Monthly Archives: April 2013

focal vocabularies

I noticed that there wasn’t much posted online about a linguistic anthropological topic that is of particular interest to the study; focal vocabularies.  These are vocabularies that a particular culture or people have developed in relation to something that is a central focus point or important aspect of their respective livelihood.  For instance, “many circumpolar languages have rich focal vocabularies related to snow…[Likewise,] in mountainous areas of Afghanistan, people use many terms for varieties of rocks”.

Source:  Barbara Miller’s “Cultural Anthropology,” (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2012), 262.

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purple foods

purple foods

Purple foods are really really healthy and good for us. “That’s because many purple foods contain anthocyanins, which are red, blue and purple natural pigments. Anthocyanins are healthy because they’re powerful antioxidants and may help boost the immune system, maintain health and prevent disease, said J. Scott Smith, Kansas State University professor of food chemistry.”.


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April 17, 2013 · 7:15 am

Just completed first Subaru oil change!

Very excited.  I hadn’t changed the oil in my own vehicle for years, but I finally decided to buy the necessary equipment and supplies when I bought my most current car, the ’99 Subaru Outback.  I knew that I’d enjoy owning the car for a long time, considering it’s a station wagon, super-reliable, not bad on gas mileage, and a ton of fun to drive.

I literally spent about 10 minutes changing the car’s oil and about two weeks putting it off because I didn’t want to run into unforeseen problems.  Yes, it did cost a little bit more than a cheap-o $17.99 job from a corner shop, but now I own the tools to perform the task myself on ANY vehicle, rendering future oil changes cheaper.  The sense of accomplishment is pretty great, I must say.

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Hot Sandwich Recipe


Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

  • 2-1/2 slices bacon
  • 6 ounces chipped chopped ham, shredded
  • 1/4 onions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce (such as Heinz® Original BBQ Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon bottled sweet chili sauce (such as Heinz® Premium Chili Sauce)

    • 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish (such as Heinz® Sweet Relish)

    • 1 tablespoon chopped sweet pickle slices (bread-and-butter type)
    • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
    • 4 hamburger buns, split


    NOTE: The times on this recipe are for a much larger sandwich platter.  Do yourself a favor, the first time you make it, stick around and watch your sandwiches’ progress.
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Allow the bacon to cool, and chop.
    3. Cook and stir the onion in the bacon grease left in the skillet until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the bacon, chipped ham, barbecue sauce, and chili sauce until the mixture is well combined. Transfer the ham mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the pickle relish and chopped pickle.
    4. Place about 1/4 cup of ham mixture on a bun, and top with a slice of Cheddar cheese. Close the sandwiches, wrap each in foil, and bake in the preheated oven until hot and the cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

    This could also be an excellent dish for making on the engine of your car as well!

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W.E.B. DuBois, a short biography

W.E.B. DuBois


“W. E. B. Du Bois was an important American thinker” (Morse, 2008) . In 1868, he was born William Edward Burghardt.  DuBois was originally from Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  The political climate of New England towards young African-Americans at the turn of the century was gaining in favor, but perhaps particularly in Massachusetts according to the account of Dubois.  And, although he “was born…five years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which began the freeing of American Negro slaves” (Dubois, W.E.B. Dubois – My Birth and Family, 2001), he knew little of segregation’s woes until later in school. Thus, during this time he began to feel “both an American and an African, but never an African-American” (Morse, 2008).  DuBois came to embody social mobility in an era that saw a great deal of change for Americans.

Thanks to the easing of racial tensions during the era, “he had a happy early childhood, largely unaware of race prejudice” (Morse, 2008).  “He did not experience racial oppression himself until his early college years” (Nedrow, 2003). And, it was in college that he began to use his intelligence, place in society, and panache for social study for not merely academics, but progressive civil rights platforms as well.

 W.E.B. Dubois “earned his bachelor’s degree from Fisk University. In 1888, he entered Harvard University” (University of Virginia, 2010) and studied abroad in Germany for a period of his time there. “Oppression [he experienced during this part of Dubois’ life] propelled his academics, driving him to be the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University” (Nedrow, 2003). “That same drive led him to the role of social advocate.” (Nedrow, 2003).  This ‘drive’ seems to be at the very heart of Dubois and embodies the spirit of his work.

