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The Lifestyles & Opinion Archive No: 4

current lifestyle section begins here

Lifestyles: 2009
The Pot that is Hot
Darren Skelton
Without a shadow of a doubt the greatest culinary discovery I chanced upon on following my arrival in Harbin is Chinese Hotpot
Tragedy in Savannakhet
David Calleja
I could sense that something was wrong but I did not have the courage to ask what was happening.
Book Jacket Puffs: Judging a Book By its Cover
Chris Mills
The phrases must leap out at the casual browser. Review quotes are chosen to be snappy, eye catching and bold. And very persuasive. But how useful really are the quotes?
Quo Vadis Spain?
James Skinner
Spain is in a mess and can only get worse as unemployment rises
Obama, Change and the Missing Conversation
Christina Baldwin
How are you Barack Obama? What are you reading? Who are you listening to?
Unified Berlin: 20 Years On by Nate Barron
How long is twenty years? For the city of Berlin, it is both Augenblick and Ewigkeit: an instant and an eternity.
Book Miles
Chris Mills
Have I ever considered the miles a book may have travelled before it reaches my hands
The Third Pole
Marianne de Nazareth
'We in Nepal recognize that Climate Change has become possibly the greatest development challenge of our times...'
Ramadan Readings
Marwan Asmar
Ramadan is a spiritual month, serving to in-gather Muslims worldwide for a higher existential being, the one that can’t be touched or seen but is everywhere
An Unbreakable Bond
Marianne de Nazareth
Chandra Rajendran and Neeta Dutt, a mother/ daughter duo have turned the sari into an art form, in their venture named Sakhi.
Water Colored Memories
Marcia Dumler
"Buttercup! Stop that! You're going....." too late, the glass of water top heavy with my water color brushes had already tipped onto my therapy painting for today.
Umrah 2009 – A wish fulfilled
K Fatima
In the first Salat Al Fajr a realization struck me: In that huge crowd of Muslims from everywhere, speaking all sorts of languages but praying together in Arabic, it felt like Yaum al Qiyama
First steps to Gladrags
Dean Borok
There was no point to sticking around Montreal any longer. It was 1982 and the economy was in the tank. I put all my things in storage, packed up my best clothes and my design portfolio, and caught the Montrealer express train to New York
Revolutionary Wrath
John M. Edwards
rogue ancestor, Aaron Burr, shot Alexander Hamilton with a Hoss-pistol from a mere ten paces away—and got away with it. Happening upon Hamilton’s gaudy mausoleum in New York City, Edwards says our foppish former Treasury Secretary deserved it!
The Ultimate Getaway
Lesley Boutilier

What do you get when you combine the extreme adventure sports of whitewater rafting, riverboarding, and skydiving? It¹s called the ultimate adrenaline rush and Millinocket,
Being Russian For Two Weeks
David Russell in St Petersburg
We had made arrangements to live with a Russian family in St. Petersburg for two weeks fostering "better understanding among people".
Flaming Lips and Earthquakes: Concert Going in Chiba, Japan -Jeffrey Rambo
What’s it like attending a big summer music festival in Japan? One Sunday evening in August, I got my answer
Healthcare Panic
Dean Borok
I am not here to debate the merits of universal health insurance. That is a given. I am complaining about the lunatic fringe of society – loudmouth sociopaths who are being bussed around the country and paid cash money by insurance companies to scream and yell
Honda Dreams
I have this reoccurring dream. I am always happy to have it but distinctly unhappy to wake up and discover it wasn't real.

Vaishali and Sachin
Nate Bell
The first time I met Vaishali was in Madison, where my seven classmates and I took Tamil in preparation for our year in Madurai.
Bass Ponds
Tyrel Nelson
I hadn’t been here in forever. The biting wind made my eyes water as I watched my breath drift away and disappear into the morning air. Sniffling to fight off a runny nose, a familiar feeling came over me while I listened to dead leaves dance atop the asphalt. It was definitely November in Minnesota.
Goodbye Gloom & Doom
James Skinner
Our regional government announced yesterday with great pomp and circumstance that our city will be connected with Madrid by high-speed train no later than the year 2015.
The Art of Timeshare
Danielle Levanas
My story starts with a sailor landing on a lush Mexican beach. He comes across a sun-bronzed Canadian cowgirl living in a palapa. The cowgirl joins the lucky sailor’s crew, and in the time it takes to down a bottle of tequila, the pair falls madly in love.
Michael Jackson's Quest for Paradise Lost
Michael Levy
The passing of Michael Jackson played out like a Shakespearean tragedy and was a timely reflection on how not being true to ones' self ends in an early demise.
Anomaly Jones
The economic recession has hit me right in the groin, and if my failed attempts at employment continue, I stand to get hit in the groin over and over again.
Self Delusions
Michael levy
The new normal contains vast amounts of erroneousness, and it is becoming harder to know who or what to trust
Aung San Suu Kyi turns 64
David Calleja
On 19th June, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will turn 64 years old. Instead of being amongst loved ones and the millions of people in Burma who revere her for standing up for human and civil rights, she is in isolation
Open letter to my Wife: Part Two
A Continued Apology Ten Years In The Making
James Campion
I send this missive to press on the tenth anniversary of our marriage from a hotel in Barcelona, Spain,
The Influence of Orwell on Writers Workshops
Chris Roberts
The following investigation and first hand experiences is into the particular practices of a single writers workshop/discussion site
Reflections of a Backpacker
Dan Cann in Australia
I was on holiday and it really felt like it with the sun on me now feeling totally carefree. I did not have to be anywhere, go to a job, get stuck in traffic, go shopping, or keep an appointment.
Drugs, Values and the World of Sport
James Morford
Critics never tire of pointing out the ancient Olympians exemplified the Greek ideal of mind and body. By comparison, they depict contemporary athletes as pampered money-mad celebrities elevated to God-like status
Chris Flaherty documentary exposes Ethiopia’s political vulnerability - David Calleja
In May 2005, the ruling Ethiopian Revolutionary Patriot’s Democratic Front won elections amid allegations of electoral fraud and a campaign of intimidation against opposition groups.
The Corporate Bookshop
Chris Mills
The bookshop as a museum: when is a bookshop no longer a bookshop? Or bookselling the chain store way: the advent of the lifestyle destination.
Reading - New York
Matt Allison
A couple of months ago after years of knowing of this historical novel, I had Naked Lunch in my backpack. Waiting for a subway in Queens I opened this novel and read the first few pages...

