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ON EXPECTATIONS & ACCEPTANCE...
Expectations are partners to our emotional natures. Even in stillness and silence, they swim around on the surface of our subconscious mind, inspiring us toward lines of thought which feed our fantasies, our fears, and our imaginations. Unfortunately, these are also the roots of consciousness and thought, even though they stand in complete opposition to logic and reason, thereby creating the inherent differentials that allow our minds to grow and change allowing individuals to evolve into the myriad of special and unique beings that we become. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realms of performance (on any scale), and in the theatre of the emotion we call love. Desire exists perpendicular to these concepts, and is a primal vertical logic designed to be used as a springboard into experiences that open up opportunity to experience and mature in our ultimate relationship with acceptance, without which true love cannot grow into true virtue... (which, like a sick game of Chutes & Ladders, will drop us back into our primordial expectations at the first window of opportunity). *BUT* as conscious beings, we have a choice whether to be swallowed up and consumed by them, or greeting the hardship as a new opportunity for self-understanding and self-mastery. Next time you are alone with your own thoughts, take a moment and take stock of your expectations of... well, everything. Think (no matter how our emotions seek to overwhelm your thoughts) about how Acceptance can be applied to them in various ways; namely, how to broaden your definitions of acceptance and how to broaden it's application and use. Patience and tolerance are more than mere virtues. Sometimes they are traits necessary for survival, but other times they can block us from developing in ways that may help us move forward. But move forward we must... Love or bust... LOL! Can you think of any particular situations (that you feel comfortable sharing), where your expectations led you into a "whiplash effect", and left you with no route but acceptance? Could you find it in your heart to share them? These days, you might just save a life imparting such wisdoms... Reach out the long hand to each other, and let's help pull each other up out of the funk, one heart at a time, neh?
Diverse Children's Literature: Why does it matter?
This week at The Guardian is all about celebrating diverse children's literature, and I couldn't be more excited about it! What makes a book diverse? A book that is about, for, in favor of, inspirational to, and not harmful to all different colors, races, religions, sexualities, disabilities, and more! The book can't leave anybody out. Out of the 3,200 children's books published in in 2013, less than 300 were about black people, Native Americans, Asians or Latinos combined. That's not cool. A lot of children of color, different sexuality, untraditional homes and more face a serious problem when reading children's literature: they can't related. As writer Kate Messner explained on her blog, half of all five-year-olds in the country belong to a racial or ethnic minority, yet white kids continue to hold center stage in most children's books and young-adult fiction. As a result, large numbers of kids don't see themselves reflected in the books they read, and non-white, or non-heterosexual, or even non-male children end up learning that they are marginal, or secondary, in their society. They want to read about a character like them, but they cannot find any similarities between themselves, and the characters they are meeting through text. This doesn't mean that the book isn't good, but it does mean that the book is failing to be inspirational to all children, and that is a problem. In honor of celebrating diversity in children's literature, and to encourage more from publishing companies, The Guardian is having a week of diverse literature content on their site! Follow the link to see the articles as they come out, and first, check out their list of 50 children's books that are a testament to how great diversity in literature can be: http://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/oct/13/50-best-culturally-diverse-childrens-books!
