“Stars were falling across the sky myriad and random, speeding across brief vectors from their origins in night to their destinies in dust and nothingness”
– Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, pg. 347
Life floats by in a heartbeat. Ninety-three million miles from the sun, the Earth has orbited and rotated and danced its dance for nearly 4.5 billion years. And for most of that time, it has hosted life. There have been countless lives, falling across the sky like stars myriad and random, speeding across brief vectors from their origins in the night to their destinies in dust and nothingness, as Cormac McCarthy would say. It’s said that everything – including humans – is made of star stuff: sashaying and shimmering pieces of recycled life repurposed to conceive countless more dancers on the stage of existence. And somewhere along the way, life stumbled upon a method to speed up the death-and-rebirth cycle: violence.
We are driving to Virginia for Thanksgiving from New Hampshire. I have nothing to wear. Wait a minute, yes, I do, but I need to do laundry. Laundry, you foul beast, I shall vanquish you! Slowly, over hours, I will have all clean clothes. Except, I’m only going to be gone for a few days. Three days and four nights. Pajamas-check, underwear-check, undershirts-check, socks-check, deodorant-check, glasses (sun and prescription) -check. I’ve made sandwiches and have coke and have pretzels, some seltzers and 45 hours-worth of podcasts for the 10-hour drive. There tank is filled with gasoline. What time do we need to leave? Three in the morning? You must be joking… you aren’t? Well, two hours of sleep is all you really need to function like a human.
Day 1 - Drive
This podcast is talking about how mushrooms know when you’re walking around on the forest floor because of this extensive network of miles and miles of t...
DAY 1: I’m in a van with my friend I met only three months prior to this trip and five other girls I do not know. There is a tall and tanned man driving us, making small talk with us in broken English.
“Where are you from?” “Where are you studying?” “Have you ever been to Morocco before?”
Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) by Shakira is playing on the radio. We’re driving on a barely paved road as mopeds zoom past us. One moped driving next to our van had a man driving, and a woman behind him with a head scarf covering every inch of her face but her eyes. The only thing that separated the man and woman was an infant baby being held by the woman. No seatbelts, no helmets, no carrier for the infant baby; just the two seat moped and the open, warm African air.
I peered out the window taking in everything about this foreign landscape.
Suddenly the van came to a halt in the middle of the city center. The door flung open and...
You don’t need to be Teiresias or Nostradamus to know that we’re living in dire times. Regions across the world are growing more unstable by the day. Thirty million people in the United States don’t have health insurance. You have a sizable portion of America’s working class laboring two to three jobs a day. And if you placed the average UNH student in a room without any means of stimulation, chances are in about 10 minutes you’ll have a crazed lunatic jumping off the walls frothing with malignant terror over the fact that they’re almost $100,000 in student debt. It’s 80 degrees in October. Kanye West is wearing a MAGA hat. We’re currently living in a culture engorged with wickedness and depravity.
We live in a constant state of fight or flight. But it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, I think I might have the cure. The anecdote to our aggression, the vaccine to our combustion, the de...
Perception, for what it’s worth, can be everything. While we can never fully understand the totality of somebody’s humanity, through tight-knit relationships - with their shared experiences, common bonds and intimate conversations - we are able to peel back the ornate onion of a select few and build well-rounded, two-way understandings. Conversely, I find myself all too often meeting somebody for a minute - or even bumping into them for a handful of seconds - and forming a negative opinion from that one run-in. While it sounds ignorant, we’ve all done it, judging someone’s entire character from a pebble of their existential mountain.
Perception, then, is based on our limited knowledge of whatever it is that we’re perceiving. Many of these situations seem to be extremely low-stakes, but these context-clue judgments can lead to much more explosive and detrimental outcomes. This is where prejudice and acts of racism are r...
Being a small local fisherman is not easy in today’s age. The dying industry is a shift in coastal American like never before: putting in place a system that leads to consolidation. If things can’t turn around for Capt. Tim Rider, the owner of the New England Fishmongers, he and his partners will be out of business by the end of the season.
“We chose to go this route to survive,” said Rider. “Missing time with family. Shaving years off your life… It’s life or death every day and you can’t live that way indefinitely.”
Rider says that raising awareness about his fresh-off-the-boat seafood is a big step towards changing current policy and helping more small-scale commercial fishermen succeed.
This September, the team debuted their documentary, “Last Man Fishing” at Newburyport's Annual Documentary Film Festival followed by screenings at Portsmouth and New Hampshire’s Film Festival. The documentary is based on the harsh r...
Growing up along the New Hampshire Seacoast, Michael Fiacco is no stranger to the inspiration that so many seem to draw upon from this special place. The concrete slabs of a winter swell that bring out only the most badass and dedicated surfers or the crowded sunny summer days where so many find their footing in surfing. Each in their own respect make this place so unique.
But Fiacco wasn’t always moved by the power of the ocean and the endless coastline to which he drove along almost every day. Like many other kids, he was completely enamored with the sports he played. Focusing his attention entirely on his love and passion surrounding basketball growing up, it wasn’t until he was 17 when he started to realize just how magical a place he’d been surrounded by his whole life.
In the beginning of his junior year of high school in 2015, Fiacco was introduced to surfing. It wasn’t long before he fell in love with the sport...
When I was a kid I never thought I’d like coffee. The concept was based on something so foreign; yet there it was, day after day, brewed in the kitchen every morning without fail. Even on the weekends when we would all sleep in, the coffee brewing ritual remained. I would ask to try it on occasion, just to see what all the fuss was about - and with each taste, it remained a mystery. Let’s be honest - coffee tastes gross. It’s not sweet or salty or anything, it’s just some bitter brown drink. Little did I know it would eventually play a big role in my life.
The high school winters were brutal and dark in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The ferocity of the ice-cold winter wind shotgunned off the face of Lake Winnipesaukee and would pierce right through even the thickest and warmest winter coat that money could buy. It
seemed like days and weeks went by and the sun wouldn’t show itself even for a brief moment.
Wednesday nights in Durham are generally the most quiet. Students at the University of New Hampshire are engulfed in their workload and the party has yet to start. However, a small cafe on the edge of campus is making up for the lack of noise with an unconventional open mic event.
The Freedom Cafe is filled to the brim every Wednesday night with students from all walks of life. Some attendees are performers, some are just avid fans of live music, and some are fighting for justice. The Freedom Cafe is a non profit entity that aims to end human trafficking, as well as all commercial exploitation of all people. All proceeds are donated to anti-trafficking task forces, as well as families that were harmed by the corrupt industry.
Since its founding in 2013, the Freedom Cafe’s sole mission has been to provide an ethically sourced method of consuming coffee, tea and other goods for a reasonable price. They also offer a crea...
For Loc Nguyen and Marie Leblanc, sleeping in Walmart parking lots or rest stops in their van is a dream come true. Sure, they don’t often get to shower for days on end but for these two, a dip in the ocean is one and the same.
Nguyen and Leblanc purchased the van about four months ago at the beginning of the summer after a year and a half searching for one. They had original plans to buy one used, gut it and build it all themselves but when this van came along already ready to live in, they couldn’t pass it up.
And while the couple was quick to point out that the build isn’t perfectly straight and there are some cosmetic imperfections, Nguyen and Leblanc both concluded that none of that really matters; making the most of what you have is the key to surviving a life on the road.
“You don’t have to spend a fortune; it doesn’t have to be perfectly straight. I think the point is just to start with whatever you got,” the co...