Sallie Tisdale

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Letter from the Pacific Northwest — From the March 2019 issue

Catechism of the Waters

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Species in conflict on the Columbia River

Miscellany — From the March 2018 issue

Out of Time

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The un-becoming of self

Miscellany — From the November 2015 issue

Miracles and Wonders

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One woman’s search for a perfect bra

Context — August 7, 2015, 3:01 pm

We Do Abortions Here

A nurse’s story

Annotation — From the June 2015 issue

The Magic Toilet

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Providing sanitation for the world’s poor

Memoir — From the May 2013 issue

An Uncommon Pain

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Living with the mystery of headache

Article — From the July 2012 issue

The one in front of you

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A consideration of charity

Article — From the April 2010 issue

On spectrum

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My daughter, her autism, our life

Article — From the June 2007 issue

Chemo World

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Surviving the cancer unit

Article — From the March 1997 issue

Silence, please

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The public library as entertainment center

Article — From the September 1995 issue

Never let the locals see your map

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Why most travel writers should stay home

Readings — From the November 1994 issue

Sins of the flesh

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Article — From the March 1993 issue

A weight that women carry

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The compulsion to diet in a starved culture

Readings — From the October 1992 issue

A place of her own

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Article — From the February 1992 issue

Talk dirty to me

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A woman’s taste for pornography

Article — From the June 1990 issue

Neither morons nor imbeciles nor idiots

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In the company of the mentally retarded

Article — From the January 1990 issue

Bound upon a wheel of fire

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To burn for flames

Readings — From the October 1989 issue

Lives of the body

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Memoir — From the October 1987 issue

We Do Abortions Here

A nurse’s story

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Secrets and Lies·

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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

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Seeking Asylum·

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Out of sight on Leros, the island of the damned

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Poem for Harm·

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Reflections on harm in language and the trouble with Whitman

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Good Bad Bad Good·

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

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Life after Life·

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A solid-gold toilet named “America” was stolen from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire, England.

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Happiness Is a Worn Gun

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“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

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