“The hardest part about becoming someone else was deciding to. The rest was only logistics.” Stella, The Vanishing Half I was hooked by Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half the moment I read the opening chapter. I churned through the book into the wee hours of the night, finishing the book in one sitting after several … More
Dear Hsieh With You readers, happy new year. What a year 2020 has been. And I think I can safely say that none of us were prepared for the life-changing year. In face of the uncertainties that still loom large in regards to the pandemic, more specifically when will it end and when can life … More
The title of this post is a bit misleading. Totoro has always been somewhat electronic. Joe Hisaishi My Neighbor Totoro is an 1988 animated film from Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli. Nearly all of Studio Ghibli’s films have been musically scored by the same man, Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲). Hisaishi is a titan in the Japanese … More
Despite growing up in sunny (Northern) California and now living in even sunnier Southern California, I seem to have a preference for cold places. When I studied abroad in Beijing, I experienced a winter that averaged about -10°C, or 14°F. The year I worked abroad in Seoul, I celebrated one of the city’s coldest Christmas … More
In the time of coronavirus lockdown, chasing the romantic sublime in Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
The idea of music affecting wellbeing and emotions is at least as old as the writings of Plato: “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” Music, even sad music, can evoke positive emotional responses. A 2,400 subject study from Durham University in the United … More
Dadong Arts Center 大東文化藝術中心 Transportation: Dadong MRT Station, Exit 1. Dadong Arts Center is a stunning architectural iteration of a multi-functional art space. Completed in March 2012, the four-building architecture is comprised of an 800-seat theatre, an exhibition center, a library, and an education center. It is designed to be both a state-of-the-art-venue for performance … More
It is nearly a year since my last international trip to Taiwan and I can only say I am in awe and desperately jealous that Taiwan has kept the coronavirus situation under control. The country has exceeded 200 days (since April!) with no new coronavirus cases. For this post, I will take you southward to … More
“I have only one paper out. The tables are in fact very beautiful, all clear and double-spaced line borders. All succinct and informative titles. Somewhere I read that the average number of readers for a scientific paper is 0.6.” -Weike Wang, Chemistry Reading this line, I laughed so hard I almost shed tears. 0.6 is … More
The opening scene of “The One I Love” (2014) shows couple Ethan (Mark Duplass) and Sophie (Elizabeth Moss) in a joint therapy session. Their marriage is on the rocks because Ethan had cheated and the two are struggling. Their therapist recommends that they go on a weekend getaway. “The perfect retreat. Just the two of … More
Urban Indians feel at home walking in the shadow of a downtown building. We came to know the downtown Oakland skyline better than we did any sacred mountain range, the redwoods in the Oakland hills better than any other deep wild forest. We know the sound of the freeways better than we do rivers, the … More
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