european development

anonymous asked:

do you think terming countries as "developed" and "developing" is wrong?

yes. the term has never actually had a clear definition, economic or otherwise. it’s used to naturalise & ignore the ways in which European colonialism & U.S. imperialism and neoliberalism have actively impoverished, and continue to actively impoverish, colonised countries. these countries are not somehow behind on their “development” or in need of “developing” (implied: “developing” by European powers & the U.S.), but have been purposefully drained of resources for the benefit of colonial & imperial powers. plus, if you’re using the term “developing countries” to talk about “countries that need to develop better health care systems, better schools, better ways to bring water and electricity to people”–then what’s to exclude the U.S. from that list?

from that same article:

I dislike the term ‘developing world’ because it assumes a hierarchy between countries. It paints a picture of Western societies as ideal but there are many social problems in these societies as well. It also perpetuates stereotypes about people who come from the so-called developing world as backward, lazy, ignorant, irresponsible… In my view, the developed-developing relationship in many ways replaces the colonizer-colonized relationship. The idea of development is a way for rich countries to control and exploit the poor. You can see this through the development industry where billions of dollars are spent but very little gets achieved. Come to think of it, actually, I hate the term! –Shose Kessi

different terms to talk about the global distribution of wealth, often with their own historical and economic inconsistencies, have come into & gone out of vogue (think “Third World”). many people today prefer “Global South,” intended to “[mark] a shift from focus on development or cultural difference toward an emphasis on geopolitical power relations” and “interconnected histories of colonialism, neo-imperialism, and differential economic and social change through which large inequalities in living standards, life expectancy, and access to resources are maintained.” see also the “core-periphery” model.

Trump Survival Tip No. 7: Black Bloc, Part 1

If you’ve been to an action recently, you’ve probably seen a group of folks dressed entirely in black, masked up, marching under black flags. These folks were using a tactic known as black bloc. Black bloc was first developed by European anarchists in the 1980s; for that reason, and because of my own politics, this tip will be written with an anarchist’s perspective and praxis, but black bloc is a tactic, not an ideology, and can be used by anyone. This tip will describe what a black bloc is; the next will describe how to do it.

In a black bloc, participants wear plain black clothing with few identifying markers, as well as some kind of face mask, such that all participants look the same. This is to protect marchers’ identities by providing anonymity and solidarity. It also provides limited protection against chemical weapons, although you should have a proper respirator on hand if you’re expecting to get gassed.

The primary goal of a black bloc is anonymity. The idea is to make it hard to identify any one member of the bloc, to prevent capitalists, the state, or fascists from targeting them. This allows participants to march in safety, as well as partake in direct action without fear of reprisal. Once you’ve smashed that bank window or laid out that Klansman, you can disappear into a crowd of folks who look identical to you, making it impossible for the cops, fascists, or your boss to target you for arrest, assault, or termination later.

Black is the chosen color for a bloc primarily to facilitate anonymity. First off, there’s only one shade of black; a “red bloc” would run into the difficulty of everyone wearing a different shade of red, which kinda defeats the purpose of a bloc. Secondly, since facial recognition software depends on shadow, wearing dark clothing actively disrupts that. Black also achieves the secondary goal of a bloc: psychological impact.

Black blocs present a highly-visible and psychologically striking anarchist presence. They demonstrate our solidarity, organizational capacity, and stance. From within, being in a bloc makes you feel invincible; the first time I marched in bloc, looking intimidating as hell and surrounded by my comrades, I was bulletproof. From outside, a bloc can be terrifying; they demonstrate that there are a lot of anarchists here, they’re standing together as one, they have the organization to pull this off, and they’re fucking angry.

Anonymity is important. It’s impossible to protect yourself without it, and it’s impossible to target you if you have it. Black blocs are the best way to get it at a demo or an action; spread the word, and bring the bloc to your next action.

anonymous asked:

Did the USSR have a colonial relationship with outer SSRs under Lenin and Stalin?

