Activity from Miko

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Meet Addy
Previously on MeFi, we discussed the retiring of the other original and more historically based AG dolls.

THis article is excellent. It does a great job of raising the complexities of representation in children's toys, and they are many. I appreciate that it opens questions without closing them, without just condemning the dolls. I think of one of my favorite colleagues, an African-American historian, who loved all the AG dolls and told stories about traveling with her… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:03 AM on May 29, 2015
I grew up in New Jersey, was never assigned Beloved, and was not introduced to literature by non-white people in any other month than February.

I also grew up in NJ, but in a very racially integrated school district with a lot of black teachers. We learned a lot of black history as well as music, literature, civic issues, etc. I simply thought of it as "school." It is only as an adult that I learned how unusual that education was, and I'm grateful for it.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 10:00 AM on May 29, 2015

"More indigenous territory has been claimed by maps than by guns"
still it's a shame to not even mention languages like Santhali, Mundari, or Ho as being Indian language

even from a position of pretty casual knowledge they seem to lack a lot of subtleties.

It seems like he would welcome comments and contributions.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:56 AM on May 29, 2015

"It’s embarrassing to be such a cliché"
" I started worrying that it was an intellectual loss to go through life without experiencing something so fundamental to so many people’s existence. " That resonates with me.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:29 PM on May 27, 2015
Every choice has an opportunity cost.

That seems like a very fair, realistic way to sum it all up.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:22 PM on May 28, 2015
men can have children at any age so there never seems to be a moment when it's considered too late for them

I think this actually has a lot to do with it. And it's a sad asymmetry, but a real one. For instance, I am probably about in the waning days of my fertility and feel sad that I have not had children. It will be a hard potentiality to let go, even if there was never a moment I leapt at it with all my energy. Meanwhile, many of my male friends… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:32 AM on May 29, 2015
Until (seemingly) very recently, it was completely verboten to talk about the shitty parts of parenting.

I think that was an anomaly, though. It was verboten from the 80s through the oughts, but I think it was pretty common during the 1970s. Parental eye-rolling about the irritations, costs, and hassles of children was familiar enough to me growing up, despite knowing I and my friends were loved.

I wonder if there was some… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:48 AM on May 29, 2015
THis seems germane: I've heard the author of this book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradoxes of Modern Parenthood on the radio and she had some wise things to say.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:49 AM on May 29, 2015

Those of you in fights like this might find useful resources at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. One of the founders, Stacy Mitchell, wrote the book Big Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America's Independent Businesses (recommended).. The group has an email newsletter, fact sheets, and other information useful to organizers.

The city could lay out a plan that describes a retailer with 100% of every facet of Walmart's… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 11:52 AM on May 28, 2015
I get a lot of that, filthy light thief, but the link I gave actually talks about how to craft local policies - on zoning and use, yes, but also on traffic, labor, signage, easements, water use, electric power, and so on - to make it very difficult for this type of retailer to go in.

Yes, if you already have this type of big box retail building, you're probably screwed if Wal-Mart wants to reuse one of those buildings (though that does not happen to be their preference).… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 12:22 PM on May 28, 2015
Most relevant link: How to Stop a Big Box
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 12:25 PM on May 28, 2015

God, that is such a cool idea. Summer Movies. ON A BARGE.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:23 PM on May 28, 2015
I'm not suggesting there's a national consensus, but fortunately, these are not national decisions. They're municipality-based, and municipal tools can be deployed. I don't feel a need to keep arguing; my links make a good portal, and as much as there is to say about restructuring local economy and opposing this stuff is pretty much there in that content. I don't mean to imply it's easy or without tradeoff. But it's probably worth it in the long run.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:03 PM on May 28, 2015

Archaeology in the Classroom
This is a cool story. THe teacher sounds like a fabulous teacher, and I love that the kids are discovering history right there where they spend every day. I'm going to beef about the Times, though: the field of professional archaeology has spent about a century trying to move people away from the "treasure hunters" concept, because archaeology is not about hunting up old stuff and plundering it, but carefully using the non-renewable resources of a deposit record to understand more… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:51 AM on May 28, 2015
Doing minimal damage is essential to archaeology. Because a basic presumption is that whatever tools we have in the future are going to be more revealing and better in every way than tools we have today, there is a strong prejudice in the professional ethics to leave everything untouched unless it is under direct threat. That's why most archaeological finds today come from construction sites: the only reason archaeologists are required to be hired and to go to those sites is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 12:04 PM on May 28, 2015

Additional props are potato chips, pickles and olives
It is bizarre to me that such an obvious combination was a novelty that recently

I don't think it was at all obvious - maybe only seems that way now because it's become commonplace. Cheese was just not added to everything until fairly recently. It was a food of its own, mostly, eaten sliced as a course or accompaniment to bread or pie, not a topping. Macaroni and cheese was a rare exception. I think for "cheeseburger" to have occurred to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:26 PM on May 27, 2015
Well, the other thing is that I think we have to note that regionality was far, far stronger before midcentury. The separate zones of the US really did have different diets, and there wasn't a rapid transfer of one to the other. Recently I was working on a project in which I used some scholarship about how the general pattern of dealing with a new "foodscape" was xenophobia, moving to experimentation/negotiation, leading finally to adaptation, adoption, or assimilation. Xenophobia… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:22 AM on May 28, 2015
In parts of California, for example, you can easily have tomatoes and lettuce year round.