Madness and the Valuation of And
Chris Roberts
It defies definition, deftly evades categorization and will put lastingly before the reader And’s derivative value
Parting The Red Sea – in 1980
David Russell
Before we agreed to take on the project, we had serious internal conversations. What we were about to embark on was a process never done before with such a limited "commercial" budget and time constraint.
Being There: Sunland Racetrack and Casino
Lizette Espinosa
Creased wranglers paired with pointy cowboy boots, a big round belt buckle, and a matching cowboy hat, little, old ladies sitting at the tables with binoculars trying to read the TV.s with racing numbers...
Hubbard's Cupboard
John M Edwards
I decided to enter the forbidden zone. Whence I was immediately greeted by a stunning woman with long black hair and wide friendly eyes who acted like a member of an evangelical church welcoming a walk-in with a rhubarb pie.
Goodbye Mohican
James Skinner
‘This is the second part of my adventure into learning all about professional writing at Falmouth College of Arts, meeting up with a whole new bunch of characters and revisiting an area of the world I had known decades ago; an event that would open up a new phase of my life.
A Long Farewell to Oz 2009
Tabytha Towe
Landing in Australia I knew immediately there was a special voyage ahead of me. I didn't expect myself wanting to be there longer than nine months, maximum. I already had my flight booked for home by a specific date! But that was back then..... 
Some New Concept of Home
Megan Welch
We ended up together in Madrid from different schools, for different reasons. Some of us to escape our university campuses, some to seek adventure, others to find a place away from America, away from the familiar and banal.
Sessions with Sigmund
James Morford
It was to Freud’s Vienna home/office that in October of l934, a 28 year old American psychiatrist, Doctor Joseph Wortis, came to begin a 4 month "didactic psychoanalysis" (teaching analysis) with the 77 year old Freud.
Humanity or Bust: Why the Carbon Footprint Threatens More Than Just the Future
Benjamin Frew
Before I get to the nub of this article, I would like to declare that it is a statement of personal opinion and not a carefully deducted and objectively reached conclusion.
That Kid could sure eat
David Russell
We were headed from Los Angeles to Islamabad, Pakistan, with a planned stop in Manchester, England, to share a long weekend with our daughter Mara
The Bodyguard of Aung San Suu Kyi
David Calleja
Since I know injustice takes place in Burma every day, I know that I am safe in Australia, but I cannot forget what has happened to me.
Should the Aid plug to Africa be pulled out?
A critical response
Ronald Elly Wanda
Lately in the African literary and development circle, Dambisa Moyo with her new book Dead Aid: How Aid is not working and how there is another way for Africa, has become a 'star'.
Putting in Earth Time
Christina Baldwin     

It’s the night after Easter weekend, and while we started off Friday evening enjoying an amazingly professional concert of sections of the Brahms Requiem performed by the local Methodist church choir and island musicians, my main spiritual practice this past weekend has been largely focused on gardening.   

The Art of Timeshare
Danielle Levanas
My story starts with a sailor landing on a lush Mexican beach. He comes across a sun-bronzed Canadian cowgirl living in a palapa. The cowgirl joins the lucky sailor’s crew, and in the time it takes to down a bottle of tequila, the pair falls madly in love.

Christmas in Paris
John Edwards
With everything closed in the city and a light snowfall, it’s no wonder I ended up drunk in the slightly dodgy section of Barbés Rochechouart

Castleton: A Brush with local history
P Farrell-Vinay
"You like painting don’t you? Come and look at this."

Insane Polyglots
Their brains are just different
Antonio Graceffo
Learning a new language rewires your brain. Could learning a new language make you crazy?

Spontaneous Prose
Tony R. Rodriguez
Maybe I shouldn’t be driving 85 on a 65 MPH freeway when the road’s saturated with the rain from last night

Monkey Master in the Cage
Antonio Graceffo
Master Hisam’s hands are huge and swollen, as hard as rocks. In demonstrations, he uses them to smash granite slabs to dust

On the Scales
Charlotte Francis
It’s over ladies, put those multi-packs of crisps in the bin, chuck the chocolates away, and get used to salad

Its Over, Get Used To It.
Dan Bond
It’s funny how the programme ‘Friends’ does not provide the best backdrop to one of those defining moments in teenage life.

Anomaly Jones
It must have been him. He’s the reason I sit here now, dazed and a bit confused. I’m known to confuse even myself sometimes.

Hidden People
Jeannine Pitas
A few years back my parents began hosting foreign exchange students who came to live in our house for a few months

Fiachna O Braonain Interview
Aurelie Montfrond
Discussion with Fiachna Ó Braonáin
From Hothouse Flowers to Prenup

In Kon Tum's Ethnic Villages & Orphanages
David Calleja
The ethnic minority people, the Bahnar, Jolong, Rongao and Sirang, are kind and hard working. All we wish for is to be as equal

Secret Door
Freya Scott
I used to drag all my little school friends upstairs before tea and hide in the airing cupboard.

You Have Won One Million Dollars
Norman A. Rubin
One serious drawback of the Internet and of e-mail is that it makes it quite easy for nefarious villains to steal your money and your identity.

Images of a Friend
Tyrel Nelson
When I saw José Martínez for the first time, he was coughing up a lung outside my neighbor’s front door.

Predatory Shopping
Greg Mosse
Shopping is a hunter’s job – but no one has told the shop assistants who is the hunter and who the hunted

A Religious Experience
Tetsuhiko Endo
The woman would materialize out of the background for just long enough to put out her hand, be ignored and recede back into the stone so that if you weren’t looking carefully, you wouldn’t have notice her at all.

Learning Languages in your PJs
Antonio Graceffo
I set up a rigid schedule of watching TV. Over several weeks, I saw my listening and speaking grow by leaps and bounds.

My Nightmare
James Skinner
‘Haven’t you been watching the news lately? Seen what’s happening to the stock markets the world over?

In God We Trust
James Skinner
‘When I am ranting and raving over the state of the universe, usually directing my verbal abuse during conversations with my wife, she never says a word.

All About Me
Rosanne Stewart
It's tricky to say at the exact moment I thought I was going to die; perhaps the moment I buried my head into my hands

Little Denmark
John M. Edwards
I was standing at the bar at the Jolly Trolley, staring at my beer when I decided I was so drunk I would indeed have a hangover in the morning

Magic Marshland
Shivani Shah
God's golden fingers break the diaphanous, misty morning veil that drapes the landscape… a flash of electric blue of a little-blue kingfisher, lilies break into bloom on cue from the sunlight

President bling-bling is watching you!
Maria Marlais
There are, contrary to what many people might think, many different kinds of people in Paris.

Slingshot showdowns in Southeast Asia
Alexander Hanke
You meet a lot of other travelers and backpackers while on the move. Some are outgoing, adventurous and independent others are understandably not as confident

Self Fulfilling Prophecies of Greed, Fear & Doom
Michael Levy
In the beginning, the money orientated greed god said; let there be greed and yay, it was good. Well, maybe not good, but it sure felt good to the housing cartel of owners and estate agents who were feasting on an upward spiraling market.

Politicians Lies, Truth and Opinions
James Morford
Must politicians lie? Niccolo Machiavelli thought if politicians did not lie they would surely fail because lying was fundamental to politics. Not to lie ignored reality

Banquet For Phnom Penh's Rubbish Dump Residents - David Calleja
The limits of my Khmer are obvious to everybody in sight, but I am still able to obtain laughter from those who seek another type of medicine
A Positive Outlook For Life: A Partner in Compassion
David Calleja
it is difficult to go anywhere in Sramouch He without finding a person who does not have a family member or friend affected by HIV/AIDS.
The Raid
Karen Phillips
A Goth club, Mexico City…how or why we had booked a gig there, I have no clear recollection, but los goticos might still enjoy our Mexican-rock-and roll-viva-las Zapatistas type music for a change.

Traveling with Mom (I should've known better)
Rick Steigelman
I might’ve guessed what I was getting myself into.

Reversal of Survival
Gordon Ray Bourgon
“Her name is Jane Doe.”

The Banking Debacle Explained
Antonio Graceffo
I wrote this piece just to explain in simple terms, how a bank can become insolvent because of poor credit policies and over-inflated assets.

Roman Holiday
Gabriela Davies
It is that time of year when we’re all reminiscing about holidays. Sitting by the kitchen window looking at the boring rain falling as you eat.
Life is too short to work a full year with no holiday, and sick days just don’t do the trick.

