Features & Columns

Did Pot Dealers Start Western Civilization?

A new study suggests marijuana could have been a key trade asset as civilization expanded west Read More

Features

MLS All-Star Game Shows San Jose the Love

Major league soccer will commandeer downtown San Jose over the next week in preparation for its annual All-Star Game. Concerts, fan gatherings, interactive exhibits, outdoor games and numerous other events will lead up to Thursday's match, which pits the best of MLS against Arsenal FC, one of the most storied clubs of all time and one that counts Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols among its lifelong fans. As the host city, San Jose Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear will lead the MLS All-Stars, a team of 20 players he chose from across the league. As of Sunday, the final game day roster will include international stars David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, Kaka and Didier Drogba, as well as Americans Clint Dempsey and Chris Wondolowski, the latter a » Read More

Did Pot Dealers Start Western Civilization?

Ever since Herodotus, we've known that the nomadic pastoralists of Asia Minor, the Scythians, burned marijuana as part of religious rituals and ceremonies. Now comes new evidence that human commerce with pot extends back even further, and could have even helped stimulate the rise of Western civilization. At the end of the last Ice Age, roughly 10,000 to 12,000 years ago, people on both sides of the Eurasian land mass independently discovered and made use of marijuana, according to research published in the academic journal Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. That same research links an upsurge in marijuana use in East Asia with the rise of transcontinental trade at the beginning of the Bronze Age, some 5,000 years ago. » Read More

BYOB: Stanford Professor's New Book Predicts the 'End of Sex'

Unconditional love. A rekindling of purpose. A true understanding of what it means to be patient. These are the kinds of stale and embarrassing tropes trotted out in every self-help book and daytime TV segment ever produced on "The Joys of Parenting." Please. Spare us the cheesy listicles enumerating the priceless lessons kids can teach us. Parents don't get into the game of childrearing to reconnect with a lost sense of child-like wonder-that's what LSD is for. In the real world, mothers and fathers spend thousands of dollars on soon-to-be-outgrown athletic equipment, burning through paychecks and free time to ferry their precious little princes and princesses to expensive rehearsals and far-flung recitals. In this way, parents foist » Read More

NUMU Show Highlights Femininist Pioneer Anne Brigman

Born near Honolulu in 1869, Anne Brigman photographed nude women merging with nature in mystical, atmospheric settings. In her images, women are not posing for the male gaze. Instead, their unaffected female forms tend to fuse with trees, hillsides and cliffs in dramatic fashion, almost representing archetypes rather than humans. By focusing on the female body amid rugged landscapes along the California coast or the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Brigman developed new ways of exploring feminine identity. She achieved early success as a Pictorialist, infiltrating the Camera Club of San Francisco and the Photo-Secession group, led by Alfred Stieglitz in New York. Her photographs were poetic, pioneering and pagan. Even better, she spent her teenage » Read More

Democrats Do Right by Cannabis

Meeting in Orlando on Saturday, ahead of the Democratic National Convention later this month, the party's platform-drafting committee dropped a moderate marijuana plank it had adopted days earlier. In its place the committee drafted language calling for rescheduling pot-currently Schedule 1-and creating "a reasoned pathway to future legalization." Bernie Sanders supporters had been pushing for firm legalization language, but were turned back last week and didn't have any new language going into the platform committee meeting. But on Saturday afternoon, the committee addressed an amendment that would have removed marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, as Sanders supporters had earlier sought, with Sanders delegate David King » Read More

SJSU Professors Explore Identities in 'Migratory Cultures'

Over the course of 20 years teaching art at San Jose State University, Robin Lasser recognized a common theme in many of her students' work: that of a third space between their native identity and their American identity. In order to develop her empathy and understanding for her students, she began to envision a project that empowered people with a platform to tell their stories and contemplate their creative explorations of betweenness. Along with SJSU Art Department professor Craig Hobbs, the two artists composed a large-scale video work, Migratory Cultures: Mapping the Distance from Me to You, an interdisciplinary transmedia story of sorts. Just after sunset on July 21, a projection will be shown on the outside of the San Jose Museum of » Read More

