5 Days To Go

New Plateaus’ first title is being released later this summer! For those of  you who don’t know, I spent a year living in and traveling around China. I wrote a ton about my time there (many of my articles can be found in the archives of this blog) and when I got home, I started…
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I Made It On MPR: )

A couple weeks ago many of you read my take on the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Well, Minnesota Public Radio enjoyed it and featured it on their site today: ) Check it out:  http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/04/10/ferdig/ thanks to all of you who read and enjoy my articles, -Brandon

The Next Bigotry

The last few weeks I’ve written about the changing dynamics of our communities. For a few reasons, the city and the neighborhood just aren’t as important to people as they once were. But, they still are the places we call home, and we need the cohesion among those near us to make our lives safe…
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New Plateaus’ 1st Book!

After eighteen months of writing about humanity and my experiences abroad, I’ve deemed it time to assemble a book (and an eBook) of my writings while living in China and traveling Asia. This time proved extraordinarily fruitful with insight regarding: poverty—why are the impoverished poor and the rich, rich?; education—what are colleges in China like?;…
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Book Alert! (and New, Old Article)

Some of you have been awesome and followed me around China for as long as I’ve been blogging here on Area Voices. Others of you are also awesome and enjoying some of my older pieces in black and white in the Sunday editions of The Pioneer. I’m excited to say that I’m taking all 70…
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Studying Tai Chi: The Students, The Landscapes

I attended a music camp back in high school. We rehearsed with this involved, focused presence, only a few days to master our music for a performance at week’s end. These rehearsals were different than regular band class during the school year. There, we were more likely to clock-watch and wish for the hour to…
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China: Bone-Breaking Pressure

In China around 1000 years ago, a unique trend began in the area of fashion, custom, and duty. Parents started to tightly wrap the feet of their young daughters so the feet wouldn’t grow large. This binding became extreme enough to require the breaking of the toes and of the arch. And it evolved to…
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Front And Center

China, like anywhere, is a land of economic disparity. Recently, I had an interesting illustration of this. It got me thinking of why such “unfairness” exists. It starts with the bus stops in Zhuhai. They are busy places where people carry change. Soooooooo, looks like we got ourselves a hotspot for folks looking for some…
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Fore!

I returned home to Zhuhai from Hong Kong. And last week I had the cool chance to check out a fancy-schmancy golf club here in south China. Since the grass must be getting greener these days back in Bemidji, I’ll provide a timely, seasonal piece here for ya. So for all you putters, drivers and…
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Yangshuo: Grateful For Rain

Yes, that’s right. I was grateful for the “bad” weather during my time here. Crazy, huh? Well, normally I’d wish for blue skies just like the next fella, but something about this place made the rain feel appropriate. In fact, sunny weather would’ve been a bit lacking. I awoke my second morning in Yangshuo and…
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