Thursday, November 29, 2012

What "Chi" Means to China

Chi, traditionally spelt qi, is a concept in Chinese culture dating all the way back to 5th century BCE. Ancient Chinese philosophy describes chi as a life force or energy which binds all things together. Even today, it is believed that chi is the flow of energy through the body that forms cohesion and balance. Ancient Confucian scholars believed that life was the result of the accumulation of chi, without it we would simply cease to exist. Even through advances in science, technology, and medicine, Chi still remains an active part of Chinese culture and tradition. Chi acts as the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine as well as martial arts. 

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Traditional Chinese medicine, dating back to ancient times, is still practiced throughout China today. The belief behind these traditional practices are that illness and disease are the result of blocked or unbalanced channels, referred to as meridians. The unbalanced within the meridians stops the correct flow of chi, resulting in deficiencies in organs or other parts of the body.  Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to reverse these imbalances by restoring the flow of chi. This is done through countless methods such as eating or drinking specific herbs, massages, physical training, food therapy, and acupuncture. 

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This alternative form of medicine is as easy to find in China as Western medicine. Many hospitals and clinics in China will have Western medicine and Traditional Chinese medicine being practiced side by side. Incoming patients are given the choice of whether they wish to be treated with standard Western medicine or opt for an alternative treatment. Often times, Chinese patients will combine the two, for example, alternating between daily doses of Traditional Chinese herbs and prescribed drug regimens. One of the core beliefs in Traditional Chinese medicine that differs from the traditional Western Biomedical model is that being healthy is not strictly having an absence of illness of disease, but possessing overall mental, physical, and social wellbeing

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Forbes to Disney: How to Make Star Wars Awesome Again

Due to George Lucas' recent sale of LucasFilms to Disney, including the rights to Star Wars, fans can expect a whole new trilogy on the way by 2015. For some, this is fantastic news but others have their doubts. Some feel that the series has ended on a good note and Disney is going to "mess it up". So how should Disney go about making these next three Star Wars episodes in order to continue on Star Wars' legacy and not ruin it? 

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Forbes believes in order for the the upcoming trilogy not to be a flop, Joss Whedon should be put on for writing and directing. Thanks to Whedon's fantastic directing and writing, The Avengers was on of the best super hero movies to hit the theaters in years. Hopefully Whedon's talent for weaving together action and humor and his admirable ability to make the audience truly care about the characters, captures Disney's attention when selecting a director for Star Wars. 

Forbes' next piece of advice -- bring in Pixar. The people at Pixar are very creative and have a tremendous talent for storytelling. Pixar director Andrew Stanton and others would be very beneficial additions to the film project. Plus, the combination of Pixar and Whedon would promise some truly incredible results.

The next important tip to make Star Wars a big hit instead of a big disappointment -- build it around the characters, not the events. One of the problems that was evident in the prequel series was the lack of development of the characters or their relationships with the other characters. For the audience to care about the characters, they need to be able to relate to them or understand them. Imagine if in the prequel series they had built up the friendship between Anakin and Obi Wan, going deeper and more emotional- it would have made the betrayal so much more significant. Anakin's transition to the dark side was confusing, it would have been better to have gone deeper into his emotions to show his slow deterioration into Darth Vader. 

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Forbes also stresses the importance of hiring talented actors, not just people for their big names. The brand is already widespread and major, so having star power for the sake of it is unnecessary. Bringing back some of the old cast would also be a nice touch. For example, bringing back Luke Skywalker and other characters from the original series, but in their sixties or seventies. Due to the span of time that has passed since the original Star Wars, this would be realistic option given that by now that would be the actual age of the original actors. One of fans' biggest fears, and what would be the biggest mistake by Disney, would be to bring back the same characters, but played by new actors. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Wonder Girls Hot on Psy's Heels [VIDEO]

Psy's 'Gangnam Style' may be in for some competition with Wonder Girls quickly catching up. The five member South Korean group has been heating up ever since their tour with the Jonas Brothers back in 2009. Recently they released a cover of Cyndi Lauper's 'True Colors', which demonstrates their more laid back and mellow musical side.

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Group member Yeeun told Daily News that their goals for the new rendition was to give it some more energy and rhythm to give it a new sound of their own. The group continues to ride the K-pop train to the United States with a futuristic hit "Like Money", created with R&B artist Akon earlier this year. Yeeun also adds that their inspiration comes from a variety of artists and genres including those in the 60s, 80s, and 90s and is extremely excited to see K-pop growing in other parts of the world. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Will Mickey Mouse move into Star Wars?

Star Wars fans are all shocked, and many angered, by Disney's recent announcement of their $4.05 billion purchase of Lucasfilm LTD, which includes the Star Wars franchise.

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Disney's additional revelation of their intentions to create a Star Wars Episode 7 created another wave of mixed responses from fans. The target release date for the new film is set for 2015 and Disney tells the public to expect a continuation of the Star Wars saga "well into the future"- up to three more films! 

Starting with the release of Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015, Robert Iger, Disney's CEO, says there are plans in the making to have a new Star Wars episode released every two to three years

Disney's Bob Iger with George Lucas (R)
He adds that Disney also sees the saga as having the potential for a great T.V. series. Under Disney, Lucasfilm co-chairman Kathleen Kennedy will become the new president of Lucasfilm and serve as the brand's manager. 68-year-old founder of Lucasfilm, George Lucas, plans to retire but will still serve as a creative consultant to the new direction of Star Wars. 

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Regarding the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, George Lucas says it is one of his "greatest pleasures to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. It's now time to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.

But will fans agree with his statement and decision to sell their beloved Star Wars saga to Disney?