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Brett Lider

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Every day I learn something new on the internet, that history lessons in school never taught me.
Today my lesson was: "Why are there no black people in Argentina?"
..... My head is spinning...


"As I watched the Argentina and Iceland match today and wondered why there were no black players in the Argentinean team when other South American teams had black or biracial players, I remembered a conversation I had last year.

It was while I was on a cruise from Florida to the Grand Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

Between an Argentinean doctor and myself, who had walked up to me during lunch one day and struck up a conversation with me.

There was no hiding the attraction.

We had bonded much to the chagrin of her three Argentinean friends.

On the deck of the ship that day, she kept going on about how she loves black men and looks forward to traveling so she can meet them.

I asked her.

"Don't you have black people in Argentina?"

She said with a matter of fact candour.

"No. Long time ago, after slavery, we killed them all."

I was taken aback.

She smiled.

And continued.

"Very bad. I am ashamed of my people. It was very systematic though. Very well thought out. First they forced most of the men to fight for Argentina against Paraguay. They knowingly sent them into battles that were poorly planned so that the Paraguay army will do for them what they couldn't themselves do. Kill the blacks. Most of them died there. The remaining of them they forced to live in this province were there was a plague. A disease that the government refused to curb so that it can also do for them what they couldn't do. Kill the blacks. The refused to set up hospitals, clinics, adequate shelter, food outlets, nothing. They created the best environment for the disease to thrive. It killed the rest of the men that had survived the war. The darker you are, the higher the chance they will send you to that place to live or to the war to die. The lighter skinned women they forced them to sleep with the white men, so that their children are biracial, then they forced the children when they grew older to sleep with white men, so that the blackness of the skin of the children became whiter and whiter until there was no longer any visibly black people seen. It was so bad that blacks fled to Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and even Paraquay where they were better treated even though not as well as they should be treated as human beings deserving full equality. Atleast those ones did not want to kill them and accepted to give them protection and a means of livelihood. As a matter of fact in Chile, there was a city called Arica where Black people were so accepted and respected that in the 1700s two black free man, one called Anzuréz were elected mayors. But the white colonial masters from Spain came six months later and nullified the elections, they were afraid of other cities giving black people too many rights. But the blacks who had found succour did not complain, they sent word for others to flee Argentina and come join them. Afterall what was cancelled elections compared to certain death?"

Then she went silent as though trying to replay the magnitude of the crime in her mind again. Then she said it in a sombre tone in order to drive it home to me.

"The ones the Argentineans did not kill through war or disease, and rape and impregnate, fled the country and ultimately we got rid of the blacks."

I listened in rising sorrow.

She continued academically.

"So although they abolished slavery in 1815 in Argentina, it continued until 1853, after that the main preoccupation of the leaders was how to get rid of the black slaves and their descendants. Our president who ruled us from 1868 to 1874, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, wrote in his diary in 1848, this was long before he became president and slavery ended that - 'In the United States… 4 million are black, and within 20 years will be 8 million…. What is to be done with such blacks, hated by the white race?' - It shows that he was already thinking of how to eliminate black people before he became President and when he became President, he succeeded."

"Didn't the world say anything?"

"No. They ignored it. I am sure most of them wanted to do the same thing but failed. At that time, they admired them. I remember when I will go to Brazil as a child, my father's friend will say in disgust as he looked at the black Brazilians - we should have had your guts and finished them off. All of them. Make Brazil white just like Argentina."

"And the Europeans?"

She laughed.

"It is an open secret, just like King Leopold and his genocide in Congo. No one talks about it, but they know about it. Atleast the older ones do. The younger ones not so much. Why do you think all the Nazis ran to Argentina after World War 2?"

I was silent.

She continued.

"Because it was the perfect place for the most evil racists in history to live."

Then she looked out to the infinitely blue sea around the ship and sighed audibly before she continued.

" Sadly, to some extent, it still is welcoming and accomodating of racial hatred. We took the Tango from the African slaves and made it our own. In Argentina, not one person will tell you the true history of that dance. They don't want to associate it with Africa. In fact if you ask them about black people in Argentina they will tell you that there has never been black people in Argentina. They teach them in schools. They rewrite the history. They make it all white. And as I said it is all underneath the surface. They never come out and say we hate black people. Argentina is only for whites or anything like that. They have just fixed the country to only be for white people."

