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Showing posts from April, 2012

Dreams, Predictions and Poetry

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I recently created a new label - Europe - which was probably a long time in coming. Along with Asia and Africa, both created several weeks ago, I now have three continent labels, and it will probably stay that way for a while, since I am somewhat reluctant to do an "Americas" label, and I don't think I've written much of anything on Australia, Oceania or Antarctica. (It's kind of strange that so many continents start with A).

Anyway, I've noticed I have three labels in particular without a great number of posts behind them (ten or fewer). Those are dreams, predictions and poetry. Each is important and unique enough that I wouldn't want to get rid of it, but I have to admit that it's a rare occasion when I would happen to write something including any of these things. Now I will help change that, and this post will include them all.

Poverty in Korea under Japanese Colonialism

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Koreans Without Sovereignty – Survival or Success? Poverty in Korea under Japanese Colonialism
The Land is no longer our own
Does spring come just the same
To the stolen fields?
“Does Spring Come to Stolen Fields?” by Yi Sang-Hwa (1900-1943)

Fed Up With Juneau Empire Sports Headlines

I like Juneau, Alaska. It's a nice place. That said, Juneau and Ketchikan can often be big competitors, especially between our high schools. For a long time, Juneau-Douglas High and Ketchikan were the only 4A high schools in the region, which is a system of tiers based on the number of students, so schools with 50 students don't compete against schools with 700. However, JDHS used to be the biggest high school in the state, and Kayhi was the smallest 4A in the state, so it wasn't exactly a level playing field, and that's been evident in many different sports and competitions over the years.

A few years ago, however, Juneau finally built a second high school to accomodate their massive student population. I think this has probably equalized things some, but you wouldn't get that impression from the sports articles in the Juneau Empire.

Cascadia Ferries: Whittier to San Francisco?

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Have you ever taken a ferry in the Pacific Northwest? travelled over the waters of Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, or Northern California? If so, I may have made a map you'll enjoy.

"Senegalese Analogies" Bibliography

I wrote "Senegalese Analogies" a year ago in April 2011 for a seminar called China's Evolving Role in Africa. After putting it on my blog, it's been one of my more popular posts, as I talked about here. Now I'm providing my bibliography for that paper. I would have put it in the original post, but that was extremely long already, and this bibliography is also extremely long. Let me know if there are any broken links or other problems. Here it is:

The Missing China Mystery!

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This blog has received visits from 99 different countries, including some from really obscure places, but not from the most populous country on earth. Let's take a look at this crazy situation.

New Appearance and Jump Breaks

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I've now decided to try something new with the blog. Yes, that's right, I'm trying out jump breaks, which means you have to click "read more" to read the rest of this - unless you're already on the individual page for this post.

Native Worlds of New Spain

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A month and a half ago I posted this, which was my first paper for my history seminar "Native Americans Making North America." Now this is my second paper from that class, and it covers a wide variety of histories within the colony of New Spain during the 16th through 18th centuries. As always, my footnotes can be provided on request, and if you come across this paper and want to use it, please cite me and/or this website. Enjoy!

Native Worlds of New Spain:  The Diversity and Power of Indigenous Communities in Colonial North America
One narrative of Spanish America’s history that maintains a strong grasp on the imagination and reflects popular assumptions begins with violent, imbalanced conquest, followed by decimating, immobilizing disease, completed with solidified and regimented European rule. In nearly every way, these simplistic notions leave native inhabitants of the Americas powerless, discounted, and even unimportant in the retelling of their very own history. While…

L'Élection sénégalaise : Une victoire inspirante

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Je me dis que, bien que je sois parti de la France il y a plus de quatre mois, il serait bon d'écrire plus en français sur ce blog. Mon dernier billet écrit en France était appelé Dernier billet bilingue, mais ce n'est pas necessaire ! En fait, il y a quelques semaines j'ai affiché Les Personnages et l'identité dans L'Aventure ambiguë - un devoir pour mon cours de la littérature francophone africaine qui continue de recevoir beaucoup de visites de l'Internet.

En tout cas, je veux dire tout simplement que je vais écrire plus en français. Cependant, je n'écrit pas sur la France maintenant, mais le Sénégal, un de mes pays favoris pour discuter et sur lequel d'apprendre des nouvelles choses. Il y a deux mois j'ai écrit ce billet en anglais sur les élections présidentielles approchantes. Bref, j'avais peur que le président corrompu Abdoulaye Wade gagnerait un troisième mandat car les élections avaient été manipulées dans le passé et car le conseil co…

Maps That Infuriate Me: World Poverty

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This is the second post in my series called Maps That Infuriate Me. The first can be found here. Unlike in my first post, the following maps do not infuriate me because they are inaccurate or because of what they fail to show. Rather, they are infuriating for what they succeed in showing - the unconscionable amounts of poverty in the world. I've retrieved each of these three maps from Worldmapper, an excellent site that I also referenced over three years ago in this post, where I used the third map I'm going to show you here.

