In 2017, let’s embrace renewal

America’s race relations, for instance, are being stirred by events. The law dissolves the fact and holds it fluid. But I want to propose something bigger. Yet a little waving hand built this huge wall, and that which builds is better than that which is built. They will disappear. America’s rigid self-images are being re-examined by whoever is in the oval office. Or just turn a corner. PRI.org

Perhaps you had today off and could spend another day thinking about the 363 days ahead. The hand which built can topple it down much faster. That 2017 can become, in an instant, the year zero. They urge us variously onward to make good on once outlandish-seeming promises   or to hold back and defend, to hold in place an America we were once certain was on a far different course than we see today. A flaw when we gloss over history and reconciliation that needs to happen. Let us rise into another idea. New arts destroy the old. Or you, like us, have rolled up your sleeves already.    
One more thing. Begin again. We can become someone else, we can choose a different path, we can begin a grand project unconcerned that we might have begun too late, or without the proper training, missing some supposedly crucial paperwork. The universe is fluid and volatile. I want to reach out to the entire community of curious, interested people and renew the idea of public radio, public media. We don’t have to be the greatest country in the world, because we can all reinvent ourselves, renew ourselves. Our globe seen by God is a transparent law, not a mass of facts. Let’s make public media even more public, make it a powerful voice of all of America and hear that full-throated voice in these conversations on this program and every other. They are all in play. Simple as that — we begin again. This is a curiously American trait. This renewal is a strength when we see that our nation need not be imprisoned by inflexible myths and traditions. A strength and a flaw, this renewal. The contests we have lost or the contests we have won. Let’s use that knowledge, put aside fear   and begin. Whatever battle we see before us, let’s remember that our nation, for all of its flaws, is dedicated to the idea that we can be renewed. Everything looks permanent until its secret is known.”
So let’s choose a cause. Ralph Waldo Emerson — that very strange New Englander of the century before last — had this to say about the American idea of renewal:
“There are no fixtures in nature. This commentary was first broadcast on PRI’s The Takeaway, a public radio program that invites you to be part of the American conversation. This is well beyond the impulse for the familiar New Year’s resolution. We seem to come upon this new page of the calendar with anxiety and girded for battle. “The Greek sculpture is all melted away as if it had been statues of ice; here and there a solitary figure or fragment remaining as we see flecks and scraps of snow left in cold dells and mountain clefts in June and July. Ralph Waldo Emerson seems to even have something to say to that:  
“You admire this tower of granite, weathering the hurts of so many ages. By silicon, by the computer, by global network communications. Better than the hand, and nimbler, was the invisible thought which wrought through it, and thus ever behind the coarse effect is a fine cause which, being narrowly seen, is itself the effect of a finer cause. Our culture is the predominance of an idea which draws after it this train of cities and institutions.  
If you are on one of these personal quests, I’m with you all the way. Let 2017 be the year we make something more public, more new, less categorizable, more young, more of everyone in this country. Permanence is but a word of degrees. So much has been made of that absurd and menacing sounding border wall that was a promise during the campaign. But it is still happening. Let’s take action. And we know a lot more as 2017 begins. See the investment of capital in aqueducts made useless by hydraulics; fortifications, by gunpowder; roads and canals, by railways; sails, by steam; steam, by electricity.”  
We could, of course, add to that list. Happy 2017.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadListen to the Story. Let’s do it. For the genius that created it, creates now, somewhat else.”
Emerson continues:   “The new continents are built out of the ruins of an old planet; the new races fed out of the decomposition of the foregoing.

