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News Science

China Creates Rice That Grows In Salt Water, Can Feed Millions Of People

Since the mid-1970s, China has been searching for a salt-tolerant rice as concerns rose about how to feed their rapidly growing population that was already the largest in the world. Four decades later, they’ve been able to commercialize their first varieties of this salt-tolerant starch, and it could be huge for the rest of the planet as well.

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In the past month, researchers in China have found that four different types of salt-tolerant rice were able to yield between 6.5 and 9.3 tonnes (or 6500-9300 kilograms) per hectare (10,000 square meters). That amount was significantly higher than the 4.5 tonnes researchers anticipated.

To put all this into perspective, China has about one million square kilometers, or 100 million hectares, of land with high salt and alkali amounts that this salt-tolerant rice could grow in. Cultivating just a tenth of this land would provide enough rice to feed 200 million people.

In China alone, rice production would be boosted by 20 percent. However, the rest of the world could also benefit from this rice as they search for new land to grow food in. Swaths of Asia ranging from the southern island nations to northern India and Pakistan with soil high in salt could utilize the rice to bring more food to their areas.

Additionally, China could sell off its surplus of rice that it now has to help feed the rest of the planet, providing a ubiquitous starch source to famine-stricken areas around the world.

However, it will take some time for this powerful weapon against world hunger to reach those levels and be economical enough for other countries to adopt. Currently, the rice sells for roughly $7.50 per kilogram, which is about eight times the cost of conventional rice. That cost should decrease drastically as yields scale to even higher levels, however.

Currently, China has sold six tonnes of the rice to the general public in just 4 months, with over 1,000 additional orders in place for this year’s crop. With these new, high-yielding types of salt-tolerant rice, expect that number to sharply increase in the coming years as this powerful new tool to fight hunger continues to flourish.

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Fast Food News Now Trending Technology

KFC Using Face-Scan Technology That Lets You Pay For Food

KFC China is letting you keep your money and credit cards in your pocket, as you can now simply pay with your face.

The technology was introduced by Ant Financial in Hangzhou, and according to CNN Money, the customer puts in their order at a kiosk, which promptly scans their face, making sure it matches the photo ID in the system. The reason they have access to people’s photos is a little scary, but apparently China has a database filled with its citizens photo IDs.

There is one last step that’s not super efficient, as you’d still have to enter your phone number before the payment goes through, but it’s a minor detail.

The payment platform itself is a popular app called Alipay, which has already implemented the facial recognition technology, and has more than half a billion users worldwide. Ant Financial swears the technology is safe, and uses a 3D camera to make sure people don’t try to fool it by using someone else’s photo.

The face-scanning technology sounds like something out of Minority Report, and while that movie is a bit terrifying, you don’t really have to panic about a machine take over — yet.

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Animals Culture News Now Trending

China May Be Banning Dog Meat From Controversial Yulin Festival

Animal-rights activists in the Chinese province of Guangxi are currently celebrating what could be a major victory in their fight against the notorious Yulin Festival where thousands of dogs and cats are killed each year and consumed.

This year, according to BBC, the Communist Party Secretary of Yulin, Mo Gong Ming, is being credited with a new ban that prevents any dog meat from being sold in the days leading up to and during the actual festival. The Independent reports that those who do could be find as much as 100,000 yuan, or about $14,500 US Dollars.

While not everyone in Yulin has heard of or is on board with the ban yet, California-based campaign group DuoDuo and Humane Society International both have heard from “several reliable sources” that this ban is happening and will affect retailers, dog meat market traders, and restaurants. So far, only some retailers and restaurants have been notified of the ban, which has not yet been announced officially.

While the dog meat ban would help slightly improve Yulin’s public image, it is only a temporary ban that does not protect dogs from being killed before it is imposed. It also doesn’t protect cats from being killed or sold as meat. The public killing of dogs was already banned last year according to BBC, so that is already something that won’t be happening at the festival.

Still, if the ban is officially announced and adhered to, it would be a huge step forward in reducing the animal cruelty that happens throughout Yulin and China as a result of this horrendous festival.

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Hit-Or-Miss Restaurants Video

Watch This Busboy Expertly Wipe A Table Down In The Blink Of An Eye

Let’s take a minute to appreciate the noble busboy. While not the most acclaimed job in the restaurant industry, busboys are essential in making sure patrons have clean tables to sit down at as they enter the dining establishment. They’re truly the unsung heroes.

Sora News unearthed this spectacular footage of a restaurant employee in China bussing tables with breakneck speed. Just looking at his form and body language, you can easily tell he’s not one to phone in his job. Rather, this dude prides himself in the energy he brings bussing tables.

Asia’s answer to the Flash, watch this guy wipe an entire table clean in seconds. Check out the video above and see yourselves.

Blink and you’ll miss it.

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News

Chinese Students Are Earning $3,000 A Week Selling Australian Baby Formula To China Over WeChat

Chinese international students living in Australia have been making a killing in re-selling baby formula and other Australian health products to buyers back in their home country.

Earning thousands of dollars per week, these budding entrepreneurs have discovered the lucrative business of distributing popular Australian products such as a2 Platinum Formula and Bellamy’s Organic for customers in China.

According to Business Insider, a growing number of Chinese students are turning themselves into online wholesalers simply by setting up online shops via WeChat, a social media platform similar to Facebook where they find and grow their markets. A unique feature the platform has over Facebook is its ability to connect the user’s bank account, allowing for easy money transfers without having to open up a separate banking app.

