The Untold Story of Japan’s First People
"Ishihara, Ellick, and I agree—each of us wants to be like Yahata. Content and proud and full of joy. Studying the past and present of the Ainu reveals what we all know deep down—symbols and rituals and belonging are essential to our humanity. And that doesn’t change, no matter the culture: We are all the same, and we are all different."
"Chad is a weak state with a strong military, known for its brutal treatment of combatants and civilians. In late July, without notifying the U.N., the Chadian Army ordered an evacuation of all islands in the southern basin, warning that anyone who was still there in a week would be considered a member of Boko Haram. Around fifty-five thousand islanders rushed to the mainland. The Boudouma have an extensive history of raiding the Kanembou, and the Chief of the Canton did not allow them into the towns. According to Méhaule, “He just told them, ‘Go stay in the empty land between villages. The humanitarians, in their white vans, will come.’ ”"
"Those wishing to visit ground zero of European ignominy must simply drive up an olive tree-covered hill on the island of Lesbos until the high cement walls of Camp Moria come into view. "Welcome to prison," someone has spray-painted on the walls. The dreadful stench of urine and garbage greets visitors and the ground is covered with hundreds of plastic bags. It is raining, and filthy water has collected ankle-deep on the road. The migrants who come out of the camp are covered with thin plastic capes and many of them are wearing only flipflops on their feet as they walk through the soup. Children are crying as men jostle their way through the crowd.
Welcome to one of the most shameful sites in all of Europe. Camp Moria was originally built to handle 2,330 refugees. But currently it is home to 6,489."
"More than a decade before Parks became a civil rights hero for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, Parks led a national campaign against sexual assaults on black women."
"Katharina T., a resident of Berlin in the early 20th century, had a deep voice and masculine appearance, and preferred to wear men’s clothing at home and in public. In 1908, they—there’s no record of which pronoun Katharina preferred—went to visit the sexual reformer and “sexologist” Magnus Hirschfeld, to apply for official documentation that would allow them to wear men’s clothing in public: a “transvestite pass.”
Perhaps dozens of these passes were granted by German police between 1909 and 1933, the year Adolf Hitler became chancellor. "
"“The Sami herders feel like they are being squashed in physically — by roads, dams, mines, railroads, wind farms,” he said, “Then they are told they are the unsustainable ones.”
Dr. Tyler said that the state’s regulation of grazing systems could be described as internal “welfare colonialism,” the anthropologist Richard Paine’s term that denotes an exchange of dependency, in this case, subsidies in return for stricter government controls."
"The lesson of all this research: DNA evidence is a powerful tool in criminal investigation and prosecution, but it must be used with care. It should never be oversold in court, and it should only ever be considered in light of other available evidence. For example, if DNA is recovered in a kitchen that has been broken into, it could be from the homeowner, their guests, or even a member of the CSI team (if sufficient care hasn’t been taken to avoid contamination)."
"According to the CDC, black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health. Put another way, a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 300 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes."
"Meena got chickenpox, measles and the mumps in prison. She was born there, nursed there and weaned there. Now 11 years old, she has spent her entire life in prison and will probably spend the rest of her childhood there as well.
The girl has never committed a crime, but her mother, Shirin Gul, is a convicted serial killer serving a life sentence, and under Afghan prison policy she can keep her daughter with her until she turns 18.
Meena was even conceived in prison, and has never been out, not even for a brief visit. She has never seen a television set, she said, and has no idea what the world outside the walls looks like."
"High-profile New Zealand media personalities are refusing to back down from using Māori words in their prime-time broadcasting, despite hundreds of complaints from English speakers who say they feel excluded by the use of the Te Reo language."
"And then, one day, sitting in the shed I live in, I had a revelation: within the current climate of misinformation, and society's willingness to believe absolute bullshit, maybe a fake restaurant is possible? Maybe it's exactly the kind of place that could be a hit?
In that moment, it became my mission. With the help of fake reviews, mystique and nonsense, I was going to do it: turn my shed into London's top-rated restaurant on TripAdvisor."
"Boys have always known they could do anything; all they had to do was look around at their presidents, religious leaders, professional athletes, at the statues that stand erect in big cities and small. Girls have always known they were allowed to feel anything — except anger. Now girls, led by women, are being told they can own righteous anger. Now they can feel what they want and be what they want.
There’s no commensurate lesson for boys in our culture. While girls are encouraged to be not just ballerinas, but astronauts and coders, boys—who already know they can walk on the moon and dominate Silicon Valley—don’t receive explicit encouragement to fully access their emotions."
