5,000 Cave Paintings Uncovered in Tamaulipas
INAH, Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History), recently revealed the discovery of 4,926 cave paintings located in the Sierra de San Carlos, near Burgos, Tamaulipas.
The prolific number of cave paintings include images of stars and planets, people and tipi-like structures; and, local flora and fauna, like lizards, deer and centipedes. A painting of an atlatl, a spear throwing tool used to hunt, was also found.
Researchers believe the paintings were made by groups of Indigenous Peoples who fled Spanish missionaries in the early 18th century.
Images via INAH
If there’s one thing that most fans of Star Trek will agree on, it’s the fact that Gene Roddenberry’s vision for the show — and, more optimistically, for human society — was predicated on the idea that all life is valuable, and that the worth of a person should not be judged by their appearance. Much of this was done through the old sci-fi trope of using aliens to stand in for oppressed groups, but Star Trek didn’t rely on the metaphor; it had characters who were part of the ensemble, important and beloved members of the Enterprise crew, who were people of colour. It had background characters who were people of colour. And, here and there, it had anti-heroes and villains who were people of colour … one of whom, Khan Noonian Singh, became well-nigh iconic.
Image 1: “Who is your favorite villain?” ; Actor John Cho (Lt Sulu) answers.
Image 2: TOS Khan looking at a watercolor of himself. Yes, he’s wearing a dastar (Sikh turban)
Image 3: Cumberbatch and Montalbán (as Khan)
And who is now being played by white actor Benedict Cumberbatch in the new JJ Abrams reboot movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness.
We’re all cynical and jaded enough to know the standard dismissal when it comes to matters of media representation: Paramount Pictures and most film studios are not interested in diversity or visibility, they only care about the bottom dollar. Star Trek as a franchise is too much of a juggernaut to affect with boycotts. There are too many people who love it, who love those characters and that world, and will go to see the movie. And for some of these people, this devotion to the idea of a future where even South and East Asian men get to pilot a starship and love swashbuckling, where Black women make Lieutenant on the Enterprise and actually get the boy, will be trivialized and eroded and whitewashed when the most formidable and complex Star Trek baddie becomes a white man named Khan.
It wasn’t perfect in the 60s when Ricardo Montalbán was cast to play Khan (a character explicitly described in the episode script of Space Seed as being Sikh, from the Northern regions of India). But considering all of the barriers to representation that Roddenberry faced from the television networks, having a brown-skinned man play a brown character was a hard-won victory. It’s disappointing and demoralizing that with the commercial power of Star Trek in his hands, JJ Abrams chose not to honour the original spirit of the show, or the symbolic heft of the Khan character, but to wield the whitewash brush for … what? The hopes that casting Benedict Cumberbatch would draw in a few more box office returns? It’s doubly disappointing when you consider that Abrams was a creator of the television show Lost, which had so many well-rounded and beloved characters of colour in it.
Add to this the secrecy prior to release around Cumberbatch’s role in the film, and what seems like a casting move that would typically be defended by cries of “best actor for the job, not racism” becomes something more cunning, more malicious. Yes, the obfuscation creates intrigue around and interest in the role, but it also prevents advocacy groups like Racebending.com from building campaigns to protest the whitewashing. This happened with the character of the Mandarin in Iron Man 3, as well as ‘Miranda Tate’ in The Dark Knight Rises, who ended up being Talia al Ghul but played by French actress Marion Cotillard. This practice is well in effect in Hollywood; and after the negative press that was generated by angry anti-oppression activists and fans when Paramount had The Last Airbender in the works, studios are wising up. They don’t want their racist practices to be called out, pointed at, and exposed before their movies are released — Airbender proved that these protests create enough bad feeling to affect their bottom line.
So the studio has now found a way to keep it secret and underhanded. Racebending.com was there for most of the production of The Last Airbender, and were even able to correspond with Paramount Pictures about it. This time, for Star Trek: Into Darkness, their hiding and opaque practices has managed to silence media watchdogs until the movie’s premiere.
As I said, this racist whitewashing of the character of Khan won’t affect how much money this Trek movie makes. And I’m happy that the franchise is popular, still popular enough to warrant not only a big-budget reboot with fantastic actors but also a sequel with that cast. I’m happy that actors I enjoy like Zoë Saldaña and John Cho are playing characters who mean so much to me, and that they, in respect for the groundbreaking contributions by Nichelle Nichols and George Takei in these roles, have paid homage to that past.