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Sydney-based Carol Lin, who began her online reselling business last year, earns between $2,000 to $3,000 per week selling baby formula and Blackmores vitamins through the platform. Considering regular university students in Australia earn $23 per hour, Lin has indeed struck gold.

Before heading to Australia, the 25-year-old ELS student had already studied the market and discovered how lucrative selling Australian health products to China was through online shops.

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Like many others like her, Lin has tapped into China’s huge demand of high quality and authentic health products created by the rampant local distribution of fake brands and counterfeit products.

You WeChat and tell me what you want. Then I have to write it down, for example if a customer buys five things, but all five things aren’t available at the same place,” Lin said, explaining her process. “For example, it could be from the supermarket, Chemist Warehouse. I need to go to a lot of differences places to buy everything and then afterwards, I have to send the stock and pack it up.”

Her clients consist mainly of parents of her friends back home. With the help of some buzz generated by word-of-mouth recommendations of her regular customers, she was able to grow her clientele.

Lin, who considers her venture as a success, usually spends her money buying designer goods.

It depends on each person’s preferences,” said Lin. “Some people will save but some people will go shopping. We both go shopping because our family backgrounds are already quite good.”

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International student Maggie Ma, found herself in the same business after she brought some Australian health products to China during a family visit. With relatives asking for more products each visit, she realized the potential for turning it into a business of her own.

Aside from health products, Ma also sells manuka honey and pawpaw cream to her customers. During one Chinese New Year, she was able to earn much more than usual as many friends and family stocked up on Aussie goods to give as gifts.

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These online entrepreneurs have the potential to make a huge amount of cash in revenue. However, as they are operating as an unregistered business, they have not been paying taxes.

Other online resellers have also expanded to other platforms such as Taobao and Alibaba. The business is doing so well that the products sold on these platforms already account for 5-10% of the total retail of Australian food and health products on the market, according to estimates by Austrade.

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Being Australia’s second largest market for medicine and other health brands, China easily spent $381 million in 2014 alone, according a report by The University of Sydney.

“China is facing a host of new health challenges, including an ageing population, changing diets, increasing prevalence of obesity and environmental problems,” George Institute for Global Health professor John Knight told Business Insider. “The demand for high quality health care is a constant, unlike the boom and bust cycles of many other industries such as the resources sector.”

So far Chinese authorities have failed to stop the practice as they are unable to regulate imported products sent by post.

Written by Ryan General || NextShark

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News Video

Supermarket Shopper Becomes Possessed And Freaks The F*** Out [WATCH]

If you’ve ever seen The Exorcist, then you’ll be able to recognize the chilling side effects of a demonic possession. Whether or not you believe in them is solely up to you, but the following video certainly might change your mind.

The video, taken from a CCTV camera inside of the supermarket, depicts the woman picking up a product that mysteriously falls from the shelf. After touching it, the woman suddenly begins to seize up. A local bystander sees the whole thing unfolding and begins to approach the woman, until she jerks her head back and unleashes a flurry of blood-curdling screams, scaring the female bystander shitless.

Later on in the video, there are several other instances of items randomly swinging around or falling off of the shelf. In the last ten seconds, we see an item fall from the shelf with no one else around. While faking something like that could probably be pretty easy (fishing line and tape, some sort of timed activator, etc.), the overall reactions from all the bystanders makes it hard for me to believe that it’s fake. What do you think?

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Hit-Or-Miss

China Is Aiming For An Epic Economic Comeback With Rice Cookers And Smart Toilet Seats

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China is hoping sales of rice cookers and smart toilet seats will pick up its economy.

The Chinese government plans to focus on driving the economy with domestic consumption rather than trade and investment. According to South China Morning Post, cabinet documents reveal that officials are pushing to develop better products including electric rice cookers, kitchen appliances, air purifiers, smartphones, toys and luxury toilet seats.

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Though China is known as the world’s primary manufacturer of consumer products, the majority of domestic brands are not of the same grade. In the past, calls for change have been made following incidents of product malfunctioning. In addition, it seems that there is a common perception among the Chinese public that Japanese firms produce better rice cookers and other electronics than China does.

The state media had previously scoffed at Japanese smart toilet seats that come complete with heaters and water jets. However, Chinese tourists have been quick to embrace the fad and Japanese merchants are more than willingly to accommodate customers by hiring Chinese speaking staff.

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China’s ruling party is hoping to shift its priorities from steel and farming to concentrate on addressing its own consumer product deficiencies. In March, Chinese tech company Xiaomi unveiled its revolutionary rice cooker that can be controlled via smartphone.

It seems that China fully shifting its view of its citizens as a source of labor and more as consumers.

Written by NextShark

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Hit-Or-Miss Humor The Katchup Video

Crowdfunding For Tacos And The Burger King Sauna [THE KATCHUP]

Half of our office is conducting research on the other side of the world right now while the other half stays behind to keep the gears at the office grinding, but we still come together to bring you the most exciting, odd, heartwarming and cringeworthy stories on this week’s episode of The Katchup!

A gay pastor wrote a homophobic slur on his own cake from Whole Foods so that he could sue them. Why? To win a lifetime supply of Whole Foods cakes? What’s the endgame? One woman asked the world to pay for her to get some tacos. You might be surprised to see how the world responded.

China has made eating bananas erotically illegal. Who do you think you are, North Korea? The good people of Finland take their saunas so seriously that they put one in a Burger King. Just right there, right in the middle of it. Hey, some people like to soak with their Whoppers, who am I to judge? Finally, our boys out exploring the foods of the world created an ENORMOUS burger at the Guy Fieiri spot on their Carnival Cruise ship. Was it good? You’re about to find out.

This is…THE KATCHUP!