A New Year’s report card for ISIS

Iraqi forces are trying to push into Mosul, in northern Iraq. It’s significant that ISIS claimed responsibility for the New Year’s Istanbul attack, according to Rukmini Callimachi,   a correspondent for The New York Times who specializes in covering ISIS and al-Qaeda. A series of car bombs struck the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, since New Year’s Eve. “One is how to deal with Turkey,” says Callimachi. “We know they have done numerous other attacks [in Turkey] that have also resulted in mass casualties,”   says Callimachi, “most importantly perhaps the Istanbul airport bombing last summer. The US recently declared that since 2014, they have killed 50,000 ISIS fighters. They have faced significant casualties. Turkey once patronized Syrian rebel groups, including ISIS, providing direct and indirect aid and safe routes for foreign fighters to enter Syria. The group   then proclaimed a new   Islamic caliphate and began calling itself the Islamic State. Meanwhile, Turkish ground troops are attacking the small but strategically important city of al-Bab, in northern Syria. “But I think the fight ahead is a long one, and we see that despite these efforts, despite the numerous casualties that ISIS has suffered, they are still very much able to hit outside of their territory.”
“Another way to measure it is the extent of their digital caliphate, the extent of their caliphate online,”   she says. And yet despite all of those deaths, we still see that the group is holding strong in Mosul.”
“ISIS is under pressure,”   she adds. ISIS has proved to be a much more venomous and difficult enemy than I think perhaps they expected.”
“That’s not to minimize what the West has done,”   says Callimachi, highlighting the destruction of the ISIS stronghold in Libya, and territorial losses elsewhere in Iraq. “Another way to measure it is the number of fighters they have.  
Turkish troops entered Syria last August. The attacks are claimed by ISIS as responses to military pressure from Iraq and Turkey. But this is the first time that they have claimed an attack of this nature.”
Callimachi says this signals a major shift in relations between ISIS and Turkey. Listen to the full interview. The worst one killed at least 35 people, on Monday. PRI.org

A gunman, apparently acting alone, killed at least 39 people at an Istanbul nightclub, in the early hours of New Year’s Day. The Russian air force is providing air support for the Turks in al-Bab. The switch in Turkish policy leaves ISIS with almost no friends at a time when they’re coming under intense military and financial pressure. ISIS responded with terror attacks, which have only hardened Turkish hostility. “Turkey has pushed back very hard against America’s alliance with the Kurds.”
She says the second question is whether the new administration will consider it necessary to send troops on the ground to help the Iraqis take back Mosul. But relations have soured as Turkey tightened up the border. I just came back from the areas north of Mosul, and more than two months into that advance, Iraqi troops are basically just hunkered down at the eastern edges of the city really unable to go forward. “Of course the territory has shrunk,” says Callimachi. Their main goal appears to have been occupying territory to counter the growth of Kurdish separatists, but the incursion also brought them into direct conflict with ISIS. “I would caution us not to make too much of that. But it still appears to have the means to lash out, claiming responsibility for terror attacks in Istanbul and Baghdad over New Year’s weekend.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadThis story is based on a radio interview. ISIS starts the new year under pressure. ISIS burst onto the scene as a territorial power in eastern Syria in 2013, then stormed into Mosul in June 2014, inflicting a staggering defeat on the Iraqi army. “Yes, we’ve seen somewhat of a pullback in their propaganda, but they’re still very much there.”   
“The thing that’s difficult about this group is that we’re fighting not just people, we’re also fighting an idea, and that idea is very potent,”   she says, “and it’s not clear how you kill an idea.”
More immediately, President-elect Donald Trump will face two challenges when he comes into office.

Starry nights and empty streets in Idlib: PHOTOS

Thousands of refugees from Aleppo have been evacuated there, and UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura has warned the city could face the same fate as Aleppo. A mosque stands in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province. It looks sleepy, peaceful. I used to go out with my friends to cafes at night and stay up until dawn, we never used to check our watches.”
But now “we hang out at a different friend’s house every weekend and sleep over until morning,” he added. Damaged buildings stand in the rebel-controlled town of Binnish in Idlib province. In fact, the atmosphere is so stark that the stars appear especially bright. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

Idlib was bustling with people before the Syrian war began in 2011, but now, few residents venture   outside their homes at night. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

“In case of emergencies we can get out at night, but that’s still very risky. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah

This is another view of a mosque that stands in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan town in Idlib province. At night, Idlib, Syria, has a romantic glow. Syrian and Russian warplanes and helicopters have carried out strikes for months against rebels in Idlib province, which lies to the southwest of Aleppo. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

Resident Abdullah Haj Asaad, 29, says he no longer sends clothes from his sewing shop to the markets at night. “Nowadays, we can only send the finished goods in the morning, cars stop driving at night because of thieves and bandits fearing looting and theft,” he said. Now that Syrian government forces have recaptured Aleppo in a crushing campaign, many suggest they are likely to turn their attentions to Idlib. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

The night sky is seen through damaged windows in the rebel-controlled town of Binnish in Idlib province. … Damaged buildings stand in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

A digger stands amid the rubble in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

A vehicle drives past a mosque at night in Idlib, Syria. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

