fried eggXi’an Evening News: Mr. Li, who lives in the Longgang Garden community of Weiyang Road, felt both happy and helpless in his situation. His 8 year old son, Mumu, was required by his school to learn the new skill of frying an egg. With encouragement, Mumu developed an unrelenting interested in frying eggs, and every day, he would make them for his father to eat. This continued for 20 days until Mr. Li, who already had high cholesterol, “felt it was torture.” In order to avoid illness while protecting the feelings of his son, Mr. Li could only wait until Mumu was asleep before going home.

Mumu is a cute and lively boy in the 3rd grade at Houzaimen Elementary School. Right after summer break ended, the school told students they had to learn a new skill, with suggestions including sprouting beans and frying eggs. Under the guidance of his mother, Mumu decided to study frying eggs. At the beginning of August, a studious Mumu studied frying eggs with his mother daily. Facing boiling hot oil, Mumu was a bit scared at first, and only slowly dared to make a move. Sometimes the egg was burnt, sometime it was too oily. “Even so, his mother and I thought they tasted good. We didn’t raise him for nothing!” Mr. Li said that with his mother’s encouragement, Mumu’s craft improved, and his eggs tasted better and better, earning the praise of the entire family.

What Mr. Li didn’t realize was that due to the encouragement, Mumu became “addicted” to frying eggs. Every day when he had free time, the first thing he’d do was fry an egg, even posting pictures of the eggs on his class’s QQ group and receiving praise from his classmates. His mother was losing weight, his grandmother couldn’t eat such oily food, so the arduous task of “tasting the egg” fell on his father. At first, it was no big deal, but after more than 20 days of fried eggs, Mr. Li couldn’t quite take it anymore. “I’m scared whenever I see an egg now.” Seeing his son develop a new life skill, Mr. Li was happy, so he did his best to eat them until he “got sick”, and in order to not cause harm to his son’s enthusiasm, he could only continue to force himself to eat them.

Mr. Li said that his cholesterol is already high, and that the doctor has ordered him to eat fewer eggs. But every time he wanted to say, “Daddy can’t eat it,” he’d look at Mumu’s expectantly excited face, and he couldn’t take it. He’d eat the egg. Taking into consideration his own health, Mr. Li has been choosing to go home after 9:30 every night so that his son will already be asleep, and so that he won’t have to eat the eggs.

Would should Mr. Li do? Mrs. Gao, a resident of the same complex, suggests giving Mumu a new recipe, that way they won’t get sick of what he cooks.

Xu Jianguo, a well-known education specialist, expressed his opinion on the matter. “For children, the process of frying an egg is a learning process, and they can expand their cognitive abilities. If I were the parents, I wouldn’t say anything.” Xu Jianguo said that at the root of life is learning, and that the child should be allowed to slowly become “aware and critical” of the situation himself. What the parents don’t want to eat, they can secretly throw away. Although it’s a bit wasteful, the child’s enthusiasm is much more precious.


Date of Publication: 9/17/2013


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garlicThey say rescue dogs will find them more easily in an earthquake

At 5:11 PM on April 22nd, many residents of the city of Shenyang felt an earthquake. According to the China Seismological Bureau website, the tremors came from a 5.3 quake in Tongliao, Inner Mongolia, and was felt strongly in Liaoning and Jilin provinces. How to find safety in a quake has become a topic of much attention among many in the area. Every time a quake occurs, some “safety experts” will pop up from among the people, and although their methods are not necessarily effective, from an objective perspective, they give the nervous and powerless feeling people a little comic relief.


Enter the three garlic nibbling girls at Shenyang Normal University

Over here is an earthquake safety expert, over there is a preparedness specialist. Around 8 PM last night, three female students at a Shenyang Normal University dorm devoured  two small plates full of single clove garlic, so spicy that it caused them to cry. Once finished, they refrained from brushing their teeth, intentionally leaving the “garlic breath”, so that if they were buried in an earthquake, the rescue dogs would smell them right away. Another girl was even “smarter”. She didn’t eat garlic, saying, “I’d definitely be buried along with them, so if they smell them, they’d be able to find me.” The Shenyang Evening News went to find out whether these girls are really preparing for disaster or just trying to attract attention.


Act 1: Afraid of aftershocks, they need to smell funny

Around 7 PM, Ms. Xu, a third year student in the finance department had just finished studying and was returning to the dorm for the evening when she was whisked away by several of her close friends. “Three of my very close friends told me that there were predictions of evening aftershocks on the web and that it was a dangerous situation, so we decided to think up a solution.” Ms. Xu thought, were there really to be an earthquake and there was nothing they could do about it, then it’d just be a matter of luck who survived. But one of the three girls, Ms. Li, said that police rescue dogs were the only method used to save people buried in rubble, and that if they wanted to be found, they’d have to give themselves a “funny smell”.


Act 2: Eating two plates of garlic while crying

Ms. Li’s home is in the city of Dalian, and she happened to have brought back two small plates of their specialty single-clove garlics, which Shenyang people refer to as “big heads”. Ms. Li said the garlics were very big, and if they ate a bunch of them, the rescue dogs would definitely be able to smell it. But Ms. Xu thought the idea was strange, so she let the others eat the garlic first while she sat aside and observed. “When the three of them first started eating the garlic, it was so spicy that they cried, so I went downstairs and bought some steamed bread and garlic chili sauce for them so they could put the garlics in the bread and dip it in the sauce. That’s how they were able to finish eating the two plates full. There were almost a pound of them.”


Act 3: Nobody brushes their teeth & everyone sleeps in clothes

Ms. Li asked Ms. Xu why she did’t eat the garlic. Wasn’t she worried she wouldn’t be found? But Ms. Xu had thought this out beforehand. “I think if there’s really an earthquake, I’ll definitely be buried with you, and when the dogs find you, they’ll definitely find me too. The smell in my mouth would really just be too strong if I ate the garlic.” Ms. Xu said the three girls who ate the garlic didn’t brush their teeth that night, afraid that they would have eaten it for nothing, and that many in the dorm slept in their clothes that night.


Expert: Eating garlic won’t make dogs find you more easily

The night of the 22nd was calm and peaceful. So did the girls in the dorm really eat the garlic for nothing? Would eating garlic really help rescue dogs find you in the event of an earthquake? Reporters contacted the disaster relief bureau to find out.

An expert from the bureau told reporters that there is no basis on which to believe that eating garlic is a good method. If there is actually an earthquake and people are buried in rubble, people should not make large movements, instead conserving energy and listening for instructions. If rescue workers are outside, victims should use solid objects around them to make noise such as by banging rocks together instead of calling out by voice.

Would those people with a “funny smell” really be noticed by dogs more easily? Leader of the dog rescue team Mr. Wang explained that the dogs can recognize the smells of different people, such as the difference in body smell between Asians and westerners. There is a connection between an individual’s body odor and their regular diet. The other unique body odors of each individual cannot be changed, which is also to say, eating garlic will not influence whether or not a search is successful.


Original publication date: 4/24/2013


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