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China

Fall 2008

Let the invasions begin

As Beijing prepared to welcome athletes and spectators to the Olympic Games, a quieter and much less welcome influx was already under way.

According to a new study by Washington State University ecologist Richard Mack and four Chinese colleagues, China’s explosive economic growth and ambitious public-works projects have allowed non-native species of plants, insects, and other organisms to spread throughout the country and inflict more than $14 billion of damage on the nation’s economy—and the Olympic Games could provide an opportunity for even more biological invaders.

Mack and his co-authors combed through trade and economic data to discover that China’s economic boom has been accompanied … » More …

Fall 2008

The New Virtualism: Beijing, the 2008 Olympic Games, and a new style for world architecture

SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT IS HAPPENING IN BEIJING. It has to do with proclaiming a new style of world architecture at the dawn of the twenty-first century. I call it “The New Virtualism,” and because there are now enough of these buildings in existence, for the first time I can describe the “looks” of this new style.

It is not that New Virtualist architecture is found only in Beijing. As a matter of fact, unlike past architectural styles, which were always regional movements before spreading their influence further afield, New Virtualism is the first architectural style in the history of the world that is immediately global in … » More …