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by Marcus

Qingdao Birdspotting

March 10, 2011 in About Qingdao

After 19 Years, the Ancient Murrelet Returns!
On the March 8, 2011 front page of the Qingdao Evening Newspaper (Wan Bao/晚报) was talk of an extremely rare sighting of an Ancient Murrelet, which occurred just off the southern coast of Qingdao on Monday, March 7. Although the bird is quite common in the northeastern Pacific off the coasts of Canada, it has not been spotted around Qingdao since 1992.

In China it is listed as a Susceptible Species in the Endangered Species Red Book, although populations in the Pacific Northeast seem to be less at threat, and do not even make the endangered list. Supposedly reasons for decline in the Yellow Sea include coastal oil pollution as well as predation on their eggs, mostly by fisherman that is (and we are going to surmise that the use of fishing nets as traps has also played no small part in the decline of local populations).

According to local engineer and ornithologist Wang Ximing, the Ancient Murrelet frequently breeds on the Japanese archipelago, but within China, they only tend to breed on the rocky islands off Qingdao’s coast, as they are not the most courageous birds and like to hide their nests away in the precipitous rock cliffs found here. The birds usually arrive in the area around January and mate during February-March, which is one of the earliest mating seasons of any local bird. At this time crustacean populations flourish in the sea, which is one of the main parts of their diet. Wang Ximing also point to the decrease in Qingdao fish populations as another factor in the birds’ local decline.

In Chinese, the Ancient Murrelet is often referred to as a small penguin, with its black body and white belly resembling that of its flightless cousin. The etymology of its Latin scientific name, Synthliboramphus antiquus, extends back to the first sighting by a European, who decided its white eyebrows and sideburns resemble that of an old man’s, thus the Ancient.

Wang Ximing would also like to push to make the bird a type of ‘mascot’ for Qingdao, bringing not only more attention to its decreasing numbers in the local area, but also more to promote bird conservation ideas in general. It is quite a peculiar bird in that it is the only member of the auk family that raises its young entirely at the sea. Just a few days after the eggs hatch, the fledglings scuttle out to sea at night (to avoid terrestrial predators) where they will swim almost five miles out to sea where the parents are waiting while calling for them. Once in the ocean the parents care for it for several weeks.

More on Qingdao’s proposed mascot from PBS:

“But the bird with least connection of all to land is the ancient murrelet, filmed at Buldir in the Aleutian Islands. This strange bird has dispensed altogether with the need to return to land to feed its chick, unlike most seabirds, which return to land to breed and feed their chicks on land until they are almost fully grown.
The murrelet lays its eggs in burrows. The chicks hatch and, for the first day, feed off their egg sac. Then, at dead of night, two days after the chicks hatched, the parents fly out to sea, calling their young to follow with a continuous sparrow-like chirping. The fluffy black and white chicks, still unable to fly or feed on their own, pour in a living flood down the hillsides. They evade killer mice and insomniac ravens, and hurtle for the surf like downy toys on clockwork legs, heeding the call of their parents. They don’t stop when they reach the water, but pursue their parents into the breakers and swim five miles out to sea. Once here they will continue to be fed for a few more weeks until they can fly.”

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Newspaper Group Online

Photo Credit @ Birds Korea

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by Steven

Nanwu 4.01

March 10, 2011 in Events, Music

Nanwu performs at the Owl Bar (aka sHooters) in the Olympic Sailing Center on April 1, 2011. Nanwu is a folk rock band that mixes traditional Chinese vocals and instruments with modern pop and rock elements. Read more about the band on the Rock in China Wiki.

Listen to Nanwu on Myspace.cn.

When: April 1, 8.00 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Door 40 yuan (RMB), Advance and Students 30 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Relevant Links:
Nanwu on Rock in China Wiki
Nanwu on Douban
Nanwu on Myspace.cn
Nanwu Blog

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by Steven

Dude 3.25

March 7, 2011 in Events, Music

Dude performs at the Owl Bar (aka sHooters) in the Qingdao Olympic Center on March 25. The punk band based in China was influenced by the American group Me First and The Gimme Gimmes. The band describe themselves as “a punk rock cover band that covers only the most famous and infamous pop songs throughout China”.

Listen to Dude on Myspace.com and Myspace.cn. Watch a video of Dude playing Nobody on Tudou.

