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A manifesto from a young American
A manifesto from a young American

Today I ended my hypocrisy. Today I sold my stock in multinational corporations.Today I made a step towards moral and existential sanity. Today I stopped supporting a malevolent, inhuman and amoral force.Let me back up a moment. Two years ago, freshly graduated from an East Coast status enclave, I took a job in Japan, where I lived in a mountain community that is rapidly fading into a coal mine ghost town.

Guitar Hero On Tour: Rocking Out Through The Decades
Guitar Hero On Tour: Rocking Out Through The Decades

The story of Guitar Hero mirrors the rise of any rock star of the last few decades.After first hitting the Playstation in 2005, the game has become a staple at parties everywhere. The Guitar Hero franchise has become a cultural phenomenon, and has been credited with revolutionizing the modern music industry.

Letter from South Carolina
Letter from South Carolina

The first e-mail I read when I fired up the laptops at NPR was from my friend Ami, who lives in my hometown of Spartanburg, South Carolina. She shared her experience of election 2008 with me, and gave me permission to share her message here:Two weeks ago we spent an evening with a woman from Argentina.

Is Civilization Based on Beer?
Is Civilization Based on Beer?

That beer led to civilization is the sort of claim you might find on a crappy t-shirt saying, “BEER! Helping ugly people have sex since forever!” But apparently the beer and civilization theory has been around for a while, and now an archaeologist in Canada called Brian Hayden claims to have more evidence for the idea that the desire to brew beer underpinned the development of agriculture.

Armchair Travel: 4 Legendary Authors You Should Read
Armchair Travel: 4 Legendary Authors You Should Read

Staying home for awhile? Pick up books by these four authors to keep your wanderlust aflame.The only time I find the desire or need for travel damning is when I am without the means to do so but with the desire to do so. It’s in moments like these that I am forced to seek solace in others who have suffered before me and done the great service of recording, with pen and paper, their experiences.

Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!
Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela!

Today South Africa celebrated Mandela Day as Nelson Mandela celebrated his 93rd birthday.Nelson Mandela was the President of South Africa (the first one democratically elected) from 1994-1999, and is well-known as the anti-apartheid activist who spent 27 years in prison. He was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, and after I dug up some of his best quotes, I realized why he is so respected.

Notes on Tourists Accosted by Religious Zealots in Jerusalem
Notes on Tourists Accosted by Religious Zealots in Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the juxtaposition of 5000 years of conflict that, as these travelers discover, sometimes “flies out of the nightly news” to hang out with you.If Yehuda Amichai were alive, he’d write a poem to them: “Psalm For aSecular Couple From Spain Exploring Jerusalem Like Ordinary CivilizedPeople”.

Those silly Americans are at it again: KFC’s Double Down Sandwich
Those silly Americans are at it again: KFC’s Double Down Sandwich

Bawk Bawk. Photos by author.There’s probably nothing like Kentucky Fried Chicken’s new Double Down, a bun-less concoction that promises 35 grams of fat and 1,380 mg of sodium. But without bread, for those of your watching your figure.A friend had posted a picture on his Facebook and I became intrigued.

Alaska Loves Sarah Palin… Right?
Alaska Loves Sarah Palin… Right?

Hundreds of Alaskans rallied in Anchorage this week – but not, as you might think, to support their Governor in her Vice-Presidential bid.Instead, participants in what was reportedly the largest protest gathering in Alaskan history took aim at McCain/Palin, and made it clear their governor does NOT speak for them.

The Divine Chant Of The Monks
The Divine Chant Of The Monks

Stone faced monks age solemnly / Photo copepodoThe sacred chanting of the Gregorian monks can offer balm for the soul. If you listen hard enough, you may even hear a hint of the divine.During four-months of backpacking and research across Spain, I found myself in the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, 57 kilometers south of Burgos.

First timer’s guide to seeing an astrologer
First timer’s guide to seeing an astrologer

Getting your chart done can be an extremely enlightening experience.There is something about a brief glimpse of understanding the self that feels like a window into humanity. Rarely does it last. But hopefully, it comes around again, albeit in small pieces and unexpected moments.To me, seeing an astrologer (a good one, at least), is a bit like getting a glimpse.

5 Classic James Michener Novels
5 Classic James Michener Novels

Theodore Scott introduces you to an iconic American author.I love James Michener novels so much people make fun of me for it. His books are thick and they usually have one word titles.Michener takes what could be a dry subject and educates you while also entertaining you with drama in his narrative style.