18 9 / 2014

gonzozeppeli:


Just like grammar used to make

gonzozeppeli:

Just like grammar used to make

(Source: trexjose, via betterbemeta)

18 9 / 2014

"

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.”

"

Quoted from the essay "1491" 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)

Just revised a quick typo in the title link, but this is a super interesting read thus far!

(via puckling)

(via blueshoesandbluemountains)

17 9 / 2014

lunariums:

Audrey II skeleton

lunariums:

Audrey II skeleton

(Source: clavicle-moundshroud, via lettersfromtitan)

17 9 / 2014

boltonsrepairshop:

IS THAT A GIF IN A GIF IN A GIF

(Source: notthedisneyyourelookingfor, via fireflyca)

17 9 / 2014

thelethifoldwitch:

Val was adopted. Her dad, lovely though he was, wasn’t really her dad. She didn’t know who really was though, and her dad was kind, even if she refused to call him “dad”.
She’d never known why he’d fought so hard adopt her. She was the weird kid at the foster home, the one weird stuff happened around, the one who’d managed to warn Gemma that there was an adder by her foot, and managed to tease the adder away. 
(She made things vanish too, though she didn’t know where they went. She could get them to come back, sometimes.)
But Dudley had fought for her, said that yes, the other children were perfectly lovely but Valerian Makepeace was something else, something, he said, pointing to her empty file, no other parents had seemed prepared to accept.
Val was a child Dudley Dursley fought to adopt, and adopt her he did. When things went missing he was never angry. When odd things happened he never demanded to know what had occurred. When the snake crawled up his leg and only Val could get it off he just nodded and said, “just like Harry you are.”
She didn’t really know who Harry was. 
But when, that summer, the year she turned 11, an owl landed on her windowsill, holding a letter in its beak, Dudley smiled. “Just like Harry you are,” he said again.
He explained about magic - or what little he could. Explained how his cousin - no, he wasn’t in contact with Harry much anymore, just that odd moving Christmas card each year - could do magic. Explained how there was a place in London, Diagonally, where she could get the things on the list, if she wanted to go.
Val wanted to go.
Dudley sent a letter to his cousin. The address (Godric’s Hollow, what a funny name, Val thought) neatly written and the letter quickly responded to. A barn owl (named Wendelin, apparently) came with a letter saying to go to a particular corner in London, where Harry would meet them.
Meet them he did, him and his whole family, and extended family, red head after red head, and Harry standing dark haired among them all, two dark haired boys, bickering beside him.
"Val are you?" he said, bending a bit so his eyes, dancing and green, were at her height. "It’s alright, I didn’t know what was going on when I was told. You’re a witch. Have you ever done strange things before?"
Val nodded because she had, though she’d always hesitated to call them magic.
"It’s alright. Would you like me to show you how to do something else strange?"
Val nodded because this was an adult not just, as dad did, accepting the strangeness, but asking for it. When she tapped the bricks, lifted by Dudley so she could reach the top one, she didn’t expect anything to happen.
But they moved.
Behind her the army of redheads cheered, and as her dad lifted her down and touched a kiss to her hair she smiled, properly, widely, as she handed the wand back.
She knew what she was now.
(Image Source)
(Idea of Dudley having a muggle-born Slytherin daughter from ninnieamee)

thelethifoldwitch:

Val was adopted. Her dad, lovely though he was, wasn’t really her dad. She didn’t know who really was though, and her dad was kind, even if she refused to call him “dad”.

She’d never known why he’d fought so hard adopt her. She was the weird kid at the foster home, the one weird stuff happened around, the one who’d managed to warn Gemma that there was an adder by her foot, and managed to tease the adder away. 

(She made things vanish too, though she didn’t know where they went. She could get them to come back, sometimes.)

But Dudley had fought for her, said that yes, the other children were perfectly lovely but Valerian Makepeace was something else, something, he said, pointing to her empty file, no other parents had seemed prepared to accept.

Val was a child Dudley Dursley fought to adopt, and adopt her he did. When things went missing he was never angry. When odd things happened he never demanded to know what had occurred. When the snake crawled up his leg and only Val could get it off he just nodded and said, “just like Harry you are.”

