Anthrow Circus

Is ‘Peer Review’ Worth All the Hype? A Perspective from a Physical Scientist

ARTICLE BY DR. MARK LEVENSTEIN

But what exactly is peer review? What is the difference between a preprint manuscript and a peer reviewed article? And most importantly, what information should I trust? These are questions that the general public and even well-informed non-scientists may not be able to fully answer. However, answering them is essential for society as we continue to navigate this new era of alternative facts, fake news, and the increasing accessibility to and practical implications of scientific findings and discoveries.

Losing Naïveté While Advocating for Afghans on Capitol Hill

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAMI L. RICE

I spent a May afternoon rushing through the wide halls of the U.S. Senate office buildings. It wasn’t the first time I was on Capitol Hill this past spring, but this time I chanced being late for an important flight because the clock was ticking on this issue that kept me coming back to the Hill. The next morning, I learned that day’s meetings had seemingly been for naught.

Tracing the History of the Barbados Martindales, Part 3

TEXT AND IMAGES BY ELEANOR MARTINDALE

At the end of Part 2, we learned of Martindales who survived against the odds in Barbados.

A 1679 census shows a John Marting (an abbreviation for Martingdale, a common misspelling of our name) owning 10 acres, one slave, and no servants in the St. James Parish of Barbados. This John was the grandson of John Sr., from Part 1 of this tale, and 10 acres is the same amount of land his grandfather owned in 1638. In 40 years, the Martindales had not expanded their farm, nor sold up. It seems they had simply stayed put for three generations.

Tracing the History of the Barbados Martindales, Part 2

TEXT AND IMAGES BY ELEANOR MARTINDALE

Picking up where we left off in Part 1 of this tale, upon discovering these early Barbados Martindales, I began picturing the lives of 17th century European settlers in the Caribbean, and the literature scholar in me couldn’t help but turn to Shakespeare. The Tempest was written during John Martindale Sr.’s lifetime and epitomizes a popular vision of a faraway, exotic island, uninhabited apart from strange spirits and magical creatures. Shakespeare, who probably never traveled outside of England and certainly never went to the Caribbean, used the collective imagination of his time to set the scene of a wondrous lush, green land with wild, fearful wind and waves.

Tracing the History of the Barbados Martindales, Part 1

STORY BY ELEANOR MARTINDALE

Like so many retired people, my dad, Peter, has spent the past few years “doing the family tree.” He’s spent hours on genealogy websites, downloading baptism certificates and wills from archives that go back generations, looking out for matches with unusual names, coming up against wall after wall and dismantling them brick by brick, name by name.
In a sense, our family is easier than some—at least through the paternal line. Our surname, Martindale, is fairly unusual, and my dad has worked our line back to a Rowland Martindale who died in 1660 in Cumbria, in the northwest of England.

Eradicating Polio Would Eradicate So Much Tragedy

TEXT BY DR. MATSHIDISO MOETI

PHOTO BY AJ JOHNSON

In February in the outskirts of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, just beyond where paved roads transition to dirt, an undiagnosed polio infection paralyzed a three-year-old girl. From one day to the next, the child’s life was changed forever.
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Clashing Conceptions of Statehood Mean Civilians Suffer

ARTICLE BY KAMI L. RICE

PHOTO BY JOEL CARILLET

Hours after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, Douglas Webber, emeritus professor of political science and a Europe specialist at the prestigious business school INSEAD, framed the conflict starkly.

“It’s really a decisive turning point we’re looking at here, and for me certainly I think that it’s the most dangerous moment in international politics if not since the end of World War II, at least since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962,” said Webber to an online meeting of the Anglo-American Press Association of Paris.

An Editor’s Note on the Occasion of MLK Jr. Day

On the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday, we recorded a short conversation between Armon Means and Kami Rice, Anthrow Circus’s Manager of Operations & Social Media and its Editor-in-Chief, respectively. We take you behind the scenes as our team wrestles with how Anthrow Circus should acknowledge this day and its ethos, ultimately deciding that letting you into this conversation was the best way we could honor what the day embodies.

The Power of Possessions, the Power of Loss

STORY BY MARY VENDEGNA

In January of 2020, I packed almost all of my belongings into storage pods and moved into my friend’s guest room. I thought it would be for a couple weeks until I found my own place. Then we watched as the rest of the world struggled to stay alive. We watched as France and Italy were ravaged by the pandemic. Somehow, it felt like that couldn’t happen here in the U.S., or at least that it wouldn’t. Surely, we’d learn from their situation and adapt.

A Widow and a Child: Sexual Violence Is Not About Sex

A BOOK EXCERPT BY SARAH DAWN PETRIN

An excerpt from “Me Too: A Global Crisis,” chapter 6 of Sarah Dawn Petrin’s book BRING RAIN: Helping Humanity in Crisis

As an international relief worker whose career spans 20 years and 20 countries, I’ve worked to address many problems caused by war, disaster, and disease. But the one that has confounded me the most is sexual violence, which affects one in three women globally.
In order to end the cycle of violence against women, it’s important to understand why sexual violence is taking place.