26 August 2010


HATE CRIME. Imagine the following dialogue in a New York City taxi:
~ Passenger -- "Are you a Muslim?"
~ Driver -- "Yes."
~ Passenger stabs driver in the throat, right and left forearm, right thumb and upper lip.

This is exactly what happened two days ago. The assailant has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime, assault with a weapon as a hate crime, aggravated harrassment because of race or religion, and criminal possession of a weapon. The perp's excuse? He was drunk. So if he'd been sober, it would never have occurred to him to hate Muslims?

Hate crimes are nothing new, in this country or any other. They can be motivated by race, gender, religion, disability, gender orientation, age, class, ethnicity, nationality or political affiliation. What sets them apart is that the victim is perceived as belonging to a particular social group, and attacked on that basis alone. It is a despicable, mindless act.

So the question becomes, what if you came upon a small group of individuals savagely attacking another? Assume for the moment that you had no cell phone with which to call 911. What would you do?

WORKING AT HOME. I came across this hilarious collection of drawings called Why Working at Home Is Both Awesome and Horrible. It is one of a series of such themed collections at the website The Oatmeal. Take a few moments to lighten your day, eh?

BONUS. Gary Arndt has web-published a collection of slides and observations titled 20 Things I've Learned from Traveling Around the World for Three Years. Since 2007 Arndt has visited 70 countries before returning to the US, carrying nothing more than a backpack, his laptop and a camera. His visual images and observations are thoughtful, and make me want to set out on my own global journey. Enjoy.

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