Saturday, November 28, 2009

Empire Zits: Pow, Zap

So, I saw this on the Huffington Post and it was just so way cool that I had to share.

Seems that empires are like zits. First they grow, then they explode, then, eventually, they just disappear.

My favorite part is in 1960 when African independence kicks in. I so knew that was coming. Pow. Zap. Too bad so sad.

Visualizing empires decline from Pedro M Cruz on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tell me about your mother: how Jewish is she?

Interesting article at the NY Times about the legal battle brewing in the U.K. over determinations of "Jewishness" in school admission processes: "Who is a Jew?" is the central question. And the courts have tripped over the thorny issue of the inherent discrimination in the us/them reality of some religious faiths. When does religious faith become ethnic identification? For orthodox Jews ( at least those in decision-making positions at some schools): not when your mother has converted and not when she has converted Progressively. Ethnic discrimination foul, according to the British Courts.

Round 2: the attempted save of belief through practice didn't quite cut the mustard as “having a ham sandwich on the afternoon of Yom Kippur doesn’t make you less Jewish,” Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet, chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue, said recently. The school seems to have ditched that evaluative measure.

Round 3: still waiting for the towel down and water splash. Any guesses?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Linguists: For Free

Well this Honors gig thing is really kicking my ass but I still feel more anthropologist than low-level abused administrator so I am back at my blog. I miss it.

I still feel a bit choked up about Levi-Strauss dying. Seems so stark to type that. I suppose we should celebrate the life and all that: 100 years of distinguished living but still its death and one can only spin that so far.

Anyway, I was in Washington D.C. this past week at the National Collegiate Honors Council meetings. It was useful for my new responsibilities but the best part (Ha! I am still full-time anthropologist) was the screening of The Linguists. It was awesome. It felt like slipping on a pair of comfortable jeans. We have all had fieldwork experiences like they depict. I skipped all the panels I was to attend and stayed all the way through the questions and answers. David Harrison was there and was a joy to listen to as he thoughtfully answered questions. The film maker (Ironbound films) announced that toward the end of the month copies priced for personal purchase will be available. They reached some licensing agreements which would allow for that. He, also, pointed out, that the video is streaming for free at Bablegum. He made it clear he had no intention to exercise any demands to pull it down. So, if you haven't seen it yet. Go enjoy it now. Here. But, hey, support their efforts and if you have the money--buy a copy. I plan on it.