Cannabis Measure Heads to Ballot

California joins Maine and Nevada among states that have qualified marijuana-legalization initiatives for the fall ballot. In two more states-Arizona and Massachusetts-legalization campaigns are overcoming final hurdles and are almost certain to join them. But an effort in Michigan faces an uphill battle. Pot is already legal in four states, voted in by residents in Colorado and Washington in 2012, and Alaska and Oregon in 2014. Washington, D.C., approved possession and cultivation, but not a legal marijuana market, that same year. Seeing more states go green in 2016 is one thing, but California is the Big Enchilada. With a population of 38 million, its market is more than twice the size of all the legal pot states combined, and it » Read More

Humorous Novel 'VietnamEazy' Explores Culture, Cooking

"I started the whole VietnamEazy concept because of my husband. His disdain for the strong smell of fish sauce often led me to substitute salt to satisfy his taste." These are the words of Kieu, the main character in Trami Nguyen Cron's debut novel, VietnamEazy. The only San Jose's Parks & Rec department volunteer to write a novel about a TV cooking show, Cron hails from Saigon via France, Dallas and Salt Lake City. What a combination. The book centers on Kieu, a Vietnamese-American woman trying to win a TV cooking show by introducing the general masses to the multisensory allure of Vietnamese food. Her husband is emotionally distant, apathetic, badly withdrawn and lacks any desire to appreciate the talents and passions of his wife. He'd » Read More

Prince Ea Urges President Obama to Legalize Marijuana

Prince Ea-hip-hop artist, activist and founder of Make "SMART" Cool-has just released a remake of his brilliant music video urging President Obama to end our country's disastrous war on marijuana. The 10-minute video (tinyurl.com/hqsg4l3) is both a history lesson and an advocacy tool to expand people's minds and make them laugh at the same time-all while making a personal and persuasive plea to Obama. Prince Ea delves into the history of how marijuana became illegal (lies, racism and political opportunism) and the arbitrary distinctions between legal and illegal drugs. He also lays out the harm of drug prohibition (violence, organized crime and mass incarceration) and the benefits of regulation (taxes, safety and control). » Read More

Bruni Teams Up with SJ Summer Jazz Fest

Finally, San Jose Jazz Summer Fest has teamed up with the most cosmic jazz painter to ever to spend a substantial amount of time in this area. As was unveiled yesterday, Bruni Sablan-the enigmatic, esoteric legend known by just her first name-painted the thematic material for this year's festival, which happens in August. Along with other instrumentation, the painting features an abstract trombone mimicking the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest logo. A swirling piano keyboard accompanies a stand-up bass against a background that almost looks park-like. Could this be Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the background? I know not. Abstract movement, however jazz-like, connects the instruments together against a whimsical purple background that will eventually » Read More

Cannabis Growers Test Feed Cannabis to Livestock

As marijuana becomes legal in more and more states, growers are finding more novel uses for the plant. We've seen edibles of all stripes, oils and tinctures, cannabis beers and spirits, super-potent THC oils, and more. We've even seen stems and leaves used as pig feed. Whether pot as hog slop-or any other animal feed, for that matter-has a future remains to be seen. Susannah Gross, who farms north of Seattle, supplemented the diet of four pigs with plant leavings courtesy of medical marijuana grower Matt McAlman during the last four months of the animals' lives, and she said they ended up 20 to 30 pounds heavier than other pigs from the same litter that didn't get the "special" feed. "They were eating more, as you can imagine," she said. » Read More

New Vineyards, Resorts Threaten Napa Valley's Water Supply

In the winter of 2015, a Hong Kong real estate conglomerate purchased the Calistoga Hills Resort, at the northern end of the Napa Valley, for nearly $80 million. Today, mature oaks and conifers cover the 88-acre property, which flanks the eastern slope of the Mayacamas Mountains. But soon, 8,000 trees will be cut, making way for 110 hotel rooms, 20 luxury homes, 13 estate lots and a restaurant. Room rates will reportedly start at $1,000 a night and the grounds will include amenities like a pool, spas, outdoor showers and individual plunge pools outside select guest rooms. Following the sale, one of the most expensive in the nation based on the number of rooms planned, commercial broker James Escarzega told a Bay Area real estate journal » Read More

Crowded Cannabis Industry Leads to Innovation

Cannabis cultivators, dispensaries and patients have long faced raids and incarceration for growing, distributing and consuming the plant. The constant fear of police, property loss and expensive legal defense costs have created generations of cultivators who invest the bare minimum into materials and infrastructure. Cheap equipment, unlicensed contractors and lack of code-enforcement guidelines create ideal conditions for fire hazards and excessive waste. But with the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act of 2015 (MMRSA), the confidence level has increased for cannabis operators, investors, local government and businesses throughout California. Entrepreneurs and big corporations alike are flocking from around the globe to invest in » Read More

