2017 Winners: World Press Photo Awards

Self only has a few minutes to post this, as she’s running here there and everywhere and the only reason she is still in her apartment is because she decided to work a little more on her sequel to “First Causes”: “This Is End” (dystopia, fantasy, apocalyptic, etc what else is new, lol)

Winner:  Associated Press Photographer Burhan Ozbilici, for his image of a gun-wielding off-duty Turkish policeman standing over the body of Russia’s ambassador, Dec. 19

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES

Singles

  1. Jonathan Bachman (USA), Reuters: “Taking a Stand in Baton Rouge”
  2. Vadim Ghirda (Romania), The Associated Press“Migrant Crossing”
  3. Daniel Etter (Germany): “The Libyan Migrant Trap”

Stories

  1. Amber Bracken (Canada): “Standing Rock”
  2. Lalo de Almeida (Brazil): “Victims of the Zika Virus”
  3. Peter Bauza (Germany): “Copacabana Palace”

DAILY LIFE

Singles

  1. Paula Bronstein (USA), Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting: “The Silent Victims of a Forgotten War”
  2. Tiejun Wang (China): “Sweat Makes Champions”
  3. Matthieu Paley (France), National Geographic: “China’s Wild West”

Stories

  1. Tomas Munita (Chile), The New York Times: “Cuba on the Edge of Change”
  2. Elena Asonova (Russia): “Out of the Way”
  3. Francesco Comello (Italy):  “Isle of Salvation”

GENERAL NEWS

Singles

  1. Laurent Van der Stockt (France), Getty for Le Monde: “Offensive on Mosul”
  2. Santi Palacios (Spain): “Left Alone”
  3. Noel Celis (Philippines), Agence France-Presse: “Inside the Philippines’ Most Overcrowded Jail”

Names From Around WordPress

Browsing WordPress for posts on this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge, NAMES.

Here are some that intrigued:

Enjoy!

Stay tuned.

The Nostalgia of Others

Of course, nostalgia is something that affects everyone differently. We’d love to know what kinds of experiences you’ve had that stir these emotions for the past in you.

— Jeff Golenski, The Daily Post

Here are some WordPress blogs whose takes on this week’s photo challenge, NOSTALGIA, intrigued self:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Selling Lingerie to the Egyptians: Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, Aug. 10 & 17, 2015

Self finds the Peter Hessler essay in The New Yorker, “Learning to Speak Lingerie” absolutely fascinating.

She started reading Hessler because he wrote about his two years living in China (as a Peace Corps volunteer) in River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze. Self is a graduate of   East Asian Studies, concentration in Chinese, hence the feeling of connection.

Moreover, Hessler is a very very very good writer.

He wrote his essay about Asyut, in Upper Egypt. Here, in this very conservative place (“Virtually all Muslim women there wear the head scarf”), there is “a Chinese Lingerie Corner in a mall whose entrance featured a Koranic verse that warned against jealousy.”

Along a “three-hundred-mile stretch,” Hessler reports he found “twenty-six Chinese lingerie dealers.” Their product? “butt-less body stockings, nightgowns that cover only one breast, G-strings accessorized with feathers, see-through tops . . . Brand names include Laugh Girl, Shady Tex Lingerie, Hot Love Italy Design, and Sexy Fashion Reticulation Alluring.”

Clearly, this is an essay that demands self’s full and unfocused attention.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Stanford East Asian Studies

Self has never been to a Stanford Alumni Homecoming. Not one. Even though her house is only six miles from Stanford.