The Winds of October
Eric D. Lehman
Afternoon waves at Hammonasset grasp at the tufted dunes, driven forward by a stiff wind from the southwest. My wife Amy and I wander along this windswept beach, trying to catch a sunset on the Sound,

My Generation
Des Daly
When I travel, I like to do so quickly, quietly and comfortably. But these days I find that achieving this simple wish is becoming increasingly more difficult.

Chris Chapman
At my age if I can start the day by not falling over when pulling on my ‘y’ fronts, I reckon it’s a good omen. If, when approaching my computer I find that I've remembered to put the mouse on charge overnight, and not left it languishing on the desk, dead, that’s even better.

Tropical Depression
James C Clar
Something else that attracts me to Waikiki is the fact that it’s still the haunt of all sorts of engaging and exotic characters, many of whom are willing to pour out their life’s story at the slightest provocation.

Addio Stadia (Shea Dreams)
James Campion
Maybe, if you're lucky, there are a few places you can say you've frequented for a lifetime; places experienced through the eyes of a child to young adult to adulthood and so on

Doing Something is Better than Doing Nothing
Antonio Graceffo
Since earliest childhood I had the dream of being a movie star. I wanted to be rich and famous. When I read that Elvis had to rent out an amusement park, just so he wouldn’t get mobbed by his fans, I said, "that is exactly how famous I want to be." I am still not there.

Joys of the Meditteranean Lifestyle 
Julia Reynolds
As an American freshly residing on the serene Grecian isle of Mykonos, there is a certain notable discrepancy between the sets of traditions and priorities existing in the respective cultures of Greece and America upon the significance of which I would venture to explore.

Happiness Manifesto
Julia Reynolds
Today I spent a sunny morning doing a bit of housework, picking flowers from the garden to brighten up the house, then walking down to Parangha Beach, Mykonos, Greece for a brief and chilly swim and a little time to myself for reflection.

The Road to Branson
Jay Caauwe
Leaving as planned for 'The Natural State ' Arkansas. We had been invited to spend the week at K's aunts house and drive back my mother-in-law, who had been vacationing there for the month.
Remembering 9/11
Al Zain’s Palestine Post 9/11 debunks myths of Palestinian ‘terror’, Dr Marwan Asma
As the world remembers the anniversary of 11 September, Osama Al Zain’s feature documentary Palestine Post 9/11 becomes ever more relevant

The Best $5.00 Meal I Ever Had In Spain
David Russell
In the middle of the tables sat a huge bubbling cauldron, positioned over burning wood logs. I learned that fire never went out. And the fish soup in the cauldron never stopped bubbling. On one wall was a chart in color with exes, he said, marked the fish he caught.

A Night with Casanova
David Russell
On a business night in Paris, I chose to take associates to dinner at the famed La Coupole restaurant, which I had no way of knowing was now a nightly yuppie mob scene and so upscale I couldn’t recognize it from the La Coupole my wife and I had eaten at 30 years earlier.

On Being Nowhere
Lois Tietzel
Purgatory for the brain - the delightful bliss of being nowhere at all – flying over the Atlantic Ocean: how places shape the way you think, be, type, eat, view the world in its entirety.

Skateboarding Should Not be an Olympic Sport
Matthew Allison
Sure there are standards like the 360 flip, but there is also an almost artistic range for creativity in the sport, and various styles. Standardization would ruin that, to give riders a list of rules and tricks to abide to. Olympics does that to sports,

Economic Suicide without Frills
Joe David
Once upon a time, not too long ago, in a world almost completely forgotten by the 21st Century, airline travel was a pleasant adventure. The crew actually served food and drinks gratis, and passengers even had enough space to store legs and other needed bodily parts comfortably during the flight.

In Praise of…The Marcus Garvey Library,
Ronald Elly Wanda
I first discovered The Marcus Garvey Library at Philip Lane in Tottenham over a decade ago and have remained a frequent visitor ever since. It is host to a number of controversial books and many activities that other public libraries dare not entertain. It is, to say the least, ‘Radical’.
Did an oil slick inspire Monet’s Paintings?
David Russell
Looking at his body of work, it would seem that everything he saw that was water related found their way onto his canvases: boats, ports, shorelines, stormy and calm waters; with obvious palette changes as he matured.

Maybe It’s Rude to be Polite
Gabriella Pessin
I don’t realize I’ve allowed my Israeli passport to expire until I pop over for a family wedding last month
Summer in France
Sam North

So, meanwhile back in Hasparren, seems I am also, in addition to being vulnerable the cold virus, allergic to chickens and sheep. Cat is a bit off with me despite carrying out specific feeding instructions

Eygpt Waiting
Jack Shenker
Towering over the polluted chaos of one of Cairo’s main flyovers is a huge advertising billboard. Sandwiched between colourful posters for Pizza Hut, Coca Cola and Doritos, the billboard features nothing but a giant red question mark, accompanied by the words ‘Wait For It’. 

A Puff of Smoke
James C Clar
Natsuko was reading Paul Theroux’s The Happy Isles of Oceania. She found the author somewhat arrogant and mean-spirited at times but Oh how he could write. And, she had to admit, he did have a wonderful feel for the Polynesian mentality.

Carol Falaki
Today we are in Iran. Tomorrow we fly back to England, but first I have a promise to keep. I am waiting for Shahyar. From here I can watch for his arrival.

A Wallflower's Rhapsody
Piper Davenport
I've felt the need to write and re-write and write again. The feeling is getting stronger. I think I'm almost ready to move forward with my own, personal story/stories. Is anyone out there, though? Is anyone listening? Am I ever going to get paid for this?

In Uruguay on a Bus
Tetsuhiko Endo
I was sitting on a city bus late one Sunday night in Montevideo, Uruguay, with no idea where I was, only a vague idea of where I was going

George Carlin 1937-2008
James Campion
For over a half century George Denis Patrick Carlin was the standard bearer of the principles on which this space was founded: Nothing is Sacred and Truth Need Not Apologize

Tetsuhiko Endo
The Irish have this word, craic, which has no direct translation in the English language.  Generally speaking, it describes a good time.  But it's not just any good timee...

Van Gogh’s Spicy Little Secret
David Russell
"That’s been so done.  You're wasting your time!", was the not so subtle reaction reaction to a Van Gogh story idea I had, "Following Van Gogh". It was a specific photograph taken in Arles, that sparked my thought line.

On Reading ‘Pulp’
Dr Marwan Asmar
Pulp, is written in an easy style, one that gets you very quickly involved from the first page, even first word, sentence, and paragraph.
Cultural Dementia (The Emigrant's Fate)
Remembering how I have changed
Lois Tietzel
These are only a few of the things that I suppose I can remember having changed after coming to Germany, in a cultural sense. See, after so long in a foreign culture, you forget what has changed and what hasn't,

It's a hap-hap-happy day
James Skinner
No matter how bad things are around the planet, Spain, its government and its people always look on the bright side

Froggy went a courtin’ on the Web
Antonia Greco
While carelessly perusing the Internet the other day, I stumbled across a creepy, new phenomenon in Internet chatting called Camfrog.

Eerie resemblances
Dr Marwan Asmar
The resemblance is eerie. He is the same and the same and the same.

Muay Thai Kawila
Training in the Big Stadium in Chiang Mai
Antonio Graceffo
“Ten in a row on each side.” Said the coach.
If he had been talking about punches I might have been OK. But it was the last few minutes of grueling, two-hour training session, and he was talking about kicks.

After the storm on Wisteria Lane
Gabriela Davies
I guess it can only mean a few things. The cast has fallen out. The budget has dried up. The creator has a mental block. Basically 'How to Kill a TV series.'

