“History has not been kind to Himalaya,” writes historian and travel writer John Keay in his latest book Himalaya: Exploring the Roof of the World. The region, nestled between India, China and Central Asia, has long been subject to political and imperial intrigue–and at times violent invasion. But the region also provided a wealth of scientific information, like geographers puzzling over how these tall peaks were thrust upwards by plate tectonics.
In the 19th century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard.
Stay True, the new memoir from Hua Hsu, is a coming-of-age story about the writer’s time in the University of California in Berkeley, where he tries to become a writer–and becomes a bit of a music snob.
How does a pilot see the cities of the world? Unlike residents, who live there full-time, or tourists, who travel once and perhaps never again, pilots are brief, but regular visitors to the hubs of the world.
In the strategy game Civilization VI, where players choose world leaders to be their avatar, Qin Shihuang, the First Emperor of China, has one goal in mind: building wonders (like the Great Wall of China). His workers can build wonders faster and more cheaply, and he hates leaders that build more wonders than he does.
Two neighbors from the same village fall in love and elope to a shelter for couples that break caste norms. A Hindu woman falls in love with a Muslim man, drawing the ire of Hindu nationalists. Two women start a lesbian relationship.
“We’ll compete with confidence; we’ll cooperate wherever we can; we’ll contest where we must.” That’s the new China strategy as outlined by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this year. But just exactly how countries should deal with China—including working with it, when the times call for it—is perhaps the thorniest question in international relations right now, at least in the West.