Yes.

One of the staple errors of the Bolshevik line when it came to self-determination of oppressed peoples under tsarism was the lack of struggle or attempting to correct Great Russian Chauvinism (Lenin himself was guilty of this, and Stalin, as an ethnic Georgian, had even less influence to counter it), resulting in situations such as the Tashkent Soviet where the Bolsheviks established a Revolutionary Government with almost no participation from the local population/workers. However when these [workers] tried to set up their own [Muslim] Bolshevik branch, they were heavily repressed by the Bolsheviks.

While you could argue the following (from an otherwise anti-communist source):

“... the regime’s economic policy as a whole does not discriminate against  the minority areas and their economic development in favor of the Great  Russians. Soviet industrialization was, of course, based on forced  savings, which the government extracted for investment at the cost of  popular consumption. But the minorities were not asked to bear a  disproportionate share of the resulting hardships of a depressed living  standard. The burden fell on all; in fact, it might be argued that the  Great Russian majority initially made the greater sacrifice in order to  permit the development of the capital-hungry, economically backward  areas.

One economist has estimated, for example, that while the all-Union   living standard fell markedly during the 1930’s, in the four republics   of Central Asia (not counting Kazakhstan), it may actually have improved  to a slight degree. At the time the local economy was undergoing rapid  change, as indicated by the fact that industrial output, which had been  negligible, multiplied between six and nine times over between 1928 and  1937. Such an increase could only have been accomplished by the  substantial investment of capital drawn from other parts of the country  and by the application of new technology. Such help was even more  important to the agriculture of the region.

In the initial stage of European colonial development, substantial   capital was invested in the colonies, but often only in order to create a  one-crop economy that in the long run was economically disadvantageous  to the local people. There was an element of this approach in the Soviet  regime’s insistence on the expansion of cotton acreage in Central Asia,  usually at the expense of existing wheat crops. But the area was not  treated simply as a vast cotton plantation for the rest of the Soviet  Union. On the contrary, existing resources of other kinds were widely  developed. A hydro-electric power industry was developed, the output of  which increased 8.5 times over in the period 1928-37. Earlier virtually  all cotton had been shipped to Russia to be made into textiles, which in  turn had to be shipped back, but in the 1930’s a substantial textile  industry was established in Tashkent. Leather shoe-making was  established to utilize the hides from the region’s extensive herds.  These efforts make it evident that capital was retained in the area and  not syphoned off for accumulation at the center. The data already cited  on the growth of education and other cultural and social facilities  similarly indicate that a goodly share of the returns accrued from  exploitation of the region’s natural wealth was reinvested in raising  standards in the region.

Although the central Asian case may be one of the more outstanding   examples, it reflects the general pattern of Soviet policy in the   economic development of backward areas. The allocation of investment   during the process of economic expansion has not in any significant   degree been guided by considerations of nationality, but rather by those  of economic efficiency or the defense needs of the country. And the   benefits—as well as the burdens—which have resulted from economic   development have been more or less equally shared by all peoples of the Soviet Union.

(Alex Inkeles, “Nationalities in the USSR.” Problems of Communism Vol. 9 No. 3 (May 1960). pp. 33-34.)

The study of Soviet history gives you ample evidence that Great Russian colonialism was present until the dissolution of the Soviet Union (further intensifying during the decentralisation of the Soviet economy during Khrushchev), and this is noticeable on the expectations raised by the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic regarding other Soviet republics and their society, culture, etc.

Our overall opinion falls on that the USSR, as an alliance of Soviet Republics, had an important role in developing backward feudal societies into industrialised ones, revitalising their cultures, and providing material conditions for millions of workers, as well as promoting the liberation of women and their importance within a socialist society.

