Cricket is Wicket

This spring marked the first time that cricket was offered as a varsity sport in the New York City school system. Roisin O’Connor-McGinn, Dana Oliver, and I recently took a look at the state of the game and at cricket culture in Queens.

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Welcome to the New York Hamster House

Kaiser Wilhelm started it all.

Wilhelm was the hamster Jessica Wells found crossing Broadway during a walk home nearly three years ago. “I had been shoe shopping that day, which was really lucky,” said Wells, 30. “So I took the shoes outside and put the box on the sidewalk.” Wilhelm walked straight into the box and the New York Hamster House was born. Local shelters do not accept hamsters, inspiring Wells begin taking them in. Click here to learn more about the various animals available at the house.

Run out of her one-bedroom apartment in Inwood, the house currently houses 22 hamsters and other small animals. Cages are neatly lined up against the overflowing bookshelves in the living room. For a room with so many animals living in it, it was surprising quiet on a recent Sunday. This all changes come nightfall; the cacophony of the hamsters squeaking, running on their wheels and shredding cardboard boxes can regularly be heard. “I had to move my DVD player into the bedroom because it got so loud in here,” Wells said.

Prior to Kaiser Wilhelm, Wells had never owned or taken care of a hamster before. “A lot of it is trial and error,” she said, crediting hamster discussion groups online and comments hamster aficionados post on her blog for much of her knowledge. “I’ve learned a lot. The good thing is that I don’t pretend that I know everything.” Wells estimates that she has taken care of more than 400 hamsters since 2005.

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Currently, New York Hamster House is not officially a nonprofit, though Wells is working to change that. “Right now I’m just a girl with a lot of hamsters,” she said, making fundraising difficult. Wells does not charge a fee to adopt, though occasionally families will donate when they take their adoptees home. She estimates she spends $150 to $500 a month on supplies.

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A Remittances Emergency

The AP reports on Burmese Americans who are desperately trying to participate in the relief effort.

The challenge of providing relief has been magnified by the sheer desperation of the situation in Myanmar and a ruling military regime that is hostile to U.S. citizens and supplies. The United Nations and other agencies have said they are trying to persuade the government to issue more visas to speed the aid to sites where it is most needed.

The article goes on to say that the best way for Americans to participate in the relief efforts is through “large international organizations with access to Myanmar, such as the International Red Cross, UNICEF, the International Rescue Committee and the International Medical Corps.”