Where I’m Giving. How to support the children of Nepal.

(I took this shot outside of Katmandu in 2001)

A second earthquake has hit Nepal. The first on April 25th killed 8,000, injured many more, and directly affected 1.7 million kids. I’ve been to Nepal and have had a heart for the country ever since. Several friends have reached out to me asking where they should give to support Nepal.

This is my answer . . .

I signed up for a recurring donation to Next Generation Nepal. Please join me in giving to an organization working to help support Nepal and not exploit it.

When disasters happen, images like the one to the right…

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How Bruce Jenner & a College Student Made Me Less of a Jackass on Transgender Issues

Over at the Facing Project blog, I shared my evolution in thinking about transgender issues. I really believe that many of us are just one powerful story away from growing in understanding and shedding ignorance around particular topics.

I don’t know anyone who is transgendered (that I know of) and I had never really closely paid attention to anyone’s story until I heard Bruce Jenner’s story and until a Ball State student shared his story.

You can read the entire piece, What’s in a Name? on the Facing Blog. For now here’s an excerpt:

Two years ago I didn’t know the difference between a crossdresser, a drag queen, or someone who is transgendered. In fact, if you would have engaged me in a conversation about the issue, I may have even…

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Why We Should Neither Be Anti- or Pro-GMO, but Support Chipotle

There is a scientist crossing coffee trees with scorpion venom in South America.

While this sounds like a great start to a new comic book series, I’m not sure I’d want to start my mornings with that cup of coffee. Would you? I’d rather not grow a tail by lunch. Like where would I find pants?

This fear of mine isn’t based on any rational scientific understanding, but simply from watching and reading science fiction movies. That said, I’m okay with that. It sounds creepy and as long as there are other options, I will continue to choose non-scorpion venom coffee.

In my book Where Am I Eating? I met  Dr. Alvaro Gaitan, the head of plant pathology at the Cenicafe…

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What’s Missing from John Oliver’s Garment Industry Argument

If I had a dollar for everyone who pointed me to John Oliver’s takedown of the global garment industry on Last Week Tonight, I would be able to buy-out the nearest H&M store of its cheap inventory.

I’m not complaining. I’m glad so many saw the piece and honored that they thought of me and my work.

But overall, I was disappointed with his argument. There wasn’t a single mention of the word “poverty” or of the lack of opportunities that exist in countries like Bangladesh.

Any story, segment, or piece on the global garment industry that doesn’t mention the word “poverty” is simply focusing on symptoms.

A factory accepting an underage worker is a symptom, but the fact underage worker has to have a job is the problem.

A…

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Will Mobile Phones Prevent the Next Rana Plaza Disaster


(Arifa, a single mother of three children, and a garment worker I met while traveling in Bangladesh)

One moment Reshma Begum was sewing. The next she was falling from her station on the second floor into the basement of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh.

She lost consciousness. She awoke to cries of help that gradually silenced. Her clothes were shredded, everything was dark, and her hair was stuck in the rubble. She ripped her hair free and scavenged the dark crevices on her hands and knees finding four crackers, a small bottle of water, and the occasional puddle to quench her thirst. She probed her surroundings with a pipe for pockets of air.

This was her life. This…

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3 Earth Day stats every American should know & 1 video celebrating the end of the world

Earth Day marks the second anniversary of the first edition of WHERE AM I EATING? Writing a book on the global food economy opened my eyes to the impact man and agriculture have made on Earth. Here are three stats from the book that every American should know:

  1. The ecological footprint of an average American is 23.6 acres. That means we consume what 23.6 acres of our planet can produce. If all 6.5 billion earthlings were Americans, we’d need five planets!
  2. One American consumes as much as 32 Kenyans.
  3. According to Jared Diamond, the bestselling author of Collapsed, if the world were made up of all Americans, it would be as if we shared the planet with 72 billion people.

And in case we don’t get our shit together and start lessoning our impact on our planet, here is a video John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight team put together to mark the end of our species and planet. [Warning: You could be sucked into a vacuum of cat videos]

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When not to ask me about Indiana politics & other thoughts from running a half-marathon

Runs With Politics

“What do you think about this new law in Indiana?” The man in the white hat asked.

I was on mile 9 of the Charlottesville half-marathon. And although I had spent much of the previous week speaking about the RFRA law my home state had passed and even more time dealing with people boycotting the state (and an organization I’m a part of), I did not want to talk politics.

You know, I really don’t like to talk politics with strangers at any point in time, but most definitely not while I’m running up a hill during a half-marathon for which I only ran five training runs. Another runner near me wasn’t sure what the man…

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636 miles from “The Girl”

“I wish I could do better by you,
’cause that’s what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
In order for this to work.

While I’m off chasing my own dreams
Sailing around the world
Please know that I’m yours to keep
My beautiful girl”

- City and Colour

I’m in Northfield, MN, 636 miles from Muncie. Tomorrow I’ll stand on a stage and share my stories with a few hundred students at Carleton College. None of it would be possible without the girl.

I could be the King of Sap and rule over Sapland with all of my sappiness, but I try to avoid that. Annie is “the girl” for me and she knows it. She allows me to chase my dreams, sail around the world, and I’ll always be hers….

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Where Am I Speaking: Winter/Spring 2015 Edition – Champaign, Dallas, Kingsville (TX), Northfield (MN), Rock Hill, Chico, Terre Haute, Gainesville, Springfield (MO), Ft. Wayne, Portland (IN), Daleville (IN)

These are my winter/spring dates so far. A few other events are pending. If you are nearby, stop in and say hi. I’ll buy you a beverage of your choice unless there are like 15 of you and then, well, I’ll sit beside you.

2/25 – 2/29 University of Illinois

I’m going back to college! Well, at least for a week. I’ll be chatting at and with students each night, and I’ll be living among them. Fingers crossed that I get my own bathroom.  I still suffer nightmares involving the bathroom in my freshman dorm.  I’ll be talking about both of my books, how I got started, the Facing Project, and about the Axis of Awesome.

2/7 -…

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Ball State Students, Want to Come to Costa Rica With Me?

Who wants to go to Costa Rica? Yep, like everyone.

This summer I’ll be joining a Ball State Class from May 21-28 to visit banana, pineapple, coffee, and cocoa farms in addition to just soaking up all that Costa Rica has to offer. The class is a Summer I program and will include a few weeks of class using my books WHERE AM I WEARING and WHERE AM I EATING as the course texts.

Seriously, this is like the best class ever.

The last time I was in Costa Rica, I spent all of my time working on a banana plantation and visiting with banana workers. I met some great people, but there is so much of Costa Rica I didn’t get to explore. So…come and explore it…

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