The Shanghai Marriage Market

woshoudebuhao

These days, there are so many ways to find a potential mate. There’s the good ol’ fashioned random encounter — a chance, flirty conversation in a bar; an accidental bump of your cart into another’s at the grocery store (hello Social Safeway); or, hallelujah, sharing a pew with an attractive fellow worshiper at church. Many more options exist online from Match.com to OkCupid to the latest, Tinder. But, have you ever heard of Shanghai’s Marriage Market? It takes matchmaking to a whole new level, one that would surely infuriate singles of any nationality, given that it’s the parents and grandparents doing the setting-up.

Marriage market entranceEvery Saturday and Sunday, from noon to five, matchmakers set up shop in People’s Square, a park that’s a short stroll away from major tourist attractions. The matchmakers sit on their fold-able chairs behind their fold-able tables. Parents or grandparents stop by to flip through…

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From (Emotional) Hurdles to (Booger) Slalom: The Parenting Olympics

The Ugly Volvo

For those of you angry that having a child prevented you from qualifying for the Sochi 2014 Olympics (or the wherever-they’re-holding-them-2016 Olympics), remember that while you may be losing at international sports competitions, you’re still in the running for a few other medals:

Event 1:

olympics weightlifting

To level the playing field, this event is divided into multiple weightclasses:

Newborn

Infant

Toddler

Exhausted Older Child

Young Child + Stroller, and

Young Child + Uncomfortable-to-Carry and Bizarrely-Heavy Car Seat/Carrier

*               *             *

Event 2:

olympics emotional hurdles

A feat of less-obvious athleticism, some people train for YEARS to master this event.  Gold medal goes to anyone who manages not to lie awake night after night second-guessing all their decisions or, if that proves too difficult, anyone who doesn’t break down crying for no particular reason on a Tuesday.

*               *               *

Event 3:

olympics slalom

Medals are awarded for multiple categories, including “fastest wiping,” “best use of snot-sucking…

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Muslim, Queer, Feminist: It’s As Complicated As It Sounds

days like crazy paving

blog post cover photo me: muslim no matter how I dress.

There are three aspects of my identity that really can’t be untangled from each other:

I am a queer woman.

I am a feminist.

And I believe that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.

Yeah, it’s the third one that usually gets the record-scratch reaction.

I was raised Muslim, but in my teens, I became severely disillusioned with the faith. Having finished reading the Qur’an in English for the first time, I started to fully appreciate just how easy it was for people to twist and re-interpret the book to serve their own needs. I realised my father had been doing that to me for years, with his rules that he swore came “from God” and his restrictions on my behaviour that were all part of me being a good Muslim girl. Cover yourself so men don’t…

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Around the World in 12 Photos

The WordPress.com Blog

We’re beyond proud that incredibly talented photographers around the world choose to showcase their photos on WordPress.com.

Pack your virtual bags and join us on a turbo trip from Bangkok to Brisbane and from Delhi to Los Angeles (with a few stops in between) as we explore the wonders of the street photography tag on WordPress.com. Be sure to fasten your seatbelt and review the in-flight safety features of our turbocraft before we taxi for takeoff.

First stop, a market seller in Bangkok, Thailand, courtesy of Majawi Images.

BANGKOK, THAILAND: Market Seller 1, Bangkok from Majawi Images BANGKOK, THAILAND: Market Seller 1, Bangkok from Majawi Images

Next up, Los Angeles, California, and Donald Barnat‘s photo of insouciant street youth, entitled, “Forever 21.”

LOS ANGELES, USA: Forever 21 by Donald Barnat. LOS ANGELES, USA: Forever 21 by Donald Barnat

Over in New York City is “Out of the Shadows” by Shawn Escoffery.

NEW YORK CITY Out of the Shadows by Shawn Escoffery NEW YORK CITY: Out of the Shadows by Shawn…

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Five Fascinating Facts about John Steinbeck

Interesting Literature

1. An early draft of John Steinbeck’s novel Of Mice and Men was eaten by his dog.  It was Max, one of several dogs Steinbeck owned during his life, who devoured the novel’s draft and so became, in effect, the book’s first critic. This is probably Steinbeck’s most famous novel, and draws on his own experiences as a ‘bindlestiff’ (or migratory worker) in the US in the 1920s. The novel’s title famously comes from the Robert Burns poem ‘To a Mouse’: ‘The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley’ (or ‘go often awry’). The original title of the novella was ‘Something That Happened’.

2. In the 1980s, a rumour arose that Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath had been translated into Japanese as ‘The Angry Raisins’. This rumour was, however, false. It is a good example of how people love a good ‘lost in translation’ story, and it…

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BABYMETAL releases full album, metalheads and idol fans headbang in unison

loved this!

SoraNews24

babymetal

After years of boggling the minds of metalheads and J-pop fans around the world with their idiosyncratic music videos, BABYMETAL have finally released their first full-length album. Of course, we got our hands on a copy as soon as we could, and we are happy to report that it is everything we’d expected it to be!

With the album now available world-wide, you too can turn your day from “average” to “dangerously kawaii” with this soundtrack to the adorable apocalypse. And if you’re on the fence about picking the album up, check out some of these reviews found on the Japanese side of the Internet.

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