Author Archives: Robespierre

KFC to take customers at face value

It’s been over three years since our last KFC update, but happily this time the news is so good you might be tempted to lick your fingers!

Super Chinese search engine Baidu has partnered with the Louisville-based fowl giant Kentucky Fried Chicken to trial a new “smart restaurant” in Beijing.  The smart bit is that the restaurant has terminals which use face recognition software to suggest a choice of meal, based on the customer’s age, gender and mood.  A worked example might be as follows: “Hi – you appear to be a 47 year old man who is disillusioned with the state of the world in 2017 – have a family bargain bucket!”

However, disappointed fast food enthusiast and former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Buckethead  (pictured) is reported as saying that the face recognition terminals “simply do not work”.

buckethead

65 years after KFC first opened its doors, the identity of the 11 herbs and spices that go into founder Colonel Harland Sanders’ “original recipe” coating remains a matter of intense speculation .  However, if I had to guess, I would go for salt, black pepper, white pepper, celery salt, garlic salt, thyme, basil, oregano, dried mustard, paprika and ground ginger.

More at the Guardian.

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Filed under Food, News

Rio Olympic bulletin – #1 – China’s flag snag

It’s Day 3 of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and China has made a strong start – sitting four medals behind Trump’s USA with 8 medals and equal in the gold medal standings, having taken top spot in the synchronised 3m springboard (Wu Mingxia & Shi Tingmao), 10m air pistol (Zhang Mengxue) and 56kg weightlifting (Long Qingquan).

But if we put aside the swimming pool handbags between freestyle rivals Sun Yang and “the swimming gala” Mack Hortan, the biggest controversy for Team China has come at the top of a flagpole where sharp-eyed observers have spotted a glaring fault.  Can you spot the difference?

great flag!

Great flag!

Argh! My eyes!

Argh! My eyes!

There was uproar, with CCTV declaring “The national flag is the symbol of a country. No mistakes are allowed!”.  Although it later emerged that the faulty ensign was manufactured in China.

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Brushducks joins the duang throng

It seems everyone is saying “duang” and no-one knows why – except maybe Jackie Chan.

Dwongggggg

*artist’s impression

At Brushduck we are happy to go along with this.

Dwongggggg

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China’s march halted by Cahill at Asian Cup

Now, people in some quarters have claimed that Brushduck was not even aware that the Asian Cup – Australia 2015 was taking place, let alone that China was taking part, having qualified for their 11th straight championship.  While there might be some truth to this, it doesn’t matter, as we now bring you this Sports Report special on China’s progress in the competition.

China breezed through the early phase, topping Group B after smashing grieving Saudi Arabia 1-0, pulverising coastline-challenged Uzbekistan 2-1 and mullering long-time ideological pals North Korea 2-1 – Jiangsu Sainty’s Sun Ke (孙可) with a brace making it 3 in 3 in the competition.

Sun Ke celebrates v North Korea

Sun Ke celebrates v North Korea

Unfortunately it all came to a dramatic end at the Brisbane Stadium against the home nation in the last-8, as China failed to take advantage of early pressure and veteren Socceroos’ talisman Tim Cahill  ensured his side’s progress with a couple of beauties, including this overhead effort:

Australia take on UAE in the semis as they hunt for their first Asian Cup triumph on their fourth attempt.

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Name Game

Brushduck is calling on its legions to contribute to Visit Britain’s “GREAT names” campaign, which encourages Chinese visitors to come up with Chinese names for top GB landmarks!

Inspiring vid with top production released earlier this month below:

Some of the imaginative names already established for GB landmarks include:
London Eye – Lun Dun Yan 伦敦眼
Big Ben – Da Ben Zhong 大本钟

But we think you can do better than that!

A couple to get you started:
Broadway Market – Chao Ren Shi Chang 潮人市场
Bonar Bridge – Bo Qi Qiao 勃起桥
The Emirates Stadium – Zhi Chang Ti Yu Guan 直肠体育馆

Make sure to copy your suggestions below please..!

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Taking things too chuanr

Position statement: Brushduck opposes the Beijing authorities’ move to ban outdoor grills from the streets of the capital from 1 May 2014

street_food_grill

While it is agreed that the rarely reported pollution in Beijing is becoming an issue, we say tackle vehicle and industrial emissions instead – this will also make it nicer when sitting on comically undersized chairs on the side of the road eating yang rou chuanr.

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Book Review – Decoded by Mai Jia

“You are a rat.
You are waiting inside a barn.
But you cannot eat the millet.
Each grain of millet has been daubed with a protective coating to prevent your teeth from gnawing into it.
– That is cryptography”
 

…and this is a review of the English translation of Mai Jia’s 2005 novel Decoded.  It gets 3 brush duck points out of 5.

decoded

 

Rong Jinzhen is “humanity’s creme de la creme”: a self-taught maths genius, chess master, interpreter of dreams, probably autistic  – and superstar of China’s top-secret cryptography world during the Cultural Revolution era, smashing the globe’s most complex ciphers.  All the more surprising when his toughest challenge comes at the hands of an adversary who is his polar opposite.

The story is pieced together from accounts of various people with whom Rong crossed path, mostly family and colleagues – in fact, the reserved hero himself utters only a handful of lines of dialogue.   This makes it rather hard to share the adulation heaped upon him by the other key players, and even more so their affection (sometimes).   Towards the end the author allows you a nose through one of Rong’s notebooks – but rather than providing insight it feels like a slightly scary and regrettable intrusion.  Perhaps that’s why the author warns against reading it.

I have learnt that ciphers are terrifying – variously the work of the devil, houses above the clouds with millions of false doors and numerous other frightening things guaranteed to send any punishment-hungry genius who takes them on insane.  Decoded is charming and funny at times, with some excellent characters in the early parts, but becomes bleaker and heavier as it progresses.   It’s been described as a thriller, but don’t expect any action – rather an evocative but murky mystery.

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