AN N UAL
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THOUGHTFUL MONK sits for an interview at New Melleray Abbey. COVER DESIGN by Anna Steenson COVER PHOTO Lucas Petrakis
Â© Copyright 2017. The Annual is Published with the support the Board of Student Communications. Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Drake University.
AN N UAL The Annual is a yearly publication for Drake University students dedicated to unleashing the creative arts behind relevant issues, while providing thought-provoking and significant content from a socially-conscious lens.
JENNY KRANE ANNA STEENSON EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
LUCAS PETRAKIS KATE KURKA PHOTOGRAPHER
BROOKE VASKE OLIVIA HOCKEY GRAPHIC DESIGNER
MOLLY ADAMSON, NORA BALBOA, HALLIE Oâ€™NEILL, KATRINA SLETTEN, MICHELLE STILES, LAUREN WITTMAN
FACULTY ADVISOR JEFF INMAN
Special thanks to The Board of Student Communications, Christian Printers, Catherine Staub, and Drake University.
UPFRONT 06 THE ANNU-MULE
Our newest concoction can be enjoyed all year long.
08 DOWNLOAD. DELETE DISTANCE.
Three apps that promised to make the miles disappear.
10 THE SCIENCE OF CILANTRO
Love it or hate it, genetics may be to blame.
12 KEYS, STRINGS, AND ELECTRONICA
How a band from Omaha is changing the electronic scene.
14 LEFTOVERS: NOT JUST FOR THE LANDFILL ANYMORE From the table, to the fridge, to the hands of the hungry.
16 WORKING WILD
A “typical” day at the zoo.
18 PANELS ON THE PRAIRIE
What it takes to write a comic.
FOOD + DRINK 20 FROM MATZAH TO MOMO
Three restaurants. Three cultures. One city.
26 DRINK BEER FOR GOOD
Still-expanding beer company Finnegans sells beer to combat food insecurity.
LOCAL 32 LIBRARY ON A STICK
Anyone with a yard can be a librarian.
38 WHO NEEDS CELL SERVICE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE PRAYER SERVICE Living a life without distraction.
SOCIAL 44 INTERRUPTING THE IVORY TRADE Can 3D printing save the rhinos?
50 FACE THE FACTS
Research on deception detection and microexpressions is still flourishing.
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The Annual started as a 32-pager with no consistent brand, voice or identity. In my time with the magazine, we have worked hard to establish and define ourselves, and then to maintain that identity from year to year, staff to staff. I am so proud of what we have accomplished as a staff this year, both for our brand and for our audience. We’ve honed in on what makes The Annual special and compressed it into a substantial, high-quality, beautiful magazine just for you. On page 32, you’ll find an in-depth look at those cute little libraries people have staked in their yard. Little did senior editor Sydney Schulte know when she first decided to pursue the story that the Little Free Libraries community was so vibrant.
Our photographers and senior editor Brandi Dye took a road trip in December to Peosta, Iowa, and met with Trappist monks to discuss the role technology has in monastic life. In a beautiful setting such as New Melleray Abbey, it was an experience our staff members won’t forget. The monks even tried to recruit photographer Lucas Petrakis to join their monastery. Read the article starting on page 38. On page 44, we get technical on the issue of rhino poaching. Can 3D-printed, synthetic rhino horns save the critically endangered species? Writer Lauren Wittman investigates in her first journalistic article.
We accomplished a lot this year. As we all know, a lot can happen in a year. We are proud of what we have accomplished with this issue and hope you enjoy the content we worked so hard on. Thank you for reading The Annual. I raise an Annu-mule (page 6) to future issues of this wonderful magazine.
Jenny Krane Editor-in-chief
REFRESHING cocktail garnished with hints of summer.
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THE ANNU-MULE This refreshing, minty-melon-y cocktail reminisces of last summer—and anticipates the one ahead. Words Annual Staff Design Brooke Vaske Photos Lucas Petrakis Recipe Brian Taylor Carlson, Editor 2015-2016
INGREDIENTS COCKTAIL 2 ounces Prairie cucumber vodka 1 tablespoon honeydew melon and mint purée (recipe below) ½ ounce Midori melon liqueur 1 12-ounce can good ginger beer—we used Cock’n Bull Ice GARNISH Fresh lime wedges, sliced cucumber, and one sprig of fresh mint
HONEYDEW MELON AND MINT PURÉE In a blender, add the skinned fruit of half a honeydew melon. Add six to eight fresh mint leaves and ¼ cup cold water. Purée at high speed, adding more water until the mixture is smooth, but still thick. Can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 24 hours. For extra tanginess, add the juice of half a lime or ½ teaspoon finely grated lime zest.
ASSEMBLY Fill a standard cocktail shaker about 2/3 full of ice cubes. Pour in vodka, honeydew melon and mint purée, and Midori, and shake until well mixed and frothy. Pour ice and cocktail mixture into copper Moscow Mule mug. Fill with more ice and top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime, cucumber and mint. Pop in a straw and enjoy!
BRIAN TAYLOR CARLSON adds the mint purée to the mix.
UPFRONT | 7
DELETE DISTANCE In anticipation of a potential long-distance relationship, I tried three apps that promised to make the miles disappear. Words Jenny Krane Design Anna Steenson
y relationship is not currently long distance. But it may be soon. My boyfriend and I tested out three apps (while I was in Minnesota and he was in Iowa for Spring Break) to see if they made the distance any easier.
Couple offered useful tools with a little extra fluff. And fluff wasn’t always bad. I personally liked the option of tapping a button in chat that sent “Thinking of you…” to my boyfriend, no response expected. Getting a “Thinking of you…” or two during the day was a great reassurance that he was thinking of me as much as I was thinking of him. Overall, useful features like a shared calendar and shared to-do lists make the app worth keeping. Tools the app could cut? The awful “thumb kiss” that isn’t even close to the real thing. Basically, if you are both in-app and on the thumb kiss screen, you tap each other’s fingerprints, it blinks red, which counts as a thumb kiss. Unless you thrive on physical affirmation from your partner, this feature seems sappy and unnecessary.
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Happy Couple was the only app of its kind on the app store, and it’s awesome for any couple at any stage in their relationship. It offers daily sets of five multiple choice questions you answer about yourself and your partner, and then lets you know which responses you matched on with your partner and which you didn’t—basically the newlywed game in an app. The types of questions it asks fall into six categories: sex, responsibilities, communication, recreation, emotional, and information. You can see which questions you often match on or mismatch on. There’s also a box to check in-app if you are long distance so you can have more questions catered to that situation. We both decided to keep the app despite not being long-distance—there’s always something new you can learn about each other. And it’s a fun competition. With 58 percent of correct answers, I’m winning.
Couplete had many features similar to Couple: a shared calendar, shared notes, inapp chatting, and stickers. While the thumb kiss was unique to Couple, Couplete had its own extra feature: love letters. After writing a digital letter, you can choose one of three wax seals that determine how or when your partner can open it. So what was the first thing my boyfriend and I did on the app? Send each other unsubstantial love letters with seals that required the other person to tap it 500 times to open. Five. Hundred. Times. But that’s just the kind of couple we are. Another unique feature of this app is the Wishbox, which allows you to share goals or ideas with your partner, then move them into a “completed” category when you’ve accomplished them together. Wishes can be as simple as “play video games together” or as serious as “grow old together”—it’s totally up to you.