Shahr-e Sukhteh
Finds In December 2006, archaeologists discovered the world's earliest known artificial eyeball. It has a hemispherical form and a diameter of just over 2.5 cm (1 inch). It consists of very light material, probably bitumen paste. The surface of the artificial eye is covered with a thin layer of gold, engraved with a central circle (representing the iris) and gold lines patterned like sun rays. The female remains found with the artificial eye was 1.82 m tall (6 feet), much taller than ordinary women of her time. On both sides of the eye are drilled tiny holes, through which a golden thread could hold the eyeball in place. Since microscopic research has shown that the eye socket showed clear imprints of the golden thread, the eyeball must have been worn during her lifetime. The woman's skeleton has been dated to between 2900 and 2800 BCE. The oldest known backgammon, dice and caraway seeds, together with numerous metallurgical finds (e.g. slag and crucible pieces), are among the finds which have been unearthed by archaeological excavations from this site. Other objects found at the site include a human skull which indicates the practice of brain surgery and an earthen goblet depicting what archaeologists consider to be the first animation. The ancient courier In one of the most recent discoveries from January, a team of Iranian and British anthropologists, working on human remains in the city from the 3rd millennium BC, identified a male camel rider who they believe was a messenger in ancient times. Studies of the skeletal remains belonging to the man reveal evidence of bone trauma, suggesting that he was a professional rider who most likely spent most of his life on camel back. Indications of riding are seen on the right leg bone of the man, who died at the age of 40 to 45. The swellings show that he continuously worked as a professional rider since he was a teenager. There are blade-shaped swellings on the lower part of the leg bone which indicate that he used to gather up his right leg while riding, suggesting that he rode on a large animal like a camel or ox. Although there is evidence showing that smaller draft animals were also used in the Burnt City, the act of gathering up a leg while riding is something that one does while riding a camel over long distances. Scientists, then, believe that the man was probably a courier who traveled regularly on camelback. Women's role Some paleoanthropologists believe that mothers in the Burnt City had social and financial prominence. 5000 year-old insignias, made of river pebbles and believed to belong only to distinguished inhabitants of the city, were found in the graves of some female citizens. Some believe the female owners of the insignias used them to place their seal on valuable documents. Others believe the owners may have used the seal to indicate their lofty status in society. Craftsmanship Paleopathological studies on 40 teeth unearthed in the Burnt City's cemetery show that the inhabitants of the city used their teeth as a tool for weaving to make baskets and other handmade products. "More than 40 teeth lesions have been identified, the most prominent of which belongs to a young woman who used her teeth as a tool for weaving baskets and similar products," said Farzad Forouzanfar, director of the Anthropology Department of Iran's Archeology Research Center and head of the anthropology team at the Burnt City in an interview with CHN. The use of teeth as a tool in the Burnt City is seen in both males and females of different age groups. Evidence shows that weaving was more than a hobby in the prehistoric city. It was one of the most common professions in the city which required a special skill. Residents made a variety of woven products such as carpets, baskets, and other household items. Studies are currently underway by anthropologists from Iran's Archeology Research Center and England's Newcastle University. The scientists hope to study bone fragments and teeth found in various parts of the Burnt City, especially those unearthed in its cemetery, which may unravel the mysteries over some of the most common occupations practiced by the region's inhabitants. The excavations at the Burnt City also suggest that the inhabitants were a race of civilized people who were both farmers and craftsmen. No weapon has ever been discovered at the site, suggesting the peaceful nature of the residents.
Game of Thrones and Anthropology
This article by Rex at Savage Minds (easily my favorite anthro blog these days) has once again got me thinking about the ideas of stories as socialization. Namely, he focuses on the story of Game of the Thrones, and the phenomenon that has come along with it. The GoT story is complex and very real: violence, sex, death and more are common aspects of the show, and it's still adored by hundreds of thousands of people each episode. The characters of the show are show to have huge implications on history: the way they change and act affects not just them but lots of other people. The words they use, the stories they share, all have huge implications within the show, and viewers accept this complexity. Not only that, but the show also shows complicated systems of kinship. What can the acceptance of this plot tell us about the American public? First, Rex makes an incredible point: it tells us that they can understand complexity, even in violence. Why is it that the news socializes Americans into thinking about war as a battle between good and evil: there can be no neutral parties when it comes to Iraq or Afghanistan. It's us or them. But GoT shows complexity: there are various groups and difference dynamics affecting the ways in which the violence turns, and viewers accept it. The viewers have been conditioned into understanding its okay, just as Americans have generally been socialized into thinking that every war is a war between good and evil, right and wrong. The stories the news tells us teaches us one why; why not try to teach it a different way? Game of Thrones, surprisingly, has done just that.