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« Reply #50 on: April 28, 2018, 07:51:33 AM »

Well, what you are doing is certainly effective - I would sound like a fool if I attempted to chat here on the board in Russian! I took two years of French and Spanish each, but it would be a laborious process to communicate correctly in either language, as well. Whenever I read your quote about tea I think about an old samovar that someone gave me, brought from Russia as one of the few possessions of an immigrant in the early 1900s. This piqued my interest in the time and place, so read a biography of Lenin. He apparently enjoyed his tea (expired or otherwise) that he sweetened by biting off a piece of the hard sugar that was suspended from his ceiling and holding it between his teeth as he drank.   
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« Reply #51 on: April 30, 2018, 05:33:49 AM »

The grandfolks keep their samovar in the cupboard. 3D I didn't get to drink tea there. Foreigners divided - 1st say Russian is very difficult language, the others study it easily, like 2&2. Best thing about it is there isn't article before the noun/ adjective-noun. Smiley Btw, since we discuss, in U.S. films people use mouth to see if they're ill, here they place it under the arm. Do you really do it like that or does it vary?
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« Reply #52 on: May 01, 2018, 02:17:36 PM »

I can see how the lack of articles might make it easier to learn a language - one less think to think about, especially with languages that insist on designating a gender with articles, such a la/le, lo/la, der/die, and el/la. My cousin lived in Moscow for years, but found learning Russian easy because he was fluent in, I think, Italian and German first.

As for taking one's temperature, it depends. Most people do NOT take it under the arm here because it is less accurate and might not capture a slight temperature, although when it is done we subtract two degrees from the normal baseline temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. So if an axillary (underarm) temperature is 96.6, the patient does not have a fever. For newborn babies or some disabled people, a rectal temperature would be taken with a rectal thermometer (and lubricant!) because they couldn't safely hold a thermometer in their mouths long enough for a reading; 99.6 is the normal, healthy temp here. Now, today, hospitals, doctor's offices, and many regular people have modern digital thermometers that are inserted into the ear for a few seconds; it beeps, and a screen show the temp. Still, if a really accurate reading is needed, the mouth or anus is the way to go!
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« Reply #53 on: May 01, 2018, 09:37:24 PM »

I see. Then 36,6 C (we go by Celsius) should be equal with 98.6 F. German's grammar is difficult exactly due to the articles - in addition to gender designation, the article changes if the noun changes case.

Would like to ask question asked before, curious what you say - in U.S. films, people shown showering few times daily. Say, before sleep & when you wake but sometimes the worker gets home at lunch time & takes shower too. Why? Is it tradition, the way you're built? What bad it will do if you don't shower few days? It's not like everybody deals with coal & plumbing/ similar dirt-related works, right? & when do you bathe - in the weekend? Thanks to the answers in advance. Smiley
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« Reply #54 on: May 02, 2018, 05:05:47 AM »

In the US and Canada, for the most part, people shower or bathe once a day, either in the morning or the evening - I don't think there is a strong preference either way. But others might not feel clean and ready for the day unless they shower in the morning, or feel the need to shampoo their hair in the morning due to "bedhead,"and shower then, BUT also exercise after work or later in the evening and get sweaty. So on those days they end up with two showers, morning and evening. Then there are people who shower in the morning and add an evening shower due to sexual concerns, so might shower each evening in case they get lucky. I shower each morning (bedhead) and each evening in the summer, because here in Pennsylvania it can get very hot and humid. I know of no one who typically showers three times daily, though.   

It is my impression that "my people" tend to be A LOT less tolerant of body odors than people elsewhere. For example, when exchange students came to live in my town for a year at a time, those from France tended to bathe two times a week or so and did not use deodorant. We make ourselves crazy with douches, deodorized soaps, mouthwashes, etc. On the other hand, some Europeans insisted that their use of the bidet makes them more hygienic where it matters most, whereas most Americans have never heard of them. My son just came back from a visit to Brazil and laughingly told me how his girlfriend had to teach him how to use one. Now that he is home, he says that he just does not feel as clean using toilet paper!
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« Reply #55 on: May 02, 2018, 06:43:17 PM »

