Youth and Education News
February 18, 2004, Issue 128, Volume 4
"Diversity is a celebration of different cultures, and if we lose that, we won't really learn anything from other people. Everything will remain the same - stagnant." Cara Kropp, Fort Lewis College Student
Astronomers Spy Massive Diamond
If anyone's ever promised you the sun, the moon and the stars, settle for BPM 37093. With an estimated diameter of 2,500 miles, BPM 37093 is a sparkling diamond that weighs a staggering 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Carats (10 billion trillion trillion). The diamond -- a massive chunk of crystallized carbon-- lies about 300 trillion miles from Earth in the constellation Centaurus.
Fossil Identified as Oldest Known Insect
A tiny fossil ignored since its discovery in the 1920s has been identified as the oldest known insect. Analysis of the 400-million-year-old specimen suggests it may have had wings, hinting that winged insects -- and insects in general -- arose much earlier than had been presumed. The discovery pushes back the origins of Earth's most prolific life form some 20 million years. Derek Briggs, a professor of paleontology at Yale University, called the discovery ''exciting'' and said it points to the need to look for even older insect fossils. ''It just tells us that we ought to continue the hunt,'' he said. ''These things aren't exactly thick on the ground.''
History's Greatest Disaster Has Begun
The greatest environmental catastrophe in recorded history has begun: the North Atlantic Oscillation is failing, and along with it, the Gulf Stream. In analyzing Atlantic ocean currents between earth's poles, The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute says polar waters are becoming far less saline, which means the "heat pump" effect that draws warm water north is failing. "We may be approaching a threshold that would shut down [the GulfStream]," said Robert Gagosian, Woods Hole director. The past year's weather patterns are further evidence of this impending disaster:
Extraordinary heat killed at least 20,000 people in Europe last summer;
Extreme cold in North America this winter has caused at least 35 deaths;
*World weather patterns have become extremely bizarre with blocks of ice falling from the sky in New Zealand, Spain and the American South;
Within the past few months, tornadoes appeared in Wales;
In February 2004, a tornado appeared on Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands.
Researchers say that fossil records show this global disaster process will not take hundreds of years. Instead, climate change will take place over a single season, beginning with an outburst of violent weather unlike anything recorded in the historical era, followed by years of climactic turmoil. This process will devastate the northern hemisphere, dramatically shortening growing seasons in the United States, Canada and Europe. Northern areas will lose their growing seasons altogether. Entire regions such as the central-western U.S. will be so crippled with drought that it will likely result in large scale population movement out of these areas. Woods Hole researchers blame this impending disaster on natural climactic cycling sped up by greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere. They say proper leadership in the developed countries could have prevented this catastrophe; instead, nothing useful has been done. Instead, we face climatic upheaval and the death and impoverishment of millions of the best educated and most productive people on earth. This will result in a vast diminishment of mankind and the likely collapse governments.
How individuals can help:
Pressure governments to take responsibility for protecting our environments;
Dramatically reduce individual CO2 emissions;
Replace the 20-year-old fridge with an energy-saver model. CO2 savings = 3,000 pounds;
Send out one fewer 30-gallon bags of garbage per week. CO2 savings = 300 pounds. Leave the car at home two days per week. CO2 savings = 1,590 pounds;
Recycle cans, bottles, plastic, cardboard and newspapers. CO2 savings = 850 pounds. Switch from standard light bulbs to fluorescent. CO2 savings = 1,000 pounds;
Replace the current shower head with a low-flow model. CO2 savings = 300 pounds. Turn the thermostat down two degrees for one year. CO2 savings = 500 pounds;
Cut vehicle fuel use by 10 gallons. CO2 savings = 200 pounds;
Switch from hot to warm or cold water for laundry. CO2 savings = 600 pounds.