UPFRONT | 9
THE SCIENCE OF Love it or hate it, genetics may be to blame. Words Katrina Sletten Design Brooke Vaske Photos Lucas Petrakis
t is one thing to dislike a food, it’s another thing to
passionately abhor it. Cilantro has inspired both love and loathing in people around the globe. Because of the deep divide caused by this seemingly harmless plant, cilantro has been the subject of multiple studies. One would be hard pressed to find another herb that inspires such strong opinions, but scientists think they have found the answer to the mystery—genetics. According to studies out of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, people may be predisposed to like or dislike cilantro based on their genetics. The complex world of plant compounds offers a look into this genetic predisposition. “Cilantro is in a plant family where there are a lot of edible things and a lot of really nasty poisonous things—the carrot family,” assistant professor of ethnobotany at Drake University Dr. Nanci Ross says. The carrot (Apiaceae) family has many members that have secondary chemicals in the leaves to ward off insects and animals for protection. While it is not proven that the chemicals within the coriander plant are designed specifically to ward off potential grazers, the chemicals in cilantro leaves do have interesting properties. “There is a compound in the leaves that is a type of aldehyde that is a volatile compound which is released when the leaf is broken,” Ross says. “This is the same compound that is found in a lot of soaps, hence the reason you get that soapy taste and smell.” For most people the biggest deterrent to enjoying the herb is its aroma. Approximately 4 to 14 percent of people hate cilantro. That hatred is usually based on a soapy smell and
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taste. While this soapy feature of the plant can cause people to cringe in disgust, there is hope for the cilantro haters out there. “Cultural and social influences are known to cause changes in preferences and our responses to chemosensory receptors,” Ross says. “We can learn to like something we didn’t before.”
“WE CAN LEARN TO LIKE SOMETHING WE DIDN’T BEFORE.” DR. NANCI ROSS
Assistant Professor of Ethnobotany, Drake University
For those interested in curbing their hatred, try spending time with cilantro-loving friends over a bowl of pho or pad Thai—products of a culture that loves its cilantro. But for those who are perfectly happy hating cilantro, they can join other dedicated cilantro haters in the comments section of the blog “I Hate Cilantro.” Lovers and loathers alike, let’s respect each other’s palate choices. With some things, it’s just in our genes.
CILANTRO can be found year-round.
UPFRONT | 11
KEYS, STRINGS, AND
How a band from Omaha is changing the electronic scene. Words Nora Balboa Design Olivia Hockey
Photos Brandi Dye
n Omaha, Nebraska, the electronica scene is strong. Linear Symmetry is breaking the mold with their mix of electronic beats, strong vocals, and, yes, an electric violin.
The genre of electronic dance music, or EDM, is evolving as artists like Diplo, Skrillex, and Robert DeLong find new ways to reach more traditional audiences with their electronic sound. EDM typically consists of DJs mixing tracks in front
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of a live audience. Musical instrumentsâ€”and even vocalistsâ€” are often replaced with existing tracks or layered sounds. Linear Symmetry takes hold of the scene by blending electronic and traditional sounds to create an entirely new experience. Keyboardist/producer Chris Story, drummer Andy Alback, and vocalist/violinist Huma Haq are changing the face of EDM in the Midwestern corner of the industry. LINEAR SYMMETRY (pictured) performing in Columbia, Missouri.
HOW DID LINEAR SYMMETRY COME TO BE?
Chris: We started about three and a half years ago. Andrew and I both played in a jam band for years. That was kind of coming to an end, and we decided to do some electronic stuff. And about a year and a half, two years later, we found Huma, and that was pretty much the missing piece.
WHAT’S THE MUSIC SCENE LIKE IN OMAHA?
Andy: There’s a lot of good music in Omaha. We’ve got a really good electronic scene, a really good jam band scene.
THERE’S A GOOD ELECTRONIC SCENE, BUT YOUR BAND IS DESCRIBED AS ORGANIC DANCE MUSIC. HOW IS THAT DIFFERENT THAN ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC?
Andy: I think we just put the organic on there because a lot of times when people see electronic dance music or EDM, they automatically assume a DJ— Huma: But we’ve got instruments and a lot of live aspects, so I think that’s what is more organic about it.
HOW DO YOU WANT THE AUDIENCE TO FEEL AT YOUR SHOWS?
Chris: I’m trying to pay attention to what people like, and I’m just trying to get as much of a connection as we can. Andy: And move! Let that frequency bounce off the crowd. Huma: To make them feel like for that hour and a half or two hours you play, even if it’s just for that time, that everything is okay and everything feels good.
COULD YOU JUST TALK A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THE ELECTRIC VIOLIN?
Huma: I originally just started in Linear Symmetry singing, and I mentioned in passing to Chris that I used to play violin, and they kind of made me do it. It’s an electric violin, so it doesn’t have the actual body of a violin, so that takes the risk of feedback out. Chris: I think it’s perfect in the music because that music can be kind of dirty and grimy at points and then you have a sweet violin and a sweet voice that kind of jumps in throughout and it’s a good contrast. Andy: Before it was very testosterone-driven, but now it’s a little more rounded with that feminine energy.
WHAT’S ONE LAST THING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LINEAR SYMMETRY?
Andy: We’re just trying to stay current and up-to-date with what’s going on in the music world, which is kind of the premise of starting Linear Symmetry to begin with. Huma: It’s fun once you catch what the audience wants. That’s what makes it all worth it for me—seeing people enjoy it. Chris: We’re always evolving. One thing people always tell us is that they don’t know what to expect when they come see us, because every time they’ve seen us it’s been completely different.
UPFRONT | 13
not just for the
LANDFILL ANYMORE From the table, to the fridge, to the hands of the hungry. Words Hallie Oâ€™Neill and Michelle Stiles Design Anna Steenson
ateries around the globe have started providing spaces for patrons to leave their leftovers to help those less fortunate. Instead of carting home take-out boxes that may only be thrown out days later, diners can leave them in donation fridges so the food insecure have access to high-quality meals. Though there are no donation fridges in the United States, organizations and restaurants worldwide are fighting food insecurity in their own ways.
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England FROME Frome Wholefoods set up a food fridge in front of their store after also being inspired by the city of Galdakao. A team of volunteers ensures safety and cleanliness of the fridge. The food fridge is open for donations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
SPAIN GALDAKAO A white fridge sits outside where residents can drop off their surplus food and leftovers to help feed the city’s population of 29,000 and reduce food waste. People from all over the country come to get and drop off food for others. MURCIA About 400 miles south, Murcia was inspired by Galdakao. They set up their own food fridge. Many other cities within Spain are taking note and following suit.
UNITED STATES SAN FRANCISCO Mary Risley is the founders of Food Runners, a grassroots organization that collects donations from local restaurants and catering centers. Instead of being thrown out, 15 tons of food are delivered to the hungry every week. DENVER Nonprofit We Don’t Waste does similar work. They collect unused food from venues, caterers, and restaurants to serve to local vulnerable populations. Since its conception in 2009, the company has provided over 19.3 million nutritious meals to underserved communities in the Denver metropolitan area.