"Sewing is just one of the technologies that people don’t automatically thing of when the term history of technology is mentioned. Others from the same domestic area are weaving, crochet and knitting and yes crochet and knitting are technologies. I have a suspicion that such domestic technologies get ignored in the popular conception of the history of technology is because they are women’s activities. In the popular imagination technology is masculine; man is the toolmaker, woman is the carer. The strange thing about this essentially sexist view of the history of technology is that the domestic technologies, clothes making, cooking etc. play a very central role in human survival and human progress. Humans can survive without cars but a naked human being without cooked food in a hostile environment is on a fast track to the grave. These small, everyday aspects of human existence need to receive a much greater prominence in the popular history of technology."
"Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental condition that’s thought to be primarily expressed through differences in socializing, communicating, and repetitive behavior. Lesser known are its effects on executive functioning (EF) — which can be defined as a transit map in our brains that tell us how to plan and organize, keep track of time, and remember information in the moment."
"Pan Pan saved his species by being really, really, ridiculously good at sex. Before Pan Pan, experts thought that building up a stable population of captive pandas was going to require extensive use of artificial insemination. Pan Pan not only led the way on reproducing in captivity, he taught us that pandas were perfectly capable of doing it for themselves — and they’re now increasingly allowed to do so. Scientists say giant pandas represent, hands down, the most successful captive animal breeding program humans have ever embarked on, and, partly, we have Pan Pan to thank."
"Actual rates of child murder did not significantly decline in Europe until the popularisation of condoms in the late 19th century eliminated much of the necessity. That is: we stopped killing our babies only when we started having fewer of them."
"Most of the snake removal calls come from neighborhoods on the perimeter of the city where new housing is destroying what’s left of the creatures’ domain, Mr. Prayul explained.
“When people build houses in their habitat, of course they will seek a dry spot in people’s houses because they can’t go anywhere else,” he said.
All reasonable explanations. But casual discussion tends to end when it’s your toilet the snake is in."
"Mr. Wiley’s art plays on different ways of seeing, and questions the representation of nonwhites (or lack thereof) in Western art. For instance, viewers unaccustomed to seeing black figures in seascapes might identify them as 21st-century migrants fleeing Africa, 19th-century slave-ship escapees or modern-day bathers and fishermen."
"Steadman’s book suggests that Vermeer saw what he painted. Of course, just that by itself is a huge area of discussion, because a lot of art historians do not think that Vermeer sat and painted exactly what he saw. They think that his paintings are actually constructions: that he would have never have seen chequered floor tiles in his studio, that he would never have seen expensive musical instruments, that he would certainly never have owned anything as expensive as the chandelier we see in his paintings. So did the scenes we see in his pictures really exist? Steadman thought that they did, and that was his assertion: he thought Vermeer painted the scene in front of him. I think that the answer lies somewhere in the middle of all the arguments."
"But no matter whose fault it is, giving birth to a child with a terminal disease is something I did do. This is just as obvious as it is important: I am the one who was pregnant and gave birth to Dudley. That I continued my pregnancy under mistaken pretenses feels like an irreparable violation, one that I don’t think any man — including the one who loves Dudley as much as I do — is capable of understanding."
"When Georgiana Rose Simpson arrived to the University of Chicago in 1907, her presence in a dorm caused an uproar among some of the other students because she was black, and she was eventually asked to move off campus.
Undeterred, Simpson continued her studies by commuting to campus and corresponding from afar and went on to become one of the first black women in the country to graduate with a doctorate, records show."
"In the crucible of the overcrowded detention centre at Moria, English is undergoing an accelerated evolution."
"Ultimately, the Himsworth Report trumpeted experimental results over medical observations and continually down- played the significance of personal testimony. Personal details on patients were only included when it served to mitigate the ill effects of CS, as in the case of Madame Macina, Vietnamese peasants, and the Bogside father of baby Martin. Likewise, social scientists’ claims that CS effects must be considered in their economic and political context were bracketed at the very outset from debate. Suggestions that the psychological conditions of riot situations could have physiological impacts were brought up in the final report, only to be separated out from the “real effects” of CS. The report treated bodily reactions as side effects; as if they were the result of personal dysfunctions or rare allergies to an everyday product, rather than human bodies responding to poisoned air.
Domestically, the Himsworth Report’s stamp of approval freed Britain to further develop more deadly riot-control agents, counterterrorism technologies, and counterinsurgency tactics — using Northern Ireland as a testing ground."
