environmental threat

I appreciate that climate change gets a lot of attention (possibly because it has the potential to have the highest economic costs if left unchecked) but it is my duty to remind everyone that the biggest threat to wildlife and ecosystems today is habitat loss. Not climate change. Not trophy hunting. Not even pollution–though a habitat can become so degraded from pollution that it becomes unusable.

The very best way to curb global destruction of habitat is to implement large-scale changes to our development patterns, energy production, and agricultural system. So be sure to support those efforts politically. You can also support sustainable, multi-use development in your communities(many municipalities talk about community-wide projects at city counsel meetings!). Live densely. Eat less meat. Call out self driving cars for the sprawl-supporting pact with satan that they are. Support public transportation! Don’t support sprawl and McMansions! Recognize that suburbia in general and lawns in particular are a facsimile of greenness that destroy actual usable habitat and replace it with sterile monocultures that require gallons of water, pesticides, and fertilizer to maintain. Stop using products with neonicotinoids altogether. Make your yard wildlife-friendly. Consider a brush pile. Keep your damn cats indoors. Plant native plants. Remove invasive plants. Maybe don’t freak out and call animal control every time you see a bat or snake or coyote in your neighborhood since they were literally there first and we’ve left them no place else to go. Watch out for herps crossing the roads in the breeding season, especially our salamanders. Plant a NATIVE tree. Support your local parks, forests, and waterways, big and small. 

How to get kids to love science

Maybe your kids already love science. If so, great! If not, these creative strategies can help. Ready to spark a love of science in the students near you? Here are five ways to get started. Encourage students to pick one action from the list below and try it out.

Animation by Karrot Animation

1. Upgrade the science fair project. Before you create that foaming tabletop volcano, check out these curiosity-powered experiments from Make, the Exploratorium, and mad scientist Grant Thompson. Which one will you try next? Science fair optional.

2. Join the citizen science brigade. ”Citizen scientists” are volunteers who help to collect and analyze research data in fields ranging from archaeology to zoology. Explore citizen science project options here, here, and here.

3. Invent a solution to a real-world problem. In Kenya, student Richard Turere invented a solar-powered way to prevent lion attacks. In Malawi, a young William Kamkwamba harnessed the wind to power his family’s home. In Hong Kong, students in Cesar Harada‘s class work together to address environmental threats to the ocean. Now it’s your turn. What problem do you care about enough to solve — and how will you do it? To filter options quickly, try the Google Science Fair’s Make Better Generator.

Animation by Augenblick Studios

4. Research quirky, open-ended questions. Science is the story of humans asking ”why?” “how?” and “what if?” about what they observe. What questions will you ask of the world? To get inspired, check out these questions no one knows the answer to (yet).

5. Explore science fiction. Futurists believe that science fiction can predict the future — or at least provide us with a way to imagine and prototype the future. Do you agree? Before you decide, read one of the short sci-fi excerpts shared here, or watch a video from the Superhero Science series.

Animation by Jeremiah Dickey / TED-Ed

Article from the TED-Ed Blog

school is starting tomorrow and im about to see that one girl in the year below me who drinks a whole pack of yakult with a straw

Awesome Women + Google Doodles

Scientists, Mathematicians, and Inventors

Rachel Louise Carson (1907-1964)

American marine biologist and conservationist whose writing brought public attention to environmental threats, especially pesticides

Marie Curie (1867-1934)

Polish and French physicist  and chemist whose pioneering work on radioactivity made her the first woman to win a Nobel prize, as well as the first person and only woman to win two

Rosalind Franklin (120-1958)

An English chemist whose work with x-ray crystallography was instrumental to discovering the structures of DNA, viruses, coal, and graphite; she died of breast cancer before she could be awarded the Nobel prize, and her colleagues Watson and Crick are often given sole credit to this day

Maria Gaetana Agnesi (1718-1799)

Italian mathematician and philospher who wrote first book covering both integral and differential calculus and spent the latter half of her life on charity and theology

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852)

British mathematician and writer whose work on the the Analytical Engine, an early computer, made her the world’s first computer programmer

Feminists and Activists

May Ziade (1886-1941)

Lebanese-Palestinian writer, poet, and translator influential in the Arab literary world and known as an early Palestinian feminist

Henrietta Edwards (1849-1931)

Canadian activist and reformer who fought for women’s rights in voting, education, work, and health