INDIA KOCHI In 2016, restaurant owner Minu Pauline placed a refrigerator outside her eatery’s front doors. Pappadavada’s fridge remains unlocked 24/7. Pauline urges her patrons to write the date on their boxes to encourage food safety for people who pick it up. The fridge is usually restocked several times a day. Although more than 100 portions of food are placed into the fridge each day, the leftovers are quickly retrieved by the hungry.
UPFRONT | 15
Working Wild A “typical” day at the zoo. Words Nora Balboa Design Olivia Young Photos Lucas Petrakis
conservation is unquestionable,” Summers says. “We’re in a biodiversity crisis right now. We’re losing species faster in some cases than we are discovering them.” As a result, the goal of many zoos has shifted in recent years. “The goal of zoos now is recreation as well as conservation and education,” says VanEllen. It is the work of educators and keepers like Summers and VanEllen that helps make people aware of the problems faced by so many species on the planet and shows them what they can do to help. When it comes to entering the zoo industry, many believe that the work isn’t a job—it’s a calling. Summers decided when she was three years old that she would go into zoology, and in middle school, decided that zoos were the place for her.
“THERE IS NO TYPICAL DAY.” ASZYA SUMMERS
Conservation Education Manager of School Programs, Racine Zoo
hen Aszya Summers isn’t in her office writing grant proposals to fund new zoo programs, she’s out teaching about conservation, training screech owls, or introducing a new animal at a birthday party. Such is the life of the Conservation Education Manager of School Programs at the Racine Zoo in Racine, Wisconsin. “We have a saying in the industry,” Summers says. “There is no typical day.” There can’t be a typical day—not when you’re working closely with animals and children, which Summers believes are the two most unpredictable things on the planet. This sentiment is echoed by Bonnie VanEllen, a primate and big cat zookeeper at the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, Iowa. Whether it be with animals or visitors, zoo work can be unpredictable. “Every animal has their own personality,” VanEllen says, “And they can be sassy any day of the week.” But working around the sass is worth it. Summers’ and VanEllen’s work helps the animals and educates the public on issues such as conservation. “The intrinsic value of
ANIMALS photographed at the Blank Park Zoo.
Like others in the field, Summers went on to get degrees in zoology and environmental studies and began volunteering to get experience in the field. She volunteered for nearly 5,000 hours before getting her first paid job, which was a three-month internship. Like many in the field, Summers had to be open to moving around a lot. But she encourages those passionate about animals not to give up. The work might be hard sometimes, and poop is a daily reality, but she doesn’t mind. As VanEllen puts it, “It’s a physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging career. But I also get to see lions every day when I go to work. The payout is quick—and it’s big.” The downsides of the job? Losing an animal, for one. “I built a relationship with a lion named Cha-Cha, and throughout training we developed a pretty close relationship,” VanEllen says. “And when he passed, it was very difficult. The payoff is the relationships, but you pay for it, too.” The best part of the job? According to Summers, “When I open up the box and [the kids] see a snake come out, or they see the owl come out and their faces just light up. And you just see that excitement and it reminds me every single day of how special zoos are and how special my job is. Inspiring passion in them is really what drives you the most.”
UPFRONT | 17
PANELS ON THE PRAIRIE
Marshall Edwards unmasked: the 31-year-old writer of comic Prairie City Response. Words Sydney Schulte Design Olivia Young
WHAT’S YOUR JOB LIKE?
uperheroes and their stories have risen (up, up, and away) from an underground subculture into mainstream pop culture. When readers open the most recent issue of their favorite hero’s caped escapades, the art immediately catches their eyes. But the writing is its own art form.
A lot of waiting. A comic book depends on the script to exist, but the execution of the whole thing depends upon the artist. Having an artist work for you generally costs money, and always costs time. There are a lot of things you can do in the “slow season:” self-promote, network, and write new scripts.
The Annual sat down with Marshall Edwards, a Midwestern comic book writer, to learn more about the lesser known side of comic books.
When things aren’t slow, I work on my scenes. There are a lot of similarities between script writing for comics and script writing for movies. I’m always deciding which visuals and framing will treat a scene the best, and trying to give characters lines that are economic and illustrative of their character.
WHAT’S YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE? Creating strong characters and letting them surprise me is definitely my way. I’m not against planning—I’m just aware that I am going to change a lot of that plan in the process of writing. I’m setting out to create the best story possible, and in doing so, I’m going to leave a lot of old plans behind. It’s natural to write in a character-centered way.
YOU’VE WRITTEN AND CREATED A COMIC SERIES CALLED PRAIRIE CITY RESPONSE, WHICH IS ABOUT A MIDWESTERN SUPERHERO TEAM. WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND PCR? PCR is about a fledgling superhero team in a fictional Midwestern city. Prairie City is the sight of first contact with extraterrestrials some years ago, and Earth’s first spaceport was built on its outskirts. Now, there are a large number of alien refugees on earth pushed from their homes by an encroaching galactic empire.
SPACESHIP image courtesy of Marshall Edwards
HOW IS WRITING A COMIC SERIES DIFFERENT THAN WRITING A NOVEL? My first big fiction project was a big sweeping space opera novel. I wrote about 40,000 words on it during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) several years back. When the dust cleared, I looked back on what I’d done and hated it. That’s when I went on to create comics and short stories. There are two types of writers, I’ve learned: “plotters” and “pantsers.” “Plotters” plan every beat and plot-point and scene ahead of time, and “pantsers” write with a more improvisational style. I’m definitely a pantser. I love to create characters and situations and let them surprise me. If I can surprise myself and stay invested, it’s a good sign that it will hold a reader’s interest too.
WHAT IS THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS LIKE BETWEEN YOU AND THE ARTIST? My philosophy is that when you create, it’s in service of the work of art, not in service of yourself. When you write comics, your vision will be inevitably shaped by the artist and their choices. Some of those changes will be blatant - the artist will have a suggestion for how to frame a scene better, or an idea of something to add into the background. However, most of the decisions your artist makes will not be so blatant. The key is talking about the “soul” of your work with your artist—what the art and narrative influences are, what you want to get across to the reader, and so on. If the artist understands these, they can make novel changes that you didn’t know the comic needed.
I wanted to speculate on some of the things that might happen if superheroes were a part of our society, much like firemen, or celebrities. The heroes get pushback from the public and the mayor; they compete with private security forces funded by corporations; and they struggle
Three restaurants. Three cultures. One city. Words Molly Adamson and Brandi Dye Design Olivia Hockey Photos Kate Kurka
ood invites people to take part in different cultures. It is also a way for communities to bond. Des Moinesâ€™ diverse communities bring their personal spins to the local food scene.
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CULTURAL INFLUENCE at Kathmandu.
FOOD + DRINK | 21
Maccabee’s Kosher Deli Rabbi Yossi Jacobson owns and operates Maccabee’s Kosher Deli in Des Moines. As a man of faith, he is able to see the importance of kosher food, and food in Jewish culture, in general. “Without food there would be no Jewish culture,” Jacobson says. “Jewish people take food very seriously. It’s a blessing that gives blessing to every holiday.” On Fridays, Jewish families come together for Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner. Shabbat is a time to rest and to be free of distractions. All electronics get turned off around sunset, and families come together for the meal and a service at their synagogue. Once a year, Jews fast for Yom Kippur, meaning the Day of Atonement. It serves as a time for reconciliation.
