On Returning and Continuing On: The End of My Fulbright-National Geographic Grant

Me in a field in Tecámac, at the edge of the city’s urban area. Or, Things to Come.

I’m writing this from a cafe in San Francisco, sipping on a coffee that I bought for the price of a nice breakfast in Mexico. I ordered the drink in English, a language which at least 75% of the people I’ve overheard talking on the street seem to speak. I can make convincing small talk with strangers. The city is bursting with immigrants, from 49 other states and countless nations. I feel tall, but not so tall that I’m sure people are staring at me.

This is all to say that I’m back in the U.S. As of Sunday, the 21st, my Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship has come to an end. This is the sad news, at least for me, and perhaps, hopefully, for any of you who have been following along with my Instagram and this blog.

The good news is that my work, both in and on Mexico City is not yet finished. Well maybe that’s not “good” news, exactly: it means there’s lots of editing, writing and thinking to be done, but it also means that, after soaking up some of the comforts of my country, I’ll have some more time—a few more months—to continue working and living there. I’m immensely excited to shoot some of the few places I feel are important to capture to give a sense of the overall scope of suburban sprawl in the city, and that have so far evaded me. And I can’t think of a better place within which to immerse myself in order to edit the project’s 11,000 (and counting) photos, hours of videos and so far innumerable vague ideas.

When I meet people who know I’m on Fulbright and they —> Read More

Joni Mitchell’s Aneurysm, Explained

Musician Joni Mitchell is recovering from an aneurysm she suffered in March, according to a statement from her conservator, Leslie Morris. Contrary to rumors about her condition, Mitchell can speak, and is going through therapy to help regain the ability to walk again, Morris wrote.

Few details have been given about Mitchell’s aneurysm, except that she was found unconscious in her Bel Air home on March 31 and immediately transported to a Los Angeles-area hospital in an ambulance. She’s now resting at home, according to Morris’ latest statement, and a full recovery is expected.

Aneurysms are a condition in which the walls of an artery become weak and then swell with blood. No one knows for sure what causes aneurysms, according to the National Institutes of Health, but they can sometimes burst and cause dangerous hemorrhages in the brain or other parts of the body.

Aortic aneurysms, which take place in the artery that pumps blood to the heart, caused 10,597 deaths and contributed to more than 17,215 deaths in the United States in 2009. And according to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, an estimated six million people (one in 50) have an unruptured brain aneurysm. Of these, an estimated 30,000 will experience a rupture in a given year.

Brain aneurysms can press on nerves and cause dizziness, headaches and double vision, according to the NIH. And when an aneurysm bursts, especially in or near the brain, blood can hemorrhage and cause a stroke.

Symptoms of a brain hemorrhage due to aneurysm are sudden and include nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, seizures, fainting and loss of consciousness. Catching an aneurysm before it bursts is crucial, as 40 percent of ruptured brain aneurysms are —> Read More

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