Hua Hsu

  • Server the People

    Ai Weiwei claims that he had only the faintest sense of what the Internet was when he began blogging in 2005. The Chinese artist, then famous for collaborating on the design for Beijing’s Olympic stadium, had been invited to participate in a series of celebrity blogs hosted by, the mainland’s largest Web portal. He became instantly obsessed with the possibilities of social media, blogging for hours each day. Over the ensuing three and a half years, he wrote more than twenty-seven hundred posts on everything from French footballer Zinedine Zidane to the architecture of Atlantic City to

  • Off the Wall

    As a major serving in the British military during World War II, Jon Naar witnessed a way of life reduced to rubble. In the winter of 1973, as a fifty-something photojournalist living and working in New York, Naar once again saw a devastated landscape. But here the names of the young and dispossessed—often no more than a handle and maybe a number corresponding to the street the kid lived on, like Junior 161 or Stay High 149—were being spray-painted everywhere: bus shelters, handball courts, ice-cream trucks, subway trains, bridges, even trees. This was evidence of a citywide referendum on the

  • Bad Vibrations

    "A Noiseless Flash” is how journalist John Hersey titled the first chapter of Hiroshima, his much-praised 1946 account of the detonation of the atomic bomb. Though witnesses some twenty miles away claimed that the explosion was as loud as thunder, none of the survivors interviewed by Hersey recalled hearing “any noise of the bomb.” Rather, they experienced a blinding flash of light and sudden swells of pressure.

    Destruction has its ready-made catalogue of images, but we rarely think about the acoustics of a mushroom cloud or falling towers. Steve Goodman’s Sonic Warfare is a vital contribution

  • The Fraud Squad

    You’ve no doubt heard the one about how Sarah Palin didn’t know Africa was a continent. Early last November, a few days after Palin returned to being merely a governor, a former campaign adviser stepped forward to claim credit for this anecdote attesting to her true, unplumbed ignorance. His name is Martin Eisenstadt, and contrary to what New Republic and Los Angeles Times blogs had earlier reported, he is not real: He is the invention of two filmmakers frustrated by the media’s fickle, cycle-centric nature. It’s not difficult to see how the hoax ensnared so many. A quick Google search summoned