Historic San Jose Woman's Club Gets 3D Modeling

In a neighborhood characterized by stray drunks with open cans of Old English, the San Jose Woman's Club building is a true gem. A gorgeous Mission Revival-style building on South 11th Street, the club rents out spacious areas for numerous events, banquets and concerts, in addition to hosting the club's regular activities. Inside, one finds a wealth of original stylings dating back to the 1920s: antique furniture, original Albert Solon tile work, wrought iron fixtures, sliding doors, heating coils, railings, door hardware, custom glass pocket doors and a sprung wood dance floor. When I arrive, Brian Miller, another true gem, is toiling away outside, taping paper targets all along the perimeter of the building in preparation for 3-D » Read More

Silicon Valley Bars and Clubs 2016

The Revolt against mass production and cheap ingredients that transformed American cuisine has now rolled through every category of liquid beverage. Coffee is sourced to a farm and roasted by an iconic, regionally branded vendor. Beer has been liberated from six-pack rings, and more restaurants each year have steel tanks and brewmasters. Bartenders open their shifts by staging botanicals and carving up citrus. The kitchen and bar have merged as artisanal vegetables make their way into the lounge and jammy fruit preparations emerge from the burners. The centerpiece of the new cocktail culture is arguably bitters, an early 19th Century staple that has embedded itself in the digital age. Angostura bitters, of course, never went away, and are » Read More

MLK Library Exhibit Speculates on Beethoven's Mystery Lover

Who was Ludwig van Beethoven's immortal beloved? From now until Sept. 10, visitors to the MLK Main Library can vote on it. Think it was Josephine von Deym? Or perhaps Antonie Brentano or Bettina von Arnim? Tear off the raffle ticket designated for the particular woman and deposit it into the receptacle. Visitors can even write in candidates if they want. Kim Kardashian probably wouldn't mind a few ballots. Thanks to the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, located on the fifth floor of the library, the exhibit Beethoven in Love presents a wealth of text, photos and displays, all centering around the ancient mystery of just who Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved" really was, and if she ever even existed. Researchers, scholars, » Read More

Cannabis Growers Control Their Destiny in Economic Boom

Cannabis famers in California have the opportunity to work together, build cooperative brands and secure a competitive position in the newly developing market. But the longer they wait, the more leverage they lose in securing their value, as corporate competitors emerge. As with any industrial boom there are businesses preparing to introduce boutique products and novel marketing techniques. Unfortunately, some people want a piece of the action however they can get it, from selling snake oil products to skimming off the top. Green rush fever is propelling the cannabis industry into an age of innovation, while simultaneously dividing the regulated market community and creating an avenue for black market operators. » Read More

QT Luong's Stunning Tribute to America's National Parks

From the craggy peak of Denali to the humid marshes of the Everglades, and from the lush greenery of Acadia to the parched alkali plains of Death Valley, the National Park System comprises 84 million acres of land and 4.5 million acres of lakes, ocean and reservoirs. First established in 1916 and expanded over the last century, there are now 59 National Parks-and San Jose resident QT Luong has photographed every single one. The National Parks Service will celebrate its centennial on Aug. 25. In commemoration of the milestone, the United States Postal Service is releasing a series of National Park stamps-one of which features a picture, taken by Luong, of the Little Missouri River bending through the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National » Read More

Beauty of Books the Focus of 3 New SJICA Exhibitions

Not many galleries can open three shows at once, but this weekend the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art will do just that, unleashing three exhibitions that highlight the creative use of paper and books. Time-tested techniques of photography, collage, assemblage, textile work, sculpture, ready-mades and more will persuade gallery participants to rethink their relationships to these media. The three shows, along with 46 others, may even set a record for the most artists ever simultaneously exhibiting at SJICA. We will have to wait and see. In any event, attendees will explore deep below the surface of everyday objects. Two shows-NextNewPaper and This is Not a Book: Chapter 2-will take over the main galleries. In the first case, 19 Bay » Read More

Time for Smart Medical Marijuana Growth

Times are changing for cannabis cultivators across the state. To meet the rigorous demands of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA), set to take effect in just 18 months, growers who want to be compliant are having to develop new business models, apply for new permits and hire attorneys and business consultants. Many operators are also evaluating their dwindling return on investment. "The cost of operations for indoor cultivation is starting to outweigh the revenue," says Adam, a Sonoma County cultivator for 15 years who didn't want to use his full name. "The price per pound has been steadily declining over the past 10 years." In Washington state, where recreational marijuana is legal, prices are dropping for wholesale » Read More