Next question - why school installs special cabins? Can't children keep books in the backpack? In films they carry book in hand. Don't they get tired? Here, cabins can be seen in kindergarten, to put the street dress. Thing I like about schools in the U.S. is each kid sits alone, the table is short, not built as 2-seat place. Everybody's happy with their little space.
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« Reply #56 on: May 02, 2018, 07:46:44 PM »

In elementary school, kids usually have what are called cubbies or a cubby hole to put things in in the classroom, and coats might be hung in a closet. In middle and high school, kids are assigned the long, narrow lockers that are typically used to keep books, pens, coats, mirror, snacks, lotion and hygiene items, and pictures of hot movie or rock stars. They are also handy for slipping in notes to a kid you have a crush on or to decorate on someone's birthday. It's nice to have that little personal space in a sometimes big, impersonal school. Kids carry backpacks now, but this is a relatively new thing, maybe from the late 80s/early 90s. In some especially dangerous schools in which I've taught, backpacks are forbidden out of fear that students will hide guns and knives in them. Kids don't tend to get tired of carrying books by hand because they can visit their locker once or twice during the day to put them away and get others. Yes, single desks are very nice. In science and art classes kids sit four or so to a table, though.
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« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2018, 03:00:37 AM »

Thanks, good answer. The other thing am curious about - in some films you can see fan in the house or flat, either near windowsill or attached to the ceiling. Is every house/ flat supplied with it or does the resident buy & install? Can fan be anywhere except ceiling & windowsill?
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« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2018, 06:54:38 AM »

Most houses and flats (apartments in US) are not built with fans on ceilings, although some are, especially in the southern US where it can be very warm much of the year. I had them installed in my home for a bit of relief when it is warm. People still use free-standing fans. I suppose that they are most effective on windowsills (some are made specifically to be put under a window that is slid up for that purpose), but they are also used anywhere in a room. Ceiling fans set at low speed can also be used in cold weather to help force the warmer air downward. Your questions are fascinating, as I've never really thought about much of what you are curious about. What are some things about Russian life/things that might be very different from in the US? In a book that I've read about Americans in the USSR under Stalin it described apartment building being built with the usual front door entrance from the hallway, but also a back entrance to each apartment that is accessed by a stairwell used by the NKVD when they wanted to come in in the middle of the night to take people away during the "Terrors."
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« Reply #59 on: May 03, 2018, 09:24:58 AM »

Well explained. Yes, I do know flat in the U.S. is apartment, I studied British & American English words. Use many British - lorry, flat. Russian things different than U.S. - not sure if it's purely Russian but here's right hand traffic; we celebrate Pancakes' Day (Shrovetide/ Maslenitsa) the whole week in February, each day means sth.; summer house in the forest called dacha, official holiday 1st & 9th May, Spring & Labor Day & Victory Day, respectively, the latter to celebrate winning German fascists with Hitler during World War II; making what they say "Russian nesting dolls", souvenirs, some cities & towns famous for their trades - gzhel, khokhloma; no drive-in theatre & drive-in/drive-thru cafe, we didn't repeat it yet (or did we? usually copy many foreign place inventions); public free schools don't divide into separate buildings - everybody 1st grade till 11th (you got 12) goes to the same school; dormitory students live by 4 (in the U.S. & elsewhere 2 roommates & even luckily single student); literal translation: wonder-oven, -stove, special metal electric pan to bake in with lid; no 3 a.m./ 3 p.m., it's 03:00 & 15:00 o'clock; children go to school 6 days, not 5, college/ uni students can study every day, including Sunday; few years back Daylight Saving Time got cancelled nationally; animals' king is bear (lion elsewhere); decimal digits written with comma, long digits with point (f.ex. 1.000 is thousand, 1, 000 is one) but could be without (1000 - thousand); in Russian grammar, when listing things you don't put the comma before "and" (f.ex. Al, Brian, Carl, Mike, David, Blondie and Ricky). This'll do.
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« Reply #60 on: May 03, 2018, 10:05:57 AM »

I also enjoy hearing about cultural differences, especially of everyday things. And because I enjoy a lot of (mostly 19th century) Russian literature, Iíve loved by had a particular interest in Russia. Thanks for the post.
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« Reply #61 on: May 03, 2018, 12:20:53 PM »