Patrick Swayze
James Skinner
When my daughter visited us a few months back, as my wife and I were watching a video of ‘Dirty Dancing’ her first remark was, ‘aren’t you a bit old for that kind of movie?’

Who wants to Retire? Not me
James Skinner
Retirement is a dirty word. It means the end of a working life, the down turn on the usefulness marketing cycle

Take a Long Walk Down a Short Pier
Steven Tothill
Rawai Pier - Function over Form

Sit Down and Start Editing
Marwan Asmar
All I knew was the ability to speak and write English and use the computer when I started long ago

On Winning at Portsmouth
Alex Hillman
1-0: Who really loses – Cardiff or non-football fans?
Alex Hillman examines Portsmouth’s reaction to the FA cup final.

Red Eye
John M Edwards
Back in the days when I ate TV dinners in a partially flooded basement, watching, “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and “Land of the Giants,” while my folks played the board-game Acquire upstairs and guzzled “frothies,

The Suffering Continues in Burma
Antonio Graceffo
New unconfirmed figures from the UN have the death toll, possibly, at 216,000. The junta still hasn’t allowed any aid workers into the country.

Czech Republic
Jay Caauwe goes in search of a beer
The uneasy look on our drivers face ... he had conscripted with three Chicagoans embarked on a Saturday morning drinking mission

Adventure Writer on Seven Years in Asia
Antonio Graceffo turns 40
Until someone asked me I had no idea that it had been seven years since I had quit my job on Wall Street and come to Asia to be a full time adventure writer.

Pushkin in Britain
Pure Russian Spirit with English Translation
(June 5th-10th in London)

The Festival is a wonderful and exciting Literature occasion literally packed with interesting events – readings, competitions, workshops and, of course, inspiration
The Regenerator System
James Skinner
A brief history of the world’s first telecommunications company

Bluebell Spring
Marianne de Nazareth
The rustle of Spring and new life!The trees are leafless. Standing like sentinels against the grey, rainy skies.

Marwan Asmar
Compared with English, Arabic is an easy read if it is written well.

Eve of Destruction, my friend
James Skinner
Man is the only animal that trips over the same stone twice, or a dozen times!

Some Fools on a Hill
Darren Skelton
in Haxey
Round our way you see ‘Hood Day’ is bigger and better than Chrsitmas Day itself

From Fighter to Paramedic
Antonio Graceffo in Manila EMS school
Having spent most of my life learning to end life, it is a bit of a change learning to save it.

Big Adventures in the Minor Leagues
Brett A Padelford

A 3,250 mile trip through the American West experiencing minor league baseball in its many forms

A Florentine Affair to Remember
Antonia Greco

My night started out like any other: a dinner of risotto, accompanied by the finest bottle of Chianti that five euros could buy.

People you May Know
Lexi Vance

A few days ago I’m lackadaisically browsing Facebook, when out of the corner of my eye something interesting pops up

Gone Kurtz - Mercanaries in Burma
Antonio Graceffo
Anyone fighting today should be doing it for free

Twists & turns of an Arab traveler
Dr Marwan Asmar

We Arabs differ from Europeans, Arabs generally don’t have the ‘must holiday’ spirit on their calendar list, despite the fact things might be changing

New Family on the Block
Lois Tietzel
New Life in Germany

Let The Home Buyer Be Aware - Fast Track to poverty
Michael Levy

Are you considering buying a home right now?

Youth and Beauty
Ben Smith

I awake only to move to the couch. And there I stay, rising only to down a Paxil.

Stupid Opinions on Linguistics held by failed Language Learners
Antonio Graceffo

There are a number of urban myths, commonly held misconceptions, about the way we learn and process language.

Encounter Nature Through the 12 Senses
Josef Graf
Most beings here - plant or animal - are melded into this spacious and soul-purifying landscape.

Amman—A livable metropolis
Awni Kawar

Amman is our pride-of-place, it is a local city yet so cosmopolitan in character. We need to make it greener in the next decade

Marianne de Nazareth

I have been here in Swansea for almost eight months and it has rained and been dreary and depressing for most of those months.

The Mule
James Skinner

‘There is a small fishing town tucked away in a miniscule bay on the north Atlantic on the southern coast of Galicia, Spain, called Hio.

The Elastic Always Gives Up
Marcia Dumler

I had gathered up a garment bag of clothing and shoes for my friend and neighbor who had wrecked her car.

It and I
Charlotte Hansen
I don’t know how I ever lived without It. I think back to when I was so alone, without even the sound of its beautiful tone, its insistence that I be with It,

Britt Ekland and Me… in 1973!
Colin Todhunter

The world is void of mass cynicism and instant gratification, of needless complexity and lingering apathy.

Angel in "Abahaya"
Lalita kakanadan

If you drop me in a junction and ask me to find out the way on my own, I would naturally take the wrong direction! It's on my destiny.

New York People
Dean Borok
New York City has got the loudest, pushiest women in the world
Serfdom USA
Andy Carloff
The economic, buyout plan of the United States government is made with the thought that the New Deal of Roosevelt ended the depression; but the unemployment during the "New Deal" only worsened during this period
Anarchy in the UK
James Campion
G-20 Summit Sends The Euro-Masses A-Riotin'
Nothing jacks my adrenaline like a good old-fashioned protest riot.
Mexican Standoff
Dean Borok
A lot of people are very unhappy about our border with Mexico. A couple of years ago the complaint was about Mexicans sneaking into the U.S. in search of jobs. Now there are no jobs. Feel better?
Outrage Squared
Pitch Forks & Torches, La Spring Chic
James Campion
Outrage is cheap currency these days. It's a full-out poll-to-poll pogrom on both the rich and powerful and the poor and disenfranchised. Bankers to welfare moms, stockbrokers to inside traders are all on the block.
CDOs - The Other Shoe 21.03.09
Dean Borok
If you believe that this is the end of endlessly shoveling money into the AIG black hole, think again. The other shoe has yet to drop
atin Love
Dean Borok
One thing I particularly enjoy is reminding people of inconvenient things that they have done that they would prefer to ignore. Everybody screws up, but they shrug it off in the interest of "going forward".
What is news?
James Campion
This is a subject I talk about incessantly with colleagues: What is news? In other words, what should be something we know about nationally...
Send in the Clowns 14.03.09
James Campion
Satire & Bluster
For two consecutive weeks, the shenanigans of a radio talk show commentator and a Comedy Central satirist infused their will on the vox populi.
End of the capitalist error in East Africa?

Ronald Elly Wanda
You can almost smell the fear. Collapse, catastrophe and calamity this time round seemed to be dominant of all subjects financial.

