Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘gardens

Wednesday Night Links

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1491

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I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

The Atlantic has a lengthy piece from 2002 on what the Americas were like before the Europeans invaded, tying this into current political struggle over the exploitation of places like the Amazon rainforest.

Guided by the pristine myth, mainstream environmentalists want to preserve as much of the world’s land as possible in a putatively intact state. But “intact,” if the new research is correct, means “run by human beings for human purposes.” Environmentalists dislike this, because it seems to mean that anything goes. In a sense they are correct. Native Americans managed the continent as they saw fit. Modern nations must do the same. If they want to return as much of the landscape as possible to its 1491 state, they will have to find it within themselves to create the world’s largest garden.

Written by gerrycanavan

November 8, 2009 at 1:21 am

Sunday Linkdump #3

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Sunday linkdump #3.

* The local food movement gets a big boost with news of a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. More at MeFi.

* Visualizing the organic food industry in the U.S.

* The Washington Post finally gets around to kind of correcting George Will’s dishonest columns on climate change. Sure, it’s been a month, but it’s not like the paper comes out every day.

* You may remember from Jon Stewart’s well-placed mockery when Barack Obama gave Gordon Brown a gift of twenty-five DVDs during his visit that paled in comparison to Brown’s gift of a pen-holder made from the timbers of the HMS Resolute. Well, it’s a little worse than you think.

Alas, when the PM settled down to begin watching them the other night, he found there was a problem.

The films only worked in DVD players made in North America and the words “wrong region” came up on his screen.

I’ve told you before, information wants to be free…

Even the list of DVDs itself is fairly unimpressive. Star Wars? The Godfather? Really? I’ve got to be honest, I think Brown’s probably seen some of these.

Urban Farming Update

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Urban farming update: I forgot to check my garden for a few days, and I’ve been punished/rewarded with the world’s biggest zucchini.

Will they be delicious? Signs point to huge.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 24, 2008 at 12:41 am

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I Am a Successful Urban Farmer

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I am a successful urban farmer: we plucked the first zucchini from our garden today.


Written by gerrycanavan

July 9, 2008 at 12:46 am

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