history tuesday

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In 1890, Sir Thomas Lipton arrived on the island of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, to purchase a plot of land that would become the first tea estate in his global tea empire. These days, in the Ambadandegama Valley located just a few miles from Lipton’s original estate, another experiment in tea production is unfolding.

Tucked into the side of a precipitous mountain, Amba Estate is a tea operation that shares 10 percent of its revenues with its workers. That’s a novel approach here in Sri Lanka, a country that’s one of the world’s largest exporters of tea — an industry that employs more than 1 million of its 22 million residents.

“What makes us different is our 10 percent revenue share — not profit share. We decided to do revenue share because even when we’re not making a profit, we felt it was only right that workers and management receives recognition,” says Simon Bell.

Bell purchased the 26-acre Amba Estate in 2006 with three partners – all of whom had previously worked in international development. Their goal, he says, was to create a for-profit social enterprise that could create long-term employment in the region. “It’s thanks to the hard work and innovation [of the workers] that we’ve grown revenue 20 fold over the last few years.”

The estate employs 30 full-time workers from the local village. One elderly Tamil couple resides on the property itself. They had lived in an old line house, a structure built to house tea workers during the days of British rule, since long before Bell and his partners purchased the land. “We didn’t know if they had anywhere else to go,” says Bell. “They asked to stay and we were happy to let them.”

PHOTOS: In Sri Lanka’s Tea Paradise, A Social Enterprise Is Brewing

Photos: Victoria Milko for NPR

Tuesday Fic Rec #9 (Classics™)

you were there and so was i by magneticwave | stiles/derek | t | 8.6k |

For their tenth birthday, Stiles had gotten Allison a mug from a kiosk at the mall with AREN’T YOU GLAD WE EVOLVED OUT OF NEIGHBORING CELLS on one side and a picture from their school trip to the zoo, the one where Allison was hitting a goat trying to eat Stiles’ shirt, on the other. It’s such a metaphor for their entire existence that Allison puts it on the mantle of every subsequent house that they live in, next to their parents’ wedding portrait.

Stiles and Allison are twins and it’s amazing. They’re both raised as hunters but it doesn’t stop them from falling in love with werewolves. ❤️❤️❤️

Morning Light by heartsdesire456 | stiles/derek | t | 27k

After two years as a deputy for the Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department, not to mention a lifetime of being the kid of an officer of the law, Stiles had seen some things in his time. Some weird shit happened in Beacon Hills, really. 

However, no amount of animals mauled in the woods, people going missing, psychotic teenagers going on killing sprees with their trained pet mountain lions (or so the official report stated; Stiles didn’t trust his dad’s account of that night back when he was in high school) could prepare Stiles for the sheer ‘what the hell?!’-ness of waking up at six in the morning for his shift, pouring himself a cup of coffee, and then noticing that outside the back window there was a little girl playing in his flower beds.

Single parent Derek   (◡‿◡✿)
Deputy Stiles (◠‿◠✿)
Werewolf mini-Hale (ʘ‿ʘ✿)
Happy family ending (˶◕‿◕˶✿)

The Silent Fury by @andavs // @petals42 | stiles/derek | m | 31.7k |

Derek is about to leave, content with the smell of blood as proof that the Fury is dead when he hears it.

A heartbeat.

It’s faint and uneven and even with its help, it takes Derek a full minute of scanning the clearing before he finally spots the small heap that must be the human. It’s down on the far side of the canyon, almost completely hidden by a tall oak tree and–Derek jumps down before he thinks about it.

He knows what he has to do. Furies are dangerous. Furies are fire and smoke and a funeral he barely remembers. He lands almost silently and makes sure his hands are fully shifted into claws and then slowly moves forward.

This is the greatest au that I never knew I needed. I love Sterek, I love How to Train Your Dragon and this AU is perfect. Two great people collaborated and nothing short of greatness came of it. 

The Man in the Snow by @mad-madam-m | stiles/derek | t | 15.8k

Derek finds a young man injured in a ravine on the border of his ranch. That’s strange enough, but the mystery only deepens when the young man wakes up without any memory of what he was doing out there.

