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Novels: Start reading 《冷刺》Coldspike

Get your dose of cheesy militaristic language in this excerpt is from the modern militant action novel “Coldspike”, or 冷刺, written by 天地飘鸥. You’ll be reading the first part of Chapter 1: King of the Commandos (特种兵之王).

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News: 7653 Dead in Japan Earthquake and 11746 Missing

My heart goes out to the many who lost their family, friends or homes in Japan this week. This straightforward Chinese article reviews the Japanese death tolls in the recent earthquake.

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The Thief of Time

I love mystery novels, especially the trashy ones. This synopsis’ll get you up to speed on all that evil grave robbing vocabulary you missed in class.

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Story Behind the Idiom: 掩耳盗铃 – To bury one’s head in the sand

This fable describes backstory / origination of the idiom 掩耳盗铃 yǎn ěr dào líng, which literally translates as “to plug one’s ears while stealing a bell”, and meaning “to bury one’s head in the sand”, or “to deceive oneself”.

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Old People are Stealing More Stuff in Japan

Theft by the elderly is on the rise in Japan, reports China Youth Daily. While I usually classify news items as advanced reading, the words in this article are actually fairly easy – slightly complex sentence structure but not a whole lot of complex vocabulary, worth a shot for intermediate students.

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Beijing Railway to Sell Tickets 24 Hours During Busy Spring Festival Season

If you’ve ever been to China during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year), you know how impossible it is to make travel plans or book tickets during that time, as the whole country prepares to make the journey back home to see family and friends.

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100 Killed in India Temple Stampede

A short news item from Beijing Youth Daily talks of the tragic January 14th stampede in a temple in India.

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Twitter Chairman Says Users Now Exceed 200 Million

This very short blurb from Sina.com features an announcement by Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey that Twitter has now exceeded 200 Million users.

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The Story Behind the Idiom: 南辕北辙 – To act against one’s own best interest

As you’re probably aware, most Chinese idioms are 4-character constructs that make little sense unless you know the story behind them. this one, 南辕北辙, means “to do something that acts against your own best interests”.