A Visit to Authors' Graves Leads Anti-Man to Next Chapter

On a soul-searching expedition in Switzerland, the anti-man-about-town found himself at the gravesites of two literary giants: James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges. In Zurich and Geneva, respectively, I made desperate pacts with them, just as I had done with Hermann Hesse on my last trip to Switzerland. This time, Zurich was immersed in the 100th anniversary of Dada, while Geneva unfurled itself as an international nexus of peacemaking. Both environments were fertile ground to make psychic accords with Joyce and Borges. Baptized in Zurich, Dada was a transnational web of radical creative perspectives that forever altered the course of 20th century art and the avant-garde. Back in 1916, as the butchery of World War I and the ensuant zoological » Read More

Religious Dogma Has Obscured the Benefits of Cannabis

Media increasingly report accounts of people using cannabis as medicine for a wide variety of ailments: stress relief, insomnia, PTSD, nausea, appetite and more. But this is nothing new. Humans have a long history of eating, cultivating and ritualistically enjoying this plant. Evidence of medical applications can be traced back 5,000 years to Chinese emperor and herbalist Chen Nung, who bandaged battle wounds with cannabis leaves. In 1977, astronomer Carl Sagan mused in The Dragons of Eden that perhaps cannabis was the world's first agricultural crop: "It would be wryly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture, and thereby to civilization." » Read More

Summer Guide 2016

So many perks to this place we call home. We're just a short drive from beautiful beaches, awe-inspiring hikes and world-class wine producers. The food is stellar and the nightlife is eclectic. The South Bay continues to breed world-class artists and musicians-and the region's cultural venues regularly host thought-provoking speakers, inspiring exhibitions, top-notch theater and rocking live music. As the El Nino winter gives way to sunnier skies, it's time to take advantage of all the amazing diversions at our fingertips. Check out a new band or enjoy one of your all-time favorite performers, explore nearby trails, recline on the sand, saddle up for equestrian excursion, sample locally produced pinot, ponder the human condition at a local » Read More

Bad Guys, Good Guys, Everything in between at J-Town FilmFest

It's the only scene on earth where Korean bromantics, Hmong gangs, World War II incarceration survivors and Olympic athletes all share the spotlight. Unfolding this weekend, the second-annual Japantown Film Festival has increased from seven films last year to a dozen this time around. Run by volunteers, this year's event highlights films by Asian and Pacific Islander American filmmakers. A trailer for each film is available on the website and, in most cases, the director will even appear after the screening for a short conversation. The 80-minute documentary Top Spin, for example, illuminates the journey of local Olympians and table tennis stars Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang, as well as their teammate Michael Landers. All three teenagers » Read More

Fighting for Veteran Access to Marijuana after the Fight

In a nation with one of the largest military budgets and strongest fighting forces in the world, we still somehow struggle to provide quality care for our veterans. The Department of Veterans Affairs prohibits doctors from making recommendations for medical marijuana, even if state law allows such medicine and even if the ailments were created out of military service, such as PTSD, anxiety, insomnia or chronic pain. Contradictorily, the VA acknowledges that some veterans may find the use of cannabis to be helpful; however, it claims there's a lack of evidence and continues to hobble doctors and patients from having honest conversations about marijuana as a treatment. In fact, the VA even regards cannabis use as a disorder itself, referring » Read More

Patients with Depression, PTSD Tout Magnetic Helmet Treatment

For as long as he can remember, Steve Chappell felt isolated from the world. Even among friends, there seemed some chasm separating him from meaningful human connection. The despair manifested in his body, pulsing into excruciating headaches that made it feel like his eyes would pop out. From the time he was a child, he struggled to get out of bed. 'It's almost like I needed a training manual to be myself,' he says, 'but I didn't have one.' Depression might have run in his family, but Chappell-an only child raised by a single, widowed mother-lacked a frame of reference. It took years of hospital visits before a doctor diagnosed him with a major depressive disorder, giving him a name for what ailed him. But it also marked the beginning of a » Read More

