Inside the Life of a Peruvian San Pedro Shaman - Culture-ist

Insulated from the rapid plunders of modernization by vast jungles and mountain ranges, it is still possible to encounter intact shamanic cultures. For these people, plants which bring about visionary trance are the focal point of spiritual life and tradition. They believe plants are sentient beings, cosmic envoys with integral lessons for humanity. They credit their music and medicine, their ontology and vast horticultural knowledge, to the visions induced by psychedelic cognition.

The Good Trope

I have now seen churches and cobblestone alleyways constructed centuries ago. I have seen Quechua women with brown top hats and wrinkled hands. I have smelled weed and sniffed cocaine out of the hands of Peruvian drug dealers in crimson-lit bars with wall-to-wall mirrors. I have had the same drug dealers try to sell me oregano in tightly-taped, Ziploc baggies. I have attempted to beat Ernest Hemingway’s Pisco Sour record in Lima, failed, and left the bartender a melodramatic poem.

Short Story: The Depressed Who Get To the Bottom of Things

(Published in Z Publishing House's "California's Emerging Writers" series, available on Amazon) On 10 November 2017 it rains. The sky is dim and full of clouds. The clouds are thick and bulbous, like a pregnant belly, hanging beneath the waistline, over the ocean, in the wind. Under the sky a towering central mountain comes close to the ocean, leaving only a small portion of beachy flatland. An asphalt road runs along the beach...

Why Have Religious Zionists Perpetrated Acts of Violence in Hebron Post-2005?

(Published in U.C. Santa Barbara's Global Societies Journal) Why have Religious Zionists perpetrated acts of violence in Hebron post-2005? Israel’s disengagement from Gaza and the northern West Bank settlements in 2005 caused the Religious Zionist settler movement to rethink the status of their struggle, leading to increased settler conflict throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the ongoing, multi-generational persistence of Religious Zionist theology in vibrant segments of the Israeli settler community.

Anthony Bourdain Loved Los Angeles; Here's Why

Despite the traffic, oppressive sunshine, and all that sprawl, Anthony Bourdain always kept a little love in his heart for Los Angeles. When the iconic chef, writer, television host, traveler, and beloved media figure visited Los Angeles, in 2016, two years before his death, he chose to explore the city’s many small enclaves, offering a look at the food and cooking that are part of those neighborhoods’ identities.

San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower, Symbol of a Skyline Transformed by Tech

The Salesforce Tower, a massive glass and steel skyscraper visible everywhere in San Fransico, was completed in May 2018, becoming the second-tallest building west of the Mississippi River and the tallest in the Bay Area. For a city that has been a shipping and manufacturing hub for much of its existence, the building epitomizes the tech boom that has transformed the city, redefining everything from its skyline to its place in the culture.

Chef Edward Lee Discovers America's New Melting-Pot Cuisine in "Buttermilk Graffiti"

Edward Lee may be a multi-year James Beard Award nominee and “Top Chef” participant, but the subjects of his new book, “Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine,” aren’t high-flying culinary celebrities; they’re the restaurant owners and family chefs that he met while eating his way across the country. What interests the chef of 610 Magnolia, Milkwood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Ky., is the origin story of a meal, the person who prepared it, and the

Los Angeles Teachers Strike for Higher Wages and Smaller Classes

Teachers in Los Angeles have been on strike since Monday, Jan. 14, demanding higher pay, smaller class sizes, and more support staff such as nurses, librarians, and counselors. The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second-largest in the U.S., behind New York. Some 30,000 have been walking picket lines, carrying signs in English and Spanish and urging the public to stand with them. They marched in a chilly, pouring rain that began on Monday morning and continued throughout the week.

4 Wellness Trends to Watch in 2019

In 2018, the wellness world transformed. People started having more open and sincere conversations about mental health, intermittent fasting went mainstream, and CBD took over the world (well, sort of). At the same time, people embraced green beauty, breathwork gained traction, we learned what it means to maintain a healthy microbiome, and some of us started to realize that social media might be impacting our wellbeing. In these respects, 2018 was a good year, and we’re predicting that wellness

What Trump’s Prospective AG Pick Could Mean for Legal Cannabis

President Trump confirmed on Friday that he plans to nominate William Barr, a Republican lawyer and former Justice Department official, to replace ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Barr has already served once as US attorney general (1991-1993), during which he earned a reputation as a staunch anti-drug advocate under then-President George H.W. Bush. But with 62% of American voters supporting full cannabis legalization and almost 9 in 10 supporting medical legalization (Pew Research Center)

Part II: Peru's Ancient Geoglyphs

As a single-engine prop plane soars over the high desert of southern Peru, the dull performance of sand and wind-torn rock begins to organize and change form. Distinct white lines gradually emerge from the pale landscape, revealing deep tracks crisscrossing the cracked land like obscure roadways. The plane buzzes along against harsh sunlight before veering at sharp angles so its camera-ready passengers can glimpse what lies below: first trapezoids, rectangles, straight lines and swirls; then, as

10 Best Holiday Events in L.A. This December

Can you believe it? We’re already nearing the middle of the holiday season, which means your schedule is probably packed with parties and seasonal events. From an evening with Fleetwood Mac and a Christmas tour performance by John Legend, an interview with chef-owner Nyesha J. Arrington of the restaurant Native in Santa Monica and a screening of Hayao Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away at the Aero Theatre, here are a flurry of L.A. events to help you celebrate the holidays. Fleetwood Mac is at the F

L.A.’s Best One-Stop Holistic Healing Havens

To many people, there’s a stereotypical idea of what L.A. wellness entails: hikes in Runyon Canyon, whole-body cryotherapy, and virtual reality meditation—whatever that is. But Los Angeles has also become a haven for spiritual pilgrims seeking traditional forms of holistic health care and alternative healing. It is now common to find generations-old Asian and South American wellness modalities presented in chic, modern settings. These destinations typically offer multiple treatments, practices,

Stanley the Giraffe is OK After Woolsey Fire Rips Through Malibu

Stanley the celebrity giraffe is seemingly in good health as two wildfires continue to rip through southern California, but animal rights activists are still concerned about him and his fellow residents at Malibu Wine Safaris. The Malibu Wines property is home to dozens of exotic animals, and it was directly in the path of the Woolsey fire, which has already spread across 91,000 acres and is less than 20 percent contained.

The Ultimate Dining Bucket List

For better or worse, the idea for The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list was born in a barroom. The goal was to create an annual list that reflected the diversity of the world’s culinary landscape in a way that was unique and revered. Two decades and many iterations later, it has evolved into one of the most reputable awards ceremonies in the culinary world, backed by high-end sponsors like S.Pellegrino and celebrated for promoting the hard work and dedication of chefs around the world. Thanks to i
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