Days after the documentary on China’s air pollution, “Under the Dome,” went viral, censors started to rein in coverage and netizen response. Created and self-funded by former CCTV reporter Chai Jing, her film first launched on the People’s Daily website, which also ran a popular interview with Chai. Yet several propaganda offices, including in Shanghai and Beijing, have ordered websites and media organizations to tamp down the conversation.

Today at China Digital Times, read our translation of the anonymous essay “The Real Reason Chai Jing Got the Chop That Night,” which draws a connection among the impending National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (the Two Sessions), the interests of China’s state-owned oil companies (Sinopec and PetroChina), and the suppression of discussion about Chai Jing’s documentary.

Photo of the Day: Smoking by faungg’s photo (taken in Beijing)

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Amid reports of severe pollution and thousands of dead fish at the sailing venue for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Marcel Aubut says he is “absolutely confident” that preparations for next summer’s Games are on schedule.

Aubut and several COC staff members, along with Canada’s chef de mission Jean-Luc Brassard, are in Rio this week to visit venues, and the group is encouraged by the Games progress, according to Aubut.

“We are 520 days out from the opening ceremonies and at all levels, the preparations for the Rio 2016 Games are looking exceptional and are on track,” he said on a conference call Wednesday. “Reports here are just unanimous as far as it’s going very, very well.”

Aubut’s comments came amid reports last week of a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in Rio’s sewage- and trash-filled Guanabara Bay. Grim photos showed a layer of dead fish lining the water’s surface. (Photos: Mario Tama/Getty Images, Leo Correa/The Associated Press, Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

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Bioluminescent Plankton Glow In Bloom On The Shores Of Hong Kong  

(h/t: theatlantic, huffpost)

On the night of January 22nd, the shores of Hong Kong glowed blue with wave upon wave of beautiful bioluminescent water in a phenomenon commonly known as Sea Sparkle. However, this magical display, caused by blooms of a microscopic dinoflagellate called Noctiluca scintillans, was brought on by something less-than-inspiring: environmental pollution.

Noctiluca glow when they’re disturbed, which is why the blooms are primarily visible on the shores, where they’re tossed by waves. This recent bloom was caused by agricultural runoff – fertilizers and other chemicals washed from farmland into the sea by rain. The Noctiluca that feed on these chemicals are not toxic in and of themselves, but other similar organisms are, and the ammonia they excrete as waste can help make the toxins released by other blooming microorganisms even worse. For the time being, however, photographers willing to spend the night on some long-exposure photography are being treated to a truly special opportunity!

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UnMask

Theoretical art project from Simone Rebaudengo and Paul Adams places an LED matrix onto a pollution mask to visualize expressions of the wearer - video embedded below:

For environmental and social reasons, mask are more and more common in many parts of our world.

As we believe in the value of some random emotional exchange in the streets, How would you read someone else’s subtle facial reaction to your words? How would you have a conversation when you barley can see each other?  How would the simple act of exchanging a smile happen between two people crossing paths? 

The Unmask is a possible answer to this. It’s a mask that allows to read your facial expressions and unmask your “emotion” hidden underneath.

More Here