The city of Idlib is seen at night. But the rebel-held city, where the streets are eerily quiet once darkness falls, may soon be in harm’s way — as the possible next target of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military offensive. A damaged building stands in the rebel-controlled town of Binnish in Idlib province. Damaged buildings stand in the rebel-controlled area of Maaret al-Numan in Idlib province. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

Sometimes aircraft can be heard overhead. Credit:

Ammar Abdullah/Reuters

‘Europa’ — a guidebook to help migrants and refugees navigate Europe

The reality is actually there’s not such a dissimilar history   and we were walking it as we spoke,” says Malek.    
“The idea was that by telling this version of Europe to people who are coming from places that are facing the same kind of destruction Europe witnessed not even 100 years ago, that there might be a way to recognize some of their experiences in this ‘other.’”
Malek says she’s encountered many refugees who had varying degrees of understanding as to what awaited them in Europe, and in many cases, they didn’t realize that Europeans had gone through similar experiences. That’s according to Alia Malek, a Syrian-American journalist who was one of the book’s editors. There are sections explaining Europe’s different political systems, geography   and traditions, as well as popular films and books of interest, and there’s a helpful list of organizations that offer assistance to migrants and refugees. “I had the most surreal conversations. People would say to me — because there is a lot of waiting, walking and a lot of sitting in fields — things like, ‘What happened in Syria and Iraq has never been seen before in human history, the way neighbor turned on neighbor, the way the very fabric of society came apart has never been seen in human history,’ and we were having these conversations on the border of Croatia and Serbia, a border that we had to be very careful on because they were still land mines from the Yugoslav war. “Europa,” according to its website, is also designed to be a practical guide for migrants and refugees, so it’s written in four languages: Arabic, Farsi, English and French. It tells the story of the last 100 years of Europe as it was formed because of these two forces that you tend to find together — conflict and then the displacement that it causes,” says Malek. The thick, colorful book titled, “Europa: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees,” aims to broaden the perspectives of Europe’s newest immigrants, with plenty of historical photos, maps and individual accounts and factual information. “We have the story that I love of the Greek grandmothers who themselves are the daughters of Ottoman Greek refugees who fled out of the Ottoman Empire as it came apart and resettled on islands such as Lesbos, and then almost a century later, they’re helping Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan women arriving with their own children … we also have the oral histories of people who have made the journey like an Afghan doctor, who, all he ever wanted 10 years ago was to get to Greece   because Greece is where the Hippocratic oath came from, and he’s now a practicing doctor in Greece and he’s working with refugees … we have architects from Syria who really wanted to get to the Netherlands, and now they want to take their ideas of urban planning that they’re seeing in Amsterdam back to Syria.”
As the refugee and migrant #exodus continued into 2016, European nations tightened border controls and built fences https://t.co/Kty0ydWlMj pic.twitter.com/WGFh7cjdCd
— FRONTLINE (@frontlinepbs) December 23, 2016
Over her several years of reporting on immigration and editing “Europa,” Malek says she’s been inspired by the immigrants she’s met along the way:
“You know you’re always horrified by the negative reactions, but I have been moved and pleasantly surprised by the warmth and the openness of people’s hearts, not just volunteers who rush out to the train stations to meet people, but people who have an openness in their hearts, or they knew about their grandmothers, their uncles   or their aunts — that at the same time that I was   so devastated by the failure of humanity to learn its lessons, my heart was moved, and it was compelling to see how many folks also do see something in what is happening that isn’t as much of an ‘other’   experience as the loud politicians would make us think.”  
A free, electronic version of the book, optimized for mobile devices, is available online in all four languages. A new guidebook/photobook aims to inform refugees about Europe: https://t.co/cCBVI3eHJN
— olivierclaurent (@olivierclaurent) December 20, 2016
“Europa” also features first-person testimonies — from residents, immigrants and   refugees, old and new — who tell personal stories in their own words of “war, solidarity and reconciliation,” says Malek. “So there was irony in that for me. Overall, the guidebook tries “to introduce Europe to people who [are] arriving   now, through the lens of conflict and migration.

