Bridging Traditional Wisdom and Modern Medicine

Dr Jingduan Yang is a neurologist, psychiatrist, and expert Chinese medicine and integrative medicine. (Courtesy of Dr. Yang)

Insights gained from practicing Chinese medicine, neurology, and psychiatry


January 18, 2019 Updated: January 18, 2019

The U.S. health care system is in crisis, with Americans at the bottom of 18 developed countries in health rankings. Unless we start conversations about the health and well-being of our country, we will never find a solution. That’s the goal of the column “ Health Talk of America.”

Family Tradition of Chinese Medicine

I was born in Hefei, the capital city of China’s Anhui province, into a family tradition of Chinese medicine.… READ MORE...


Peter Rabbit: Why It Is Still One of the Greats of Children’s Literature

Peter Rabbit feasting in Mr. McGregor’s garden, in the 1902 edition of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” (Public Domain)


January 30, 2019 Updated: January 30, 2019

Since the days of Aesop, animals have been used as vehicles by which humankind has addressed its moral, ethical, and cultural identity. For some, this serves to misrepresent animals, privileging anthropomorphism at the expense of the more sensitive address of animal sentience and welfare. For others, this approach allows humans to circumvent their own social taboos to reveal not merely fresh insights into what it is to be human, but also humanity’s intrinsic relationship to animals, with animals, and as part of nature.… READ MORE...


Chinese Shan Shui Painting Through the Yuan Dynasty

«Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains,» 1295, by Zhao Mengfu. Handscroll with ink on paper, 11.2 inches by 35.5 inches. National Palace Museum, Taipei. (Public Domain)

Nature reflecting the Yin-Yang of the Cosmos


January 14, 2019 Updated: January 17, 2019

Chinese landscape painting, known as shan shui (“mountain water”), can be considered one of the highest forms of expression in ancient Chinese art. But what makes this genre so unequivocally identifiable?

It begins with the fact that the ancient Chinese believed that heaven and earth exist together in harmony. Thus, ancient Chinese landscape artists sought to portray nature’s relationship with the entire cosmos.… READ MORE...


The ‘Sense and Sensibility’ in Jane Austen’s Novel

In Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” two sisters demonstrate opposite tendencies: One shows prudence and the other poetic feelings. «Evening or Full Dress,» a fashion plate for «The Repository of Arts,» June 1, 1810, by Rudolph Ackermann. Hand-colored engraving on paper. Gift of Charles LeMaire, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Public Domain)


December 28, 2018 Updated: December 28, 2018

Everyone knows a drama queen. In Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility,” Marianne Dashwood happily plays the role, and wonderfully demonstrates how the fashion for sensibility at the time is taken to excess. Marianne’s heart is her compass, and she willfully goes wherever her feelings and flights of fancy take her, mostly in her mind.… READ MORE...


9 Globe-Altering Historical Events That Happened During Christmas

(L) Public domain, (R) NASA

Christmas-day discoveries, decisions, and disasters that had an impact on how the world played out


December 22, 2018 Updated: December 27, 2018

From Columbus’ shipwreck to George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware, there have been a lot of world-changing events that took place during Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. Read on to see these 9 fascinating things that also happened on December 25.

9. Columbus’ Santa María sinks, 1492

Of all three ships that sailed on Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World, the flagship Santa María was the largest and slowest.… READ MORE...


A Backward View: Older Books and the Culture of the Now

A flood of information daily inundates us, burying in silt many treasures from the past.


December 17, 2018 Updated: December 17, 2018

For almost 20 years, I have written book reviews for a weekly newspaper in Western North Carolina.

In general, reviewers take an interest only in new books. This makes some sense, as older books have already received their accolades or their slings and arrows. A few critics—Nick Hornby in his collection of reviews “Ten Years in the Tub,” and the great Michael Dirda of The Washington Post—do revisit older books, but this is rare.

Yet our prejudice as reviewers for the new is unfortunate, especially in regard to good literature.… READ MORE...


Values of ancient China


Today, the whole world is applauding the greatness of 5,000 years of civilization, so masterfully presented by the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts company. Yet under Communist rule in China, Shen Yun performances are prohibited, and the Chinese embassies and consulates overseas try in vain to interfere with local performances.

In spite of vicious attacks from the regime and attempts to disrupt Shen Yun performances, theater critics continue to pay tribute to this exceptional demonstration of classical art and avid theatergoers seek again and again to experience this unique show.

Through Shen Yun, we enter the world of ancient dynasties, traveling through time and space.READ MORE...


Life Exists Because of One’s Soul

Most people believe that we have souls, but know little about when and how a soul begins to dominate a human body. We may find some clues in a story in the book “Zibuyu Volume II” written by Yuan Mei, a scholar and writer who lived in the Qing Dynasty (A.D. 1636-1912).

According to the story, an old peasant lived in the Jinshan area of Shanghai during the Qing Dynasty. One night, on the first day of the month, he dreamed that a magistrate dressed in green visited him, bringing along an official document.

The magistrate told him: “Your life should end by the 17th day of this month.… READ MORE...


Politician Fan Zhongyan Put Others’ Needs First

Fan Zhongyan was a prominent politician and a famed poet and writer during the Northern Song Dynasty (A.D. 970-1127). A saying of his, “Be the first to feel concern for others and the last to enjoy yourself,” has become immortal in history and serves as a true reflection of his life.

During the second year of Emperor Renzong’s rule in 1033, there was widespread famine. Fan Zhongyan petitioned the court for assistance, but the court turned a deaf ear.

Fan asked Emperor Renzong face to face: “What would you do if there was no food in the court? A lot of people are starving right now.”

The emperor then sent him out to pacify the victims.… READ MORE...


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