“EVERYTHING IN JEWISH LIFE IS A CELEBRATION.” RABBI YOSSI JACOBSON
Owner and operator of Maccabee’s Kosher Deli
“Fasting is not common in Jewish culture, so when we do fast one time a year for Yom Kippur, everyone knows,” Jacobson says. “We eat ten meals before Yom Kippur and ten meals after Yom Kippur to make up for the day we don’t eat.” Other times of the year, holidays are celebrated with feasts. Passover celebrates the exodus of the Israelites from the enslavement they faced in Egypt. Matzah, an unleavened bread, is a staple on all Passover tables. It signifies the bread the Israelites fled with; they did not have time to let their bread rise during their escape from Egypt. “Everything in Jewish life is a celebration,” Jacobson says. “We celebrate with the best of food and wine. Every time we eat we make a blessing.”
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GUIDELINES Jews who keep kosher follow specific dietary guidelines: - can eat non-predatory birds - can eat land animals that are hooved and chew cud - can only eating fish that have fins and scales, so no shellfish - can only eating animals that are slaughtered in accordance with kosher guidelines - cannot eating meat and dairy together
LEBANESE & MEDITERRANEAN Gazali’s and Open Sesame
For MJ Gazali, owner of Gazali’s and Open Sesame in Des Moines, Iowa, food is a history lesson. “Lebanese is on the Mediterranean, influenced by the Greeks, by the Phoenicians, by the Turks, by the Romans,” he says. “There is a history.” Gazali’s has a small menu, but it is all about authenticity. “It’s served like at home,” Gazali says. “I always say: we serve it the way we eat it.” While the flavors have stayed the same upon import, Americans spend their time eating differently than in Gazali’s home of Beirut, Lebanon. “Back home, if you go to a restaurant there’s a hundred and five plates of appetizers; people sit and eat and enjoy,” Gazali says. “Nobody asks, ‘Where’s my food?’ because the longer you sit around the table, the more you socialize.
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People like to sit and talk about things and drink and share stories or jokes and smoke the hookah with it.”
Until then, Gazali’s customers will rely on the current menu to transport them.
But Gazali’s has been dealing with culture clash since the ‘80s. “You can imagine in the ‘80s how tough it was to bring hummus here and falafel, which people hated—the texture wasn’t good, they didn’t know what it was,” Gazali says. “And now we have hummus at HyVee.”
“YOU TRAVEL WITH THE TASTE. IT’S WHY WE HAVE THE SENSES, TO TAKE YOU PLACES”
As Des Moines communities have expanded their palates, Gazali has expanded business. Open Sesame, a Lebanese restaurant, opened in the East Village in 2010. And the Gazali’s space on 25th Street is getting a new addition. “We’re going to do a beer and wine bar,” Gazali says. “The beer and wine is going to be mostly authentic, like Lebanese and Greek. I am not going to compete with anybody, I’m just going to keep it authentic as much as I can.”
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Owner of Gazalis and Open Sesame
“You travel with the taste. It’s why we have the senses, to take you places,” Gazali says. “This is what I want people to feel when they come here. From the first bite, they stepped to Lebanon or Greece.”
There are a lot of great burger joints in Des Moines, but Kathmandu is not one of them. “We can only have south Asian food,” says owner Thakur Neupane. “You cannot find hamburgers here.” Neupane came to the United States in 2010 as a refugee and knew he wanted to open a restaurant, even though he had no experience. None. “I never went to a restaurant in Nepal,” he says. “I went to some restaurants before I opened, to try them out. But I never went to a restaurant. In our home, we cook ourselves.” For Neupane, home is where the food is. And his staff. When Kathmandu gets busy, the extra hands pitching belong to his family. “If we are busy somebody comes from my home,” Neupane says. That could mean his sister, girlfriend, or brother-in-law. But that’s what it means to be an up-andcoming family business. Kathmandu is one of Des Moines’ newest hidden gems, opening up at the end of 2016. “You can’t find any [other] Nepalese restaurant in Iowa,” Neupane says. Kathmandu is bringing dishes like Neupane’s favorite, chicken momo, to Des Moines.
“YOU CAN’T FIND ANY [OTHER] NEPALESE RESTAURANT IN IOWA.” THAKUR NEUPANE Owner of Kathmandu
Despite not spending a dime on advertising, Kathmandu is bringing authentic Nepalese food to more and more Iowans. “We always try our best to give our best food, good quality service, and take care of our customer,” Neupane says. “It’s just word of mouth.” And that positive word of mouth is coming from the Des Moines community including Nepalese immigrants and local media, for whom Neupane is truly grateful: “I have to thank them because without their support and help we aren’t going to be famous, right?” KATHMANDU
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DRINK BEER FOR GOOD Still-expanding beer company Finnegans sells beer to combat food insecurity. Words Jenny Krane Design Brooke Vaske Photos Lucas Petrakis
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FINNEGANS BEERS a charitable reason to drink.
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lime green food truck can be seen around the Twin Cities at various events and gatherings. People line up with cash in hand. But this food truck is different— instead of selling food, it collects donations and food to feed the hungry. So rather than leave the truck with a basket of fries or some delicacy on a stick, people leave knowing their money went toward meals for those in need. This reverse food truck is one of many ways Finnegans, a Minneapolis-based beer brand, is working to fight food insecurity. Seventeen years ago, Finnegans CEO Jacquie Berglund worked as a marketing director for a Twin Cities Irish pub company. Everyday she saw pints and pints of beer being sold, with no purpose but to sell. But she had an idea: what if that company sold one brew where all the profits would go back to the community? She brought the idea along with her when she started Finnegans. First and foremost, Finnegans is a beer brand, developed through local Summit Brewing Company. The brews are sold by the bottle in stores throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Their most popular brew is their flagship beer, Finnegans Irish Amber, followed by their seasonal stout with a cult following, Dead Irish Poet. The development of Dead Irish Poet was entirely funded by a $30,000 Kickstarter in 2014. Finnegans is a for-profit company that funds its 501(c)(3) non-profit, the Finnegans Community Fund. All of the profits
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from in-store beer sales, the reverse food truck, and the donations collected at events go to the Fund. Although their philanthropy didn’t start with a focus on hunger, it’s grown into a multifaceted effort to feed the people in their backyard. “When we first started, we used the tagline ‘100 percent of profits go to local charity,’ so we used to give to a lot of things all in cycle of ending poverty,” Finnegans marketing, events, and volunteers coordinator Angie Lee says, “In 2010, we decided to focus on one thing and did some research.”
“WE USED THE TAGLINE ‘100 PERCENT OF PROFITS GO TO LOCAL CHARITY.’” ANGIE LEE
Finnegans marketing, events, and volunteers coordinator
FRECKLED ROOSTER Alcohol By Volume: 5.8% Calories: 160/12oz.
Bitterness: 18 Ingredients:
Pairs Well With:
Pairs Well With:
Salmon, charchuterie, summer salads, topless beaches and frecles.
Curries, fish tacos, vintage cheddar and neatly sheared sheep.
Enjoy in moderation and wear plenty of sunscreen.
Please don't drink and herd.
Alcohol By Volume: 4.6% Calories: 145/12oz.
Bitterness: 50 Ingredients: MALT: US pale, US wheat and English crystal. HOPS: Admiral, Centennial, Citra and Jester. WATER. YEAST.
BEER MATH STATS
PHOTOS (FOOD TRUCK AND LOGO) and Beer Math stats courtesy of Finnegans
MALT: Pilsner, Carapils, malted wheat and flaked rye. HOPS: French Strisselspalt and German Hallertau Blanc. WATER. YEAST.
Alcohol By Volume: 4.75%
Bitterness: 20 While most beers provied a temporary Ingredients: bliss, FINNEGANS Irish Amber fills your Hops, Yeast, Water and south with eep-rooted Malted Barley goodness that can't be filtered out by your Freshness: 120 Days liver.
FINNEGANS IRISH AMBER
Ingredients: MALT: Brown, Black and Chocolate. HOPS: Fuggle and East Kent Golding Old UK ale strain. WATER. YEAST.
Alcohol By Volume: 7%
Pairs Well With: Irish blue cheese, Beef Wellington, chocolate cake and gallows humour. We highly recommend using the buddy system.
DEAD IRISH POET FOOD + DRINK | 29
The statistics they found about local hunger were stunning.
MINNESOTA HUNGER BY THE NUM3ERS
166% Increase of food pantry visits in Minnesota between 2000 and 2012, totaling over 3 million visits annually. Children’s HealthWatch Brief
Households in Minnesota affected by hunger is 1 in 10. Hunger Facts
$1.6 billion/year The amount of money that the effect of hunger costs the state of Minnesota every year in health care, hospitalization, medication, education and other costs, including lost productivity at work and in school. Hunger Facts
In the state of Minnesota, it is reported that 228,324 families (10.6 percent) are food insecure, according to a 2014 Children’s HealthWatch brief. In Hennepin County, which includes the city of Minneapolis, 14.4 percent of families with children in the household, are food insecure. Hunger is a national problem. According to a 2015 USDA report on U.S. food security, 15.8 million U.S. households are food insecure. Five percent of that population falls into the category of “very low food security.” Finnegans is working to improve these statistics, one beer or food truck run at a time. And while they could solely focus on the Minneapolis community around them, their reach has expanded to many Midwestern states—and all of the donations collected in those states go back to food shelves local to the area. “In each state we are in, we have a food bank partner that has a statewide reach,” Lee says. “They have a network of food shelves. In partnering with them and our beer
“FRESH PRODUCE IS OUR FOCUS BECAUSE IT’S WHAT PEOPLE NEED; IT’S HEALTHY, NUTRITIOUS AND IT’S HARD TO GET.” ANGIE LEE
Finnegans marketing, events, and volunteers coordinator distributors, we are able to keep our donations very local. So when you are drinking Finnegans in the Des Moines area, you are supporting the Des Moines network of farmers and the produce will go back to [a Des Moines] food shelf.” Fresh produce is the endgame of many monetary donations to Finnegans. According to Lee, “fresh produce is one of the hardest things for food shelves to get and store, too.” Funds from Finnegans are allocated to local farmers and
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ARTIST RENDERING of Finnegans complex, courtesy of Finnegans.
pay for fresh produce to stock food shelves. Those funds also go toward storage solutions during the winter months so people who rely on food shelves have access to healthy produce year-round.
“We’re really proud of the sustainable model of having our for-profit company fund our non-profit company, so we want people to know that we are raising awareness of hunger insecurity in our own backyard,” Lee says.
“It’s cool to support farmers and work with them to find new ways of canning and storing,” Lee says. “Fresh produce is our focus because it’s what people need; it’s healthy, nutritious, and it’s hard to get.”
After many phases of developing and expanding, 2017 will be a monumental year for Finnegans, with something new they can be even more proud of: their own storefront.
While the focus of monetary donations is produce, the reverse food truck collects non-perishables. One of the first of its kind, the idea for the reverse food truck came from Finnegans advertising partner, Martin Williams Advertising. When pitching ideas in 2014 for St. Patrick’s Day, a big event for beer companies, they threw out a crazy idea: a food truck that takes in food instead of selling it. “And the rest is history,” Lee says. Within the three seasons the truck has driven, it has collected over $84,000 pounds, an impressive total that takes into account both the monetary donations and food donations. The awareness it has spread about hunger in Minnesota—and the Midwest overall, is priceless.
“Off of 5th and 9th [in downtown Minneapolis], we will have a brewery complex, a hotel, an event center, and an innovation lab, which will be a space for social entrepreneurs,” Lee says. “That’s set to be done by December 2017.” The concrete for the brewery floor has already been poured. The new Finnegans complex will be about six blocks from the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, so, as Lee says, “it’s the perfect place to come get a pint, do some good, and go watch the game.” FINNEGANS finnegans.org 609 S 10th St #102, Minneapolis, MN 55404 612/454.0615
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LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES take a look around your neighborhood for a pop-up library.
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LIBRARY ON A STICK
Anyone with a yard can be a librarian. Words Sydney Schulte Design Anna Steenson Photos Lucas Petrakis
athleen Till Stange’s car has a trunk filled with books. Enough books for her friends to ask questions.
“Because I have a library,” she tells them. Stange is not a librarian. Like many others around the globe, Stange is the proud owner of a Little Free Library, a registered decorative box staked into private and public properties. She’s a steward, as the Little Free Library movement calls them. According to littlefreelibrary.org, the movement began in 2009 with a one-room schoolhouse model filled with books posted in Todd Boi’s front yard. Boi included a sign: FREE BOOKS. Word quickly spread from Boi’s Hudson, Wisconsin home and eventually, across the globe. While the local public library is a free service, not all Little Free Libraries are free. Many locations encourage its patrons to leave a book to replace the one they took. But who says libraries are only for books? “I’m really intrigued with people who put things other than books in there,” Little Free Library steward Martha Payseur said. “I mean, occasionally I do a Free Art Friday [an event in which people leave their art in places for others to take
home] and put some bookmarks, stickers, and pencils, but some people have the real estate, bigger boxes to do some cool things like food drives or mittens.”
MATCHING EXTERIOR TO COMMUNITY
Another Little Free Library steward, Amanda Arthur-Struss, has a bigger box. Her Little Free Library has a book for a roof. Inside, there’s a shelf, which divides the library into two layers: one for older (or taller) audiences and a second, lower one for children. While her father built it from scratch, Arthur-Struss did paint it using acrylics and a clear varnish, which she reapplies annually. Her box features a hand-painted dragon jealously hoarding books. Luckily, the dragon is not the steward of the Little Free Library. “Some of these are works of art,” Arthur-Struss said. Many Little Free Libraries have themed designs. The fifth-grade students from Perkins Elementary School, donated one of their Little Free Libraries to Snookies Malt Shop.
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Snookies’ owner, Brandi Proulx, said a student called and asked how she wanted them to paint it. Her response? “You know Snookies. You design it.’ They put ice cream cones and sundaes, and painted it Snookies-style.”
