Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 10:31 PM
For the past two days, the Chongqing Economic Times has been reporting breathlessly about a local man who, when furnished with a basin of water and three towels, can make money appear as if from nowhere:
The article, written by a senior writer for the paper with the assistance of an intern, reports that other spectators followed suit, pulling out sums of up to 8,300 RMB at a time. Yang also produced Euros, US dollars, coins, and ration tickets. The secret? It might have something to do with alcohol:
Yang says that he is not performing magic () but rather the art of escape ( ):
Today's paper followed up on the story with more hype from the pen of the senior journalist, who reports that experts from Germany and Japan are waiting in Wuhan to study Yang's skills in person. The article also offers an informed opinion from a domestic academic:
There's another possible explanation for Yang's performance, or at least the Chongqing Economic Times' press coverage: both articles note that a Chongqing-based website has put up a 100,000 RMB reward for the first person to unlock his secret.
Yang has been stunning local press for quite some time. A previous television special (embedded below) features him producing bills and coins from a basin covered by two towels and several sheets of newspaper. Amazing? Convincing? Entertaining? At all worthy of being included on Wanzhou's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, as reported by the original Chongqing Economic Times article? Decide for yourself (the actual performance begins at around 2:30):
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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