From the Stacks: March 30, 2006


| March 2007


Utne Reader's library is abuzz with a steady flow of 1,500 magazines, newsletters, journals, weeklies, zines, and other lively dispatches from the cultural front that are rarely found at big-box bookstores, newsstands, or even online. So we share the highlights (and occasional lowlights) of what's landing in our library each week in 'From the Stacks.' Check in every Friday for the latest edition.

According to the Marijuana Policy Report, 'the greatest harm associated with marijuana is prison.' The newsletter, released three times each year by the nonprofit Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), is dedicated to defending the medicinal value of marijuana and removing criminal penalties associated with the leafy, green plant. Its pages are packed with prisoners' stories, legislative rulings, and new scientific studies related to pot. The spring issue highlights findings published in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicating that marijuana is not a 'gateway' drug, but that environmental factors have a greater effect on kids' decisions to light up. With a new case involving pro-pot free speech hitting the Supreme Court last week, marijuana is still making headlines, and we're eager to read MPP's take on the issue. -- Mary O'Regan

B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, and Jackson Browne all sit on the advisory board of the Music Maker Relief Foundation (MMRF), a charity set up to help 'the true pioneers and forgotten heroes of Southern music gain recognition and meet their day to day needs.' The latest issue of the MMRF's newsletter, Music Maker Rag, tells the story behind the organization's inception,? when Tim and Denise Duffy came across several blues musicians living in the ghettos of North Carolina and realized that poverty among musicians was a widespread problem. Now, the MMRF is getting the brothers and sisters of blues back on their feet and chronicling the experience in Music Maker Rag. The publication features bios on old-school artists, a calendar of performances across the country, and 'Artists' Notes' -- a collection of blurbs updating readers on what's new with the 'bluest of the blues.' -- Mary O'Regan

Judging from the incredible photos of landscapes and wildlife in Up Here, Canada's far north is a pretty nice place to be. The magazine, published eight times a year, is sent to us from 'the top of the world,' a geographical position the magazine's editors are proud to inhabit. Most of us would imagine an inhospitably frigid landscape, but Up Here illustrates a rich life near the Arctic with pieces on history, culture, art, and language. For those adventurous enough to make the trek up north, the April issue offers a 'Survive-the-Drive Guide,' teaching readers how to share the highways with grizzly bears and what to do if their cars break down. -- Natalie Hudson



The latest issue of Revolution, a weekly newspaper printed by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, attempts to live up to its rebellious name by calling for a massive movement to kick the Bush administration out of office. Revolution arms its readers with 'hidden stories' and news from the 'frontlines of struggle.' Though it may be difficult -- even for the most left-leaning liberal -- to agree with the paper's staunch positions, it is a rousing read. Highlights of the March 18 issue include an article explaining the US imperialist strategy for mounting a war against Iran. -- Natalie Hudson

Dabbawalas might have the most harrowing lunchtime commute in the world. As writer Claude Marthaler tells it in issue 25 of Velo Vision, a UK-based cycling magazine, Mumbai's lunch carriers (dabba means 'lunch' and wala 'the one who carries') transport meals through the chaos of traffic in the bustling Indian metropolis. It's a necessary service, since office workers can't bring their lunches with them on the city's crowded trains. Dabbawalas often travel by bike, hanging tiffin boxes (aluminum containers filled with lunches) from their handlebars and rear carriers, and manage to deliver up to 200,000 meals in Mumbai each day. -- Evelyn Hampton














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