Pennies for Thoughts
- 22, UK, Transbloke -

Never said I was smart but I don't consider myself downright stupid either. Sometimes a gentleman, sometimes a fool, always fluffy.

Sidebar art by Peabug!

I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”

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Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.

Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)

another excerpt:

Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.

When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.

Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.

Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.

Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”

and another excerpt:

In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.

When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.

(via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

weallheartonedirection:

Level 70 priest healing the tank.

tags » wow ·

Why straight allies don’t belong in safe spaces

shut-up-im-superman:

because then i’m forced to look around these spaces and go “i wonder how many of these people are straight” instead of being able to go “wow. look. people who are like me. i am not alone. amazing.”

This is why you shouldn't click on the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence

http://www.dailylife.com.au/news-and-views/dl-opinion/this-is-why-you-shouldnt-click-on-the-naked-photos-of-jennifer-lawrence-20140901-3eo6s.html

fabulouslyfreespirited:

If you deliberately seek out any of these images, you are directly participating in the violation not just of numerous women’s privacy but also of their bodies.
In what’s being called the biggest celebrity hacking incident in internet history, more than 100 female celebrities have had their private nude images stolen and published online. The bulk of the images posted have been officially confirmed as belonging to Jennifer Lawrence, but a complete list of victims’ names - including Krysten Ritter, Kate Upton, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rihanna, Brie Larson and Kirsten Dunst - has been subsequently published. (Link does not contain pictures, only names.)
The images were first uploaded by an anonymous member of the underground internet sewer known as 4chan and have since been enthusiastically shared across platforms like Reddit and Twitter. A representative for Lawrence has confirmed the images are real, condemning the theft of them as a “flagrant violation of privacy” and adding that “The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos.”
There are a few different issues that a criminal act like this brings up, but before I get into them it’s necessary to make one thing clear: If you deliberately seek out any of these images, you are directly participating in the violation not just of numerous women’s privacy but also of their bodies. These images - which I have not seen and which I will not look for - are intimate, private moments belonging only to the people who appear in them and who they have invited to see them. To have those moments stolen and broadcast to the world is an egregious act of psychic violence which constitutes a form of assault.
The people sharing these images are perpetuating an ongoing assault. The people gleefully looking at them are witnessing and enjoying an ongoing assault. When you have been asked by victims of a crime like this not to exacerbate the pain of that crime and you continue to do so anyway, you are consciously deciding that your enjoyment, your rights and perhaps even just your curiosity are more important than the safety and dignity of the people you’re exploiting.
That out of the way, let’s get a few other things straight.
1. This is not a ‘scandal’
It’s a crime, and we should be discussing it as such. Some media outlets are salaciously reporting it otherwise, as if the illegal violation of privacy involving intimate images is little more than subject for gossip. When associated with sex, the word ‘scandal’ has been typically interpreted as something that assigns responsibility to all parties involved, a consensual act unfortunately discovered and for which everyone owes an explanation or apology. Remember when private nude photos of Vanessa Hudgens (whose name also appears on the list of victims) were leaked online and Disney forced her to publicly apologise for her “lapse in judgment” and hoped she had “learned a valuable lesson”? Never mind that Hudgens was an adult and a victim of privacy violation - the ‘scandal’ was painted as something for which she owed her fans an apology. Which leads us to:
2. These women do not ‘only have themselves to blame’
While depressing, it’s sadly unsurprising to see some people arguing that Lawrence et al brought this on themselves. Part of living in a rape culture is the ongoing expectation that women are responsible for protecting themselves from abuse, and that means avoiding behaviour which might be later ‘exploited’ by the people who are conveniently never held to account for their actions. But women are entitled to consensually engage in their sexuality any way they see fit. If that involves taking nude self portraits for the enjoyment of themselves or consciously selected others, that’s their prerogative.
Victims of crime do not have an obligation to accept dual responsibility for that crime. Women who take nude photographs of themselves are not committing a criminal act, and they shouldn’t ‘expect’ to become victims to one, as actress Mary E. Winstead pointed out on Twitter. 
Sending a photograph of your breasts to one person isn’t consenting to having the whole world see those breasts, just as consenting to sex with one person isn’t the same as giving permission for everyone else to fu*k you. Victim blaming isn’t okay, even if it does give you a private thrill to humiliate the female victims of sexual exploitation.
3. It doesn’t matter that ‘damn, she looks good and should own it!’
Stealing and sharing the private photographs of women doesn’t become less of a crime just because you approve them for fapping activity. I’m sure many of the women on this list are confident of their sexual attractiveness. It doesn’t mean they don’t value their privacy or shouldn’t expect to enjoy the same rights to it as everyone else. It also doesn’t mean they want strangers sweating over their images. That line of thinking comes from the same school which instructs women to either ignore of welcome sexual harassment when it’s seemingly ‘positive’ in its sentiments.
None of these women are likely to give a shit that you think their bodies are ‘tight, damn’. Despite what society reinforces to us about the public ownership of women’s bodies, we are not entitled to co-opt and objectify them just because we think we can defend it as a compliment.
I will not be seeking out these images out and I urge everyone else to avoid doing the same. I hope that all the women who have been victimised here are being appropriately supported by the authorities and their network of friends. And I hope sincerely that more people take a stand against this kind of behaviour.
Because this incident aside, it strikes me as deeply ironic that we will vehemently protest a free Facebook messenger app because we’re outraged at reports that it can access our phone’s numbers, and yet turn around and excuse the serving up of women’s bodies for our own pleasure. Our appreciation is no less disgusting just because it’s accompanied by the sound of one hand clapping.

