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Everything posted by Peterkin

  1. Oh, that's all right then. A lot of issues will have been decided by then.
  2. So, have they? By now, there should be an ordinary Sumatran tiger mother with a couple of bouncing Tasmanian cubs at her teats. Perhaps when they're old enough, they could be released into the wild to find mates. https://news.mongabay.com/2021/02/study-suggests-tasmanian-tiger-survived-into-the-21st-century/
  3. Speaking of, I notice you haven't refuted my biblical references. Ooooh! Direct hit! On the latrines. A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to serious numbers. Not a lot to do with nudity, nakedness or the uncovering of limbs, but at least its contextually void.
  4. Normalized? What options were available? But that's nothing to do with nudity. Nursing mothers are not nude or naked; they have one uncovered breast concealed by a baby's head. Nothing extreme about that! Sounds a like a self-fulfilling necessity. Anyway, they didn't marry those foreign captured women; they just used them as servants and whatever. But they had practised polygamy long before the wars, or the establishment of Israel. Read Genesis 29-30, where Jacob marries two of his cousins and also has children by both of their maids. But he never went outside the tent without his loincloth.
  5. Have you counted the ants? There are lots now, but there were way more - the ant are working their way up the evolutionary chain. Or maybe a lot of pigeons and humans have no souls.
  6. What utter balderdash! Adam and Eve were not showing off - who was around to envy them? They didn't know that God had a bugaboo about genitals; He never told them about sex. They didn't even know they were naked until they ate of the knowledge of good from evil. Then, suddenly, their natural state was perceived as evil - though they don't copulate till the next chapter. It's the son who happened to catch an accidental glimpse of the apparatus that engendered him that was punished, and the old man lolling about in a drunken stupor, leaving his withered loins uncovered, who pronounced the curse on him. Name three instances of moderation in the OT. Eh? Parse that sentence, slowly.... And then correlate the three nouns in it to anything in the OT.
  7. We're keeping a wary eye on the developing situation. We're also continuing to shun our fellow humans and wear our masks when we do go out, but the Health Officer in our house has recently liberalized the rules; I can now go into a hardware store and actually handle a tool I consider buying rather than trust amazon feedback - a privilege I've missed greatly. For our wedding anniversary, we ordered a pick-up meal, which was vastly overpriced and underwhelming, so that's not going to happen again, but the containers make dandy reusable microwave dishes. We have received our four doses of vaccine. The vaccination rate in our area is fairly high - which occasions a lot of discarded syringes and swabs and nurses' gear - but of course, we have no idea from one week to the next how effective they are.
  8. We don't see much of that in our town; you're more likely to get stuck behind an acquaintance of the cashier who needs to impart urgent gossip than an irate customer. There is an elevated level rudeness in summer, but the vacationers are gone now. However, we have lost over 30 health-care workers to Covid and I don't know how many to burnout, in a rural area with a chronic shortage of doctors. Now, nurses, too.
  9. I forgot about The Red Pony. We did read LotF, though a little later, 15-ish. They didn't give us any fantasy, either, so L'Engle and C.s. Lewis were off the table - but it seems to me Welles and Verne would have been just about right for kids of that age, and presented enough issues for discussion.
  10. 13 is far too young for Steinbeck, or Shakespeare, for that matter. I'm trying to think what literature would work for middle school. Not many: those novels generally have adult content. I don't mean 'adult' in the popular sens of sex&gore; I mean complex ideas that require some mature experience and knowledge to appreciate. The Outsiders might be appropriate, Robinson Crusoe, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Wrong Box.... I can think of lots of science fiction students that age might understand, like and learn from. We never read any SF in school - wonder why.
