Transforming Patriotism to Matriotism: Transcending Walls of Fear

Since 1979, I have carried around the famous color picture of Earthrise over the surface of the moon, to remind myself and others that borders and boundaries are but a figment of the human imagination. I’ve whipped it out, perhaps unwisely, in various countries’ consular offices when I was having trouble getting a visa. I’ve shown it to Afghan Mujahedeen and Tibetan monks, urban elites and non-literate villagers in South and Central Asia and Africa. On Christmas Eve, 1968, astronaut William Anders photographed this entrancing view of Earth as a whole planet. I remember lying in bed ill with the Hong Kong flu, watching the image on TV through the fevered and tearful eyes of an idealistic teen

The Power of Snowflakes to Resist

Why has the term "snowflake" become an insult? What could be a more exquisite manifestation of the power, beauty, and perfection of Nature than snowflakes, in their truly infinite variety and uniqueness? For images that will steal your breath quicker than an Arctic night, take a look at these close up images of snowflakes by Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov. As a lifelong lover of snowflakes, though I rarely met one personally growing up in Southern California, I was surprised to discover that the term “snowflake” is now being hurled as an insult. I was puzzled to read about a conservative supporter of the current president sneeringly referring to “liberal snowflakes.” What, I wondered, m

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