The best reporting on the Sichuan Earthquake you’ll never see

When I was at the Pusan International Film Festival in Korea, I went to a hotel on the beach to meet a documentary filmmaker from Beijing. I was very impressed by his film, Who Killed Our Children. Pan Jianlin was frank with his opinions and generous with his time. He chain smokes and makes self-depricating […]

those crazy artists (or, why I went to Riverside)

It’s a lot like the Oregon Trail, driving out to Riverside. The road gets emptier as you go further along 60 East. There are warning signs: GUSTY WINDS AHEAD. You hope your passenger doesn’t die of cholera. At one point, the trail divides. You can choose the 15 to Barstow, and if you keep going […]

random updates: writing about Singapore, teaching in Cambodia and watching movies in Korea

I had a little bit of an epiphany about my writing life in Singapore a while ago. And I promised I would write more about the country where I live. So, a few months later, I am true to my word and am posting for Global Voices. Will work my way up to longer, reported […]

word cloud analysis?

Every major newspaper needs a clever multimedia way to cover speeches at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Nytimes.com scores with its streaming video, transcript and hyperlinked outline all in one. But I noticed today that newspaper websites are using word counts to add graphical interest. But what can you tell from the fact that […]

Orientalism or chinoiserie?

Marketing material for the 1926 Milan premeire of Turandot on the left, and for the 2008 Singapore staging on the right.Like most people, I don’t know where I first heard the famous aria Nessun Dorma of Puccini’s Turandot. But my interest in the opera has certainly been revived several times recently. Maybe it was Pavarotti’s […]