Uprisings in Egypt and Burma

•February 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment


Tonight I attended this discussion that examined the similarities and differences between what is happening now in Egypt with the 1988 student uprising and the 2007 Saffron Revolution in Burma.

The discussion covered the socioeconomic conditions of the two countries, the role of the military and the role of social media.

The poverty and unemployment rates in Egypt were presented and compared with Burma where 90% of the people live below poverty.  Burma has high infant mortality and child malnutrition as well.  In Egypt most households have electricity and water, which is not the case for Burma.  Out of the 80+ million people in Egypt, about 21 million are internet users, and 55 million people have access to cel phones.  In Burma, in 2004 it was estimated that less than one percent of the 55 million population  had access to the internet, though that number is increasing due to more internet cafes. Continue reading ‘Uprisings in Egypt and Burma’


Literati meets Digerati

•February 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Just found out about the Brooklyn based digital publishing house, The Atavist, that seeks to find a place for long form narrative journalism.  They are publishing stories that “are longer than magazine articles, shorter than books,” that will be available for mobile devices tablets, and e-readers.   So far, they only have a few stories up,  which can also be found on Kindle Singles. The Atavist has its own free app on itunes.

This app and the stories themselves will blend text with multimedia to make an enhanced digital reading experience.

On their website, they link to friends and partners, others sharing/preserving the longform narrative in the digital age. I’m curious about byliner.com.

It will be interesting to see how this evolves and what it will mean for writers, publishers and readers.

Review of Animal Camp

•January 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out my review of Kathy Stevens’s book Animal Camp over at Supervegan.com.

A Year in Books

•December 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Yes We Cancun

•December 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment


Time for Climate Justice

Wan and I were at the COP 16 Climate Talks and the Parallel NGO Forum Klimaforum as part of Brighter Green’s delegation.

See blogging and photos from the trip here.

On Green Tinted Spectacles, Sneezing Monkeys and Burma’s Future

•November 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Over at Brighter Green, I wrote this post on Burma compiling some thoughts on a new species of monkey just discovered in the country, some tidbits I learned from Emma Larkin’s book, Finding George Orwell and Burma, and ponderings on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. Check it out.

Vegan Runners- Born to Run; Born to Eat

•November 12, 2010 • 1 Comment

Band plays outside Tofu Food during NYC Marathon

I live with two vegan runners: my husband Wan and our dogter Mookie.   I, however, have been the kind of vegan runner that only sprints after buses.  Earlier this year, Wan stayed up all night, reading Christopher McDougall’s book, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Was is possible to write a book about running that reads like a thriller?   I had previously bought Wan Haruki Murakami’s memoir: What I Talk about When I Talk about Running.   He thought I would enjoy it more than he did, since Murakami’s book is  more about writing than running.   As an aspiring  long distance writer,  I do have more of an appreciation now  for the process, regimen, and ritual that runners incorporate into their lives.  But I’m not sure if I have enough time to dedicate to both writing and running.

But Christopher McDougall sure does make you want to try.  The book tries to answer McDougall’s simple question : “Why do my feet hurt?”  He ends up in the Copper Canyons of Mexico running with the Raramuri or Tarahumara, who are known to run great distances of up to 400 miles. We meet a whole cast of ultramarathoners from the U.S.   There’s been a big barefoot running trend that has emerged coinciding with this book’s success. The other big secret to why and how these runners can do what they do:  Joy.  And Mcdougall tries to represent that as well in the book.

Vegan Talk with Scott Jurek

The book discusses some of the evolutionary theories about running (primitive men running down  their prey), but the diet of the modern runner doesn’t include much meat.  The Tarahumara consume little animal protein (mouse meat), and fuel their runs on high grain beer.  A veg coworker of mine started taking pinol and chia seeds before his runs after reading this book.   The book also features two vegan runners.   Ruth Heidrich, a vegan triathlete, who gave up animal products when diagnosed with cancer, and demonstrated that  a vegan diet was key to her survival. Scott Jurek, the vegan ultramarathoner extraordinaire, is also one of the main characters in the book. (See him prepare a meal for Mark Bittman here)

I had the chance to meet Scott when he visited New York last year and ran with some runners in Prospect Park.  He was just as nice and generous as he was portrayed in the book.  Before the park run, we talked a bit about vegan eats in New York and he asked me if I had done my first Ultra yet. Ha! (I ended up running home after only one mile of the 3 mile run in Prospect Park).

But Wan is encouraging me to give running another chance.  I’ve just been sympathy carbo loading as  he  prepared for the NYC Marathon last week.  He ran  it in 3:02:59 and looked liked he was having a good time as well.  Afterwards, we had a lovely brunch at Blossom with friends including 2 other vegan marathoners.

Martin, Wan and Jennifer: Vegan Champions

Yesterday, we checked out the Vibram 5 Fingers at Paragon Sports in Union Square.   First question, are the  five fingers vegan?  Some are and some aren’t.  The KSO and Bikila’s are.  Some other models had Kangaroo leather. Boo!  We didn’t find ones in our size and they were closing up shop.  So we headed to Maoz for Vegan Shashuka.

We may be born to run, but we are also born to eat.