  11. They certainly seem to be doing so where I live. Indeed, the number of new cases is well down from the spike in July and the expected fall surge hasn't shown up - yet. Only a few people, customers or staff, at the stores where I shop are wearing masks anymore, though the plexiglass barriers are still up to protect cashiers. I don't expect those ever to thrown away, until the store itself is demolished of remodelled. Everyone stopped wearing rubber gloves quite early on, which was a relief. They were rather appalling: one person I know discarded three pairs at each outing. I don't see a lot of those flimsy blue surgical masks in the gutter anymore, either. I've kept a few with viable elastic for mixing peat moss into my potting soil or sanding wood; in public, I have been wearing N95 with fabric over the front - my current favourite is a parrot beak; small children are amused by it. They're durable and washable. Nevertheless, a lot of people have continued to work from home, which tends to reduce waste overall - with inflation, crazy gas prices and rent hikes, they simply can't afford so much takeout. But they do order things from amazon rather than buy them in person, which tends to increase waste. We've bought a number of items that way and I faithfully kept the cardboard boxes, packing paper, plastic bags and bubble envelopes. It's only the last I haven't been able to repurpose. I used one to hold dead batteries for the recycle bin. At this rate, I need to live another 25 years to use them all.
  12. It didn't occur to me. I just cited the article, to give some credence to the continued existence of slavery and one modern example. According to the Wall Street Journal it's 1.4% . I didn't check the figures for Afghanistan or Congo, and forgot what they were for the ones I did look up.
  13. As it is currently thriving in the East. https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/bonded-labour/ India is supposedly an up-and-coming modern democracy, because it's embraced the ideals and practices of capitalism and western technology. It also has the highest number of debt-slaves in the world - far more people than were enslaved in the Americas. https://scroll.in/article/898862/india-is-home-to-the-worlds-largest-slave-population-yes-slavery-still-exists
  14. I was comparing it to the US. Passing laws of major reform is always the result of lengthy political contention, and usually done piecemeal over time, but the usual alternative is revolution and civil war. I don't think Britain was really confronted by that option - the abolitionists were unlikely to arm and overthrow the government. But the British establishment did have some reason to fear its own lower classes, so many of whom were displaced by steam and impoverished, they may have thought to mollify the working class - and its increasingly articulate and influential progressive advocates - by removing another perceived rival for their jobs. That was my criterion for 'neat' vs 'messy'. Well, that certainly played a major role in France's decision at the time. Yet, the uprising in Saint-Dominique had little effect on England (or, indeed, Haiti, which practices legal child slavery today), but the republican government did abolish slavery in France three years later, which more than likely encouraged the abolitionist factions (and insurgency) in British and Hispanic colonies. Eventually the British government moved on the issue, and the Spanish and Portuguese followed. Meanwhile In France, the restored monarch struck down that law only 8 year later, and France didn't choose the 'neat' option again until 1848, the year of Nationalist revolutions all across Europe. Of course there are contributing causes for every major change, some of which go back centuries, others born out of unexpectedly erupting events. The definition of institutions also changes with various influences, political and economic trends, shifts in power between interest groups. But there is a thread of truth-in-practice underlying human social structures that doesn't change when a new label is stuck on it. You can restrict a discussion to "slavery as represented by the European trafficking, marketing and exploitation of African captives across the Atlantic" , but you can't restrict the concept of "slavery" to that single slice of it or discuss the ending of just that aspect with the ending of slavery itself. Nor do I. All kinds of people have been and are enslaved by all kinds of other people in all kinds of legal and illegal forms.
  15. If the actual question is "What caused the ending of slavery?", then it's already much broader than the type and location of the slavery in question - it's rather about the causes of a significant social change over a significant portion of the globe. In Britain (and consequently all British colonies), it was done neatly, through an act of Parliament, as a political expedient. After the French Revolution, all kinds of uprisings and riots broke out; slavery was becoming just too dangerous and expensive; plus there was increasing pressure from religious factions. Britain itself was not heavily invested in slavery: they had plenty of cheap native labour as well as increasing mechanization. There was plenty of other cargo for its shipping trade. The Other European slave trading and imperial nations were in a similar situation; they all abolished slavery by simply passing laws. In the US, the situation was different. In the US, that was certainly a factor in dividing North and South. The constitution had already done that: the slave-owning part developed a completely different economy and culture based on work-intensive agriculture and a severely segregated caste system, while the northern cities charged into the industrial age, with rapid urban growth, enthusiastic enterprise and cheap immigrant and child labour. The progressive half had already begun to eclipse the feudal half in economic and political clout. In the US, the conflict was not over the institution of slavery itself, but the future of newly opened territories, and which kind of state they would become. The Confederacy was aggressively pushing its own way of life onto the west - which would have made it the far larger, more powerful faction. It wasn't about "states rights", so much as who has a right to impose its social structure on new states. The issue was contested in a hugely destructive civil war, but never resolved. The abolition side won the war and passed an amendment and a handful of laws ... which were not widely enforced or obeyed, so that another series of violent confrontations were needed to put them into effect 100 years later - confrontations that continue to this day. I deleted the luck reference, because I took this to mean: Was the institution of slavery a historical phenomenon with a predetermined life-span; was the ending of it an inevitable step in social development? To that, I would have to say no. It shifts shape and changes colouring, but it lives on.
