seem to both connect us, and keep us at arms length from one another. It's easy to ring a Taiwanese colleague and discuss plans for field work from the swiveling comfort of my office chair, but telephony also severely stifles communication sometimes. So much of what people communicate is non-verbal; posturing, eye contact, muscle control, breathing rate... these cues are often the only absolute evidence we can garner about the emotional state of whomever we are communicating with. Not that a statement of "I love you" or "I miss you" is empty without the external cues of a gentle smile or squeeze of the hand, but sometimes that one touch says it all and more without the necessity of uttered words. How frustrating then, when faced with the case of wanting badly to support loved ones experiencing loss or stress or crisis, to be restrained by the disembodied audio-only limitation of a long-distance phone call.