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NaNoWriMo – Anyone writing a novel next month?
NaNoWriMo – Anyone writing a novel next month?

What’s up with writers just sitting down and blasting out 50,000 words as fast they can? And is that ass-to-chair time ‘well spent’?EVERY NOVEMBER, a large group of people (there were more than 100,000 in 2007) who have signed up with NaNoWriMo begin writing with the goal of completing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

Matador Reader Challenged to Use 20 Obsolete English Words in a Single Poem
Matador Reader Challenged to Use 20 Obsolete English Words in a Single Poem

One of things I love about Matador is how our readers really interact with the articles and use them as a springboard for further discussion of topics, blog posts or even creative pieces. Last week, after we published an article on 20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback, a reader emailed me and told me that a friend offered the challenge to use all 20 of the words in a poem.

13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia
13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia

Asia is home to dozens of UNESCO-recognized sites. Here are 13 of the most spectacular:1. Huang Shan (China)Huang Shan, or the “Yellow Mountain,” is one of China’s major tourist destinations. The area’s granite peaks rise out of the forests and clouds, creating a scene reminiscent of an ancient Chinese landscape painting.

Feel good product: Maji water
Feel good product: Maji water

Maji delivering water to local families in Nicaragua. Photos courtesy of Maji Water.We love products that actively give back to local communities in which they operate or global projects they sponsor…And Maji Water is the latest in feel good products we’ve discovered.Based in Montreal, Canada, Maji Water bottles spring water sourced from protected natural springs at Saint-Elie-De-Claxton, Quebec.

Looking back on my first year in Paris
Looking back on my first year in Paris

Feature and Above Photo: orazalAn expat looks back on her first year abroad.In Stendhal’s “The Red and the Black,” the heroic (but mostly tragic) Julien is the petty bourgeois son of a carpenter who, through a mixture of luck and intelligence, obtains a promising job that under normal circumstances would be beyond his reach.

Tim and Tom’s Excellent Adventure Part 1: Cashews
Tim and Tom’s Excellent Adventure Part 1: Cashews

Tom, hanging with ‘the creature’.Here’s what happened when Matador Editors Tom Gates and Tim Patterson met up for a few days in Laos.21/3/09Patterson:3 days ago I projectile vomited from an auto rickshaw in Varanasi, India, on the way to the train station. This was after a week of flights from Vermont to Chicago to Colorado to New York to Brussels to New Delhi to Kathmandu.

Inspiration: Blind man runs 83 miles in ultramarathon
Inspiration: Blind man runs 83 miles in ultramarathon

Even though he fell short of 100 miles, it wasn’t a failure.A FEW YEARS ago I watched a movie based on the true story of Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Mt. Everest. He was born with a disease that caused him to go blind by age 13. He went on to complete the Seven Summits in September, 2002.

Homeward Bound: How Travel Brings You Home Again
Homeward Bound: How Travel Brings You Home Again

Sometimes, going home is all you need to see how far you’ve come.Ninth grade partying / Photo: Ashley SebrellI spent this past weekend surrounded by old high school friends. One was getting married (the one sitting in the chair in the photo to the right), and his wedding brought quite a few of our old “group” together.

Purify Your Body, Your Mind
Purify Your Body, Your Mind

What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner. GandhiIt’s Saturday. I’ve been fasting for over twenty-four hours. However, my statement is truthfully a lie.Last night, for a final supper in Paris before heading back home for the holidays, I forced a small bowl of vegetable soup down my throat.

7 green drink recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day bender
7 green drink recipes for your St. Patrick’s Day bender

Photo: maniacakGreen beer is not everyone’s thing. Here are seven high-powered recipes for those looking for cocktails of a certain color this St. Patrick’s Day.Green Apple MartiniCinnamon and sugar for rimming glass5 tablespoons vodka5 tablespoons sour-apple schnapps5 tablespoons lemonade5 tablespoons lemon-lime soda (such as 7-Up or Sprite)In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, schnapps, lemonade and lemon-lime soda.

Worse than Abu Ghraib?
Worse than Abu Ghraib?

President Obama is seeking to block the release of photos of U.S. soldiers abusing prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan.On the eve of his big speech in Cairo – capital of a vibrant Arab democracy where the government never tortures – President Obama is worried that more U.S. detainee torture photos will cause an uproar in the Arab world.

Impoverishment and peace for the South Dakota Lakota tribe
Impoverishment and peace for the South Dakota Lakota tribe

Far from a household name, Avrol Looking Horse leads the Lakota Tribe in trying to shift mankind’s energy toward peace.HE MET WITH Desmond Tutu and with the Dali Lama. He spoke on world peace and religious freedom at Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. He traveled to Iraq to pray for global healing. He carried his concerns to the United Nations.