Rain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It

Posted in Africa, Arts in Africa, Music, Video on November 22, 2015 by frankbures

The Tuareg remake of Purple Rain.  More here.



Feet First

Posted in Clips, Uncategorized on November 17, 2015 by frankbures

Outside 12.15In the December issue of Outside Magazine is a short piece I did on Eric Orton’s ideas for helping you run without injury. Orton was the coach featured in Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run (and the upcoming movie) but most readers missed his point, which is that strong feet make strong form. I say this as a chronically injured runner who’s had minimal issues since I using Orton’s foot strengthening exercises. In the past year, I’ve run more miles with less pain than ever before, including a 25k trail race. In the end, whether you’re a minimalist or maximalist, it’s what’s in the shoes that matters most.

Hemingway (Negrita)

Posted in Music on November 13, 2015 by frankbures

“Pour your rage into the rage of the sea. Maybe there’s a beach behind the next page.”

Lyrics here.

Witch Hunts, Satanist Scares and Stranger Danger

Posted in America, Books, Clips, Culture, Parenting, Science on August 20, 2015 by frankbures

WeBelieveChildrenA Q&A with Richard Beck:

In the 1980s there was a panic in America, a moral panic. Satanists and deviants, it was feared, were everywhere, operating secretive sects that targeted children for ritual sexual abuse. The panic spread across the country, to small towns. It destroyed communities in New Jersey, Florida, Texas, and many other places, including Minnesota where in Jordan, just southeast of the Twin Cities, some 23 innocent people were charged by prosecutors for these crimes, charges which were ultimately dismissed. The charges were false. The wild accounts of orgiastic abuse were elicited with leading questions from prosecutors and therapists. In the end, more than 190 people across the country were formally charged in these cases, and 80 were convicted. People like former Attorney General Janet Reno launched their careers off them.

In his new book, “We Believe the Children: A Moral Panic in the 1980s,” Richard Beck, an editor at n+1 magazine, looks at the causes of the panic, the evidence, the trials themselves and their effects.

Read the rest here.

The Lost Girls of South Sudan

Posted in Africa, Clips on August 12, 2015 by frankbures

926345_1_080415CASouthSudangirls_standardFrom the Christian Science Monitor and The Rotarian:

The girls were alone. Their families were dead, or gone, or lost in the broken landscape of southern Sudan. They had nowhere to turn, and no one to turn to. Some lived in the market, others in the cemetery.

When Cathy Groenendijk saw them, she couldn’t help herself. She offered them tea, then some food, then a place to sleep in her guesthouse.

“In the morning, we would sit together and talk about what had happened the night before,” Groenendijk remembers. “And what I heard I could not believe. I could not believe it.”
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One girl’s father had died, and after the funeral, she never saw her mother again. She was living on the streets with some other kids when four men started chasing them. The other girls were faster. She fell behind and was caught and raped by all four men. Groenendijk knew a doctor who repaired the physical damage, saving her life.

Another three girls, ages eight, six, and one, lived with their mother, but they all slept in the open. Groenendijk helped them build a tarped shelter, but the hot sun ate it away. One night, a man snuck in and tried to assault one of the girls. After that, Groenendijk let them sleep on her veranda.

Read the rest here.

The Importance of Self-Deception

Posted in Clips, Science on August 2, 2015 by frankbures


From The Rotarian:

One evening, sitting in the back seat of the car, our two girls, ages six and eight, were discussing the show we were on our way to attend. Called The Illusionists, it featured seven of the world’s top magicians. The debate consisted of whether there would be real magic involved, or just tricks.

“When they cut the man in half,” our younger daughter asked, “how do they keep the blood in?” She was convinced there was true magic. Her older sister, a little wiser, wasn’t buying it.

“Easy,” she said. “R-o-b-o-t.” She rolled her eyes at how obvious this was.

During the show, sure enough, we came to the part where a man – standing up, no less – was sawed in half. His torso fell onto a table, while his legs walked offstage. His top half was wheeled around before us, perfectly animate, perfectly alive.

It was clearly not a robot. Yet what it was, none of us could imagine. And even if we could have found out how it worked, I’d almost rather not. Because in a sense, both girls were right: There was real magic and there were tricks. The magic is in wondering how you were tricked. That’s why we go to see performances like the Illusionists’.

Humans are not hard to deceive. If we were, most political careers would be much shorter.

Read the rest here.

Deadly Odyssey: Migrant Journeys

Posted in Africa on May 24, 2015 by frankbures

Wonderful video from Reported.ly:


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