When: March 25, 8.30 pm
Venue: Owl Bar (sHooters) / 猫头鹰酒吧
Location: Olympic Center Bar Street / 奥帆中心酒吧街
Tickets: Door 40 yuan (RMB), Advance and Students 30 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 136.6886.6600

Relevant Links:
Dude on Rock in China Wiki
Dude on Myspace.com
Dude on Myspace.cn
Dude on Douban

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by Steven

Little Mermaid 3.27

March 7, 2011 in Arts, Events

The Little Mermaid (小美人鱼) will be performed by Queensland Ballet at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on March 27, 2011. The adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s famous fairytale was choreographed by Queensland Ballet Artistic Director François Klaus with special elements to appeal to children and adults alike. Queensland Ballet is touring China as part of the Year of Australian Culture in China.

When: March 27, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 50-380 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555

Qingdao Grand Theatre Little Mermaid

Relevant Links:
Queensland Ballet Official Website
Queensland Ballet on Wikipedia

Photo Credit@ Rachael Walsh as the Little Mermaid with dancers of Queensland Ballet; Photographer (main image): Ken Sparrow, Photographer (mermaid): David Kelly

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by Steven

Qingdao Liuting International Airport

March 6, 2011 in About Qingdao

The Qingdao Liuting International Airport is Qingdao’s main civil airport. It is located in Chengyang about a 45 minute drive from downtown Qingdao, depending on traffic – going by Highway 308 can shorten the trip a bit if there’s no traffic jams while the Qing-Yin Expressway makes for about an hour trek from Qingdao’s CBD. The airport was expanded in 2006 partially in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and also to accommodate the rapid growth and projected increase in cargo and passenger volume. The design for the new airport expansion was done by the Australian firm Woodhead, an award winning company who have designed airports in Singapore and Sydney.

The IATA 3 letter airport code for Liuting Airport is TAO, reflecting the former spelling of Qingdao as Tsingtao which still appears on Qingdao’s greatest export, Tsingtao Beer. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) ID of the airport is ZSQD, which stands for Zhongguo Shandong Qing Dao.

Statistics from JCDecaux website show that passengers are mostly Chinese – 87% on domestic flights and 50% on international flights. Total passenger volume in 2010 was 11 million, up from 9.8 million in 2009, with a projected record breaking figure of 12 million in 2011.

Relevant Links:
Airport Codes ICAO/IATA
Qingdao Liuting International Airport on Google Maps Place Page

Image Credit @ Woodhead

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by Steven

Qingdao Double Star vs. Dongguan Leopards 3.06

March 6, 2011 in Events, Sports

The Qingdao Double Star Eagles are hoping to improve on last year’s less than stellar performance when they play at home against Dongguan on March 6. Come out and cheer the Eagles’ league leading scorer Charles Gaines against the 2nd place team in the CBA. Tickets range from 60 to 200 yuan (RMB) and are available at the venue (enter via south gate on Hong Kong East Road).

When: March 6 (7:30 pm Tip Off)
Venue: Qingdao University Arena
More Info: 8268-4351

Relevant Links:
CBA 2010-11 Schedule and Info (English)
Official CBA website (Chinese)
Official Qingdao Double Star website (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Roster (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Schedule (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star on Sina (Chinese)
NiuBBall (CBA news and more)

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by Steven

Qingdao Symphony Orchestra: Dvorak 3.05

March 5, 2011 in Events, Music

The Qingdao Symphony Orchestra opens the 2011-12 Concert Season with a tribute to Dvorak at the Qingdao People’s Hall on March 5. Conductor Jan Latham-Koenig (“one of the finest conductors the United Kingdom has ever produced”) and Concertmaster Liu Yuxia lead the QSO through a program which includes Violin Concerto in A minor, Op.53 with Lv Wei on violin and Slavonic Dances, Op.46, No. 1. There will be a pre-concert talk at the music corner in the hall at 6.50 pm and the concert begins at 7.30 pm. The Qingdao People’s Hall is on the corner of Taiping Lu and Daxue Lu near Xiao Qingdao and Zhan Qiao.

