(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘ethnography

“Speech was given to man to disguise his thoughts”*…

 

Bare-handed speech synthesis: “Pink Trombone.”

[image above: source]

* Talleyrand

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As we hold our tongues, we might send exploratory birthday greetings to John Wesley “Wes” Powell; he was born on this date in 1834.  A geologist and ethnologist, he published the first classification of American Indian languages and was the first director of the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology (1879-1902).  In 1869, despite having lost his right arm in the Civil War, Powell outfitted a small party of men in wooden boats in Wyoming, and descended down into the then unknown Colorado River. Daring that mighty river for a thousand miles of huge, often horrifying rapids, unsuspected dangers, and endless hardship, he and his men were the first (white explorers) to challenge the Grand Canyon.

 source

 

“Time is a game played beautifully by children”*…

 

Readers will recall our earlier adventures in space and scale (e.g., here).  Now, from Wait But Why, a trip through time.  Starting with the near-in (above), Tim Urban has created a series timelines, each of which nests into the next…

Until one has “traveled” all the way to the entirety of time.

See them all (and larger) at “Putting Time in Perspective.” (G-rated version here)

* Heraclitus, Fragments

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As we check our watches, we might send culturally-relevant birthday greetings to James Mooney; he was born on this date in 1861.  A pioneering ethnographer, he started working in 1885 with the Bureau of American Ethnology in Washington, D.C.  He compiled a list of tribes and their members which contained 3,000 names, but quit after the US Army’s 1890 massacre of Lakota people at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

Mooney did extensive work with the Cherokee and Kiowa tribes.  His most notable works were his ethnographic studies of the Ghost Dance after Sitting Bull’s death in 1890, a widespread 19th-century religious movement among various Native American culture groups, and his deciphering of the Kiowa calendar.

 source

 

Written by LW

February 10, 2015 at 1:01 am

Inside the Wienermobile…

 

Every year, a dozen “Hotdoggers” drive six Wienermobiles around the country, and each almost-identical giant hot dog van (the fleet gets updated in waves; the newest models are 2012s, but 2009s are still on the road) is assigned to a particular region. According to Oscar Mayer, thousands of recent college graduates apply to be Hotdoggers, giving it a lower acceptance rate than Princeton, Harvard, or Yale…

More frank talk about what’s between the buns at Bon Appetit‘s “Behind the Hot Dog: What Goes On in the Wienermobile.”

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We we read with relish, we might spare a thought for Clyde Kluckhohn; he died on this date in 1960.  An anthropologist and cultural theorist, Kluckhohn is probably best know for his ethnographic work on the Navajo.  His fundamental ideas on culture are articulated in Mirror for Man (which won the McGraw-Hill prize for the best popular work in science in 1949): he argues that, despite material differences in customs, there are fundamental human values common to the diverse cultures of the world.

 source

 

 

Written by LW

July 29, 2013 at 1:01 am

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