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An Xiao Mina
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Blog Entries by An Xiao Mina

Sustaining a Pro Bono Design Practice: A Chat with A Very Nice Design Studio (PHOTOS)

Posted May 11, 2011 | 03:41:00 (EST)

In 2009, Los Angeles-based designer Matthew Manos had a thought: "I was obsessed and fascinated by the idea that a design firm could actually devote 100% of is time to helping non-profits for nothing in return." Two years later, his company, A Very Nice Design Studio, has done...

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The 21st Century Saloon: A Peek Inside China's Wangba, or Internet Cafes

Posted April 25, 2011 | 15:55:35 (EST)

It's 5 in the morning on a Monday, and California native Tricia Wang is waking up in a second-tier city in central China. An ethnographer and researcher in how disadvantaged groups like migrant and low-income communities use technology, she immerses herself in her research environment.

Today's office is a smoky...

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Hiking the Great Wall and the Chinese Landscape: A Trip With the Beijing Hikers (PHOTOS)

Posted April 21, 2011 | 12:27:05 (EST)

The first thing I notice is the sky, so foreign to my experience in China. For what must be miles, I see clear blue sky and light clouds. Mountains rise up on either side of me, and a river, gleaming almost white in the sunshine, curves gently through the valley....

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Brainscape Taps Into the Greatest App of All: Your Brain

Posted March 1, 2011 | 00:05:05 (EST)

Ancient Greek and Roman intelligentsia may not have had iPhones but they did have supercomputers. With even basic paper and writing tools expensive to come by, memory, i.e., the brain, provided the most reliable way to capture information for ready usage. Armed with extensive knowledge about the ins and outs...

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你说啥?Three Guesses at a Global Chinese Language Future

Posted February 24, 2011 | 10:41:09 (EST)

Western media was abuzz recently with news of Sasha Obama practicing her hanyu (汉语: Chinese language) with Hu Jintao (try typing "Sasha Obama" into Google and see what the search engine suggests). I couldn't help but wonder: what did she say? Did she get her tones right? And...

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The Beijing Subway Challenge: How Does It Compare to New York?

Posted February 7, 2011 | 15:35:11 (EST)

Just last week, Global Times reporter Alex Taggart challenged colleague Chris Hawke to a race: traverse the entire Beijing subway system in a day. According to the Times, this kind of one-day subway challenge had never been completed before in Beijing, though it had been done, famously, in...

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Chunyun Beijing: What The World's Largest Annual Human Migration Looks Like

Posted February 4, 2011 | 14:15:54 (EST)

Chunyun (春运) -- this most elegant word pairing refers to the largest migration of human beings on the planet. For Chinese New Year, also known as Chunjie, or the Spring Festival, an estimated 230 million people are taking the train home this year. That's nearly the population of...

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Ting Bu Dong: Free iPhone Apps Getting Me Through China

Posted January 26, 2011 | 18:25:38 (EST)

I was destined to love words. By three years old, I was reading books, magazines and street signs -- anything I could see with letters on them. But a week in Hong Kong stumped me.

"Lola," I said, using the Tagalog word to address my grandmother, "Why can't I...

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