Globalized labor in 19th century Massachusetts

China officially surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy last week. At the same time, the millions toiling in the workshop of the world are grabbing headlines of a more controversial kind. Complaints of poor working conditions, suicide cases in factory campuses, wage disputes, and even strikes have caused concern for Modern China’s economic revolution. A much smaller group of Chinese laborers saw themselves in a similar struggle, not in Shenzhen, but in North Adams, Massachusetts, over a hundred years ago. The peculiar account of the lives of seventy-five Chinese men in the 19th century industrial hotbed is the … Continue reading

Cakes versus pies

Many things are often enjoyed in parties of family and friends, like BBQs, hot dogs, and, of course, cakes and pies. Cakes and pies are seen in a wide range of celebrations and get-togethers, such as birthdays or reunions. Cakes and pies both taste good and can be decorated in many ways. You may have seen houses made out of cookies with cherries on top, beautiful cakes with realistic (yet edible!) decorations, or even something like rocket-shaped cake on a launching pad. Decorations aren’t a competition between these two party foods, but there are lots more to compare. The most … Continue reading

New moms can prevent diabetes by keeping up healthy habits

Women who develop high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. These women should be tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after their baby is born. In many cases their blood glucose levels show that they are no longer considered to have diabetes. But what many people don’t realize is that new moms who had gestational diabetes will continue to have a greater risk for getting diabetes during their entire lifetime. So even if the test for diabetes is normal right after the baby is born, these women should continue to get tested … Continue reading

AACA joins Boston Children’s Hospital in embracing workplace diversity

On August 19, the PANG New England Chapter – a Sodexo Pan-Asian network group launched the New England Kick-off event at the Children’s Hospital Boston. The event included an Iron Chef Competition, cultural performances and participation by the Asian American Civic Association (AACA).   PANG’s mission is to foster a corporate environment in Sodexo that embraces and values the cultural diversity of its employees through learning and development programs offered by PANG members and by increasing the awareness of Pan Asian cultures within the organization, thereby achieving the long-term cultural diversity goals of the company. This is the beginning of many … Continue reading

Hidden Temples of China

One our most recent trip to China, my wife and I by chance happened to visit many different religious sites.  While religious practice is not outlawed in China today, it is low-key.  During the last decade of Mao Zedong’s life religions were effectively banned and religious leaders and worshippers persecuted.  The climate is more relaxed today, but there is still tight control.  All religions are officially run by the government and no religion is allowed to be controlled by a foreign source.  So the Chinese Catholic church takes its orders from the Communist party rather than the Vatican for example. … Continue reading

The Grand Mosque of Xi’an

The city of Xi’an was China’s first capital over 2000 years ago.  This is where the first emperor, Qin Shihuang, ruled and it was the capital of China in many later dynasties.  Xi’an was also the starting point of the Silk Road in the Tang dynasty and it was in Xi’an where foreign goods from the far west first appeared.  Along with trade, travelers from the west brought foreign religions such as Buddhism and Islam to China.  Xi’an, being the gateway to China from the Silk Road, has a great many ancient religious sites. One of the must-see sights in … Continue reading