Guest Post: The Deep Roots of Boko Haram

Nearly a year ago last May, the mercurial leader of Boko Haram announced the fate of 276 schoolgirls that he and his men kidnapped from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria.  Standing in front of a video camera and tugging at a red hat, Abubakar Shekau laughed as he read from a prepared statement.  “I […]

Soap Operas versus the Population Bomb?

It’s early morning in a Mumbai train station. The video is grainy, but you can clearly make out a dense swarm of humanity along the platform.  By my count, the crowd stands at least ten or twelve people deep, males for the most part, many dressed in light short-sleeved shirts, the kind you’d wear in […]

Redux: What to Wear on an Ice-Age Sea Voyage?

  If you were one of the 14 (a made-up number) people who read this back when LWON was publishing wonderful posts but was otherwise just a baby staggering around on inept little feet, we apologize for repeating ourselves.  Anyway, you probably weren’t.  One of the 14. Several superb posts on one of my favorite […]

Brewing Up a Very Good Time

It started two Christmases ago.  That’s when I learned that beer is the new wine.  My nephew, a film student, came home from McGill expounding on the finer points of Belgian Gueuze and German Dunkelweizen.  And since then, foodie-friends have all but abandoned the pleasures of the grape for the more arcane delight of hops.  […]

Redux: Survivor Woman

Heather posted this on July 16, 2010, a time when we had probably 13 readers so apologies to all 13. She’s referring to a post Ann wrote about being dead wrong about some science. She also testifies to the physically horrifying life of an archeology writer. Yesterday, my colleague Ann Finkbeiner fessed up to one […]

The Sad Fate of Libertas Schultze-Boysen

In the first week of September 1942, 29-year-old Libertas Schultze-Boysen waited desperately for word of her husband Harro, an official in the Reich Aviation Ministry in Berlin. The couple had passionately espoused a cause that few Germans of the age dared even to discuss. With a small group of friends, Libertas and Harro organized a […]

A Very Dark Corner of Indian Life

Young Indian feminists have begun calling her “Damini.” We don’t know her real name, but most of us have read about the terrible way she died.  Damini was the 23-year-old woman attacked and gang-raped in New Delhi on December 16 while returning home at night on a bus with a male friend. She died 13 […]

What’s in a Tattoo?

                                    A few years ago, when I was working in a somewhat gritty part of downtown Vancouver, I spotted a tough looking man with an unusual set of facial tattoos. On the right side of his face, someone […]