And Eve Presented a Date to Adam

Cynthia Coleman Emery's Blog

desertThe Desert’s Dessert

As we roamed through the oasis in the desert of Morocco, our driver said there were 22 different types of date trees.

The best dates are Medjools, which we can get here in Portland.

Hundreds of years ago, a Saudi prince visited Morocco and showed the denizens how to imbue a barren tree with dates from another type of palm tree, said Saleem, our driver.

The impressed Morrocans gifted a royal daughter to the prince, thus cementing a fruitful—as well as political—relationship.

Dates were likely the fruits that Eve offered Adam, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.

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And Eve Presented a Date to Adam

desert

The Desert’s Dessert

As we roamed through the oasis in the desert of Morocco, our driver said there were 22 different types of date trees.

The best dates are Medjools, which we can get here in Portland.

Hundreds of years ago, a Saudi prince visited Morocco and showed the denizens how to imbue a barren tree with dates from another type of palm tree, said Saleem, our driver.

The impressed Morrocans gifted a royal daughter to the prince, thus cementing a fruitful—as well as political—relationship.

Dates were likely the fruits that Eve offered Adam, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization. Continue reading

Posted in american indian | 2 Comments

Anticipating the New Year

sunflowers

A Dose of Kindness

Someone has a sense of humor about the approaching New Year.

Her Facebook post reads:

My resolution is to lose 10 pounds.

Only 15 more to go!

We deserve to take ourselves a little less seriously.

I’m a fan of resolutions and goal-setting.

For example, I like that folks express gratitude at Thanksgiving dinner.

Continue reading

Posted in american indian | 4 Comments

Put Down the Phone

arc

Casbahs like this were built along the trade routes to house travellers through Morocco

Life in a Cocoon

The wonderful gift of leaving the United States for a short hiatus is that you get a fresh look at what seems normal.

And discover some stuff’s not so normal.

For example, I left my laptop and tablet behind when we travelled to North Africa, which put a dent in my morning ritual of scanning headlines.

Mind you, I could use my cell phone to check the news, but I resisted.

To be honest, we couldn’t get wifi, except for our brief stay in London.

Continue reading

Posted in american indian, Morocco | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

How do you translate power?

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Look at those who cause harm

My university students love to talk about power.

It comes with being youthful and curious.

But the key is to dig deeper, and ask, how power is fueled and what forms does it take?

To assess power with clear vision, we need to let facts and information guide us: not the other way around.

Better to look at real evidence rather than rely on what individuals say or what they profess to believe.

Better to look at their actions and their motivations.

The current torrent of moral and political upheaval leaves me yearning for both an anchor and a guidepost.

My anchor is an admixture of family values and life’s lessons: a combination of grounded beliefs and evidence.

And I share these values with many, many individuals, including fellow Americans and other citizens of the world.

Most of us believe honesty and integrity are sound values, and that we should approach others with respect.

But the world I confront in the headlines has turned honesty and integrity upside-down.

And the evidence points to the root of this upheaval: those wielding power over others are causing harm.

When I look deeper into what power means and its sources—rather than what people say—the reality is clear.

The individuals who were elected to guide our country are making decisions that affect all of us and our children and grandchildren with an eye to harm. Continue reading

Posted in alternative facts, american indian, bears ears, ethics, lies, politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

What if folks can tell when you lie?

In the era of alternative facts and post-truth, fish police the liars

princess_of_burundi

Princess of Burundi Cichlid, copyright by Max Strandberg

When some fish display their anger, their pals can tell when they’re lying.

A study of Cichlids—a common freshwater fish you can find in your local pet store—showed that male and female fish display aggression with bright colors on their faces.

Researchers say that taking the trouble to display anger is costly to the fish, so “bright colors must honestly signal a healthy and high-quality individual,” says science writer Sacha Vignieri in the November 17 issue of Science Magazine.

In other words, it takes a toll on the fish to signal aggression.

But what if the fish are bluffing?

Scientists led by Judith Bachmann at the University of Basel in Switzerland manipulated aggressive coloring in Cichlids and found that “dishonest” fish (those for whom scientists “faked” aggression by changing their coloring) were punished by their neighbors.

Fish who lied were battered by others, signaling a sort of social policing in Princess of Burundi Cichlids.

Just imagine if folks we empower to make decisions that affect us turned a bright color when they lie: how we would react?

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#nativewriter

#nativescience

#nativeamericanheritagemonth

#lying

#liars

#truthiness

#alternativefact

#posttruth

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The fight for environmental sanity

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Yet another oil spill

Bill McKibben, a college professor and environmental scholar, writes eloquently in the New Yorker that objections to oil pipelines—actual and proposed—that cut through North America (from Canada through the Dakotas and end in Texas) are a fight for environmental sanity.

Reasons for objecting to the pipelines are many, with the most salient reminder occurring less than 24 hours ago.

Some 210,000 gallons of oil “gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and emergency workers scrambling to the site,” according to the New York Times.

News reports say the land in Amherst is agricultural.

For those of us with relatives who live in the Dakotas, we consider the area Indian territory.

Imagine if this spill occurred in your hometown.

The size of the spill—210,000 gallons—is like 4500 bathtubs of water poured into your neighborhood.

That’s the size of a small town like Philomath, Oregon, or Merced, California: about 4,500 residents.

Imagine if the folks in Philomath, Merced, or all the students at the University of Washington, Tacoma, had their bathtubs leak in your town.

But we’re talking about crude oil—not bathwater–dousing the landscape.

The oil that breached the South Dakota soil spilled from the Keystone Pipeline, which is run by TransCanada, the behemoth corporation that oversees all the pipeline projects that have been in the news, including the Keystone extensions and the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Although work on the Dakota Access Pipeline—which runs through Sioux burial grounds and sacred areas, and has the potential to leak into the watershed—was halted in Fall 2106, thanks to President Barrack Obama, the current president reversed the order, clearing the path for the pipeline.

Donald Trump is transparent about his support of the pipelines, and the oil companies greased his palm with a $100,000 contribution to his campaign, according to CBS news.

Trump “had an investment with the [oil] company of between $500,000 and $1 million,” said CBS.

The lesson is clear: the highest-level administrative decision-makers in our country lack ethical integrity and take actions that benefit themselves instead of the populations they purportedly serve.

17 November 2017

The Keystone map was downloaded from the BBC

#nativewriter

#nativescience

#nativeamericanheritagemonth

#nodapl

#keystonepipeline

#oilspill

#dakotaaccesspipeline

#billmckibben

Posted in american indian, Dakota pipeline, national native american history month, native american, Native American Heritage Month, native press, Native Science, nativescience, sioux | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment