Daily Archive: November 24, 2011

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On this Day In History November 24

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 24 is the 328th day of the year (329th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 37 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1859, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, a groundbreaking scientific work by British naturalist Charles Darwin, is published in England. Darwin’s theory argued that organisms gradually evolve through a process he called “natural selection.” In natural selection, organisms with genetic variations that suit their environment tend to propagate more descendants than organisms of the same species that lack the variation, thus influencing the overall genetic makeup of the species.

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859, is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. For the sixth edition of 1872, the short title was changed to The Origin of Species. Darwin’s book introduced the scientific theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection. It presented a body of evidence that the diversity of life arose by common descent through a branching pattern of evolution. Darwin included evidence that he had gathered on the Beagle expedition in the 1830s and his subsequent findings from research, correspondence, and experimentation.

Various evolutionary ideas had already been proposed to explain new findings in biology. There was growing support for such ideas among dissident anatomists and the general public, but during the first half of the 19th century the English scientific establishment was closely tied to the Church of England, while science was part of natural theology. Ideas about the transmutation of species were controversial as they conflicted with the beliefs that species were unchanging parts of a designed hierarchy and that humans were unique, unrelated to animals. The political and theological implications were intensely debated, but transmutation was not accepted by the scientific mainstream.

The book was written for non-specialist readers and attracted widespread interest upon its publication. As Darwin was an eminent scientist, his findings were taken seriously and the evidence he presented generated scientific, philosophical, and religious discussion. The debate over the book contributed to the campaign by T.H. Huxley and his fellow members of the X Club to secularise science by promoting scientific naturalism. Within two decades there was widespread scientific agreement that evolution, with a branching pattern of common descent, had occurred, but scientists were slow to give natural selection the significance that Darwin thought appropriate. During the “eclipse of Darwinism” from the 1880s to the 1930s, various other mechanisms of evolution were given more credit. With the development of the modern evolutionary synthesis in the 1930s and 1940s, Darwin’s concept of evolutionary adaptation through natural selection became central to  modern evolutionary theory, now the unifying concept of the life sciences.

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Holiday for Drumsticks

My Little Town 20111123: Thanksgiving Dinner

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a redneck sort of place, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

Last week I described the lower floor of the house in which I grew up, and for this piece you need to read the descriptions of the kitchen and formal dining room.  Most all of the activities around Thanksgiving were conducted there, although there was a fair amount of football watching as well, especially as I got older.

Other than more football, the activities were remarkably consistent over the years.  Of course, faces changed as older relatives died and new ones were born, but any given year was almost identical to any other year.  

Occupy Wall St.: Thanksgiving

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Occupy Wall Street Thanksgiving

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This Thanksgiving, Occupy Wall Street is celebrating unity and community with an open feast at Liberty Square. From 2 to 6 p.m. at Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park) we will meet to share food, stories and inspiration. All members of our global community are invited to break bread with us.

“This is all about supporting the 99%,” said Megan Hayes, an organizer with the #OWS Kitchen working group, and a former high end chef. “So many people have given up so much to come and be a part of the movement because there is really that much dire need for community. We decided to take this holiday opportunity to provide just that – community.”

More than three thousand individually wrapped plates will be distributed on Thursday in accordance with New York State Health Code. People in the community have opened their homes to cook meals. Roger Fox in New Jersey will be making 250 meals, Mia Valh and Alia Gee are also making large numbers of meals. A lot of community organizations are involved and Liberty Cafe in East NY donates space for the #OWS Kitchen working group.

Locally owned family business, Texas BBQ will be providing 2,000 of the meals. They are being purchased with donated funds and will be served along with the home-cooked meals from supporters and food from the People’s Kitchen at Occupy Wall Street. The Owners of Texas BBQ are Egyptian and are supporters of the Occupy Movement.

Indigenous voices, religious leaders, food justice activists and leaders from peoples’ movements around the world are speaking on Thursday at Liberty Square. Occupy Thanksgiving is a celebration for the entire New York community. All are invited.

There will also be a can food drive. Donations of cans will go to local food banks and pantries throughout NYC.

#OCCUPYXMAS Kicks Off with Buy Nothing Day, Nov 25/26

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   You’ve been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper sprayed and your head’s knocked in, another group of people are preparing to camp-out. Only these people aren’t here to support occupy Wall Street, they’re here to secure their spot in line for a Black Friday bargain at Super Target and Macy’s.

   Occupy gave the world a new way of thinking about the fat cats and financial pirates on Wall Street. Now lets give them a new way of thinking about the holidays, about our own consumption habits. Lets’ use the coming 20th annual Buy Nothing Day to launch an all-out offensive to unseat the corporate kings on the holiday throne.

   This year’s Black Friday will be the first campaign of the holiday season where we set the tone for a new type of holiday culminating with #OCCUPYXMAS. As the global protests of the 99% against corporate greed and casino capitalism continues, lets take the opportunity to hit the empire where it really hurts…the wallet.

   On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline.

   Historically, Buy Nothing Day has been about fasting from hyper consumerism – a break from the cash register and reflecting on how dependent we really are on conspicuous consumption. On this 20th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day, we take it to the next level, marrying it with the message of #occupy…

   We #OCCUPYXMAS.

   Shenanigans begin November 25!

But of you must shop

Occupy Protesters: Shop Mom-And-Pop Stores, Not Chains, On Black Friday

PORTLAND, Ore. — Occupy protesters want shoppers to occupy something besides door-buster sales and crowded mall parking lots on Black Friday.

Some don’t want people to shop at all. Others just want to divert shoppers from big chains and giant shopping malls to local mom-and-pops. And while the actions don’t appear coordinated, they have similar themes: supporting small businesses while criticizing the day’s dedication to conspicuous consumption and the shopping frenzy that fuels big corporations.

Nearly each one promises some kind of surprise action on the day after Thanksgiving, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season.