Sunday, July 29, 2012

London Calling - Part III - Dublin, Ireland

My travels have taken me to Dublin, Ireland.  Once again, I saw a lot and learned a lot.  I have a deep respect for Irish history and the Irish people (and for St. Patrick's Day and what Guinness truly means to Dublin and Ireland).

 Think of a famous Irish singer.  Go.
Definite stereotype 

Kilmainham Gaol (jail). (The "kil" prefix that you see in a lot of Irish names, means "church".)  The most (in)famous jail in Ireland, which closed in the 1920s.  Held many of the political prisoners from the five rebellions in Irish history.  Check the story of Joseph Plunkett.

 They filmed the movie "In the Name of the Father" here.
Inside a cell.  I'm a prisoner of something.  I'm a POD.
Dublin Zoo.  Third oldest in the world.
I heard rumours that guinness tasted better in Ireland, and yes, yes, yes, it does.  Especially when it comes out of the Guinness factory in Dublin.
View from the 360 degree bar on a "lovely" day.

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Meet The Superhumans"

Great commercial they have here in Britain on Channel 4 promoting the Paralympics.

Check it out here.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

London Calling - Part II - Liverpool

Liverpool is definitely not in London, but I spent the past couple days in the city to visit the International Slavery Museum.  The significance being that Liverpool was built through the profits of the Slave Trade (mainly during the 18th century), and the museum is the only international slavery museum in the world.  Yes, in the world.

Visiting the museum and being in Liverpool was a pretty cool thing to see.

I'd suggest anyone who has done, or is doing, work on slavery and the Slave Trade (Transatlantic or Indian Ocean), to book a flight to London, then hop on the two hour train ride to Liverpool.  Yes, it's one of the poorest cities in Europe (shouldn't of invested their slave money with Bernie Madoff), but it's still the European heart and soul of the Slave Trade.

Museum of Liverpool (below)

Replica Slave Ship
Replica Plantation
The Visua Evidence
If you think I'm making this up, check the nose of the European below:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

London Calling - Part I - Olympic Torch Run

If you've been following me on twitter (@CStuartTaylor) I've been posting some photos of the past few days I've been in London.  I got a chance to see the Vancouver 2010 Torch Run as it passed through Mississauga, so I'm two-for-two for torch runs in this decade.

Here are some more for you to enjoy from the Torch Run on its way to Reigate yesterday.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Christopher Heads East...To The Olympics

Yup, I'm going to London for the Olympics.  I would've preferred if I was going to compete as an athlete, but that dream was crushed almost a decade ago thanks to a not-so-forgiving hamstring.

I'll be away for a few weeks and while I'm gone I'll try to post photos/updates of my adventures here on my blog and twitter (follow me @CStuartTaylor).

I'll be doing a lot of invisible work while I'm gone and I might just post some of my thoughts on it while I'm away too.  My dissertation does have a UK element to it, so this is also a research trip.

One thing I will miss while I'm gone is the sun and the heat.  Hmmm, going from 32 degrees to 16 and rain in July?  I pick 32.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Update: Travels in PhD Land

So ya, um, ya.

A while back (had to be around this time last year) I promised to post updates on what I've been working on for my dissertation.  I was posting some of my notes from my travels in the archives in Barbados and Ottawa, but haven't posted anything dissertation-related since then.

No, I haven't been procrastinating and spending all my time blogging/spartanracing/going to graduations.  A lot has changed in my life in the past 7 months, but I've been plugging away and working hard on finishing.

For all those out there (maybe 4 or 5 people that will end up reading this post), I've finished what I like to call a "preliminary draft" and now working on the massive chapter re-writes (and new writes) and edits.  Good news is is that I don't have to reinvent the wheel and start the whole thing all over again.

I've got a couple of conferences on tap for the fall.  One at Harvard University, Reconsidering Caribbean Diaspora, is confirmed for September 28th-29th, where I'll be presenting, "No, We Can't: Black West Indians and Canadian Political Culture".  The other is yet to be confirmed, but it looks like it'll be a go for Michigan State.

I'll post bits and pieces of the paper that I'll be presenting at Harvard come September or immediately after the conference.

Other than that, I've been doing a lot of articulation work (or you can call it invisible work, but "articulation" sounds a lot more formal and productive).

My dissertation has pretty well become a part of my life - my community service (to whom? I have no idea).  I don't post what I eat for breakfast every morning, so I won't post every little mundane detail of what I wrote (or didn't write) on Emigrant Ambassadors navigating the institutionalized structures of a gendered and racist immigration system.

I'd rather talk about fat women having sex to lose weight.

Stay tuned when Christopher Heads East (again) to do some invisible work.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ever Wondered What Teachers Do During Summer Break?

