Two Chinas: Hong Kong and Shanghai

WASHINGTON: People in mainland China don’t have a clue as to what is really happening in Hong Kong. State television lacks any semblance of balance. Its reporting emphasizes violence while downplaying the magnitude of what until recently were non-violent demonstrations against the steady erosion of democratic freedoms.  CCTV gives huge play to the defacing of the government insignia on a prominent building. As is well … Continue reading Two Chinas: Hong Kong and Shanghai

Letter from Shanghai: A Reflection on China Rising

SHANGHAI: As long as your visa is in order, it’s a fast passage through immigrations and customs in Shanghai. This sprawling city of 23 million has a modern, efficient international airport and it’s only a short walk to the world’s fastest train. The Siemens built maglev costs only $7 for the eight-minute, 200 mph journey to Shanghai’s outskirts. Connected to hotel Wifi, your laptop’s home … Continue reading Letter from Shanghai: A Reflection on China Rising

Remembering the Genius of IM Pei

HONG KONG: From the moment I first laid eyes upon it, I was captivated by the east wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington. When it opened in 1978 from my work place across the National Mall I marveled at its sharp angles and irregular shapes so strikingly different from the main gallery’s neo-classical style. It was apparent that not only was IM … Continue reading Remembering the Genius of IM Pei

The Great Flu Epidemic in Southern Gallia County, Ohio

The great flu epidemic that began in 1918 killed half a million Americans and 25% of the entire population was infected. Cincinnati was hard hit with 80,000 cases and 1,700 deaths from flu in 1918. To cope with the poorly understood disease, hotels removed chairs and sofas from lobbies. Theatres, schools and churches were ordered closed. Leaf burning was banned. At Camp Sherman in Chillicothe … Continue reading The Great Flu Epidemic in Southern Gallia County, Ohio

Early 20th Century Life in Southern Gallia County Ohio

When my father Howell Wood was born in 1903 on the family farm near Mercerville, rural life in Gallia County was strenuous but enjoyable. Food was mostly home grown, friends and family were nearby and Gallipolis and villages nearby were growing along with the commerce on the Ohio River. The country was at peace, Teddy Roosevelt was in the White House and the wounds of … Continue reading Early 20th Century Life in Southern Gallia County Ohio

Isis Comes to Northern Mozambique

On June 4th, for the first time, ISIS, claimed responsibility for an attack in northern Mozambique near the Tanzanian border. Its message said,  “The soldiers of the Caliphate were able to repulse an attack by the Crusader Mozambican army in Metubi village, in the Mocimboa area. They clashed with them with a variety of weapons, killing and wounding a number of them. The mujahideen captured … Continue reading Isis Comes to Northern Mozambique