Show the world we want a phone worth keeping! #phonebloks
Packing for a War Zone
For news gathering, Canon Vixia, Nikon D90, GoPro 2, Macbook Air, HyperDrive, collapsible, fold-flat tripod and assorted cables and other odds and ends (nothing top of the line, just reliable and functional.)
Personal maintenance, filter water bottle, some instant coffee packets and some anti-bacterial wipes, three-sets of quick-dry, insect repellant treated clothing (Robert Young Pelton, author of the World’s Most Dangerous Place says he’s going to take away my man-card for that.)
Kevlar helmet and Type IIIA body armor —required for military embeds but not particularly helpful or recommended when reporting in Afghan communities, unilaterally.
Image: Packing for Afghanistan, by Kevin Sites via Boing Boing. Select to embiggen.
“I am happy now,” Helen beamed. “I have time to eat, my children can go to school. And I can even work in my garden, take a shower and then come back for more water if I want! I am bathing so well.”
A few of the men chuckled to hear a woman talk about bathing. But all I noticed was Helen’s glowing face, the fresh flowers in her hair, and the lovely green dress she wore for special occasions. Touching her forearm, I replied, “Well, you look great.”
“Yes,” she paused. Placing both hands on my shoulders and smiling, she said, “Now, I am beautiful.”
Yes, it’s a bit cheesy, but I think it’s good to remember sometimes that the greatest benefits to economic, social or other progress are immaterial.
Arab societies, particularly those in turmoil, are regressing to what another French social theorist, Émile Durkheim, called “mechanistic solidarity.” This is social solidarity that evolves along lines of kinship and religion, underpinned by a sense of belonging to the same “homogenous” group. Durkheim contrasts this phenomenon with the more progressive “organic solidarity” that evolves in modern societies according to people’s professional and functional relationships.
In times of elevated risk, real or perceived, people begin to organize increasingly on the basis of homogenous identities. As a result, “mechanistic solidarity” grows stronger at the expense of “organic solidarity.” The trend is often accelerated by the loss of jobs, which often leads people to abandon their professional and functional identities in favor of identities based on ethnicity, kinship, or religion
We live in a world made up more of story than stuff. We are creatures of memory more than reminders, of love more than likes. Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be messy, and painful, and almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die.
“A sea divides us, dignity unites us”
A message from Greeks to protesters in Turkey
In November 1926, Soviet biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov travelled to the botanical gardens in Conakry, French Guinea, with his son and vials of human semen. A year earlier, Ivanov had received a grant from the Soviet Department of Scientific Institutions. His proposal: the artificial insemination of chimpanzees to create human-ape hybrids.