While at Harvard, the topic of his thesis was “The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade in America” (University of Virginia, 2010).  This is a good example of the nature of Dubois’ work.  He was constantly and intensely seeking an end to racial tyranny as he saw it.  Other works of his include “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study”, written during his “teaching appointments” (University of Virginia, 2010) at the University of Philadelphia, and “The Souls of Black Folk”, “arguably…Dubois’ most famous work, [in which] he introduces… concepts that describe the quintessential Black experience in America” (Carter, 2002).

Among his many studious accomplishments, Dubois was a pillar of the African-American community and civil rights movement.  He was actually “one of the original founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,” (Nedrow, 2003) the NAACP.  His writings about black Philadelphia are considered amongst social scientists today as “the first serious sociological study of the emerging black urban population” (University of Virginia, 2010).  Considering the increasing influence of African-Americans in American culture, Dubois’ work is a profound bank of their sociological history and ultimately, American history.

Oddly enough, the only conspicuous criticisms that came to Dubois were in the form of his contemporary African-American leaders, whom he would ultimately come to challenge in authorship and persuasiveness as a leader in their shared community.  This helps to explain the critical nature of an argument against Dubois.  Of course, Dubois’ work in the social sciences propelled him into the role of civil rights activist.  However, this role outshined much of his work as a social scientist, as it was much more sensational.  Being that as it may, the African-American community was somewhat torn between followers of Booker T. Washington, a then long-time activist.  Ironically, it was W.E.B. Dubois who would cast a much larger shadow over Washington in critiques of his own (W.E.B. Dubois Critiques Booker T. Washington, 1903) (Gibson).

Dubois’ legacy is certainly one that does a great deal to establish the argument of ‘nature vs. nurture’, a psychological theory that would come to dominate behavioral psychology.  As he and his African-American contemporaries were among the first generations able to prove themselves as equals to that of their European counterparts, largely free of stymieing.  Prove himself Dubois did.  He not only excelled at institutions reserved for those who were perhaps his most distrustful audience, but also at spearheading efforts for those that embodied that of his own.  To social scientists, the work of Dubois is meaningful in that it seeks to break with traditions that have come unraveled on their own merit many years later; an example being biological racism of the 19th century that dominated the discipline of society and anthropology (Robbins).

“A prolific scholar and social activist, DuBois is considered to be one of the greatest intellectuals of his time” (University of Virginia, 2010) .  For his contributions to American history, the African-American community, civil rights, and abolishment of acts and laws of segregation, he is not merely significant, he is vital to the health of humankind everywhere.  His efforts to further reform the social patterns that were particularly damning to people of color did a great deal to improve the condition of those who were lucky enough to be his contemporary peers.



Works Cited

Carter, K. (2002, January 22). defpg. Retrieved from University of Virginia American Studies:

Dubois, W. (2001, June 13). W.E.B. Dubois – My Birth and Family. Retrieved from Dead Socialogists Index:

Gibson, R. A. (n.d.). 78.02.02 Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois: The Problem of Negro Leadership. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute:

Morse, D. J. (2008, January 13). DuBois, William Edward Burghardt. Retrieved from Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy – University of Tennessee at Martin:

Nedrow, A. (2003). WEB DuBois. Retrieved from The Pennsylvania Center for the Book – Pennsylvania University Libraries:

Robbins, R. H. (n.d.). Anthropology and Racism. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from State University of New York at Plattsburgh Anthropology Department:

University of Virginia. (2010, November 30). Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, History. Retrieved from Office of African American Affairs, University of Virginia:

(1903). W.E.B. Dubois Critiques Booker T. Washington. In W. Dubois, The Souls of Black Folk. Retrieved from

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April 3, 2013 · 12:01 pm

…The Toy Lawnmower (Recommended for 12-48 months)


This is just so sickening to me that we’re getting them conditioned to use technology that’s chiefly obsolete, bad for the environment, and the economy.

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