But this alliance was a deeply flawed one, and riddled with serious contradictions that remain unresolved even today as consequence of the colonial relationship between western Soviet republics and the eastern Soviet Republics – the continuous export of resources from the latter to the industry of the former, the concentration of industry in western Soviet republics, and the uneven development that kept eastern Soviet republics almost entirely agrarian save for a few specific industries.

theguardian.com
EU calls for urgent protection of 23,000 child refugees left stranded in camps
By Arthur Neslen

Urgent action is needed to help at least 23,000 unaccompanied child refugees stranded in squalid and unsafe Greek and Italian refugee camps, an official EU audit has warned.

Camp life in Greek and Italian “hotspots” – holding centres set up at migrant arrival points – is plagued by a lack of security safeguards, water, decent food, blankets and medical facilities, the new study says.

Claude Moraes, the chair of the European parliament’s justice and home affairs committee, described the report as “an alarm bell being rung” about the failures of EU states.

“The amount of child abuse, rape and smuggling that is going on is horrific,” he said. “If the EU is to have any sort of value it has to care for unaccompanied minors when they arrive in Europe.”

Global Development - The Guardian  Why is east Africa facing a hunger crisis and what can be done? – podcast
As hunger spreads in east Africa, famine threatens to take hold beyond South Sudan. Lucy Lamble explores the background and response to the crisis
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Reports indicate widespread child sexual exploitation in the centres, which Pope Francis compared to “concentration camps” over the weekend.

Wanda Maximoff thought she was doing the right thing.

Wanda Maximoff was orphaned from age ten in an impoverished, third world country.

Wanda Maximoff was a patriot, who protested the civil war in her country and dedicated her life to the cause.

Wanda Maximoff volunteered for dangerous experimentation in which she was one of only two survivors because she felt she had to protect her country.

Wanda Maximoff was kept in deplorable conditions and likely underwent extreme torture.

Wanda Maximoff believed Tony Stark, Stark Industries and the rest of the Avengers to be manifestations of fascism.

Wanda Maximoff lived in a developing, Eastern European country, ravaged by civil war and likely communist, and would have been brainwashed into the ideology of America and capitalism being ‘bad,’ and this would have been emphasised by HYDRA.

Wanda Maximoff used her powers to manipulate the Avengers’ mental states because it is her version of a weapon, the way Cap uses his shield and Tony uses his suit. She believed she was fighting evil people. She could not have known - or cared, seeing as she thought she was doing the right thing - that she was provoking their mental health issues.

Wanda Maximoff decided to help Ultron under the impression that he would be making the world a better place. When she saw this error in judgement, she joined in the fight to amend her mistake.

Wanda Maximoff’s accident in Lagos prevented the explosion occurring on ground and thus she ended up preventing the death of countless more.

Wanda Maximoff was held hostage, belittled and diminished before being sent to a high security prison wearing a shock collar like an animal when she was trying to stand up for what she believed in and fight for the freedom she has always sought.

Wanda Maximoff has always fought for the common good, for humanity, for her country, for freedom. 

Stop vilifying Wanda Maximoff, and stop ignoring her suffering. 

Quick rant about video games

What I noticed regarding some games from Eastern European developers is that they seem to be a lot better at portraying a realistic/harsh experience when it comes to, for example, shooters.

Games like Metro, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Arma, Operation Flashpoint, the upcoming Escape from Tarkov, Cryostasis and so on show that they don’t necessarily need marketing labels like ‘Horror’ to throw you into a tense and nerve-wracking situation and can create an insanely immersive feeling that not many other games can provide.

While many western developers are trying to depict war and/or the act of killing as something, almost glorious, this is certainly not reality and it should not be normalized. It’s not about gracefully sliding across floors in a coporate building, taking out dozens of faceless bulletsponges while actively dissociating from your acts.

Not so in my mentioned examples.
No need for many flashy, shiny effects and big explostions, QTEs, long ellaborate cutscenes or endless tutorials but rather, they teach you the mechanics, the history and rules of the world by actually letting you play which is, kind of, the purpose of it all. Playing…

I, for myself, love the rough and dirty atmosphere of these games that basically make you crawl across every area, clinging to your miserable life and making the act of fighting not always the mission objective but a choice that can often turn into a ‘High Risk -> High Reward’ situation.

A thing that really annoys me nowadays is, when developers are trying to spoonfeed me. And yeah, I get it, it’s about catering to a wider audience -> More money. And that’s not inherently wrong, but making me feel like a moron that can’t figure out the most basic things by myself (Press F to pay respect) makes me put down a game faster than the process of failing and learning.

I’m not saying that I don’t like fast-paced, mindless action like in Titanfall or Doom but I am really happy that we’re also being shown a different side of this medal that’s called video games. And I don’t want to demonize every other region and their mentality. 
Spec Ops: The Line, for instance, is a great example of a game that overthrows the mentioned effect of dissociating by, halfway through it, heavily confronting you with your actions of killing and murdering…

Before the age of exploration, group differences were largely based on language, religion, and geography. … the European [sic] had always reacted a bit hysterically to the differences of skin color and facial structure between themselves and the populations encountered in Africa, Asia, and the Americas (see, for example, Shakespeare’s dramatization of racial conflict in Othello and The Tempest). Beginning in the 1500s, Europeans began to develop what became known as “scientific racism,” the attempt to construct a biological rather than cultural definition of race … Whiteness, then, emerged as what we now call a “pan-ethnic” category, as a way of merging a variety of European ethnic populations into a single “race” …
—  Gregory Jay, “Who Invented White People?”
Rewind (Part Two)

Pairing: Lin x Reader

Warnings: Swearing

A/N: Well dang y’all liked this, I dodn’t really expect anyone to give it much though but you guys have been so sweet with your comments and I don’t know what I did to deserve you awesome people. Also, this will probably end up being a three part fic in case anyone was wondering, I hope y’all enjoy :) (Also, I’m not sure if Alexander Hamilton actually stayed at Mount Vernon on his way backto New York but in the story he does).


In all of the name that was good and holy. It couldn’t be. There was no law or science anywhere that could explain why Alexander Hamilton, the Alexander frocking hamilton stood in front of you, looking somewhere between confused and amused.

“Holy shit are you even- how’d you even-” You were truly at a loss. What could you say that would even make sense to either of you?

Surprisingly, he seemed to be handling this very well. Shockingly well in fact. H smiled, taking the hand that wasn’t holding your phone as kissed it, smiling up at you through his lashes. Damn, call me helpless. You thought as a slight blush rose to your cheeks- wait, you were blushing at a guy who’s been dead over 200 years?!

“Pardon me, but I seem to have gotten lost miss…?”

“(F/N) (L/N).” You shot out. You were suddenly nervous, and again at a loss for words. But maybe that’s just because of how he staring at you.

“Yes, miss (Y/N). I seem to have gotten lost on my way back from the sitting room. Your house is rather grand, more grand than most I’ve ever stayed in.” His eyes flicked to your phone and his already wide eyes seemed to grow. For once, Alexander Hamilton was speechless.

You sighed, taking his hand. “Look, there’s no way I can explain this without sounding crazy so- just- come on.” You began to lead him back to the auditorium, mind racing. Surprisingly, he put up no protest and followed you.

“Where are you taking me?” His tone was curious, not afraid or worried.

You bit your lip to keep from smiling. “I’m about to change your life.”

“Then by all means,” he chuckled, “lead the way.”

You shook your head. Well, you wanted to practice your lines right?

Just as you pushed the door open, light came flooding back in, Lin’s spotlight once again lighting up the stage. Of course it did. You decided to keep the candles in case the power started acting funny again. Hell, that was probably the only normal thing happening.

Lin was sat, typing away again at his laptop, not yet realizing you were walking towards him, Alexander in tow.