Species of Shark Near Extinction
The population of oceanic whitetip shark, once among the world's most common tropical sharks, has plummeted by 99% since the 1950s and is nearly extinct in the Gulf of Mexico. Biology professors Julia K. Baum and Ransom A. Myers compared data compiled by the U.S. government in the 1950s and data collected by trained observers aboard fishing boats in the 1990s. ''In descriptions from earlier studies, scientists were astounded at how abundant whitetips were,'' Myers said. He added that fishermen in the 1950s reported that whitetips were everywhere in the open Gulf. Now they are rarely seen. The study published in the journal Ecology Letters blamed overfishing and called for new restrictions and protection for the whitetips.
Yellowstone bison to get brucellosis shots for first time
Up to 125 calves and yearling bison from Yellowstone National Park will receive shots of RB51, an anti-brucellosis vaccine which spreads from buffalo to cattle. The vaccinated animals will then be held in a pasture until enough green grass sprouts in the park interior to keep them there. A small ear tag will be attached to the vaccinated animals who will be tested in later years to get some indication of the vaccine's effectiveness. There are about 4,200 bison in Yellowstone National Park, which is at or near a record number.
Catawba Indians to Turn Federal Grant Money Into land to Hunt, Fish and Educate Their Children
In South Carolina, the Catawba Indian Nation received more than $450,000 in federal grant money for conservation efforts on tribal lands. The money will be used to purchase property and to preserve and protect trees, plants, fish and animal wildlife. The tribe will also purchase 200 acres for hunting, fishing and educating younger Catawbas about cultural and conservation practices. "Since our (federal tribe status) termination in 1961, we have not had the opportunity to hunt on tribal land," said one Catawba official. "Within the grant, we have a plan to set up a department to protect fish and wildlife -- not just for recreation, but also for education during the off-season."
The Herald [Rock Hill, S.C.
School chant opens debate
For years, the "tomahawk chop" -- the rhythmic arm-pumping chant at Atlanta Braves games--was commonplace at Marysville-Pilchuck, WA, high school. These days, students are allowed to chop but not chant at sporting events and pep rallies. Problem is, they sometimes do both, and that violates the school's human dignity policy concerning Native American peoples. "The students have determined what they found offensive was the chant," said Ken Tallquist, a vice principal at the school. "The chopping motion was not the issue." Recently, a diverse group of 14 students visited school classrooms to discuss and gather opinions on the issue. Student body president Laura Baird said the strongest argument in favor of the traditional chop and chant was fear of a domino effect of political correctness. "It was a really enlightening experience," Baird said. "I learned a lot about people ... You really can't stand up for something until you know how others feel." Kyle Williams, president of the school's Native American Club, said the chant and the arguments in favor of it anger him. "The more I get into my culture, the more it bother's me," he said. The chop had been outlawed in 2002 after a complaint was filed by the school's Native American Club. "I'm glad we did it so we can let people know where we are coming from," said Bernard After Buffalo, vice president of the NAC.
More than just basketball in South Dakota
The Lakota Nation Invitational, one of the largest basketball tournaments in the country, is now one of the largest youth and family gatherings in the country. In fact, the tournament may be renamed Lakota Invitational Gathering, or some such title, because of the diversity of cultural events and activities that take place. To Rapid City, SD, which is familiar with large gatherings for American Indian events, the LNI is one of its biggest events in terms of economic impact. "Given the numbers of participants, their parents and grandparents we estimate that with that group alone the economic impact will be $4.5 million in direct revenue. Then we can factor in the trickle down," said Jim McKeon of Rapid City's Chamber of Commerce. In addition to the 32 basketball teams at last year's tournament, there were 29 hand game teams, 16 wrestling teams, more than a dozen Language Bowl participants, and hundreds of students participating in the knowledge and quiz bowls. "It is a good time to meet people and keep our young people culturally aware," said Gilbert Stuart from Rosebud.
Yazzie copes with health issues
Northern Arizona University senior basketball player Kodiak Yazzie has a new perspective toward his basketball life. Yazzie has discovered he was born with a hole in his heart that requires open-heart surgery. “I went through the whole emotional thing,” said Yazzie. “It was traumatic at first. Once I relaxed and figured out what I was going to do, I was not worried about it especially now after I have played with it. ”Yazzie has an atrial septal defect in his heart that is an incomplete closure between the heart's two upper chambers. For now all his cardiologists agreed Kodiak could play out this season and finish his work towards his degree to walk at graduation ceremonies in May.
