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February 10, 2014

There were black Knights of the Round Table

Sure, the Knights of the Round Table didn't *actually* exist, but there is a canon associated with them and in that canon are multiple Knights of color. (One of those colors happens to be green.) Not All the Knights of the Round Table Were White | Smart News | Smithsonian
The blog MedievalPoC points out that Morien has been largely forgotten or white-washed in modern depictions of the round table. But early texts describe him pretty clearly as not-white. The blog quotes from the translated saga of Morien: He was all black, even as I tell ye: his head, his body, and his hands were all black, saving only his teeth. His shield and his armour were even those of a Moor, and black as a raven… Had they not heard him call upon God no man had dared face him, deeming that he was the devil or one of his fellows out of hell, for that his steed was so great, and he was taller even than Sir Lancelot, and black withal, as I said afore… When the Moor heard these words he laughed with heart and mouth (his teeth were white as chalk, otherwise was he altogether black)… Morien isn’t even the only knight who isn’t white in the Arthurian folklore as the blog Elodie Under Glass points out: First off, six percent of the Knights of the Round Table were men of color. Granted, that’s only three out of 49 men, but the entire expanded United States Congress is hovering around 13% people of color and only has one black Senator. Although, it's worth noting, one of those three men is green. But he’s definitely not white. So why do all our modern renditions of the round table include a team of totally white guys?

February 09, 2014

Deja Vu All Over Again: Anti-LGBTQ Pogroms Brewing in Russia

Pogroms where the Russian solution to the "Jewish Problem." These...

January 27, 2014

New York's water towers are digusting

They are beautiful and iconic and full of muck and e.coli. Inside City’s Water Tanks, Layers of Neglect - NYTimes.com
But inside these rustic-looking vessels, there are often thick layers of muddy sediment. Many have not been cleaned or inspected in years. And regulations governing water tanks are rarely enforced, an examination by The New York Times shows. Even some that are routinely maintained contain E. coli, a bacterium that is used by public health officials to predict the presence of viruses, bacteria and parasites that can cause disease. When found in drinking water, E. coli, a microbe carried in the feces of mammals and birds, requires the issuance of a boil-water order, according to federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Samplings taken by The New York Times from water towers at 12 buildings in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn found E. coli in five tanks, and coliform in those tanks and three more. Coliform by itself is not harmful, but does indicate that conditions are ripe for the growth of potentially dangerous microorganisms. The positive results all came from the bottoms of the tanks, below the pipe that feeds the buildings’ taps, though public health experts say the contamination is still a concern because the water circulates throughout the inside of the tanks.