  16. Generalized statements such as: Slavery ended. It never did. It did change some of its forms and methods, but a whole lot of people are still owned by other people, and a lot of modern slavery is legal. In the US, it's illegal and underground - but it continues. In many places, it is nominally illegal, so they call it something else. Lots of places, it's normal. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/25/modern-slavery-trafficking-persons-one-in-200
  17. I suspect they're far more useful to adults refreshing their knowledge or broadening their education than for full-time students. Motivated mature learners have a much longer attention span.
  18. Or, they could have just bought him a deeper dish. I had a problem with that beautiful couple who share everything, but that problem's been solved.
  19. Whatever pushes the agenda, in word, deed, ban, zoning law, symbols or gestures; all part of a package.
  20. That was kind of my take on it, too. By 19 or 20, the students should not be so impressionable that learning some statistics of their society can indoctrinate them. It seems tome, they need to know about the number of wrongful incarcerations, just as they need to know the number of highway fatalities, the rate of divorce and morbid obesity, as well as the prime lending rate and stock index. It's possible for academics and authors to be biased in favour of one kind of example and neglect of others - and it's quite natural to be annoyed about that. But I don't think the students are danger from facts. They may become inflamed by ideas or slogans or political rhetoric, it's just not likely to happen in a math course.
  21. You had the answer right there. Food! Put it in practical context. Recipes in books and even sometimes on line come with both kind of measurement. It helps to have actual containers and weights in the classroom, but if that's not practical, the teacher can have children find a recipe for something they really like to eat, and compare quantities: What if we used two quarts of milk instead of two cups? How much flour would we need? How big would the cake be? Have them rolling in the aisles. And remembering: funny things stick better than boring things. I was lucky to be burdened with both the English and metric systems in high school (the American discrepancies were mentioned, too) because metric was required for the science and tech courses we might go on to, but the commercial measures were British. Lucky because, ten years later when Canada went officially metric, my cohort was not gob-smacked by decimals. Amazing how many people had trouble adjusting to simple, consistent 10's from those crazy irrational fractions. (To this day, I snarl every time somebody uses the word 'decimate' for wholesale destruction.)
  22. It's Florida. The children have seen one another already in the schoolyard and on the street; they know that some of them are different colours and genders. Dick and Jane were ultra white, because that was the author's world, but Leroy and Juanita and Aaron might well have got the impression that they were not welcome On Cherry Street, or in that classroom. And they would have been correct! I'm not sure mathematically accurate facts count as sliding in indoctrination, any more than train schedules or mortgage rates do. Examples from real life - the real, daily lives of the people taking the course - seem to me fair game. The unconscious bias graph, I do have some trouble with in elementary school. But by the time they're old enough to enlist, they should be aware of the inequalities and tensions in their country. Politically charged material that's banned from the classroom tends to resolve itself on the barricades. Germany wasn't any more special then than Florida and Hungary are now. There was a terrifying Doctor Who episode about an alternative England. Humans go 'round in cycles. My SO was holding forth on the madness of our age and how it may never have been this bad before, so I looked out a documentary on the late Middle Ages. There have never been so many of us before to go mad all at once. I'd like to see the Romantics back before I die, but it ain't gonna happen.
  23. There is no "point". Life is not for achieving but for living. If you don't know how to do that, you need a carrot to drag you through life to a death, beyond which you're hoping to find something better. That's sad, but if that's your life, it's the one you'll have to live. Nobody's asking you to give up your unreachable carrot. What are you asking of other people?
  24. I had no idea they were prevented from participating. I do apologize. And withdraw. The field is wide open!
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