Opinion: 2009
The Great leap of Faith
James Campion
After a mere month in office, the president of the United States placed his nearly two-year, almost robotically orchestrated rise to power on the slimmest of reeds
Economic Update - New York
Dean Borok
The solution advanced by Obama is akin to a blood pumping machine that replaces the heart and pumps energy to the rest of the body until a new banking system can be constructed and grafted on
Where have you gone Muhammad Ali? - James Campion
I miss Muhammad Ali. I miss his defiance, elegance and grit.
Vox Stimuli
James Campion
What is transpiring throughout the world economy is about survival now. It is not about ideology or theory or political one-upsmanship. There is no longer room for heroes, only villains
What the's Mr. Dickens
Colin Fisher
Am I saying that whereas English has evolved throughout the centuries, adapting itself to changes within society, renewing itself constantly, Spanish has remained static?
The Change Express
James Campion
The Obama Presidency Under The Microscope
What Barack Obama walks into now is beyond anything Jack Kennedy had to experience
Writers and Progress in East Africa
Ronald Elly Wanda
The history of contemporary political ideas of Africa is a neglected field in the continent and more so outside of it.
Activating Your Foreign Language
Antonio Graceffo
Now that I am a teacher, I understand what the nuns were saying back in grade school. They were saying, “Children learn by listening, not by speaking."
So long Captain Shoo-In: Our Bedeviled Boy Howdy
James Campion
The final epitaph to the tenure of our 43rd president is that he was far more adept at procuring the job than actually performing it
Blind Faith
Michael Levy
How many people ruin their lives by blind faith in one way or another?
Mr Burris Goes to Washington
James Campion
Remember the case of Roland Burris the next time some prickless dink prattles on about Founding Fathers and the almighty Constitution, or God given freedoms and the law-abiding exquisiteness of The System.
The Meaning of Social Justice
The whole is more valuable than the sum of all the parts. Social organization always drives back to this original concept.
Transmetropolitan - A Spirit of our Times
Steven Stemp
The New Year is a unique time, it allows us to gaze longingly back into the past, and to look hopefully to the future. To leave behind the mistakes of the old, and get ready to make entirely new ones
0h-Nine: The Year of the Guilty
James Campion + Readers letters
Two-thousand nine will be the year of The Guilty. Exoneration is in the air. Free rides. Hard promises. Credentials for all; particularly those who don't deserve them
The Bogus Battle for Christmas
James Campion
This just in: Christmas has nothing to do with religion. Around here, and by around here I mean America, it is the granddaddy of consumer holidays
Curioser and curioser!
Annie Lalla
The forces of curiosity and imagination pull us towards pleasure, expansion and integration with the rest of the world. Together they form a character profile in each of us.
The Nationality of Hot Dogs
In Defence of German Culture
Lois Tietzel
After endless discussions and lots and lots of hours spent churning and burning inside about all the terrible torturous things in U.S. history you begin to see the points of the very analytical, drilling and more than direct German students and their criticism of the U.S. and its role in the world
The Thomas Hobbes School of Driving Like a Carioca
Brynn Barineau
My husband and I almost died the other day.  Again.  We were driving a car in Rio de Janeiro, so near death experiences are just one of the costs like gas and wiper fluid. 
Muay Lao, the forgotten art of kickboxing
Antonio Graceffo
“You can gain extra power on your kicks by throwing your kicking arm down, but you need to protect your face with a cross arm defense.” Explained Adjarn Ngern, at the national kick boxing stadium in Vientiane, Lao.
Troubled Times
Dan Crossen is looking for a Hero
Heroes is a television show that that uses this fear of the unknown to entertain and to explore the human mind
Jeannine Pitas
I can’t stand it when someone yells at me. It really doesn’t matter who it is-
Career Choices in '09
Sam North
A student asked me what jobs will go in this recession. I’m still thinking about it. It's not just the recession is it. That's too easy. This is all about the digital revolution. Big changes are coming
Bad Trips: The Art of Travail in Travel Writing
John Edwards
Our writer surveys the New Travel Writing field and finds the only good trips are bad trips, especially when even our guidebooks are “survival kits.”
My First Kiss
Katie Tatela
Curiosity. Why are boys so drooly? I never wanted a boy to kiss me my entire life.
The Death Road
Biking the World’s Most Dangerous Route
J. Malcolm Garcia
"It’s not compulsory that you die today, okay?"
Breakfast at Manny’s
(New York City)
John M. Edwards
Anyway I flubbed my audition recently @ Manny’s, the legendary guitar shop on 48th "Avenue" (a bit more famous abroad really than even Sam Ash!)—not that anyone was really listening
Growing Old
Alas one reaches the ‘countdown’ age. According to statistics, I’ve got about 8 years to go
The '78 Revolution in Afghanistan
Larry Clinton Thompson

“I believe,” Pat said calmly, as the tanks rumbled by. “We should take cover inside.”

Now and Then
Neha Mehta
How life changes. You think you've got it all figured out but you haven't.
Modern Caravanserai
Rachael Pettus in Turkey
For security, convenience, and economy, not to mention more than a touch of the colour and camaraderie, time and again we found that highway fuel stations were the best places to sleep.

Cell Culture
Dean Borok

Everywhere I go, everybody’s got his face stuck in a cell phone.
The Masterly Art of Stupidity
Michael Levy

We live in a stupid world, filled with oceans of stupidity
Fighting against the stigma of mental illness
Abigail George

The trend in today’s society is that shame and stigma still exists around the global issues of mental health. It is imperative that all of us fight for the dignity for sufferers of mental illness.
Talking to Native Speakers
The Worst Way to Learn a Language
Antonio Graceffo

In the apartment complex where I live, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there is a Cantonese speaking woman who seems to know everyone.
The Consul and the Serpent Part 1
James Skinner
‘It’s been two years now since I resigned as Honorary British Consul in this north-western part of the Iberian Peninsula
The Consul and the Serpent - Part 2
A Lighthouse Mourns
James Skinner
‘The storm was in full swing; the sea as rough as ever. It was that time of the year. Dawn was about to break on another bleak November morning in the north-western coast of Galicia, Spain
The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Norman A. Rubin
Pakistan covers an area larger than Texas (311,000 square miles)
American Carnival
Don Bagley

Is there anything more amusing than watching the decline of an empire? Even if you’re a part of it, you can’t help but cheer for the Earth opening up and masonry crumbling into the abyss.
Phuket's Annual Ritual of Pain
Jules Kay

It may be known as one of Thailand's top tourist spots. A place to escape to the beach, drink cocktails and party the night away, but Phuket also has a more spiritual side.

Waugh's Grandson
John M Edwards
Coming to literary loggerheads with a blood relative of your dad’s favorite writer seems too serendipitous a sendup to actually be true. . . .
Tehran Confidential
Saja Najafi
I didn't notice the egg cartons at first. It was only when an Iranian friend pointed them out that I saw them
Fruit for the Gods
Michael Chacko Daniels

Fuyu, I sink teeth
into and eat skin and all.
Hachiya, I gulp.
Penny Lane: Why can't the day trippers just let it be?
Patrick Browne

Penny lane is in my ears and in my eyes everyday. I live there, and always have, beneath a seldom blue, but admittedly suburban sky.
Fools Gold
Antonio Graceffo

Some questions just shouldn’t be asked. And some people should be allowed to fly
On Being Homeless
Yesterday I learned a lesson I hope I don’t soon forget. It has given me a feeling that’s been bothering me all day - nagging me and ridiculing me
Kay Teague

The darkness in the country is darker than the darkness in the city. 
Summer Volunteer
Nicky Millman
In the summer of 2010 I volunteered at the Jewish Museum in Camden Town, London. It was an exceptional experience prior to taking up a psychology degree in the UK.
Adventures in Vietnam Banking
Tough Regulations & Terrible Advice Abound
Antonio Graceffo
The benefit of being around the ex-pat community in any country is, ostensibly, that we all have to overcome the same hurdles such as visas and work permits
Gender Equality & African Women
Odimegwu Onwumere

