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Opinions, links, photos, video, and more on matters profound, trivial, and everything in between

Blogs, Donald's musings on travel, landscape, culture, and the fascinating world of geography (since 2007)


Journeys, Places, and People: Donald's YouTube channel, with original short videos of interesting people, places, and modes o

Donald's latest blog posts

View from Greenwich Observatory

Reflections on Time and Navigation

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I have been thinking about time recently, and thinking particularly about how we don’t think much about it. Of course we fret about how little of it we have, but we don’t give much thought to what time is, how we measure it, and why this matters. What prompted me to think about time were

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poem feature 3 creative commons

The Beginning of the Semester: A professor’s poem

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The Beginning of the Semester A Poem by Professor Donald Rallis ‘Twas the first week of class, and all through his home The professor got e-mails and texts – even calls on his phone, A message on Facebook, and many a tweet (Thank God that hi-tech made the fax obsolete.) How are you professor? My

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A Fathers’ Day Tribute, June 2014

 Fathers’ Day, June 15, 2014 A week ago I celebrated my Dad’s birthday; this Fathers’ Day weekend I am remembering him still. I don’t believe in an afterlife in any religious sense, but I do know that our ancestors live on, in us and through us, and in the lives of those we influence. Costa

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I was also there (well, almost): A personal reflection

Saturday May 31, 2014 I am now in Vientiane, Laos, and from my hotel room I can look across the Mekong River and see Thailand, where a military coup last week propelled the country, briefly, onto the world’s front pages. I am not actually in the headline-grabbing country, but I am pretty close. That has

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An ocean apart? Religion in Europe and the United States

  I did something very unusual for me last Sunday: I went to church. I didn’t go to just any church; I went to an evensong service in Worcester’s magnificent cathedral, located at a site where Christian worship has been taking place since 680 CE. The structure I visited is the new cathedral; construction on

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Rows of tall, bare-trunked rubber trees.

The vanishing rainforests (and cultures) of eastern Cambodia

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I am writing these phrases in Sem Monorom, the small and sleepy town that serves as capital and market center for Cambodia’s remote eastern province of Mondulkiri. This is the country’s most sparsely populated province; its forested hillslopes, mild temperatures, and the presence of a most members of Cambodia’s Phanong minority make it a very different

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