Edgar Allan Poe died 166 years ago today


@2015 Styliani Giannitsi

Breeding Lions for Trophy Hunters: a Documentary

David Cameron | Ali Mohammed al-Nimr and Saudi Arabia

[David Cameron has repeatedly refused to explain why the British government agreed to a “squalid” deal with Saudi Arabia, as the country prepares to behead and crucify a teenager for engaging in pro-democracy protests during the Arab Spring.

In an excruciating interview with Channel 4’s Jon Snow, the Prime Minister floundered for a response when questioned on therecently exposed secret deal with the Saudis to allow both nations’ election to the UN Human Rights Council in 2013….

Asked three times by Mr Snow why – if Mr Cameron “completely disagreed” with the repressive state over their “punishment routines” as he claimed earlier – the UK had agreed to the deal with the Saudi government the PM claimed: “Well, I’ve answered the question.”

“Well, that isn’t an answer is it? I mean we have done a horrid deal,” Mr Snow responds.

Finally, the Conservative leader claimed it was because the British government has “a relationship with Saudi Arabia.”]

Read the full story here | INDEPENDENT


Ma-Ka-To | What We Lose When We Forget Native American History

In 1862, 38 men of the Dakota Native American tribe were hanged in what’s been described as the largest mass execution in U.S. history. President Lincoln ordered the killings after the Santee Sioux uprising the previous summer left 490 white settlers dead.

Now, more than 150 years later, Lisa Yankton, a Minneapolis-based poet and member of the Dakota tribe, fears this history will be forgotten. So she’s retelling it through her poetry.

The Dakota people still recognize the hangings each year, but the event is seldom discussed in wider U.S. culture, she said. “[It] is the largest mass hanging in the history of the United States and no one talks about it,” she said.

She believes it is important for the Dakota to speak out about this history. “These are our stories and they need to be coming from our voices,” she said. “We’re the only ones who understand our own cultural system and our own cultural beliefs. And we’re the only ones who know our own history and can tell it truthfully.”

In addition to educating the public, sharing these stories helps the Dakota understand their own roots, she said: “To be a Dakota you must know the history of your people and what you’ve experienced, what you’ve been through. And we must never forget that because that composes who we are today. … You have to understand where you’re coming from in order to know where you’re going.”

Above, watch Yankton read her poem “Ma-Ka-To” at the 2015 AWP Conference and Bookfair in Minneapolis.

What We Lose When We Forget Native American History | PBS



A while ago in Minnesota
Time before children and adult responsibility
An elder said to me
We are going to Ma-Ka-To for a pipe ceremony for the 38
We arrived in Ma-Ka-To
And went to a park
We climbed a snowy hill
Knee deep in snow
We stood in a circle on the sloped hill
There were fewer than a handful of us
Sage was lit and a sacred song was sung
The elder filled the sacred pipe and prayed
I was the only female
Too young to realize the significance of the event
However, my spirit knew and understood
The sacred pipe was smoked
An eagle arrived and circled overhead
This was a while ago
Before the park was renamed
Today, it is called the “Land of Memories Park”
Today there is a run starting Christmas Day midnight from
Ft. Snelling to Ma-Ka-To
Today there is a horse ride from South Dakota to Ma-Ka-To
Today there is a movie about the ride
But a while ago there was only a handful who stood on a snowy sloped hill

Lisa Yankton is a member of the Spirit Lake Dakota. During the Dakota Conflict, her grandmother fled from Minnesota to North Dakota with two children. She is a contributing writer to the Mystic Lake Declaration on Climate Change, a community editor with the Saint Paul Almanac and Haikus4Gambia Poet. Her community activities include coordinating the Dakota Conference, leading the Brooklyn Historical Society, teaching math at MCTC, and serving on the board of The Circle Newspaper. She is a Fellow at The Creative Community Leadership Institute. 

The Professor of 3 No-s Who Received the 2015 Nobel Prize for Medicine


“In China, she refers to herself as the professor of ‘the three nos’ — no post-grad degree, no experience working abroad, no membership in the Chinese academy of sciences,” says science writer Phil McKenna. Tu was recognized with a Nobel prize for rediscovering artemisinin, a plant derivative that has significantly reduced death rates from malaria. Her contribution isn’t widely acknowledged today, even in her home country.

“There was this scroll from 400 AD and ironically it was called ‘Emergency Treatments Kept Up One’s Sleeve'” — ironic because it had been kept up China’s sleeve for hundreds and hundreds of years, McKenna says.

Read the full article here | GLOBAL POST

Answering an Appeal by Mao Led Tu Youyou to a Nobel Prize | NEW YORK TIMES

Kampbell, Omura and Youyou Win Nobel Prize for Medicine | THE GUARDIAN

What the World Has Lost | Palmyra

[The Syrian desert city known as the Venice of the Sands has suffered another act of vandalism by Islamic State (Isis), with the destruction of the triumphal arch. We look at what has been blown up in recent months by the Islamist militants described as ‘barbarians’ by Syria’s head of antiquities.

One of the most recognisable landmarks of the ruins, the triple arch stood at the head of a grand colonnade that led to the great temple of Bel – until it was destroyed by Isis at the weekend.
It was built as a tribute to the visiting Roman emperor, Septimius Severus, after the Roman victory over the Parthian kingdom in Persia. Richly decorated, it reflected the growing power of Palmyra, which had emerged as one of the wealthiest colonies in the Roman hegemony through its position on a key caravan route.]


PALMYRA 2 Temple of Bel | BEFORE and AFTER


BAALSHAMIN 2 Temple of Baalshamin | BEFORE and AFTER

Read the full story | The Guardian

Notes on Suicide, by Simon Critchley

[For most arguments about suicide, there’s a counter argument, and Critchley makes us think anew about old questions. Is suicide selfish? I believed not until a member of my family killed themselves and the pain it caused persuaded me that it’s both selfish and stupid. But Critchley reminds us that our responses to suicide are distorted by anger, prejudice and inarticulacy. We must, he argues, stop looking for life’s great meaning and instead savour “little daily miracles, matches struck in the darkness”. And we must talk about suicide without shame or sanctimony. This book is a good place to start.]

Read the full article here | INDEPENDENT

Facing the Ocean: A Review of Notes on Suicide by Simon Critchley | 3AM MAGAZINE