Hello Russia, are you there?

I have to admit, when Edward Snowden leaked all the information from the NSA in 2013 I wasn’t paying enough attention. I was focused on my own world, finishing my undergraduate degree and studying abroad. I knew that something happened with some guy named Edward Snowden regarding highly classified information. That was about the extent of my knowledge. In the past four years I’ve learned more about what exactly happened and the ramifications of what Snowden did.

Pod Save the People’s DeRay Mckesson speaks with Edward Snowden about the recent firing of FBI director James Comey by President Trump. The combination of Snowden, who is still in Russia facing charges from the United States government and DeRay, a member of the Black Lives Matter movement discussing security and surveillance is absolutely fascinating. Take a listen here from 5.12.17.

 

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Just a casual 11,000 mile drive.

Did you know that you can drive from London to Mongolia? You didn’t? It’s okay, I didn’t either. But every year, during the Mongol Rally, hundreds of teams attempt to make the trek. The catch? The 11,000 mile drive must be completed in a shit car. It’s one of the only rules from the race organizers – seriously. Part of the fun of the rally is breaking down somewhere completely random and trying to figure it out. This also means that a lot of teams don’t make it to the finish line and don’t get to take those epic finish line photos.

Scott Gurian, his brother Drew, and their friends Rosi and Jane, finished the rally in seven weeks. That’s an average of about 225 miles a day. My road trip last summer was only about 9,000 miles, and that was with the added bonus of having a reliable car. And a cell phone that worked most of the time. And no problems finding people who spoke english. This rally sounds bonkers. And I love it. I can’t stop listening to Scott’s far.from.home podcast. It makes me want to do the Mongol Rally myself one day. If you’re an aspiring traveller like myself, I highly recommend listening to all the episodes so far (and those to come). Specifically though, I’d recommend listening to Episode 8: An Eye Opening Experience about their experiences while traveling through Iran.

I know a lot of people who would dismiss travel to Iran simply because of the rhetoric of our current administration. Hate, xenophobia, and false information lead many American’s beliefs towards the people of Iran and other muslim-majority Middle East countries. They are perhaps afraid that as Americans, they will be seen as the enemy if they travel to the Middle East. This is not the experience that Scott and Drew had, however. Most Iranians were excited to meet and talk to the brothers. I wish that the American public would stop generalizing entire nations and religions as ‘bad,’ as this will not help anyone. Check out Team Donundestan’s trip through Iran.