Today, to honor how her parents supported her through a masters in East Asian Studies, concentration in Chinese, she picks up one of her East Asian Studies textbooks: China’s Imperial Past: An Introduction to Chinese History and Culture, by Charles O. Hucker.

p. 208:

The Buddha won converts in part because it is clear that his was an electric personality. But he also had a superb intellect, and his conception of the human condition was at once breathtakingly brilliant and utterly simple. Its essence is: There is no Brahma; there is no Atman. What keeps you in this world of illusion, propelling you from one life to the next, is no more than your own craving for existence and for self-ness. If you really want to get off the merry-go-round of endless suffering and rebirth, then realize you are on it only because you want to be. To get off, all you have to do is let go!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Am Reading Today, Last Tuesday of February 2015

blogs

a friend’s novel

Roberto Bolaño’s 2666

tweets about the Oscars

Sunflower Splendor: Two Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry, Co-edited by Wu-chi Liu and Irving Yucheng Lo

Here’s a poem called “Southern Mountains,” by Han Yu:

So therefore I watched a pool
Whose clear depths concealed water dragons.

Bending I could gather fish and prawns,
But who dares plunder divine beings?

About Han Yu: He was a late T’ang Dynasty poet, and a contemporary of Li Po and Tu Fu. He was born into a literary family of landed gentry in the province of Hunan. He served in several high posts in the government: Vice President of the Ministry of War, Vice-President of the Ministry of Personnel, and Metropolitan Governor. He died in Ch’ang-an in 824, at the age of 56.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Triumph!

Triumph!  Self can finally remove one piece from her humongous, ever-growing, overflowing Pile of Stuff:  The New York Review of Books Mar. 6, 2014 issue.

She read it cover to cover, backwards and forwards.  The only thing she skipped reading were the Letters to the Editor and the Classifieds.

And self was even able to compile a list of the books she is interested in reading (which she will probably get to six or seven years from now:  since the start of the year, her reading rate has sunk to the truly abysmal.  She’s still on the same Jhumpa Lahiri short story she began about 10 days ago)

Without further ado, here are the books self is adding to her reading list:

  • Gabriele d’Annunzio:  Poet, Seducer, and Preacher of War, by Lucy Hughes-Hallett (The review, by David Gilmour, makes passing mention of Alberto Moravia’s L’amore coniugale :  Conjugal Love, which self now wants to read)
  • Lina and Serge:  The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev, by Simon Morrison (The review, by Orlando Figes, makes passing mention of two other books self is now interested in reading:  The Gambler, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, and The Fiery Angel, by Valery Bryusov)
  • The Missionary’s Curse and Other Tales from a Chinese Village, by Henrietta Harrison (The review, by Ian Johnson, makes passing mention of Jesus in Beijing, by former Time journalist David Aiken. BTW, what a fabulous title)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Attacking the Pile of Stuff: The New Yorker of Dec. 2, 2013

From the Talk of the Town, p. 24:

In Warsaw, the other week, a Filipino diplomat sobbed while addressing the U.N. climate summit; he had family in the typhoon-ravaged country.  “We may have ratified our own doom,” he said, alluding to the slow pace of negotiations for curbing international emissions.  He announced that he was starting a hunger strike, for the duration of the summit, and was given a standing ovation.

From Ian Johnson’s “In the Air,” an account of “China’s most polluted cities”:

Handan is a city “two hundred and fifty miles southwest of Beijing” with “an urban core of 1.4 million inhabitants . . .  It abuts the Tailing mountains” which, “thanks to rich deposits of coal and iron ore,” have made the region “one of the world’s great centers of steel production . . .  One of the provinces that border the Taihang range . . .  accounts for ten per cent of the world’s output.” The locals grow vegetables under the smoke billowing from factories.  It’s one of the dirtiest environments in the world.

There’s a poem by Mary Jo Bang that self really likes:

All Through the Night

The rotational earth, the resting for seconds:

hemisphere one meets hemisphere two,
thoughts twist apart at the center seam.
Everything inside is,
Cyndi Lauper and I both fall into pure emptiness.
That’s one way to think: I think I am right now.
We have no past we won’t reach back —
The clock ticks like the nails of a foiled dog
chasing a faster rabbit across a glass expanse.

