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Off the beat: The global language of cat photos

Wendy did not look like a “Wendy” to me. That name brought to mind the fast food mascot — red-haired, freckled, vaguely cowgirl-ish and very different from the bubbly Beijing native who approached me after class one day. But when I finally asked her what her Chinese name was, I Read More…

Michael-Rosen-Full

Off the beat: Show up to parties on time, idiots

My only two friends are bottles: a Jack Daniels fifth and a whiskey mixer. They’re sitting together, a perfect pair, as I recline in my chair, alternating swigs from each. A glass full of whiskey sour lies untouched near my feet. My eyes glaze over into a soft focus. I’m half concentrated on the Xbox game I’m playing and half concentrated on the question of when to take my next swig from the whiskey bottle. Read More…

SophieLee

Nothingness is a hard drug

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I found myself lying in a shallow pool of warm water about 10 inches deep and 10 times more buoyant than seawater. If I moved, the water tickling my arms reminded me that I wasn’t hopelessly adrift on the Dead Sea at night. Read More…

straus

Identity Crisis

Two Steps Forward

The American dream may end up being the end of the world. Roughly equivalent to the first-world dream, the American one can be summarized as having a lot of things you didn’t make. In order to fulfill it, one needs a house, a car, processed food, factory-made clothes and on Read More…

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Feeling and connecting through art

“I don’t like looking at art,” my friend told me as we listlessly lazed in my apartment, discussing summer plans. “I prefer hands-on exhibits.” Rather than taking offense, I was curious at her comment. It made me think about not only how we engage with art, but also what we Read More…

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Piracy and morality

I wanted to watch “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” but none of the local theaters were playing it anymore, I couldn’t buy the Blu-Ray because I don’t have that kind of money, Amazon was empty, and there were no other legitimate channels I could go through. I started going through Read More…

Insects are the future of food

Safe, Sane and Consensual

I stared into its black, beady, little eyes. Then I popped it in my mouth, expecting the worst, but it was crunchy and tasted like garlic, lime and chili. I was in a market in Oaxaca, Mexico, and mounds of fried grasshoppers, called chapulines, are a common sight. They’re addictive Read More…

Stacey-Nguyen-full

To control the time

The front of my orange planner reads “To control the time.” This planner, by far, is the cheapest of the 10 planners that I have bought within the past two years, purchased for $4 at MaiDo, a stationery aficionado’s heaven. Smelling like a fresh beginning, the planner contains 64 blank Read More…