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Squeegee Your Third Eye with Bill Hicks
Squeegee Your Third Eye with Bill Hicks

Comedian Bill Hicks had a way with words. His acerbic style made you either love him or hate, but one thing that was unique about his act was his spiritual bent.Hicks grew up in a Southern Baptist family in the Houston suburbs and started doing stand-up at the age of 15. Since dying of pancreatic cancer in 1994 at the age of 32, Hicks has been lauded as one of the country’s best comics.

BNT’s Best Of The Week: Burning Man Roundup
BNT’s Best Of The Week: Burning Man Roundup

After a week on the playa, BNT editor Ian MacKenzie shares his photos and rounds up the best post-Burning Man links on the web.Love and Rocket / Photo: Sean AikenPrior to the event, I wrote about my expectations in Burn Baby Burn.Having now returned from the desert, I can honestly say Burning Man was an event unlike any other.

Burakku: Black culture in Japan
Burakku: Black culture in Japan

Photos: authorAn expat moves to Japan and discovers a fascination with his own culture.Whenever I meet someone who has been to Japan for any amount of time a superficial bond is instantly formed. The script begins: Where were you living? How long were you there? Were you teaching English? What company were you with?

13 Ways To Avoid Jet Lag
13 Ways To Avoid Jet Lag

I travel often, and in many of those trips, I have crossed three or more time zones and suffered from jet lag.When I finally manage to fall asleep, it’s actually morning and time to get up again. If you also travel frequently, I imagine you know the feeling too.Jet lag is actually a physiological condition known scientifically as desynchronosis and dysrhythmia that causes disruption to your body’s clock.

Japan encourages office workers to strip down
Japan encourages office workers to strip down

To reduce AC consumption at the office, Japanese businesspeople are encouraged to wear less.On a recent trip to Tokyo, I noticed two things.First, the city was unusually hot. Cafes, stores, and offices just weren’t running the air.Second, many salarymen were NOT wearing the traditional dark suit, tie, and leather shoes.

Dr. Ken Yeang designs Turkey’s first bioclimatic development
Dr. Ken Yeang designs Turkey’s first bioclimatic development

All photos by authorMatador Editor-at-Large Paul Sullivan was invited on a press trip to Istanbul recently, to preview the latest project from Malaysian eco-architect Dr. Ken Yeang.Yeang has been building ecological and bioclimatic premises for almost 40 years.A prolific writer of books about ecodesign and a visiting scholar at various universities, he has designed over 200 projects since 1975, including the Menara Mesiniaga Tower in Selangor and the National Library of Singapore, which received the Green Mark Platinum Award.

Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Professional Writer?
Do You Need a Writing Degree to Be a Professional Writer?

Photo: WonderlaneIt’s a big decision: to spend a year or more and a big chunk of money on a degree in a notoriously unprofitable field.With the proliferation of MFA and other writing programs since the 1970s, it seems that more and more would-be writers of all kinds are heading back to school. Should you?

First person dispatch: “What are you doing here?”
First person dispatch: “What are you doing here?”

Isaac| All photos by Josh Debner“How do we know what we’re doing is actually…doing anything?” Jeff asked at dinner.I tried to cut my chicken with a dull knife and didn’t know how to answer.Josh chimed in, “Yea, I mean these kids are always hungry. Girls have babies when they’re 15. It’s just the way it is.

Solo travel: 6 reasons to wander alone
Solo travel: 6 reasons to wander alone

Buckling my seatbelt on the flight from New York to London, it finally struck me that I was going on this trip to Europe alone.Call it a delayed reaction, but after months and months of planning my trip, the fear and trepidation of traipsing across a continent all by myself occurred only at the last minute.

Open letter from Sarah Shourd
Open letter from Sarah Shourd

Sarah Shourd, one of the three American hikers who was detained and imprisoned by Iranian authorities, was released in mid-September; the other two hikers remain in Evin Prison. This letter was sent by Sarah to supporters of Free the Hikers in late October. She has given Matador permission to reprint the letter in its entirety here.

Musings On Mortality
Musings On Mortality

The following is from my previous personal blog, written just after the London tube bombings in summer 2005. I’m republishing it here because I felt it extended a previous post on irrational fears while traveling.I wonder about mortality.My friend confessed she has panic attacks while sitting on the tube in London.

Keeping A Dream Journal
Keeping A Dream Journal

Travel brings a vivid dream life. Keeping a dream journal can help you remember your dreams once you get home.Photo: Meanest IndianAs a rule, my nights are dreamless. Oh, I know they say you dream every night. I guess I have to take that on faith.As a boy my dreams were glorious Technicolor affairs, weaving fantasy, absurdity, terror, and profundity into narratives the might give Lewis Carroll a run for his money.