She didn’t really know who Harry was. 

But when, that summer, the year she turned 11, an owl landed on her windowsill, holding a letter in its beak, Dudley smiled. “Just like Harry you are,” he said again.

He explained about magic - or what little he could. Explained how his cousin - no, he wasn’t in contact with Harry much anymore, just that odd moving Christmas card each year - could do magic. Explained how there was a place in London, Diagonally, where she could get the things on the list, if she wanted to go.

Val wanted to go.

Dudley sent a letter to his cousin. The address (Godric’s Hollow, what a funny name, Val thought) neatly written and the letter quickly responded to. A barn owl (named Wendelin, apparently) came with a letter saying to go to a particular corner in London, where Harry would meet them.

Meet them he did, him and his whole family, and extended family, red head after red head, and Harry standing dark haired among them all, two dark haired boys, bickering beside him.

"Val are you?" he said, bending a bit so his eyes, dancing and green, were at her height. "It’s alright, I didn’t know what was going on when I was told. You’re a witch. Have you ever done strange things before?"

Val nodded because she had, though she’d always hesitated to call them magic.

"It’s alright. Would you like me to show you how to do something else strange?"

Val nodded because this was an adult not just, as dad did, accepting the strangeness, but asking for it. When she tapped the bricks, lifted by Dudley so she could reach the top one, she didn’t expect anything to happen.

But they moved.

Behind her the army of redheads cheered, and as her dad lifted her down and touched a kiss to her hair she smiled, properly, widely, as she handed the wand back.

She knew what she was now.

(Image Source)

(Idea of Dudley having a muggle-born Slytherin daughter from ninnieamee)

(via lettersfromtitan)

17 9 / 2014

tamorapierce:

xhopelyss:

mountainxofxpower:

southwest-sister:

englishsnow:

kevin russ

Tears :’(

Wow

what

Autumn, my favorite season.

17 9 / 2014

blackfashion:

Custom made traditional Nigerian wear.
Jay, 22, California
Submitted by: instagram.com/realdwntomars

blackfashion:

Custom made traditional Nigerian wear.

Jay, 22, California

Submitted by: instagram.com/realdwntomars

(via lettersfromtitan)

17 9 / 2014

beautifuloutlier:

I want to note that the way the sex binary looks like it’s present throughout the animal world is that white scientists have a terrible habit of labeling everything “male” or “female” even when it makes no sense.

Like, by any reasonable metric, bees have three sexes: drone, queen, and worker. Workers are only labelled female because someone couldn’t abide the idea of something not being either one or the other.

And before someone calls “genetics” there are many species where both sexes have the exact same genetics, and even many where individuals can change reproductive capacity at will, and scientists suddenly have no problem calling the ones who grow eggs “female” even though they were “male” two weeks ago.

Some species of mammals reproduce asexually. They have only one sex. It is still called “female” because it makes babies even though one might reasonably ask why even make the distinction when every single individual makes babies just the same.

(via hellotailor)

17 9 / 2014

17 9 / 2014

zohbugg:

eggsquad:

Literally my math teacher abandoned today’s lesson because some kid brought his kitten to school i don’t even know

image

image

same

17 9 / 2014

grizzlyhills:

flightcub:

interretialia:

life-of-a-latin-student:

ratwithoutwings:

i’m so upset

I just realized that the reason ghosts say Boo! is because it’s a latin verb

they’re literally saying ‘I alarm/I am alarming/I do alarm!!

I can’t

present active boōpresent infinitive boāreperfect active boāvīsupine boātum

Recte!

image

if it comes from the latin word, they’re actually saying “I’M YELLING!” which is even cuter

do they speak latin because it’s a dead language

(Source: pidgeling, via fireflyca)

17 9 / 2014

imaginarycircus:

mominmudville:

nevver:

Classic childhood books from yesteryear

The 80’s.

Tuberculosis. Giraffes. GOLF. I lost it at bomb making though.

(via lettersfromtitan)