But all of that will be marred by having my own skin edited out, rendered worthless and silent and invisible when a South Asian man is portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch up on that screen. In the original Trek, Khan, with his brown skin, was an Übermensch, intellectually and physically perfect, possessed of such charisma and drive that despite his efforts to gain control of the Enterprise, Captain Kirk (and many of the other officers) felt admiration for him.
And that’s why the role has been taken away from actors of colour and given to a white man. Racebending.com has always pointed out that villains are generally played by people with darker skin, and that’s true … unless the villain is one with intelligence, depth, complexity. One who garners sympathy from the audience, or if not sympathy, then — as from Kirk — grudging admiration. What this new Trek movie tells us, what JJ Abrams is telling us, is that no brown-skinned man can accomplish all that. That only by having Khan played by a white actor can the audience engage with and feel for him, believe that he’s smart and capable and a match for our Enterprise crew.
What an enormous and horribly ironic step backwards. For Star Trek, for media representation, and for the vision of a future where we have transcended systemic, racist erasure.
Alright, if you’re a consumer and you’re considering picking up the new Xbox One console, then please, take a moment to listen to me. Before we begin, no, I am not a fanboy or a hater. I have no console Bias. I have a PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and a Gaming PC. Each has their pros and cons but now onto business.
DO NOT BUY AN XBOX ONE. Why? See the reasons below:
Xbox Requires an internet connection. Here’s how it works: Every 24 hours your Xbox will try to connect to Microsoft’s servers for verification. If it is unable to connect, sucks to be you. You’re blocked from playing even single player games until it can connect.
Do you like renting games, lending them to a friend, or even borrowing them from a friend? No longer possible. Every Xbox One game you get must be registered to your Xbox live account to be played. After that point it will only work for you. No one else can use it unless they pay a fee. Essentially it works like this. You pick up a used Xbox One game from somewhere or someone, pop it into your console. The system verifies it’s been registered to your account. Uh-oh, it isn’t! In order to play it, you have to pay Microsoft a fee, which is currently slated to be full retail price. Doesn’t matter how scratched up it is or how cheap you got it at gamestop or from a friend. You aren’t just buying the physical copies anymore. You’re paying Microsoft for a LICENSE to be allowed to play that game.
It is worth mentioning Microsoft is exploring ways for you to trade in and resell your used games. This is rumored to mean that you can sell your digital license to play the game (registration) back to microsoft, likely for microsoft points. You can then trade in the game at gamespot for some cash if you like. Either way, as it currently stands, the new owner would still have to pay a fee on top of the price of actually buying the physical copy.
Is it worth mentioning that Microsoft if shafting Indie Developers as well? Where as on Playstation Network or (whatever the Wii has) Indie Developers can self publish their content easily. Playstation even encourages this. Microsoft however forces these Indie Devs to enter publishing deals with them to be allowed to market their content. You don’t go through them, you don’t get to sell what you developed.
I’m not quite done yet! Now, I’m sure you heard a lot about “TV TV TV TV SPORTS TV TV SPORTS SPORTS TV.” Yes, the Xbox is slated to be able to stream live tv, live sports, etc. So let me ask you this. You obviously already have something like cable or DirecTV. Do you really want to shell out hundreds of dollars more and pay a monthly subscription fee to have another television provider? Yes, I said hundreds of dollars, and I don’t mean the cost of the console. To view live TV from the Xbox you are required to purchase ANOTHER separate device for it to work. Why would you even consider shelling out more money for something you already have anyway? Even if you didn’t, DirecTV is cheaper. Or you could even subscribe you Hulu.com and watch live tv on your computer. FOR MUCH CHEAPER. You essentially have to buy another cable box if you don’t have one. And if you do… what do you need the Xbox One for?
So far we’ve discovered that the Xbox One is not really a gaming console, at least… not a consumer friendly gaming console. It’s being marketed as an all-in-one home entertainment system. Something to replace all of the other devices in your house. But there are drawbacks even to that. Put on your tin foil hats for this part folks. Take from it what you will, all I’ll say is… possibilities…
The Xbox One’s features will not function unless the Kinect is plugged in and active. This is not an optional piece anymore.
So imagine your Kinect piece breaks? Tough luck, no more Xbox for you. But you know what’s worse?
Pay attention, because this is important. The Kinect is always watching. Always listening. Even when the system is off.
Yes. One of the ways to turn the system on is to audibly say: “Xbox On” while the system is off. The Kinect, which is always on, hears you and turns it on. Now this might seem like a cool feature, but did you know Microsoft patented a feature that would allow the Kinect’s camera (It’s no longer just a sensor, but a camera) to spy on you for the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America?) While they may not actually do this, it is actually possible for them to do this now. It has a camera, and a microphone. The Kinect is always on. It is ALWAYS listening, ALWAYS watching.