I've always been fascinated by the custom of having a dacha, even for people who do not have much money. Here, a second home of any sort is not the norm for the average person, although some regular people might have a small cabin in the mountains or at the seashore (my dream). No Daylight Savings Time is very sensible, IMO. It is a headache to try to figure time differences while taking this into account. And here, there are some areas that refuse to go on DST.  You mentioned Pancakes Day, I guess from the Christian Shrove Tuesday custom of using up all of the fat that cannot be consumed during Lent, what is more commonly called Fat Tuesday, or, of course, the wild Mardis Gras. I've only heard of Pancake Day in the British Isles, otherwise. Where I live, in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of people of Pennsylvania German descent. They make a big deal of Doughnut Day. My evil ex-mother-in-law fries up dough and rolls it in sugar, usually adding poison to mine. Are more people returning to the Russian Orthodox Church now? Several years ago, I saw a very funny picture of Putin at a Christmas Eve service leaning down to talk to a little boy, then in the next picture the poor thing looked absolutely terrified - wonder what he said?
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« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2018, 11:00:35 PM »

Well in USSR, some people would be given flats for free, depending if they're long-time workers & if employed in specific fields. F.ex. grandpa used to work in town's chief building company & got the 3-room flat in the 80s. Ditto dacha. Today, you must get permission to buy the land, hire people to build the house there, pay them, sign lotta papers etc. Back then, it was easy, mother tells that during Soviet Union, you could buy lotta things at 1 rouble, 3 copecks you could buy 1 kg candies & 200 g liver. Today, with 1 rouble you can buy just matchbox. Not sure about church situation. Tell you what, nobody's here required to visit church each Sunday/ Saturday (or when is it). In many U.S./ U.K. films people visit it like weekly duty.
What's the deal with drinking water? It seems it differs state to state - in films people either drink right from tap or boil it in kettle to kill bacteria. Here people can drink tap in rich cities (Moscow) but can't in poorly developed towns - it must be boiled, at times it's sandy. To make the river water drinkable, they mix in chlorine - tea tastes chlorine yet safe. What's the deal with it in the place you live?
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« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2018, 05:54:12 PM »

Many people here go to church weekly, although not most. A lot attend on Christmas and Easter only. I asked you about it because I know that religion was discouraged under Communism, but was told that many people are now returning to the R.O. Church in part because it was so integral to Russian nationalism before the revolution and there is a movement to regenerate that. As for drinking water, with a few exceptions, it is safe in the US out of the tap. A lot of people do drink bottled water, though, because they might think it tastes better or they believe it's healthier. In reality, water sources are highly regulated and tested a lot. For people who live in the country, their well water is fine, although they should test it once in a while to make sure that their private septic system doesn't contaminate their wells (eeeeeew).
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« Reply #64 on: May 10, 2018, 04:55:26 AM »

There's plenty churches, cathedrals, places like that built in many Russian cities - the exterior architecture is beautiful (I pay very detailed attention to house interior & exterior, when I'm guest at smb.'s house or move about in the streets, it interests me great deal). They weren't destroyed; if religion used to be discouraged, it must be many-many years back, before I arrived. It seems you're little "backwards" about it (couldn't think up politer word to say, sorry Smiley). I'm curious about this - you said in the other thread you'd been in California. Which states you'd been else? New York, right? It being neighbors with your state. Where else? Which state impressed you the best? Tell.
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« Reply #65 on: May 10, 2018, 04:04:57 PM »

Thanks for disagreeing with me politely! I was taught in school, and have been told by the three people from the former USSR that atheism was encouraged under communism and church attendance fell dramatically, to mostly little old ladies. My cousin-in-law from Moscow (in her forties), who spends time both in Russia and the US says that she was raised atheist, but is amazed at the number of people investigating their R.O. Church roots. Whatever... My parents were to Russia several times in the early 80s, twice in the 90s, and were quite taken by the architecture of churches and palaces.