The adventurous reader will not find Stange’s library on her property. She lives out on an acreage west of Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines, Iowa. “We wouldn’t get very much traffic,” she said.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE Registration through the Little Free Library website isn’t mandatory, but recommended. Free Little Libraries purchased through the website include registration. For those who made their own Library, registration costs between $42.45 to $89. Prices are based on the steward’s charter signs, which cost more based on material and customization options. But there are more benefits to registration than a shiny plaque, such as:
But her church on Ashworth Road does get quite a bit more traffic, thanks to its after-school program and playground. “I thought that would be a location that would be definitely more accessible to the population of people that might not have access to books in the home,” she said. With the church’s permission, she and her husband put up the box and registered it through the official Little Free Library website. But for Stange, it’s about another kind of accessibility. She has a learning disability that made it difficult for her to read as a child. But she was lucky for friends and family who put in the extra time and effort to help her learn to read. “I think that’s the main thing you can do for kids is get books in their hands, and then read to them.”
· A unique charter number engraved into a plaque · An option to pinpoint the Library on the website’s map
· An invitation to a private Facebook group of other stewards
· An e-newsletter subscription · An explanatory flier about Little Free Libraries · Heavily discounted new books for stewards in low-income areas
“I THINK THAT’S THE MAIN THING YOU CAN DO FOR KIDS IS GET BOOKS IN THEIR HANDS, AND THEN READ TO THEM.” KATHLEEN TILL STANGE Little Free Library steward
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SNOOKIES MALT SHOP has a Little Free Library for the community.
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That’s why people mostly find children’s books in her Little Free Library—and in the trunk of her car. She tries to keep her target readers in mind. Lisa Albers, a Little Free Library steward, keeps a variety of books stocked in hers. “At first I tended to have more that would be for adults: thrillers, murder mysteries, memoirs, those types of things,” Albers said. “But the kids in the neighborhood have really liked it and used it more than I thought, so I’ve added more kids’ books over time because that’s where the biggest demand is.” And the neighborhood kids are very receptive—and talkative. Buried beneath Albers’ books lies a notebook for readers to leave behind messages. “I think people have come and said, ‘Oh, I took this book, and I’m really excited to read this,’” she said. “And I might write a message back if I’d read it.” While Albers’ neighborhood is already pretty friendly with one another, Payseur’s noticed a change in hers. “I think the little library forces community, which is cool,” she said. Payseur compared it to dog walking. “I like seeing people when I walk my dog every night, and I don’t know them. But I know enough that they’re my neighbors. I think it’s that sort of community, in addition to the feel-good stuff. Like getting notes. But it’s nice to know that you’re providing a little bit of a service to the community, and that the community embraces it.”
“BUT IT’S NICE TO KNOW THAT YOU’RE PROVIDING A LITTLE BIT OF A SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY, AND THAT THE COMMUNITY EMBRACES IT.” MARTHA PAYSEUR
Little Free Library steward
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TAKE A BOOK, LEAVE A BOOK when you visit a Little Free Library.
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MONK at New Melleray Abbey.
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CELL SERVICE when you can have
Sext is part of the daily services at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa, but monks arenâ€™t even allowed to own their own cell phones. Words Brandi Dye
Design Anna Steenson
Photos Lucas Petrakis and Kate Kurka
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he church at New Melleray Abbey, where prayer services are held, is no Notre Dame. There are no crucifixes, no stained glass, and just one portrait of Mary. The church is made of limestone quarried by the founding New Melleray monks. It is furnished with pews and choir seats made of red oak and stained with Danish oil. The biggest aspect of adornment is sunlight. This church is a place for contemplation. Monks are known for taking vows of silence, being cloistered away from society; and in some areas, making worldclass beer. But how does that life exist in the era of Wi-Fi and iPhones? Simply put, it exists quietly. The New Melleray monks observe silence from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. Every. Single. Day. But that’s kind of the point. “I like to read. I like silence. I like solitude,” Brother Charles says, who has the distinction of being New Melleray’s newest monk. Since joining the monastery in 2015, Br. Charles has become one of the 26 monks who follow a strict daily routine that includes a 3:30 a.m. prayer service, manual labor, and an 8 p.m. bedtime.
“YOU’RE LEAVING THE MONASTERY WHEN YOU GO ON THE INTERNET.” BROTHER JOSEPH
monk at New Melleray
This schedule is very similar to the ones practiced at other trappist monasteries worldwide, and to the ones from centuries ago. Monks like their routine. But as with any old practice, there have been changes. New Melleray Abbey is built from the limestone quarried by the first monks who founded the monastery in the 1840s. And now that building has internet access. It’s 2017; even monasteries have websites. “I had no idea New Melleray existed until the website,” Br. Charles says, who worked in information systems and computer coding before his monastic life. Monasticism is almost as old as Catholicism itself. Back in the olden days of monasteries, monks were only allowed to write letters to their families once every three months. These days, contacting loved ones outside of the monastery is as
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PICTURED a walk through the Abbey.
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simple as shooting an email. “That’s how I communicate with my family, email,” Br. Charles says. “If it was just writing letters, it would have been a lot of harder. For them.” New Melleray monks are able to reach out to their families, but Father Alberic describes the process of transitioning from lay life as a “death.” “Jesus called to leave everything and follow him,” Fr. Alberic says. That includes leaving families and loved ones. Monks take solemn vows of perpetual commitment. The brothers who voted them into the monastery become their family. Just like lay people, the monks at New Melleray use the internet for both social needs and for business. Each trappist monastery has to financially sustain itself. A Belgium trappist monastery is known for the beer they make. New Melleray is known for making caskets. Casket inquiries happen via newmelleray.org. Each casket is made at the abbey’s workshop by hand, and is prayed over by a priest. Grieving families—or macabre planners—can visit the website and choose a casket from two different shapes, two different finishes, and four different woods. Fr. Alberic keeps a record of every person buried in a New Melleray trappist casket. “We’re meeting people at a very vulnerable moment, when their hearts are shattered,” Fr. Alberic says. The abbey’s website also provides a place for those with shattered hearts to put in prayer requests. The website is a place to submit prayer requests, ask questions about Catholicism, buy caskets, and meet some of the New Melleray monks. The site is modern and user-friendly, which is not what one expects from a group of people who wear habits and do not own cell phones. The monastery outsourced. A Chicago-based company revamped the site, which New Melleray has had since the early 1990s. New Melleray, as an institution, understands that computers and the internet are useful tools. But, as any college student can tell you, these technologies can also be a distraction— especially social media. New Melleray Abbey can be found on Facebook, although it is not an official page; and there is a page for the trappist caskets. Br. Charles has a Facebook page, although he only uses it to do vocational work for the abbey. But how easy is it to get distracted once that news feed is up? “That’s a big question mark for the [Cistercian] order,” Br. Charles says. “Social media of all kinds.” “You’re leaving the monastery when you go on the internet,” Brother Joseph says, who has been at New Melleray since
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2005. And leaving the monastery kind of defeats the purpose of being a monk. For most lay people, a sext is a suggestive message (or photo) sent to a potential bed buddy. But sext has its own meaning for the monks at New Melleray, even though their voluntary poverty means they are not allowed to own personal devices like cell phones. In fact, Br. Joseph has never personally owned a cell phone or sent a text (much less a sext). For him, sext is the church service that happens daily at 11:45 a.m.
