Last night I was watching a documentary about the Hubble telescope. It showed how Hubble has brought disparate and faraway stars, planets and galaxies into focus, illuminating dark matter and revealing to us things we hadn’t even dreamed existed. The internet is in some ways our invisible, earthbound telescope, allowing instant access to faraway places, collecting data on disparate ideas about the universe, and bringing our very large and yet very tiny world closer together. In this issue of Nebula we have a number of essays that focus their gaze upon different parts of the world and their local specificities: bringing to our attention the role that British colonialism played in creating a centralised monarchy among the Nigerian ethnic group of Ebiraland; to considering the poetic politics of Emirates poet Saleha Obeid Ghabesh; the theme of return in the work of Palestinian author Samira Azzam; or what the Academy Awards ceremonies reflect about United States culture. Geography plays a pertinent part in creating our realities, and this issue features articles that discuss what cities mean to their musical soundscapes, and the role of maps in weaving the texture of literature such as The English Patient. So too does this issue address those moments when our lenses into other places can be faulty or unable to effect change, as seen in the biased reporting in the United States media about the Al-Aqsa intafada, or the inability of the United Nations Security Council to enforce its 1967 Resolution 242. Other essays turn their attention to questions that resonate with history, whether this be in re-examining the philosophy of Epicurus, or Confucian perspectives on music education. Today more than ever, we interact with technologies on a daily basis, and in this issue of Nebula we have essays spotlighting how we interact with these technologies, from the popularity of social networking sites to the growth of a “digital intellect”. I hope you will enjoy this issue of Nebula, and it will fulfil its mission of bringing into view a diverse variety of ideas about and examinations of humanity and its cultural creations.