The Annals of Law essay, by Rachel Aviv, concerns the way Social Service agencies have made a deliberate choice “to err on the side of overreaction, because the alternative could be devastating.  Social workers recognize that if they recommend returning a child to a deadly home “it will be a career ender.”  Thus, they “choose a knowable tragedy, the separation of a parent and child, in order to prevent an unknowable one.”

Heartbreak, right there.  The article focuses on a mother, a Kuwaiti immigrant named Niveen, who’s been accused of child neglect.  Her three-year-old son, Adam, who was in Montessori pre-school, fell and “his tooth came loose, making it painful to chew.”  Naveen took several days off from work to feed him herself.  After missing several days, her boss says, “With you it’s always something.”  Here’s the rest of that paragraph:

Then she imagined the way her boss would look at her the next time she came, and felt suddenly ashamed.  She got up, brushed her teeth, put some snacks in a ziploc bag, gave them to Adam, and left the house.  “It was mechanical —  I wasn’t thinking anymore,” she said.  “Things were upside down, but I kept everything to myself.  I was just trying to survive.”

Her son “had been alone for ninety minutes when police officers arrived . . . ” It’s a gripping article (as almost all The New Yorker Annals of Law articles have been), one that really tries to see things from the mother’s point of view.

Stay tuned.

Also Reading: THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF CHINESE POETRY, co-edited by Wu-Chi Liu and Irving Yucheng Lo

A poem by T’ao Ch’ien (365 – 427), also known as T’ao Yuan-ming. He was born near modern Kiangsi.

On Returning to My Garden and Field

When I was young, I did not fit into the common mold,
By instinct, I love mountains and hills.
By error, I fell into this dusty net
And was gone from home for thirteen years.
A caged bird yearns for its native woods;
The fish in a pond recalls old mountain pool.
Now I shall clear the land at the edge of the southern wild,
And, clinging to simplicity, return to garden and field.
My house and land on a two-acre lot,
My thatched hut of eight or nine rooms —
Elms and willows shade the eaves back of the house,
Peach and plum trees stand in a row before the hall.
Lost in a haze is the distant village,
Where smoke hovers above the homes.
Dogs bark somewhere in deep lanes,
Cocks crow atop the mulberry trees.
My home is free from dust and care,
In a bare room there is leisure to spare.
Long a prisoner in a cage,
I am now able to come back to nature.

About the poet:  T’ao’s father was a district official, but during his youth the family fortunes declined and, after several frustrating attempts to secure an appointment, he gave up all worldly ambitions and spent the remaining years of his life as a gentleman farmer.

Personal Library 15

The Man took us all out to dinner at son’s favorite restaurant, Juban in Menlo Park.

Did you know that on Fridays, between five and six p.m., one can have two plates of a) yakiniku; or b) garlic pork; or c) boneless chicken breast; or d) calamari for the price of one?  And that all cocktails are just $3?

Anyhoo, son has gone off to meet a friend and so self is back to the book tabulation!

Let’s see:  Last she left off, she had reached the third shelf of Bookcase # 2 in the dining room.  This shelf has 47 books.

586+ 47 = 633 total of books tabulated so far

Among the books on this shelf are:  Roger Ebert’s Movie Home Companion; Women’s Tales of Whaling:  Life Stories of 11 Japanese Women Who Live With Whaling (Sample passage:  “How come it is OK to kill cows but not whales?  I think it is more sinful to feed calves knowing that you are going to kill them later.  Don’t you think so?”);  The Sign of Jonas, by Thomas Merton;  China in Disintegration:  The Republican Era in Chinese History 1912 – 1949, by James E. Sheridan;  Monster:  Poems, by Joel Barraquiel Tan;  How to  Beat the Russians:  An Instructive Tour of the Weak Points of the Soviet Chess Style, by Edmar Mednis, International Chess Master;  Wonders and Curiosities of Chess, by Irving Chernev (Dedicated, “with love, to a chess widow” —  How sweet!); Best Chess Games 1970 – 1980, by Jon Speelman.

The chess books are The Man’s, of course, most of them dating from his single days.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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