Archive - September 28, 2010

1
Review: William Timmons' Burma Tiger
2
Push For Peace Corps Campaign Does Video
3
Review: Tom Bissell's Extra Lives

Review: William Timmons' Burma Tiger

Burma Tiger by William V. Timmons (Niger 1965–67) CreateSpace $11.62 501 pages May 2010 Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-95) “BURMA TIGER FOLLOWS Sergeant Major Michael St. John from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, ‘Mandalay,’ as a series of divinely inspired circumstances thrust him from anonymity into international fame.” There you have the story line in William V. Timmons’ own words, and an indication of his labyrinthine writing style, as incomprehensible as the print on the back cover, which is pale yellow on pale green and is barely legible with a magnifying glass. Not a good beginning. Once again we have a book that seems to be a first draft, i.e., devoid of editing — or maybe even thinking, as indicated by phrases such as: “. . . half delirious with fevers well above normal,” and “dozens, perhaps twenty small canoes,” misspellings such as “whicker chairs”, “rueful rouge” (for rogue), and . . .

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Push For Peace Corps Campaign Does Video

The relentless Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) and his Push for Peace Corps Campaign has produced a short, informative 2-minute animation video entitled “Build a Better World.” It is something that you’ll never see on the Peace Corps.gov site. The purpose of it is to build awareness that House Appropriators recently passed a $46.15 million increase in Peace Corps funding for the 50th anniversary (which would support 1,000 new positions), but the Senate, shortly before recess, voted to reduce this increase by $26 million! The video asks all RPCVs to call their Senators and urge them to vote for the full $446.15 million Peace Corps budget. Check out the video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUruDQAmAYA

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Review: Tom Bissell's Extra Lives

Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter by Tom Bissell (Uzbekistan 1996–97) Random House/Pantheon $22.95 201 pages June 2010 Reviewed by Bruce Schlein (Papua New Guinea 1990–92; Bosnia 1996; PC/Staff/DC 2003–05) EXTRA LIVES OR LIVES WASTED? My inclination upon thinking about the topic of Extra Lives (video games) and delving into the first chapter was to think the latter (hours wasted, many hours). Admittedly this point of view is part predisposition I had recently read an article citing research that shows youth are more disconnected from nature than ever before. The culprits? Electronic media and the perception that society is less safe. It isn’t hard to see how video games, especially ones with names like Crime Life: Gang Wars and Killer 7, could contribute to this phenomenon. But Tom Bissell talks through these issues, and actually relegates them un- or less important as the reader is drawn in by eloquent descriptions of . . .

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