Yeah, but that wasn't true in the rest of the country even as short a time ago as the 20s. That's why you can still find diner menus that call a burger with lettuce and tomato a "California" burger - that kind of fresh produce was highly seasonal in the East until the rail networks and cold chain were perfected. And not only did the transportation… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:13 AM on May 28, 2015
As for infinitewindow's article, though, I really agree about seasonality. I simply do not buy fresh tomatoes when they're not in season. The Cali/Mex hard, long-distance tomatoes are terrible and they are just not worth it. They look like tomatoes, sort of, but they don't taste like tomatoes. I am a lot happier just eating them in season, when I can get them fresh, grown somewhere in the Northeast, and truly ripe.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 9:17 AM on May 28, 2015

Burning bridges over (already) troubled waters
I love Paul Simon's work; I have the greatest respect for his skills and talents. At the same time, it seems clear from what evidence is available that he is an exceedingly difficult individual and pretty self-centered. Fortunately, I don't need to personally get involved in these conflicts and can just enjoy the music. A lot of artists are difficult and flawed, no better than the general run of humanity, and we shouldn't expect them to be.

What comes through more is a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:11 PM on May 24, 2015
there are plenty of people from that time who had hits who were complete unknowns

Forgive me if I don't think AG would have been one of them. I wonder how many people, without Googling, could name the titles of the songs from his solo albums that charted, or the albums.

Don't get me wrong, like them if you like them. I don't bear him any personal grudge and am happy for any musician to make a living. But I don't think he'd… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:11 AM on May 25, 2015
One point.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:31 AM on May 26, 2015
I mean, how many family units that aren't celebrities carry on old grudges for decades?

It's a good point. People who have not ever been in a band can have a hard time understanding what a strange kind of forced intimacy it can become. You can only hope your mutual creative product makes it worth the significant effort it takes to collaborate with other people. Few bands have no tensions.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:18 AM on May 26, 2015

Unreal Food For The Real World
Laudan is a famous contrarian in the world of food history. She likes to poke at the sacred cows (pun acknowledged). Here, she's writing for a lay audience and compressing and synthesizing quite a bit; in her books and papers, you can get a longer, more traditionally historian-like version of this. I think her scope here is a little too big, because she likes to make waves. But she's not a bad historian.

I don't necessarily agree that "better industrial food"… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:31 AM on May 23, 2015
selfish, selfish women who have the temerity to want to do something with their time other than engage in food production.

Amen. I've been working on an idea about this lately. Though I have a lot of good things to say about cooking, and love cooking myself, when I have the time and good food to work with, I think that the food movement and the explosion in culinary interests have both overlooked the fact that cooking is labor.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 6:57 AM on May 23, 2015
And I know people who do do that stuff. I think the problem is in extrapolating that as a scalable prescription for the whole society.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:41 AM on May 23, 2015
voting with your dollars is the most effective thing you can do.

I really question this thinking, and I think it's why almost all locavore efforts end up hitting a ceiling of efficacy. The most effective thing you can do is, without doubt, to use the democratic system to change food policy and regulation. You can do this at every level: municipal, state, national. Policy change has a clearer, more direct, and broader impact. A small change in law… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 2:13 PM on May 23, 2015
canned veggies are generally much less good tasting than flash frozen ones

This is so true. A chest freezer + a garden or farmer's market, if you are lucky enough to have both, is a great recipe for good tasting veggies with a lot less fuss.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:42 PM on May 23, 2015
if enough 'Suburban Moms' take the health and nutrition labels seriously and purchase via that, they will drive a surprising amount of change

Mmmm, the only change they drive is prompting those large corporations to figure out whatever strategy currently appeals to those people and tweak their marketing to match. There are very few success stories in this broad phenomenon (I tend to allow that the lousy organic program we have nonetheless keeps a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:47 PM on May 23, 2015
The trick is to make it easy for people to do the right thing. We have a long way to go on that. The virtuous choices should be easy, not require a profound change of lifestyle. If you want to garden and cook at home from scratch daily and patronize really local, responsible food sources, great. But the real trick is not how to make that easy for middle-class people with time and choices, but to make food that good and systems that healthy into the social default, or at… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:42 PM on May 23, 2015
And it may make me a Luddite, but I have never tasted supermarket strawberries as good as the one sold at the stand by my house and grown at a farm a little further down the road. You simply can't scale food production up to industrial levels without some compromises.

I agree with you there. She's more right about conditions in the past than I think she is about the best place to go from here.

Oyeah, you aren't the first… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 10:49 AM on May 24, 2015
The idea that cooking is unpaid labor kind of flies in the face of fledged / unfledged sort of thinking.

I have no idea what this means. Can you explain?

Utah is not grown out of being an agrarian society. These farms, markets, orchards and big truck farms are ongoing. The vegetables are cheap and available.

