cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Turns out I am still a total hippie

I still believe in communal living, and am excited to find out people are making it work in cities. Here is a story from the Atlantic on a commune in the heart of DC.

Turtle Island Reads

I attended the very first edition of Turtle Island Reads tonight at the Kahnawake Survival School, and it was really wonderful. Over the weekend I read Children of the Broken Treaty by Charlie Angus, and on Monday I found out that McGill was holding a week of events focused on First Nations people and issues, of which this event was a part.

We took the bus across Montreal, over the bridge to the South Shore, and into the Kahnawake reserve, which greated us with a painted boulder that read “THIS IS MOHAWK LAND”. We arrived at the school after driving on a road that cut through forest and was lined with stores with names like “Four Winds Trading Post”, “Little Chiefs” and “Big Bear”. A car in the parking lot of the school had a bumper sticker of some school whose sports teams were the “Mohawks”, only they actually are. The school’s insignia was an enormous line drawing of an eagle with a large circle around it that bore the school’s name.

The event felt incredibly exciting because it was the first edition of Turtle Island Reads and a historical moment for indigenous literature in Canada. It felt like a moment of recognition, validation, and appreciation for the indigenous experience in Canada was unfolding before our eyes. And while this was exciting for me to be a part of it, for some people it was far more poignant. The woman who was sitting next to me was the mother of a former student of the school. She cried quietly as she listened to the presenters speak of how pivotal it was for each of them to read books about indigenous people, to hear their own stories told, and how much they wished this could have been something they had had earlier in their lives.

While the centuries-old problems between the Canadian government and the First Nations communities are not even close to being well addressed, I think Canada is experiencing a watershed moment in its history with its indigenous people. I look forward to watching the story develop.

Turtle Island Reads

Second Person Singular

shadi jamil
sabah fakhri
egyptian pop
amr diyab
umm kulthum’s enta omri



Two culinary revelations of the summer: puff pastry for buttery parcels and wonton wrappers for fresh pasta. Wrapping food in dough makes the world a better place.

cucumber mint yogurt salad

3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 oz plain yogurt

Place cucumbers in colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand 15 minutes. Rinse and dry cucumbers. Combine mint, garlic, oregano, yogurt, and cucumbers in a bowl. Season with pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


You know you’ve made it as a published author when you get your first solicitation from a fraudulent open access journal. Time to bust out the champagne!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.59.13



I have never watched the Olympics and never felt I was missing anything. But today I somehow saw one clip of a paralimpics race and, two hours later, I have run the gamut of intense emotions: awed, humbled, elated, moved to the point of sloppy, hot, free-flowing tears. Such an incredible sight to see mortals push the limits of their bodies and their minds when half of their limbs are missing or paralyzed. How radiant is the flash of determination and focus in these weathered, beautiful faces. How refreshing to see in physical form what we all are inside: different shapes and abilities, and making clever modifications and almost superhuman efforts to strive toward a common goal.

Here is a video of some of the most badass women I will ever see in my life. I am grateful to be able to see what they do, to be able to hold them up as role models. I hope to remember these incredible women the every time I feel limited by myself or my circumstances.

Thai basil chicken

  1. Buy thai basil, fresh chilies, and garlic to replace the head of it you’re about to use up
  2. Make thai basil chicken

Deep frying an egg is easier and more fun than I anticipated.

How to stats right

This article in PLOS just became my blueprint for learning after I finish this Master’s. I want to spend as much time as I can learning how to do proper data analysis (both the stats as well as the process) so that I have the skills for when I start looking for jobs because, ultimately, I want to get paid to read, analyze, and interpret numbers.

So I’m adding some items to my technical wishlist:

  1. Github for version control
  2. R Markdown
  3. knitr

Wish me luck!

wishlist 2016





seguir política latinoamericana

D3.js or sick ggplot2

Edit: bash for piping R into Python or D3.js

Edit 2: pagar dos préstamos más chicos