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The Pander Journal: Littering and Voting

This “article” is part of a “series” we’re calling The Pander Journal, which will be “following” the presidential election of November 2012. Being a Millennial isn't easy. Unemployment is high, your friends take photos of food and upload them to the internet, and people are always trying to force you into voting. I don’t believe in voting, but I do believe in littering. I come to both of these conclusions t ...

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The Pander Journal: Biden Takes the Gloves Off; What Does it Mean For Us?

This “article” is part of a “series” we’re calling The Pander Journal, which will be “following” the presidential election of November 2012. President Obama’s debate performance, widely characterized by pundits of all stripes as a flop, has many predicting that tonight’s vice presidential debate will feature Joe Biden like we’ve always seen him before: aggressive, rough-around-the-edges, and ready to veheme ...

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It’s All About You

If you’ve ever been to a professional sporting event you’ve probably witnessed this scene: The game has grown decidedly boring and overlong, eyes are beginning to glaze, smart phones emerge from pockets, and minds begin to wander toward post-game festivities. Snap back to reality, and all of a sudden the cameraman has honed in on your section! You find yourself instantly bursting with enthusiasm – dancing, ...

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Feng Jianmei and the Central Horror

There is a time for everything. There is a time to mourn.  There is a time to be angry.  There is a time to reflect.  In the recent revelation concerning Feng Jianmei and her daughter, it is time for all three. In mid-June, the story broke.  A 23-year-old Chinese woman, Feng Jianmei, was forced by local family-planning officials to have an abortion. The story in short is this: Feng Jianmei lived in a rural ...

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Wonder from the Airplane Window

When I fly, I'm captivated by the view. Peering out the window of an airplane gives me a new perspective, as I soar above the earth, far below. Roadways are dotted with tiny, slow-moving cars, each with its own destination. Commercial centers, baseball fields, and residential tracts have been constructed between the forests and lakes that have preceded them. The landscape below is expansive and complex. Loo ...

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Talking and Listening

Small talk is painful. It is social dentistry. Other forms of talking, however, have much potential. Talking is the way we communicate most easily and serves as a social currency. But what is actually going on when we talk? Many of us haven’t thought about this much. It is as intuitive for us now as tying our shoelaces--but not all of us learned how to tie our shoelaces the same way. We all are way more aff ...

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Americans Love a Great Story

I recall a recent conversation I had while visiting my beloved second home, Managua, Nicaragua.  At that time the Republican primaries were in full swing, and a couple of my friends were expressing their distaste for the field of candidates vying to oppose the incumbent.  As we analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates, our discourse naturally shifted to the president’s record.  When asked to ...

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Fairy Tale Philosophy

Fairy tales are ridiculous. Myths and fairy tales go to imaginative places, using creativity to explore the brink of comprehension and storyscapes entirely surreal. This method is utilized in fantasy, science fiction and all genres of art that intentionally construct alternate worlds, full of characters both realistic and foreign. As an art form, myths have been used consistently over time, revealing an ove ...

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Words I Want to Drop-Kick

Words can be powerful, or useless. It just depends. What worries me, though, is the pervasiveness of certain words and phrases that seem untruthful to me and just sort of “bleh.” Particular words and phrases have somehow become social norms but don’t hold any weight. They are coffee stains in our conversations.  If I had Will Smith’s memory-erasing pen from Men in Black, these are some of the words and phra ...

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Spaces that Make Us

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” -Winston Churchill After a long day of interviewing countless new architecture-school graduates, my dad, who is principal of a medium-sized, but award-winning firm in South Texas, told me a story about one of the candidates. “I love the new student center,” he recalled a bright-eyed architecture student raving. “When I’m in it, I feel happy – and I look ar ...

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© 2012 The Pender Journal

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