Utah is also diverting 23% of the Colorado River's flow to support its… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:06 PM on May 24, 2015
"Utah farmers and ranchers currently do not produce enough food overall and in most individual sectors to feed our population. "

"Despite the apparent use of sustainable practices by farmers, the majority stated that economic factors, availability of information, and Federal farm programs were primary constraints limiting adoption of sustainable practices. Without a greater effort by Cooperative Extension, sustainable agriculture practices may not be… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:25 PM on May 24, 2015
People buy at markets, and have done so all through our history.

That's such an enormous generalization that I don't understand what you think it proves.

Utah is a long way from providing a sustainable, affordable, steady food supply for its own population right now, let alone the fact that the population is also on a trajectory to double in the next three decades. That's what I'm… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:05 AM on May 25, 2015

The movement is a sort of mosaic.
It's not too late. I follow Equal Rights Amendment on Facebook. It's pretty active and well worth following.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 8:59 PM on May 23, 2015
I'm sympathetic but I'd still like the piece of paper. Funny how important pieces of paper can be.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 2:07 PM on May 24, 2015

That Thing You Dew
hillbillies, but never really made an Appalachia connection.

Though it is a slur, I understand "hillbilly" to be a largely overlapping Venn diagram with "Appalachian" (as in, the "hills" being referenced are the Appalachian mountains and their foothills). It's interesting me that people today could know both words and not link them.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 3:03 PM on May 22, 2015
Hillbilly is used everywhere now. I have a friend from Chelsea, MA, that calls the ignoramus racist white guys he grew up with "hillibillies." But I never realized that recent expansions of the usage would make its origin ambiguous for people, even when extrapolated.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:45 PM on May 22, 2015
M-W defined a hillbilly as a Michigan dirt farmer in some early editions.

er....cite? I checked Google Books, not there. The only place it did turn up was Urban Dictionary.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:01 PM on May 22, 2015
People seem to make a lot out of the "more caffeine than other sodas" thing, but it's such a tiny amount more, especially as compared to tea and coffee. It's really hard to believe 6-8 milligrams is going to make a huge difference to the way a regular caffeine drinker feels. According to this chart that's less than the difference between Folgers and Maxwell House, for instance. Though they certainly aren't shy about marketing it as if it's some kind of… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:15 PM on May 22, 2015
Well, it's more like a 55% increase (35mg to 54), but still, in neither case is it an especially high amount of caffeine. And the carbonation-increasing-absorption thing doesn't seem markedly supported.

Caffeine is just one of those things I don't think people think especially well about. It seems like basically it's about pace rather than total dosage or absorption rates: "the optimal use of caffeine is likely to involve small, hourly doses along with some… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:46 PM on May 22, 2015
Yeah, "Caffeine absorption is slightly delayed from soda and chocolate relative to coffee,[37][38][39] and capsules have faster absorption than does coffee.[38]", and also, "When ingested, it has near perfect intestinal uptake of around 99-100%[31][32] up to acute dosages of 10mg/kg bodyweight, the highest studied in humans.[33] This absorption tends to occur almost completely within 45 minutes of ingestion.[34][32][24]" So, nothing special about getting it from MD, other… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:50 PM on May 22, 2015
That got me curious about other urban legends about Mountain Dew. There are a bunch.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 5:42 AM on May 23, 2015
Ah I see. Or Fox's U-Bet for RI.

It got me thinking about similar foods that are both regionally marked and class-marked. I considered NJ's Taylor Ham/Pork Roll, defensively embraced and enjoyed today by people of all backgrounds, but definitely not seen as a high-class food, and strongly identified with NJ specifically.

A lot of NYC foods now prized by foodies also started out being considered markers of ethnicity and low class: garlic pickles, bagels, whitefish, etc.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 7:00 AM on May 23, 2015

“I would also like to be called by my name, Kyle.”
For those interested in hearing more discussion of this, with a lot of indigenous perspectives, the Facebook page of Indian Country Today has posted it, and there are 700-some comments from different folks.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 12:32 PM on May 22, 2015
Even then, I personally don't think I'd be in a huge rush to give up my own cultural self-identification.

I don't have a lot of detailed information about the naming of NMAI, but I do know that the design of the entire institution went through a lot of collaborative processes so I suspect it was the best of many possible compromises. Also, I believe that it was chosen partly to honor (or possibly comply legally) with the origin of much of its collection, which was the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 3:17 PM on May 22, 2015
Well, as noted in my comment, there is a lot of history to why the term was chosen. Maybe you want to look into the reasons for it, since it bugs you, rather than get snarky about it.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:12 PM on May 22, 2015
This doesn't speak to naming issues, but does give some sense of the dynamics and tensions swirling around the creation of the NMAI.

Been through the Act, been through the Heye archive. I can't find specific discussions about how the name was chosen, but I do think it comes down to honoring continuity with the Heye museum (and possibly, retaining money that might have come with it). Also, it was named in 1989, so.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:26 PM on May 22, 2015
mollymillions! I found those links, but they don't address the naming specifically. Do you know of anything that does? I'd hoped the act or the archive would have some narrative about it.
posted to MetaFilter by Miko at 4:40 PM on May 22, 2015

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