“I want someone to look me in the face and say that religious women can’t do it,” she said, as she drove to court in her minivan. “I want to see who is going to have the nerve to face me and say, ‘Jewish women aren’t capable.’ I feel bad; I am going to make mincemeat out of that guy.”
"But another proposed name acknowledges a different part of Tuk’s history. Many of the town’s elders are residential school survivors. None of them have forgotten that day in June 1972 when three of their classmates ran away. Back when the road was still a dream, those boys attempted to walk it."
"Volcanism, on the other hand, has coincided with most, if not all, mass extinctions—it looks suspiciously like a serial killer, if you like."
"The network attributed the recent emergence of slave markets in Libya to the sharp fall in migrant arrivals in Europe over the summer. The Italian government reportedly began paying the warlords controlling Libya’s coast to curb the flow of migrants earlier this year. In August alone, the arrivals of migrants in Italy fell 85 percent."
"Since the country first gained independence from the British in 1948, its government has been fighting the Karen, the Karenni, the Kachin, the Shan and the Mon. Those ethnic groups have had armed militias for decades. The Rohingya only recently spawned a small armed group — and most Rohingya disapprove of their methods.
So why are the Rohingya being so brutally singled out? The answer lies in Burma’s peculiarly stratified hierarchy of citizenship."
"My photographer friend wants to know why he didn’t listen properly to the rumors about predators in his industry, and if he can make up for that now.
My environmental activist friend is worried that the stupid things he did as a teenager will obviate the work he’s doing today.
Nobody wants to be having this conversation, but we need to have it. Avoidance of this conversation has shaped our culture; cultures are defined not only by the stories they tell, but also by the ones they don’t."
"In the next experiment, Mann ratcheted up the boring quotient. Instead of copying numbers out of the phone book for 20 minutes, this time they had to read the phone numbers out loud. Although a handful of people actually enjoyed this task (go figure) and were excused from the study, the vast majority of participants found reading the phone book absolutely, stultifyingly boring. It’s more difficult to space out when engaged in an active task such as writing than when doing something as passive as reading. The result, as Mann had hypothesized, was even more creative ideas for the paper cups, including earrings, telephones, all kinds of musical instruments, and, Mann’s favorite, a Madonna-style bra. This group thought beyond the cup-as-container.
By means of these experiments, Mann proved her point: People who are bored think more creatively than those who aren’t."
"The hacking unit attracts many of the agency’s young stars, who like the thrill of internet break-ins in the name of national security, according to a dozen former government officials who agreed to describe its work on the condition of anonymity. T.A.O. analysts start with a shopping list of desired information and likely sources — say, a Chinese official’s home computer or a Russian oil company’s network. Much of T.A.O.’s work is labeled E.C.I., for “exceptionally controlled information,” material so sensitive it was initially stored only in safes. When the cumulative weight of the safes threatened the integrity of N.S.A.’s engineering building a few years ago, one agency veteran said, the rules were changed to allow locked file cabinets."
"Almost 90 percent of minors who married were girls. Most of them were 16 or 17 years old. In rare instances, however, children as young as 10, 11 and 12 years old were granted marriage licenses in Alaska, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee."
"The night that Stephen Paddock opened fire on thousands of people at a Las Vegas country music concert, nearby Sunrise Hospital received more than 200 penetrating gunshot wound victims. Dr. Kevin Menes was the attending in charge of the ED that night, and thanks to his experience supporting a local SWAT team, he’d thought ahead about how he might mobilize his department in the event of a mass casualty incident."
“An amount as small as a grain of sand can kill you,” Dr Karen Grimsrud, Alberta’s chief medical officer, told reporters after traces of carfentanil were found in the bodies of two men who had overdosed. “Carfentanil is about 100 times more toxic than fentanyl and about 10,000 times more toxic than morphine.”
"As the number of fentanyl overdoses in America climbed last fall, the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory released a photo to highlight the drug’s particular dangers. The photo showed two vials. One showed how big a lethal dose of heroin might be: 30 milligrams, a small scoop. The second showed the equivalent for fentanyl: 3 milligrams, a bare sprinkle."
"Erickson shows that in fact, throughout the eighteenth century, “Mrs.” was closer to a professional rank for women of capital, businesswomen, and women of higher social status, whether married or unmarried, much like the role the later “Ms.” took on (German uses “frau” regardless of marital status in much the same way). Business proprietors were normally addressed as “Mrs.” as a matter of professional courtesy, but were officially recorded with just their own names, sans title, for example on their business cards."
