54th 4 Stone Hearth, and anthropology

December 5, 2008

Cognition and Culture hosts the 54th edition of 4 Stone Hearth, the blog carnival on issues archaeological.  Interesting venue — solidly academic, and a valuable resource for teachers all by itself.

It’s a great carnival, really — marriage, poetry, and even a video of a new toy from Bandai.

And on a related note, here’s a post that ought to make the 55th edition of 4 Stone Hearth:  Remote Central found a list of the top 100 anthropology blogs.  Useful searching.   There be great resources for the classroom, I’ll wager.

Religious insanity: No sperm, no mass

June 8, 2008

A Quantum Diaries Survivor detours from physics to bring us news that in a small Italian town church authorities denied the rites of marriage to a paralyzed man, on the grounds that he can’t make babies.

Remember this case the next time some nut starts ranting about how marriage between two people of the same gender somehow endangers marriage. There’s no way to protect the “sanctity of marriage” when clowns with clerical titles work so determinedly to mock the institution of marriage, and the concepts of compassion, charity and family, from within the church.

6 ways to tell if your boss is a good one?

November 12, 2007

Oh, if only. The post is advice to women wondering whether they should keep the guy or throw him back, “Six tests to determine if he’s Mr. Right.” *

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see the boss in those situations, too, so you know whether to take the job? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to see your principal or department head in these conditions, so you’d know more about what to expect?

We’re generally more careful about long-term romantic relationships than we are about jobs. That may be why marriages — even the bad ones — often last longer than jobs.

It may explain why some jobs last longer than marriages, too. I remember sitting down with people from Southwest Airlines’ People Department once, and hearing them describe Herb Kelleher’s vision of the company: Kids grow up, siblings move away, spouses come and go, but Southwest Airlines will be there for you always.

Even when you’re sick?

Something to think about.

* Yeah, I noticed it’s from a blog called “Suddenly Christian.” He talks about a two-week trip, in a car, cross-country, with a potential mate. The author has at least one foot on the ground.

40 years of Loving — the changes we see

June 15, 2007

1968 propelled history in dramatic fashion, much of it tragic. History teachers might await the 40th anniversary stories of 1968’s events, knowing that the newspapers and television specials will provide much richer material than any textbook could hope for.

Was 1967 less momentous? Perhaps. But an anniversary this week only serves to highlight how the entire decade was a series of turning points for the United States. This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s issuing the decision in Loving v. Virginia. The Lovings had been arrested, convicted and exiled from the state of Virginia for the crime of — brace yourself — getting married.

Richard and Mildred Loving, Bettman-Corbis Archive

You see, Virginia in those days prohibited marriage between a black person and a white person. So did 15 other states. In language that is quaint and archaic to all but Biblical literalist creationists, the trial judge said:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

The Lovings appealed their conviction. They appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down laws that prohibit a person of one “race” from marrying a person of another. (I put “race” in quotes because, as we have since learned from DNA studies, there is just one race among us, the human race. Science verifies that the Supreme Court got it right, as did the Americans before them who wrote the laws upon which the Supreme Court’s decision was based.)

From 1958 to 1967 — nine years the case wended through the courts. Oral argument was had on April 10 — the decision coming down in just two months seems dramatically quick by today’s standards. This was one of the cases that angered so many Americans against the Court presided over by Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Ed Brayton at Dispatches from Culture Wars points to a statement from Mildred Loving on this anniversary. The statement is below the fold. Read the rest of this entry »


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