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Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Are Clouds a Social Construct? The Natural History Museum Investigates

In BRA/Race Hustlin' on July 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm

More on Clouds: Are They So Different is on view at the Natural History Museum

First, some background for you ignorant, hate-filled, redneck simpletons:

“Supervaluationism also provides a relatively popular way to solve Unger’s ‘Problem of the Many’. Suppose you look up on a reasonably clear day and report that there is one cloud in the sky. The cloud you are referring to does not have sharp boundaries – there will be droplets of which it is unclear whether or not they are part of the cloud. The problem is that there seem to be too many things in the sky on that apparently one-clouded day, that each looks to be perfect candidates for being clouds (they have the right composition etc.). For, you could compose candidate clouds over and over again by including different sub-sets of those penumbral droplets. The supervaluationist response can recognize all these objects as candidate clouds, leaving it indeterminate which is to count as the cloud.”
Vagueness: Supervaluationism, Rosanna Keefe, University of Sheffield, © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Ok, that’s probably over your empty, racist heads, so let’s have the brilliant blokes over at the taxpayer-subsidized (70%!) Smithsonian institute break this sh*t down for you, you homophobic inbred hate-mongering extremists.


Clouds and cloudism are complex subjects, but the Natural History Museum takes them on with energy and zeal in a new exhibition, Clouds: Are They So Different? The show is the first national exhibition to spell out the construct of “clouds” and all that it encompasses from a meteorological, cultural and historical point of view.

Meteorology acknowledges the fact that water vapor is different and seeks to examine the historical consequences of the idea of “clouds.” Visitors can participate in a number of activities and view different materials that help show the impact of clouds and explain the history of clouds as a meteorological concept. The exhibit is staffed with volunteers trained to encourage dialog and reflection. One of the volunteers, Katydid Harping, explained some of the more complex ideas behind the exhibit.

Harping, who is completing an undergraduate degree in American Studies at George Washington University, underwent up to 30 hours of indoctrination training to staff the exhibit, learning about the content of the show, strategies for engaging visitors and addressing various cloud-related issues.

Clouds: Are They So Different? tackles the issue of clouds and cloudism, which can be tricky subjects sometimes. What have been your experiences with clouds thus far in the exhibit?

There have been some guests that felt objection to certain parts of the exhibit, particularly in the science content, but overall I would say that the reception from the public has been enormously positive. I have talked to many families in the exhibit who have faced, in their lives, many of the issues the content covers, and who have been happy to see such issues addressed in such a prominent forum. And they too have added a great deal to the exhibition. Through their willingness to engage with facilitators and museums guests their own diverse and unique stories have greatly enhanced what Clouds is trying to do.

Clouds and cloudism are important issues in society but are often overlooked, why address them?

Problems never get solved by ignoring them; great social change is never the product of complacency. By bringing the issues that come along with clouds to the forefront, we are providing an opportunity for people to better understand not only the history and sociology of clouds, but each other. I truly believe that it is that understanding that is fundamental to human progress in terms of weather relations.

The exhibit seeks to show that clouds are not rooted in physics. Why is this an important piece of propaganda “fact” for people to know and understand?

By discussing the physics—or lack thereof—of clouds, we eliminate the argument that there is something fundamentally, on a molecular level, different about clouds. We are then left to explore what those other social and historical factors are that led to the development of clouds as we know them today.

There have been atmospheric conditions of all water vapor configurations during the exhibition. Does that emphasize the point of the exhibit at all?

While the exhibition is designed to enrich even the most homogenous of water vapor configurations, the diversity above the exhibit was excellent, and in many ways it does highlight the undercurrent that runs under everything in the exhibit, which is that clouds are still a very present and very important thing in this country.

If there was one thing that every exhibit visitor should take away, what would that be?

That clouds are not inherent in the laws of physics, but rather a social construct developed over time, which continues to be a strong and ever present force in our country and in our lives.

Clouds: Are They So Different? will run until January 2, 2012. Volunteers are in the exhibit most days engaging visitors, answering questions and encouraging thoughtful conversation about the question of why water vapor configurations are different, as well as helping visitors explore the exhibit.

Related headlines:

Picnic, beach advocates struggle to attract visitors on minority cloud condition days; claim residents “cloudist”

Farmers sued for continuing to schedule irrigation around cloudist weather “predictions”

Tempe, AZ considered too “cloud-free”; DOJ pressures city council to increase dark cloud coverage

DOE proposes new $1,000 billion plan to close the “achievement gap” between sunny/cloudy skies

Navy dishonorably discharges captain for using cloudist “Red sky at night…” expression

Justice Sotomayor rules solar panel industry practices have disparate impact on “historically marginalized” cloud conditions; forces installations in Seattle, London

Is Race a Social Construct? The Natural History Museum Investigates

The Obesity Quilt

In Gay Agenda on July 20, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Anyone else catch this story in the New York Times this morning?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/20/us/health/obesity-quilt.html

A Stitch in Time Saves Lives
Obesity activists attempt to depict the human toll of government neglect

By CARL MATTS
Published: July 20, 2011


NEW YORK — Advocates pushing for increased federal funding for OIINK prevention and research have begun a fund-raising and PR campaign to help raise awareness about the plight of those stricken with the disease.

