Who is Arya Stark? Game of Thrones Season 7 – Episode 1 Thoughts (Spoilers)

Arya took a long road to accept her identity, but what will she become? And will she carry the family name?

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Damaged Villanelle

To get rid of the sound of his voice
you take off your ears
but then they grow back.

You try a sharper blade,
two hours hunched over the whetstone,
and, rid of the sound of his voice,

for a day you hear
nothing
until they grow back.

The Desperate Battle to Destroy ISIS

For three years ISIS has controlled Mosul, Iraq, and for nine months Iraqi forces have fought desperately to take it back.

This week that campaign ended, with ISIS forces being expelled from the ancient city. There is much work still to do, land to take, people to free, and peace is still not guaranteed, but it marks an important moment in the Iraqi’s people fight for their country.

Tough like a Motel Maid

What makes a tough job and a tough person. When I hear that, I mostly think of coal miners and steel workers, male dominated industries that are dirty, dangerous, and punishing. It’s hard for me to think of tougher jobs than those. But they’re not alone in their difficulty and grime, the only difference is that they are, perhaps, even more forgotten and taken for granted.

Clean, Cleaner, Cleanest is a wonderful short story by Sherman Alexie about the life and career of a motel maid, who, to me, is the very definition of tough. 

Are the U.S. and China Destined for War? Well, about that “Thucydides’ Trap”

Like clockwork, fear of the next great war between the established power (United States) versus the rising power (China) is gossiped and rumored. Particularly, this theory  has been given new popularity, and relevance, due to the observations of the 2000+ year old Thucydides of Athens.

However, in an excellent essay, Ian Buruma strongly challenges the assertion that a war between China and the United States is inevitable.

Doomsday Prep: After the Bomb

The world won’t probably end tomorrow, next month, or this year. But you can’t say it is without chance, however unlikely, that somehow, someway our civilization will collapse over hours, natural or by intention.

At least, that is a risk that some consider and plan for, particularly billionaires with oodles of unused cash and resources at their disposal. For a family with more money than they can possibly spend in their lives, what is a few million to buy an island, build a house on that island, and plan for it to be your family’s haven if the world were to end?