Image: Kevin Sites for VICE.com.
Author, proto-warblogger and former CNN and NBC correspondent Kevin Sites, with whom I worked to create what may have been the first war blog, is back in Afghanistan reporting for VICE.
It's really strong work. One of the pieces he's sent back so far is a fascinating look at a traditional practice among many poor, rural carpet loomers: feeding hashish to their young children. Think of the drug as a kind of babysitter, for impoverished women who are forced to labor at hard work for impossibly long hours in harsh conditions. Snip:
Like most women in Afghanistan’s Qalizal District, Bebehaja’s life is told on the strings of a carpet loom. It’s a vocational inheritance of women of Turkmen heritage, who begin as early as seven and may not stop until they’re 70. It’s as linear and taut as the cords on which they weave, unspooling balls of yarn over minutes, hours, days, decades creating masterful motifs, while simultaneously emptying themselves of the same beauty and comfort they put into the things that they create.
Read the full report here
Bebehaja is 60 now. She’s covered in a stained, blue burqua so I can’t see her face, but I hear the weariness in her voice. She tells me the dirty secret that everyone knows: the most important material in carpet making in Qalizal is not wool, but hashish.
“When we don’t eat the hashish we’re like a dead body,” she says. “When we eat it we can work hard and work more.”
. You can read more of Kevin's dispatches from Afghanistan here
. You can also follow Kevin on Twitter
Previously: Kevin Sites returns to Afghanistan. Here's the reporting gear he's packing.
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]
The ARMOR-X Mini Flexible Phone Tripod is a smartphone tripod that is designed with flexible legs to rest on virtually any type of surface. Other tripods have proved useless unless I conveniently have a flat surface in front of me, which is why this particular tripod was appealing enough to try out. The ARMOR-X is compact and easy […]
You don’t need to get an advanced degree and take out massive loans to become a coder. This bundle of 10 courses was designed to teach anyone to code at home for less than it costs to go out for dinner. I was particularly impressed with this new 2017 bundle because it includes courses on […]