Martial arts movies began in 1920s China, where they were labeled as "wu xia pian," or "films of chivalrous combat." Movies such as 1928’s The Burning of the Red Lotus Temple set the template with its high-tech special effects and stylised fight sequences in its portrayal of scrappy martial arts cliques. Sadly, despite its mammoth 27-hour running length, this early martial arts classic has since been lost entirely.In the 1930s the Chinese government censorship board delivered a fatal death blow to the genre, which they saw as violating morality, and the martial arts movie scene shifted to Hong Kong. These movies tended to favor real, trained kung fu martial artists rather than flashy special effect trickery.Meanwhile, Japanese directors were developing a martial arts movie tradition of their own. Akira Kurosawa, who is widely regarded as among the best directors of all time, stunned audiences with 1954’s Seven Samurai, which portrayed the titular samurai battle bandits … [Read more...] about Top 50 Martial Arts Movies
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Bradford Pear trees line the street of Watkins Meadow Dr. in Germantown, Maryland. MUST CREDIT: Photo for The Washington Post by Jennifer Heffner The community of University Park became the test bed for the Bradford pear, with 180 saplings planted in 1954, seven years before this picture was taken. The pear’s showy white flowers in early spring made it a wildly popular tree soon after its introduction in the early 1960s. The careful formative pruning of these specimens would mask the tree’s structural flaws. (USDA National Agricultural Library) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Carole Bergmann, a field botanist in the Montgomery County Parks Department in suburban Maryland, spends much of her time fighting the incursion of Bradford pear trees in the park system. In this meadow in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park near Germantown, she surveys thousands of pear seedlings that cover the field and are kept in check by an annual mowing. The aim is to weaken … [Read more...] about Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.
This story is being published by POLITICO as part of a content partnership with the South China Morning Post. It originally appeared on SCMP on July 26, 2018. An explosive device was detonated outside the US embassy in Beijing on Thursday afternoon, shrouding the capital’s diplomatic district in white smoke and leaving blood and broken glass outside the American compound.Story Continued Below The US embassy said no staff were injured in the explosion, which erupted at around 1pm on the street outside the southeast corner of the embassy compound. Witnesses said the blast occurred near the area where Chinese citizens line up for US visas, and could be heard from nearby embassies. A US embassy spokeswoman said the blast was from a bomb. Beijing police said they believed the explosion was the result of “fireworks” by a 26-year-old man, identified by his surname Jiang, from Inner Mongolia. In Mandarin, “fireworks” is a broad term that can refer to anything … [Read more...] about Chinese police identify suspect in U.S. embassy blast in Beijing
The State Department revealed Thursday that a second American citizen in China has suffered adverse health effects similar to those of an American diplomat in Shanghai and 26 diplomats in Havana, Cuba, part of a wave of attacks of unknown origin. As many of those affected by the attacks have described hearing high-pitched noises and feeling pressure headaches before suffering a variety of symptoms ranging from dizziness to brain damage, many in the media have begun referring to them as “sonic” attacks.The Trump administration has not revealed a source for these attacks – though the State Department changed its terminology from “incidents” to “attacks” late last year, while China and Cuba have denied any wrongdoing. The victim identified Thursday is the first private citizen to suffer these effects in China; Reuters notes that 19 individuals traveling to Cuba contacted the U.S. government complaining of similar symptoms. In addition to the … [Read more...] about Private American in China Latest Victim of Unexplained Sonic Attacks
Two individuals from the U.S. embassy in Cuba are undergoing medical evaluation, a State Department official told CBS News on Friday. The two people could be suffering from the mysterious illness plaguing diplomats, but that has not been medically confirmed. Two officials told the Associated Press the individuals have been brought for testing to the University of Pennsylvania, where doctors have been evaluating, treating and studying Americans affected in Cuba last year as well as almost 10 new possible cases from a U.S. consulate in China. Mystery deepens over Americans' illness in China The officials weren't authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity. If confirmed by doctors to have the same condition, the two individuals would mark the 25th and 26th confirmed patients from the bizarre incidents in Cuba that were first disclosed last year and have been deemed "specific attacks" by the U.S. government. The United States has said it doesn't know who is … [Read more...] about 2 individuals from U.S. embassy in Cuba undergoing medical evaluation, State Department says