Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Few Good Things: International Edition

Spring Against the Sky

Happy Saturday, my dears!  I am procrastinating about doing work this weekend while mentally preparing to run 13.1 miles tomorrow morning.  I do love races, but why must they always be so painfully early?  Let us hope I can pry myself out of bed in time for the Armadillo Dash.

I wanted to share a few cool, thought-provoking, or delicious things with you today.  Consider it another list of good things, and this time, it’s international!  Well, mostly international, as you will see.  Texas is not an independent nation, no matter what anyone tells you right now.

Onto the list!

* Norman Finkelstein.  Dr. Finkelstein is a scholar and political activist who is famous for his opposition to Israel’s aggression and the use of the Holocaust by today’s Jews as a way of making money off the suffering of those who lived through or died during the Holocaust.  What I like about Dr. Finkelstein is his refusal to be silenced by his opposition.  Despite being a respected scholar and well-liked teacher, he has never been able to secure tenure at any of the institutions where he taught.  Most recently, he taught at DePaul University, where, despite the faculty’s vote to grant him tenure, he was denied tenure by the university.  That decision is highly suspect to me.

As an academic, I believe that skepticism is a virtue.  Academics probe evidence and the methods by which evidence is obtained in order to build the best arguments we can.  Dr. Finkelstein is disliked by many people because he has dared to criticize the efforts of people who invoke the Holocaust as justification of their actions, no matter how questionable those actions are.  I believe that nobody gets a blank check for their actions, and as the old saying goes, an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.  We should all be skeptical of Israel’s history of aggression.  Violence begets violence.

If you are as intrigued by Dr. Finkelstein and his work as I am, you can watch American Radical, a movie about his story.  He’s published a number of books listed here, and he has a detailed entry on Wikipedia.  I can’t wait to read his work—his courage in the face of devastating professional loss is inspiring.  We should all be so brave as to speak our truth as clearly as he speaks his.

(And now, onto some lighter topics!)

* Monna’s Interiors Project.  Monna has been inviting international educators to share thoughts and images of their homes and lives spent living and working in exotic places like Japan, Thailand, Argentina, and Lebanon.  It’s fascinating to read about the ways in which they create homes so far away from their native countries, and the photos are stunning.  Stunning.  I’ve really enjoyed all the issues.  The newest issue is Karen Fish’s Mumbai, India issue.  Check out the gorgeous children in the photo right above the “Travelling” section.  I can’t get over how radiantly beautiful their faces and smiles are.  As I wrote in my comment on that post, Karen’s optimism bubbles through her issue—it’s infectious!

* Coconut milk ice cream.  Coconut, I find, is one of those flavors that people either love or loathe.  I love it, and I’m especially loving So Delicious’s cookie dough coconut milk ice cream.  It’s vegan and delighfully coconutty, with fat slivers of chocolate and hunks of cookie dough.  Yum. 

* This necklace in the shape of Texas.  It’s gorgeous and fun and totally out of my budget right now.  Oh well.  Michigan is pretty cute too. 

Happy weekend to you, dear reader!


Shannon said...

ooh, sorry i missed this to say good luck, but i see you didn't need it. CONGRATS on your half :) i love coconut milk ice cream, but usually opt to make my own b/c of the price... might need to splurge and give it a try. i just started reading the kitchen window, have you read it? seems quite good so far. also, the dirty life was the last book i read, loved it, would recommend it! random thoughts, i know, sorry!

Rosiecat said...

No, I haven't read either of those books! Thanks for the recommendations.

Homemade coconut milk ice cream is really delicious, too. I think the So Delicious ice cream is not quite as rich as the homemade stuff that my sister-in-law made--I'd be happy with either!