Time Travelling Pit Stop #1

I will be posting a bi-monthly collection of interesting posts on the web. The first edition of Time Travelling Pit Stop covers a whole range of topics, from anthropology to biology to world politics. The sites featured below are worth your time, so click away:

Philippines

Early “Asianism” in the Philippines by Resil Mojares

Asianism has become a historically suspect concept because of its association with Japanese Pan-Asianism at the turn of the twentieth century and in the years that followed. I think there is a need to revisit the concept by looking at the varieties of Asianism elsewhere in the region, at how ideas of regional solidarity and the practice of such ideas were constructed in places like the Philippines.

DEMISTYFIED IN DJOGDJA: The multi-religious Sama Dilaut by Mucha Q. Arquiza

For the Sama Dilaut then, what we call ‘agama’ or ‘religion’ is like a fishing trip where individual boats follow a munda (i.e. common lead) with the rest affiliated as the tundan (i.e. those who are towed), as followers. In traditional religion, the munda used to be the omboh or the revered ancestral spirits.

The Cebuano Plantation Workers of Hawaii in the Early 20th Century, and the Politics of Representation by Erlinda Kintanar Alburo

Just as the writers of the Manual probably overdid the bright picture of plantation life awaiting the workers, the cartoons also misrepresent the Filipinos. At the very least, very few of them could speak English or Spanish, and this appeared in a Cebuano newspaper!

Giant, fruit-eating monitor lizard discovered in the Philippines by Ed Yong

It’s also brightly and beautifully coloured with intricate golden spots running down its otherwise black back. As is often the case, the lizard may be new to science but the local tribespeople – the Agta and Ilongot – have known about it for centuries. It’s actually one of their main sources of protein. Their name for the monitor, bitatawa, is now part of its official species name – Varanus bitatawa.

Cultural Anthropology

Edward B. Tylor in Cuba, in 1856 by EthnoCuba

Tylor describes the lush tropical jungle that walled the train tracks between Havana and Batabanó (something hard to imagine today), as well as the hamlets along the way, where “cigar making seemed to be the universal occupation.”

Paleoanthropology

New Hominid Shares Traits With Homo Species: Fossil Find Sheds Light on the Transition to Homo Genus from Earlier Hominids by ScienceDaily

“Before this discovery, you could pretty much fit the entire record of fossils that are candidates for the origin of the genus Homo from this time period onto a small table. But, with the discovery of Australopithecus sediba and the wealth of fossils we’ve recovered — and are recovering — that has changed dramatically,” Berger said.

Close to Homo? – The announcement of Australopithecus sediba by Brian Switek

The upshot of all this is that Australopithecus sediba may not be as close to the ancestry of Homo as the authors propose. Figuring that out, though, will depend upon how we define the earliest members of our genus and extensive comparison between the new fossils and previously-discovered specimens. Even so, I am hoping that the discovery of Australopithecus sediba will help paleoanthropologists crack some of the mysteries surrounding other bones found in the caves of South Africa.

World Politics

Collateral Murder by Maximilian Forte

Wikileaks releases this shocking video of a U.S. massacre in Iraq from July 2007. Listen to the pleasure which the killers take in doing their “job”, the rash decisions, the lack of “precision” of which the criminals boast so often, the headlong rush and expressed urge to start killing as quickly as possible (rather than taking time to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties). The result? Dead journalists and wounded girls.

Psychologists Explain Iraq Airstrike Video by Benedict Carey

The video’s emotional impact on viewers is also partly rooted in the combination of intimacy and distance it gives them, some experts said. The viewer sees a wider tragedy unfolding, in hindsight, from the safety of a desk; the soldiers are reacting in real time, on high alert, exposed.

For 2 Grieving Families, Video Reveals Grim Truth by Tim Arango and Elizabeth Bumiller

“My question is, those highly skilled American pilots with all their high-tech information, could not distinguish between a camera and a missile?” said Nabel Noor-Eldeen, the photographer’s brother who is an archaeology professor at Mosul University.

2 thoughts on “Time Travelling Pit Stop #1

  1. Thank you for your mention of the Tylor post in Ethnocuba. I was looking for an email contact but can’t find any in your blog. I hope to follow it from now on…!
    Regards,
    ariana h-r

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