Dorothy Irene Height (1912-2010)

educator and activist who fought for the equal treatment of women, people of color, and LGBT+ people

Concepción Arenal (1820-1893)

Spanish writer and women’s rights activist who was the first woman to attend university in Spain

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)

British women’s rights activist and suffragette whose militant tactics were key to winning women voting rights in Britian

Artists, Writers, Pilots, One Athlete, and One Entrepreneur

Sohair El-Qalamawy (1911-1997)

influential Egyptian writer, politician, and women’s rights activist, as well as first female professor at Cairo University

Loftia El Nady (1907-2002)

Egyptian aviator who studied flying in secret and became the first female pilot in the Arab world and Africa

Grete Waitz (1953-2011)

Norwegian runner, first woman to run the marathon in under 2.5 hours, and winner of a record 9 New York City Marathons

Amalia Eriksson (1824-1923)

Swedish entrepreneur who became one of the first women in Sweden to own a business and the first person to manufacture peppermint candy

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)

American aviator and first female pilot to fly across the atlantic

Martha Graham (1894-1991)

American modern dancer and choreographer whose work revolutionized dance and theater

Anne-Cath. Vestly (1920-2008)

Norwegian author of children’s literature whose writing challenged gender roles

M. S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004)

renowned Indian musician and vocalist who was awarded the  Bharat Ratna and the Ramon Magsaysay award

Nellie Melba (1861-1931)

soprano opera singer who became the first Australian to gain international recognition as a classical musician

                       Happy International Women’s Day!


My work has been accused of existing purely to “make fun of” and even “bully”(!) a certain Tumblr user. To which I must say - bitch, are you trippin right now? 

Indulge me for a moment, as I enter fantasy land and invite you to imagine that this blog might not be completely serious (which of course it most certainly is). 

If this entirely serious blog were satirical, might it not be the case that, perhaps, I just quite like being silly with like-minded people? And turning something frustrating into something fun?

Could it not be that seeing something (no matter how trivial) that gives you joy constantly belittled by people you’ve never asked, let alone forced, to listen, in the place you’ve carved out to celebrate it, actually feels a bit … shit? That, just perhaps, being treated like stupid children (who are simultaneously cruel homophobes, implicit in the alleged pain of someone you have never met nor, in any way, engaged with) and being told that this harmless thing that gives you joy, and that you have very good reason to believe in, is all a big lie, you’re just not enlightened enough to see it, might feel, just a little, like being on the receiving end of bullying? 

But, of course, I am in fact serious.

In these days of fear and want, Trumpisms and Le Pen near-misses, LGBT+ people being stripped of their rights, and bodies of people of colour abused and left in the streets. In these days under the shadow of the two great dangers, environmental catastrophe and nuclear threat, deeper and darker than ever, and in perfect equilibrium. In these strange, dark days, there are many great wrongs, but none, NONE compare to the dastardly evil of Hollywood PR. 

And i’m not talking about McDonalds turning a pensioner with third degree burns into a laughing stock, or a health service for all being painted as a nation’s doom. Nay. What is really wrong with the world is the shadowy Industry cabal trying to manipulate the fans of a minor teen show into believing that two attractive and apparently highly compatible young people might actually be attracted to each other.

What is really wrong with the world is making a little 20 year old boy sad on his birthday :( 


DuPont’s Latest Poison Has Ravaged Cape Fear Residents

Watch on americasgreatoutdoors.tumblr.com

It’s World Turtle Day! From a tiny baby bog turtle to a massive leatherback, turtles come in many shapes and sizes. Found gliding through the open ocean or slowly trudging over desert plains, they are fascinating creatures. Because of environmental threats, several species are endangered and need our help. Video of a baby turtle running for the surf by Dry Tortugas National Park.

John Murphy: How He Learned to Stop Craving Revenge and Love Saving his Own Ass

Thanks to everyone who liked, reblogged or responded to my Finn meta. In honor of the next @metastation podcast reviewing ‘Murphy’s Law’ I thought I’d write a bit of character analysis on man of the hour, John Murphy. I want to focus on Murphy’s warped sense of justice and riff off Erica and Claire’s comment that Murphy came down to Earth seeking “revenge on the world”. I also wanted to consider Murphy’s progression in S2 and S3 and look at how Murphy not only overcomes a burning desire for revenge within himself but how he has become the chief person who counsels others out of their own cravings for revenge and retribution. Coming into S4 when Sky People and Grounder Clans are going to all need to put their grievances aside to focus on the threat of environmental catastrophe if they want to survive as a species - will Murphy, the consummate survivor, become the leader (or at least advisor) they all need?   

