links for 2010-04-14

  • sounds a lot like the Indianapolis teen who "shot himself" while handcuffed in the back of a police car.
  • The goals of the Girl Scout Research Institute are to originate new projects and initiatives that bolster knowledge about girls, as well as to synthesize the research that exists on the healthy development of girls. These efforts not only support the development of the Girl Scout program but also supply accurate information to educational, not-for-profit, and public policy organizations, parents seeking the best ways to help their daughters, and girls themselves.
  • Interesting article on a culture clash in New York over bike lanes. Choice quote: "But at some point, you don’t get to pull the seniority card when it comes to your religiously-based objections to female use of public space and transportation. And here, the hipsters weren’t making rules for the entire community. They were using a public street, paid for with everyone’s tax dollars, to ride their bikes. I run out of patience for objections to people using public streets because your religion objects to the female form. This isn’t about, “Damn, all these outsiders are coming in and driving up the rental market and now I can’t afford my place” or “I moved here to live in a neighborhood, not to have a bunch of loud bars built on my block.” This is, “I think that my religious belief regarding the appropriateness of women in public should trump the rights of women to move through public space.”
  • Handy list of alternatives to Futura.
  • You'd think that Disney would be the one place where you could take photographs, but not so much. Disney has started harassing photographers with DSLR cameras and accusing them of being terrorists – not because they really think that, but because DSLR photogs are competition for their pricey photography. Congratulations, Disney – I'll never visit one of your resorts.
Continue Readinglinks for 2010-04-14

Kingdom In The Sky

Kingdom In The Sky
by DaVinci’s Notebook
From the album: The Life and Times of Mike Fanning
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All my life I have been searching for that fabled promised land,
With my sisters and my brothers, we shall walk there hand-in-hand.
Through the trials and tribulations, and the devil’s cruel temptations
I know that we’ll all get there one day!
After years and years of wandering, oh, the kingdom we shall find
and the doors might not be open, but we’ll gather in the line.
And our hearts will swell with pride the day those gates swing open wide
and we take a walk down Main Street, USA!
Oh, that Magic Kingdom in the Sky!
We will all be there together by and by!
We will all drink from the fountain and go riding on Space Mountain
When we reach that Magic Kingdom in the Sky!

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Expedition Everest

Posted on Flickr is a photoset of the new Disney ride Expedition Everest, which I believe has just opened. The photoset was placed by the marketing department of Disney, which is pretty cool.

And is the norm with Disney, the theme and decor is amazing. The idea is a fictional Nepalese version of Everest, where the mountain is guarded by the Yeti. Riders approach the attraction through the remote village of Serka Zong in the fictional kingdom of Anandapur, which is located in the foothills of the Himalayas. Several village buildings that had been used by the Royal Anandapur Tea Company have been repurposed… the legend of the yeti is communicated vividly through a mandir… and a makeshift museum that documents yeti sightings, the yeti’s significance in Himalayan cultures and a so-called “lost” expedition that ran afoul of the yeti many years before.

However, some of their shrine like depictions of the yeti seem like cultural appropriation, because they appear to have taken images of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman and redrawn them with the yeti in his place. See these images of Hanuman…

The similarities of the yeti and Hanuman are problematic. Especially the depiction of the yeti carrying the mountain which clearly a riff on the images of Hanuman carrying the mountain. That story of Hanuman and the mountain from the Ramayana is very special, and very different than what’s pictured here. Hanuman travels to the Himilayas to get an herb to save his friend Lakshman’s life. But he’s unable to figure out what herb he needs, so he uproots the entire mountain to carry it back to save his Lakshman. It’s a symbol of a supernatural, heroic devotion and loyalty to friends.

Compare that to these:

In this Yeti version, the yeti appears to be pissed off, and appears to be about to throw the mountain in rage, a radically different interpretation of a images that are on the surface quite similar. It wouldn’t be a problem to me if the picture of Hanuman weren’t sacred and symbolic of an important Hindu value, but it is.

Continue ReadingExpedition Everest