Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Readers of this blog tend to share their sources and links, as they are a well-read and curious bunch. To their frustration, links don't always come out correctly in the comments box. Therefore, I've gone back, checked them all out, and turned them into HTML to be shared here. Keep 'em coming in, folks. I'll do this regularly as need arises.

Regarding Class and Classism, Kat shares an article by Michael Young, the man who coined the term "meritocracy", first used in his book The Rise of the Meritocracy in 1958. The article, Down With Meritocracy, appears in the 29 June 2001 issue of The Guardian with a tagline "The man who coined the word four decades ago wishes Tony Blair would stop using it".

Surrounded by an exhibition of her life's work, and greeted by three hundred guests and old friends, the photographer enjoys Alice Austen Day in Richmondtown, October 9, 1951. (Photo by Yale Joel, Time-Life Picture Agency, © Time Inc.)
Regarding Alice Austen, the ground-breaking woman-identifed photographer of a century ago, Liza links us to the website maintained by those who run the Alice Austen House, Clear Comfort, a National Historical Landmark on Staten Island, NY, including herstory of Alice Austen, the photographer, her life and work

(Untitled, 1979, by JEB -- a clue as to what African-American dykes actually looked like in the late 70s, instead of Clarice)
Regarding another photography pioneer, JEB (Joan E. Biren) whose slideshow in 1978 also paid tribute to Alice Austen, there's a great interview with her by Carol Ann Douglas in Off Our Backs, January 1998. In this interview, JEB says "The reason that I became a photographer was to make lesbians visible. I became a photographer to photograph lesbians and make those images accessible to other lesbians. At the time that I became a photographer, in 1971, there weren't images that were authentic, that reflected who I was, that I had ever seen. I had never seen a picture of a lesbian like myself.

"There was nothing. Nothing is not an exaggeration in this.

"Part of my work was to go back into history and uncover those earlier images, which existed but were not accessible.

"I've done a lot of photohistory as well. One of the ways that I supported myself early on was to travel around the country with slide shows that talked about the history of lesbian photography and to share those images with communities of lesbians in way that was accessible and affordable. It didn't require a lot of money, like publishing a book. That was wonderful work, to be able to travel around and feed this available hunger that people had to see themselves. It was nice to be the bearer of those pictures.

"It was my life's work to make more and varied and true images of who we are and how we live our lives. To me, the words "lesbian" and photographer go together very easily."

(Furies office in basement of 219 llth St. SE, Washington, DC circa 1972, mailing out the newspaper, l. to rt. Ginny Berson, Susan Baker, Coletta Reid [standing], Rita Mae Brown, and Lee Schwing. Photo taken by JEB, copyright hers.)

JEB co-founded (along with others, including Rita Mae Brown and Charlotte Bunch) The Furies, a shortlived but extremely influential lesbian separatist collective that flourished in 1971 and 1972. She published many of her early images in the collective's newspaper, The Furies. She is the author of two groundbreaking volumes of photography: Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians (1979), the pioneering photographic book that made lesbian existence visible as never before, Making a Way: Lesbians Out Front (1987), a vigorous affirmation of lesbian lives that portrays 125 women. You can also check out her page at the American Lesbian Photography website.

Regarding Captain Oates of the Scott South Pole Expedition and Antarctic exploration in general, little gator shares several sources. The first is Scott of the Antarctic - 1868 to 1912, a website with extensive background, history, photos and links. Within this is found the information that Oates' famous last comment, "I am just going outside and I may be some time", is a remark they generally used to excuse themselves from the tent for toileting purposes.

(Scott's Expedition at the South Pole, January 18, 1912 L to R: Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Edgar Evans, Robert Scott, Lawrence Oates)

Finding the Bodies at the website Antarctic Heroes entry for 12 November 1912, I'm going to copy in this entry in full because of an extremely interesting line that is all but tossed away at the end:

"Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his men had been expected back at their base camp in March 1912. When they failed to return for the winter, his men knew they must be dead. On 29 October, Dr Edward Atkinson, the expedition leader in Scott's absence, headed south with a twelve-man search party.
On 12 November, barely ten miles from One Ton Depot, they found a tent, partially covered with snow. They set up camp and dug out the tent. Then each of the men went inside to view the bodies, so there would be no dispute over what they had found.
The only Norwegian on the Terra Nova expedition, Tryggve Gran, later recalled what they saw:
‘I stayed outside... as a Norwegian it was not my place. The others undid the tent flaps and went inside. Wilson was lying quite peacefully, his feet towards the entrance... Bowers, the other direction. Wilson had died peacefully... Scott was between them, half sitting up, one hand reached out to Wilson. Then I heard a noise... like a pistol shot... I was told this was Scott's arm breaking as they raised it to take away the journals strapped under his arm. Scott had died dreadfully... his face contorted with frostbite.'

