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Ryan Dennis

Ryan Dennis is the son of a New York dairy farmer and a literary writer whose early essays were originally published in Progressive Dairyman.

LATEST

It may not be entirely fair to compare Iceland with Australia – two nations of different sizes and circumstances – but it does illustrate how decisions by those behind a desk can have immense impact for those in the barn.

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Several months ago Ireland braced for Hurricane Ophelia. It was expected to be the worst storm in 50 years. Several days before it was to land, the government decided to close all schools, and the night before, the university too shut its doors.

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My parents packed their bags and came to visit me on what they termed their “once-in-a-lifetime trip.” Being farmers, their opportunity to travel locally was limited, let alone to Europe. When I asked them what they wanted to see, they simply replied it didn’t matter – it was up to me to decide.

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My housemate brought home a virtual reality headset. Being somewhat behind the times, I still thought they were the imagination of science fiction. Slipping it on, I was amazed at how fast the physical world disappeared. Suddenly, I was in a shark tank and, every way I turned, I was surrounded by hammerheads.

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In an age of alternative facts, spin doctors and stilted media outlets, it is up to the individual to question the information he or she is given. It is no longer enough to be told something or to see it on the television.

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As I write this, the L.A. Dodgers have just beaten the Chicago Cubs in the National League Conference Series. The Cubs didn’t put up much of a show, really. Their bid to be repeat champions ended quietly in a 4-1 series loss. For them, it meant the off season and, for me, back to normal life.

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