10 results for 'the expat returned'
I have been reading a lot about Mark Boyle and his new book No Money Man, which chronicles the year he spent living cash-free in a trailer outside of Bristol, England. His caravan was donated and is situated – luckily enough – on an organic farm, which are two major bonuses for this type of living, but the rest is hard work. He bikes to find supplies, forages for food (including supermarket dumpster-diving, a dubious practice to champion in my view), uses a compost toilet and bathes in the river.
This last detail caught my attention because it resonated with me. It brought to mind... (more)
Do you remember 2008? So much has happened in the past two years that it can be a challenge to reach back – some of us may not want to look in the rearview mirror, so painful have these past years been. I recall a growing euphoria in the run-up to the ’08 presidential election. I had just returned to the States after fleeing to Europe for more than half of the Bush presidency, and, like Michelle Obama, I felt proud of my country for the first time in my adult life. Young people were turning out in record numbers to get Obama elected, and his New York campaign office was so overrun with... (more)
The other night I was at a dinner party where salmon was being served. I mentioned that I didn’t feel it was safe to eat fish any more, and the host immediately responded, “That could be the case with any animal you eat.” Well, it could be, but it’s not. There are not the same health risks involved with fish as with cows, chickens or pigs. Studies of the environments of those other animals have not returned data quite as distressing as recent analyses of US waters.
In my home state, Maryland, more than two dozen rivers and streams are on the “impaired waters” list – unsafe for swimming... (more)
In the modern theatre of international relations, it is often quite difficult to come to any understanding of how certain disagreements between nations have come to be. Often the cause is reduced to soap opera, using terms like "jealousy" or "hatred". Yet the truth is always more nuanced than mainstream media would have us believe.
Take our current face-off with Iran over nuclear power. The players involved – the US, Britain and Russia – have a shared history that is so complex, so entangled, as to be nearly unbelievable. Yet after reading Stephen Kinzer’s superbly detailed book... (more)
On Monday, August 2nd, the Wall Street Journal wrote that the price of pork bellies - used to make bacon - had jumped 53% in one year to $1.35 a pound. On August 5th, Bloomberg published an even more in-depth article on the situation. According to Tom Cawthorne, who bears the illustrious title of Director of Hog Marketing at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, “there are just no stocks now” of that porcine manna enjoyed by so many of us.
In the same article, Bloomberg mentions that pork bellies have been traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange since 1961. I know a bit about... (more)
While the mainstream media has tried to distract us with vacation photos and talk of fashion, our First Lady has been instrumental in passing a piece of legislation with the potential to save the lives of more US citizens than the recent health care bill: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. After narrowly clearing a Senate scheduling hurdle, the bill passed through unanimous consent, meaning that there was complete agreement by all 100 senators and therefore no need for a vote.
This is a phenomenal, wonderful piece of news. It is a sure sign that Washington is waking up to the fact that... (more)
Through a HuffPo headline, I recently came across an article at McClatchy news titled "Obama seeks to expand arms exports by trimming approval process". A disturbing thought. I read the article in full, already preparing my comment in my head. I was going to write something about the fabled War Machine, merchants of death, Obama equaling Bush, et cetera.
However, as I read on, I discovered the foulest piece of non-journalism I've read in a while. Then I went to read the comments that my fellow HuffPo users had written. They were of the most awful, reactionary, apocalyptic sort,... (more)
One morning over coffee I went to read my wall posts. Two items caught my eye: one a prayer, the other a flyer for a gay S&M party. I decided to shut down my Facebook page. I posted a message on my wall to let everyone know I was leaving, and I wrote private messages to people I’d recently met to be sure I had everyone’s real contact information – address, phone number, the old fashioned stuff. Strangely, I was nervous about leaving Facebook, and some of my friends’ responses confirmed my own vague impression that I was about to perform the social equivalent of... (more)
Zero to Sixty in Six Years
In 2003, I moved overseas just as Friendster was emerging as a major networking site for the corporate world and the newborn Myspace was drawing college-age kids in droves. I saw no point in being on either site, as I fit into neither demographic.
I went to France, a country far less tech-obsessed than the US. The 18-35s have computers and smart phones, but once you get 100 kilometers outside a major city, you'd better be carrying cash, because ATMs are few and far between. The French did have Minitel, an information, chat and shopping exchange that... (more)
You Are How You Look
The holidays came and one friend posted some supremely awful Christmas party photos of me gnawing on a turkey leg, thinking it was funny. Of course I could not delete them, as I had not published them. Another friend posted a photo of me in my underwear, taken without my knowledge, and I learned of its existence thanks to a message from a different friend. I sent a fiery text message to the poster and the offending photo was removed.
I learned the hard way about “tags” in photos and had to spend an afternoon removing my name from photos I didn’t... (more)
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