Tag Archives: postaday

When Fan Productions Are Better Than the Official Stuff…

This week I tried to find a picture of Pinkie Pie’s hilarious ”Forever!!!” moment. I was writing a document for The Geek Anthropologist editorial team. It was totally relevant.

In the search result I discovered this beauty: a Pinkie Pie stained glass vector by Akili-Amethyst.

Pinkie Pie Stained Glass

Of course, I had to look at her Deviantart profile! It turns out she created a ton more of these stained glasses. I particularly like Princess Luna‘s and Doctor Hooves‘. One of these would look really nice in my geek room office!

Even better, Akili-Amethyst created this absolutely beautiful coin representing Princess Celestia on one side and Princess Luna on the other! How pretty it would look in a nice frame, right next to my desk. It would be a constant inspiration and would remind me to always strive to be the best person I can be! I would have to buy two to see both sides though…

So where can I purchase these? Oh…Well it turns out that I can’t. Because of copyright infringement, Akili had to stop selling on Etsy and her Kickstarter project was shut down. I guess I won’t be able to work on my self-improvement. Oh well.

It makes sense, you might say. Well sure, it does. And yet, not so much.

Continue reading: it gets even better!

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«Raven» vs «the raven» : sur l’écriture anthropologique

Un commentaire de Bill Reid, publié en 1984 dans Culture, nous rappelle qu’il faut faire preuve de prudence et de vigilance par rapport à l’écriture.

Dans ce commentaire, Bill Reid exprime son agacement profond vis-à-vis d’une pratique qu’il juge courante chez les ethnologues : ceux-ci omettent selon lui généralement d’utiliser un déterminant lorsqu’ils font références aux créatures mythiques de la Côte-Nord-Ouest du Canada, préférant mettre une majuscule au nom de leur espèce ( ils écrivent « Raven » plutôt que « the raven »).

Pourtant, les aînés autochtones utilisent un article ou un nom propre vernaculaire pour parler des protagonistes des mythes autochtones, ce que l’écriture des  ethnologues devraient, selon Reid, refléter de manière à respecter ces aînés (1984 : 64). Il considère que cette pratique est peut-être attribuable à une association, en Occident, des mythes à des histoires pour enfants. Il donne en exemple la personnification de Winnie the Pooh, mais souligne en contraste que les monstres classiques, comme le Minotaure, sont décrits avec un déterminant (Ibid : 64).

Selon Reid, la suppression du déterminant, et surtout l’utilisation du nom de leur espèce plutôt que leur nom vernaculaire propre, diminue les grandes figures mythiques à des personnages de simples histoires folkloriques (64-65). Il conclut finalement :

« (…) [it] is an exercise in condenscension. For it is a device used only when recording the literature of tribal people, completely unsanctionned by any accepted standards of ordinary English usage, and is therefore discriminatory, and no matter how unconsicous its use, ultimately racist ». (65)

Cet exemple indique, selon moi, clairement comment des biais subtiles peuvent influencer le choix de vocabulaire des chercheurs.

Référence :

Reid, B. (1984). The Anthropologist and the Article. Culture, 4(2), 63–65.

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I Did Not Blog En Français, But I Am Going To

Photo by Diodoro

Graffiti of Beckett by Alex Martinez

As I discovered the work of Samuel Beckett several years ago,  I read that despite being a native English speaker, he prefered to write in French, a language he felt allowed him to write ”without style”.

I could not help but wonder if that was sarcasm, especially coming from someone who’s first language was English. No offense, native English speakers, but I find your language much easier to learn and speak than French. The later is more complex, has a richer, more colorful vocabulary, and relies on grammar rules which are far more difficult that those found in English, in my opinion at least. Feel free to disagree and even contradict me. In any case, it is neither a good or bad thing. Each language has its own merits and I enjoy speaking them both. It allows me to communicate with more people, and I actually use them differently.

In the last few years, I believe I have gained a clearer understanding of what Beckett meant.

Continue Reading!

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Keep Your Mouth Shut


Silence by Alberto Ortiz

When I was about 13 years old, I accompanied a friend to one of her friends’ house. I did not know that girl because my friend and I attended different schools, so her social circles where different.

The television was on in the house and the girl’s aunt was watching television.

A bad publicity for an equally bad sounding country music album came on. I was about to say “what terrible music, and that lady is wearing a denim shirt with jeans! How awful!”.

Right before I spoke, my friend’s friend said “look that’s my aunt! It’s her new album!”.

That day I learned of the importance of shutting up. Especially when all I have to say is mean.

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Why I Am Dumping My Cell Phone

Can You Hear Me Now? by Jean-François Chénie

In three weeks my cell phone contract comes to an end. I will not be renewing it.

When I signed up for a contract three years ago, it was mainly to be able to talk to my husband. He was living in Mexico and having a smart phone allowed me to use Viber or Skype anywhere, anytime.