Respect and Rights cause divvy

Practical Applications of the General Theory of Non-Existence
David Swykert

I have long believed I do not exist. The future has yet to exist, the past no longer exists.
Spelling Words with Words
Antonio Graceffo
Here is a linguistic exercise for you. Try to spell the name of a famous person, using English words, rather than letters. For example Michael Huntington would be “my call hunt in ton”.
Money, Fraud and Moral Fibre
Dean Borok
As the old saw goes, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.”
We're All Fine + Readers Letters
James Campion
Reflections On US Economy South Of The Border
They looked desperate, claiming to have been forced to dock an ill-conceived marlin expedition when two local fishermen brandished a pistol and summarily ordered the Gringos to "hand it all over".
Obama and the phenomenology of Change
Ronald Elly Wanda
One thing that fascinated me the most about Americans was their extraordinary sense of appreciation for ‘newness’- a factor that has so vividly been demonstrated by the outcome of this year’s historic election
Beggars and Choosers
James Campion
Hard Promises On The Road To Automotive Welfare
The American Auto Industry is weeks from going belly up in an already eroding economic slog
The Changing of the Guard
Mike Hardie
I will be guided by President Jefferson's sense of purpose, to stand for principle, to be reasonable in manner, and above all, to do great good for the cause of freedom and harmony...'
The Insanity of Short Selling in a Recession
Michael Levy

Would you send your children to a nursery that was run by cannibals? Then why allow short sellers to crucify stock prices when they are at their weakest?
An Island Secret
James Morford
The missing population in the island paradise
The New Yorker, Collusion and All That
Chris Roberts
The New Yorker building sits at 4 Times Square in New York City. If a writer or artist were to come before this edifice, what would he or she see?
An Open Apology to America
James Campion

I was wrong.
Despite my hard-line skepticism, serious doubts, and relentless cynicism born from over two centuries of recidivistic dementia, you did not elect a middle-aged Anglo-Saxon,
Dispatch from McCain country
Obama elected president; crowd indifferent
Derek Pfeffer
Tucson—Putney’s Sports Bar. 7:00 p.m. The Phoenix-Calgary game is playing on two of the television sets
What's Worth Voting For
by James Campion
A Final Demented But Well-Meaning Overview From The Middle Ground - Better fare hard with good men, than feast it with bad.  - Thomas Paine
James Campion - Exploring The Death Rattle Of Modern Conservatism. No money. No message.
John McCain is correct about one thing; he is not George W. Bush. Bush won. Twice. McCain is not going to win.
Joe Cool Down the Stretch
James Campion 10.18.08
Obama Pushes McCain to the Brink

The American electorate is about as angry with government as it has been in over a generation.
Power to the People
Candidates Scramble To Keep Up
James Campion
The American people have spoken loudly and the presidential candidates had better be listening. Congress sure listened.
Welcome to the People's Republic of America
James Campion
Presiding Over The Ashes Of Free-Market Capitalism In The Age Of Avarice
It became frighteningly apparent these past weeks the gang running for high office knows even less about this than you
The Shape of Things To Come
Dean Borok
I'm not going to play dummy and pretend I don’t know what’s going on, just so I can fit in with mediocre conformity. What we are witnessing here is an epic Republican meltdown of historic proportions, just like I pictured it. This beats 1974, 1932 or anything else you can name.
The Long and Short of it
Michael Levy
How can the world financial system allow a trillion dollars to written off within the last few months? How can oil jump from less than $12 four years ago to $147 this summer and then fall down to $91 in a couple of weeks? What kind of manipulation is this? It sounds like an economic war.
The Total Eclipse of McCain
Palin Into Driver's Seat
James Campion
There is no point ignoring it any longer; John McCain's brief stint as the focal point of the Republican ticket for president of the United States is over. Sarah Palin is in charge now. The polls, the press, the people, and the opposition party's obsession with confronting her at every turn have spoken; it is all Palin all the time. McCain is simply in the way now.
Hurricane Palin Overshadows McCain
James Cameron
In one fell swoop the McCain camp galvanized a flaccid base, challenged the gender/generational voting gap, and put some historical wow into a comatose candidate fronting a damaged brand.
Rocky Mountain Shill
Democrats Make Mile High Noise and History - James Campion
There are only two aims of achieving success at a major party's national convention; define/redefine the candidate while skewering his opponent and bridging any chasms widened by primary overzealousness, power positioning, and/or the expected special interest harangues.
Hillary shines in Gail's Universe
James Morford
Three days before the Ohio and Texas primaries, Gail Sheehy shook hands with Hillary Clinton. It was, ". . . a full five-knuckle handshake-one of the strongest I've ever felt." She was tough, manly tough, and Gail Sheehy wants everyone to know it.
Open Letter to Barack Obama
James Campion
Keep the chin up and the hands clean and we might survive this weird experiment until mid-September with a puncher's chance.
Beijing Olympics: Let Pestilence Ring!

James Campion
This is what comes from being in debt to monsters. For the best manifestation of this please refer to either video of the president dancing like an imbecile at the Olympic opening ceremonies or the later chapters of Brett Easton Ellis' sophomoric novel, Less Than Zer
Obama in the Uphill Part1
Superstar/Timing+Liberal/Minority =Longshot?
James Campion
Fresh from his world tour as media darling, Barack Obama, Democratic nominee for president and political rock star extraordinaire, looks invincible. He is charismatic, youthful, and one of the most consummate orators this country has produced in decades;
18 IN '08 Parts I & 11
James Campion

The Internet influences every dimension of the political and campaign process. In fact, its driving many campaign professional out of their minds. They no longer have complete control over their message. I know that's a long answer, but I feel very passionate about it.
Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie
Barack Obama Buries The Boomers
James Campion
'This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face.' Senator Obama
A Crossroads in Serbia
Brian Rogers
In downtown Belgrade all eyes are on an orator who’s words I do not understand in a literal sense, but who’s meaning I percieve innately.
Health and Safety in New York
Dean Borok
You’re never safe in New York.  My downstairs neighbor when I lived on 83rd St. got hit in the head by a flying chunk of a luxury condo under construction on 85th St., which knocked her out cold. 
Scott McClellan
James Campion
Scott McClellan wants to go to heaven now. He thinks writing a book confessing his sins will get him there. Dick Nixon and Bill Clinton tried it. Chuck Colson and Ed Meese too. George Tenet, Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill gave it a shot recently, and some may have forgiven them for it, but God is not likely to be counted among them.
Will the Real John McCain stand up
James Campion
McCain has to distance himself from the currently doomed Washington atmosphere and rally the very troops who stand accused of screwing everything up.
How to Pop The Oil Bubble
Michael Levy
When essential commodities are no longer traded in a free market that relies on supply and demand new legislation
The Great Divide
James Campion on Election'08
Race, Gender & The New Frontier
The cultural landslide that has sprung from the 2008 Democratic primary race is nothing short of historic. Nothing about it can be measured by the past.
Let's Make A Deal
James Campion - Election '08
The unrecognizable stench of bitter and lasting defeat draped the air. And for the first time, deep inside Campaign Fantasy Camp, everyone understood the initiative had changed.
These are not safe times to call oneself a thinker
Bryan Blake on US politics
Sounds to me like I need to improve upon the cubicle fort I’ve recently built to keep out the babbling idiots and social golems of the office
Indulging in Derived Hell
Michael Levy
You would think after the Enron scandal and the dot com bust that human financial infamy and shamefulness would cease...well think again.
Keystone Kop-Out
James Campion
Why Barack Obama’s Inability To Bury The Clinton Ghost Dooms November
The Fun Part - continues
Dean Borok
The monied interests reacted with dismay at Clinton’s huge victory.
What Oil Crisis? 04.23.08
Michael Levy
Pumping up Oily Propaganda
Swiftboatin' 04.21.08
Bryan Blake
Pay no attention to Pennsylvania – consummate fundraiser Governor Ed Rendell has the state locked down,
Confession of an Elitist 04.19.08
James Campion

