Cuba , Travel

Havana, Cuba: Ten Things to Know Before You Go

Havana is the strangest, most fascinating city you can imagine. Raw, tropical, vibrant and energetic, Havana is alive with an energy and spirit that pervades its entire culture.  It’s a city of stark juxtaposition, where magnificent colonial squares sit alongside decayed and crumbling buildings, and classic American cars blast out the latest reggaeton music. Havana must be seen and experienced to be believed, but if you’re thinking of heading to this exotic island, here are ten things to know before you go…

Cuba , Food , Food Republic , Travel

A Vegetarian Travel Diary; In Search of Food in Cuba

Cuba is famous for many things. Rum. Cars. Cigars. Che. Food isn’t one of them. Aside from the staples (every Cuban citizen receives a regular supply of rice, sugar, coffee, meat, eggs and bread), food supplies are often limited and can run out without warning. Traveling the world as a vegetarian, Cuba was the country I thought would prove hardest to eat well in — or even moderately well. Its vegetarian food has a reputation for being either “completely uninspired” or “uniformly terrible” — but is the vegetarian food in Cuba really so bad? In a word, no. Definitely not. But I wouldn’t call it great, either. Let’s explore. HAVANA The first stop in Cuba is usually Habana Vieja, or Old Havana. As the…

Blog , Society , Women

My Mother, the Psychopath: One Woman’s Story of Abuse

Psychopathy is so hot right now—or so popular culture would have you believe. In the past 15 years, public awareness of psychopathy and other antisocial personality disorders has rocketed. From the lethal-yet-likeable serial killer we saw in Dexter to the now-iconic Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, it seems both the media and public are drawn to the image of the “elite psychopath.”

Crime , Justice

What It Takes To Kill: The Human Cost of the Death Penalty

They say you can’t put a price on life, but what about death? Earlier this year I spoke to Jerry Givens, a former state executioner turned death penalty abolitionist. He told me that for people who carry out the death penalty, the real, enduring cost is emotional. “If I had known what I’d have to go through as an executioner, I wouldn’t have done it. It took a lot out of me to do it. You can’t tell me I can take the life of people and go home and be normal.”

Crime , Justice , Women

Ched Evans, Rape & the Issue of Consent

In the past few weeks there have been many people expressing their views on convicted rapist and ex-footballer Ched Evans. Sadly (but unsurprisingly), many of those are ignorant of either the law, the case, or both. From the aggressive, uninformed die-hard supporters calling the rape victim “whore” to the legal uncertainties of more balanced posters, the same questions keep circulating on social media:  How can it be rape if the victim can’t remember if she consented or not? How can Ched Evans be guilty of rape if his co-accused Clayton McDonald was acquitted? If Evans is guilty of rape, then surely any drunk girl who has sex can say she’s been raped?