The Murphy who wanted Revenge on the World

How old was Murphy when they put him in the Skybox? This is important to me because I’m thinking he must’ve still been a little kid when his father got scared he might die of the flu and stole medicine to save him. I also get the impression that Murphy’s mother drinking herself to death and Murphy committing his first revenge crime (setting fire to the quarters of the man who arrested his father) seem like events that came soon after his dad’s floating. So what I’m asking is - was Murphy around Charlotte’s age when they put him in prison? It’d explain a lot. Like it’d explain why despite being a smart boy, Murphy can’t spell because he would’ve been taken out of school at a very early age. It’d explain why he’s such a feral little monster when he is first let out of his sky cage (starting fights, peeing on other kids, holding girls over fires, etc). Most of all, it’d explain why Murphy feels like Charlotte should receive no mercy for her crimes. Because Murphy himself was a Charlotte, a little kid who lashed out and got locked up due to their grief over a parent’s execution. Murphy was weened on merciless Arker justice and that’s the type of justice he dishes out.

We know that Murphy is a Charlotte deep down because he understood her motive for murdering Wells perfectly without her having to tell him. In S2 when Jaha asks Murphy why a twelve year old girl would kill his son, Murphy answers instinctively and correctly - “Because she couldn’t kill you.” Murphy also made Wells a scapegoat for his father, bullying him relentlessly during the short time that Wells was alive on the ground. However, Murphy doesn’t cross the line of killing Wells in Jaha’s place because ultimately Murphy knows it would be an injustice. Injustice infuriates Murphy. The type of justice Murphy serves up may be merciless and inhumane but he only believes in punishing those who deserve it. Since Murphy himself did not deserve to be falsely accused then immediately hanged for Wells’s murder, Murphy himself became the victim of a crime and therefore required justice to be served. And in S1 the only person who cared to punish the injustice of his hanging was Murphy himself.      

By the end of S1 Murphy is no longer randomly lashing out at the world, but craving revenge on specific targets. Connor because he called for his execution. Myles because he tied the noose. Bellamy because he kicked the crate from under him. It’s also suggested that Clarke and Octavia were on his hit list, which fits the Murphy’s law logic as they were the ones who falsely accused him and riled up the lynch mob. So when Murphy returns to the camp after his brief banishment he becomes a serial-killer but not quite a psycho-killer. Murphy can’t bring himself to kill Jasper when he catches him murdering Myles. It would’ve been a smart ‘survivor move’ to eliminate a witness and cover up his tracks, but Jasper had played no part in stringing him up. Murphy’s need for revenge is born out of the feeling that he is the wrong party. If Murphy starts killing those who don’t deserve it, then he’s no better than the kids who would’ve hanged him. He’s no better than the people who voted to float his father. So it’s appropriate that Murphy’s redemption arc begins when he finds he has shot Raven (thinking she was Octavia) a person who had done nothing to him, a person who wasn’t even on the ground at the time of his hanging.      

The Murphy who Chooses to be a Survivor

When Murphy sits with Raven in the Dropship he has complete power over her. Murphy knows Raven intended to kill him and he could’ve easily killed her in the same way he suffocated Connor and Myles. But not only does Murphy not seek any revenge on Raven but he shows empathy for her own desire for revenge in the classic Murphy line – “Yeah, I would’ve shot me too.” And though Raven will only say “boohoo” to Murphy’s childhood sob story, Raven does feel a reluctant sympathy for Murphy too as she also struggled with an alcoholic mother. Due to this bond of empathy between them, Murphy does his best to keep Raven alive while she keeps it a secret from the Arker adults that Murphy was the one who shot her. What Murphy learns here is that taking revenge on others will always come around to others wanting to take revenge on him. So Murphy accepts that he has wronged Raven and even when Raven unjustly tries to frame Murphy for a massacre that was committed by Finn, Murphy doesn’t seek revenge against her as he did when he was framed for the murder of Wells. In another example of not taking any just revenge Murphy also seeks no revenge against Titus, a man who tortured him and planned to frame him for killing Clarke. Murphy has learned that seeking revenge is no way to survive.        

