A directionless cavalcade of things I find interesting.

Proposed Texas textbooks are inaccurate, biased and politicized, new report finds

One world history textbook (by Worldview Software, Inc.) includes outdated – and possibly offensive – anthropological categories and racial terminology in describing African civilization.

WorldView Software – World History A: Early Civilizations to the Mid-1800s

The text states: “South of the Sahara Desert most of the people before the Age of Explorations were black Africans of the Negro race.”

Elsewhere, the text states: “The first known inhabitants of Africa north of the Sahara in prehistory were Caucasoid Hamitic people of uncertain origin.”

What’s Wrong?

First, the term “Negro” is archaic and fraught with ulterior meaning. It should categorically not be used in a modern textbook. Further, the first passage is unforgivably misleading because it suggests that all black native Africans belong to a single “racial” group. This is typological thinking, which disappeared largely from texts after the 1940s. It harkens back to the racialization theory that all people could be classified as one of three “races”: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, or Negroid. Better to say: “…were natives of African origin.” Similarly, in the second passage, it is more accurate to simply omit reference to “Caucasoid.”




every woman on tumblr should have this on their dash

And every man

Look how nobody’s yelling or arguing or making things into a competition. Look how this is to straight up educate people through a different perspective. Look how effective that makes the message.

(Source: sizvideos, via womanking91)



The Jews of Ancient China —- The Kaifeng Jews

The destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Romans in 70 AD would create a wave of Jewish diaspora as Jewish rebels were sold into slavery or exiled to locations all over the Roman Empire.  However the spread of Jewish peoples would expand beyond the borders of the Roman world, as Jewish genes can be found all over Europe, Africa, and Asia.  One far flung Jewish community can be found in China, one of the most extreme examples of Jewish immigration in the ancient world.

After the Jewish revolt against Rome many thousands of Jews headed east to enjoy the wealth and riches of the Silk Road to Asia.  Jewish merchant communities sprang up all over Persia, Afghanistan, and Northern India.  One Jewish group traveled as far as Henan Province (Eastern China) and settled in the cosmopolitan city of Kaifeng between 600 – 900 AD.  By the year 1100 the Jews of Kaifeng had established a large and healthy community with a synagogue, communal kitchen, kosher slaughterhouse, ritual bath, and Sukkah (special building used to celebrate the festival of Sukkot).  During the Ming Dynasty the Kaifeng Jews took Chinese surnames which corresponded with the meanings of their original Jewish names.  One Kaifeng Jew, Zhao Yingcheng (Moshe Ben Abram) made his mark in Chinese history by being named the Director of the Ministry of Justice by the Emperor in the mid 1600’s. The religious traditions of the Kaifeng Jews remained the same through most of their history, corresponding exactly to the religious practices of Jews in the west.  However, in the 1860’s the community would be uprooted due to the chaos caused by the Taiping Rebellion.  The synagogue was destroyed and much of the ancient practices of the Kaifeng Jews were lost or forgotten.  The war caused a mini-diaspora of Chinese Jews as they sought refuge all over China.  After the war many Jews returned to Kaifeng to rebuild their community.  Today the Kaifeng Jews still maintain a small community with a rebuilt synagogue.  Today 1,000 Jews still maintain a prosperous community in Kaifeng.

Further Reading:

The Jews of Kaifeng, China: History, Culture, and Religion By Xin Xu

The Haggadah of the Kaifeng Jews of China By Fook-Kong Wong, Dalia Yasharpour

Legends of the Chinese Jews of Kaifeng By Xin Xu

The Kaifeng Stone Inscriptions: The Legacy of the Jewish Community in China By Tiberiu Weisz

The Jews of China: Historical and Comparative Perspectives edited by Jonathan Goldstein



Mum just told me the best story. She cleans for this bloke who’s around 85, and today she took him shopping. As they’re shopping away they got chatting and he told her about how he and his first wife raised her niece. In the late 50’s/early 60’s when the girl was 13, she came home from her all girls school with a list of subjects they were forcing her to take. Anyways, he’s scanning through the list and he sees sewing, cooking, family studies, and so on. 

Being thoroughly unimpressed with what he saw on the list the next day he marched his way to the school to meet with the principal. He questioned her as to why there was no history, science, physics, etc, on the list of classes they were making her take. She tried to tell him that it was because his little niece wasn’t doing too well in school, but he was not having a bar of it; “Have you looked at her report card,” he said “In every class the teachers comment that she is the most improved, and every morning and night I tutor her and she is getting better and she can do well.”

Skirting the issue the principal tells him that there’s just no way they could possibly allow her to take any other classes, to which he responded; “You know what you’re doing making her take these classes? You’re raising her to be a slave to a man.”

Gobsmacked when faced with his revelation the principal let in and allowed the girl to take whatever classes she was interested in.

Moral of the story; this old mate is a super rad guy.


Character Of The Day - Loch No/Yes Monster


Character Of The Day - Loch No/Yes Monster