I can't confirm if this man is eating a chicken's head off, or if he's on bath salts, or if he's even a teacher, but hey, it's quite possible that all teachers are involved in an international global cockfighting ring during the summer months.

Back by popular demand, here is M!SS.C and her Summer 2012 Soca Mix.

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Although I can't buy sexy lingerie, I drape a nice sheet over me..."

And no, that quote is not from a talking bed, but from a 643 pound woman who is using "marathon sex" with her 140 pound lover to lose weight.

And it's taking me how many years to get a history PhD?  I should've done journalism.

Read the article with photos here

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Canadian Athlete Watch - Tremaine Harris

If you live in Canada or follow Canadian athletics (track and field), you might be surprised to hear that Canada competes in other events besides the 100m women's hurdles.  Yes, I know this may have come as a shock, and I apologize.

But if you're looking for an under the radar athlete to watch, check out Tremaine Harris.  He has arguably the best chance of all Canadian male sprinters to make a final having just run a 20.22 in the 200m (into a negative headwind, but at altitude - and the third fastest time EVER for a Canadian) less than a week ago.  He's peaking at the right time of the year, so good luck in London.

Outside of Blake, Bolt, and Spearmon as the three locked spots in the 200m final (who knows if Bolt will even run the 200m after his hamstring issues.  Hmm, why do sprinters always have a "slight" injury or tight hamstring after they've lost a race?), if Harris runs consecutive personal bests, don't be surprised if you see him lining up in the 200m final.

You heard it here first.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Beautiful Onyinye - P. Square ft. Rick Ross

For all those people looking for a wedding song, here it is.  Onyinye = God's Gift.

And lyrics here.

Bailouts vs Foreign Aid

Question of the Day:

Why does Europe get bailouts and Africa/South America/Asia get foreign aid?  It's the same money, isn't it?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Citizens vs Taxpayers

A Citizen: "A person owing loyalty to and entitled by birth or naturalization to the protection of a state or nation."

A Taxpayer: "Someone who pays taxes" and/or "a person who pays money for something"

When was the last time you heard your government call you a citizen?  I don't care if you're Canadian or American or from Kyrgyzstan.  When was the last time you heard that your government is making cuts to a programme so that it benefits and continues to protect you, just because as a citizen, you are entitled to it?

No, you know what we hear?  We hear, the government is making cuts to help out the "taxpayers".

The taxpayers are hurting.

The taxpayers need relief from the big bad government.

The taxpayers don't want to pay for any service they don't use.

The taxpayers need a break too.

Shit, if that's the case, I should be able to make my own "Decision" and be a taxpayer in any country of the world I choose.  If you don't like the service you pay for with one cellphone company, you switch, right?  If my government only sees me as a taxpayer, why not jump ship and go somewhere else?  What's loyalty and patriotism got to do with any of it if my government only sees me as: a) a drain on the system; and b) a resource to be taxed?

So do you feel like you should owe loyalty to a country that doesn't even consider you a citizen?  That really and truly, your loyalty only goes as far as what you can pay?

Since when did we throw back to the time of feudalism?  And what the hell happened to this democracy thing us taxpayers are paying our feudal lords - governments - to enforce overseas?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day! What Obama Would've Celebrated 236 Years Ago

Je me souviens.


If you look closely the photo reads "1807", so technically I'm 31 years off.  I used this photo for the dramatic effect of representing slavery, and not historical accuracy.  Most people know US slavery for picking cotton, but that didn't come about on a wide scale until after Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin on the cusp of the Antebellum period (boycott Lady Antebellum.  That's like calling your group "The Holocausts"). 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bolt and Blake - 100m and 200m Jamaican Finals

For all those that don't feel like taking that split second to search this on Youtube, here are the 100m and 200m finals from the Jamaican trials over the weekend.

My money is on Blake to win the 100m in London, and for Bolt to run 18.9 in the 200m (to prove a point, even though he laboured to run that 19.8).  First and only man ever to break 19 point.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Balotelli - Black Athletes Stand Up Against Racism

Would you play for a country that hates you?

Read this article about the Italian hypocrisy.

I'm sorry, but if I'm the reason my country is in the finals of a major championship and you're drawing me as King Kong, I'm quitting.

That goes for any athlete that receives racial persecution from their own country and their media.  You don't make a whole lot of money playing for your national side; it's for the "pride" of playing for your nation.  Take a stand against racism!

See how fast racism would die in the US if every Black athlete said, "forget it, I'm not competing for the US because of Trayvon".  Or how their own Black president is treated.

US basketball?  Dead.  Track and Field?  Dead.  Shoot imagine if every Black athlete in the world decided to not compete and take a stand against racism around the world?  The only thing the Olympics would have is swimming and archery.