Category Archives: my own thoughts

The Native women in the Capitol Rotunda

In the center of the US Capitol, under the iconic white dome, is a large round room called the Rotunda. There are eight niches in it, circling the room, each with an oil painting twelve feet tall and eighteen feet … Continue reading

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Birders detect dramatic changes as Davis climate warms

[A version of this was originally published in the Davis Enterprise.] In 2002, the cover of The New York Times Magazine featured a silhouetted man standing on frosty mauve ice and staring through binoculars into a rosy polar sky. The … Continue reading

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Going nuclear: The high school mascot of mass destruction

Much has been written about the use and social purposes of Native mascots. I summarize most of the peer-reviewed literature, 18 papers, at this blog post. Several of those papers describe how the use of mascots assert the power and … Continue reading

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Sitting on 700: The short story of my lifelist

Sometime long ago when I started birding, when I was seven, I read that the ultimate lifetime goal for birders in the US was to see 700 species in North America. For birders, “North America” was defined by the American … Continue reading

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The movie Wind River and white saviors: A review of reviews

Wind River, a 2017 crime thriller set in the winter wilderness of the Wind River Indian Reservation, focuses on the on-going epidemic of assaulted and missing Native women and girls. Examples of the problem are not hard to find. The … Continue reading

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Alt-history Part 2: The mound builder myth reborn, Nazis, and Solutreans

  Continued from Alt-history Part 1: The mound builder myth and ethnic cleansing. The myth lives on The mound builder myth justified the ethnic cleansing of the 1800s. It was seemingly put to rest in 1894 just as Native Americans were … Continue reading

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Alt-history Part 1: The mound builder myth and ethnic cleansing

Marietta, Ohio Traveling down the Ohio River in 1788, General Rufus Putnam came upon what were clearly the remains of an ancient civilization. The earth was contoured into walls, courtyards, terraces, and mesas stretching in a geometric array over a … Continue reading

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