"In 2001, nearly two decades into Pereira’s accidental specialization in addiction, Portugal became the first country to completely decriminalize the consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, assessed a small fine, or sent to have a chat with a local dissuasion commission—a doctor, a lawyer, and a social worker—about treatment, harm reduction, and support services available to them. A bold stance was taken, an opioid crisis stabilized, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime, and incarceration rates."
"There is a series of Wikipedia articles about the “persecutions of the Catholic Church”, including an extensive account of Christian martyrdoms under Rome; but there is no corresponding series about the often violent suppression of the earlier Roman religion by the Church. As Catherine Nixey points out in her vivid and important new book, the idea of the widespread persecution of Christians is a product of the Church’s marketing and recruitment techniques."
"Instead, the man, Sayfullo Saipov, was interrogated and charged in the civilian system. Explaining the outcome, Mr. Trump voiced a truth that Republicans have been loath to acknowledge: Civilian courts have been ruthlessly effective in bringing terrorists to justice, while the military commission system has floundered."
"Money may not be able to buy love, but here in Japan, it can certainly buy the appearance of love—and appearance, as the dapper Ishii Yuichi insists, is everything. As a man whose business involves becoming other people, Yuichi would know. The handsome and charming 36-year-old is on call to be your best friend, your husband, your father, or even a mourner at your funeral."
"Company officials and Wheatcroft, who has an equity share in WearWorks, say that tactile feedback is less intrusive and more intuitive than oral cues: Vibrations are not vulnerable to being drowned out by loud noises. The visually impaired are freed to use their sense of hearing to listen for approaching vehicles and pedestrians and to more fully engage in their surroundings.
The Wayband technology is not unlike that used by cars to avoid collisions and to park safely, except the sensors employ vibrations instead of beeps.
“It’s 26 miles of reverse parking,” Wheatcroft said with a laugh. “There might be a few dings in the bumper at the end. As long as there’s only paint damage, we’ll be O.K.”"
"This raises a couple of interesting further questions, which are: what did people call clockwise motion before there were clocks? The second of these is, what's so special about the northern hemisphere?"
"Officials from Bangladesh, a very crowded country, insist that Myanmar must take the Rohingya back. But Myanmar’s Buddhist majority drove them out in the first place, creating a climate of hate that vilified the Rohingya as subhuman. Many people in Myanmar insist the Rohingya are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even though Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for hundreds of years."
"The truth is that Lee and his fellow slaveholders were ardent nationalists in the decades leading up to the Civil War, as the Princeton historian Matthew Karp described in his recent book This Vast Southern Empire. And no wonder: For most of its history, the nation had usually protected and served the interests of slaveholders."
"Jack Goldstone once mentioned in a review article that great revolutions have a “fractal” quality, where “social order breaks down on multiple scales simultaneously,” from the family to the town to the city to the national government and across many social institutions. I’ve always found this idea quite useful for thinking about what distinguishes a simple revolt (where a normative breakdown is restricted to say, the national government institutions) from a big revolutionary upheaval. It certainly applied to the Russian revolution, where everything – family norms, clothing, architecture and arts, cities and town planning, public monuments, religion – seemed to be up for negotiation simultaneously."
"The results — already controversial because the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has results from areas that never voted – will almost certainly damage and weaken Uhuru’s political authority beyond repair."
"Against all instinct – planes are not meant to touch in the sky – 60,000lbs of fuel will be delivered mid-air."
"In the 16th century, the Catholic Church had a stranglehold on beer production, since it held the monopoly on gruit — the mixture of herbs and botanicals (sweet gale, mug wort, yarrow, ground ivy, heather, rosemary, juniper berries, ginger, cinnamon) used to flavor and preserve beer. Hops, however, were not taxed. Considered undesirable weeds, they grew plentifully and vigorously — their invasive nature captured by their melodic Latin name, Humulus lupulus (which the music-loving Luther would have loved), which means "climbing wolf.""
"First, Colombia defeated its major drug cartels in the 1990s, driving the center of the drug trade from the country into Mexico.
Then, in 2000, Mexico transitioned to a multiparty democracy.
This meant that the drug trade moved to Mexico just as its politics and institutions were in flux, leaving them unable to address a problem they have often made worse."
"A mild-mannered excise tax collector, Smith had no known criminal history and certainly no intention to become the centerpiece of one of 19th century England’s most unusual murder trials. But a week earlier, Smith had made a criminally foolish mistake: He had shot and killed what he believed to be a ghost."