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Settlement reached in Wiwa v. Shell
Settlement reached in Wiwa v. Shell

Read on for the latest development in Wiwa. v. Shell.Photo: Azfar HakimLast week, Matador reported breaking news in the Wiwa v. Shell case, explaining that the case 15 years in the making had first been rescheduled and then postponed indefinitely. In that article, we wrote:“Initial unsubstantiated rumors indicated that Shell may have agreed to settle the case out of court by offering financial reparations without ever actually admitting, much less accepting, any responsibility for its role in the deaths of the activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and others, as well as other human rights and environmental violations.

Top 10 Travel Writer Resolutions for 2008
Top 10 Travel Writer Resolutions for 2008

Photo by Laura BernheinHappy 2008 everyone! This top ten list of travel writer resolutions is dedicated to each of you who has been pouring your energy and dedication into the craft of travel writing. Let’s take it up another notch in 2008.10. Come up with an idea a day. This doesn’t mean you have to write everyday—though that would be nice, too— but it does mean that if you come up with a single idea every day in 2008, you’ll have a storehouse of 365 ideas that you can draw from when you’re low on inspiration.

What to do when you hit a plateau in your language studies
What to do when you hit a plateau in your language studies

Once you can make yourself understood, you grasp the basics, and you feel comfortable, how do you keep advancing in a language?I arrived in Cusco four months ago. After a month of classes, finding a local boyfriend, gradually saying goodbye to all of my English-speaking friends, holding a job that required me to speak and understand Spanish shouted over a blaring rock band and fighting my way through the intricacies of contracts and business plans in my second language, my Spanish improved faster than I’d ever hoped.

Zizek says your donations to charity are hypocritical
Zizek says your donations to charity are hypocritical

There is a difference between changing the system and keeping it going.When I was about to head off to university, my uncle sat me down all serious-like and warned me not to let it make me a communist. Typing this article on a macbook means that I probably didn’t become one.That said, university courses can force you to really confront the structure of the world you live in.

10 Travel Lessons From A Wanderer
10 Travel Lessons From A Wanderer

A lot of people ask me about my frequent travels and how I do it.Before I was 21 I hadn’t even left New Zealand; now I’ve been lucky enough to see (and live in) a lot of countries.Travel has changed so much in the past few decades and even since I started at the end of the last millennium.If I could pass on my top 10 travel lessons to newbies or people considering taking time out from the 9-5 slog to travel, this is what I’d say:1.

Alaska Loves Sarah Palin… Right?
Alaska Loves Sarah Palin… Right?

Hundreds of Alaskans rallied in Anchorage this week – but not, as you might think, to support their Governor in her Vice-Presidential bid.Instead, participants in what was reportedly the largest protest gathering in Alaskan history took aim at McCain/Palin, and made it clear their governor does NOT speak for them.

Notes on Losing My Travel Virginity
Notes on Losing My Travel Virginity

Jerusalem, The Western Wall. Photo: Minamie’s PhotoTravel long enough and you eventually find yourself seeing the world differently, something you might call losing your “travel virginity.” But can you pinpoint exactly when and how this happens? What implications does this have for how you saw things before travel?

How To Free Tibet?  Lhasang Tsering Has A Plan
How To Free Tibet? Lhasang Tsering Has A Plan

Has the Dalai Lama lost his clarity of purpose?Lhasang Tsering la is no Dalai Lama. Born in Tibet and brought into exile at a young age, he forfeited an opportunity to study medicine in the US, joining the armed Tibetan resistance force instead.For the past thirty years, he has been fighting for Tibetan freedom non-stop.

Musings On Mortality
Musings On Mortality

The following is from my previous personal blog, written just after the London tube bombings in summer 2005. I’m republishing it here because I felt it extended a previous post on irrational fears while traveling.I wonder about mortality.My friend confessed she has panic attacks while sitting on the tube in London.

Matador Reader Challenged to Use 20 Obsolete English Words in a Single Poem
Matador Reader Challenged to Use 20 Obsolete English Words in a Single Poem

One of things I love about Matador is how our readers really interact with the articles and use them as a springboard for further discussion of topics, blog posts or even creative pieces. Last week, after we published an article on 20 Obsolete English Words that Should Make a Comeback, a reader emailed me and told me that a friend offered the challenge to use all 20 of the words in a poem.

No Impact Week, Day 3: Taking on Transportation
No Impact Week, Day 3: Taking on Transportation

Photo: Rodrigo BasuareIn November of 2006, New York City resident Colin Beavan, along with his wife and daughter, set out to live with no net environmental impact.Fast forward three years later, add the Huffington Post, and you have No Impact Week. According to the website, the goal is to “demonstrate ways in which small actions in our daily lives can have a profound impact on our world.

Top 10 North American Resorts For Your 2008-2009 Ski Trip
Top 10 North American Resorts For Your 2008-2009 Ski Trip

Sunshine Village photo by Andy BellWhen it comes to choosing which mountains to ride and ski this year, remember that, “more famous” and “more popular” does not equate with “better skiing.”The following ten ski resorts have been selected based on two criteria more important than any other: consistency of good snow conditions, and quality of terrain.