Each of these maps is a cartogram, a map where some chosen variable is represented by the size of the map's different parts - here the countries of the world. In the map above, two indices were used to measure the poverty rate in every country in the world and multiply that by the proportion of the world's population each country contains. The larger the country appears, the higher its percentage of the world's impoverished people. Burkina Fas…

Finally - Graphing the Publisher's Visits

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Since the very beginning of this blog in May 2008, I've used a Site Meter counter to keep track of all of the blog's visits and pageviews. Since it only seems to be able to show the records going back one calendar year in the past, however, I have kept my own Excel sheet with a record of all the monthly tallies.

Now, after finally having taught myself how to make graphs using Excel, (I was forced to by homework from my International Finance class), I think I can post for the very first time a chart displaying the Publisher's internet traffic statistics, reflecting its history so far from May 2008 through the end of March 2012.


Sometimes internet stats can be fickle. At first, I believe Site Meter counted all of my own visits to my site, but then after a while I figured out how to prevent that. Blogger itself started keeping track of the stats a while ago, and lately I've also started a cool thing called Flag Counter that you can see in the sidebar. That said, all three…

Bastardizing the Idea that Poverty Isn't Destiny

I was writing a paper for my course on wealth, poverty, and the history of development, and I realized that I was expressing the idea that poverty isn't destiny, i.e. that nations' lack of wealth does not inevitably determine their future. Once that phrase came to mind I started questioning my thoughts, because another work that took criticism of "poverty as destiny" as one of its major points was Waiting for Superman, a film that I roundly criticized last January. After further consideration, however, I stood my ground in my paper: Poverty, unequal institutions, or even colonial legacies do not invariably determine a nation's historical trajectory. After all, nothing about history is inevitable; it's a fallacy to believe as much.

I realized that when Waiting for Superman orthe broader neo-liberal education "reform" movement use this concept of non-inevitability, they have really entirely bastardized it. When one says, for example, that the poverty …

Maps That Infuriate Me: European Claims to North America

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I've decided to wean myself from my recent mapmaking spree (this, this, this, and this) by starting a new series on the blog: Maps That Infuriate Me. I don't know how many posts this series will end up including, but I do at least know where to start.

Put the words "European claims to North America" into a Google image search, and these will be the first two results (at least for now):

The map on the left (from here) claims to represent the year 1700, and the one on the right (from here) represents 1763. The only egregious flaw I see in terms of physical geography is on the left, where the Alexander Archipelago - my home, no less - has been gratuitously sunk into the ocean. However, considering that it's clearly intended to be a more simple grade-school-ish kind of map, I don't think that's such a big issue, and it's not the one that I'm here to write about.

What I'm really here to write about are the political implications of these maps. Now…

Science and History: Becoming Part of the Whole

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Some time ago I watched a video on Youtube of a speaking event where Stephen Colbert interviews Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a man who's become one of America's biggest celebrity scientists in the grand tradition of guys like Carl Sagan or Bill Nye. I first saw Tyson a few years ago as a host on one or two PBS science shows (I don't remember which) and I'm glad that he's getting even more attention nowadays, since he's a very good speaker with some very good messages for the public.

Among the various gems contained in the video, one that I really liked starts after the 37-minute mark:
Well I think if you know about what's going on, then it's not mysterious and you're a participant in the unfolding cosmos. Otherwise, you are consumed by it, and you fear it and you shun it and you say, "I don't want to know that I live on a speck called Earth, orbiting an undistinguished star in the corner of an ordinary galaxy in an expanding void of the cosmos.&quo…

The Battle Between American and British English in a Globalising World

The Internet has been globalising culture and interaction at an increasingly rapid rate, especially among speakers of the same language. In Facebook pages I have joined relating to French politicians or news organisations, for example, a large number of regular commenters are clearly of West African, North African, or Near Eastern origins, and I've realised that many of them are not from France nor are immigrants there. Similarly, if you go on most any website and read anonymous comments in English, it's impossible to say where that person might be from: A commenter could easily be from the Netherlands or Scandinavia - or indeed almost anywhere in the world - and write just as fluently as anyone from the U.K., U.S., Canada or so on. In that context, then, what sort of English are these people speaking? What are the prevailing norms of English used online in our ever-expanding global contacts?

One might think at first that American English has the upper hand. After all, the Uni…