Empathy is the key for Murphy. His empathy and understanding of the need for vengeance allows Murphy to judge people more rationally. Murphy can perfectly understand why the one-eyed Grounder who they interrogated would give them a false confession, firstly to stop being tortured, but also to take revenge on the villagers who’d banished him. Murphy would’ve done the same thing. He did do the same thing when he was tortured by Grounders and gave up information on his own former camp. But Murphy can also understand Finn wanting to lash out at the Grounder village after losing someone he cares about. Murphy recognizes the red midst that descends when Finn simply wants revenge on the world for the grief and injustice that he has experienced. But Finn’s fall is a “there but for the Grace of God go I” moment for Murphy. Finn is an example to Murphy that giving into violent vengeful urges will only lead to your own destruction and swift demise. From this point on Murphy chooses to be a survivor and - like Clarke - Murphy realizes that “blood must have blood” will only lead to greater chances of being killed in the perpetuated cycle of violence.     

The Murphy Who Doesn’t Want to Die Alone

The other very revealing thing that Murphy admits to Raven is that he doesn’t want to die alone. Murphy acts like he’s about self-preservation above all else but he also doesn’t seem like his own company. When trapped alone for three months in a bunker, Murphy the survivor is almost driven to suicide. In later seasons, Murphy struggles to balance his need to survive with his need to not be isolated. He lectures Emorie that trying to save her brother is not a ‘survivor move’ then later Murphy stays in Polis to try and save Emorie from ALIE. We’ve seen that Murphy actually prefers to stay with someone hates than to be on his own and this may be partly because Murphy realizes he is safer having allies, especially if his allies are powerful leaders. Murphy is very much in the mold of a picaresque hero – that is, a rogue who lives by his wits, moving from master to master and from catastrophe to catastrophe.

Over the course of the series Murphy’s masters have included Bellamy, Jaha, Ontari and most recently Pike. Despite his hatred of injustice, Murphy often endures the company of masters who are abusive towards him – a teacher who beats him up and humiliates him in front of a class of his peers. A woman who kept him chained up like a dog and used him as her sex slave. A religious nut who dragged him across a desert and locked him up for months as a trial of faith. Maybe because Murphy is aware of his own dark side, he can keep the company with those who are similarly corrupt and who therefore cannot judge him. Being around corrupt people has also often led to Murphy becoming the better man. Murphy couldn’t accept Jaha throwing an innocent person overboard to be eaten by a sea monster to ensure their own survival. Murphy ultimately believes in mutual survival, not just saving his own ass. Murphy knows that he doesn’t want to live only to be left to die alone. Deep down Murphy believes in ‘We survive together’ and this makes me think that in S4 Murphy is destined to rejoin the core delinquent squad, despite his long exile.

But Murphy could play an even more important role in S4 when it comes to leading other characters away from their vengeful desires in order that they might allsurvive together. Murphy has already achieved this once with Pike and Indra. If Murphy hadn’t negotiated a temporary truce between those two bitter enemies then Clarke and Bellamy wouldn’t have been rescued and the fight against ALIE would’ve failed. Murphy overcoming his own cravings for revenge and skilfully persuading others to do the same was what saved the world in the S3 finale. But as we know, the world still isn’t saved yet and we see through Octavia stabbing Pike that desire for revenge as justice is still burning strong. Murphy is a reformed character who has become wise through experience - “everything I learned I learned on the ground” – and what he has learned could save what remainder of the human race too. If Murphy has a weakness now it may be that he has found someone (Emorie) who he cares about more than his own survival. My concern is that Murphy will ultimately prove to be his father’s son and he could end up sacrificing his own life to save somebody he loves. But hopefully Murphy will continue to strike a balance between self-preservation and becoming the best self-help leader that the human race has in resisting revenge for the sake of their collective survival.   

Invisible plastic: microfibers are just the beginning of what we don’t see | Mary Catherine O'Connor
The tiny pollutants in our clothes are forcing us to look harder for, and think more carefully about, the ways humans have shaped the environment
By Mary Catherine O'Connor

So, while scientists think the synthetic fibers shed from apparel are an environmental threat, they know that chemicals long used in apparel manufacturing are. That might cast those tiny fibers in a rather benign light, but that’s not what scientists I’ve interviewed think.

