On Chimps

Here’s an interesting article on the perception of African American as apes even today:

The researchers consistently discovered a black-ape association even if the young adults said they knew nothing about its historical connotations. The connection was made only with African American faces; the paper’s third study failed to find an ape association with other non-white groups, such as Asians.

In case you’re wondering about those historical connections, this (perhaps biased) source has a couple of pointers.

Chemical irritant empties Islamic Society of Greater Dayton’s mosque

The Dayton Daily News has a story about a terrorist attack on a mosque in Ohio. Entirely coincidentally, an anti-Muslim DVD was distributed to thousands of households in Ohio earlier in the week.

Daily Kos has an email account of the attack:

She told me that the gas was sprayed into the room where the babies and children were being kept while their mothers prayed together their Ramadan prayers. Panicked mothers ran for their babies, crying for their children so they could flee from the gas that was burning their eyes and throats and lungs. She grabbed her youngest in her arms and grabbed the hand of her other daughter, moving with the others to exit the building and the irritating substance there.

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Prescient, if perhaps Obvious

Cringely reposts an excerpt from a post of his that appeared two days after 9/11. Right now it seems obvious, but I don’t know if it seemed that way then:

‘To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail,’ wrote Mark Twain. In the current context this means that the organizations charged with reacting to this catastrophe will do so by doing what they have always done, only more of it. Congress, which controls the budget and passes laws, will want to pass laws and to allocate more money, lots of money, forgetting completely about any campaign promises. The military, which is the nation’s enforcer, will want to use force, if only they can find a foe. The intelligence community, which gathers information, will want to be even more energetic in that gathering, no matter what the cost to the privacy of the millions of us who aren’t thinking of terrorist acts. And agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulate, will want to create more stringent regulations. Now here is an important point to be remembered: All these parties will want to do these things WHETHER THEY ARE WARRANTED OR USEFUL OR NOT.

American Roots

Great map on Wikipedia showing where people are originally from in the US, by county. Some notes:

  • That’s a lot of Germans
  • Look how few Norwegians in Minnesota. Take that, Garrison!
  • Other = Cuba or Hawaiian
  • Mormons are English. Sorry about that
  • BIG surprise for Puerto Rico
  • The data for Florida is heavily skewed, because most of the ancestors there haven’t died yet

(HT: Electoral Vote)

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White Trousers

One of the fashion items of the moment among young women in the UK is the white trouser. Being male I’m all for this innovation, though I might advocate certain restrictions (the 60-something woman I saw at the beech with a too-small hipster pair and a boob tube, for example). It struck me that this trend is a direct result of cheap overseas labour. If trousers cost £50 per pair you’re unlikely to get anything as impractical as white, because they’re not going to last more than a few months without becoming bra-strap gray. But if the trousers cost a tenner and you can get a season out of them before they fall apart anyway, why not?*

*Obviously there are ethical reasons why not, as well as ethical reasons why. My point is that it’s interesting to see such an impact, not whether it’s right or wrong.

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