Nomads / One Type of American (Excellent!)


Believe it or not, I was a nomad for three years. Number one priority was safety. Asperger vigilance was an asset. I didn’t trust anyone and intuitively avoided suspicious locations, people and situations. Keeping an eye on my surroundings came naturally to a visual thinker. Americans are seldom aware of how strange we are.

Nomad Tradition of Hospitality / Feels Right to an Asperger


For some of us, it’s easier to express ourselves in the company of strangers.

I have found it easy to talk with strangers all my life. I believe it’s because people have problems with family, friends, and jobs, but within the melee of social competition they often have no one with whom they can be honest. Enter the Asperger. Many social humans suffer loneliness and neglect due to an inferior position in their social band. This Aspies also experience. We’re constantly reminded that “no one wants to hear about your peculiar interests.” Well over 100,000 visits to this blog reassure me that peculiar interests are not uninteresting.

Stranger conversations take place “here and now” and a certain equality comes from this momentary breach in the rigid discrimination built into the social hierarchy.  No social status is involved; two humans exchange their personal reality, and that expands the personal reality. It’s the timeless equivalent of travelers or nomads finding themselves in the identical space – time, on some unmarked location on earth, unmarked by social conformity or ownership. A tree, a wall, a relict garden; a café or the middle of an empty side road. A shaded cemetery, a historic marker, a roadside table in the middle of nowhere. This is where human beings have shared their best thoughts.


Asperger types have a talent for extemporaneous meetings of the private mind. Despite complaints that we only go on and on about our own boring and narrow interests, we’re terrific listeners, a rare skill indeed. We sense when a person may want or need to talk, but from experience, I would say that the ultra-shy Aspie may need encouragement to engage with strangers from a role model. My Asperger father was an obligate “stranger talker” and I learned from observing him, that if one listens a bit longer than an interval of about two insincere seconds, which is prescribed by law for socially-dictated human/human greetings, a torrent of conversation may follow.

Listening is the sincere other-half of conversation; listening is a form of hospitality.


One is permitted a longer interval of interaction with a dog or a cat than with another human. That’s why, in order to meet people, people walk their dogs in public places.




Survival Website / Tribal Women

For generations, industrialized societies have subjected tribal women and their communities to genocidal violence, slavery and racism in order to steal their lands, resources and labor.

On International Women’s Day, Survival International’s photographic gallery portrays not only the many tragedies that tribal women have endured, but also profiles some of the courageous and inspiring indigenous women, both past and present, who have fought – and fight on – for their lands, their ways of life and their fundamental human rights.

Elizabeth ‘Tshaukuesh’ Penashue is an 84 year old Innu woman from Sheshatshiu in Labrador. For many years she has led a spring-time walk through the local Mealy Mountains, with the aim of reconnecting the younger Innu generation with the lands they have lived on for nearly 8,000 years.

I don’t want to see my children lose everything. I don’t want them to lose their Innu identity, culture and life, she told a Survival International researcher. Before I’m gone, I have to teach the children. If nobody teaches our children, what will they think when they grow up? Will they think ‘I’m not Innu, I’m a white person’?

It is important to know who you are. I am Innu. The country is my life. I’m proud that I was born in a tent. No nurse, no doctor. My father helped my mother give birth.

When I walk into the country, I feel like I’m going home, into my own place. The Innu place.

Elisabeth began her 13th – and final – walk in February 2014. Before she set out, however, she discovered that she has been denied access to ancestral Innu land around Muskrat Falls by energy company Nalcor corporation, which is constructing a hydroelectric mega-project in the area.

Picture © Elizabeth Penashue


Modern Europe / 3 Ancient Populations


“Modern Europeans are a mixture of three ancient populations related to Western hunter-gatherers (circled in green), early European farmers (circled in blue) and steppe pastoralists (circled in red). Researchers have, for the first time, been able to trace the key genetic changes that shaped modern Europeans.”

“However, the blue eyes that are often considered another hallmark of northern Europeans appear to have a far more ancient origin with our early hunter gatherer ancestors.”

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