China's National Higher Education Entrance Examination (commonly known as Gaokao) is a two-day, nine-hour, monumentally stressful examination that the country's 9.4 million graduating high school students took earlier this week.

The grade on this test is the only qualification many Chinese universities consider for admittance, so for the many ambitious Chinese students and their families, the stakes are high. And the pressure, huge.

It is, as Star News notes, a perfect scenario for shrewd businessmen to take advantage of anxious parents. We've read in the past about hotels around testing sites jacking up their rates by over 1,000 RMB ($152) during the week leading up to the exam, as proximity to the testing centers means students won't lose precious studying time or arrive late because of traffic. Many hotel restaurants also offer special expensive "test packages" advertising meals with the perfect nutritious proportions and products to enhance immunity and prevent fatigue. These gimmicks attract desperate parents searching for any score-booster on an exam they believe will largely determine their child's destiny.

This year, as the exam began Monday, Chinese media reported the appearance of a new offer: Though many parents travel with their children, they now can also hire a "Entrance Examination Nanny". China News reports that parents can hire university students to watch over their graduating seniors at and around the testing sites. For 300 RMB per hour ($45), the exam nannies take care of numerous tasks, from last-minute tutoring to relieving psychological strain to ensuring nutritious meals.

All that's left, it seems, is finding a way for the exam to take itself!

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Society

Why An Iconic Pharmacy Is Turning Into A Sex Toy Museum

The "New Pharmacy" was famous throughout the St. Pauli district of Hamburg thanks to its industrious owner. Now, her daughter is transforming it into a museum dedicated to the history of sex toys, linking it with the past "curing" purpose of the shop.

Anna Genger, founder of L'Apotheque poses on the pharmacy counter

Eva Eusterhus

The story begins in autumn 2018, when 83-year-old Regis Genger stood at the counter of her pharmacy and realized that the time had come for her to retire. At least that is the first thing her daughter Anna Genger tells us when we meet, describing the turning point that has also shaped her life and that of her business partner Bianca Müllner, who is sitting next to her at the table. Genger and Müllner are surrounded by heavy wooden drawers and antique glass vessels labelled with the Latin names of their contents, as is often found in old pharmacies.

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