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THE WEEK: Long live the panda! This is not Sparta!

Updated: 2015-07-31
By THE WEEK (chinadaily.com.cn)

This is not Sparta!
The Beijing Police Department last week confronted and defeated a large group of too-sexy-for-shirts foreign men dressed in capes, harnesses, hot pants and strappy sandals – someone's idea of Spartan battle-wear.
The group of largely muscled men marched in V-formation through city streets causing quite a stir and sending a few hearts aflutter. The pretend-warriors were a marketing scheme to promote a new restaurant. But the scantily-clad Spartans were confronted by a force that proved much mightier: The Beijing Police Department.
Beijing's men in blue took on the Spartans in the Sanlitun area of the city, after the Spartans were told to disperse or face defeat not "for Sparta!" but for disturbing the peace.
For Sparta! Some reportedly insisted. For Beijing! Woooosh….the police moved in. Several Spartans were detained, held charged with disturbing public order.

Whatever floats your tricycle
Ever heard the saying "whatever floats your boat"?
Well, it has nothing to do with this next story. I just like saying it.
But to some extent, Guo Kehua's inventive spirit does bring the snarky remark to mind.
Guo didn't let the flooding in Yibin city in southwestern Sichuan province put a damper on his rickshaw business. Instead, he built one that floats. Yep. The amphibious tricycle functions on water and on land.
Turns out Guo is not an engineer but he has worked as a physician for more than 30 years. He gives a whole new meaning to doctoring.

Long live the panda
Here's a sweet old story for you. The oldest giant panda ever held in captivity was treated to a vegetable ice cake and, of course, bamboo in celebration of her 37th birthday.
This week Jia Jia was recognized as holding two Guinness World Records, the oldest ever and the oldest living giant panda. Her mate, An An, also marked a birthday, his 29th.
Born in 1978, Jia Jia was sent to Hong Kong Ocean Park with An An in 1999. They were given by China to mark the second anniversary of Hong Kong's handover.
Jia Jia has had six babies and four are still living.
The park's vet service director, Paolo Martelli, says typical panda life expectancy is around 20 years and only eight of about 400 living in captivity today are older than 30. It's quite exceptional to reach such an old age for a panda.
Jia Jia's age equals about 110 for humans.

Director: Sun Tianyuan Graphic Design: Zhang Xiao
Videographer: Wang Yuxi Managing Producer: Andrew Xing
Producer: Michael Ottey Executive Producer: Flora Yue
THE WEEK April 26: Jumping into the spotlight


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