Not Looking at Zen Art

An exhibit of Zen art by 20th-century Japanese painter Suda Kokuta at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Photo by Dennis Amith | A full experience of calligraphy and ceramics dissolves the distinction between artist, work, and viewer. By Gordon Greene Don’t look at Zen art. You will miss much of the richness of the experience. Instead, join the artist in as many ways as you can, with as many senses as you can. Over my decades of training in Rinzai Zen, shodo (Zen calligraphy), and firing ceramics with wood, I have come to realize that the full experience of Zen art involves … Continue reading Not Looking at Zen Art

How Asia’s Super Divers Evolved for a Life At Sea

A Bajau diver holds up his wooden diving mask. Scientists are starting to uncover the genetic basis of the Bajau people’s incredible breath-holding abilities. by ED YONG The Bajau people of southeast Asia are among the most accomplished divers in the world. In the summer of 2015, Melissa Ilardo got to see how good they are firsthand. She remembers diving with Pai Bayubu, who had already gone fairly deep when he saw a giant clam, 30 to 50 feet below him. “He just dropped down,” Ilardo recalls. “He pointed at it, and then he was there. Underwater, the Bajau are as comfortable as most … Continue reading How Asia’s Super Divers Evolved for a Life At Sea

Tigers found to assist farmers and livestock owners by protecting domesticated animals from other threats

 by: Jessica Dolores (Natural News) There have been a lot of stories about tigers and other predators attacking people and livestock. While this may have created a negative perception of tigers, a new study asks us to reconsider: In a paper in the journal Biological Conservation, researchers from Bhutan found that farmers and livestock can actually benefit from having tigers live near them. Tigers that live in the deepest habitats push two other predators — leopards and dholes (a type of wild dog) — away and closer to human villages and agricultural places. Despite the setup, this doesn’t endanger the people and the livestock. In … Continue reading Tigers found to assist farmers and livestock owners by protecting domesticated animals from other threats

Everyday politics

Detail from The Departure Herald, unknown artist, Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Image courtesy Wikipedia Imperial Chinese conscription shows how ordinary people exercise influential political skills, even in a repressive state by Michael Szonyi is professor of Chinese history and director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. He is a social historian of late imperial and modern China. His latest books are (co-edited with Jennifer Rudolph) The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (2018) and the The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China (2017). Published in association with Princeton University Press an Aeon Partner Edited by Sam Haselby It’s easy … Continue reading Everyday politics


image edited by Fernando Kaskais  BY QUORA CONTRIBUTOR  Robot Barista Replaces Human Workers In Japan This originally appeared on Quora. Answered by Misha Yurchenko. An American man in a typical midwestern town goes to his local bar and orders chicken wings and a Miller Light. He got chewed out by his boss, splattered red spaghetti sauce on his pants (not again!) and overall had a pretty crummy day at work. It’s pretty late already and his wife is already asleep at home, so he thought he’d take a bit of time to wind down. He might only stay out a couple of hours for … Continue reading JAPAN HAS A LONELINESS ISSUE. ARE HOSTESS CLUBS THE SOLUTION?

Exploring Unknown Tibet

A painting of Shakyamuni Buddha featured in the Unknown Tibet exhibit at the Asia Society in New York City. Image of the Museum of Civilisation-Museum of Oriental Art “Giuseppe Tucci,” Rome. The Asia Society’s exhibit delves into Italian scholar Giuseppe Tucci’s expeditions and the vivid Buddhist thangka paintings he collected. By Anne Doran On eight expeditions to Tibet between 1926 and 1948, Italian scholar and explorer Giuseppe Tucci (1894–1984) collected more than 200 portable paintings, or thangkas, from every part of the country and from every historical period between the 13th and 19th centuries. His collecting was informed by his background as … Continue reading Exploring Unknown Tibet

China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech

  Rami Niemi by RENE CHUN Facial-recognition technologies are proliferating, from airports to bathrooms. Dystopia starts with 23.6 inches of toilet paper. That’s how much the dispensers at the entrance of the public restrooms at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven dole out in a program involving facial-recognition scanners—part of the president’s “Toilet Revolution,” which seeks to modernize public toilets. Want more? Forget it. If you go back to the scanner before nine minutes are up, it will recognize you and issue this terse refusal: “Please try again later.” China is rife with face-scanning technology worthy of Black Mirror. Don’t even think about jaywalking in … Continue reading China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech