There were red faces on the editorial board of one of Germany's top scientific institutions, the Leipzig-based Max Planck Institute, after it ran the text of a handbill for a Macau strip club and knocking shop on the front page of its latest scientific journal.
Editors were under the impression they had printed an elegant Confucian poem to grace the cover of their special issue of the Max Planck Forschung journal, focusing on China's burgeoning Falun Gong organ transplant industry. However, instead of poetry they had accidentally selected a text effectively proclaiming "Hot Housewife Whores in Action!" on the front of the third-quarter edition.
In what effectively amounts to a faux pas of Biblical proportions, the institute's magazine editorial team have been committing ritual seppuku by disembowelling themselves with staplers and defenestrating out of the upper floor windows rather than face the public embarrassment any longer.
The previously-respected research institute wanted Chinese classical texts of artistic elegance to adorn its journal. Instead, it discovered to its horror, it had chosen a racy flyer extolling the lusty details of lecherous housewives at a Macau strip-joint / brothel, promising naked burlesque acts by pretty-as-jade three-holer whores with hot bodies, to entertain foreign visitors.
Prior to publication, the institute magazine's editorial office had consulted a German sinologist at the local Pisshead Beer Keller for a translation of the relevant text. The sinologist concluded, in a brief moment of apparent soberity, that the text in question depicted classical Chinese characters in a non-controversial context and decided it was actually a Confucian poem.
The institute's director, Herr Dr. Helmut Krudd, offered profuse apologies to the Leipzig-based Chinese consulate for what might be viewed as a cultural insult.
However the faux-pas seems to have sparked more in amusement among Chinese readers, several of whom broke into raucous laughter and commented "Stupid iriot Germans don't know shit from shinola."
The journal has since been updated online and its cover now carries the title of a book on the Middle Kingdom by the Swiss Jesuit, Isaac Scrunt (1576-1630). The Jesuit text in question was "Illustrated Explanations of Strange Chinese Sexual Bondage Devices".
Stop press latest: Max Planck Institute to be renamed Max Wank Institute for Linguistic Fuck-Ups.