Liu Qianping was visiting his 24-year-old granddaughter in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou recently when the women’s clothes the aspiring fashion entrepreneur was packing into boxes caught his eye.
His visit came as the model that granddaughter Lu Ting and four friends had booked for a photo shoot to promote their online fashion business suddenly canceled, dealing a setback to their new venture.
But Liu, a 72-year-old former farmer visiting to escape the chilly winter of central Hunan province, stepped in to help.
“I walked into the room and saw them packing up some clothes and I thought they looked quite interesting and quite cute,” Liu told Reuters.
“So I tried on a jacket and they found it really funny, and I thought it was quite funny. So they asked if they could take pictures of me and post them on the Internet to sell the clothes. And I said, ‘why not?'”
Liu, known affectionately as “MaDiGaGa” – funny elderly – is now one of China’s most recognized models…
Liu, who traveled to Shanghai with his daughter for the first time last week after they were invited to appear on television, said he had been approached by other companies to model for them but had turned them down…
Ting has been criticized on the Internet and accused of using her grandfather, but he insists the experience has put a spring in his step and she says they are now closer than ever.
Cripes. He’s doing better than me. The only time I’ve been asked to be photographed was as a potential grandfatherly motorcycle gang-type in a prison movie.
A Frenchwoman found proof of the maxim that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes, when she received a bill in the name of a grandfather who died in 1949.
“I didn’t think I’d hear any more about my grandfather, whom I never knew,” Martine Courtois told AFP, after reading the 13-euro land inheritance tax bill addressed to her grandfather, Pierre Barotte.
“Everything was done legally at the time, we didn’t get any demands from the tax office,” said Courtois, who lives in the small eastern town of Bruyeres.
The local tax office said the situation was entirely normal and “happens all the time” when an unpaid tax debt, through interest or late payment fees, goes beyond 12 euros. “The day the money due goes over this threshold, the machine gets going,” a tax spokesman told AFP, asking not to be named…
Courtois has not paid the bill and instead sent a letter to the tax office: “My grandfather died in 1949, please do what’s necessary.”
I was looking around to see if there was a more detailed version of this tale. Ended up returning to this publication of the AFP release in the Telegraph. I thought about explaining what happened – and then read the comments from typical Kool Aid Party-types whose presumption always is that someone in government bears individual responsibility.
It’s nothing more than leaving silly old rules on the books as times change. Doesn’t make it less funny. But it certainly doesn’t make it a socialist plot. Even in France.
No bureaucratic decisions are required. Just people following rules which predate modern tax law even more than they predate the introduction of the Euro.
Though it does seem to give patent-leather-libertarians an opportunity to vent their spleen. A recurrent image in a world containing politicians like Ron Paul.
“Twilight in Canyon Blue” by Jerry Anderson
In an act of extraordinary kindness, a Southwest Airlines pilot delayed his plane by 12 minutes to ensure a passenger would be able to say goodbye to his murdered grandson.
The man’s three-year-old grandchild had been killed by his daughter’s live-in boyfriend in Denver and was due to be taken off life support ahead of donating his organs…
Having been in Los Angeles on business, the man’s wife had arranged for him to transfer at Tucson airport in Arizona onto a flight bound for Denver to be with his bereaved daughter…
Yet, despite arriving at Los Angeles International Airport two hours before his flight was due to depart, lengthy check-in lines meant he faced a race against time to board on schedule.
Even after sprinting from the security checkpoint in his socks, the grandfather still arrived at the departure gate 12 minutes late…
According to a letter written to travel blog Elliott.org by the man’s wife, he was greeted by the pilot and ticketing agent with the words: ‘Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we’re so sorry about the loss of your grandson…’
The letter continues: ‘As my husband walked down the Jetway with the pilot, he said, “I can’t thank you enough for this.”
‘The pilot responded with, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”’
Thanks to the kindness of the pilot, the man was able to reach his daughter in Denver and bid farewell to his grandson…
A Southwest spokesperson said the airline was ‘proud’ of the pilot’s behaviour.
My kind of pilot. My kind of airline. The rare corporation that hasn’t forgotten that human beings are the source of their income.
Very special thanks to Mr. Fusion.
The past usually finds a way of catching up with us. Could Britain’s colonial sins pose a risk to our relationship with the soon-to-be most powerful person on Earth?
Hussein Onyango Obama, the president-elect’s paternal grandfather, had served with the British army in Burma during the second world war and later found work back in Kenya as a military cook. Like many army veterans, he returned to Africa hoping to win greater freedoms. But his aspirations soon turned to resentment of the occupying British.
He became involved in the Mau Mau independence movement and was arrested as early as 1949, probably on charges of membership of a banned organisation.
During two years’ detention he was subjected to horrific violence, according to the story’s authors, Ben Macintyre and Paul Orengoh. Tortures inflicted on Kenyan prisoners sometimes involved such barbaric implements as “castration pliers”. “The African warders were instructed by the white soldiers to whip him every morning and evening till he confessed,” Sarah Onyango, 87, tells the Times.
The behaviour of British soldiers is the subject of continuing legal action in the UK courts from victims seeking reparations for torture and mistreatment suffered more than 50 years ago. The Kenyan Human Rights Commission is still gathering evidence.
I expect the Brits will admit to their guilt and concede responsibility for their torture and greed sometime in the next couple of centuries. A role model for the United States in every way.
Over the course of the battle in Kenya against British colonialism, over 70,000 Africans are believed to have died. 32 white European civilians were killed.