are Bitcoin-related scams—such as the ill-fated Bitcoin Savings and Trust online bank—and he makes public pronouncements about them.

Read 43 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Original author: 
Regine

71k

A discussion with artist and filmmaker Matthias Fritsch on why and how he is planning to produce a film about the story of my favourite internet meme: the Technoviking, a story that involves millions of users and that lately got him into court continue

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