Over 20 years covering China, travel, and culture for publications across the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Author of multiple books on China.
It’s impossible to read the introduction to Carissa Véliz’s Privacy is Power without hearing in the mind’s ear the saturnine tones of voice-overs from The Twilight Zone.
“They are watching us. They know I’m writing these words. They know you are reading them. Governments and hundreds of corporations are spying on you and me, and everyone we know. […] They want to know who we are, what we think, where we hurt. They want to predict and influence our behaviour.”
The Lion’s Share: how community-based wildlife projects across Asia benefit from big-brand advertising
Animals abound in advertising, whether it’s a puppy helping to bring life to otherwise inanimate toilet tissue, polar bears promoting a chilled soft drink or a bunny demonstrating battery longevity. The bears may be merely computer animations and the bunny a toy, but animal images help to shift hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of products every year.
The Lion’s Share is a project to encourage businesses to pay 0.5 per cent of their animal-themed media spend into a fund for wildlife conservation, with the target of eventually raising US$100 million a year.
Scotland in a Box: unpack a Highlands road trip at home with this collection of snacks, smells and sounds
Inspired by all that the country has to offer, a hamper of goodies allows you to experience Scotland despite the coronavirus travel restrictions. Included is a memory stick featuring storytellers, singers and musicians.
Review | In Menno Moto, Cameron Dueck journeys from Canada to Argentina in search of Mennonite culture – and himself
A 45,000km motorcycle ride, visiting Mennonite communities through the Americas, reveals much about schisms in the isolated religious communities but offers little in self-discovery
Do we still dream of desert islands?
The image of a palm-fringed crescent of pale sand gently lapped by azure waters and empty of anyone but ourselves is the one that says “holiday” more persuasively than any other. It says freedom from the familiar, from the daily commute, from phone calls and meetings, and from other people.
But having spent months keeping a distance from strangers, been prevented from seeing those we most love, and with the prospect of many more months of caution to come, does isolation when on holiday still seem an attractive idea?
Author Richard Ovenden’s book takes a Eurocentric look at the value, veracity and virtues of historical archives, but fails to mention China’s contribution – both constructive and destructive – to the annals of archiving
Like small houses that had woken from sleep, these bridges yawned themselves open at both ends, and stretched luxuriously like cats. Some were straightforwardly horizontal enough to resemble those in Clint Eastwood’s 1995 film The Bridges of Madison County, but with Chinese characteristics, such as a small shrine part way across. Others reared up dramatically, their two-storey centre sections topped with writhing dragons or ceramic fish, tails a-thrash.
Marco Polo’s book on China omits tea, chopsticks, bound feet – even the Great Wall. Why does his myth endure?
25 years after the publication of 'Did Marco Polo go to China?', historian Frances Wood remains convinced he never did. Her arguments are simple and convincing, but the rest of the world still seems reluctant to let the boy adventurer go.
Britain soon forgot a diplomat murdered in China, but locals in Yunnan remember story of his killing 125 years later
In 1875, British consular official Augustus Raymond Margary was killed near the backwater town of Tengyue close to the border with then British-ruled Burma. More than a century later, a writer hunts down the remaining traces of the incident in and around modern Tengchong.
Jonathan Hillman’s new book offers a reality check on Beijing’s global infrastructure projects, describing: ‘Ports without ships, trains without passengers, airports without flights, and free trade zones largely free of trade’
Burton Holmes helped shape America’s view of China in the early 20th century – he didn’t always do it justice
Burton Holmes, the celebrity pioneer of travelogues, gave huge American audiences their first glimpse of China, passing along his prejudices and inaccuracies in the process.
Cancelled flight? How to get a full refund, and why Air Canada has more than its fair share of customer refund complaints
Grounded by Covid-19, many of the world’s airlines have begun to resemble dubious strangers hanging around school playgrounds with offers of confectionery. “Look what I have here,” they say. “Change your dates or cancel your flight altogether. It’s free! Come and see.”
If the airline cancels the flight, a complete refund may be your legal right, but accept their offer and cancel yourself and the resulting terms and conditions – the requirement to rebook only on exactly the same route and within a limited time, for instance – may leave a bitter aftertaste.
Housed in the former East India Company offices, the hotel has raised the bar for accommodation on the remote isle
Once sustained by trading ships as they paused to replenish supplies en route to Hong Kong, and home to Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile, the British territory hopes to reinvent itself as a tourist hot spot