Sorry attunement and gamefreakerzero - I tried restarting my PC but the monitor started telling me it wasn’t getting a signal 8/ I’m using my mum’s laptop to type this.

dangerscissor:

kippy413:

dangerscissor:

i appreciate how immersive the gameplay is in x/y

That crow is so cute

yes she is thank you

tags » OMFG · cute ·
❝ Years ago I learned a very cool thing about Robin Williams, and I couldn’t watch a movie of his afterward without thinking of it. I never actually booked Robin Williams for an event, but I came close enough that his office sent over his rider. For those outside of the entertainment industry, a rider lists out an artist’s specific personal and technical needs for hosting them for an event, anything from bottled water and their green room to sound and lighting requirements. You can learn a lot about a person from their rider. This is where rocks bands list their requirement for green M&Ms (which is actually a surprisingly smart thing to do). This is also where a famous environmentalist requires a large gas-guzzling private jet to fly to the event city, but then requires an electric or hybrid car to take said environmentalist to the event venue when in view of the public.
When I got Robin Williams’ rider, I was very surprised by what I found. He actually had a requirement that for every single event or film he did, the company hiring him also had to hire a certain number of homeless people and put them to work. I never watched a Robin Williams movie the same way after that. I’m sure that on his own time and with his own money, he was working with these people in need, but he’d also decided to use his clout as an entertainer to make sure that production companies and event planners also learned the value of giving people a chance to work their way back. I wonder how many production companies continued the practice into their next non-Robin Williams project, as well as how many people got a chance at a job and the pride of earning an income, even temporarily, from his actions. He was a great multiplier of his impact. Let’s hope that impact lives on without him. Thanks, Robin Williams- not just for laughs, but also for a cool example. ❞

- Brian Lord.org  (via boysncroptops)

maggie-stiefvater:

tatterhood:

Save the viking goats!!!

Johanna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Icelandic goat farm (Háafell) is facing foreclosure in September, resulting in the entire goat flock being butchered - unless enough funds are raised to save it!

There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in the entire world - they are an endangered species. Almost half of them will be lost if this farm is not saved. I visited Háafell 2 years ago and every goat I draw is rooted in this place. Any little bit helps :)

If anyone I know eats any of these goats, we’re not friends anymore.

ryuko:

when someone insults your waifu

image

viwan themes