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Notes on Morning Darkness in Calcutta
Notes on Morning Darkness in Calcutta

Robert Hirschfield roams Calcutta at dawn where for once he finds himself almost alone.THE BOY gets up to groan open the hotel gate for me. The same boy works at every hotel I ever stayed at in India. Thin, brown, silent, his smile besieged by a muscular frown.I lean into the 5:30 darkness of a Calcutta morning.

How to learn Chinese: Student vs. teacher
How to learn Chinese: Student vs. teacher

During my first class teaching English in Taiwan, my student Christine came up to me with an armload of Chinese books, and hand-calligraphed New Year’s scrolls.She also provided an invitation for language exchange and a smile, which can only be described as the Cheshire cat’s official welcome to Asia.

Pray for Japan: New film reminds us it ain’t over
Pray for Japan: New film reminds us it ain’t over

A documentary-in-the-works pays tribute to the victims and volunteers in Tohoku. There is still a lot of work to be done.IT’S EASY to forget when the media turns its eyes elsewhere, which happens quickly. It’s easy to forget when the next disaster comes along, which seems to occur more frequently these days.

How travel made me confront white privilege
How travel made me confront white privilege

Leaving a white world can be a route to confronting whiteness.TOM MATLACK at the Good Men Project recently reflected on the experience of being white during a journey he took to Kenya.Being white, and from South Africa, some of the questions Tom asked feel fundamental to the world I live in. Mine is a country where racial divisions remain, and are as embedded in daily life as they are repressed in the interests of national reconciliation.

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.

Climate change interview with Glacier National Park Ranger
Climate change interview with Glacier National Park Ranger

WHAT/WHEREGlacier National Park Ranger Matt Graves discusses the challenge of climate change and the impact it has on the park and beyond.NETWORK CONNECTIONClimate change is an issue that effects all of us first hand. As travelers we need to cultivate an increased awareness of ourfoot print and how we can make our journey as green as possible.

NaNoWriMo – Anyone writing a novel next month?
NaNoWriMo – Anyone writing a novel next month?

What’s up with writers just sitting down and blasting out 50,000 words as fast they can? And is that ass-to-chair time ‘well spent’?EVERY NOVEMBER, a large group of people (there were more than 100,000 in 2007) who have signed up with NaNoWriMo begin writing with the goal of completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

15 Immortal Opening Lines
15 Immortal Opening Lines

Photo WonderlaneOpening lines have to be good, but sometimes they almost seem immortal.It was a pleasure to burn.-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.-Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of SolitudeIt was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

After the Quake: Images of a Catastrophe
After the Quake: Images of a Catastrophe

How quickly do we forget the feeling of instability? When do we learn to trust the earth again? Acclaimed Chilean novelist Sergio Missana considers the short- and long-term effects of the latest earthquake in his country.ONE COULD ARGUE that there is no experience more kinetic, more purely experienced with the body, than the earth suddenly becoming unsteady.

The Full Circle of Travel
The Full Circle of Travel

The Matador community always has travel on the mind, of course, but as we gear up for our big San Francisco bash on August 16, we’re thinking more than ever about how and why travel are important as all proceeds from the party will fund trips abroad for inner-city students.It seems appropriate, then, that I just received an alumni newsletter highlighting the work of sociology professor, Dr.

Mad as Hell Doctors take their tour on the road
Mad as Hell Doctors take their tour on the road

The Mad as Hell Docs’ RV, Photo courtesy of the author. Feature photo: Progress Ohio“Why are you mad as hell?”The question was posed to a panel of doctors in a high school auditorium in Sequim, Washington.Answers varied, but all had the common thread that the current health care system is broken, inefficient, and corrupt and that the best solution is universal single-payer health care.

The recycler’s guide to plastic
The recycler’s guide to plastic

Even though National Recycling Week was started in Australia by Planet Ark, it doesn’t mean that we all can’t be more conscious of our waste this week.Starting with plastic.As plastic bag bans are starting to pop up around the world, it is becoming quite obvious that people are becoming more aware that plastic isn’t a necessity and isn’t too good for the environment.