I purchased an iPhone for 49$. It wasn’t the latest model. I couldn’t have cared less. My contract included 200 minutes a month, 1 Go of data, a voicemail and a few other features. I never used more than half those minutes and data. I rarely listen to my messages and simply call people back. Furthermore, I generally text instead of calling. My phone is most useful to listen to music, take photos and check emails.

And recently, my phone and I have been developing a love/hate relationship.

Continue Reading!

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Some Videos That Make Me Happy

1. I love science-fiction, cute robots and musicals. I’ve seen Hello Dolly countless times. So you won’t be surprised by the intro video! Pixar movies never fail to deliver (except maybe for Cars…)
2. Even if most of the time their stories seem a bit ridiculous, Bollywood movies look amazing and have the best soundtracks. If the images annoy you, look at something else and put up the volume!
3. Star Trek, Jean-Luc Picard and a song. This video has it all.
4. And finally, and certainly not least, are the Studio Ghibli movies. Simply amazing! I can’t pick a favorite.

Watch the videos here!

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Making a Masterpiece With Rags

The creativity people demonstrate by using technology to communicate, share and put their spin on trending trolls, songs, videos and such, is amazing. What’s even more impressive to me is how people use technology to take what they like and make it their own and, sometimes, much better than the original.

The following video is an example of this. I hate some of the song used in this popular music mash, but the result is amazing!

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The Blogosphere: building communities

School of FIsh by Alexandru Stoian

So many fish in the (blogging) sea

A post by greyfluff made me think of this last week. Go check out her brand new blog!

When I started blogging over at The Geek Anthropologist in September 2012, I surveyed the Internet for other anthropology blogs and blogs about geek culture. I wanted to:

  • Make sure the name I wanted for my blog was not taken;
  • Know what was already in the blogosphere about the anthropology of geekdom;
  • Find out how much anthropologists were active online;
  • Connect with other geek anthropologists.

As it turns out, there are several great anthropology blogs, such as Savage Minds, Pop Anth and the AAA blog. I found a few relevant blogs related to geek culture and anthropology, but some of these were no man’s lands that had been abandoned for years.

I also realised that there are a lot of fish in the sea, maybe even too many. That is blogs about other topics. And so many blogs were actual dead carcasses, having been abandoned by their owner for years, sometimes after just one post was published. Others blogs simply shared news and information that can be found anywhere else.

Continue Reading!

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How scientific training ruined non-scientific publications (for me)

Books by az

I find it hard nowadays to enjoy non-fiction publications that are written by authors who are not scientists.

More precisely, I get a little furious every time an author talks about a study, a survey or any type of data without providing a reference.

In scientific publications, authors generally, if not always, provide a reference to the source of the data they mention in the very sentence in which they make a mention of it. Should the reader wish to learn more about the data, how it was obtained and what conclusions it led to, it is easy to do so. The reference, which often follows the (author year : page #) format, guides the reader in the bibliography. In this golden mine of information, one can also discover more relevant literature on the topic, and select further reading material to feed his or hers insatiable thirst for knowledge.

After years of training in anthropology, I may not consider myself half the academic I want to become, but good old scientific standards have gained a special place in my heart. They are rather attractive to anyone with slight OCD tendencies.

Sadly, however, non-fiction writers too often neglect not only to provide clear references to the research they mention, but also to include a bibliography in their book itself. So when they write, for instance, that ”according to a survey, 20% of people sleep well at night”, I cannot help but ask myself these questions:

  • Who conducted the survey in question?
  • How many people took part in the survey?
  • Where and when did the survey take place?
  • Was the research methodology sound?
  • To what extent can the results be considered valid?
  • Does that research even exist, if the author can’t bother to give me the title of a paper?

What am I supposed to do? Have blind faith in people’s honesty?

I don’t think so.

Still, the non-fiction book I am reading right now is pretty great.

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French, Spanish, English and a Soupçon of Japanese

Language Scramble by Eric Andresen

Language Scramble by Eric Andresen

Yesterday I opened a notebook at a random page and found a chart my husband had written years ago.

The chart is titled ”Who Spoke English?” and has our initials place on top of two columns. Our intention must have been to keep track of our progress through the week, but it seems that we couldn’t keep up with our resolution to use the chart for more than two days.

It wasn’t a first, either.

When we met in Japan in February 2008, my husband and I had to speak English to understand each other. He had studied French a little but didn’t speak it at all. I had studied Spanish for three years in High School and had spent a month and a half in Nicaragua. And yet I could not manage learning Japanese, speaking French with my friends from France and Quebec, talking in English with most international students all while trying to remember Spanish. Not to mention that all my friends who spoke Spanish did so in different accents. Needless to say my brain was overwhelmed. Whenever I tried to speak Japanese, Spanish words would come to my mind.

Continue Reading!

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