"After recovering the party's papers and geological samples, and some small personal items, Atkinson collapsed the tent on the bodies and built a cairn over the spot. Further south, they found Oates' sleeping bag, but not his body. "

Emphasis on the above line is mine. If he was "just going outside" as reported by Scott, either to take a dump or inobtrusively leaving to give them permission to leave him behind, what's with his taking his sleeping bag along? My suspicions are now raised, and I immediately think of Roland Huntsford's controversial theory that Scott hounded Oates out of the tent.

The third recommended link is more traditional Scott hero-worship by Dr. Donald Stevens in British Heroism They Would Rather We Forgot.

(Machu Picchu -- Incas gave potatoes to the world)

I myself researched a few links for those of you interested in why buy brown eggs, why eat different colored potatoes, and the question of monoculture in our agricultural base. First is a good New York Times article about potatoes from 1995 by Florence Fabricant, So You Thought a Potato Must Be From Idaho or L. I..

Another source is Which Came First - Brown Eggs or the White by Tammy Dobbs. Through her I found the exhaustive chart The ICYouSee
Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart
, "An Alphabetical List of More than 60 Chicken Breeds With Comparative Information".

A Q&A about egg color elsewhere states: "Here in the United States, almost all the eggs sold are white. You've probably seen brown eggs now and again, perhaps at your local grocery store or more likely at the food co-op or the farmer's market, but mostly you've seen white. You may have even wondered why this is and what the differences are. I have an answer or two.

What are the differences?
The color of the shell. That's it. Nutritionally, there is no difference between chicken eggs from different colored shells. Once they shell is cracked and the egg is in the mixing bowl or the frying pan there is no difference.
Argument from me about this statement: White chickens are easier to raise in cages and therefore are more cost effective and convenient for the commercial chicken farmer. The chickens that lay brown eggs are larger and eat more, and thus are more likely to be free-range rather than raised in cages. The chicken-raisers I know, as well as my own palate, tells me there is a big difference in taste between the two, and if there is a noticeable difference in taste, I have trouble believing there is no difference in nutrition.

What determines the shell color?
The color of the shell is determined by the breed of the chicken. Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons lay brown eggs. Blue Andalusian eggs are white, and Araucanas lay eggs that are green.

Why does my local supermarket only have white eggs?
Most eggs that make their way to market come from corporate agriculture. And the corporations have found that the most efficient egg-laying breed is the White Leghorn. And the White Leghorn lays, you guessed it, a white egg. That's why you'll sometimes see folks who are backers of biodiversity tell you to buy brown eggs. A brown egg did not come from a White Leghorn, but from some other breed. And often eggs from free range chickens or organic eggs are brown because the farmers who raise animals this way often are also interested in breed diversity.

Lastly, if you want a GREAT weekly read wherever you live by a right-on organic farmer, sign up to receive the free e-mail of Carol Ann Sayle's "News of the Farm" from Austin's own award-winning Boggy Creek Farm. Tell her Maggie sent ya.


Anonymous said...

Wow, just when I'd figured out how to get the link into the comment box, I discovered that you'd already gotten there...


Anonymous said...

nice work, Maggie. Thanks for the extra serving of sources.

shadocat said...

I used to have a family member who was a part-time farmer, and supplied my little family with farm-fresh eggs. They came in a variety of colors; pale pink, brown, beige, blue and green speckled...their yolks were a deep, bright yellow, and when cooked, they were absolutely delicious! Nope, white eggs (especially store bought)and "eggs
of color" are definately NOT the same!

Anonymous said...

yeah, I was going to say that when I was living in London, I got my eggs from a little greengrocer. They were so fresh there were still bits of chicken stuck to them, and the yolks were a dark, reddish orange.
Originally I thought it was just the variety of chicken, but last week on America's Test Kitchen, they said that it's due to freshness and how the chickens are raised.

Also, interestingly, British supermarket eggs are not sold in the refrigerator section. When I asked my cousin (only family I still have there) why that was, she did some digging and found out that it's because American eggs are washed with some solution that removes the cuticle from the shell, and leaves the eggs really susceptible to bacteria. British and European eggs are not washed like that, and so they're much more stable and can be kept at higher temps safely.

That's the entire extent of my egg knowledge....