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Thomas Dean

Photo by Tom Dean
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Examining the ‘loose parts’ of the natural world

As I was driving home recently from the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City after finishing my first-ever nature photography workshop, my camera-obsessed eye could not help but...

Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Rethinking the comfort zone

Photo by Anna Gutermuth We often live by notions and aphorisms, sometimes perhaps more than we should. The greatest danger comes when guiding concepts become clichés, yet we still depend...

Illustration by Jordan Sellergren
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: A tense encounter on the Pentacrest turns transcendental

Illustration by Jordan Sellergren Recently, as I approached the University of Iowa’s Jessup Hall on my way to work one cold morning, a wide wingspan of majesty and terror flashed...

Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: How variation in building facades can change the paths we take

What compels pedestrians to a particular side of a block? -- photo by Britt Fowler Recently, I was sitting at the front window café bar of Iowa City’s Z’Marik’s Noodle...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Top-down management of Black Hawk Mini Park at odds with park’s original vision

Nearby development and top-down planning has eroded most of Black Hawk Mini Park’s history as an inclusive, grassroots forum. -- illustration by Jared Jewell In my previous column, I discussed...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: The place is what’s Important

Illustration by Erin Weitzell “If you build it, they will come” is baloney. Perhaps it’s heresy to question a platitude from one of Iowa’s sacred texts. But the ghostly voice...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Summer excursions abound, but what are costs of time away from home?

“It’s great to be home!” A common refrain after a trip, whether returning from a vacation or a business trip, whether coming home after two days or two...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Sweating the small stuff

We are in midsummer, and that means sweat. It’s the time of year when our body regulates its temperature through perspiration, when the heat of the season beads up and...

Iowa City debates historic preservation
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Cottages, conflict and control

Open, civil and respectful dialog builds community. -- illustration by Zoe H. Brown Let's be clear, this column isn’t about the debate over Iowa City’s Dubuque Street Civil War-era workers’...

Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Defining Success

Illustration by Jared Jewell I recently came across an article by “writer, entrepreneur, and video game designer” Jonathan Chee called “5 Key Traits Super Successful People Share.” Chee draws examples...

Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Winter’s journey

Twists and Turns: Winter takes us on a journey -- both predictable and unforseen -- that can be enabling and exciting. -- illustration by Tara Strait Here in Iowa City,...

UR Here
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Growing a community that gives

A different kind of gift: Coralville Optimist Club volunteers package Meals on Wheels for home delivery through Elder Services. -- photo by Adam Burke No matter how much we might...

Thanksgiving: Beyond the feast
Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Beyond the feast

Illustration by Frances Canon For the moment, let’s assume the story of the “First Thanksgiving” is true. You know, how the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1621 sat down with the...

Posted by Thomas Dean |
UR Here: Those last few steps

A 1930s illustration of the stairways leading to the Old Capitol -- Image courtesy of the Iowa Digital Library Staircases can be wonders, both in our material lives and in...