Saturday morning was chilly but sunny in Washington's tranquil Rock Creek Park, where few people would have associated a 5-kilometer race with China until several teenagers introduced themselves in Mandarin before assembled students, teachers and parents.
The first Muppet to blaze a trail in China was Big Bird, with a 1983 television special there. In 2010 the 8-foot-tall, yellow-feathered animal's Mandarin-language version of Big Bird Looks at the World debuted in China.
Visitors to the gallery at George Mason University's School of Art near Washington may find the Chinese scrolls on display educational, but many probably don't know that all of the scrolls are the handiwork of masters since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
When the French literary theorist and philosopher Roland Barthes published his influential book, Camera Lucida, in 1980, he was grieving the death of his mother. In search of her likeness, he struggled with the false promise of permanence offered by old photographs. They depicted his mother - and yet, no photo seemed to capture her true spirit, he wrote.