In honor of the day — The difference between a yam and sweet potato can be found here: http://www.sallys-place.com/food/columns/ferray_fiszer/yams.htm Yams and sweet potatoes are two different plants from two different parts of the world but most of the yams we get here in the grocery store are really sweet potatoes. I wonder how we would be able to tell the difference. Sweet potatoes are a “Southern Thing” and a big deal in Louisiana. It’s nice that the article mentions this fact.Read More →

You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold. –Wolf Blitzer, CNN What specifically was Wolf Blitzer reporting on when he made this comment? I wish I had seen it so that I could see the context of the quote. The quote, however, is being splashed all over the web. Slate has an interesting take on this quoteRead More →

But to my country I want to say this: During this crisis you failed us. You looked down on us; you dismissed our victims; you dismissed us. You want our Jazz Fest, you want our Mardi Gras, you want our cooking and our music. Then when you saw us in real trouble, when you saw a tiny minority preying on the weak among us, you called us “Sin City,” and turned your backs.

Anne Rice, NY Times

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From the New York Times: Faced with one of the worst political crises of his administration, President Bush abruptly overhauled his September schedule on Saturday as the White House scrambled to gain control of a situation that Republicans said threatened to undermine Mr. Bush’s second-term agenda and the party’s long-term ambitions. We can only hope. And: The silence of many prominent Democrats reflects their conclusion that the president is on treacherous political ground and that attacking him would permit the White House to dismiss the criticism as partisan politics-as-usual, a senior Democratic aide said. I hadn’t thought of this. I’m glad that there is criticismRead More →

From the Diane Sawyer interview: “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm. But these levees got breached. And as a result, much of New Orleans is flooded. And now we are having to deal with it and will.” That’s bullshit. Every model had the levees breaching.Read More →

From the NY Times…. George W. Bush gave one of the worst speeches of his life yesterday, especially given the level of national distress and the need for words of consolation and wisdom. In what seems to be a ritual in this administration, the president appeared a day later than he was needed. He then read an address of a quality more appropriate for an Arbor Day celebration…. We will, of course, endure, and the city of New Orleans must come back. But looking at the pictures on television yesterday of a place abandoned to the forces of flood, fire and looting, it was hardRead More →

Today, as an ice breaker to Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies, we did Beverly Daniel Tatum‘s “I am From” poem activity. Tatum, President of Spelman University, wrote the book Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria. I learned about this activity when I attended the POD Conference in 2002 with Dr. Saundra McGuire. I don’t remember the specifics of the activity, but I generally do it like this: 1. Write “I am from” and list the sights, sounds, and smells of your home. 2. Write “I am from” and list your family foods. 3. Write “I am from” and listRead More →

I don’t like scary movies, but the Skeleton Key was fun to watch because it was based outside of New Orleans. What a fabulous cast — Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Kate Hudson. The movie wasn’t terribly scary, thank goodness. I love Gena Rowlands, so that made it entertaining. I agree with the Tomato Meter’s 39 rating, but I think some of the reviews were unfair. In any case, the Slant review made a nice point about race in the film: In the tradition of Angel Heart, it looks to stir cultural anxiety by introducing a pretty white thing into a sinister world where “black” magicRead More →

Grades have been posted. Tomorrow we are leaving for Pass-a-Grille, Florida. We are staying at Inn On the Beach. It’s a delightful bed and breakfast with excellent management and reasonable rates. It’s across the street from the beach, so no fumbling with parking meters. I have a new bathing suit. I’m looking forward to reading Harry Potter on the beach.Read More →

What is the origin of the term “French kissing?” This article talks about the use of the word “French” in a variety of slang phrases. French letter, for instance, is a condom. The first use of the term French kissing appeared in the early 1920s, according to the article. That seems awfully late to me. Around that time other slang using the word “French” also appeared, because the French were seen as risque. Anyway, the article is from the ever-reliable Good Vibrations website. This summer tidbit is brought to you by the letter K.Read More →