Things I Have to Say

The Books that Influence My Writing Life

The Books that Influence My Writing Life

My favorite conversation: What books influenced you? These are the books that influenced my life as a writer.

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The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July and the Meaning of the Declaration

My middle school history teacher John Viall—a dedicated and decorated teacher—wrote a wonderful post about America, the Fourth, and e pluribus unum.

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Mister Rogers and the Border Wall

Won't You Be My Neighbor, or How Mister Rogers Took on a Border Wall

King Friday XIII orders a border wall to be built. Lady Aberlin takes balloons, tied with messages of peace and love, and floats them across the wall.

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Upper Panther Hollow Trail Throne

The Magnificent Mr. Maxx in Schenley Park

I love Schenley Park, but it's made for mountain biking, running, and walking your dog. Oh, and it's good for streams and water, which is where we meet Mr. Maxx.

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Final Training Push

A Final Training Push, or...

Competitions had once been my respite from real life. But the last few years challenged me emotionally. My heart needed more serene endeavors. Until now.

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Canoe Adventures

North Park: Water Works and Adventure

Friday's Raccoon Creek hike nearly finished me off. I wanted to end the weekend with a more relaxing adventure. Cue: North Park and its gorgeous lake.

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Raccoon Creek Upper Pond Not Creepy

Racoon Creek: A Creepy Walk in the Woods

Every hike is different. Still, when you're in the woods, you're going to see some creepy shit. My hike at Raccoon Creek State Park didn't disappoint.

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Police in Frick

An Eventful Hike in Frick Park

With my newly purchased Falcon Guide, I went for a shakeout hike in Frick Park. What I wasn't expecting: an eventful end with a dozen police officers.

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Appalachian Community

Appalachian Community Notes: 5 Stories You Should Read This Week

The U.S. media spends a great deal of time talking about Trump country. Here's a round-up of the five stories you should read this week: Appalachian Community: Diversity | Education + Opportunities | Working Class Jobs | The Opioid Epidemic | Infrastructure Week

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Free eBook on Machine Learning, A.I., and the Modern World

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free PDF of my latest book, Frankenstein's Legacy: Four Conversations about Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and the Modern World.

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"We Are Not A House Divided"

My friend KT Peterson and I embarked on a writing challenge on August 4-5: write 10,000 words and the read an excerpt from it. The title of this piece is "We Are Not A House Divided."

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About That Thing You Ask Me About Hillbilly Elegy

That's where the single narrative becomes so dangerous. Because people don't know the history of the region, and they don't understand its problems. Yet many of those same people have a great number of preconceived notions they aren't afraid to unleash.

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