When: March 5, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao People’s Hall / 青岛人民会堂
Location: 9 Taiping Lu / 太平路9号
Info: 8289-7211

Qingdao Symphony Orchestra Lv Wei Violin

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Symphony Orchestra Official Website

Photo credit @ Moriya

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by Hunter

Qingdao Double Star vs. Foshan 3.04

March 3, 2011 in Events, Sports

The Qingdao Double Star Eagles are hoping to improve on last year’s less than stellar performance when they play at home against Foshan on March 4. Come out and cheer the Eagles’ league leading scorer Charles Gaines against Foshan and ex-NBA standout Stephon Marbury. Qingdao (10-18) is presently in 13th place in the 17 team league with just 2 home games to go. Foshan (9-19) isn’t faring much better in 15th place. Tickets range from 60 to 200 yuan (RMB) and are available at the venue (enter via south gate on Hong Kong East Road).

When: March 4 (7:30 pm Tip Off)
Venue: Qingdao University Arena
More Info: 8268-4351

Relevant Links:
CBA 2010-11 Schedule and Info (English)
Official CBA website (Chinese)
Official Qingdao Double Star website (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Roster (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star 2010-11 Schedule (Chinese)
Qingdao Double Star on Sina (Chinese)
NiuBBall (CBA news and more)

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by Cherie

Four Generations 3.16-17

March 3, 2011 in Arts, Events

The stage production of Four Generations Under One Roof (Si Shi Tong Tang/四世同堂) will be performed at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on March 16 and 17, 2011. The drama, originally written as a novel by Lao She (老舍), depicts life for a Chinese family in Beijing during the time of Japanese occupation of Northeast China (aka Manchuria). The name of the play is often translated as The Yellow Storm.

Lao She (1899-1966) has been affectionately called the People’s Artist in China and is considered one of the best Chinese novelists and playwrights of the post Literary Reform era. Lao She lived in Qingdao on Huangxian Lu in the early 1930′s, which is where he penned what is arguably his most famous work, Rickshaw Boy (Camel Xiangzi). Today there is a museum at his former home in Qingdao to commemorate the author and his work. The play Four Generations Under One Roof (with Mandarin dialogue heavy on Beijing accent) is now touring China after a successful debut in Taiwan last year.

When: March 16-17, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
Tickets: 180-580 yuan (RMB)
More Info: 8066.5555

Relevant Links:
Lao She Bio
Four Generations Under One Roof in Beijing

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by Steven

2011 Qingdao International Auto Show 5.26-30

March 2, 2011 in About Qingdao, Events

The 10th Qingdao International Auto Show runs from May 26 to 30, 2011 at the Qingdao International Convention and Exhibition Center. The 5 million square meter display of new models includes concept vehicles and an emphasis on eco conscious developments in the auto industry. The Convention Center is in Laoshan district a few blocks north of Shilaoren Beach (Old Stone Man/石老人) and next to the Leader Plaza shopping center.

When: May 26 – 30
Venue: Qingdao International Convention Center / 青岛国际会展中心
Location: 9 Miaoling Lu / 苗岭路9号

Relevant Links:
Qingdao International Auto Show Official Website (Chinese)
Qingdao International Convention Center on Google Maps

Photo Credit @ China Daily

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by Cherie

Bach Tribute: Van Der Voe/Zhai 3.05

March 2, 2011 in Events, Music

Baritone Matthaus Van Der Voe performs with pianist Zhai Zhitian at the Qingdao Grand Theatre on March 5. The concert program features a tribute to the music of Bach.

When: March 5, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Grand Theatre / 青岛大剧院
Location: 5 Yunling Lu, Laoshan district / 云岭路5号
More Info/Tickets: 8066.5555

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Grand Theatre Official Website (Chinese)
More Info on Qingdao Grand Theatre

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by Joz

Qingdao Photos: Portraits

March 2, 2011 in Photos

Check out some impromptu portraits taken by a tai chi aficionado and former resident of Qingdao now living in the UK. The main image above is from a mock traditional wedding at the kite festival in Weifang in Shandong Province. All the rest were taken in Qingdao. The first two were taken in a la mian noodle restaurant and the remaining three are women vendors at a now closed market near 5 Middle School next to Qingdao University. For more information please contact us.

Qingdao Photos Portraits Noodles La Mian

Qingdao Photos Portraits Baby

Qingdao Photos Portraits Peppers

Qingdao Photos Portraits Mantou

Qingdao Photos Portraits Crabs

Relevant Links:
Qingdao Photos