A Historically Racist Stereotype

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Graphic of crowd from Clipart-Library.com

Numerous incidents of blackface imagery and imitation have appeared in daily news articles over the past several years. High-level politicians, celebrities, and average citizens were caught up in the ensuing controversies. Each incident elicited a predictable range of responses ranging from indignation to confusion. For those not familiar with the racially-charged history of blackface displays, indignation at these incidents may seem to be an overreaction. Failure to understand the history of blackface lets people mistake this racial stereotyping for light humor or parody.

The origins of blackface stretch back to the 1830s when minstrel shows became a popular entertainment form…


Paving the way for the Jim Crow Laws

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The Courthouse Lawn, Halifax, North Carolina (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By John Vachon for U.S. Farm Security Administration — Library of Congress[1], Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Those listening carefully in the runup to the January 6, 2021, insurrection may have heard Senator Ted Cruz mention the Hayes-Tilden Compromise as a model for challenging the vote of the American people. He presented his views in an oleaginous and corrosive attack on our democratic process, saying:

“The most direct precedent on this question arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race. Specifically, the elections in three states-Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina-were alleged to have been conducted illegally.

“In 1877, Congress did not ignore those allegations, nor did the media simply…


Amplifying Short Term Pain

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Seafloor Methane Seep (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By Authors of the study: Andrew R. Thurber, Sarah Seabrook and Rory M. Welsh , CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Steadily and incrementally, heat is building in Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. Our atmosphere is like a warm duvet wrapped around a sparkling blue gem, hanging in the cold darkness of space. In this duvet, the feathers are greenhouse gas molecules, trapping and retaining heat and keeping the planet warm. We tend to focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) as the primary agent of global warming, but methane (CH4) is also a significant player on the climate change stage. Methane is colorless, odorless, and invisible to the naked eye, but it is a super greenhouse gas.

Understanding its significance requires some knowledge…


Winning a battle against ancient foes who are only half alive.

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Rabies virus with length of about 180nm (Modified) — By www.scientificanimations.com/http://www.scientificanimations.com/wiki-images/ , CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

First, I must disclose I am not a doctor or medical researcher. But, I have investigated enough to understand the basics of bio-farmed viral vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and mRNA vaccines. I looked into the subject as part of a larger endeavor I am currently working on, mainly to understand the age-old battle between humans and viruses and to try and peek into what the future may hold for humans in this battle.

All indications are that viruses have a history on Earth as long as that of cellular life. So, despite what we think about viruses, they have a proven…


A disappearing resource

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Wetlands (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: Photo by Kevin Ortiz on Unsplash

My childhood summers were spent along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay, specifically around the lower reaches of the Rappahannock River. In this estuarine environment, the daily rhythm of life marched in beat with the tide’s rise and fall. Fresh water delivered by inland rivers mingled with the salty ocean water, creating a rich brackish-water ecosystem filled with aquatic life of all sorts. Ospreys and other animals of prey connected the forested shores with the teaming life below the water’s surface. …


Fifty-Eight years on

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Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1963 March on Washington: By Rowland Scherman — U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, Wikimedia commons

The date was April 16th of 1963, and Martin Luther King, Jr. sent out his now-famous “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” This iconic historical document was issued to his fellow clergymen as he languished under lock and key in the Birmingham City Jail. The letter provides historical context regarding the social and philosophical background leading to the birth and rise of the civil rights movement in the United States. However, merely calling it a historical document does not do justice to the social insights it provides. It is more of a living document, since fifty-eight years on, key observations made by…


But is it clean or just renewable?

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Renewable Versus Clean (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By Melanie Maecker-Tursun — Melanie Maecker-Tursun, www.ponymithorn.com, hello@ponymithorn.com, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia commons

Despite the many conversations and news reports about moving to clean energy, we still see confusion around the differences between clean energy and renewable energy. A recent article entitled “What Would It Take to Run a City on 100 Percent Clean Energy?” addresses the efforts by some U.S. cities to reduce their carbon footprint. The article does a great job of identifying key obstacles to carbon reduction, but it blurs the line between clean and renewable.

One of the examples given in the article is Burlington, Vermont’s claim they have reached an energy milestone by producing enough power from renewables…


The Drowning of the Bengal Delta

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Croc (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By Subratakoloi — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia

Our story picks up on the northern shores of the Indian Ocean, where the Bay of Bengal laps onto the shores of Bangladesh. The year is 2052, and 230 million people call this country home. Of these 230 million, over 200 million live on the delta. To understand Bangladesh, you must first know its life springs from the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta. This delta system, also known as the Bengal Delta, dominates the country’s geography and makes it one of the most fertile regions on the planet Earth.

The Bengal Delta also has the distinction of being a geological triple point. The…


American Sedition Goes Mainstream

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US Capitol Building (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: Photo by ElevenPhotographs on Unsplash

The events of January 6, 2021 laid bare a wound in our democracy as 147 members of Congress openly expressed their tacit support for a movement bent on attacking the constitutional foundations of our country. A mob of thousands descended on the United States Capitol Building with the intent of preventing a lawful certification of votes cast by the American people during the November 2020 election. The de facto leader of this insurrection is the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump. His key Congressional enablers are Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley. We cannot sugarcoat what has happened…


Climate change threatens food, water, and shelter

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Living Earth (Modified by ArcheanWeb) — Original Credit: By NASA images by Reto Stöckli, based on data from NASA and NOAA. Instrument: Terra — MODIS — Earth Observatory: Twin Blue Marbles, Public Domain,

The year was 1967, and humankind had ventured into space. As a species, we are perpetual tourists. Photo keepsakes were a must-have once we left our earthbound domain, so in 1967 the first color photos encompassing the whole Earth arrived home courtesy of the Department of Defense Gravitational Experiment (DODGE) satellite. Digital photography was not what it is today, and the color photo was really a composite of three photos taken with red, green, and blue filters. Five years later, the Apollo 17 crew took the iconic “Blue Marble” photograph. For the first time in Earth’s history, the planet could…

William House

Exploring relationships between people and our planet — Stories and articles promoting science, environmental awareness, and insights into the human condition.

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