Peter Ross, a senior scientist at the Vancouver Aquarium, has studied ocean pollution for 30 years, and is now launching a study to develop a protocol for tracing synthetic fibers found in the ocean back to their specific sources. He told me microfibers, and microplastics in general, play an important role in communicating environmental impacts: they are a kind of bridge between the very tangible and the utterly intangible.


7/4/2016                             Emerald Ash Borer                     

My first one of these, I really hate seeing them here!!!

Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Elateriformia)
Superfamily Buprestoidea (Metallic Wood Boring Beetles)
Family Buprestidae (Metallic Wood-boring Beetles)
Subfamily Agrilinae
Tribe Agrilini
Genus Agrilus
Species planipennis (Emerald Ash Borer)
Explanation of Names
Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire 1888
adult 7.5-14 mm (males smaller than females); larva up to 32 mm
Adult: elytra bright metallic green; pronotum golden-green; ventral surface lighter yellowish-green (with fine hairs in males, lacking in females); body narrow and elongate; head flat; eyes kidney-shaped, black; dorsal surface of abdomen metallic purplish-red, visible when wings are spread
generally larger and brighter green than native NA spp.
Larva: body white to cream-colored, dorso-ventrally flattened; head brown, mostly retracted into prothorax; abdomen 10-segmented with pair of brown pincer-like appendages on last segment; segments 5-8 widen posteriorly, giving the abdomen a serrated appearance when viewed from above       Range
native to E. Asia, accidentally introduced to N. Amer., established around the Great Lakes (see distribution map) and has spread as far as CO, LA, and GA.
state by state data here

adults in spring and summer; larvae in summer and fall
hosts: Fraxinus spp.; larvae feed on inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, and killing infested trees within 1-4 years; adults feed on ash leaves

Life Cycle
one generation per year; overwinters as larva in outer sapwood/bark; pupate in April-May; adults emerge in late spring through D-shaped exit holes and lay eggs on host tree; larvae chew through outer bark and bore S-shaped tunnels in inner bark until late fall, then stop feeding
Accidentally introduced with imported packaging/crating wood, probably in the late 1990s; first reported in se. MI and sw. ON in 2002.
A highly destructive pest and a major economic & environmental threat to urban and forested areas of eastern NA
Wasp (Cerceris fumipennis) preys on this species and is used to detect the presence of EAB (more here)

All information from BUGGUIDE


Plastic Pollution is Causing Problems in Our Oceans

Plastic pollution is a serious problem that we created for several decades. It’s our responsibility to keep the ocean clean from plastic pollution since most of the food that we buy comes from the ocean.


Paul Ryan slams DAPL decision, signalling concerns for the future

  • Hours after the Army Corps of Engineers’ historic DAPL announcement, House Speaker Paul Ryan slammed the decision
  • He called it “big-government decision-making at its worst,” saying, “I look forward to putting this anti-energy presidency behind us.”
  • Ryan’s tweet frames the news not as a victory of a marginalized group over an environmental threat, but as evidence that “big government” was “anti-energy” in delaying the construction of the pipeline. 
  • His implication that these policies will soon be “behind us” is a worrisome indication that victories achieved this weekend could soon be undone by a Trump administration. Read more

anonymous asked:

what kind of quirks, if you don't mind the question?

Diana’s tininess as a kid is a consequence of her body diverting pretty much all resources to adaptation for Ragnarok (i.e., laying down the physical correlates required to invoke the more esoteric powers of her Semblance, such as instantaneous regeneration and adaptation to any and all environmental threats). Fang was also a bit scruffy as a kid, but Diana’s case was particularly pronounced, and that has continued on in her descendants. As we’ve seen though, it does’t matter much. By the time Diana is an adult, she’s pretty much identical to Fang from a physical standpoint.

When someone trashes enrichment

“The animals just destroy it”
“It takes too much time to make”
“It’s not like it actually matters”


I got Odin a new enrichment toy today he was rather baffled by it! It’s now in his enclosure filled with treats. There is bugs inside the box so if you do not want to see bugs I would not recomend watching the video. 

Brown Anole - Anolis sagrei. Watercolor on Paper. 2014.

