Cùn: The Chinese Inch (寸)

Units for measurements around the globe developed from what was easily available, namely body parts. For instance, hands were used to measure the height of horses, human feet for distance, and even the average length a physicist’s beard grows in a second was once used to measure extremely short distances (around 5 nanometers). An inch in the West, is generally based on the length of a thumb.

Yet, China’s inch historically used more than one digit or finger depending on who or what was being measured. Was this ever standardized? Do some people still use multiple fingers to measure things? These questions and more are answered in my newest blog post: Cùn: The Chinese Inch (寸)!

The Magic of Bad Chinese Taxidermy

No matter the size of a Chinese city, if it has a museum, chances are high that one is sure to find some funky-looking dead animals there!

Countdown to Beijing

In what feels like a lifetime and countless cups of late-night coffee later, I’m now set to return to China on the first of November barring I don’t test positive for Covid three days before my flight!

A Day Trip to Tianjin天津

A port city metropolis situated along the Bohai Sea in Northern China, Tianjin is China’s largest coastal city and currently ranks fourth largest in urban population following Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Meaning “heavenly ford” or “the place where the emperor crossed the river,” Tianjin has historically been the maritime gateway to the nation’s capital of Beijing. Because of its location, controlling Tianjin has been of crucial strategic importance in terms of the geopolitics of the area.

Online Teaching: Big Drama on Day One

Here we are into the initial days of the 2020 spring semester during the Covid-19 virus outbreak. As my colleagues, students and I are stuck across the globe, we are diligently trying to follow the directives of our higher ups to comply with the government’s solution: e-classes over Wechat. Imagine trying to teach courses over…

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 中秋节快乐!

I often liken the Mid-Autumn Festival to Thanksgiving in the USA, but Mid-Autumn festival has more similar counterparts in Korea and Japan (with the Chuseok and Tsukimi holidays). During this holiday in China, family members will cook and eat traditional foods, watch tv together, and enjoy the full moon.

The Incredible Leshan Giant Buddha 乐山大佛

The Leshan Buddha, fondly called, “Da Fo” or Big Buddha (大佛), is an amazing feat of ancient architecture and manpower. Carved into the side of Mt. Lingyun, the colossal statue at 71 meters tall (233 feet) stands over 1,300 years old and is considered to be the largest stone Buddha in the world – by far the tallest pre-modern statue. This sacred, ancient wonder of the world was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and attracts millions of people every year, including Buddhist pilgrims AND ME!

Chengdu 成都: The “Special Flavor” of Sichuan food

Sichuan spice is no joke. Sichuan peppercorns are known for their mouth-numbing properties, while a plethora of other spicy ingredients can have sweat and tears running down your face. Thankfully, not all Sichuan-style dishes are so volatile, though! For those with lighter palates, Sichuan food can also be sweet, savory and refreshing.