Single parent Derek who is also alpha of his pack all wrapped up in a historical au and I was instantly smitten. Throw in some mystery and an alpha pack threatening and it’s great from beginning to end. 

i feel you in every heartbeat by warlocks | stiles/derek | t | 4k

Suddenly his entire body felt tingly and sensitive and he could swear gravity had failed on him just then; he couldn’t feel the chair he was sitting on, or where he’d planted his feet on the floor, or the clothes he was wearing, or the pen he was holding, and then his vision started blurring and morphing into a picture of some place that was not his classroom.

“Oh, shi—”

“—it,” he finished with a different voice.

Or, the AU in which, on their 22nd birthday, a person will switch bodies with their soulmate and is left to figure out whom they’re temporarily inhabiting, and how to get back to each other. But because Stiles is Stiles, he forgets that it’s his birthday, and the bodyswap takes him by surprise.

Soulmate au that’s adorable in premise and in execution. It’s great. Stiles goes to a math final and forgets that he’s gonna be switching bodies with his soulmate because it’s his birthday. Alive Laura helps out and it’s a good use of misunderstandings in a fic and it doesn’t get overdone which is great

4

On Typewriter Tuesday, a few of the postcards depicting a mainstay of the Underwood Typewriter Company’s marketing: The giant typewriter. These postcards date from 1915 to 1939. You can learn more about the images by clicking on them.

Also visible on two of the above postcards is Underwood’s slogan: “The machine you will eventually buy”. You have to appreciate the fatalism.

From the Donald & Carolyn Hoke Typewriter Advertising and Ephemera Collection in Memory of Dr. Stephen Salsbury and Dr. Reed Geiger, in Hagley’s Published Collections.

The Utter and Egregious Fallacy of “That Was Just What Happened In Medieval Times”

Right, so. I’m angry all over again and I’m going to be angry for a while, because if I see one more idiot defending the rape scene over the fact that “that was just what happened in medieval times,” I am going to put a brick through my computer screen. This won’t be as long or as in-depth as I want it to be, since I have to go to work soon, but my medieval historian buttons have been pushed to a sufficient degree that I have to make some response to all this. So without further ado:

  • Legislation to protect women and children was an idea as far back as the seventh goddamn century (and before), but it certainly appeared in the western Christian/Latin legal canon with Adamnan of Iona’s “Law of the Innocents.” Christianity itself modified existing Greco-Roman social codes to give women (who had no rights at all in antiquity) a surprising amount of protection and recognition in marriage and society. Was this always followed? Of course not. But you can bet your ass it was a thing, and one of the reasons early Christianity was so suspiciously received, due to its lenient treatment of women, slaves, the poor, the leprous, and other outcasts.
  • On that note, we call them “the Dark Ages” because we are a bunch of Eurocentric assholes who figure all of civilization collapsed when Rome fell. Yes, Western Europe wasn’t doing so hot, but everywhere else was flourishing – socially, culturally, religiously, artistically.
  • The Vikings were forward-thinking as hell with their legal treatment of women (so, for that matter, were the Welsh). Both cultures allowed a wife to separate from her husband with no penalty if he was abusing her, and in the Vikings’ case, he would be shamed and socially ridiculed for being such a low-down tool as to mistreat a woman. The Vikings did not fuck around. And among the Welsh, maternal inheritance and property rights counted just as much as paternal.
  • Rape was physically and brutally punishable in England from at least the 11th century on. Prior to the Norman Conquest, it was treated as an offense for which one had to pay weregild – literally “man money” – the same as when someone was murdered. Post-Norman Conquest, you got your goddamn dick chopped off, the same as thieves lost a hand and oathbreakers lost tongues. You see the pattern? It was a serious crime. People weren’t just out raping all and sundry. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (otherwise not fond of William) eulogized him as a “violent but very wise” man, and praised him for making England so safe that an unarmed man or maiden girl could travel the roads without fear of robbery or molestation.
  • If you were a dude that everyone hated, you got accused of rape and mistreatment of women. It wasn’t cool.
  • Due to the teachings of the third century Roman physician Galen, it was believed that a woman could not conceive if she didn’t have an orgasm. No, this does not mean that medieval couples were trying positions from the Kama Sutra every night (the Church still had strict guidelines on when and where and how you were supposed to do the do) but it also doesn’t mean that women’s pleasure was some completely mystical and/or unthinkable idea.
  • Likewise, early consummation DID happen (Margaret Beaufort, Eleanor of Castile) but it was frowned on. The Church imposed penalties on husbands who consummated their marriage too early, and while noble girls were generally married around 14-16, commoner girls were about the same age as today (early-mid twenties) and could often marry for love, depending on their social station.
  • While marital rape and abuse was not legally recognized or classified as a crime, that didn’t mean it went unpunished. Since most noble marriages were business transactions, that meant the wife was an investment of some value, and a sure way to piss off her menfolk (and the Pope) was to mistreat and abuse her. King Philip II of France spent years under interdict and excommunication for his appalling treatment of his second wife, Ingeborg, and was ultimately forced to capitulate and take her back. The Pope would in fact often champion the causes of mistreated noble wives (usually to force concessions out of her husband, but still). Annulment and separation, while unusual, were not completely impossible, and did happen – one of the chief grounds for it being granted was mistreatment and abuse.
  • Furthermore, the code of chivalry specified honorable treatment for noblewomen. Of course, this did not mean it was lived out in practice, and common women were fair game, but there was in fact an existing and well-known legal framework for how you were supposed to treat your womenfolk – Ramsay would have been as reviled in the medieval era as he is to our modern sensibilities. Medieval people weren’t different from us and out rape rape rapin the livelong day. In fact, I would hazard a guess that it’s gotten MORE common now that we, you know, no longer chop the goddamn dicks off people and they generally skate with no consequence.
  • Besides, the “the medieval era was dark and barbaric” attitude relies on the mistaken narrative of “progress,” i.e. things were terrible back then and have been constantly evolving to this point in time, where we no longer do the gross things they did. DING DONG YOU ARE WRONG! This is a historiographical fallacy to excuse our own atrocities and act like the cost of the modern world was “necessary” for “developing” us to who we are now, and that all the bloodshed, death, colonialism, world wars, etc can’t possibly be as bad as what they did Back In The Day. Saying “people got raped back then!” is implicitly saying “and they don’t get raped today, because Progress.” It’s incredibly stupid and hypocritical. So don’t even start that shit with me.
  • Last, these are not real events magically happening outside anyone’s control. This is a television show written by 21st century people. They have repeatedly used rape as a clumsy plot device in the past. They continued to do so and twisted it this time to happen to a beloved major character purely for the self-admitted purpose of shock value. They planned it since season 2 and waited for Sophie Turner to come of age so they could shoot it legally. So acting like GoT is this pseudo “medieval world” where nobody had any control over the fact that Sansa was put in a position to be violated by Ramsay is again, laughably facetious. They manipulated the story, characters, and narrative to be sure that this happened. They made a writing choice. Hence we are going to criticize that writing choice. We have as much right to do that as they do to create it in the first place. It’s called consequences. “Free speech” does not mean you get to say whatever you want and no one can challenge or correct you. It means the government can’t put you in jail or otherwise legally harass you with the mechanisms of the state for it. Someone else using their free speech to call you a fucking idiot is perfectly legal.
  • In conclusion: No, the medieval era was not some beacon of rights and happiness for women. Terrible things could and did happen. But they excited just as much public outrage as they did today, and were oftentimes more harshly punished (at least if you were noble born, because CLASSISM! Take a shot). Every bit of development and progress we HAVE made was extremely hard won. But quit acting like it was just an inevitable, normal, and necessary fact of life in medieval times. Because you know nothing, Jon Snow.
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T.V. Tuesday 🎬 #8

Best artwork I’ve ever done
It’s called “Doing my best and failing”