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Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

101 Places Not To See Before You Die

My travel book is out!:

Now out from HarperPaperbacks101 Places Not To See Before You Die is a guide to some of the least appealing destinations and experiences in the world. From the armpit of New Jersey to the Beijing Museum of Tap Water to, of course, Euro Disney, it includes some of the most boring museums,stupidest historical attractions, and worst Superfund sites you’ll ever have the pleasure of not visiting. But the book goes much further.Jupiter’s Worst Moon, an Outdoor Wedding During the 2021 Reemergence of the Great Eastern Cicada Brood, Fan Hours at the Las Vegas Porn Convention —101 Places Not To See Before You Die travels through time and space to provide a welcome — and unusual — reprieve from the glut of “inspirational” travel books currently on the market.

Far from being just an encyclopedic list of crappy travel statistics, 101 Places Not To See Before You Die is also a backhanded tribute to what makes traveling so great: its tendency to put us in situations that we otherwise never would have experienced. With guest entries from writers like Nick Kristof and A.J. Jacobs, 101 Places Not To See Before You Die is filled with stories and anecdotes of misadventure to which any seasoned traveler can relate. These are the experiences we tell to friends afterwards, the stories that earn us bragging rights, the reason why we’re willing to put up with the bed bugs and the food poisoning and set out to explore to the world.

101 Places Not To See Before You Die: Because Bad Places Make Good Stories.

Twitter feed: 101worstplaces

iPhone App: 101 Worst Places

Oh — and join the Facebook Fan Page.

The Passion of Latin Lovers

Even if you ignore ( from ignorare — to not know, disregard) the Romans’ influence ( influere — to flow in) on our culture ( colere — to foster, cultivate or respect), architecture ( architectus, from the Greek arkhi — chief + tekton — builder, carpenter), literature ( littera — letter), government (gubernare — navigate, pilot, govern), military (miles — soldier), legal ( lex — the law) and judicial (iudex — a judge) systems and medicine ( medicus — physician), there’s still the fact ( factum — something done, a fact) of Latin’s presence ( praesentia — presence) in English itself.

As might be obvious, getting to write a feature about Latin for the Washington Post Magazine was a treat for my inner dork.

Stanford at Sea

It was a bad move for someone who hates boats: I spent 2 weeks at sea with a crew of marine biologists and students from Stanford, documenting the journey from the Line Islands to Honolulu and creating this website. (Don’t know where the Line Islands are? Take a map of the Pacific Ocean and stick a pin somewhere directly in the middle.)

Jesus is Magic: Jilly Bean, Motorcycle Missionary

For Mother Jones, I created several web videos to accompany my article about Christian magicians. The first one’s about Jilly Bean, followed by this magic trick:

Others on the site feature Kerry Kistler, chalk artist:

and Duane Laflin, revered gospel magician:

News 21: The American Military Abroad


In the summer of 2006, I spent a month in Korea reporting on the American military for a Knight Foundation fellowship called News 21. We reported on base closures and community relations, but my personal stories focused on things like working out at 5am with a colonel, learning to shoot a semi-automatic weapon, and spending a night on the town with a 19-year-old soldier (he liked to salsa).

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