Anonymous asked:

Hi Denise, I guess I just wanted to thank you for bringing back some of my own memories of my youth and the beautiful girl I spent an important part of my life with. 7 years. Like you I was eighteen, loved up and discovering a whole new world of joy and pain. Now in my late thirties currently residing in Edinburgh Scotland, I'm still very good friends with my ex who now lives in Australia. Your story almost moved me to tears....but boys don't cry! All the best. Daniel.

Thanks for the kind words!

internationalreportingfellows

internationalreportingfellows:

Poland is seeking new resources for its energy future. It hopes to go deep underground and fuel its country’s future with shale gas. But with that hope comes a slew of legal, environmental and societal concerns without answers.

 The former Eastern Bloc country has good reason for wanting to explore shale gas and seek energy independence. Poland is nearly completely reliant on gas from Russia. The majority of their energy comes from coal – but the country is under pressure to adapt to European Union environmental standards and reduce Co2 Emissions in the next few years – leaders think the way to do this is by hydraulic fracturing.

They have hopes for a new industry, one that will bring in foreign investors and will help the already thriving energy companies reach new levels of financial success.

Although a recent report from the Polish Geological Survey stated that there was far less shale gas in Poland than previously thought, leaders are forging ahead, drawing up a hydrocarbon law and planning on drilling dozens of wells in the next year. In the last two weeks, I’ve conducted over forty interviews –with The Deputy Minister of the Environment, with geologists and engineers and with attorneys who represent the gas companies. I’ve traveled to the rural outreaches of the Southeast and Northern provinces and spoken with local mayors, administrators and townspeople who are both excited and fearful of what shale gas exploration may bring. Some are adamantly opposed; they feel the environmental risks outweigh any positives fracking may bring. Some leaders are hopeful –they say that the industry will bring jobs and money to the communities.

The people I spoke with live in sparsely populated agricultural communities – and like living this way. If and when the exploration phase of shale gas turns into an industrial phase, they are scared of what it will mean for their communities. They fear the government is not looking out for their best interests and the land they’ve lived on for many years may be destroyed by the fracking process.

Captions for Photos 

1 and 2 - Signs leading into Źurawlów in Southeast Poland near the Ukrainian Boarder. The signs draw upon the regions painful past. One reads “Chevron: We Don’t Want Gas” making a double reference to the gas chambers used during the Holocaust and the gas extracted through unconventional shale gas drilling.  The other sign reads “Yesterday Chernobyl, Today Chevron.” Chevron has concessions in the community. 

3- In Źurawlów, Andrzej Bąk and his wife Barbara Siegieńczuk read a letter everyone in the community received from Chevron, inviting them to a meeting discussing shale drilling. Bak and his wife are opposed to the practice and feel there has been little government oversight in the way concessions have been granted,

4 - In Stężca and Klokowa Huta, a Kashubian community in the Baltic Sea region of Poland, BNK Polska has an exploratory well.

 5- A series of extensive stories on shale drilling in Poland will be airing on Essential Public Radio 90.5 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this August.

Erika Beras, Warsaw, Poland 7/12/2012

longformblog

Two Years of Longform: 50 Most Read Stories [Year Two]

longform:

  1. The Bravest Woman in Seattle Eli Sanders • The Stranger • Jun 2011

    She survived an evil, gruesome attack. Her partner did not. An account of a victim, a widow, telling her story on the witness stand.

  2. Unmasking Horror Nicholas Kristof • New York Times • Mar 1995

    Investigating Japanese war atrocities.

  3. The Hacker Is Watching David Kushner • GQ • Jan 2012

    In a dark echo of Rear Window, a wheelchair-bound hacker seizes control of hundreds of webcams, most of them aimed at young women’s beds.

  4. Twin Towers jumpers that Americans will not talk about David James Smith • Daily Nation • Sep 2011 “I felt like I was intruding on a sacrament,” said one firefighter, Maureen McArdle-Schulman. “They were choosing to die and I was watching them and shouldn’t have been, so me and another guy turned away and looked at the wall, and we could still hear them hit.”

  5. Cheating, Incorporated Sheelah Kolhatkar • Businessweek • Feb 2011

    On the adultery website AshleyMadison.com.

Read More

theatlantic
theatlantic:

Wikipedia and the Shifting Definition of ‘Expert’

Part of the beauty of Wikipedia is the hope that through its openness and its anonymity it could democratize the process of how knowledge gets built and organized. Last year The Awl published an essay “Wikipedia and the Death of the Expert,” in which Maria Bustillos argued, “Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of ‘authority,’ ‘authorship,’ and even ‘knowledge.’ ” Online, the crowd was knocking the individual off its throne as the arbiter of information. As Bustillos quoted Clay Shirky, “On Wikipedia ‘the author’ is distributed, and this fact is indigestible to current models of thinking.”
But, of course, this kind of collaboration doesn’t itself imply the absence of expertise. Experts can, after all, collaborate together. And Wikipedia certainly benefits from academics with specialized knowledge developing and patrolling articles they care about. (This is particularly true when measured in terms of Wikipedia’s breadth — it’s hard to imagine many of the extremely technical scientific articles existing at all without the input of scientists who made it their business to fill out the encyclopedia’s periphery.)
So “experts” in the traditional sense (e.g. academic pedigrees) do still matter in this collaborative environment. But a new study from researchers at Stanford University and Yahoo Research points to a complementary phenomenon: The definition of what makes someone an expert is changing. They search for expertise in Wikipedia’s pages, and they find it, but what they’re looking for — what they call expertise — uses different signals to project itself. Expertise, to these researchers, isn’t who a writer is but what a writer knows, as measured by what they read online.
Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]

theatlantic:

Wikipedia and the Shifting Definition of ‘Expert’

Part of the beauty of Wikipedia is the hope that through its openness and its anonymity it could democratize the process of how knowledge gets built and organized. Last year The Awl published an essay “Wikipedia and the Death of the Expert,” in which Maria Bustillos argued, “Wikipedia, along with other crowd-sourced resources, is wreaking a certain amount of McLuhanesque havoc on conventional notions of ‘authority,’ ‘authorship,’ and even ‘knowledge.’ ” Online, the crowd was knocking the individual off its throne as the arbiter of information. As Bustillos quoted Clay Shirky, “On Wikipedia ‘the author’ is distributed, and this fact is indigestible to current models of thinking.”

But, of course, this kind of collaboration doesn’t itself imply the absence of expertise. Experts can, after all, collaborate together. And Wikipedia certainly benefits from academics with specialized knowledge developing and patrolling articles they care about. (This is particularly true when measured in terms of Wikipedia’s breadth — it’s hard to imagine many of the extremely technical scientific articles existing at all without the input of scientists who made it their business to fill out the encyclopedia’s periphery.)

So “experts” in the traditional sense (e.g. academic pedigrees) do still matter in this collaborative environment. But a new study from researchers at Stanford University and Yahoo Research points to a complementary phenomenon: The definition of what makes someone an expert is changing. They search for expertise in Wikipedia’s pages, and they find it, but what they’re looking for — what they call expertise — uses different signals to project itself. Expertise, to these researchers, isn’t who a writer is but what a writer knows, as measured by what they read online.

Read more. [Image: Wikimedia Commons]