Well I finally made it to mainland China. The train trip was long, about 23 hours, but mostly enjoyable. Sadly the initial arrival in Beijing left a lot to be desired, as we arrived to a grey and wet Beijing with no hostel or clue where to go. For the record, the Beijing West train station is amazingly confusing and terrible for someone with absol...[more]
So we have come to our final day here in Hong Kong. After the better part of a week exploring and traveling around here, I’m just beginning to get acclimated–and now it’s time to leave. Such is the nature of short travels, I guess. But I can definitely say that I have enjoyed my time here, and definitely will come back again. Afte...[more]
On Tuesday, my first full day here, I had some siu mai (燒賣) in a cup with chili sauce poured over and a red bean bun. The siu mai was pretty good, and it’s always fun eating food with a skewer out of a cup! Apparently this is a dish that varies a lot by region and taste, but is basically a pork or prawn steamed dumpling. It is also a common p...[more]
So I finally made it into Hong Kong this morning, somewhere about 6AM local time. So far the trip has been far less scary than I had imagined, mostly because I’m a very timid traveler. For being a loner in general, I did sorta wish I had some traveling companions. Fortunately I will soon.
Here are some of the pictures from my Cathay Pacific f...[more]
This Friday I had the chance to help facilitate a workshop with the New York City Nutrition Education Network, better known as NYCNEN. Held at The New School, the workshop was part of their May General Meeting. The overarching theme for the meeting was “Developing Partnerships for a Healthier NYC: A Workshop Exploring Resource Mapping and Cu...[more]
I’m Not Mad at You in Particular, Just Everyone in General
It’s been one of those weeks,
in the middle of the month
when you just want to scream
and break something beautiful
like those drones in the halls
playing pretend scholars
on blood money and silenced ghosts
You don’t change things by asking ...[more]
Earlier this week the FBI announced that they were elevating Black Liberation Army (BLA) and Black Panther Party (BPP) activist Assata Shakur (formerly Joanne Chesimard) to their ‘Most Wanted Terrorist’ list of domestic suspects, making her the only woman in history to have such a designation, and the second US citizen ever to be added ...[more]
In other news, Politix reports on a recent incident where students were allegedly forced to listen to a Christian fundamentalism sermons disguised as a student assembly, this time in a Mississippi public school in Rankin County.
“A Mississippi public high school has caused a furore by forcing students to attend Christian assemblies, students ...[more]
This Friday I had the chance to help facilitate a workshop with the New York City Nutrition Education Network, better known as NYCNEN. Held at The New School, the workshop was part of their May General Meeting. The overarching theme for the meeting was “Developing Partnerships for a Healthier NYC: A Workshop Exploring Resource Mapping and Cultural Sensitivity,” and my specific workshop was titled “Community Cartography: Mapping Health, Justice and Power.”
More than a year ago I wrote a post about finding some buried New School treasure while working on a class lecture. The image was of MLK Jr. (at left) and it turned out to be part of a 1964 “Race Crisis” series. The public lecture series was hosted at The New School and featured an opening lecture in 1964 (coincidentally on my birthday of Feb 6) by no other than Martin Luther King Jr. That photo discovery led to a long story which is still unfolding today, and which involves many different people, university archives and avenues of exploration. You can read more about this story at the Free Press here. Read More
“We can overtly support white-supremacist racial projects. We can reject white supremacy and support racial projects aimed at a democratic distribution of power and a just distribution of resources. Or we can claim to not be interested in race, in which case we almost certainly will end up tacitly supporting white supremacy by virtue of our unwillingness to confront it. In a society in which white supremacy has structured every aspect of our world, there can be no claim to neutrality.” – Robert Jensen – The Heart of Whiteness
This week has been a long one, and it just started yesterday! But it started off with a bang, as I spent three consecutive classes, as well as the time in between, talking about issues of white privilege, racism, cultural genocide and American history. I’d like to say it was just another day on the job for an anti-racist educator, but yesterday stood out for several reasons. Read More
[Updated 9/25/12with extended fact checking of film at end of post]
This post offers a media analysis and political commentary on Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie 2016: Obama’s America. I had assigned both of my Intro to Politics classes at Fordham University to view the film as part of our study of the election and campaign politics. The film has done quite well, recently moving to #8 in box office sales. Although I am not a fan of Obama, neither am I a fan of D’Souza, having met him many years ago at a public talk at Ohio University, and having read his work on and off over the years. However, I went in with as open a mind as possible, wanting to get a better understanding of the internal mindset of people like D’Souza and the conservative, fundamentalist right politics that he represents, as a growing part of my dissertation research is looking at these contemporary fundamentalist manifestations.
