Measuring a Happy City

Each year, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network measures world happiness. It takes data from 158 countries, and combines that with surveys, in order to index happiness. It's a fascinating endeavor, and one that undoubtedly leads to a good deal of subjectivity, even if the results are tabulated scientifically. For instance, let's examine the…

The Royal Tour: Spokane

I have been fascinated with the idea of the World's Fair ever since my parents read a children's book to me long ago about the invention of the ice cream cone at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. This excitement only increased when I recently read Devil in the White City about the 1893 Chicago…

The Legacy of Cesar Chavez

California's Central Valley is nothing like the postcard pictures of the Golden State everyone imagines. There are no surfers, no beautiful people sipping designer coffees or juices. This is farm country, some of the best and most productive in the country, and maybe even the world. It is flat, it is dry, it is dusty…

I Am Ashamed To Be American

It pains me to write these words, but silence is even less an option. I am ashamed to be American. Today I should be writing a piece for Travel Medford about my experience in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. But here I am, sitting at my desk, and I can't do it. Too much else needs to…

Lessons From Manzanar

The air here is dry, and the wind that has whipped constantly since my arrival blows sand and dust into my face and eyes, making it seem even dryer. I shield my eyes from the sun and sand, and look out across the valley in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Eastern California,…

Can a Country Be Authoritarian and Good?

Singapore is a huge contradiction. Western, yet eastern. English is the official language, but you'll most often hear Chinese dialects spoken. It is incredibly modern, yet traditional. Ultra expensive shopping and dining sit alongside kiosks and street food. Gambling and prostitution are legal, but drug possession can carry a death sentence. It is a capitalistic…