Society and Culture
The Oscars have arrived! Lord of the Rings special-effects guru Richard Taylor dragged along the five Oscar statues his work has earned him. The statues, along with props used in King Kong and The Lord of the Rings will be on display as part of the Weta Workshop-organized "The Exceptional Exhibition" at the Sichuan Museum, which kicks off today and runs through January 15. Read more here.
Speaking of statues, a rather large one of Optimus Prime has been erected in an auto-parts market in Shuangliu. According to the Chengdu Commercial Daily, the RMB400,000 statue is the tallest robot statue in China, but at 10 meters, it seems on par with the Optimus Prime that hovers over an auto-parts market in Yunnan (pictured above). Suspicious.
The Ministry of Education recently authorized the Chengdu Aisise International School (成都爱思瑟国际学校) to enroll foreign students—marking Sichuan's first school authorized to do so—and is reportedly considering the possibility of opening country-specific schools.
Tuesday was World AIDS Day, and according to official data, there are 30,100 individuals in Sichuan infected with the HIV virus, of which 82% percent are males. AIDS workers estimate up to 50,000 additional undiagnosed cases.
The tomb of a Han Dynasty nobleman and his two wives was unearthed in Dongsheng Town, Shuangliu County recently. The tomb dates back over 2,000 years, and even the nails on the coffins were gilded. Also, ruins of a 1,500-year-old Wei Dynasty rock sculpture known as the Qianfo Yan (pictured), will see the light of day after being buried under road construction in 1935. The sculpture is in Guangyuan.
A swine-flu patient in Liangshan became Sichuan's most recent H1N1 virus casualty last Friday.
A woman beat her husband to death with a steel rod early Friday in Linjiang Village, Xinjin County.
Two were killed and four seriously injured last Tuesday evening in Dayi County after two heavy trucks collided.
A burglar who fell into a private yard in Shuangliu while trying to escape the scene of the crime was subsequently attacked and killed by two guard dogs Thursday morning.
A 20-year-old college student distraught over a romantic breakup jumped off the 11th floor of his apartment building Saturday. A canopy on the fifth floor broke his fall, and he suffered only minor bruises.
Construction and Development
Track laying for Chengdu Metro Line 1 was officially completed Monday. All facilities are scheduled to be in place before May 2010. Ticket prices have also been announced: Standard-passenger fare will range from RMB2 to RMB4.5 depending on trip length. To gear up for its opening, some of the city's street names and bus-stop names will be changed.
Chengdu's Second High-Speed Ring Road (aka the Fifth Ring Road) will connect Shuangliu, Wenjiang, Qingbaijiang, Xindu, Pixian and Longquanyi and is scheduled to open by the end of 2013.
Capacity upgrades to Qingcheng Shan's cable-car system will start from the beginning of next month, rendering it inoperable for that period. When the cable car reopens it will be able to transport 1,200 passengers daily. In semi-related news, the Chengdu-Dujiangyan Express Railway is slated for a grand opening before May 2010, and construction on the Chengdu-Xinjin-Pujiang High-Speed Road started Monday. By 2010, travel time between Xinjin and Chengdu will be reduced to 15 minutes.
Two teenagers from Jintang County mugged a couple on a quiet Chengdu street for their mobile phone and 3 yuan—because they didn't have money for a bus ride. The pair were arrested the same day.
Four people died after eating wild mushrooms in Hongya County. Although the members of the two families who ate the stew exhibited symptoms of food poisoning they were not sent to the hospital until those symptoms became serious—they began losing consciousness—the next day. More at China Daily.