Federal Approval Brings MDMA From Club to Clinic

For a proper psychedelic trip, the late ethnobotanist Terence McKenna famously prescribed what he called 'the heroic dose' of magic mushrooms: 'Five dried grams and silent darkness.' Josh Tiefer gobbled up a gram less, but on an empty stomach and a broken heart. Rather than darkness, he opted for a late-night showing of The Last Samurai. He was 24 at the time, battling the depressive fallout of a breakup and newly obsessed with McKenna's gospel of chemically induced enlightenment. In the theater, the psilocybin began to cast its hallucinogenic spell. 'Something happened,' Tiefer recalls, 'because I was like, 'This movie's getting pretty good.' Motion trails and vibrant colors overwhelmed his vision. But the euphoria gave way to a » Read More

Music, Dance, Fashion Take Stage at Ao Dai Festival

Casual observers might know the ao dai as a traditional long gown worn by Vietnamese women, but it's much more than just attire. The ao dai symbolizes many things: liberation, struggle, empowerment and obstacles overcome. Its history goes far outside the scope of this page, but one can go as far to say it's now a symbol of national pride and serious inspiration for artists, painters, photographers, poets and newspaper columnists. The 2016 incarnation of the Ao Dai Festival erupts Sunday, both inside and outside the Fairmont San Jose. An elaborate multi-dimensional ceremony in the Circle of Palms area kicks off the evening, followed by the ticketed event, an even more elaborate dinner and fashion show inside the hotel ballroom. » Read More

Concert Quarantine

As far as professional musical tours go, it was a quick jaunt. In between main-stage sets at Coachella, M83, the French electronic group responsible for the smash hit 'Midnight City,' trucked up to Oakland to play The Fox Theater, headed back down to the Southern California desert for a second Coachella set the following Friday, and returned north once more for a show at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz. M83's Oakland gig was part of what SFGate dubbed 'San Franchella'-a slate of Bay Area shows by artists also playing the iconic, two-weekend music festival in Indio, Calif. Readers were provided with a Google map of all the shows, the bulk of which could be seen blooming out of the center of San Francisco, with only a smattering in Oakland and a » Read More

Juan Felipe Herrera Leads 'Legacy of Poetry Day' in San Jose

The state's largest group poetry event will unfold Thursday, May 5, both inside and outside of the Hammer Theater Center. U.S. Poet Laureate and San Jose legend Juan Felipe Herrera will preside over the entire gala hoedown spectacular. Even though Legacy of Poetry Day features a few dozen poets unleashing their stuff-students, faculty, staff, plus former and current civic laureates-the party won't be limited to just poetry. To begin with, short readings from San Jose State University (SJSU) peeps and community poets will unfold outside the theater from 5 to 7pm. The next hour will feature a glorious theatrical march of the highest order: Pachanga on the Paseo: A Roving Spectacle of Public Art. It probably won't fit into any singular » Read More

A Battle for the Soul of Silicon Valley's Oldest African-American Church

From the dawn of organized faith, infighting has divided flocks and spawned sectarian spinoffs. These bouts generally remained private, resolved by religious mediation or denominational tribunals. But churchgoers frustrated by regulatory leniency over religious institutions have increasingly turned to the enforcement power of the secular justice system. Now more than ever, clerical disputes over fraud, property and misconduct to play out in American courts. These conflicts have raised recondite questions about church-state separation. To what extent should the First Amendment's religious liberty clause exempt faith-based groups from civil law? How, if at all, are lawsuits involving religious groups constitutionally distinct from their » Read More

Cultures, Anniversaries Converge in Dublin Sister City Trip

Ireland is a mystical country, so it seemed apropos to experience last weekend's USA-Ireland Sister Cities Summit as a mystical convergence on multiple levels. Thanks to the San Jose-Dublin Sister City Committee, and especially Tim Quigley, a grand-scale embroidering of trajectories all came together in a tapestry of citizen diplomacy, person-to-person and community-to-community connections in business, arts, economics and more. To begin with, the event celebrated numerous historic milestones all at the same time. Locally, Dublin and San Jose are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their sister city relationship, founded in 1986. Globally, Sister Cities International, the worldwide citizen diplomacy movement President Eisenhower launched » Read More

