The tradition of claiming a Cherokee ancestor continues into the present. Today, more Americans claim descent from at least one Cherokee ancestor than any other Native American group. Across the United States, Americans tell and retell stories of long-lost Cherokee ancestors. These tales of family genealogies become murkier with each passing generation, but like Phelps, contemporary Americans profess their belief despite not being able to point directly to a Cherokee in their family tree.
The artist and visual designer Yang Liu was born in China and lives in Germany since she was 14. By growing up in two very different places with very different traditions she was able to experience the differences between the two cultures first-hand.
Drawing from her own experience Yang Liu created minimalistic visualizations using simple symbols and shapes to convey just how different the two cultures are. The blue side represents Germany (or western culture) and the red side China (or eastern culture): the image above represents the boss's influence over other workers.
Her story is mind-bending, but so is the concept of race itself.
Seth Dixon's insight:
Her individual story might not warrant the attention it is getting, but it is challenging many people's very notion of race--and that is worth discussing. Race as a concept is part biological, but primarily a social construct that is can break down and be incredibly 'slippery.'
Dog lovers in Japan have taken grooming to a whole new level of strange by styling their dogs into perfectly trimmed and symmetrical cubes.
Japan, a country known for their love of turning everyday items and things into block form (see the 'square watermelon' for proof), are so taken by the craze that it’s proved a big hit at this Tokyo dog show.
Given the long odds of making it to the majors from Latino countries, players like Jose Bautista and Yoenis Cespedes should not be admonished for celebrating with joy and passion.
Seth Dixon's insight:
Are the traditionalists demanding that young players (often from other countries and cultures) "respect the game" really demanding that they culturally assimilate into MLB's culture? I don't doubt that Bautista will face retribution in the future, but isn't that a simply a violent form of enforcing cultural norms? MLB has allowed 'unwritten rules' to be enforced by the locker room and pitcher retaliation against the batter. Here is to hoping that purists stop demanding cultural assimilation as MLB's population has globalized and diversified.
President Barack Obama has signaled the United States will accept at least 10,000 more refugees from Syria during the next year. Michigan should lobby to be the destination for most, if not all of those seeking new homes.
Bringing them here makes sense. The state already has one of the largest Syrian immigrant communities in the nation. There are a number of public and private support agencies in place with expertise in dealing with Arab newcomers.
In addition, Michigan has an abundance of inexpensive, available housing particularly in Detroit and its other urban centers. Detroit, with up to 80,000 abandoned structures, would benefit from refugees willing to repair and homestead those properties.
If there’s one thing that Inside Out’s main character Riley hates, it’s broccoli. Or is it? Last week Pixar tech artist David Lally pointed out on Twitter that Japanese children watching Inside Out will see Riley balk at a different green veggie: peppers. But that’s not the only change made to help the film translate better....
A viral video in South Africa apparently shows pupils of Johannesburg's Curro Roodeplaat school being separated into groups by skin color after they get off a bus. The school released a statement saying it drives pupils who take English, most of whom are black, and those who take Afrikaans, most of whom are white, in separate buses. This is not the first time it's happened, and the government is relaunching investigations.
How I snapped and started taking up as much space as I deserve.
Seth Dixon's insight:
Public space has historically been masculinized and women often are marginalized in spaces, but also in terms of how much space they culturally feel they are are allowed to occupy. Here is a humorous account one woman who is demanding her space.
In a city rapidly running out of cemetery space, Jews are looking to a 2,000-year-old solution.
For Jews seeking eternal rest, the most coveted real estate on Earth lies in the soil of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the city is rapidly running out of room to bury the dead. And so it has come to pass that an Israeli burial organization has teamed with a cutting-edge construction firm to bore deep under a mountain here to create a vast underground necropolis — with elevators. The first phase of the new subterranean city of the dead will include 22,000 crypts, arranged floor to ceiling in three tiers, in a network of intersecting tunnels now being dug through the rocky clay soil beneath Jerusalem’s largest cemetery.
In Baltimore in 1910, a black Yale law school graduate purchased a home in a previously all-white neighborhood. The Baltimore city government reacted by adopting a residential segregation ordinance, restricting African Americans to designated blocks. Explaining the policy, Baltimore’s mayor proclaimed, “Blacks should be quarantined in isolated slums in order to reduce the incidence of civil disturbance, to prevent the spread of communicable disease into the nearby White neighborhoods, and to protect property values among the White majority.”
Whenever young black men riot in response to police brutality or murder, as they have done in Baltimore this week, we’re tempted to think we can address the problem by improving police quality—training officers not to use excessive force, implementing community policing, encouraging police to be more sensitive, prohibiting racial profiling, and so on. These are all good, necessary, and important things to do. But such proposals ignore the obvious reality that the protests are not really (or primarily) about policing.
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