A male anole shows off near Biscayne Bay - Miami, Florida. In a short evening walk along the marina on Miami Beach I spotted this guy and at least two dozen other brown anoles sunning themselves in the last rays of the day. Introduced from Cuba over 100 years ago, the brown anole can be found in extremely dense populations, and many fear that the native Carolina Anole - Anolis carolinensis - is being squeezed out of its home territory. Just six inches long to the tip of its thin tail, the Brown anole may not get as much media attention as the Burmese Pythons and Nile Monitor Lizards that are invading the Everglades, but they still pose an environmental threat.

A Few Thoughts on White People and #NoDAPL

You may have noticed if you roll in white liberal circles that, in recent months, they suddenly care about Native Americans…. As evidence of this, they come up to my brown ass at parties to anxiously educate me on #NoDAPL and #StandingRock. 

At first I would reluctantly entertain these conversations, because I’m a delusional optimist who thinks that any minute now white people are going to surprise me by actually caring about POC, but it always ends up being this kind of conversation which first centralizes their outrage at corporations (whom they don’t name, let alone boycott) further endangering the environment, and then outsources any implications around race and settler colonialism to Middle America trailer parks and neo-nazis (or if they’re even more left leaning, they just say “white people” to somewhat tacitly identify themselves as one of the good ones, or “the resistance” lol). 

Sometimes, they’ll say things like “Its so fucked up what they’re doing to the protesters, they’re literally shooting them” and sometimes they’ll just come out and say it because they can’t keep it in any longer –

 “It’s horrifying the way this country treats Native Americans” 

This is indisputably true, and it’s good that some white Americans can finally admit that, after committing the largest sustained genocide in human history. 

But it still doesn’t add up: Why do white people suddenly care about Native Americans? 

Why now?

A few thoughts on this matter: 

1) White people who don’t live near reservations can go their entire lives without noticing or interacting with a single Native American; which gives them the freedom to conceptualize indigenous people however they want – usually as cultural relics who need to be preserved. 

Because White People have murdered most of the Indigenous Population and oppressed many of those still living into quarantined pockets of land with disproportionate access to resources, its fairly easy for a White American to keep the Disney romanticized image of the American Indian intact. More than likely, they will never be in a situation where they feel the need to be culturally sensitive to Native Americans, or rather in a situation where a Native American confronts them or calls them out on their racism. This places them in the privileged position of being able to revere and remember the Native Americans historically, as though the current Native population is an endangered species which needs to be preserved for cultural and historical edification. Like the bald eagle or the glaciers in Alaska, Native Americans are rarely seen by white people, but are important to the White national identity so long as they are oppressed into docile resignation under their assigned fate as forsaken cultural relics. By posturing them this way, it is not polarizing among white people to want to save them, especially when their politics can be whitewashed to align with white leftist ideals. 

2) White liberals confuse ethnography with their own leftist politics, conflating themselves as like-minded or bound by circumstance to those they oppress the most.

Through the white lens, Native Americans – though denied a voice in the political sphere – are aspirational in their prescription to a white leftist ideal. They are anti-corporation, anti-military, anti-borders, and pro-environment, without being given the nuance or platform to invoke issues of race, gender, or sexuality. Exemplified by a White Hare Krishna or your average White Rasta with dreads, many white ethnographers form an unfounded connection with their interpretation of peoples and cultures, based on a vanilla blended understanding of history, mixed with a rejection of white middle class capitalist values and a deliberate ignorance of colonial power structures. This unfortunate practice spills over to white hippies and what started as their strategically necessary but ultimately problematic allegiance with Native Americans, to the point where the hippie movement and the new age movement became conflated with an entire cultural history that spanned back to the late Ice Age, reducing it to vague stereotypes of deep spirituality and living off the land. The early whitewashing of the Red Power movement by white hippies in the 60s and 70s makes less surprising the current iteration of white people coming to Standing Rock and treating it like a music festival, as the Woodstock generation of white liberals happily paved the way before them. From that standpoint, the #NoDAPL movement is attractive to white liberals who want to espouse what they perceive to be radically leftist politics without having to actually engage in discussions about privilege. 

3) White liberals are able to feign solidarity with Native Americans without ever acknowledging colonialism or white supremacy, by framing #NoDAPL as solely a anti-corporate and environmental issue rather than an act of colonial violence. 