I've been to every state in the US except Hawaii, every province in Canada, and every state in Mexico. I've also been to most countries in Europe.
My parents had little money when I was growing up, but my dad had a lot of vacation time, so we camped, for the most part, which saved a lot of money. Can't say what impressed me the most. If anything, it showed me that there is both physical and cultural beauty everywhere and to better understand and appreciate differences in people. I do remember the shock of seeing "Whites Only" water fountains in the Deep South in the mid-1960s, primitive camping near the pyramids in southern Mexico before they were tourist sites and feeling that I was being taken back to ancient times because the locals spoke only their native dialect, not Spanish. The Canadian Rocky Mountains were breathtaking and made me feel very, very small. Seeing how poor people lived in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee made me feel very fortunate, even though I never had fashionable clothes to wear. I loved seeing the school my grandfather attended in Birmingham, England and the factory where he started working at age 13, then having tea with an older cousin who invited a friend over who was originally from Dresden. They both shared the same memory of being three years old during the bombings in WWII, having to sleep in reinforced steamer trunks "just in case" and being afraid of dying before the next morning. I know you like California. I actually never liked the Beach Boy's area of Southern California - too many plastic people, ostentatious wealth, miles and miles of housing developments, blah. But I do like the rest, with wineries, redwood forests, a much more laid-back feel, especially as you go north. Where have you been? Even if it's just around Russia, it's new to me!
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« Reply #66 on: May 11, 2018, 05:20:59 AM »

You'd been to 49 states? Will you look at that. 3D But, I didn't get 2 things - what do you mean by "plastic" describing people in SoCal? What's "we camped" here? Is it hitch-hiking & living outdoors in the little made-up houses? Travelling in trailer instead checking into inns? Here, U.S.A. isn't popular tourist choice - many strangely don't seem impressed with it. They like to travel to China, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Tibet, Korea. If Europe, it's London, Paris, Rome, Prague, Venice. If they do go to America, it's usually New York, Florida (esp. Miami Beach), Arizona. Fashion historian Alexander Vasiliev didn't like America too much but said that the best city he's been in is San Francisco, in the Top 3 when listing every place he's been in. Added if you dreamed to see place & it didn't live up to imagined greatness when you see it, still try anything to not be disappointed. Wisdom statement. I'd been just here but didn't see even 5% - you see, it's big place, to tour around Russia would be time-taking. Visited Moscow, didn't St. Petersburg which is inofficially dubbed "north capital". People usually say it shortly "Peter". It went thru 3 name changes - St. Petersburg (during Peter The Great)-Petrograd (Peter's city)-Leningrad (during Lenin's time) & back to St. Petersburg. The last is the best. People who'd been there & who live say it's "Russian Paris" due to elegance, architecture, beauty, maybe bridge (smb. said in Paris bridge too divides into halves & joins back). You see, many relatives travelled & wished to drag me with them but I disliked places they went & refused. Boring info, eh? Against your riveting travels.
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« Reply #67 on: May 11, 2018, 10:55:06 AM »

Yeah, 49 states, but never Hawaii, which is probably the most exotic locale. I know many people who have been there, but not most other states. By "plastic" I mean kind of fake, with plastic surgery and a lot of emphasis on competing to make more money, etc., and so much was there to impress tourists - Disneyland, bus rides by the homes of movie stars. I like a more authentic experience. Camping means staying in campgrounds or the wilderness. Some people have a trailer that they tow with a car or truck, very home-like and comfortable. We always has to set up a tent wherever we were at night, sleep in sleeping bags, cook our meals on a little propane gas stove, take a cold or hot shower or use a flush toilet or outhouse, depending on the place. I agree with Vasiliev - San Francisco is a really nice city. I'd love to see Russia one day, especially to see the places I've read about. Wouldn't mind looking at Lenin, just out of curiosity. St. Petersburg would be my priority. When I read about and see pictures of the palaces, I almost can't imagine what they are like. It's said that Danish, German, and British royalty, back in the day, were a bit overwhelmed when they saw the Winter Palace, for example, as they had nothing in comparison. By the way, my travels were not exactly riveting. I did most of it growing up. More like a hard slog fighting three older brothers, rarely being able to eat in restaurants, always having to set up the tent and everything after a hard day of travel in the back of a hot car with the drooling dog. My parents didn't really believe that vacations were for kids to have fun, and a lot went wrong. "Sloop John B." went through my head over and over again. Once in a while, my brothers and I get together to watch "National Lampoon's Vacation"because we can identify with so much of it.     
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« Reply #68 on: May 13, 2018, 07:10:20 AM »

