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Things I Like About America by Poe Ballantine

An Anthology of Clouds

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There was a desperately unhappy and bored time in my life when I learned to draw the map of America freehand, all the states named, in the right places, mostly in the right shape; the line of the Mississippi helping to define the erratic edge of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana; the jigsaw of the northeast represented accurately; some rough attempt at 2-long, 1-tall scale done with the handspan between pinkie and thumb; all of it ballooning, squashed and demented, but maybe, I thought, just maybe, representing hope if I were abducted by aliens and forced to account for my country. Or really I was thinking about elsewhere, freedom, escape from myself and towards a place where no one would expect anything of me.

I never left Brooklyn, but that’s my road story. Something about the map of America seems to evoke them, to call forth the idea that there’s…

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Around the World in Nine Photos

The WordPress.com Blog

It’s in the grip of North American winter that I often dream of escape to warmer climates. Thanks to the WordPress.com Reader and the street photography tag, I can satisfy my travel yen whenever it strikes. Here are just some of the amazing photos and photographers I stumbled upon during a recent armchair trip.

My first stop was Alexis Pazoumian’s fantastic SERIES: India at The Sundial Review. I loved the bold colors in this portrait and the man’s thoughtful expression.

Photo by Alexis Pazoumian Photo by Alexis Pazoumian

Speaking of expressions, the lead dog in Holly’s photo from Maslin Nude Beach, in Adelaide, Australia, almost looks as though it’s smiling. See more of Holly’s work at REDTERRAIN.

Photo by Holly Photo by Holly

In a slightly different form of care-free, we have the muddy hands of Elina Eriksson‘s son in Zambia. I love how his small hands frame his face. The gentle…

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Five Themes for Writers and Readers

The WordPress.com Blog

In the past, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite themes for longform enthusiasts and bloggers who just want to write. Today, let’s take a look at five free themes, launched in the past several months, that offer a distraction-free writing and reading experience.

Radcliffe

radcliffe readabilityRadcliffe combines bold typography with a clutter-free post layout, as shown above. Ideal for longform writing, the theme works blissfully out of the box for those focused on lots of text. The default headline font Abril Fatface is strong but not overbearing, while the Crimson font for your body text completes this pleasurable reading experience.

Calling out text in various ways also looks fantastic — for example, the blockquote styling is simple but sophisticated:

Radcliffe blockquote

But don’t be fooled by Radcliffe‘s simple design. Your photography has a place here, too: full-width featured images give your posts visual flair, while galleries also look lovely, as seen on Sage and…

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ABOUT THE MAKER

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My name is Mark Anthony V. General. I am 17 years old. I am a first year student, studying at Notre Dame of Midsayap College and I am taking up Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in English. I love writing articles about love, experiences, life and many more. I love also giving advice to my friends. I am a journalist and a leader. I am also an experiment enthusiast. I love reading books, watching movies and listening  music. I am spending too much time on computer or talking to my friends in leisure times. The most boring part of my life is studying, but I never consider it as nothing less.

FAMILY MATTERS

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We tend to drift away from our parents as we grow up. Settle in a different place. We never realize how much that one phone call at night means to them. No matter how much busy you are do find some time for them. For most Filipino parents we are everything to them. The result of all their sacrifices, blood and tears. See the happiness in their voice when you announce about your high grades or successes in life. Soon they will be gone and you will miss them. And one day you will turn into them too. You will have your own kids. Treat your parents like you want your own kids to treat you one day.

MEETING SOMEONE

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When you first meet someone, always treat them as if they are smarter/more experienced/more accomplished/harder working, regardless of their age/demeanor/what they are wearing/etc.  It will often be true and you will be glad that you made a good first impression by taking them seriously.