Sweden tries to curb buy-and-throw-away culture through tax breaks

Every time I yank the string to start ‘er up, once, twice, three times … I just don’t know if the lawn is getting cut that day.  
“Part of that is making it more affordable and economically rational to stop the buying and throwing away, instead repairing your goods and using them for a longer time,” says Bolund. Now, I hire the Swedish version of Mike Daly at $80 an hour. Bolund says there are other ways to grow, and it’s not helping Sweden’s economy when somebody in Stockholm buys a new TV. But again, it’s all about the bottom line. If Swedes repair those items, they can take a 50-percent tax deduction off the cost of the labor. This idea — not just discarding stuff — it’s not exactly revolutionary. “Most of the electronic goods that we use are imported,” says Bolund. What do you do? 1, 2017, with a goal of decreasing waste in the world’s landfills, which are filling up at an alarming rate. On top of that, you’d also pay a 25-percent value added tax (VAT), or $5 more. He’s trying to push people in that direction through tax breaks; he’s spearheading a 50-percent tax cut for Swedes to repair items like   clothes, shoes and bicycles. He says not long ago there were tailors and cobblers in every neighborhood throughout the US, “and if you had a tear in a sock, somebody in your family darned the toe and the heel.”    
That sounds quaint today. “So you could be looking at $150 to $170 to repair that lawn mower,” says Daly. 1, that tax on repairs would be cut in half, and you’d save $2.50. If you wear your jeans a lot, eventually they’ll start to get a hole. Consider my ancient lawn mower. But let me throw some numbers at you. That’s largely the point of the new Swedish rule.  
But isn’t the point of a modern, healthy economy to constantly produce — to buy and sell stuff? The new rule takes effect on Jan. Everybody knows that. “It wouldn’t be worth it if it’s 10 years old and you paid $100 to begin with, unless maybe it had some sentimental value.”
It doesn’t. If I’m a Swede, I’m probably thinking twice about getting a new mower. Sweden’s consumer affairs minister Per Bolund says the new law will put more Swedes to work repairing stuff. Let’s say I have a $500 Craftsman deluxe mower. Sweden’s Minister of Financial Markets and Consumer Affairs Per Bolund says we need to change that mindset. “Repairing your goods is quite labor intense as compared to production. But the new Swedish law also applies to bigger-ticket household appliances: things like refrigerators and washing machines. “Fewer better, is better than more, cheaper,” says Ross. With the tax break, he’ll really only be costing me half that much. Sociologist Robert Ross   — remember, he thinks the tax break is too insignificant to bother fixing a pair of jeans   — does think   the new law can get Swedes thinking differently, moving in the right direction,   about what they buy:   more durable items worth keeping and repairing. After Jan. In high-tax Sweden, that can amount to substantial savings. You throw them away and buy a new pair, of course. He says the government’s role is to move the needle — so taking care of the planet becomes not just a moral decision, but an economically rational one too. Better for the environment, and perhaps better for jobs too. But let’s say you’re Swedish and a zipper breaks on your jeans, and it costs $20 to repair that. Ross thinks this tax cut is a well-intentioned idea, but “I don’t think that’s going to make the difference between somebody getting a pair of pants let out or a heel on a shoe.”
OK, fair enough.  
Mike Daly, who teaches yard tool repair classes in Indiana, says hourly rates to fix a lawn mower there are about $70 to $80 an hour. So we believe if consumption behavior is altered, this can lead to a boost in the employment and the labor market.”
Bolund adds that the tax cut for repairs is but one part of a larger strategy to promote sustainable consumption. “Clothing used to be repaired,” says Robert Ross, a sociologist and expert in the apparel industry at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Famed animator who played a big role in the creation of Disney’s ‘Bambi’ dies at 106

“Born in Canton, China in 1910, Wong and his father immigrated to America leaving behind his mother and sister, whom they never saw again,” according to an homage on Disney’s website. He took a position at Disney in 1938, an “inbetweener,” working on the visual continuity of animations and drawing hundreds of sketches of Mickey Mouse. Legendary animation artist Tyrus Wong, whose evocative sketches were used to create Disney’s groundbreaking “Bambi” cartoon, has died at the age of 106, the company said. As a young child, Wong’s father nurtured his love of art by having him practice calligraphy and painting. Wong later attended the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (now the Otis College of Art and Design) on a full scholarship. “Though Tyrus worked at The Walt Disney Studios only three years, between 1938 and 1941, his influence on the artistic composition of the animated feature Bambi cannot be overstated,” Disney said. After his stint at Disney, Wong worked for the next 26 years as a concept and story artist at Warner Brothers, until he retired in 1968. The sketches captured the attention of Walt Disney and became the template for the film’s visual style, according to the Disney website, which said Wong’s work influences films to this day, inspiring and leading contemporary animators. “Tyrus Wong had a gift for evoking incredible feeling in his art with simple, gestural composition,” said a statement released by the company, where he spent a brief few years before decamping to nearby rival Warner Brothers. When he heard that the studio was in preproduction on the feature film “Bambi,” he painted several pictures of a deer in a forest.

