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Kiosk Magazine - UCIrvine Welcome

A Note from the Editor

A Cabinet of Curiosities

We often read stories that report extreme events or happenings. In fact, that's why many things make it into the news. But what about the stories of the commonplace, in particular those that highlight the strangeness of the world as we know it?

In this issue of KIOSK, you'll find authors who are taking a second look at the things, people, places, and phenomena around us. From William Hillyard's return to Tijuana in yet another search for the city's identity; to Natasha Thakkar's account of the struggle of the Chino Hills Swaminarayan community to build a temple that is just right, out of exquisite stone sourced from across the globe, using neither nails nor metal, we present to you stories of the strangeness of everyday experience.

Like the word in the poem that makes us sense the heft, texture, and fragility of the glass tile mosaic once more, the stories collected here urge us to rethink what might otherwise seem inconsequential or mundane. These tales open up the world like lapidary doors on a cabinet of curiosity, a cabinet filled with treasures from an age of exploration, helping us to find small gems, intricate devices, and -- most rewardingly -- further mysteries and wonders.

The funny, hidden beauty of a city we thought we knew; the true struggle of a hard day's work with one's hands; the shock of a mother's hearing once again the steady heartbeat of a lost boy. When we think about life in these terms, it is strange and wondrous indeed.

Patricia Pierson
December 2009


Michelle S. Kim