Activists have collected cloth and silk squares, uniquely decorated with dedications to loved ones, from families who have been affected by OIINK. Stitched together, they form an enormous “Obesity Quilt” that “helps the public visualize the scale and impact” of this epidemic, according to OIINK Activists United spokesperson, Anita Dhunp.

Activist and actress Faneane Farofalo, who is donating her star power to the campaign, explains, “By taking this [quilt] around the country—particularly to college campuses teeming with insecure, emotionally-volatile, and camaraderie-desperate adolescents who have access to Daddy’s checkbook—we can get the word out that our government is sitting around doing nothing while people are dying of a horrible disease. A disease that has no cure!”

“Our goal is to empower communities to proactively engage their federal representatives to bring about positive change,” she added.

OIINK—Obesity, Insulinemia, Interstitial Nephritis, and Ketonemia, officially—is a spectrum disorder afflicting an estimated 80 million Americans, and more than 300 million worldwide. Though it’s not believed the underlying disease (the Human Exercisodeficiency Virus, or HEV) causes death, OIINK renders its victims susceptible to a host of secondary diseases which ultimately prove fatal.

To date, a cure remains elusive.

“Everyone must chip in and play their part to help bring about an end to this disease,” Dhunp said, while stuffing a Monster Thickburger in her mouth and washing it down with a 64-oz Jolt Ultra. “Government hasn’t done nearly enough to fund research into prevention and cure—and if it were up to the Republicans in the House, well, they’d watch their fat kids die of heart attacks before they’d even think about raising taxes on their corporate jet-owning millionaire cronies!”

“That’s why we have to rally our base,” she added. “And force their [government’s] hand.”

But critics argue that businesses and tax payers should not be compelled to foot the bill—potentially costing tens of billions of dollars—for finding a cure for a disease “that is wholly preventable by simple, cheap, and entirely effective means, accessible to anyone—and contracted only through one’s own irresponsible behavior.” That’s according to Don Thomas, President and CEO of the radical right-wing group, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce (which may or may not be a front for a burgeoning U. S.-based Neo-Nazi party).

But Dhunp counters, “This is the myth that’s perpetuated by those on the extreme right: That somehow obesity is a ‘choice’, and by choosing it, people deserve to suffer from horrible diseases like OIINK.”

“The fact is,” she continued, “we are born this way. It’s in our genes! So it’s literally cruel and unusual punishment to ask people like me not to eat as much as we want to, or to get up and move around when all we want to do is watch TV. And ‘straight people’ who eat all ‘healthy’ and get regular exercise don’t understand how unfair it is that people like me have to suffer all of these adverse health effects as a result of who we are! That’s why everyone should pay scientists to develop a medicine that allows us to be completely indulgent without ever having to deal with any consequences. What’s so ‘wrong’ about that? I mean, who are the real terrorists here?”

“Bull-[expletive],” responded Thomas—who may or may not have ties to white supremacist groups around the country—when presented with this argument.

Farofalo laughs off such criticism. “These are nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks—hate-filled, bigoted, functional retards who honestly believe that gorging your face night and day with processed, anti-nutritious foodstuffs while literally growing into your couch is somehow ‘unnatural’—and that people who are into that sort of thing are somehow ‘different’ than you and me.”

“Yes, it’s a real shame,” says New York Times conservative columnist Bravid Dooks. “It’s the extreme element of the party, these fundamentalist—and, frankly, rather extreme—Christian types who still espouse moral anachronisms like ‘gluttony’ and ‘sloth’ being ‘sinful’. I just shake my head…I mean, it’s 2011 people! Do you know how silly this makes us look to the Europeans?”

The quilt will make its debut at this year’s “Fat Pride” parade in New York City, followed by a “coming out” party at Chow in Manhattan’s East Village. Supporters—obese or not—are encouraged to attend.

“All-you-can eat frosted deep-fried butter, our famous schmaltz & corn syrup cocktails, and great company—all for just a small donation at the door,” says Chow owner Richard Izidden.

When asked if he or anyone else from the Chamber of Commerce will attend, Thomas—who may or may not have raped thousands of starving, orphaned children in Africa—gave a characteristically monosyllabic answer: “No.”

Related

Obesity activists push for right to marry bacon cheeseburgers

Equinox sued for firing obese, scooter-bound fitness instructor

Holder overturns physical fitness requirements for Army, Marines; says unlawfully discriminates against obese

New obesity quotas rankle traditionalists on America’s Olympic, professional athletic teams

Obama lauds rise of obesity in America’s workforce as ‘positive step in the right direction’

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee claims exercise, healthy eating ‘racist’