What I'm Reading: Tribe, Sebastian Junger

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

Tribes are a hot topic today as a concept political scientists and pundits have found useful to describe America's polarized political landscape. But our tribal tendencies may have a flip side: a way in which, properly harnessed, tribal instincts and behavior might alleviate other scourges of modern society.

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Road Trip

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

To mark the 100th anniversary of the national parks system, the O’Shaughnessys rented an RV and embarked on a great American pilgrimage inspired by John Steinbeck’s literary odyssey.

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Ministers of justice

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh asked Richard Goldstone, a South African judge fighting apartheid, what Notre Dame could do to promote justice in the country. “Educate our lawyers,” Goldstone said.

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Enthusiastic infectious irrepressible

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

You wanted to be a part of whatever Robert Sedlack was concocting, and you always felt he wanted you to be a part of those plans. His great laugh and his energy were contagious. He organized parish picnics, St. Patrick’s Day parade themes and green-firetruck tailgaters. Robert was the Pied Piper, the connector, the glue guy of every group he belonged to.

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A Drone's Eye View of Ireland Old and New

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

In the latest collaboration between anthropologist Ian Kuijt and videographer William Donaruma, both Notre Dame professors, a drone equipped with a camera offers a bird’s-eye view of the ethereal, rock-strewn beauty of a pair of Irish islands that can seem like last outposts of western civilization being battered by the Atlantic Ocean.

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What I’m Reading: The Divide, Matt Taibbi

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

Written by Rolling Stone political reporter Matt Taibbi, The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap provides dozens of similar stories of prosecutors going after poor people for minor crimes at the same time it lets the wealthy off with at most a company fine for gargantuan fraud.

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Why Does He Act This Way?

By Brendan O’Shaughnessy ’93

So there I am, in the parking lot of Lowe’s hardware superstore, cross-country skiing back and forth along a 100-yard grass strip on the edge of the lot and the brink of insanity. I’m wearing my wife’s superthin maxipads wrapped around both heels in a vain attempt to prevent the blisters my ski boots have given me for the last 10 years. I’m working up a sweat and drawing some funny stares from people heading in to buy power tools or track lighting.…

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