“Lin,” you called out, your voice a bit more nervous than you had thought to sound, “We have…a situation.” Surprisingly, Alexander still remained silent as you led him up the stage. Oh, right. First time seeing electricity.

“Did you not find the candles? It’s not a bug deal the lights just came back on so-” He glanced up to where you stood about five feet from him, in silent awe of who stood next to you. He shut his laptop and scrambled up, his eyes nearly popping out of his head.

“Lin, meet-”

Alexander bodly strode to Lin, extending his hand. “Alexander Hamilton.”

“Lin Manuel Miranda.” He shook his hand, sending you a look that asked, ‘Is this really happening?’ 

You nodded. That was definitely the guy on the ten dollar bill, there was no mistaking those intellegent eyes or hunger-pained frame- dammit, not the time for rehearsal. You couldn’t help but observe how he and Lin were almost the exact height, Lin being only a bit taller.They also shared the same frames now that you had a chance to fully look at them both. Lin wasn’t off at all for casting himself as Hamilton.

“Forgive me if this comes across as too bold, but your set up here is…truly fascinating. how on Earth did you manage to get candles behind glass and get them to stay lit?” He motioned to the spotlight.

“Uh, well,” Lin dropped his hand, beginning to take his hair out of his bun and run his fingers through it, “those are called lights, and they run on electricity, not a flame.” he tried to explain.

Alexander furrowed his brows. “Electricity? Is that a new European development?”

Lin smiled, geniunely smiled. Oh. Right. He was probably having an eternal fangirl session, he thought enough of the guy to write an entire 46 song musical about him, he was probably a little more than overjoyed right now. Which left you to hold enough confusion for the both of you.

“Sure, although it’s not really that new to us.” He motioned between you and he. “Um, Alexander, where were you just now?”

He furrowed his brows. “Well, I was making my way back to bed from the sitting room when I seemed to have gotten lost. Mount Vernon is quite a large property, I didn’t even know the Washingtons had their own theatre.” He smiled and motioned to the stage and seats.

Mount Vernon? Washingtons? You shook your head. He had to have come from a year when he and George Washington had already met…so sometime after the war then if he was residing at the residence, at least momentarily. Somewhere between Yorktown and Non-Stop. You would’ve smiled had you not been so confused by this entire situation.

“Uh, Mr.Hamilton,” you spoke up, causing he and Lin to turn their attentions to you, “This is going to sound really, really odd but, what year is it?”

He chuckled. “Well, it is an odd question but I do not blame you for asking, I often forget the day of the month,” He admitted, “It is 1784.”

You held your breath. The war had just ended, you were right. Alexander must’ve been staying with the Washingtons on his way back to New York. 

Lin spoke up, excitement clear in his voice. “Thank you for all you’ve done in the war.” Alexander smiled and nodded. You wondered how hard Lin was fighting not to say his line about immagrints getting the job done.

“It was my pleasure. I’ve always wanted to fight, this gave me my chance to stand for those who could and cannot.” he explained. You noticed he was wearing what looked exactly like Lin’s costume in “Alexander Hamilton”, except the real Alexander’s looked thicker and well, real. He turned to you. “Would you mind fetching us some tea miss? George does talk quite highly of his servants.” He said sweetly.

You were nearly indignant. Servant? You were no- you glanced down at your sweater and leggings. The fact that you were a woman in what he thought to be the Washington estate most likely led him to that assumption. 

You finally breathed again. “Afraid not Mr.Hamilton,” you had no idea why you were calling him by his last name, but it just didn’t seem right to call him by his first, “you see, I’m not a servant. I’m an actress.”

He furrowed his brows, eyes turning back to Lin. “Is she fooling around?” He asked. Lin quickly shook his head.

“Uh, excuse us for just a moment Alexander, we’ll be right back.” Lin said, dragging you backstage.

“Please tell me I’m not hallucinating from lack of sleep and Alexander Hamilton is actually standing on the other side of that curtain?” His tone was both giddy and nervous. 

