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faith at the finish

She burned down her house and lives off the land in Africa. Her name is Jja Ja Nakibuuka. Leprosy has claimed her fingers and toes. She owns nothing, so children sometimes offer her food and small presents. When she greets the children and their mothers, Jja Ja Nakibuuka always says the same thing:... read more »

use my room

When I agreed to help start a book club at my church, I was excited about choosing the titles and discussing the literary works. I wavered, however, when I had to decide where to hold the meetings. (My house often has cluttered countertops and my kitchen appliances don’t always sparkle.)... read more »

impressions

A hazy morning at a harbor. Chalky, gray mist shrouds the boats, but a peach-colored sunrise warms the scene. Claude Monet captured this scene in his masterpiece “Impression, Sunrise.” Created in 1872, this painting was not well-received. French critic Louis Leroy slammed the painting as little... read more »

hit the cymbals!

In an instructional video, Neil Percy, lead percussionist for the London Symphony Orchestra, demonstrates the proper technique for holding cymbals to generate the the loudest noise possible. He begins by holding the cymbals vertically just below his waist. He clashes them together while moving them... read more »

white knuckles

When I moved near to the big city where I now live, driving on unfamiliar highways made me feel uneasy. Merging into heavy traffic elevated my heart rate. I dreaded becoming boxed in by tractor trailers and other vehicles. Cars and trucks streamed by me, making me feel that I needed to speed up.... read more »

gradual catastrophe

Scott and Robin began to worry when cracks appeared in the walls of their home. Over the course of 2 weeks, the fractures widened until their garage dropped away from their house. The rest of their property shifted and eventually sank 10 feet below street level. Then eight of their neighbors endured... read more »

not outsmarted

The French philosopher Voltaire suspected that he would win the lottery in 1729. With a statistician friend he calculated that the jackpot would be much greater than the cost of all the tickets. They pooled their money with other friends, bought as many tickets as possible, won, and split the prize... read more »

eileen and esther

Nine-year-old Eileen approached a pack of older boys in a schoolyard. They were beating an autistic student who was lying on the ground curled up in the fetal position. She asked the bullies to stop hurting the other student. The boys did stop, but only to push Eileen to the ground, where they... read more »

walking a tightrope

Mollee D. Harper went without a steady job for more than 2 years. She described it like this: “Daily, [I walked a] tightrope of not knowing whether I might disappear into homelessness or suddenly get [a] break.” Eventually, Mollee’s friends stopped returning her calls and quit offering to help... read more »

friend request

Ty Morin hopes to photograph 788 “friends” by the year 2016. His picture-taking project, entitled “Friend Request: Accepted,” will require him to photograph each of his Facebook friends doing what they love—anything from firefighting to weightlifting. Although many of his friends live in... read more »
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