I'd like to ask you this question since you'd been around the U.S.A. - did you see Indians/ Native Americans? Is it true that they hate the other Americans & live by different rules, beside the nature? If it indeed is true, does it mean that few NA actors in films, f.ex. "Harry & Tonto" & "...The Cuckoo Nest", by playing & talking with white American people disobeyed & disrespected their NA traditions to lead special NA living way? Next - is it true many live mainly in these states - Nebraska & Arizona? I'd seen pictures in the library books with Indian Navajo lady selling handmade beautiful colorful carpets (what do they call it, really?) & clothes. Really liked it, unique & bright. Did you buy anything? Can they speak English? They can't & speak various Indian tribe dialects? Did you study any tribe's language? This is really interesting, curious what you tell.
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« Reply #69 on: May 13, 2018, 12:24:05 PM »

Yes, I've been to places where there were Native Americans. A lot of Americans don't know this, but they live in every state, although there are many more in the western US because Europeans settled first in the East and forced many West, where there were already others living. I don't know how most feel, but I assume that many would be resentful. The US treated them very, very cruelly. Hitler himself admired how we "handled: the Indian problem." Also, in some areas of the west, NAs resent Black people because Black men, called Buffalo Soldiers,  were used to control NAs (and killed many) during the late 1800s. On the other hand, some NA groups in the East brought runaway slaves into their area to protect them, while of NA enslaved Black people. It is very complicated.

From what I understand, native Americans resented the fact that NA characters tended to be played by non-NA actors. They also did not like it when NAs played characters like Tonto because he was so stereotypical. I do know also that this happens less and less. I have a friend who is Lakota, from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Some of his relatives were in the movie. And in Code Talkers, the lead actor, because he was not Navajo, insisted that the producers of the movie get the tribe to approve his playing one and hire others for it.

I think that the states with the most NAs would be Nebraska, South and North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, although there are significant numbers in Washington, California , Utah, Texas, Oregon. I've been to Navajo country and have seen their beautiful blankets and some older people in traditional dress. As for their language, there are different language groups, within which are different dialects. So some groups speak similar dialects, others from opposite areas of the country would not understand one another. In reality, most speak English, with a few older people remembering their dialect. In schools on reservations, though, more and more kids are being exposed to the language of their forefathers in order to help maintain the culture. Many NAs live in rural areas and towns, as well as cities, although some return to their relatives on reservations and most seem very proud of who they are.

I live in the eastern US, and have been to areas in New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, and other states  where there are groups living. While NA groups are not all alike, one can generalize that they all have great respect for nature and nature is a huge part of their cultures and belief systems.

I had more to say, but "timed out" and lost my whole post before, so I'll stop  now. 
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« Reply #70 on: May 13, 2018, 12:25:27 PM »

Should have said "Some were in the movie Dances with Wolves."
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« Reply #71 on: May 13, 2018, 12:59:12 PM »

OK, to finish up. The Native American population in very general terms is the poorest, least educated, most unemployed, least healthy group in the US with severe addiction and abuse issues. This is more seen on reservations in the West where many feel an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. Many feel their own way of life was destroyed, yet they don't feel part of the larger culture. Still there are many groups who are doing quite well. Some built casinos on their land where the law does does permit them for others. They are well managed, often include nice hotels, often cultural education attractions, etc., and make enough to employ everyone and insure a very decent income. Other NA don't live on reservations, but in cities, towns, and rural areas. While most seem proud of their heritage, they tend to live like anyone else.

Funny story: The Lumbee, an NA group of North Carolina, had lived for a very long time as White people did, with their own individual home ownership, were farmers, business people. In the late 1950s, the Ku Klux Klan (a racist group formed after the Civil War to try to make sure freed Black people didn't get their rights) planned to march through a nearby town to intimidate the Black population. When they arrived, the Lumbee men rode in really fast on horseback with war paint and head dresses screaming like the Indians did on cowboys and Indian movies. The KKK ran back to where their wives and children waited for them in  cars they parked in a muddy field. Some of the cars got stuck, and the Lumbee helped to push them out!  The KKK never marched in that county again. Interestingly, many people did  not know who the Lumbee were, because they didn't live together, just went about their lives in that region. even the US government never recognized them as a tribe, but THEY knew who they were and were proud of it.