I am repeatedly, and in many ways, revoltingly astounded how utterly stupid most people are, and by most people, I mean anyone but me.
Iraq - The New Iran
James Campion

General Petraeus Hands Bush A Tehran Surprise ...the most important phrase uttered by the man was "malign influence"
Dean Borok on Election 2008
It’s Chinatown.  You’ll never get to the bottom of it.
The Party v The Machine
James Campion
Behind The Scenes Of Madam Shoo-In's Last Stand - desperate are the times for the doomed Hillary For President campaign
That Speech + Readers Letters
James Campion on Obama
To Our Bitter Demons & Better Angels
The Democrats are Burning
James Campion

The unabated immolation of the Democratic Party, has now officially become a raging firestorm.
The Emperor's New Factory Girl
The Madam Shoo-In Shuck Jive Express
James Campion
There is only one book ever written worth a damn on the subject of politics The Shining
The Fun Part 03.07.08
Dean Borok

"Now comes the fun part." – Hillary Clinton at the initiation of her campaign to "define" Obama
The Cheesehead Victory Lap
James Campion
Mere seconds after the Associated Press had called the Wisconsin primary for Barack Obama, the young senator stood at center stage grinning from ear to ear.
Independence Rules
James Campion
Nothing has crossed the divide of this polarized nation than the quickly emerging, highly influential, and increasingly mighty Independent vote
Goodbye Super Tuesday
Madam Shoo-In & Master Barack Draw
James Campion
Only one party has managed to rubber-stamp a presumptive nominee, John McCain, whose right-wing obstinacy and an abject rejection from the south has all-but gained him a seat on the big ride.
Serbian Elections
Jack Shenker
Belgrade has straddled the border between East and West since the 4th century, when the Roman Empire was torn apart by a schism that would last over a thousand years.
And Then There Were Three
James Campion
McCain Seals Deal/ Dynamic Duo Cage Match
Somewhere in the late hours of 1/29, George Will, Bill Bennett, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the faux conservative Republican voices in and out of the party came to fully understand, once for all, the jig was up.
Spain: Another Balkans?
James Skinner
Spain’s history is riddled with rebellions, coupes, military dictatorships, monarchies, civil war, and finally a consolidated democracy that permitted its entry into today’s modern world
Obama in SC
Dean Borok
It’s obvious after the South Carolina primary that Chicago politician Barack Obama has the lock on the African-American vote.
Heart & Soul of Party Politics - Part II
Democrats At The Crossroads 2008
James Campion
Standing at the crossroads of revisionist hard-sell, old-fashioned populism, and disenfranchised symbolism are three wild-card presidential candidates.
The Heart & Soul of Party politics - Part One
James Campion
Republicans Define Internal Battle For 2008
Despite dismal approval ratings, second-term numbness, and a celebrity fatigue worthy of the latest Britney Spears meltdown, George W. Bush is still the president of the United States

New Hampshire: Same Song & Dance
James Campion
Madam Shoo-In Weeps To Upset/Mac Is Back & Rudy Exhales. Momentum Halted. Freight Train Derailed. Revolution stalled.
Iowa: What Happened?
James Campion
Obama Rises, Hillary Skids/GOP Field Swings Wide On A Holy Huckabee Blip
After Fidel
James Skinner
‘Jim, there’s a bullet riddled trawler being towed into Georgetown! Cubans, Gov! There must be about 40 of them.’
My Year of Living Dangerously
Caitlin McCallum

New Year's Resolution: three words that simultaneously inspire and terrify me, like Hilary Rodham Clinton or competitive eating contest.
Sudden Death in Pakistan
Dean Borok
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto again throws US diplomacy into a tailspin
La Deluge - US Election Analysis 2008
Dean Borok
Clinton has the same appeal for me as German chancellor Angela Markel, not exactly a fashion plate herself. Clinton looks as though she will protect American interests in world markets
A Teacher's Lot
Trudie Hannah
There has been a lot of discussion lately, about the merits or otherwise of a return to the grammar school system. This seems to me to be about as relevant as a discussion about what colour to paint the Titanic. Surely the first thing to do is to alert the crew and passengers that the whole damned ship is in danger of sinking.
Mother Earth - A Letter
Caitlin McCallum

9 Billion Souls by 2050

Israel and the Arabs in the Parisian book world
Dr Marwan Asmar
Arabs were right to boycott the Paris book fair
That Sucks -I'm Fine but you're screwed
Gabriel Constans
The way we speak drives me crazy!  Well, it doesn’t really “drive me” anywhere, nor causes me to have a psychotic break, but it can be intensely frustrating.
The Galician Ganja Trail
James Skinner
‘We’ve got a real potpourri of world problems going on at the moment with a whole sleuth of experts in all fields trying to solve them.
Two for One Houses - Make Me an Offer
James Skinner
'What is a bubble? I looked up the meaning of the word the old fashion way.
The Beverely Birch Interview
Aby Davis

Finding myself sitting in front of a woman with 43 books in her name and the power to make and break young writers dreams is rather humbling

Sweet Aroma of Value Investing
Michael Levy
Well, there is no doubt that we are in a recession right now and it may get worse in the coming months
Small Town Crap
Rosalea Hostetler
A Beginner’s Guide to the Idylic Life in Small Towns of the Prairies
So you dream of living in a small town because you are tired of the stresses of big city life? Dream on, dream on.
Small Town Crap Part Two
Rosalea Hostetler
Getting Established for Acceptance
You are willing to take the risk of being rejected, and don’t mind if you are shunned and isolated. Or you are confident you can play by the rules well enough to fit in and be accepted.

Small Town America - Crap Towns Pt Three
Rosalea Hosetler
Expect the Unexpected
When you arrive at your new town on the prairies, make it easy on yourself -stay in a motel
Moshing in the Philippines
One week with the Pinoy 'red punks'
Andrew 0'Brien
My new friend Joy and I reach for the wet steel bars over the window as the jeepney rattles and bounces over the potholes on the decaying city street. It’s my fifth day in Manila and the pounding monsoon rains have hardly let up for a minute.
Under Fire
Marwan Asmar
‘For every reporter killed, there is a lost report, a lost dispatch and a lost message
Everything's coming up crazy
Caitlin McCallum

Arriving in LA I had one pressing issue that needed to be addressed: finding a place to live.
Howard Loves Vince; The Queer subtext of The Mighty Boosh by Jodie Corney
'That’s what this is all about – me and you – the arguing, the bitching...'
Holding On To Illusions
Michael Levy
I explained to her how fear is an illusion of the mind, even though it be a persistent one
Buying & Cooking Food in Spain
Colin Fisher

Frankenstein squid and shops the size of wardrobes
Chasing the Dragon
Will Collins
‘Brown’, ‘Skag’, ‘Smack’, ‘Junk’, ‘Gear’, ‘Shit’, ‘Dope’, ‘H’, ‘Horse’, ‘Curry & Rice’; never once was the word ‘heroin’ mentioned. Wayne first ‘chased the dragon’ at the age of twelve ...
The Kindness of Strangers - a true story
Annie Lalla
"Hello, Hello!" I yelled louder and louder hoping someone would respond. My face was pressed up against my tiny bathroom window.
Falcon: A Prog Rock Tale
Mark Cunliffe
For many music lovers, Prog is a dirty word, an era best forgot. But to those who accept, admire and wish to address prog rock, then look no further than Falcon.
Cultural Receivers
Marwan Asmar
Like it or not we are cultural receivers, and I dare say, if western audiences were exposed to "our culture," the influence would be much more balanced
Soc Gen Scandal
D. Borok on banking
Far be it from me to impugn the integrity of the French banking establishment, but something about the story of one trader single-handedly causing €5billion inlosses to Société Générale stinks
Dean Borok
Sometimes the visionary can overcome the boundaries of concrete reality, where most of us are more or less condemned to dwell, and fly to the moon.
Obama: A Middle East Viewpoint
Marwan Asmar

The world is watching Barrack Obama, the up-and-rising African-American Senator as he bids for the highest office in the land of dreams
No Country for Aches and Pains
James Skinner
Many people, when they retire take up a new hobby, or they go back to college to study
The Majestic Camphor Shadows -
The stone fox watching moths in moonlight

kab -
I think I could have found my way to Mitaka by myself. I had, after all, found my way to the Sagano forest in Kyoto
How I Ought to be as a Writer
Piper Davenport

Who knows where I am going to end up at? I can’t predict anything, all I can do is love the words on the page and the language and everything that makes me feel good and go from there.