Listen to the audio sorcery used in the Broadway show ‘The Encounter’

It’s going down in pitch … And now for some reason, I don’t want to speak with a British accent. He was taken in by the Mayoruna, an indigenous tribe with whom he shared almost no language. Feel it?”
To make the binaural recordings that give the Amazon such substance in the theater, McBurney traveled to South America   with one of his collaborators. Gradually, however, McIntyre found that he could communicate with Mayoruna community members — first through gestures, and then, it seems, telepathically. PRI.org

The show, playing at New York’s Golden Theatre, charts the adventure of American photojournalist Loren McIntyre, who got lost in the Amazon in the late 1960s. Called a “binaural head,” the device, McBurney says, imitates how we, as human beings, hear. He wants the show’s tricks of sound and sight, its layering of aural perception and deception, to lead the audience toward a deeper line of inquiry. “Our perception of the world is based on the stories of that world,” he says. “This question of ‘how we feel connected,’ if you like, to other people, to families, to other families, to our nation, to other nations, is I think a very urgent question,” he says. And you’re hearing this voice, which is a kind of high British tenor.” But as McBurney speaks, something strange happens: “My voice is changing, if you like. When he speaks into it, his voice seems to float just behind your right shoulder. “And you know, people are listening to my voice, and that is a reality. I want to change into an American dialect.”
The voice of the Cambridge-born McBurney melts into an American drawl. Decades later, he shared his story with Petru Popescu, a Romanian author who wove it into the book, “Amazon Beaming,” which inspired McBurney’s play. “It’s not just this extraordinary story about this man, but it also questions that story, about the way that we have gone into these other worlds,” McBurney says of McIntyre’s adventure. “Appropriated things — the way white, Western colonization has wrought such destruction in the world. It also questions the way that we perceive time, the way that we think about the environment.”
Using low-tech sound effects and pitch-shifting microphones, McBurney deftly distorts the audience’s perception of fact and fiction. “And your right ear will begin to heat up. Listen to the full interview. He stripped away some of the wizardry in a visit with Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen (which you can listen to in full). “It’s not because I think it makes me more attractive to your listenership,” he continues. “It’s because this is the voice that I use for the principal character in this play, Loren McIntyre.”
As McBurney moves to another microphone, “You find out how much your brain has adjusted, because suddenly I sound like Mickey Mouse.” His voice snaps back into its crisp British accent. “And if I was to sum up the whole show, it is about our ability to listen to each other and to the world.”
This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s   Studio 360. There is no curtain-raising in “The Encounter.” The show simply begins — with the actor Simon McBurney telling a story, and each member of the audience listening through a set of headphones.Player utilitiesPopout
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downloadThis story is based on a radio interview. “The brain believes this fiction so totally, that, were I   to lean forward and breathe into this microphone, you would think that I was breathing in your right ear,” he says. “And I began to understand and appreciate what McIntyre was talking about, but also the way that these people see the world.”
He says that for the Mayoruna people, the sense of the forest “outside” is inextricable from their   inner reality or consciousness. “They took me on an extraordinary journey into the rainforest where I had never been,” he says. “And this seems to be more fictional than the other voice.”
Another microphone he has resembles a Styrofoam human head. You abuse or you exploit the outer world, and something happens within.”
For McBurney, the story stirs up questions about time, cultural appropriation   and the environment. “The Encounter” is playing at New York’s Golden Theatre through January 8. “The interesting thing for them [with] this sense of ‘inner life,’” he says, “is that it was inseparable from the world around them. While there, he sought out the descendants of the Mayoruna people McIntyre had met in the 1960s.

