May 29, 2009 |
A dozen budding photographers who want to get into the fray and take us along are exhibiting new work at the University of Pennsylvania. All the photos in this large display - "East West South North" - were taken this spring in China during the university's first-ever, two-week Howard A. Silverstein and Patricia Bleznak Silverstein Photography Studio Abroad. This adventurous new "studio abroad" opportunity for qualifying graduate and undergraduate Penn photography students is modeled on a similar program serving architecture students.
August 11, 2008 |
Deported from China on the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, Michael McMonagle, 55, of Lansdale, believes he was able to draw attention last week to China's problems of religious freedom and forced abortions. McMonagle, a veteran Catholic antiabortion activist, and two other protesters tried to pray and unfurl a "Jesus Christ is King" banner in Tiananmen Square on Wednesday and Thursday. But when the protesters tried to hold a news conference with foreign reporters in the square, Chinese police sent them packing.
August 10, 2008 |
BEIJING - The 50-inch flat-screen television purchased just for these Summer Olympics wasn't enough. Yang Jipong fired up a laptop and wired it to a projector. Another image of Friday's opening ceremonies filled his living-room wall. His 78-year-old mother, Hei Yu Ming, sat thinking of her late husband, who had once talked of taking her to the National Stadium on this night. "I'm glad that I'm healthy enough to really see this - I would never imagine it," Hei said through a translator, as stories familiar to Chinese were shared with the world on TV. Fou drummers, all 2,008 of them, beat percussion instruments that trace at least to the Shang Dynasty, back as far as 1700 B.C. Except these drums were pure 21st century - they lit up when hit. "It's even better than Spring Festival," Hei said, referring to the Chinese New Year, the country's most important holiday.
August 3, 2008 |
Swimmer Michael Phelps may collect more gold medals than all but a handful of countries. Host China, spurred by wildly enthusiastic crowds, may leapfrog the United States and Russia and become the Olympic power. And some tiny gymnast, muscular sprinter or leggy volleyballer undoubtedly will emerge from obscurity to become the face of the XXIX Olympiad. But when the much-anticipated Beijing Games open Friday, it appears increasingly likely that the performances of the world's finest athletes will be overshadowed by the aims and ambitions of the host nation.
June 8, 2008 |
Tiananmen Square is hardly a somber place these days. In its pre-Olympic glee, the square has sprouted a colorful topiary garden - there's a leafy Parthenon facade and a green tennis player, arched back to smash the ball across the net. Abloom with flowers and the linked Olympic rings, the garden draws clusters of chattering Chinese visitors. They snap photos of one another - imaginary racket swung back - in imitation of the topiary tennis player. The Olympic party has already started here, despite protests in some cities along the Olympic Torch relay after China's quashing of riots in Tibet.
June 4, 2008 |
Every day when I sit down at my desk, I look straight at the Tankman. The Tankman is the unbelievably brave Chinese man who stood before a line of tanks near Tiananmen Square in Beijing, as the Chinese government moved to crush pro-democracy demonstrators in June 1989. An estimated 2,000 unarmed people were killed. The Tankman - whose fate isn't known - was immortalized in a famous black and white photo. It hangs, as a poster, on my office wall. This week marks the 19th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacres.
May 29, 2008
To see parents in China protesting openly and vehemently that their children shouldn't have died in the May 12 earthquake in Sichuan province evokes several emotions. The first emotion is sympathy, in understanding the devastation of losing a child under any circumstances. Second, you share the parents' anger in pointing out that many of the estimated 10,000 children who died were crushed in shoddily built schools, while adults in nearby but much better built government buildings survived.
April 1, 2008 |
Greek sprinter Katerina Thanou was awarded the silver medal from the 100 meters at the 2001 world championships following Marion Jones' doping admission. Jones finished second in Edmonton, Alberta, but all her results since September 2000 have been expunged because of doping. Thanou was third in the race, which was won by Zhanna Block of Ukraine. Thanou was banned for two years after missing a third drug test on the eve of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Tennis Serena Williams, seeded eighth, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla., beating Kaia Kanepi, 6-3, 6-3. She will next play top-ranked Justine Henin, who beat Elena Vesnina, 6-2, 6-2. Sixth-seeded Venus Williams joined her sister in the quarterfinals by downing 17-year-old Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3, 6-3, while No. 1 Roger Federer reached the fourth round on the men's side.
October 25, 2007 |
Chess is often used as a metaphor for life. Beijing LDTX Modern Dance Company used the Chinese strategy game called Go as that same metaphor in The Cold Dagger, presented Tuesday night at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theatre. Dance usually stands best on its own, but The Cold Dagger could have benefited from some program notes. LDTX artistic director Willy Tsao - who over two decades has led three other Chinese companies that have toured the United States, most notably Beijing Modern Dance Company - created the LDTX troupe with individuality and independence in mind.
December 15, 2006
Civil-union legislation just a shoddy rush job I wish to commend Monica Yant Kinney on her Dec. 10 column on the New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee and the civil-union bill. She is the only reporter I have seen who is willing to discuss the elephant in the living room - that civil-union legislation is being rushed through because 2007 is an election year for the Legislature. The state Supreme Court gave the Legislature until April 24, 2007, to come up with legislation giving same-sex couples in committed relationships equal rights and responsibilities as married couples.