Close Encounters of the Third World Kind
John Edwards
Here are 10 tips to speed you through the confusing congestion of customs and weird freeways of the “extreme sport” of foreign food eating
Shan People
Antonio Graceffo
Defying the Burmese government’s ban on journalists, I crossed the border under the protection of the Shan State Army, and began filming interviews with IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) within the war zone.
The Spanish National Anthem debacle
Colin Fisher
Here in Spain they have just had a competition. The Spanish Olympic Committee decided it would a good idea if the Spanish national anthem had some words written for it.
The Circle Unbroken
Dean Borok
Spitzer did a good thing going after all those structured finance thieves on Wall Street.
A Post-Women’s Day Thought
Leela Solomon
No one forgot Women’s Day
Heartland Families & teachers
Ari Kaufman

Growing up in a coastal "liberal" family, most of my friends shared similar, ignorant views on what those strict parents in the so-called "heartland" were all about.
Today's Technology & Other Animals
James Skinner
When I retired as Honorary British Consul I lost my fax machine, my high speed digital line, my mobile phone and my PC. I had to start over.
How to make sense in the Caribbean
John M. Edwards
The next day I spotted the General wearing only shorts running down the beach like an Olympic athlete on steroids, closely pursued by two policemen, who tackled the General and handcuffed him. As they hauled him away, he bawled out, "I’m innocent!"
Learning History Through Martial Arts
David Calleja
" I look at myself as a martial arts anthropologist, and if we lose it, we’re losing one more aspect of the culture," declares creator of the web TV show Martial Arts Odyssey, Antonio Graceffo.
Redcloud and Sunshine
Floyd Frank
The woods have always been my playground. When I went to college in Colorado the Rocky Mountains were a natural extension for my love of the outdoors
The Sky Is Not Blue in Burma
David Calleja
Although more than 6,000 individuals in Burma's prisons have been released as part of a "goodwill gesture" by the military junta, let's not kid ourselves.
The Hyphernate
David Russell
Today, at most ad agencies, you're either a Writer or a Producer. But, in my days, being a Hyphenate was not unusual.
Viva Espana
James Skinner
The trouble is that no Spanish government official has dared to mention the forthcoming financial Tsunami despite the warnings from the tour operators and travel agencies
Last of the Mohicans
James Skinner
I asked my wife if she thought going back to college in the UK was a good idea. ‘Send me a postcard,’ she answered without hesitation.
On President Barack Obama
Lois Tietzel
Hope is still there. Are we going to let our fire get put out by this Recession, Depression or whatever Financial Crisis? I say, hell no.
Lisbon’s Praça de Dom Pedro IV
Georgi Dagnall
The lovely square called Praça de Dom Pedro IV has for centuries been one of the most popular squares in Lisbon and the center of much of Lisbon's activity.
Balkan Parties
Rob Rigney
Balkan parties reflect the new face of a city which is more and more stamped by its immigrant populations, and they offer something techno can’t: soul, pathos and hot-blooded Balkan wildness.
Bringing Aung San Suu Kyi Into a Cambodian Classroom
David Calleja
Raising awareness of the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi among students through music in rural Cambodia leaves a song in their heart.
The Maid
Amanda Callendrier
She must wonder why I look like this.  I am not wearing matching pajamas, a robe, or even slippers
Ballet Without a Programme
Eric D. Lehman
Some would argue that ballet and opera are no longer living arts. That is, they do not affect the cultural landscape in the same way films or other media do.
The Peter Pan Wannabe
My So Called Life
Rosanne Stewart
I wish tomorrow wouldn't come. I just need today to last that little bit longer because today is just about right. Tomorrow is dripping with negative connotations
The gift of tears
Jeannine Pitas
She kept them in her eye. There were a few of them, six who stayed always, about eleven who came and went.
Loi Tailang Tigers
David Calleja
For the hundreds of orphans residing within the male dormitories at Loi Tailang Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Shan State, Burma, football is the fantasy escape from the memories of conflict
Single Fathers Advice: The At Home Dinner Date
Chef Jeffrey Allen Kaufman

Its not just about food
What Restaurant Owners Should Know
Chef Jeffrey Allen Kaufman

The one thing that can slip in and destroy your image, and customer base is a food born illness of any kind.

Teaching in China Part Two
Craig Johnson

I started sweating nervously on the way to my first class of second graders, because I really had no clue what any of the names meant
Phantom Elephants, Rhino’s and Coca Cola: Searching for the Elusive Wildness
Kody Thompson
“I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself” wrote D.H. Lawrence. Likewise, I met people who didn’t feel sorry for themselves yet suffered like no one I had ever seen before
Yellow hair
Abigail George

It feels like winter in September and the sky are just supposed to be pieces of blue sky; instead they’re slate grey with the beckoning, darkening rain clouds not yet completely rinsed out of them. My sister and I do not have a perfect relationship.
Singing For My Supper - The Greatest Self Help Book Ever Written - Phillip E. Hardy
Con men come in all shapes and sizes, from the street hustler offering 3-card Monte to the high flying investment guru masking a pyramid scheme.
Eating High On the Hog
David Russell on a memorable journey to the USSR
My First Car
Austin Muckinhaupt
Sitting in Finck's Tire waiting area the first you notice is all the magazine's are about hunting. 
The Sins of Pakistan
James Campion
How Sovereignty & Absinthe Will Defeat The Taliban
A victory in the fight against terrorism is in fact a guarantee for the security and protection of our coming generations. - Pakistani Prime Minsiter Yusuf Raza Gilani
Power Grab
Dean Borok
The U.S. press corps is pathetically myopic. They have the depth and consistency of processed cheese slices, knowing nothing of American history and even less than nothing about the lessons of world history
Who's afraid of History?
Rama Varma
The other day, as I was idly surfing channels, I chanced upon a historical film about the British invasion of Zululand.
The Century Mark
Joe Cool's Honeymoon Epilogue
James Campion on Obama's 100 days
We have ten fingers and ten toes, therefore we make its denominations our benchmark; a decade, a century, a millennium, etc. But it wasn't until FDR that we are now expected to judge the honeymoon period of a new president by his first 100 days.
Last Words on the United States of Torture
James Campion
As usual, everyone has this torture thing wrong. The Right conveniently paints it as "special tactics to ensure security" and The Left predictably sees it as "indefensible war crimes"

Life 1
Life 3
Life 4
Life 5/6
Life 7
Life 8

Life 9
2016 -2019



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