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« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2018, 06:51:48 PM »

Thank you to take time, really detailed answer. 3D Since you mentioned blacks & being teacher, can you say today pupils treat fellow black pupils better than the past decades? Broadly speaking, will you tell that black people live better today vs. before? They befriend the European types easily? I read that in New York City there's blacks' district which they don't allow anybody but blacks to live/ be invited. Any states notorious by dismissing the blacks & being mean, in the past/ today?
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« Reply #73 on: May 14, 2018, 06:35:44 AM »

You have to understand that my answer is from the perspective of so someone who is part Native American who looks White, and someone who has a lot of Black and mixed-race people in my family, so I probably see things differently than some Black people. In my experience, and I've typically taught very mixed classes in terms of ethnicity and race, they isn't a lot of mistreatment of Black students. As a teacher, I do see staff going out of their way to make sure that everyone is treated equally. The kids tend to have friends of different groups, although they tend to have more close friends who are like themselves. In some inner-cities there are neighborhoods that are mostly poor Black and/or Hispanic, they don't disallow others to come in. Rather, they are dangerous neighborhoods that others avoid because of this. In reality, most crime in these areas are within the same race. As a group, Black people have better educations and standards of living than they ever did. I personally know few Black people in my non-teaching life who don't have a decent education, a good job, stability. On the other hand, there is till have a sub-culture with a disproportionate amount of poverty and crime rates in comparison to their number in the overall population. (Keep in mind that there are more poor White people and more Whites in prisons, however, there are more of then to begin with.)Personally, I see a lot of kids not taking their education seriously because they see their mothers (few dads in the picture) collecting welfare benefits not on a temporary basis to move forward, but to maintain their status quo - they don't feel any urgency to bother.  Many of their schools pass them from one grade to the next so they can give them a diploma, but the diploma doesn't mean anything when they face the demands of the real world. So it's difficult to help them and they don't do better than their mothers did. There are a lot of poor teen mothers with no means of support and no stable relationship with the fathers having babies in every race here, but a lot more in Black communities. Studies show that this results in much higher rates of addiction, poverty, etc. for the kids. In terms of certain states, traditionally, there has been more discrimination against Black people in the southern states. For example, they were extremely resistant to integrating schools so that all races attended together and has the same quality of education. Up until the 1960s, there were still lynchings of Black people (beating and/or burning and hanging) for ridiculous reasons.
Things are much better, although I am making an educated guess that progress in this regard has been slower than elsewhere. But again, it is not fair to paint  every person of the same race or location with a broad brush. People are people and there is a wider variety within races than between them, IMO.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2018, 01:27:56 PM by Buckethead » Logged
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« Reply #74 on: May 21, 2018, 04:05:50 AM »

Again, well-written reply. Thank you. Here's fun survey created by me last year, few posters joined to answer it. Would like if you joined. Enjoy (will tell the painting by who when you finish).



1. Do you find the girl's face pretty? Not your taste? Not bad but you'd seen better? What else?
2. Looking at fashion, which time do you think it's made? (no google cheats)
3. Tell the guy's & girl's ages.
4. Is it me or the guy is a little cross-eyed?
5. Do you agree the guy looks like complete tool? Disagree?
6. Describe the lady's mood. The guy's.
7. If you were the guy at the date, would you be just as impatient & try to look in/ wait right by the door?
8. If you'd seen this girl dressed like that, would you shame her & say "Put sth. demure", "Will you, please, dress like nun?" or sth. to the effect?
9. Do you like/ dis- this painting? Discuss.
10. If this guy & you were best pals & you stood behind him (not in the picture), would you do the old trick to kick him inside the room, as result of which he bumps into this girl & she gets bruises falling & changes her serene face & turns red with rage & dumps poor guy? [sure it's just joke & you didn't imagine it to be that bad]
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Short notice: the cat you see to the left is the best. Not counting your indoor cat who might have habit sitting at your left side when you post at SmileySmile.

Frightful Bulldog Wrinkly Mug Club's Band

Fabulous people can be divided into 3 categories - cat fans, dog fans, people fans. Just people can be divided into 3 categories - people fans, dog fans, cat fans.
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