The BBC recently published a curious review of Nick Middleton’s An Atlas of Countries that Don’t Exist (Macmillan, 2015). Nick Middleton is an academic geographer who has a sideline in popular travel writing. The imaginary countries covered in the book include a tiny island in the Shetlands (Forvik), a neighborhood in Copenhagen notable for legalizing weed (Christiania), and a small community of farmers in Australia hoping to escape agricultural regulations (Hutt River). Most of the piece has a kind of light-hearted, fun tone — look at these wacky people, starting their own countries! …


What does it mean if you’re labelled “gifted” in a public school? According to a recent NPR report, it means we spend a lot of time and money classifying you, but don’t pay that much attention to educating you:

There are cases where parents spend years advocating for students, kids get multiple rounds of testing, and at the end of the day they’re provided with a little bit of differentiation or an hour of resource-room time in the course of a week… That’s not sufficient for a fourth-grader, say, who needs to take geometry.

Not surprisingly, the parents who typically…


These fifteen “maxims” are a work in progress. I first started drafting them seven years ago. They were intended mainly for students who were at the early stages of a religion major, but we had so few students who fit that description at the time, I never really put them into classroom use in a regular way.

I’m happy to hear whatever feedback you might have.

  1. Start with what’s right in front of you.
  2. Never ignore the obvious.
  3. Keep track of your own reactions.
  4. Ask questions, but don’t expect to figure it all out.
  5. Get comfortable with discomfort.
  6. Listen to…

Nathan Rein

Theoretically, I study the theory of religion. In real life, I’m interested in pretty much everything.

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