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Sunday, April 27, 2008

NY mom lets kid ride subway, gets socially whipped

I did not know about this until the article in Newsweek came out, but apparently a woman let her 4th grader ride the subway alone to go home early from a shopping trip. I say good for her. Kids today are too protected, coddled, and not trusted to be responsible human beings. She even created her own blog, Free Range Kids. I hope this trend continues, with books like A Nation of Wimps and most modern psychologists promoting independence in children rather than protecting, it's time that America regained its independent, rugged streak and grew up a little bit!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Traveling far away from home is bad

Well, I didn't make it to Victoria, BC, for a number of reasons, the final clincher being that I couldn't find my passport or two other kinds of government-issued ID. I'm sure it was boring anyway; just a bunch of archaeologists talking about cool stuff they found, not to mention historical studies of cultural land use. :(
Since I couldn't get my academic fix this weekend, I'll try to get one here: I'm surprising myself about the whole Texas polygamist raid and the issues that are stemming from it. Usually I am dead set against any form of domestic or child abuse, and treating women unfairly, and am all for taking kids and women out of bad situations. However, I think taking over 400 kids away from their mothers and the only society they've ever known and first locking them up in a sports arena and then separating them into different foster homes borders on child abuse itself, and certainly negligence at the bare minimum. It was really irresponsible of the Feds to handle the situation the way they did, and while there are no easy answers in a situation like this, there had to be a better one than the one they chose. Maybe arrest and remove the men who are dominating these women and children? Argh!
Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NWAC 2008

I will be presenting at the 2008 Northwest Anthropological Conference held in (so I've been told) beautiful Victoria, B.C.
My presentation will be on the cultural change of land use in Skagit County over the past 60 years, using photos to analyze what people were up to, as well as what was important to people. For example, in the 1950s only one picture of the cat and because the kid was playing with it; in the 1980s lots of pictures of dogs all by themselves, they are the featured player in the article.
I'm only going for a day, so I don't know how much I'll be able to see, but I hope to get a little bit out of the whole deal.
I'll write an synopsis when I get back.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Filing a complaint

I'm having the worst time getting things through bureaucratic tape and getting my complaints heard, so while these stories are a little dated, I figured I'd post these two about people making blatant statements about a particular culture with their complaints.

The first one is the story about how a 5th grader noticed something wrong on an exhibit at the Smithsonian. The sad thing is people working within the Smithsonian had noticed it too, but it took someone from outside the system to make them fix it. Hooray for bureaucracy!

This story is about two women who are divorcing the same man. They are working within their culture's limitations to assert their rights. Since it technically has to be the man who initiates the divorce, they figured if they teamed up and asked for a divorce it'd be near impossible for him to turn them down. Strength in numbers!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Worshiping what's wrong with us

A baby girl was born in India with two faces, and is not only surprisingly healthy, but is being worshiped as a Hindu deity.
Another little girl from India who had been born with multiple limbs is doing well after surgery to remove the extra limbs and repair internal organs.
And then just because my Professor Joan Stevenson has resparked my interest in this subject, I wanted to post a couple of articles about having a "disorder"
The benefits of ADD
Some good characteristics associated with dyslexia
Martin Luther King Jr.'s struggle with depression

Monday, April 7, 2008


Seattle, the closest big city to me, is one of ten cities that is part of the Solar City plan.
This is anthropological only in the sense of the "How are we supposed to keep ourselves alive for the next 100 years" question.