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Looks like this is the “Fantastic People from D.C.” day on Veritrope…

The International New York Times published a story on the continuing crisis of unexploded Vietnam War-era bombs in Laos – and which featured my friend, CHANNAPHA KHAMVONGSA.

Channapha founded an organization called Legacies of War over a decade ago to encourage the U.S. Government to clean up the dangerous weaponry it left behind in Southeast Asia. The scope of the ongoing risk – primarily to Lao children and farmers – remains enormous: One bomb disposal expert quoted in the piece says ‘In terms of the amount [of ordinance] still in the ground, Laos is worse than any other country I’ve seen’.

It’s taken incredible perseverance but, it seems, things are finally moving in the right direction. According to Thomas Fuller’s article, the annual United States spending on the removal of unexploded bombs in Laos has increased to $12 million this year (compared to $2.5 million a decade ago) – due in large measure to Channapha and her team’s efforts.

Legacies of War is exactly the kind of NGO that most people should want to support – A leader dedicated to achieving meaningful results… and a track record that demonstrates she can deliver. The article reminded me that I’m overdue to make another donation – and I hope you join me in kicking a little cash towards this very worthy cause.

This is a link post – You can visit the site mentioned by clicking the main link above (or just click here).

If you haven’t read Zadie Smith’s recent essay for the New York Review of Books, ‘Find Your Beach’, I think you should give it a look:

In it, Smith captures the lonely, Janus-like nature of the American self-creation myth – and that it’s often both false and effective. She focuses in particular upon the hyper-distilled version found in daily Manhattan life:

Here the focus is narrow, almost obsessive. Everything that is not absolutely necessary to your happiness has been removed from the visual horizon. The dream is not only of happiness, but of happiness conceived in perfect isolation. Find your beach in the middle of the city. Find your beach no matter what else is happening. Do not be distracted from finding your beach. Find your beach even if—as in the case of this wall painting—it is not actually there. Create this beach inside yourself. Carry it with you wherever you go. The pursuit of happiness has always seemed to me a somewhat heavy American burden, but in Manhattan it is conceived as a peculiar form of duty.

As a former New Yorker, so much of this essay feels real and spot-on to me… and it has an additional virtue: It’s funny.

This is a link post – You can visit the site mentioned by clicking the main link above (or just click here).

Autumn makes me miss New York City: The crisp air and the fall foliage, to be sure, but it always seemed to be the time of year when all the concerts and events that I wanted to see were passing through town.

In that spirit of vicarious enjoyment, I thought I’d share that BBC Future is putting on a new event in New York on October 21st. They’re calling the ‘World-Changing Ideas Summit’ and it looks like they’ve lined up some good speakers. With topics like ‘Can Technology Create a New and Better Renaissance?’, I think it’s probably of interest to many of you as well (and the ‘Why Everyone Needs a Drone’ session seems to have been especially designed to lure my pal Faine into attending).

Check it out… and jump in a leaf pile or something afterwards if you want to make me totally jealous.

This is a link post – You can visit the site mentioned by clicking the main link above (or just click here).