Roach brings muscle to Tulsa team
A Cree Indian is the latest addition to the Tulsa Oilers hockey team. Jordan Roach, 22, is expected to fill the enforcer’s role vacated by Mark Scott. Last year Roach played 29 games with the Bakersfield Condors with one goal and 141 penalty minutes. He has played professionally since 1998 and is married with two children.
Ndn Eye for the Racist Guy
After ignoring Native Americans for decades, CBA network television has turned out the run-away hit of the season, "Ndn Eye for the Racist Guy." "Ndn Eye" is a make-over show with an odd twist: a seemingly endless string of unknown racists slash their way through stand-up monologues about Native American history, culture and people, casinos and ballot-box stuffers. The biggest crowd-pleaser is "Honoring Our Ndns." In this segment, federal trust mismanagers, owners of sports teams with Ndn names and other special guests tell the judges about their latest honoring activities, how Native Americans should feel about them and how tribes should spend their money. "Ndn Eye for the Racist Guy" can be seen on CBA - the network that honors its Ndns - every Sunday at 7 p.m.
American Indian Film and TV Awards
Some well-known Indian actors and films, as well as some independents, have been nominated for awards at the “LA Film and TV Awards.” Included in the nominations are:
Best Motion Picture
Dancing on the Moon
On the Corner
Nate and the Colonel
Actor in a Lead Film Role
Eric Schweig (The Missing, Mr. Barrington)
Guy Ray Pocowatchit (Dancing on the Moon)
Gordon Tootoosis (Don’t Call Me Tonto)
Best Leading Actress in a Lead Film Role
Irene Bedard (Greasewood Flat and Paris)
Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider)
Alex Rice (On The Corner)
Michelle Thrush (Don’t Call Me Tonto)
I’m every woman - Talking to Michelle Rae
In the year 2003 Michelle Rae’s Web site had the most hits for an American Indian woman (200,000). Rae, who works in Hollywood, believes Native Americans should tell their own stories. She also wants to break stereotypes and misconceptions Hollywood has of Native Women. Michelle, a Yaqui/Pima (Akimel O’odham), and Mexican, is an experienced model and actress. She recently coordinated a fashion segment for the Los Angeles TV show "KTLA Morning News. She's also been spokesmodel and design consultant for Native design companies including Native Threads, Com-n-acha and Tribal Gear. Michelle has also appeared in two independent films, the Discovery Channel’s "Wild West’s Most Wanted," and as a background extra for television programs including "ER," "Las Vegas," "The Practice," "Charmed," and "America’s Most Wanted."
For more information on Michelle Rae, visit her Web site at: http://www.michellerae.com
Indigenous Launch 2nd Single "Want You To Say" With New Tour Dates
"Early on, there was Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Then later, Carlos Santana and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Here's a new name to throw on the blues-rock altar: Mato Nanji" –San Francisco Examiner
"Indigenous rock incredibly hard and intensely in the spirit of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix." -- Guitar One Magazine
The musical group Indigenous is touring the U.S. to promote their album and new single "Want You To Say" This young family of Sioux musicians have sold over 300,000 copies of their CD, Indigenous, a fiery album of blues-infused rock. Indigenous are Mato Nanji (vocals, guitar), Pte (bass), and Wanbdi (drums, backing vocals).
CBS apologizes for Outcast Performance
CBS television has issued several apologies for OutKast's recent performance at the 2004 Grammy Awards. OutKast's song "Hey-Ya" featured an American Indian theme of fringed costumes, feathered headdresses and a teepee-shaped structure in the background. "It was the most disgusting set of racial stereotypes aimed at American Indians that I have ever seen on TV," said Sean Freitas of San Francisco's Native American Cultural Center. "It was on par with white people dancing sexually in black face, or yarmulkes ... I am shocked and outraged." The NACC lodged a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission over the telecast, calling it racist TV programming. "We are very sorry if anyone was offended," CBS spokeswoman Nancy Carr said. She declined further comment.
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