Monthly Archives: October 2009

The Nature of the Racist Conversation


This is Melisa Riviere. White People sometimes do hip hop.
I have a reading suggestion for you. First a little background.

I’ve gotten into a few arguments on race and racism in my time, some on this blog. Racist thinking is all around us. Why just a few hours ago, a neighbor complained that his car had been robbed by the black kids that pass down our street now and then. How did he know it was the black kids? Because the people who robbed his car like hip-hop. How did he know that? Because they didn’t take his rock cds. Oh, did they take his hip hop cd’s? Well no, he doesn’t have hip hop cds. He’s not black. Why would he have hip hop cd’s?

Continue reading The Nature of the Racist Conversation

A true ghost story. Part I: A City of Death and Misery

For Halloween, I’m reprinting the only Ghost Story on my blog (so far). It is in several parts, and here’s part one:

Everything I’m about to tell you in this story is true.1 This is a long story, so it may span more than one blog post. You might not want to read this story while you are alone or while sitting in the dark.2

Continue reading A true ghost story. Part I: A City of Death and Misery

Dogs and Cats in Medical Research

Broadly speaking there are two kinds of federally regulated sources for dogs and cats used in medical research, training, an testing, in the US. They are labeled, unambiguously, A and B. A-class sources are breeders that produce animals for use in research. B-class sources, also called “Random source,” provide animals, usually adults, that are not bred, but just acquired somehow (more or less randomly?) and kept for a while, and sold to research facilities. Random source dogs and cats are not bred by these dealers. (These are USDA regulatory categories.)

According to a report produced by the National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council. Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research, National Academies Press, 2009), there are not enough random-source dogs and cats to go around when it comes to medical research. In addition, some of the dealers of these cats and dogs were found to be wanting in the degree to which they follow the law in properly treating the animals.
Continue reading Dogs and Cats in Medical Research