All posts filed under “Atomic

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the overview effect

When astronauts leave Earth, there is a well documented phenomenon that occurs. The Overview Effect. The Overview Effect is a cognitive shift: a sudden change in awareness reported by astronauts, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. It refers to the experience of seeing… Read More

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digital sonder

In Tokyo there is a cafe up on Roppongi Hills — Tully’s Coffee — parallel to a busy elevated highway with patio chairs facing the street. Countless nameless faces walk by. I used to love sitting there. It provided ample opportunity for people watching. I’d… Read More

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keepers of the fire

I learned a beautiful phrase today: keepers of the fire. This is what the Potawatomi tribe call themselves. In fact, the word “Potawatomi” means “keepers of the fire.” Historically, they were one of three tribes that formed the Council of Three Fires meant to uphold… Read More

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anatomy of a word: 忍

The Chinese character 忍 is often translated as ‘to endure.’ Like other cross language translations however, it does not cover the full scope of the word. Nor does it capture the deeper aspects of this beautiful language I’ve grown up with, and am only now… Read More

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the cutting room floor

As I navigate the 250 word count of an atomic essay (and failing miserably despite my best efforts), I’ve been thinking a lot about the cutting room floor and the stories we leave behind. For example, in Ali Wong’s standup Baby Cobra, she talks about… Read More

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anatomy of a word: 仁

When I was in high school, my father participated in a work leadership retreat. During the trip, it came up that my father had a daughter. The facilitator asked my father to write down one word, one wish my father wanted for me. For some… Read More

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anatomy of a language

Language is a beautiful thing. I’ve been learning about the language of indigenous culture, plants and the Earth through the book ‘ Braiding Sweetgrass.’ Reading about these new and foreign languages got me thinking more about the languages I’ve grown up with, English and Chinese.… Read More

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three influences that shaped my life

How do you simplify an existence down to three main aspects? Even throughout today, I’ve encountered numerous things that have left me changed from this morning. After all, like Alice in Wonderland says: “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person… Read More