>> As China chokes under a thick blanket of smog, people were testing out the old saying that laughter is the best medicine. Dark humor about the country's air quality spreading online, one of the few outlets for public anger in a country where protest are strictly banned. I'm Anita Lee in Shanghai.
The air quality in China is so bad right now that highways and schools are being shut down, and flights are being delayed. People are going online to vent their frustrations and also getting a laugh at the same time. A warning though, some of these jokes might not be quite so funny in english.
One joke making the rounds on popular microblog Weibo says, police are warning people to drive carefully in the smog. If you lose your way, don't leave your car because you'll probably never find it again. And don't call the police because there is no way they'll find you either.
Another shows a shoot of a cameraman setting up to some film, only to find the reporter had disappeared. And one frustrated blogger says, I tried to buy some breathing masks, but the package couldn't be delivered because of the heavy smog. Finally, one post takes a dig at Beijing's odd-even car traffic system, which restricts the number of vehicles allowed on the road based on their number plates.
It's not supposed to reduce smog, the blogger explains, it's supposed to get more people out of their cars. The more air we suck, the less smog there is. Authorities, on the other hand, are not laughing. They say some factories and vehicles are ignoring emergency restrictions, and the smog is actually getting worse in parts of the country.