Blog Archives

The Life of The Great Melt – What Hides Beneath the Snow in Kars

"Have you really forgotten us?"

A toxic cocktail of dust, coal, petroleum, burning garbage, fog, smoke, and air strangles me as I walk through Kars at sunset. Outside of the lethal bubble of fumes that encapsulates the city, my blurred vision distinguishes the smooth lines of a pristine landscape that looks like the moon. It is surreal, martian terrain that suggests thin air and icy famine. A small blur, a fox whips its head out of the snow like a curious character from the Little Prince, but too hungry to linger, it dives back into the icy crust of the steppes. If the land out there is the moon, here in Kars, it is sandy red Venus, the houses burping with rising smoke and heat, a lethal venom that slithers through my nose and down my throat. Read the rest of this entry

Bumble Beeing: On Story-telling, Science, & Magic at 3,000 m


Holding her gun with a big grin, a woman shoots a round of bullets into the mountain mist. I scream and dive under a log. Around me, my hosts laugh. “What are you doing Buket Hanim?” they tease. Although the sight of me squeezing under a log is funny, they kindly put away the gun, and coax me out from my hiding place. (more…)

Waggle on! Horon and Hives at the Honey Festival Oyoyoy…

Dancing horon!

“Yiiiiheeeeeuuu!!!!” everyone yells as my arms are yanked down to the ground, then up to the sky, like the slanted poles of a tent. The gencler (young people) around me make the movements gracefully, like eagles swooping for their prey. I look like a floppy fish. The blaring sound of the tulum (bagpipe) at maximum volume is relief to my ears, because I am almost certain that it masks my awkwardly uncontrolled screams. (more…)

Where the Trees All Have Names: Treekeeping in Macahel

I try on my tree for size...looks like it could be a good fit!

“KIZ!” I hear Hasan call (meaning GIRL! in Turkish). “Would you like to buy this tree?” he asks me, patting a hefty chestnut. Its rooted deep in the ground with felt-like moss growing across its trunk. I think we are doing our usual family style joking, so I give Hasan my prepared reply, “sure, let me call Barak Obama and ask him to send me a check.” (more…)

Beekeeping for Feminists: Is Queen Bee Syndrome Wrong? How to Make a Queen

“Don’t be a drag just be a queen” sings Lady Gaga…easy to say when you haven’t just been drugged and artificially inseminated!

“Wow, she is such a queen bee!” says a jaded co-worker in another article talking about women in the work place. Time and time again, these articles resurface, drawing a connection between bossy women in the work place and queen bees. Usually the connotations are negative, that queen bees rule the office, bullying other women in an effort to “dominate the hive.” Its feminism backfired, they report. Women become so powerful that they oppress other women in an effort to keep their power, and in doing so replicate the struggles that they had to go through in order to get where they are. If you haven’t read this kind of article, here is a quick sample for you, courtesy of Google: On “Queen Bee Syndrome,” where women oppress each other in the work Place – (more…)


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