Daily Archives: December 1, 2022

Historical blue Staffordshire platter sold at auction on 18th August | Pook & Pook

Historical blue Staffordshire Cape Coast Castle on the Gold Coast Africa platter, 13″ l., 16 3/8″ w.

Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past – NATIONAL CONVERSATION ON RACE

Smithsonian 4 hours ago

“Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past,” the Smithsonian’s race initiative, is hosting a National Conversation on Race Thursday, Dec. 1, at the National Museum of African American History and Culture from 7-8:30 p.m.

This inaugural National Conversation on Race will bring together a group of panelists from diverse backgrounds to discuss how modern society deals with racism within the broader historical context of America’s complicated history and legacy of race. The conversation will delve into the impact that events of the past few years—ranging from the national protests in response to the murder of George Floyd to the COVID-19 pandemic—have had on society, and how these events will shape the ongoing legacy of race in the U.S.

NBC News correspondent Morgan Radford will moderate the discussion. It will focus on the panelists’ connections to these issues through their work and showcase their active participation in creating a more equitable future. Panelists for the conversation are:

Stacey Bohlen, CEO of the National Indian Health Board
Theodore S. Gonzalves, curator of Asian Pacific American history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History
Amanda Nguyen, CEO of RISE and civil rights activist
Dometi Pongo, MTV host of the docuseries “True Life”
Akiima Price, A Price Consulting

The program also will feature remarks from Secretary Bunch and a musical performance by composer and producer Nolan Williams Jr.

Harvard Defends Race-Conscious Admissions at the Supreme Court | Harvard Magazine

by Lincoln Caplan


The Supreme Court Justices. Front row, left to right: Sonia Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Samuel A. Alito Jr., and Elena Kagan. Back row, left to right: Amy Coney Barrett, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Ketanji Brown Jackson. Because she was a Harvard Overseer, Associate Justice Jackson has recused herself from the Harvard case; it and the North Carolina case were argued separately, so she participated in the latter.

Credit: Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Editor’s note. The magazine asked lawyer and legal analyst and journalist Lincoln Caplan, a contributing editor, to report on the presentation of the Students for Fair Admissions litigation before the Supreme Court on October 31, including both the day’s oral arguments and the briefs filed earlier. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson ’92, J.D. ’96, appearing in her first term, recused herself from the Harvard case in light of her recent past service on the Board of Overseers, but participated in the University of North Carolina case.

Affirmative action has been one of the most divisive issues in American law and politics for almost half a century. Almost five hours of searching, high-quality, sometimes cranky oral arguments at the Supreme Court Monday morning and afternoon, October 31, made clear why. They dealt with portentous cases about admissions policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC)—Harvard, as a private institution that receives federal support, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and UNC, as a public institution under the Constitution. (Prior Harvard Magazine news coverage of the cases, at the federal district and appeals courts, is linked to here.)

The dispute is whether the law requires colleges and universities to be blind to race as a factor in making admissions decisions, or allows them to be conscious of color, because of what Solicitor General Elizabeth Barchas Prelogar, J.D. ’08, told the Court is “a simple but profound truth: When students of all races and backgrounds come to college and live together and learn together, they become better colleagues, better citizens, and better leaders.”

“Our Constitution Is Color-Blind”

At the heart of the challenge to the universities’ use of race in undergraduate admissions is the claim that “Our constitution is color-blind,” as a famous dissent by Justice John Marshall Harlan put it in 1896. The Court’s momentous 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, prohibiting segregation in public schools, turned that principle into national law, according to the claim. Patrick Strawbridge, a lawyer for Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), which brought the lawsuits, argued, “this Court’s landmark decision in Brown finally and firmly rejected the view that racial classifications have any role to play in providing educational opportunities.” Fifteen years ago, to wide attention, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. ’76, J.D. ’79, restated the claim like this: “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

To examine a program where race is a factor, the Court uses a hard-to-meet standard of legal review called strict scrutiny. Under it, the only acceptable justification for the program is if it is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest. According to SFFA’s claim, race-conscious admissions policies do not meet that test, even to make a student body more diverse racially and contribute to what students of different backgrounds can teach and learn from each other.

Facts in the Harvard case, the argument goes on, make the legal challenge to the College’s admissions practices even stronger. A black applicant in the fourth lowest of ten academic groups, for example, has a better chance of admission (12.8 percent) than an Asian American (12.7 percent) in the top group. A brief for SFFA says that Harvard “admits Asian Americans at lower rates than whites, even though Asian Americans receive higher academic scores, extracurricular scores, and alumni-interview scores.” Race is not just a plus factor for blacks and Hispanics, in that view: it’s a minus factor for Asian Americans—“an anvil on the scale that dominates the entire process.” Cameron T. Norris, who argued for SFFA against Harvard, told the Court, “What Harvard is doing to Asians, like what it was doing to Jews in the 1920s, is shameful, but it’s a predictable result of letting universities use race in highly subjective processes.”

…(read more).

School principals say misinformation, politics made last year ‘rough as hell’ : NPR

“Rough as hell.”

That’s how one high school principal in Nevada describes the 2021-’22 school year, when conflicts with parents and community members were all too common.

“Something needs to change or else we will all quit,” says another principal, in California.

Those voices are part of a new, nationally representative survey of 682 public high school principals, many of whom describe a level of tension and division within their broader school communities that is not only high but, in the words of one Utah principal, making the job harder “than any other era in my 20 years of administrative experience.”

John Rogers, a professor of education at UCLA, helped lead the survey effort and says, while an earlier, 2018 survey of principals revealed conflicts spilling into schools, “what’s different in 2022 is that a lot of the political conflict is being targeted at public schools,” especially in narrowly divided “purple” districts.

More than two-thirds (69%) of principals surveyed report “substantial political conflict” with parents or members of the community last year over several controversial topics:

  • Teaching about issues of race and racism
  • Policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ student rights
  • Social-emotional learning
  • Student access to books in the school library

…(read more).

Historical blue Staffordshire platter 19th c., depicting Christiansburg Danish Settlement on the Gold Coast of Africa

Historical blue Staffordshire platter 19th c., depicting Christiansburg Danish Settlement on the Gold Coast of Africa, 16″ l., 20 3/4″ w.

Condition:Very good condition. No apparent damages or repairs.

Estimate: $1,000 – $1,500

FAO/WHO Global Individual Food Consumption Data Tool

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Dec 1, 2022

The FAO/WHO Global Individual Food consumption data Tool (FAO/WHO GIFT) is an innovative, open-access online tool which provides access to quantified data on what people eat and drink developed by the Food and Nutrition Division (ESN) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO). It was created to support better data visualization and utilization and catalyse changes in nutrition. FAO/WHO GIFT’s ultimate goal is to harmonize and disseminate dietary intake data available at national and sub-national level all over the world through an FAO hosted web-platform. This platform, intended for use by both experts and the broader audience, aims to facilitate access to age and sex disaggregated data on individual quantitative food consumption and to provide dietary survey indicators and summary statistics that can trigger targeted policies to improve nutrition worldwide.



Solar Flare, Tsunami at Supervolcano, Nova Needed | S0 News Dec.1.2022


Dec 1, 2022

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China loosens covid curbs after week of historic protests • FRANCE 24 English

FRANCE 24 English – Dec 1, 2022

China is softening its tone on the severity of covid-19 and easing some coronavirus restrictions even as its daily case toll hovers near record highs, after anger over the world’s toughest curbs fuelled protests across the country. However, there is no sign of the country easing its security crackdown, with police out in force in many cities in an attempt to head off any further demonstrations.