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Photo Credit: Matt Collamer | Unsplash

In an undergraduate sociology class, I was once told that altruism — the idea that selfless kindness has an intrinsic value — doesn’t really exist. The thinking here is that we don’t necessarily do anything entirely out of our hearts’ goodness. What seems selfless, is in fact, selfish. It is reasoned here that we do good acts in the hope, even expectation, that others will reciprocate, and this is often called “reciprocal altruism.” A fellow student argued, “But I believe there is true altruism. I often do things not because I want something in return, but simply because it makes…


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I was studying Spanish this morning before work. While practicing “¿De donde eres?”, or “Where are you from?”, I was reminded of the difficulty I sometimes have in answering this question, even in my native English. I grew up in a small town in North Alabama, but I have not lived there since I graduated college and started globe-trekking as a defining lifestyle. At the time of this writing, I’ve been to 51 countries and 45 states. Any one of those places (well, all but about a half dozen or so) feel just as much home to me as any…


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geralt | pixabay

Recall the cautionary tale from Greek mythology about Icarus and Daedalus. After being imprisoned on Crete by King Minos, Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers so that he and his son, Icarus, could escape the island. Before the flight to freedom, Daedalus warned Icarus against both complacency (flying too close to the sea) or hubris (flying too close to the sun). Like so many stories from mythology, the apocryphal tale of Icarus offers essential lessons of practical value. With the first-ever president to twice face impeachment, we see a sublime realization of the consequences of…


Bottom line up front, if you are still a Trump supporter, you have motivations that escape me. If you didn’t like Obama or thought Clinton was just so objectionable that you had to vote for Trump, ok. I disagree with you, but that was an argument for four years ago. That time has passed.

If you could look past his mocking of a handicapped reporter, making fun of John McCain’s military service, bragging about grabbing women by the pussy, proudly announcing that if Ivanka weren’t his daughter, he’d be dating her, ok. I don’t believe that reflects well upon your…


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Matching Yoda with the bedding was purely incidental and not planned.

“On the other hand, a cat’s love is like that of an aging, jaded, crack-addicted prostitute. It’s there for you when the cat needs it. It’s there with conditions. It’s there when there’s something in it for the cat.”


A few years back, I saw an interesting talk by astronomer Phil Plait about not being a dick when dealing with people of differing opinions. This talk resonated with me for several reasons. First, I have always preferred to treat everyone with a basic level of respect and dignity, at least until they prove utterly unworthy of it. Secondly, I had become frustrated with the intellectual dishonesty permeating religious apologetics and frankly needed a reminder to be respectful even in disagreement. Finally, I am a lifelong fan of science, and I have great respect for gifted science educators. …


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Military recruiters sometimes use a concept called TEAMS to understand individual motivations for joining the service. TEAMS is an acronym for training, education, adventure, money, and service (to country). What does this have to do with travel in general and Petra specifically? Well, the ability to travel is actually something of an adventure. Travel is one of the main reasons I chose a career as an Army officer. I wanted to see the world (jump out of perfectly good airplanes and other adventurous things), and I definitely got what I asked for. Petra was just one of the many amazing…


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Thanks to some very good advice, I was up at 4AM to make it to Angkor Wat before sunrise to wait for this shot.

Properly done, travel can be more than simply moving about physical locations, it can be a form of time travel. Seeing ancient sites gives me a feeling of connection to our shared history and humanity. The sites around Siep Reap, Cambodia is rich with such possiblities.

From about 700 to 1,000 years ago, the world saw many historical events. Pope Urban issued the first of nine crusades to the Holy Land in 1095. The Mongol Empire was established in 1206 and the Ottoman Empire in 1299. The Black Death began ravaging Europe in 1347, eventually wiping out as much as…


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At the time of this writing, I have now been to 51 countries and 45 states in the U.S. To some, that is not a huge number, but to most, I suspect it is quite a bit of travel. As I believe travel, especially abroad, to be enriching, I consider 51 countries to be a good start.

Of all the countries I’ve visited, most were short trips for work or as a tourist. Two of these countries, however, stand out as second homes. I actually lived in Korea for a total of 8 years, and in Germany for 3 years…


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Costa Rica is a fun, laid-back, multi-cultural, peaceful Central American nation. I was happy to have Costa Rica be the fiftieth country I’ve visited and the fourth that does not have a standing military. I also planned to visit Panama, which also does not have a standing Army, but that didn’t work out and will have to come later. The other sovereign states I’ve visited with no standing Army are the Vatican City, Lichtenstein, and Iceland. Education, healthcare, and many other public services are available to all citizens. Like another country I recently visited, the above mentioned Iceland, there are…

Tony Davis

Tony Davis is a professional writer, adventure travel junkie, and author of God Loves You: Some Restrictions May Apply (and Many Other Christian Dilemmas)

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