Make sure you get a chance to look outside this evening because there is a fantastic full moon known as the Pink Moon. The Pink Moon will not actually appear pink, but was rather named for wild ground phlox which typically sprouts during this time of year. Often, you might hear different full moons called different things, such as a Wolf Moon or a Harvest Moon, and many of these names can be attributed to Algonquin people who inhabited eastern North America before the European invasion. Pink or not, it is a beautiful sight to see!
You may have noticed that for the past week or so, Goat of the Day has featured animals from The Haven Zoo, outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The Haven was founded by JohnieSue Thurman, an anthropologist who studied human and primate interactions in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has over 14 years of experience working with animals. She also designed and conducted a research project that analyzed zoos in 15 different countries on four different continents to understand how each zoo cared for animals as well as making information about conservation available to the public. It is really inspiring that there are people like JohnieSue who set out with a dream dedicated to the greater good, and make it happen. Check out ways to support JohnieSue’s mission and/or volunteer.
Today’s goat of the day today was named by one of The Haven Zoo‘s most dedicated supporters, Dr. Cassandra White, a medical anthropologist who inspires many students to think critically about the world we live in. When Dr. White is not in the classroom enlightening students, she has ongoing field work in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil researching Hansen’s Disease (leprosy). She has named today’s goat Bernie! Find out more how you can support Bernie and The Haven Zoo!
Today’s goat comes from Lavonia, Georgia USA. His name is Ernest and he is a lucky fellow who lives at The Haven Zoo. The Haven was founded by JohnieSue Thurman to provide a safe home for displaced exotic animals, promote conservation and animal welfare, as well as providing an opportunity for interactive education with visitors. JohnieSue is an anthropologist who specializes specifically in primates, although the zoo is home to a variety of animals, including a dozen or so goats! The Haven Zoo also has opportunities for volunteers and support.
Feminism is the belief in the social, economic and political advocacy of women in terms of the equal treatment of all people along the basis of sex and gender. A lot of places on the internet might tell you that feminists are all terrible man-haters hell bent on destroying society, but that simply isn’t the case. Feminism seeks to create a world that is more fair, where people are not constrained to certain activities or roles on the basis of their sex and gender identity. If you are reading this, you have probably in some way benefited from the ideals of feminism – even if you are male! Today is International Women’s Day, which aims to celebrate the accomplishments of women while creating a more equal world for women, but really, I think we could all use some feminism in our lives everyday.
Say what you will about nurses, garbage collectors, or mechanics it’s obvious that were they to vanish in a puff of smoke, the results would be immediate and catastrophic. A world without teachers or dockworkers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science-fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place. – David Graeber
Yo, it is the last Saturday of 2018, sit down, relax, have a delicious beverage, and ruminate on the year.
Betwixt and between – do you ever feel as though you are in between stages of your life? The term “liminality” comes from the Latin word limen for threshold, and is used by anthropologists to describe transitional periods in life, the beginning of changing from one status or state to another. These transitions are characterised by three parts: separation, the liminal period and re-assimilation. For example, being engaged is a liminal period between when an individual is no longer single, but not yet married. Another liminal period in many people’s lives is when they are studying at university – they are no longer a child living at home with the family, but are not quite yet full adults in society. Both of these transitional periods are ended by a large ritual, such as a wedding or graduation. In some ways, the week between Christmas and the New Year is a liminal period, between one year and preparing for the next. Typical daily routines are often suspended, many people are removed from their workplaces or offices, and different foods are consumed, only to be punctuated by a large, festive ritual on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year.
Gossip is a pervasive means of communication in human societies. You might think that all gossip is bad and entails people speaking negatively about an individual or group; however, gossip can actually function in a way to the benefit of human groups. For example, gossip can help maintain equilibrium amongst egalitarian societies. Although gossip is seen as a negative and deadly action by the Talmud, gossip can provide a way for people to connect and feel closer to one another, and social scientists claim that only 3 to 4 percent of gossip is actually malicious. Gossip may have even provided an important social tool in human evolution, as a means to assess members of growing communities and maintain cohesion of social groups. Perhaps Oscar Wilde was right, when he said that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. At any rate, if you suspect you are being gossiped about you can probably conclude that at a minimum, people find you interesting.
Today, in the United States, is Thanksgiving. There is a lot of problematic mythology surrounding Thanksgiving in the United States. It did not originate as a peaceful gathering between American Indians sharing their bounty with English settlers, although that is the story most American school-children get growing up and is still purported by most sources. However, feasting in society serves an important purpose amalgamating social ties, familial ties, religious observances, and economic relationships. Sharing a large meal amongst a group of individuals can re-affirm social and familial ties as well as redistribute and share resources. Thanksgiving menus are special and many dishes are usually only served once or twice a year. Many Americans see Thanksgiving as the official start of the festive season leading up to Christmas and the New Year. Some (not all) may use the Thanksgiving feast as a means to fuel-up for another problematic American tradition – the violent Black Friday shopping spree. Whether you buy into the white-washed American mythology of Thanksgiving or not, gratitude is really important, and if you are reading this you at least have something to be grateful for. I’m grateful for my family, my warm flat, and the opportunity to share a goat with y’all everyday. Have a wonderful holiday y’all.