 The #NoDAPL movement, as co-opted by white liberals, centralizes corporate greed and environmental conservation as a threat which victimizes and oppresses white people, erasing the Native American struggle under the umbrella of the 99%. The hypocrisy of framing #NoDAPL as purely an environmental and anti-capitalist pursuit begs many questions – where was all of this white activism during Hurricane Katrina? Why aren’t white people flocking to Flint, Michigan to stand against environmental racism and privatization of public service? By positioning themselves in contradictory roles (the ivory tower of the white savior vs the identification with a hegemonic class struggle), white liberals can comfortably feign outrage at the election results and the rise of fascism while continuing to benefit from and further perpetuating the subjugation of the Muslim, Black, and Latinx Americans who are more polarizing. 

4) White liberals outwardly express paternalistic solidarity with Native Americans to avoid advocating for more polarizing groups like Muslims, Black People, Undocumented Immigrants etc.

The romanticized image of the American Indian is not polarizing amongst white people. Both conservative and liberal whites have relegated the political identity of Native Americans to that of revisionist folklore – as a compassionate, spiritual, pre-racial foil to the civilized white man, teaching him valuable lessons on his ordained path toward manifest destiny, with the imagined resolution of “they don’t bother us, we don’t bother them” that pervades white American consciousness of Native Americans today. When white liberals tell me about the horrific treatment of Native Americans at Standing Rock, they are only referencing the violation of that imagined resolution, not necessarily in connection with the preceding genocide, displacement, and large scale accumulation by dispossession of indigenous people since the 1400s.

The historical mythology around Native Americans resonates with the White American national identity in a way that other minorities do not. The genocide of indigenous peoples in America, as a mechanism to justify the current occupation of the land by people of European ancestry, is recognized as a lamentable but ultimately inevitable means to an end, by which white people from the comfort of their settlements can now honor and praise the brave American Indian for his sacrifice. It is a strange relationship that both denies and admits settler colonialism, but ultimately determines its relevance only in relation to white subjectivity, which is able to go unchecked as Native Americans are largely excluded from modern American consciousness, and the accounts of surviving indigenous descendants are generally silenced. This allows for a deliberate de-linking of the Native American struggle with white supremacy. When it comes to advocating for Black, Muslim, or Latinx Americans, white people have to deal with a battle for inclusion that is ongoing, in their faces, and entirely dependent on the abolition of systems that privilege whiteness. Islamophobia and anti-muslim jingoism, systemic anti-black racism and police brutality, denaturalization and deportation of Latinx immigrants all share a common thread which is that these violences have been elevated to the white mainstream politic in a framework that makes them polarizing enough as “debatable issues” and not necessarily movements with which to align one’s white self. While fighting corporate tyranny and protecting the homeland from environmental hazard can be viewed as liberal American ideals – the inclusion or acceptance of Muslims by white people, the abolition of the systemic antiblackness, or the naturalization of undocumented Latinx immigrants are framed as diametrically un-American, as they require the undermining of white privilege and supremacy. In the domestic context of a Thanksgiving dinner (the height of racial tension for white progressives), these un-American positions are more likely to alienate white liberals from their white supremacist families, while issues framed as anti-corporate or pro-environment are seen as more topical and less divisive. The result of this is white liberals suddenly caring about Native Americans as an outlet to project liberal outrage so long as it doesn’t directly confront white supremacy. 

It’s strange… When you’ve wished for a thing, for so long, and it comes to life. After a while, thoughts like this aren’t a priority anymore, but they remain. A Mirror’s Edge open world was without doubt my ultimate dream as a gamer, at least I assumed that’s what it was… a dream. What DICE has done with Catalyst is beyond anything I had imagined at the time, or even hoped for. I was a little nervous when it was first announced in 2013, but I still had faith… and I was right! These people, Sara Jansson and her team (I couldn’t name them all), are simply amazing. They understand the flaws of the original game and made us something beyond all of our hopes. I was speechless when we saw the gameplay during the E3 presentation this week. The city of Glass is astonishing, I love how it changes from the bright and white city we know during the day to a dark and Blade Runner like vibe at night. (The name is great, not only because of its gigantic glass buildings, but because it illustrates the transparency of its residents’ lives under Kruger’s politics.) I love the attention to detail, like Faith’s reflection in the glass or water. The new move set is great and the combat is not only impressive, but combined to the move set, making it even more thrilling. The open world is massive, varied, full of races, trials, threats and environmental puzzles (like the atrium in Chapter 8 - Kate, of the original game I assume.) What more could we ask for? I am in heaven, and it’s thanks to DICE.