An idea has been tossed around that by using this feature, it will allows game developers and movie produces to set a limited amount of how many people can be allowed to view the entertainment. So as a hypothetical example, you and three friends are watching a movie, which is the maximum allowed. A fourth friend enters the room and the Kinect’s sensor registers the fourth individual. The movie stops and you a prompted to pay a fee so that the extra individual may also view the film. Again, that is NOT currently the case, but these are the ideas currently being tossed around with the system’s current capabilities.
Source for listening: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/21/4352596/the-xbox-one-is-always-listening
Source of spying: http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/139706-microsofts-new-kinect-patent-goes-big-brother-will-spy-on-you-for-the-mpaa
Now, just two more things and I’ll be done here!
This isn’t really a good or bad thing, but it’s annoying. It also explains how they can prevent you from playing a used game if you didn’t pay their fee. Xbox one no longer plays games off the discs, you HAVE to install them to the hard-drive in order to play them. I believe PS3 also has you do this (on a number of games but not always it seems), except that PS3 isn’t trying to Nickle and Dime you at every corner. It also seems according to this article there is something related to the Online portion at the beginning of this post. The option is there for Developers to require the Xbox to always be online to play their particular game. Well, it seems PC gamers and console gamers have one thing in common now… DRM.
(At least pirates on PC can bypass DRM easily. Not an option for Consoles.)
And last but not least, another annoyance… Xbox One will not be compatible with any and all current headsets. Nope, companies will either have to make new headsets altogether specifically for the Xbox One, and they have to adhere to what Microsoft wants. Look forward to price gouging.
Oh, one more thing… If you have an Xbox 360, don’t get rid of it. Why? Well if you want to keep playing your old 360 games you’ll need it. The Xbox One isn’t backwards compatible. At all. Not only that, but President of Microsoft’s Xbox Division Don Mattrick insults the very notion of backwards compatibility! He calls it: “Backwards thinking.”
Source of insult: http://www.polygon.com/2013/5/22/4355984/xbox-one-backward-compatibility-backwards-thinking-don-mattrick
That is all I have to say currently folks, and I hope you took the time to read this far. I’ll conclude with the following… please… PLEASE do not buy this console. Paying for this supports greedy and anti-consumer business practices. Speak with your wallet, and pass up the Xbox One. No matter what games it might have that you want, even if they are exclusive. Do the right thing and make a statement. Refuse to be nickle and dimed like this. Refuse to be seen as a mindless consumer who will buy anything tossed to them.
We won’t know much else until after E3, but as it stands now, the PS4 or a decent gaming PC is the best way to go.
If you are willing to do so, please spread this post around. Liking is not even remotely necessary, but do please share it if you agree with and acknowledge what you’ve read here. The more people know, the fewer of them waste their money.
Thank you, kindly.
(Originally posted on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10201352632321514&set=pb.1344751593.-2207520000.1369431810.&type=3&theater) by one of my friends. He brings up many valid points. Mind you, I haven’t been a fan of Xbox in a long time and I will most likely get a PS4. But this confirms further for me that I won’t be getting an Xbox one any time in the foreseeable future.)
This is terrible! D:
We started our “health and being in shape” unit in Spanish for vocabulary, and immediately I felt on the defensive. I went out of my way to say things like “no me gusta refrescas,” (I don’t like sodas- which is true) and mention that I love fruits and vegetables.
Of course my partner for this…
Maybe consider therapy? A self-esteem that bad must cause an awful lot of trouble.
(Also lift weights, it feels good and makes one feel badass)
We accept her! We accept her! One of us! One of us! Gooble Gobble!
Freaks (1932) dir. Tod Browning
i could masturbate to this article that’s how much it pleases me
everything about this screams fedora
oh my god this is fucking incredible oh my god
oh my fuck
?????? THERE ARE A GOOD NUMBER OF FEMALE TATTOO ARTISTS…..??????
NO EVERY TATTOO ARTIST MAN. MAN ONLY. TATTOOS BAD FOR GIRL
Achieved maximum eye rolling
$50 says this guy thinks he has “oneitis” for a girl who had a tattoo, and is pissed off that she wouldn’t become his little waifu
There was this one santorum fountain here in Finland that whined in newspapers how tattoos ~lower girls’ market value~.
His argument was more convincing than this, and his argument was farts.