I looked at her friends, Argentineans like her, who were lounging on the chairs on the deck, clad in their tiny bikinis, drinking pina coladas and smiling.

She followed my gaze and then turned to me.

"Don't be fooled by all those smiles, scratch the surface and you will see that all they want is for you to disappear."

I watched the Argentina and Iceland match today and wondered why there were no black players in the Argentinean team when other South American teams had black or biracial players, I remembered a conversation I had last year.
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The Android Wear design team just published some high resolution posters that contain the design specifications for most Wear devices out there right now, including physical size, resolution, and density bucket.

The image files are huge, but very high quality, and the kind of thing you could print out and put on your wall, and use to sketch on while coming up with new ideas.

Visit the design site for the files, as well as other great resources to support the creation of beautiful apps and watch faces for Android Wear
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Now even easier to go hands-free with #AndroidWear: new gestures, speaker support, and more.
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Smart watch-curious? Use an iPhone or Android phone? The number of watches you can use just went way, way up:

Announced today were 4 new Moto 360 watches, 2 sizes of the new Asus ZenWatch2, and 6 different combos of the Huawei Watch. I'm very psyched about this – it is a culmination of a lot of work from our partners and the Android Wear team.

Also, especially for women and men with small wrists who felt that previous watches were too big or bulky for them, the new Moto 360 for Women, Moto 360 42mm and the small Asus ZenWatch2 are very much worth a close look.

See this link for more details, including more links to pre-order a watch:
4 Photos - View album
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Living out in the country doesn't save you from dealing with neighbors. It just gives you neighbors with guns. Imagine having to live next to this family:

This is the third time discharge from your firearms has hit our house and property. The first incident left a bullet hole in the door by our garage. The second incident occurred last Thanksgiving when birdshot from your skeet shooting activities rained into our backyard. The third, of course, being what we're currently discussing.
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Brand new watch faces for #AndroidWear!
Adorable, elegant or fierce. Wear what you want with new #AndroidWear watch faces from +Angry Birds, +Bang & Olufsen, +Cynthia Rowley, +GEOX, +Hello Kitty, +Rubik's Cube and more
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The back story on how Google has gotten good at design. Quotes from my awesome colleagues & even a few from me.
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Nice behind-the-scenes on the origin and creation of Material Design. I'm proud to have played a role.
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"Don't Fail," "Worthy-of-Armor," "Battle-Cry," and "Hot Flanks" -- these were the names of actual Amazon warriors. A team of researchers managed to puzzle this out by looking at Greek vases which had "gibberish" inscriptions on them; suspecting that these were actually phonetic renderings of neighboring languages like Circassian and Abkhazian, they handed these transliterations (blind, to avoid bias, and along with some actual gibberish as a sanity-check) to an expert in ancient languages of the Caucasus.

Soon it came out that these were translatable: a scene of two Amazons hunting with a dog said "set the dogs loose!;" a policeman's nonsensical "noraretteblo" was Circassian for "This sneak-thief steals from that man over there!" (The translation seems to lose a bit of its poetry)

And among these, we find the names of individuals. The Amazons were Scythians, and like many modern inhabitants of the Caucasus, they apparently tended to be known by nicknames they acquired over life, keeping their actual names private. And so we end up with the horse-woman "Worthy-of-Armor," and "Hot Flanks," a name which "probably had erotic connotations," in the inimitably restrained language of academic papers.

The journal article itself is forthcoming, having been submitted to Hesperia. I'm looking forward to reading it!

h/t +Steve S and +Sheila Nagig.
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Welcome to the new

Much has happened in the year since we launched Google Design and introduced our material design framework at Google I/O 2014. To capture all the design work happening at Google and around the community, we’ve given an exciting refresh — adding a host of  new guidelines and tools, as well as written and video content. The goal is to provide a new perspective on our design process and ample opportunity for cross pollination. We hope you enjoy the the new site, and we look forward to hearing your feedback right here on Google+!
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