You nodded, rubbing your temples. “Lin, I don’t even know how this is possible or how it happened or anyhthing like that. All I know is when I went to the prop room to get some candles, I found them, came back out and ran, literally, into him. And now he thinks we’re at Mount Vernon.” Exasperation leaked from your explanation.

He began chewing on his lip, something you would’ve found incredibly cute had you not been in this situation. “Well, the only thing we can do right now is go explain to him what’s happening.” His eyes widened. “And we cannot, under any circumstances, let him go outside. He doesn’t need to be interacting with anyone else.”

You nodded. He probably wouldn’t go out into the storm anyway, with what happened in Nevis. An idea slowly formed in your mind. You took a step toward Lin.

“Alexander came from 1784, right? So the Reynolds affair hasn’t happened, neither has the duel between Phillip and George Eaker or his own fatal duel. He doesn’t even know he’ll have a debt plan or have it go through, or that he’ll be teaming up with James Madison and John Jay to write the Federalist Papers. He doesn’t know that Aaron Burr will be his demise. What if, what if we convinced him to take that break? What if we warn him about not giving Phillip his guns or letting him duel in New Jersey? What if we told him that Aaron wouldn’t aim his pistol at the sky like he would? How much would it alter history?” 

His eyes widened as he slowly realized what you were getting at. “(Y/N), the real question is, how much would it alter our present?”

4

Papaver orientale is in the family Papaveraceae. Commonly known as oriental poppy, it is native to eastern Europe and western Asia, from Turkey to Iran. The oriental poppy is arguably the most cultivated species of poppy in the world. European breeders began developing new varieties in the 18th and 19th centuries, and now there are hundreds of different cultivars available on the market that range in color from white to deep red. This herbaceous perennial grows best in full sun and blooms during the late spring and early summer. After this species has finished blooming, the foliage dies back and the plant becomes dormant until the next flowering season.

edwardcollectsurns  asked:

hey mama bree, im curious about something. what exactly is the argument for christians NOT stealing pagan traditions? cause idk i was raised christian and ever since i started practicing witchcraft (coming up on a year soon) and researching and learning about its history, it kind of seems like all major christian celebrations ARE derivative of pagan stuff. maybe not stolen, but idk. im only 17 and still pretty new to all this so i figured id ask an elder.

(I’m an elder now, good freakin’ lord…gonna have a giggle over that one later…as I sit here in my plaid granny shawl….)

The reason that some Christian holidays (namely Christmas and Easter) seem to utilize pagan symbols and share similar calendar timing can be put down to how the early Church developed. When European pagan populations were being converted, many churches continued to use the symbols and festival traditions that the country folks already knew and loved. The idea behind this was to make the conversion easier, and also to give the burgeoning religion more credibility and a better public relations image. (Nobody much cares for being converted at the point of a sword or having their holy symbols banned and burned.)

The Christian calendar is based, as we all know (or ought to know) on the Jewish calendar and progression of holy days. Thus Easter is marked close to Passover, to match Biblical timelines, and Christmas is placed in December because of a Jewish tradition that states that the Messiah’s death would occur in the same month he was conceived. (The Anunciation, or the celebration of Gabriel’s visit to Mary to announce that she would bear the Son of God, is a stationary Church holiday on March 25, to coincide with the usual timing of Passover and Easter.)

Certain countries retain more of their pre-Christian festivities than others, and it is from these places (such as Ireland and Sweden) that Gardner drew his inspiration for the Wheel of the Year, which Wiccans and Neo-Wiccans and some other pagans follow today. The Wheel is hardly a universal pagan holiday cycle (in fact, it ignores a great many pagan traditions and pays only lip service to others), but it does touch on the solstices and the major harvest festivals, which are found in one form or another in most agrarian civilizations with a holiday calendar. The names and timing may change, but the idea of celebrating the change of seasons and the cycle of crops is hardly new or exclusive to any one tradition.

