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The big story

China’s path to modernization has, for centuries, gone through my hometown

 June 2021

For generations, politicians and intellectuals have sought ways to build a strong China. Some imported tools and ideas from the West. Others left for a better education, but the homeland still beckoned.

Yangyang Cheng, a particle physicist at Yale Law School, is a product of their complex legacy. She grew up in Hefei, then a humble, medium-sized city in central-eastern China, which is now a budding metropolis with new research centers, manufacturing plants, and technology startups.

For two of the city’s proudest sons, born a century apart, a strong homeland armed with science and technology was the aspiration of a lifetime. Cheng grew up with their stories. They teach her about the forces that propelled China’s rise, and the way lives can be squeezed by the pressures of geopolitics. Read the full story.

We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. (Got any ideas? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me.)

+ Learning something new every day isn’t only possible—it can even be fun.
+ I wish I was this pigeon.
+ If you’re a book lover, book yourself on the next available trip to Washington DC.
+ Think beyond Coachella—there are plenty of niche music festivals out there to suit everyone’s tastes.
+ Is video art better than TikTok clips? You be the judge.

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