This Englishman’s search for truth was about the transformation of spirit, and of gender

He went through a series of 13 operations over several years to construct male genitalia. “Oftentimes, memoirs by trans folks are expected to kind of be framed by … transition,” Partridge says. “He thinks I’m a woman,” he wrote much later in life. “I was going through divinity school,” Lau says. The agent was quoted in   a British newspaper saying that, “Dr. Dillon tells the story in a memoir called, “Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions.” The book was published in November, more than a half-century after Dillon’s unexpected death in 1962. Then, he made up his mind to flee to India. Dillon took on the name of Lobzang Jivaka —   taken from the Buddha’s own personal physician. “That’s not the fulcrum of this book at all. Partridge, who is also also a trans man, says this is one thing that fascinated him about Dillon’s book. And he wasn’t the only one who did it,” Partridge says. The book came out in November 2015. It’s a journey and it’s a search after truth. Two weeks later, Dillon collapsed on a hike and then died in a local hospital at the age of 47. Jacob Lau (left) and Cameron Partridge worked together to finally get the memoir of Michael Dillon/Lobzang Jivaka published. And it is saturated with [Dillon’s] spiritual quest.”  
Dillon grew up in the Church of England and he credited men of the clergy with getting him to think seriously about the purpose of life. Later, Dillon’s literary agent in London received the manuscript   in the mail. On a seaside walk, a boy opened up a gate and stepped aside to let Dillon walk through first. And eventually, he was ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. But when Laura got a little older, people said it was high time to give up the tomboy thing and start acting like a young lady. Laura Maude Dillon was born in London on May 1,   1915. During the 1940s, medical transition was almost unheard of, which made Dillon sort of a human guinea pig, says Lau. He got serious about Buddhism and decided to become a monk. Dillon wrote about one incident that happened during the year before starting college. Then   came stories in the Indian press accusing him of being a British spy. Over several years in the 1940s, he also underwent a groundbreaking physical transition from female to male through a series of surgical operations. And it has lots of different peregrinations. Dillon also met sympathetic professionals, including physicians, who helped him legally change his name. But Dillon was definitely a pioneer. Credit:

Matthew Bell  

But these details of Dillon’s physical transition are not the primary focus of his memoir. He was working as a physician on a French ship ironically named the Liberté. He found a plastic surgeon to perform a double mastectomy. But he wanted to stay in India to continue his spiritual quest for truth. Partridge says this part of Dillon’s story resonated with him, as someone who also went through an ordination process as a trans man. Dillon felt there was no reason why, finally, his story could not be told.”   That was the name he typed, along with his Christian name, Michael Dillon, on the title page of his memoir, in May of 1962. As a child, Laura always liked boy stuff, like a military coat with anchor buttons. “I knew some of the sense of uncertainty and fear of being someone who was openly trans in an ordination process and not really knowing how it was going to work.”  
At one point in India,   Dillon was outed by one of his own Buddhist teachers. And Dillon felt crushed. “And I had a lot of personal resonances with a lot of his questions about transitioning.”  
“Working on the project helped me get through a lot of   … not great periods of my life as well.”  
For Dillon, his lowest point came in 1958, when he was outed by the press. But the hormones were a great help, Dillon wrote. At the age of 28, Dillon registered under the name of Lawrence Michael, becoming legally male. At first, Dillon simply wanted to escape public scrutiny. “He references when he went to re-register, whoever was behind the desk — and it makes me think about these little moments where we interact with the person behind the desk, how significant that can be — and he says, ‘Oh, we’ve had a few of these.’”  
It’s hard to say how many people in the United Kingdom legally re-registered to change their names from one gender to another around that time. They gradually helped him look more like a man, for example, by making it possible to grow a beard. But he soon found a new life path in Asia. A therapist who said he could help Dillon gave him the pills as sort of an afterthought. “The world acknowledges you as a kind of gendered being that you aren’t,” Lau says, “[And] sees you in ways that you don’t see yourself.”  
Lau calls it   “a moment of misrecognition.”  
“That moment at the gate is one of the most striking moments in the book to me,” says Cameron Partridge, an Episcopal priest and former lecturer at Harvard Divinity School. “I really connected with the memoir in a personal way,” Partridge says. “Testosterone … had just been synthesized, back in the 30s, and at that point, testosterone was given in oral tablets or pills, which is discounted because it destroys your liver,” Lau says. That was in 1943, and Partridge says this was a turning point in Dillon’s life. That question propelled Dillon through different phases of his own life, as a student at Oxford, as a surgeon with the British Merchant Navy, and in the last phase of his life,   as a novice Buddhist monk   in India. A lot of trans people experience moments like these, says Jacob Lau, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine. Reporters showed up on the ship and wanted to take Dillon’s picture. He let them, and he answered their questions. And suddenly, after 15 years, his secret was out. Related: These photos show the courage and tragedy of LGBTQ life in Peru
Partridge and Lau helped get “Out of the Ordinary” published and they wrote an introduction for the book. And in 1945, Dillon became the first person born female to undergo phalloplasty surgery. For   Lau, who was going through transition himself when he started working on this book project, Dillon’s story helped him get through some difficult times. But all of that was just part of this Englishman’s remarkable story of personal transformation. “It’s huge.