South Bay Restaurants Ride Transparent Food Prep Wave

When Johnny Nguyen and his uncles opened their flagship Poki Bowl off of Almaden Expressway last summer, the Hawaiian staple of deconstructed sushi in a bowl was still a bit hard to find in the mainland. But poke-pronounced PO-kay and translated to 'chunks' -has since surged in popularity as dozens of restaurants across the South Bay began offering their spin on the dish. Meanwhile, customer expectations to wield more control over their food have dramatically shifted the culinary landscape. Call it transparent food prep, the Chipotle effect or the watch-it-made movement. Thanks to the popularity of the pseudo-Mexican chain's assembly line ordering-and the subsequent realization that there are more places to eat than Chipotle-customers of » Read More

SJSU's Literary Mosaic, Reed Magazine, Celebrates Issue 69

Reed Magazine, the literary journal of San Jose State University, will release its 69th annual issue next month with a gala hoedown spectacular at Books, Inc. in Mountain View. However, that number of 69 is a bit misleading. The journal can actually trace its bloodline all the way back to the school's very beginnings in 1867, when the first issue of the Acorn was published by English Department students of the California State Normal School, the institute that eventually became San Jose State University. As such, Reed is the oldest journal west of the Mississippi. Professor Cathleen Miller teaches two semesters, fall and spring, in which students put the magazine together. » Read More

Dan Lyons' New Book, 'Disrupted,' Deep Fries Silicon Valley Bro Culture

We'll get to the goofiness of a grown man giving a teddy bear a seat at a billion-dollar company's board room table, or the work parties that resulted in office sex, lobby vomit and a janitor's workstation lit aflame, or the FBI investigation into HubSpot, the 'inbound marketing' cult that briefly employed author Dan Lyons and may have broken laws in attempting to stop his book from being published. But first a disclosure: reading Disrupted: My Misadventures in the Startup Bubble will take any early- to mid- to any stage-career journalist down an existential suck hole. Lyons' new memoir about the bro-ification of Silicon Valley tech startup culture, and the bubble in which it now exists, hugs the line between comedy and tragedy by being » Read More

NVIDIA Conference Explores Future of Driverless Racecars

Deep learning flooded the San Jose McEnery Convention Center last week, when NVIDIA staged its biggest-ever GPU Technology Conference. Thousands of graphics developers stuffed the building and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang spent more than two hours keynoting announcements. As usual, conventions and trade shows bring more people downtown than anything the Super Bowl devised. In fact, some of the Virtual Reality and/or GPU-based technology employed by the NFL appeared in various sessions and hands-on labs. At the show, VR was one of the main themes underlying everything, along with autonomous vehicles, drones, AI and deep learning. Paradigm shifts are afoot. » Read More

The Untold Story of How California Women Broke Body Art Boundaries

In the order she got them, Amy Cohen has: a drawing by Leonard Cohen, a bouquet of flowers, a lantern, a ship bursting from a bottle, an hourglass and a wreath-'originally designed for the mannequin in the exhibit,' she says, hinting at what visitors to the McKay Gallery in History San Jose will see, should they visit the new exhibit, 'Tattooed and Tenacious: Inked Women in California History.' Cohen, the exhibit's curator, got the idea from her own body art, and also from her line of work. She holds a degree in Museum Studies, and in 2014 she found herself working at Hayward Area Historical Society with an un-inked colleague, curator and archivist Diane Curry. 'We would talk about tattoos a lot,' Cohen says, recalling her time at the » Read More

Somini Sengupta's Book Captures Vast Change for India's Youth

Thirty years after Somini Sengupta left India as a child, she returned to work as the New Delhi Bureau Chief for the New York Times. She was the first reporter of Indian descent ever assigned to the post and, in the process, Sengupta discovered a brilliant way to rediscover her own roots while documenting the future of Indian kids and their predicaments at the same time. The result is a fantastic new book, The End of Karma: Hope and Fury Among India's Young, in which Sengupta weaves the results of her own journey, both personal and journalistic, into the trajectories of seven different Indian youth cases, creating a tapestry with the author/journalist as the observer/participant. » Read More

The Best of Silicon Valley 2016

Silicon Valley's chatter about sending a human to Mars reached a fevered pitch in 2015 with the cinematic release of Andy Weir's The Martian. The same year, another rocket-shaped innovation took the valley by storm when it landed on Palo Alto's University Avenue. We are talking, of course, about the sushi burrito. The crunchy, high-protein and cleverly-branded Sushirrito fused two dominant California cultures with food tech to create a lunchtime phenomenon. Sidewalks were roped off and cut into concrete turf traditionally reserved for people camping out for a just-released iPhone. We expect these kinds of changes in a region that put supercomputers in our pockets and brought waffles to our toasters. » Read More