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I was encouraged by this article about Land's End being receptive to customer feedback on gendered clothing

This gave me an idea for a different marketing scheme.  Organize clothes by theme: Science T-Shirts, Fairy Tale T-shirts, Play Clothes, Work Clothes, Nurturing Slogans, Adventurous Slogans, Heroic Figures, Everything Pink, Everything Blue, etc.  Then in each section, the dropdown menu would have options for masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral cuts.
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 A dig at Cahokia Mounds has turned up what looks like a prayer bundle.  I'm kind of surprised that this is the first they've found there.  Prayer bundles are pretty typical of magical/spiritual practice across many tribes.
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Apparently Satanists are asserting their religious right to make medical decisions based on science, and claiming that distorted anti-abortion propaganda violates their rights.  So, Satanists are treating people better than Christians are.
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An Indian university has bred seedless mangoes.  Science is SO AWESOME.
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 ... which is of course gone.  Life sucks, because nobody has time for life anymore.  It's all drudgery.  Often it doesn't even pay enough to live on.
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I find it aggravating that disabled characters are almost always played by abled actors. It creates the same problem as white actors playing people of color: taking away the extremely few roles available to actors who genuinely have those traits.
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I continue to be impressed with the Cherokee tradition of linguistic eptitude.  It's one of the few native languages to devise its own writing system, and now it comes in Braille too
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I loved this article about the ongoing evolution of regalia at powwows.  

As much as I love the traditional materials, I understand that novelty is a crucial indicator of cultural survival.  If people are only copying the past, then the culture is stagnant.  Tribal spirit depends on each individual finding their own dreamvision.  So if a person's regalia is exuberant and unique -- if they're incorporating current resources into their outfit -- then it's a healthy sign of a living, growing culture.  Then when you see the traditional work, it's about the challenge of keeping the old ways alive, taking a consistent set of materials and learning what you can do with those.  Innovation there looks a bit different.  And then there's fusion, where you might see someone making motherboard lines in quillwork and beads. 

Hints of this show up in my writing occasionally.  The Iron Horses are a superpowered, intertribal, motorcycle gang over in Polychrome Heroics.  Their uniforms are a cross between regalia and biker leathers.  That was inspired by something I've seen a lot of tribal folks doing, where they'll take their cultural background and look for a way to merge it with whatever their contemporary interests are.  It's not something that only exists in the past.  Native culture is still here, and it interacts with the mainstream, sometimes in breathtaking ways.

And you can see it in my aesthetic tastes: my favorite dances include men's traditional, men's fancy dance, jingle dress, and hoop.  A pretty even mix of classes that are straight historic and ones that have the most modern influence.  *ponder*  Though after having recently seen a white girl in a circus who did a brilliant hula routine with holographic hoops, I have to say I would really like to see what a native dancer could do with a set of blinged-up hoops.  Because fusion is awesome.  Traditional is awesome.  Modern is awesome.  Dance ALL the things!
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This article is really about why most people don't remember being babies

It doesn't mention the fact that some people DO remember.  But the logical explanation connects to at least one reason for remembering: those of us who come into this life with some memories already in place.  Think of it as a scaffold.  If you already have some memories, then you press that template into the barely-formed brain of your new body.  This makes it easier to attach new memories immediately.  The physical plasticity means you'll probably still lose some stuff, but you are way ahead of people who have to start from scratch.
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It turns out that people arrived in the Amazon basin before it was a rainforest.  Well that's new. 
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[personal profile] dialecticdreamer tipped me to this fascinating article about Naia, the oldest paleoamerican skeleton found. 
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I was amused by this post about marriage equality in Kentucky, link courtesy of my partner Doug. What caught my attention was this bit:

The case against Gay Marriage was not made by the state's Attorney General, by the way. He refused to go in and defend the law so the Governor hired an outside law firm to argue that position. That was sure money well-spent.

Whatever your job is, you never know when it will give you an opportunity to showcase your morals on a public stage.  Sometimes, the best way to do your job is politely declining to do your job.  Justice can be refraining from perpetrating injustice.
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Well, this is irritating.  Gittip is a platform that enables small weekly payments, explicitly aimed at helping people pay bills because bills are regular and thus benefit from regular income.  Trouble is, the folks behind the platform are unsupportive in ways that make it hostile to women and minorities.  *headdesk*
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 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted a thoughtful essay about gender in Vancouver as people try to provide alternatives to the boy/girl division.

The gender-neutral pronoun issue is not new; dozens of sets have been proposed, and I've even seen that one before.  The fact that none of these have caught on indicates that a majority of English speakers currently dislike them.  The fact that it keeps coming up is proof that some people really, really want or need them.

I'm especially happy about gender-neutral bathrooms though.  You should not have to advertise your sex/gender every time you need to use the can.  That gets people hurt, and sometimes killed.  A gender-neutral bathroom is not only safer for altsex folks, it's a terrific overflow when one or the other gendered bathroom is full or if someone needs to assist a party of the opposite sex/gender (parent and child, attendant and handicapped person, etc.).
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The fight isn't over yet, but the Redskins trademark has been cancelled as racially offensive.  Link courtesy of my partner Doug.


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August 2014



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