It should also be noted that there is an unfortunate tendency among American pagans to ignore the existing holiday traditions of other countries. Scandinavian countries utilize many of what we might call “pagan” symbols in their Christmas celebrations, but it is from their mythology and holiday traditions that the symbols came in the first place. When the Norse pagans converted, they brought their traditions with them. (Hell, the WORD for Christmas in several Scandinavian languages is some derivation of “Yule.” That’s where we get it.)

Similar things happened in many Western European countries, and those places continue to celebrate Christian festivals with their traditional symbols to this day. Sometimes it has to do with folklore, sometimes it’s from the life story of a famous national saint, sometimes it’s a seasonal device from the region. Whatever the reason, the similarity comes from convergence, not theft.

And the pagans who start these ridiculous battles every year would do better to concern themselves with exclusionary or problematic practices in our own community, rather than railing against the “status quo” to feed a completely unnecessary martyrdom complex. (It wouldn’t hurt if they’re get their information from practical history texts instead of Slobber Ravingwolf and the like, but that’s another conversation for another day.)

Hopes this helps answer your questions! :)

anonymous asked:

do you think you'd be okay with linking what you said on twitter? i havent heard of the new wizarding houses yet

since part of it was convos w/people with private profiles I’ll just summarize what we said instead of linking it

so Pottermore posted information abt three of the eleven main wizarding schools: Mahoutokoro (Japan),  Uagadou (Uganda*), and Castelobruxo (Brazil). Uagadou’s page doesn’t actually say it’s in Uganda - we only know it’s in Uganda because jkr got called out for just saying “Africa” and even though she specified that it “welcomes students from all over the enormous continent,” the other six schools that have established information about them were in specific countries.

there are several issues with Uagadou and the fact she didn’t give it a country home on the page is just one. here are other things (as pointed out by me or @basedonika​) 

  • “Although Africa has a number of smaller wizarding schools… there is only one that has stood the test of time (at least a thousand years)” okay, why does Europe have three wizarding schools but the entire continent of Africa only has one main one? colonialism?
    • later in the same paragraph she says that “much (some would say all) magic originated in Africa” but it only gets one wizarding school?
      • considering that Uganda alone has over forty cultural languages, how are these students gonna communicate? if this school predates colonialism then they wouldn’t have English, French, or Dutch as common languages so how are they doing?
      • I pointed out that as an Igbo person, we have cultural gods and spirits. spiritual doctors are still a legitimate and active thing in Nigeria but she’s confining wizards to one main school? in this century?
  • “The wand is a European invention, and while African witches and wizards have adopted it as a useful tool in the last century, many spells are cast simply by pointing the finger or through hand gestures.” this lowkey feels like she’s calling us savages
  • “Many older and more experienced witches and wizards felt threatened by fourteen-year-olds who could turn at will into elephants and cheetahs…” this was pointed out on Twitter to be sketch as hell
  • also this is just me being annoyed - knowing American history alone if there’s a wizarding school in North America there’s got to have been a separate one founded by black wizards, so it makes it even more “wtf” that there’s only one prestigious wizarding school in the entire continent

things about Mahoutokoro 

  • “The ornate and exquisite palace of Mahoutokoro is made of mutton fat jade…” white nephrite jade is called ‘motton fat jade’ in China and jade generally is important within Chinese culture. the only jade historically associated with - or found in - Japan is jadeite. why use jade for a Japanese school?
  • Mahoutokoro translates to ‘magic place’ & the pronounciation was wrong, per Twitter
    • actually just read this twitter thread it’s great 
      • “and stands on the topmost point of the ‘uninhabited’ Volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima.“ oh god I just looked up Iwo Jima. ‘The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945) was a major battle in which the U.S. Marines landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II. “ yikes!

