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In Memoriam; or, Getting Personal

Last week I finally said goodbye to my Nan. I wouldn’t normally blog about something so personal, but her influence has guided so much of my academic career to date that she deserves a mention. 1,668 more words

History

Corsican Pie with Winter Greens and Ricotta

Mum visited a good friend last week and came home with armfuls of freshly picked greens from her garden – rocket, kale and silverbeet (sporting leaves the size of small umbrellas). 698 more words

Recipes

Inside Banksy's Dismaland

This post contains descriptions of Dismaland that are better left to your untarnished initial experience.  Leave if you don’t want the experience explained to you. 389 more words

Art

The West is on Fire

This morning, moments after I woke up, Kellie greeted me by saying, “It’s all over.”

“Huh?” I said, rubbing my eyes and starting the kettle. 1,469 more words

Loss

Thoughts on Revision

There is power in a first draft, but Hemingway was mostly right: first drafts are shit. Maybe it’s not that way for everyone, but for me and what seems like many people, first drafts are a… 2,821 more words

Writing

Motherland

by Alyssa Hudson

1

I’ve made homes in moldy trailers, in lakeside houses, in beachside condos. I’ve made homes in giant muddle puddles with tadpoles, in the shallows of lakes with minnows, in garden sheds with cats. 2,573 more words

Identity

The Beauty of Becoming

This spring, my friend Terri grew Monarch butterflies. Like most of us, she’s concerned that it’s our human footprint mucking up the planet and not, contrary to what some believe, God or Zeus or Mothra exacting their revenge on us for sport. 800 more words

Essay

Calais: In the Warm Embrace...

The borders of Europe are in crisis, we are told. People are moving en masse, escaping war, persecution, and – in a least-worst scenario – appalling poverty.  1,943 more words

Migrants

The Breast Pump That Stumped Trump: Notes From Inside A Media Maelstrom

Two months ago, I returned home from a summer family road trip to a message from Michael Barbaro, a reporter with the New York Times.  He had some questions about a real estate lawsuit my firm had handled.  3,306 more words

Current Events

For Bukowski on His 95th Birthday


For Bukowski on his 95th Birthday
by Bunkong Tuon

The punch clock rings like a tumor
as he steps into the late afternoon light.
The boarded-up windows hang like terrible… 270 more words

Poetry

Katrinaversary Blues: Of Resilience Tours, Carpetbloggers & Disaster Tourists

The hype behind the 10th anniversary of Katrina and the subsequent flood reminds me of a flock of turkey buzzards circling the city in search of carrion. 1,113 more words

New Orleans

A Question for My Father

Quite some time ago, in the basement of the Fine Arts building at Penn, someone told me that he wanted to live in a “Third World” country with just him, his wife, and their children. 716 more words

Family

Quiet Elegance

The other night I was one of two Americans at a table full of five people.  The rest were French.  Oui!  The thing I noticed while subtly tracking all of Vincent’s French colleagues’ movements was that the French have a quiet elegance.   995 more words

Humor

Danger: Female Violinist at Work

Here’s the lovely Nicola Benedetti. It’s hard to believe now, but there was a time when many people were disgusted at the sight of a woman playing the violin. 755 more words

Music

Petrichor- The Smell of Childhood

I don’t remember my childhood.

Nothing except the smell of the monsoon rains, right before they lashed onto the verandah. Me, the solitary crawler, both enchanted and perplexed by a sudden downpour, would rush indoors to the safety of my mother’s lap. 434 more words

India

Drawing a Line in the Sand: The Movement Victory at Ende Gelände

The raucous rattle of a low flying helicopter shakes me awake. It must be the Police.  The sun hasn’t risen yet and the tent’s sides still smell of morning dew. 7,948 more words

Longreads

In Iran, the Wait Is Over

21 year old Sepehr Mesri lives in Tabriz and is a mean sketcher. The pencil and Sepehr are besties. He draws the faces of his friends, the people he admires and the folk he finds inspiring. 316 more words

Art

November 7, 1991: “Magic Johnson Might Have AIDS”

By the Fall of 1991, I was firmly established as The Bakersfield Californian’s “night photographer,” working the evening shift exclusively. The shift was not popular with the other photographers, almost all of them preferred the morning shifts, so there were no objections when I volunteered to work the night shift permanently, something I did for a good 20 years or so. 3,697 more words

Photojournalism

Memories of the Animas River Before it Ran Yellow

Mine waste from the Gold King Mine filling the Animas River at Bakers Bridge heading down river to Durango. pic.twitter.com/LOiTulZteA

— jerry mcbride (@jerryphotog) August 6, 2015…

534 more words
Nature

What Happened on Saturday the 22nd of August

This is a personal account of what happened yesterday night, Saturday the 22nd of August 2015. I was there alongside thousands of Lebanese citizens demanding for our rights when we were met with police brutality, teargas canisters, water-canons and armed thugs following peaceful protestors and beating them. 1,082 more words

Lebanon

On Trigger Warnings: Access, Engagement and Resilience

So-called “trigger warnings” in higher education – in this context referring to the inclusion of information in a syllabus warning about potentially offensive content – have been the subject of increasingly heated debate. 1,245 more words

Academia

How I'm Learning to Break My Silence

“If they aren’t doing anything unlawful, then they shouldn’t have anything to worry about.” 

It’s a common refrain used by defensive white people who would like to pretend that minorities, specifically black people, are not targeted by law enforcement.  1,579 more words

Racism

Pride Isn't What Comes Before The Fall

My daughter and I were driving to one of many appointments that surround her blossoming weightlifting career. We have an early A.R.T. appointment, then a massage, then she has to go work out. 2,090 more words

Achievement

This Monsoon: A Ghazal

By Manash Bhattacharjee

Ink does not stay on paper in this monsoon

~ Srajana Kaikini, Postcard 3

Ink does not stay on paper in this monsoon… 316 more words

Poetry

Laurent Scheinfeld: I Want to See the Tower

Some of the most rewarding aspects of The Leica Meet are the new friendships and the remarkable talent we encounter. One such person is Laurent Scheinfeld, a Paris based photographer with a unique perspective on that iconic travel destination, the Eiffel Tower. 177 more words

Photography

You Can Never Go Fast Enough

Last Sunday I came across a classic car show in a Seattle suburb. The bright colors and streamlined shapes were impossible to resist. I stopped to join the crowd in rapt admiration of the immaculately restored Mustangs, GTO’s, T-Birds, Corvettes and other beauties dating as far back as the 1920’s. 980 more words

Culture

Voluntourism - Helpful Aid Or Just A Warm Fuzzie?

There has been something of an explosion in the travel industry of a new form of travel dubbed “voluntourism”. Part community service, part holiday, participants agree to help out as volunteers as part of their holiday package. 835 more words

Volunteering