This was a very interesting month for blogging. I produced an average number of posts (ca 250), but with a twist: I reposted more old posts than I usually do, but I also wrote more words of original full blown essays than I usually do. I think that may be a good mix, because I also had more hits than I usually get.
There were several themes during June, including the Silence is the Enemy effort, an extensive discussion about Missionaries in Central Africa, some interesting science blogging, a new trend emerging in my nature blogging, some interesting tech blogging, several people passing to the great beyond (probate court) of which I’ll include only one here, and at the very end of the month, the opportunity to announce that Al Franken is now the Junior Senator from Minnesota!
Here’s a review and all the links you’ll need to spend the next several hours doing nothing but reading my blog. (I’m not giving you any links to reposts. That would be unfair, somehow.)
Silence is the enemy: A discussion about rape.
A huge discussion ensued in relation to the Silence is the Enemy June Blog Swarm organized by Sheril Kirshenbaum at The Intersection. The following blog posts were part of this effort:
Eventually, the four younger men, stronger than the older women, succeed in dragging the young woman into the bush. I assume they raped her. I felt bad about not helping, but I really had little choice in the matter. I did not come here to change things, I came here to observe and to learn.
Imagine a society in which one woman in every three is raped, usually by a man she knows, consider the consequences of living in a society where one third of all women are beaten during pregnancy and 35 percent of women using emergency medical facilities are battered…
This question is shorthand for a larger and more nuanced set of questions that has emerged over the last 24 hours here and here as people engage in this very interesting and important discussion about rape, especially wartime rape and related post-apocalyptic rape cultures.
So no, guys, you can’t have your apology. We are talking about a serious issue here, and we are knocking around ideas. Nobody is accusing anyone of anything. We are just conversing. … do not pick up pieces of mud and make love to them like they were the last piece of mud on the face of the earth. Do not huff and puff and blow my house down especially when it is also your house. In other words, stop acting like you were made entirely of your y-chromsome and nothing else. And, most importantly, begin to understand the fact that this discussion is not about you.
These posts generated quite a bit of attention, and quite a few hits, and the procedes earned from these hits will be forwarded to the Ituri Forest People’s Fund.
Another big topic covered this month is that of missionaries working in Central Africa. I was, essentially, given the challenge of relating a number of my own personal stories regarding missionary work in Zaire during the 1980s, and did so with a number of blog posts, backed up by an interview on the radio. All of the details of this effort are summarized in this post: Dirty poor people living in slime: Missionaries and American Idol. Within that post you will find links to all the other posts, as well as to the radio show podcast.
Meanwhile, over on Quiche Moraine …
Quiche Moraine had it’s “coming out” party and I blogged about it here: Quiche Moraine at Azia and the Black Forest. My series on the ancient history of music continued with this post on GJ’s, the famous half-gay bar of Albany, New York.
There is no such thing as pure science. And, to celebrate that interesting fact, you may notice, I changed my masthead. But there are posts that can be classified under a “just science” heading, ignoring the fact that most of the rape post and all of the missionary posts have an obvious set of science connections.
…I glanced at the multi-colored on board radar screen where the co-pilot was now pointing, indicating the storms that we had not flown into yet. It was hard to focus on the screen since we were shaking up and down and back and forth like kids in a busted roller coaster ride….
This is one of those science stories that is on one hand fairly simple, and on the other hand fairly complex, where the interface between simplicity and complexity causes little balls of misunderstanding to come flying out of the mix like pieces of raw pizza dough if the guy making the pizza was the Tasmanian Devil from the cartoons.
… the authors analyzed 38 years of data collected across 46 prides of lions in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. They looked for factors affecting female fitness. They found that competition between prides for territories directly affected female fitness. The largest prides obtained and held the best territories, and having neighboring prides negatively affected female fertility and individual female survival.
People like to help pregnant women. On buses it is routine to give up one’s seat for a pregnant woman. In Boston, drivers try less hard to run over pregnant women in crosswalks. And so on. But sometimes good intentions can lead to bad advice.
I’ve started to use a new category called “notes from the north country” which will include notes. From up north. And stuff. For now:
I’m lucky in that I often get to blog from a very excellent bird watching location. Depending on which way I point, I can observe an evergreen treeline on a bluff sporting a bald eagle nest; a protected semi-island where loons nest; a marsh inhabited by transient migrants such as tundra swans or Canada geese and used by local wandering predators such as herons but owned by the blackbirds; open water with minnow filled shallows and …
bla bla bla, we get the picture, Greg.
By the way, a quaint belief among the Minnesotans is that the bass that holds on the nest during spawning is the lady bass. But in fact, the gentleman bass makes the nest and raises the young. If a lady bass will give him egg, as it were. But I digress.
So I’m thinking “Why does Amanda think I woke up at noon. As a matter of fact, at noon, we were just arriving at the cabin up here …. oh … ” …brain kicks in … “we got up here a noon. Got it.”
Lots of people died this month, including David Carridine, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, and of course … Michael Jackson (who) Thrilled The Kids in Zaire