things about Castelobruxo

  • the name translates to ‘castle of witches’ in Portuguese
  • ”…takes students from all over South America” which is great, and obviously she knows that people in Brazil speak Portuguese, but did she know that most SA countries don’t speak Portuguese?
  • “Libatius Borage (author of, among other works, Advanced Potion-Making, Asiatic Anti-Venoms and Have Yourself a Fiesta in a Bottle!)” why

anyways I have ignored everything from Pottermore from the last three years up until this point and I wish JKR had actually given a fuck about true racial representation instead of this supplemental bullshit she’s adding now

4

A dying art

For at least a thousand years Chinese fishermen have been working with cormorants to catch fish in a kind of enforced symbiosis whereby both profit, though the bird is still effectively working on behalf of the human. The cormorants are trained, and when they go fishing a snare is tied around their throats that is large enough to allow small fish to pass, but prevents larger ones from being swallowed and they are stored in its crop (similar to a pelican’s but smaller). The bird gets to eat its fill as it hunts, but any larger fish are taken for human consumption.

Keep reading

10

The Optimism of the Victorians

In the decades after World War II, America, and to a certain extent the UK and several other Western European countries, developed a very strong positive attitude towards technological innovations and the future. This optimism can be seen in everything from the “space age” mid-century styles to the popularity of the microwave. This period, full of idealistic inventiveness, seemed like a brand new and exciting thing- however, in the late 19th century, those stuffy Victorians had their own explosion of technological optimism. 

The Victorians weren’t so stuffy when it came to proclaiming their mastery of science and the natural world. This book, Discoveries and Inventions of the Nineteenth Century, written in 1886 by Robert Routledge, is an excellent example of this mindset- though it is far from being the only one. A huge number of books that boasted of the technological achievements of Modern Man were published in the period between about 1870 and 1910, and many of them were rife with illustrations of wondrous inventions.

This particular work is quite general in subject, ranging from the invention of the steam train to the development of a system for visualizing the entire spectrum of light. It is nicely representative of this genre of Victorian technology books with large sections devoted to weaponry and shipping, as well as items like gold, diamonds, and rubber that could be easily obtained from “the colonies”. The technological optimism of the 19th century was just as much a part popular consciousness as it was in the 1950s and 60s- Victorians clamored for miniature books published with new methods of photolithography, for photographs, and for quack medical devices that made use of questionable amounts of electricity. 

This book is a fascinating example of how it’s not always just history that repeats itself- attitudes are cyclical as well.

Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide.

Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams’s study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies. In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams’s groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.

Tobacco Plants Coaxed To Grow Potential Anti-Cancer Drug

by Michael Keller

Researchers are reporting the world is one step closer to a future where disease therapies are grown on farms like spinach or lettuce is today. After more than a decade of work, scientists in Austria and Germany have coaxed plants to produce protein antibodies identical to those made by humans.

These antibodies, called immunoglobulin M (IgM), are being produced in the leaves of genetically modified plants. The advance is a feat of applied science because human IgM is a complex protein molecule–the largest antibody present in the circulatory system—that is released by the immune system to fight infection when it is first detected. The European team’s work caused plants to grow a specific variety of IgM that kills tumor cells and is a potential anti-cancer drug.

“This work happened in several steps. First we saw one thing, and then another small piece came together,” Herta Steinkellner, a molecular biologist and engineer at Vienna’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, tells Txchnologist. “When I think back now, I’m so surprised. This was high-risk research that we didn’t expect to work, and then it worked. Amazing.” 

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Just in case you didn’t know, France has recently banned the burkini ( aka the Islamic swimsuit). The photos above show France police forcing a Muslim woman to take off her burkini in public instead of just making her pay a fine and leave. This is happening in 2016. In a developed European country. Women being forced to strip naked in public by cops who have guns and other weapons. Please tell me what’s the difference between these men and the Taliban?

Shout out to all the non-Europeans who developed or discovered something hundreds of years before Europeans did but get no recognition in the West or even in the modern world as an individual or as part of a culture because everything they said or did was disregarded by oppressive colonialists.