The March 1st round of voting in US primaries and caucuses is today. Since 1988, no candidate has won his party’s nomination without winning Super Tuesday. With early voting and absentee voting already happening, the people of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia will turn out for both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans in Alaska will hold caucuses, as will Democrats in Colorado. Democrats in American Samoa also nominate. On the Republican side, with 661 delegates to be allocated today, Donald Trump currently holds the delegate lead. On the Democrat side, with 865 delegates to be delegated today, Hillary Clinton currently holds the delegate lead. (A more visual delegate tracker) The actual POTUS election odds continue to make Hillary the favorite, from Donald with the rest at long odds. Politico has more information on today, as does the Wall Street Journal and 538. With variable weather for voters, Nate Silver being cautious about assumptions and Obama's surprise endorsement of Trump, it's all to play for.
Yesterday the Coxless Crew, a team of four women, completed their unsupported row across the Pacific. It took them 257 days to travel 8446 miles in three stages - San Francisco to Hawaii, then to Samoa, and completing their journey at Cairns. They travelled in a 29-foot long pink boat called Doris. [more inside]
Multimedia artist Shigeyuki Kihara created Siva in Motion (SLYT), an entrancing exploration of taualuga, a Samoan type of dance. [more inside]
Ilana Gershon is a professor currently researching how people use the Internet to break up with their romantic partners, but before that she wrote an anthropological study about "strategic ignorance" in Samoan immigrant communities, all of which is just a complicated way of showing that she's the most unusually qualified person on the Internet to comment on the Manti Te'o hoax. (previously)
Vailima, a German-style lager, has been brewed just outside the capital of Independent Samoa since 1978. There are two versions to choose from, the normal 4.9% strength and the the export-only 6.7%. But, unless you're somewhere near Samoa, you probably won't be able to find it. So, enjoy the commercials, instead! [more inside]
The Turtle and the Shark is one of Samoa's most cherished stories, and it has been animated beautifully by Ryan Woodward in the style of siapo, or Samoan tapa barkcloth. [more inside]
Alofa'aga mo se Tausaga Fou fiafia, manuia ma saogalemu. Ia manuia fuafuaga uma mo le tausaga fou 2012. American Samoa just changed time zones. But if you missed New Years, you still have, at the time of this writing, 50 minutes until New Years in Pago Pago.
Samoa has seized headlines by moving the International Date Line--leaping forward a day and confusing readers in the process. [more inside]
Kava: "a slightly bitter, slightly frothy, aromatic, resinous brew capable of inducing tranquility and an ultimate sense of wellbeing" [more inside]
Samoan government Minister Hans Joachim "Joe" Keil is suing US immigration agents and the State Department. [more inside]
The Independent State of Samoa has just 200,000 citizens, but you can be sure many are a little less than placid today. They are undergoing a shift that few nations have done; one that may be as jarring as when Jekyll changes to Hyde. They are about to change lanes. In a big way. [more inside]
slappity-slappity-BOOM!-slappity-slap-slap-slap-BOOM!... Slap dancing from opposite ends of the earth! In Samoa, it’s called the Fa'ataupati; it’s said to have originated out of the need to swat insects away. And in the Tyrolean Alps, it’s called the Schuhplattler, supposedly the oldest surviving dance in Europe. And on MetaTalk, it goes like this, amirite? [more inside]
The Papalagi. "Then many of these thought-mats are tied into bunches and pressed together ('books' the Papalagi calls them) and sent to every part of that great country. Very soon, everyone who takes these thoughts into themselves is infected. They devour these thought-mats as if they were sweet bananas ... [Y]oung and old gnaw at them like rats gnawing at sugar cane. That is the reason why so few of them are still able to think reasonable, natural thoughts, like those that every honest Samoan has.'