Daily Archives: January 9, 2011

More on Chinese mothers. This time on Maternity Confinement in China

I came across this in twitter: Maternity Confinement in China « Jenny Zhu. It’s fasscinating what women who just had a baby have to do for the first month after delivery: no going out, no showers, no hair washing or teeth brushing. And more! Read the article on this 2000 year old tradition.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior like George Orwell’s teachers were Superior

Read this:Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior – WSJ.com. And then read this: George Orwell: Such, Such Were The Joys. You might be inclined to agree with the first approach to teaching and disagree with the second. (I disagree with both.)

Both of them make me think of Wilde’s quote about cynics: “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” People who have these educational approaches know all about the costs/benefits of education, but not the value of it, it seems.

Five myths about why the South seceded from the Union that lead to the U.S. civil war

Can be found in this well written article in the Washington Post: Five myths about why the South seceded.

The myths are:

1. The South seceded over states’ rights.
2. Secession was about tariffs and taxes.
3. Most white Southerners didn’t own slaves, so they wouldn’t secede for slavery.
4. Abraham Lincoln went to war to end slavery.
5. The South couldn’t have made it long as a slave society.

Some of them are well documented (#1), but others are true but debatable (#5). The article provides the details.

Some thoughts on still life painting and pastoral painting

In this blog post, Still Life Without Man – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan, there is a quote mentioned

Robert Musil said that “all still lifes are actually paintings of the world on the sixth day of creation, when God and the world were alone together, without man!” This is precisely right, as I think Eric’s photo demonstrates it

(Eric is Eric Mencher, the artist who photographed this still life.)

I would argue that it is pastoral work and not still life work are “paintings of the world on the sixth day of creation”. Man/people are all over still life paintings and art works. Look at the work above. The main objects are handmade. You can imagine who lives there. Indeed, as you look at many still life paintings, there is always the shadow of the artist over them in the arrangement and selection of objects in the still life. While with pastoral paintings, even if there is someone embedded in the image, it is less about them and more about what surrounds them.