Bike Share 2.0

Like a Pikachu hit by a Thunderstone, Chinese bike shares have evolved!!!

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Pikachu, meet Thunderstone

I remember the first week I arrived in Lanzhou, I was thrilled that the city had invested in a bike share program. All along major roads, near public buildings, and some parks were the ubiquitous grey bike racks that ate up half the width of the sidewalk. By tapping my transit card against a sensor, I could unlock the bike and ride around to meet friends for dinner or just explore the city at a leisurely pace.

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standard Lanzhou bike share, also seen in Amsterdam, NYC, DC, Paris, etc

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i went to Yuzhong for a hike last week, to celebrate turning 28

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due to the colder climate there, the grass had not yet turned green, so it looked like a scene out of lord of the rings (gondor? rohan? mordor?! “one does not simply…“) the brooks were quietly babbling though, with icy snow meltwater from the peaks in the distance. Continue reading

“FEMINIST” 女权主义者

In 2017, the words feminism and feminist– along with “artisanal,” “hand-crafted,” “cold-pressed,” and “locally sourced” – have become so overused, commercialized, and so terribly distorted from their origins that they now have ZERO. MEANING. AT ALL. The bar is set so low that any human with a pulse and two X chromosomes is automatically a feminist. For example:

  • A girl eating a cheeseburger in public? Feminist!
  • A woman who smiles and says hello in the elevator? Feminist!
  • A woman who scowls and stares at the ceiling of the elevator? Even more of a feminist! (because she chose not to smile and say hello! She scowled and looked away, on her own terms, duhh!!)

My students deserve better than the diminished, diluted, near-pathetic lens that feminism is now discussed and celebrated in mainstream America. To clear the confusion, I made some slides to explain what female empowerment does *NOT* look like:

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Lanzhou Lamian, RANKED

Up until recently, Lanzhou was only famous for two things: the worst air pollution in all of China, and hand pulled beef noodles (lamian 拉面). Since the air quality in this city has miraculously improved in recent years, Lanzhou’s reputation now solely hinges on its thousands of restaurants selling hand pulled beef noodles.

Thankfully, Lanzhou Lamian is so, so, so DELICIOUS.

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“Hey Youssef! I’m going to have a big steak barbeque next weekend. I know you’re missing home – so, don’t worry – it will be TEXAS STYLE!

(Actually, I’m not homesick, and I’ve never been to Texas. But I played along)

“Awesome, thanks! Where will it be?!”

Jason thought for a few seconds. Then his face lit up

“we’re going to a Happy Farm!

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one interpretation of a happy farm

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