ISIS claims responsibility for the deadly attack inside a Turkish nightclub on New Year’s night

30 warning of the risk of attacks by ISIS in Istanbul and Ankara on New Year’s night, the paper said. But there was no indication of their relationship to the attacker. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Sunday that intense efforts were underway to find the gunman, and expressed hope that he would be captured soon. It has in the past, however, claimed individual assassinations of Syrian anti-jihadist activists in the south of Turkey. World leaders rushed to condemn the nightclub shooting, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying it was “hard to imagine a crime more cynical than the killing of civilians during a New Year’s celebration.” They included three Lebanese nationals, two Jordanians and three Iraqis, officials in their respective countries said. Sixty-five people were wounded. Hurriyet said investigators believe the gunman may be from the Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan. At least one German was killed. According to the Hurriyet daily, the gunman then fired off four magazines containing a total of 120 bullets around the club, as terrified guests flung themselves into the freezing waters of the Bosphorus in panic. ‘Danger continues’  
Arriving by taxi at the plush Reina nightclub on the shores of the Bosphorus, the gunman produced a weapon, reportedly a Kalashnikov, and shot dead a policeman and civilian at the entrance. Anti-terror police made their first arrests in the attack, which unleashed scenes of panic among partygoers at one of Istanbul’s swankiest venues and killed mostly foreign tourists. “The danger continues,” wrote columnist Abdulkadir Selvi in Hurriyet. The pro-government daily Yeni Akit caused a furor   on social media with a headline declaring the United States was the “number one suspect” over the attack. The ISIS statement said the attack was in response to Turkey’s military intervention against the jihadists in war-ravaged Syria the military presses a four-month incursion to oust jihadists from the border area. Late on Sunday, police rushed to Istanbul’s Kurucesme district after a tip-off but the operation did not produce any arrest. The Islamic State jihadist group on Monday claimed the shooting rampage inside a glamorous Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s night that killed 39 people, as police hunted the attacker who remains on the run. It accused Turkey, a majority-Muslim country, of being a servant of Christians, in a possible reference to Ankara’s alliance with the international coalition fighting ISIS in neighboring Syria and Iraq. The shooting took place just 75 minutes into 2017 after a bloody year in Turkey in which hundreds of people were killed in violence blamed on both ISIS jihadists and Kurdish militants. In a statement circulated on social media, the jihadist group said one of the “soldiers of the caliphate” had carried out the attack on the Reina nightclub. A Canadian woman, a Russian woman and a teenage Arab Israeli woman were also among dead. ‘No crime more cynical’  
NTV television said the bodies of 25 foreigners killed in the attack were to be handed back to their families on Monday following identification. But after changing clothes, the gunman left the nightclub in the ensuing chaos and has managed to evade security forces. According to Turkish press reports, the latest figures show 12 Turks were killed in the attack alongside 27 foreigners, including one Belgian-Turkish dual national. The attack evoked memories of the November 2015 carnage in Paris when ISIS jihadists unleashed a gun and bombing rampage on nightspots in the French capital, killing 130 people including 90 at the Bataclan concert hall. Turkish press reports said at least seven Saudi nationals died but this has yet to be confirmed by Riyadh. This is the first time ISIS has issued a clear and undisputed claim for an attack inside Turkey, despite being blamed for several major strikes in Istanbul and other cities over the last year. In the last few weeks, the forces have encountered fierce opposition from the jihadists around the town of al-Bab. The attacker may be linked to the same cell that in June carried out a triple suicide bombing and gun attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport blamed on ISIS that left 47 people dead, the paper added. The foreigners who died — most of them from Arab countries and including Muslims — had come to the club to celebrate a special night in style. “So long as this terrorist is not seized we do not know when and where a massacre could take place.”
The Dogan news agency said anti-terror police have detained eight suspects. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said the nightclub bloodbath sought to sow “chaos,” was on Monday due to chair a meeting of the Turkish cabinet. Turkey also received intelligence from the United States on Dec. The army said Turkish warplanes launched new airstrikes around al-Bab.