MONK LIFE: DAILY SCHEDULE 3:30am: Vigils (prayer service), “We’re looking toward Jesus coming again.”
There is undoubtedly a place for technology in monastic life. New Melleray uses their website to invite guests to spend time at the monastery through the guest house, which allows guests to experience aspects of quiet monastic life for a few days at a time. “Hospitality is absolutely integral to who we are,” Fr. Alberic says. “If we had a piece of bread and six peas, we would give half the bread and three of the peas to our guest.”
4:15am: Interval— no work, time to read prayers
Part of the process of becoming a monk involves taking classes and doing research. Internet access makes it easier to find information and have access to ancient texts. But where does the internet stop being a tool and start being a distraction?
8:10am: Interval—no work, a time for speakers, meetings, classes
“HOSPITALITY IS ABSOLUTELY INTEGRAL TO WHO WE ARE.” FATHER ALBERIC
monk at New Melleray
Being online is all about being connected to the world. That clashes with the purposes of monkhood. But it is critical for New Melleray Abbey to be online. The abbey needs to be able to reach people outside of the monastery, but monks are supposed to keep to the monastery. “Every aspect of our life should be based in moderation,” Br. Charles says. Moderation and technology struggle to coexist. It is way too easy to get seven hours deep into a Netflix binge session, or stay up until 2:00 a.m. watching YouTube videos. But monks tend to have extreme levels of discipline. Monks at New Melleray have to maintain a balance between connecting with the outside world and being cloistered from it. Br. Charles asks, “Is technology enabling that balance, or is it throwing it out of balance?”
6:30am: Morning prayer 7:00am: Mass, “summit of prayer life,” Observe silence until after Mass
9:15am: Terse (prayer service) 9:30am: Work—doing manual labor and making caskets 11:45am: Sext (prayer service) 12:00pm: lunch—a book is read as monks eat 12:45pm: Interval— might take a siesta 1:40pm: None (prayer service) 2:00pm: Work, manual labor 4:30pm: Interval, “ I take what I call a prayer walk.” 5:30pm: Vespers, evening prayer service 6:00pm: Interval, reading, speaker, meetings 7:30pm: Compline (prayer service), “Thanking God for the day.”
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IVORY TRADE Can 3D printing save the rhinos? Words Lauren Wittman
Design Olivia Young
he’s so cute!” Everyone is smiling as they watch Tumani, the 6-month-old baby black rhino, hide behind her mom, Ayana. It’s not going well. After Ayana turns and walks to the water trough, little Tumani realizes she’s alone and runs back to mom’s side. Out of 11 species of rhinoceros, there are only five species of rhinos left today—white (population 20,000), black (5,000), Indian (upwards of 3,500), Javan (60), and Sumatran (100). According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, the Javan, black, and Sumatran rhinos are all considered critically endangered. As of 2015, there were roughly 30,000 rhinos left in the world. Rhinos are the victim of the two greatest threats to many of the world’s large mammals: habitat loss and poaching. Rhinos are hunted specifically for their ivory horns. Luckily, these are things Tumani, who was born at Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo in 2016, will never have to know. But there might be an answer for the rest of the rhinos of the world—one that doesn’t involve zoos or captivity: 3D printing.
Photos Lucas Petrakis
Current Rhinoceros World Population White Black 20,000
Javan 60 SOCIAL | 45
In 2015, Pembient, a biotech company, was founded. Its goal is to create 3D-printed rhino horns and flood the market with them. It’s simple supply and demand: printing enough fake horns would eventually saturate markets. Prices would drop for all horns—real or otherwise. Then, poachers would be driven out of business. Great in theory, but not so great in practice. “There is no good evidence that would suggest [that] the market will decrease. If there is a legal market it is so much easier for the poachers to find avenues to get the illegal product in and sold,” says Terri Roth, the director of the Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical
Gardens. Roth is known for discovering methods to breed rhinos in captivity, and is responsible for many rhino births. The International Rhino Foundation and Save the Rhino International oppose the synthetic development of rhino horns. The two organizations released a joint statement explaining their extreme frustration with the idea of attempting to flood the market with synthetic horns. Their statement urged the public to understand that “the availability of legal synthetic horn could normalize or remove the stigma from buying illegal real horn.” With access to cheaper ivory products, like jewelry and home decor, using rhino horns could become normalized. Poachers may become more confident, and poach more knowing that buyers and authorities won’t be able to distinguish between the illegal real and legal fake horns. According to Dr. Laurel Neme, a fellow at the University of Vermont’s Institute for Environmental Diplomacy and Security, “Experience has shown that when you have legal trade of an otherwise illegal product, the legal trade
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Rhinos Poached in South Africa from 2007-2015
“THE AVAILABILITY OF LEGAL SYNTHETIC HORN COULD NORMALIZE OR REMOVE THE STIGMA FROM BUYING ILLEGAL REAL HORN.” THE INTERNATIONAL RHINO FOUNDATION & SAVE THE RHINO INTERNATIONAL Printed in a joint statment.
intensifies pressure on wild populations and facilitates and provides cover for illegal trade. Smugglers mix illegal items in with legal ones, and then it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.” Of course, there have been various attempts to decrease poaching. Authorities have implemented harsher penalties for people caught with real horns, providing jobs to native
RHINO at the Blank Park Zoo.
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people living near reserves, and educating people about rhino horns’ falsely advertised medicinal benefits. Yet, rhinos are still dying.
Maybe a good alternative method already exists in zoos. Tumani, born and bred in captivity, serves as a beacon of hope for her relatives in the wild.
“A legal trade expands the market by providing a ‘stamp of approval,’” Neme says. “And perpetuating the myth that rhino horn has medicinal properties—which it doesn’t. As we saw with elephant ivory, legal trade provides cover for illegal trade. The same experience would likely be true for rhino horn.”
After all, Tumani means “hopeful” in Swahili.
Because there’s no way to predict the effects of flooding the ivory market with synthetic horns, it could potentially be detrimental to the rhino population. “As long as there is a market, then there will be a motive to poach,” says Michael Renner, a professor of environmental science at Drake University. “We don’t know what the effect of [3D printing horns] would be, but the problem is we don’t have the luxury of making a mistake because the species are so endangered.”
“WE DON’T HAVE THE LUXURY FOR TRYING SOMETHING THAT WE DON’T KNOW WILL WORK.” MICHAEL RENNER Professor of Environmental Science, Drake University
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Five years after Lie To Me went off the air, research on deception detection and microexpressions is still flourishing. Words Jenny Krane Design Anna Steenson Photos Lucas Petrakis
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split second; forty-three muscles; an uncontrollable signal of internal emotion. And that’s only in the face.
Microexpressions, by definition, are brief facial expressions lasting only a fraction of a second—1/15 to 1/25 of a second to be exact. According to the research organization Paul Ekman Group (PEG), microexpressions only occur when people either deliberately or unconsciously conceal an emotion. At these quick speeds, microexpressions are nearly impossible to control. Television crime drama Lie To Me was based on real, hard science and helped start a more widespread conversation about microexpressions and their potential uses in society. Since its pilot in 2009, public interest in microexpressions has boomed. Lie To Me isn’t the only show out there to use microexpressions as a puzzle-solving plot point. CSI: Cyber’s protagonist uses microexpressions to detect deception; Sherlock and Elementary use them as advanced observation techniques that Sherlock Holmes uses to solve cases. But, that’s TV.