I watched the movie at the Union Sq cinema, and there were about 20 people in the audience, including a young black couple, two Jews, a group of gay men, and several couples or individuals. I’d estimate the crowd was about 50/50 split by age, with half under 40 and half over 55. That’s about as much demographics as I could gather from basic observations, so it’s hard to know who came as a fan of D’Souza and who came out of curiosity or horror to see how Obama was being portrayed. Read More
I recently spent a few days traveling with my parents, and during the course of one of our meals, my father made a comment that has stuck in my head, as it’s something I have wrestled with most of my college years. The question deals with the dilemma between specialist or generalist knowledge, and in particular, how this dichotomy is manifest in academics. The gist of his comment was that my problem is I’m a generalist, and this worried him from a fatherly, looking out for his eldest son’s future success perspective, cause he only sees job security in a specialization. What to do? Read More
Vagina:noun (plural vaginas or vaginae /-nē, -nī/) the muscular tube leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus in women and most female mammals.
Just when you think think are ludicrous enough, a new high seems to move the bar up just a little more. Case in point: the Michigan statehouse barring Rep. Lisa Brown from speaking after an earlier testimony on a reproductive health bill being debated in the statehouse, where she said the following:
“I have not asked you to adopt and adhere to my religious beliefs. Why are you asking me to adopt yours?” she said. But what came next is what got her in trouble: “And finally, Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’” Read More
A Brave New World doesn’t really even begin to capture it all…
There has been a slow but stead growth in the logistics of surveillance, whether that be of people or of objects. First there was the shipping label, then the UPC or bar code, and now we have RFID, or radio frequency identification. The image to the left is of an RFID chip next to a grain of rice, giving you a size of the devices we are talking about. Some are even smaller at this point.
Whether used for commerical, military, public or educational purposes, the slow but steady growth of various surveillance technologies and their homogenizing features are becoming more and more a part of our daily lives, even if we are not consciously aware of it. The following set of videos, starting with the #26 in this playlist on Transportation and Logistics, explores some of these issues in more detail, as well as their implications for the future of society. Enjoy.
In this week we turn to the relationship between perception and attention, thinking through some of the ideas of Roland Bartes in Camera Obscura and Cameron Tonkinwise and Karen Pinkus’ Want Not: A Dialogue on Sustainability with Images. Both sets of texts ask us to think about images and their power to influence us or cause some form of affective response. For Barthes, it is about adventure, for Tonkinwise and Pinkus, it is about thinking through how we think–and visualize–sustainability. Read More
“Human beings, like any other component or subsystem, must be localized in a system of architecture whose basic modes of operation are probabilistic, statistical. No objects, space, or bodies are sacred in themselves; any component can be interfaced with any other if the proper standard, the proper code, can be constructed for processing signals in a common translation language.” – (Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto)
DNA in 2 Paragraphs
As you may have learned, much of human life as we know it through modern molecular biology and genetics is connected to our understanding of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), the famous double helix. DNA is basically a long polymer of repeating units called nucleotides. Imagine a polymer as a sort a tiny pile of yarn forming a miniature molecule with a specific internal structure. Remember that a molecule is basically two or more atoms forming a chemical bond–H2O=water. That’s an easy example of a molecule! We could think about a lot more complicated ones that water, but that should at least give you a sense of what we are talking about. Read More