Book review: Seeking the Cave, by James Lenfestey

Cold Mountain Cave may sound like a mythical staple of Chinese literature, but it exists, says poet and essayist James Lenfestey. Better yet, the cave once housed Lenfestey’s idol: Tang dynasty bard Han Shan (which literally means Cold Mountain), who wrote the Cold Mountain poems. Read at the South China Morning Post


Renminbi investors unlikely to make a killing just yet

China is set to edge the United States as the world’s biggest economy this year, according to the World Bank. With the US increasingly cast as a fading force, the renminbi could well be the natural successor to the US dollar as the reserve currency, it’s said. So investing in China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), seems a shrewd move – or is it?

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald.


Book review: The 13th Labour of Hercules, by Yannis Palaiologos

Despite narrowly avoiding eurozone expulsion, Greece remains in dire straits. In The 13th Labour of HerculesAthenian reporter Yannis Palaiologos explains how the once-flush, outwardly advanced economy collapsed so fast and stayed down. Read at the South China Morning Post


Antarctic researcher still blown away by continent’s beauty

Intrepid marine ecologist Dr Jonny Stark first visited Antarctica aboard Australia’s Aurora icebreaker in 1997. The sensation of sailing the freezing sea as part of his doctoral research felt “completely alien”, says Dr Stark, 46, speaking from his Dodges Ferry home near Hobart.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..


Ten tips to avoid winter colds

Adults average about two to four colds a year, according to the British health information site NHS Choices. Catching a cold is a dismal feeling; all that snot makes you feel gross. If you let the infection get out of hand, leper-like, you may stay at home, unable to do much except sniffle and sneeze. Read at the South China Morning Post.


Money to burn has a rich history

Twenty years ago, British hell-raisers Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond gave the phrase “money to burn” new meaning through a dramatic act: incinerating £1 million.

The two Britons — the stars of the experimental rock group, KLF — committed the act on 23 August 1994, burning the bulk of their funds on a Scottish island.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald.


Review: Sacred Mountains: How the Revival of Daoism is Turning China’s Ecological Recovery Around

Cities are draped in smog for ever-longer periods and rivers are turning black, red and yellow as waste is dumped in. Meanwhile, algae merrily sprout, writes green business guru Allerd Stikker in his spiritually slanted assessment of China’s pollution crisis. Read at the South China Morning Post..


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