REALITY IN FICTION
Samuel Baum’s crime drama Lie To Me was picked up by Fox and ran from 2009 until 2011. The pilot episode introduced millions to the fascinating science of microexpressions. Many viewers had no idea that the show was based on American psychologist Paul Ekman’s life and nearly 60 years of microexpressions research. Ekman started to study perception in 1967. His research and microexpression identification was used in an attempt to prevent suicides. He worked on clinical cases in which patients claimed not to be depressed in order to go unsupervised and commit suicide. Ekman helped develop the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) in 1978. It is the first and only comprehensive tool for measuring facial movement. FACS continues to be the standard objective identification tool for facial expressions. Ekman retired in 2004 and made his research available to the public through the Paul Ekman Group, which continues to further research and development into microexpression technology.
CONTEMPT Lip corner tightened on one side of the mouth.
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SLOW IT DOWN
By recognizing facial indicators of specific emotions, people can detect microexpressions and uncover hidden emotional responses. Facial indicators can include lip-pursing (anger), nose wrinkling (disgust), and drooping upper eyelids (sadness). So how does one read microexpressions? At such high speeds, they are nearly impossible to discern. Digital training programs are available through the Paul Ekman Group. These programs can be purchased by anyone. “The Face Suite” is a program that gives users the basic tools to understand how to read microexpressions. “PEG Interactive” gets into the specifics of how to utilize microexpressions in three settings: home, work, and law enforcement. Consumers can purchase both programs together as the “Ekman Library.” Understanding microexpressions can help the average person understand and communicate with others, picking up on honest emotional responses they may not have noticed before. Programs like those from PEG train users on what to look for to distinguish microexpressions from each other. Each part of the face plays a role.
THE SCOOP ON THE SCIENCE INTENTIONAL DENTAL CONSULTING East Lansing, Michigan
Lisa Knowles, D.D.S., takes microcommunication from theory to practice—her dental practice. Knowles is a public speaker, writer, and dental consultant. She believes that once health care professionals embrace microcommunication, they can better help patients understand their health issues and concerns. With the use of microexpressions in the dental office, she believes “Patients become more informed and also ready to follow through with suggested treatment plans.” Her 2016 article, “Microcommunication: Sweating the Small Stuff,” published in the professional journal Dental Economics, discussed how dentists can utilize microexpressions with patients. “Identifying someone’s microcommunication cues takes practice,” Knowles states in her article. “Each person presents with slightly different microexpressions indicating feelings or thoughts. The more we become aware of these hidden communication gestures, the better we can serve our patients and coworkers.”
FACIAL ACTION THERAPEUTIC ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES (FATES) Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom Meet Oli Delgaram-Nejad, an inpatient nursing auxiliary working in Exeter, Devon, who is also the project designer of Facial Action Therapeutic Engagement Strategies (FATES), a large-scale clinical communications and clinical risk prediction research and development effort. His inspiration?
SURPRISE Eyes widened and eyebrows raised.
DISGUST Nose wrinkling.
MULTIPLE EXPRESSIONS define emotions.
“It all began with Netflix,” Delgaram-Nejad says. “Watching Lie To Me, observations stemmed from a reflection on my own psychotic experience. I saw a potential connection that I felt we should be looking into.”
Shortly after Delgaram-Nejad began to watch the show, he sent an email to the Ekman Group to ask for resources. Much to his surprise, they supplied materials and advice, and continued to enable the efforts FATES. According to Delgaram-Nejad, the end goal of FATES is “to refine clinical communications approaches [with psychiatric inpatients] to the point where physical restraint is rendered obsolete.” By equipping staff with the emotional skills to identify the signs of aggression, distress, and disorientation SOCIAL | 53
ahead of time, intervention with these patients may be more successful. FATES developed a study that uses blended universal emotional facial expressions in various combinations. If they can determine whether specific facial regions are more responsible for microexpression decoding errors, inpatient staff can be taught how to redirect their attention on more telling parts of the face. In doing this, inpatient staff can read and understand patients better and hopefully improve their care. Shortly after Delgaram-Nejad began to watch the show, he sent an email to the Ekman Group to ask for resources. Much to his surprise, they supplied materials and advice, and continued to enable the efforts FATES. According to Delgaram-Nejad, the end goal of FATES is “to refine clinical communications approaches [with psychiatric inpatients] to the point where physical restraint is rendered obsolete.” By equipping staff with the emotional skills to identify the signs of aggression, distress, and disorientation ahead of time, intervention with these patients may be more successful. FATES developed a study that uses blended universal emotional facial expressions in various combinations. If they can determine whether specific facial regions are more responsible for microexpression decoding errors, inpatient staff can be taught how to redirect their attention on more telling parts of the face. In doing this, inpatient staff can read and understand patients better and hopefully improve their care.
“IT ALL BEGAN WITH NETFLIX.” OLI DELGARAM-NEJAD
“I wasn’t looking at microexpressions as they relate to deception, but more about how they function in everyday communication,” Svetieva says. “Researchers previously made the connection between being good at recognizing microexpressions and being good at detecting deception, so I was trying to answer the question: who is good at detecting microexpressions?” This study indicates that emotional dysregulation is often associated with enhanced recognition of standard microexpressions, particularly those that show anger. While this research doesn’t offer any future applications for these results, but it does offer insight into how these disorders affect people’s perceptions of subtle emotional cues.
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY Las Cruces, New Mexico Associate Professor of Psychology Tim Ketelaar started his professional work under Ekman. In the 1990s, Ketelaar was accepted into a postdoctoral training program in emotion sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health. Teaching at New Mexico State University since 2002, Ketelaar brings his knowledge of microexpressions into the classroom. “Part of [one of my courses] involves learning about facial expressions of emotion, how they are measured by scientists and what they mean,” Ketelaar said. “I teach more about microexpressions and how a more subtle form of a macroexpression can give insight into a person’s emotional state or personality.” Outside of the classroom, Ketelaar has done his own research in macroexpressions and microexpressions. In the fall of 2016, he and a number of experts analysed the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Inpatient nursing auxiliary
STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO Buffalo, New York Elena Svetieva was a part of a 2016 study featured in the psychological journal Motivation & Emotion. This study examined empathy and emotional dysregulation (mood swings). Those with psychiatric disorders like borderline personality disorder, schizophrenia, and bi-polar disorder may experience mood swings and may have a hard time processing social cues and applications. Those on the autism spectrum may also contend with this.
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“One expert looked at the words they were using, another looked at non-verbal displays, and I looked at facial expressions of emotion, including microexpressions,” Ketelaar said. Ketelaar didn’t observe anything determinative about the candidates, but thought Clinton had a slight advantage because she smiled more, her positive emotions making her more appealing to voters. He also observed a few indications of contempt exchanged between the candidates; Clinton’s typically shown through a forced smile and Trump’s through nervous drinks of water.
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