A look back at this year's most-read news stories
Honorable Mention David Sedaris: Clearly, not hardcore enough for China
Our response to American comedy writer David Sedaris's Guardian piece on Chengdu didn't make it into the top 10 most read stories of 2011, but it was the most controversial in terms of quantity of reader comments.
10. Photo report: Torrential rains flood Chengdu and Sichuan
It rained, it poured, and somewhere, no doubt, an old man snored. Summer is the rainy season in southwest China, but this year Sichuan was hit particularly hard with the storms, which caused flash flooding, landslides, injuries, deaths, and online controversy.
9. NSFW? Chengdu heat wave sparks new model worker fashions
When it wasn't raining this summer, the heat and humidity were so extreme that many companies called for mandatory work breaks during the hottest part of the day for outdoor workers. Office workers, however, didn't get the same, prompting one to strip down to his underwear while working by himself in a non-air-conditioned office.
8. Body suspension in Chengdu draws criticism
Body modifications never really seemed to take mainstream China by storm, but a few diehard fans took it to the extreme with body suspensions, in which consenting volunteers are pierced in strategic points on their backs and then suspended from the ceiling by hooks that are inserted through the piercings. Performances in Chengdu and other cities shocked onlookers and netizens.
7. Change your sex at Huaxi Hospital
Huaxi Hospital, by some accounts the world's largest, announced that it would begin to offer sex-change operations, sparking a sudden interest in Chengdu among the worldwide transgender community.
6. Female special forces show off their guns on Chengdu's shopping street [video]
Heads turned when the fresh grads of Chengdu's all-female SWAT team boot camp made their first public patrol on the city's biggest shopping street. Some found it ostentatious; others found it frightening; and still others declared it a sexual turn-on.
5. Hitler in 3D and more cute nazis: Chengdu's Comiday 8 in pictures
When Chengdu's annual comic con, Comiday, upgraded its venue from the antiquated Science and Technology Museum to the much newer International Exhibition and Convention Center, GoChengdoo was on the scene to capture surprisingly large number of visitors in costume, including the cartoonish, the cute, the sexy, and, oddly, the Nazi fanboys and girls (at least one of whom, by the way, was adamantly opposed to having his photo taken by Germans).
4. More close ups of Chengdu J-20's recent test flights leak on the Chinese net
Stunningly sharp images of the military aircraft emerged on the Internet, piquing the interest of aircraft and military geeks, China haters, and apparently a lot of other people as well.
3. Woman jumps off bridge into traffic in Chengdu; drivers carry on [video]
When a woman hurtled herself off a pedestrian overpass into Third Ring Road traffic below, one passenger caught the scene on camera and later posted it to the Internet, causing a stir among netizens about the ethics of drivers and Chinese people on the whole. A later news report followed up on the condition of the woman (she survived) and summarized some of the netizen reactions.
2. Mysterious creature discovered in Sichuan
We don't know what's so fascinating about these creatures, who appear to simply be rodent-like animals little known in the West, but somehow they never fail to capture the attention of readers around the world. Last year's Mystery beast caught in Sichuan story remains one of our most popular posts, despite the follow-up Case closed: Sichuan mystery beast identified, maybe.
1. Apple tells Chinese food company to change its logo
Everybody loves a good Apple scandal, apparently, and when the mega company lashed out at a Sichuan-based food producer for what it deemed similarities between the two companies' logos, the Internet was ablaze with bystander reactions. That wasn't the only Apple-related news in Sichuan this year; trouble at the iPad 2 factory in Chengdu earlier was depicted in Explosion at Foxconn's iPad2 factory kills 2 in Chengdu and, of course, who could forget about the fake Apple shops around the country that were uncovered by a Kunming-based blogger or the death of Steve Jobs, which was prompted some Chengdu fans to set up a temporary shrine?
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