The Birthday Challenge

  I don’t know if it’s a thing among any other circles, but some rock climbers like to do what is called a birthday challenge–a personal physical test in honor of your age. The main goal, of course, is just to have fun outside with friends who help you along the way. Most commonly, the challenge is to complete one climb for every year you’ve been alive. Obviously, this gets harder as…

Lifting the Shroud: exposing life amidst China’s pollution, and what lies ahead

By Jesse Weber Every morning, Mrs. Wei rises with the sun, laces her tennis shoes, and begins the hike to the top of Zijin Mountain. Her daily routine is more than just a workout; she finds beauty and tranquility amidst the verdant leaves and melodic bird songs muffling the drone of the surrounding city. Mrs. Wei is a Nanjing native, and Zijin Park is her favorite place in her hometown,…

The Bike Like Café: Pizza. Bikes. Music. Reform.

By Jesse Weber Krakow is a place suspended in limbo between old and new. Here, in Poland’s second largest city, remnants of medieval settlements underlie sky-clawing towers of Renaissance castles and cathedrals, surrounded by historic walls, ramparts, synagogues, universities, and residences. As Poland steadily recovers from the recent economic crisis, new commercial and residential developments are made, and many centuries-old structures are now repurposed as chic cafés, boutiques, and nightclubs….

Battling the Bloom

This post doesn’t have anything to do with my current trip in Europe, but while I muster the motivation to write something new, here is a link to an article I had published in UT’s Quest Magazine, spring 2014 edition. http://quest.utk.edu/2013/battling-the-bloom/ During the Summer of 2013, I worked as an intern journalist for the University of Tennessee Microbiology Department. My first assignment was to write and design the departmental newsletter…