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Kerim’s Triptych for Sunday, September 24th, 2023

Kerim’s Triptych for Sunday, September 24th, 2023

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Item 1: Disney’s Smellitzers

Put simply, Disney's smellitizers involve positioning a scented substance (whether this is actual popcorn or an artificial scent) between a source of strong airflow (fan or pressurized air) and the audience, then turning the airflow on and off so it blows across the substance and toward the audience.

. . . smell memories are some of the best-preserved over time. If the first time a memory for a scent is formed occurs during childhood, positive emotions associated with nostalgia can make that memory even more powerful. This may explain why the faintest smell of a churro can bring me back to walking along the Rivers of America in New Orleans Square and why I burst into tears when the Disneyland 60th Anniversary fireworks were accompanied by gingerbread scented "snow" that reminded me of baking gingersnaps with my grandmother.

After reading an article in the LA Times on “The scientific reason why you can’t stop going to Disneyland,” I found this blog post about the science of Disney’s smellitizers.

Item 2: Gandhi and the Suffragettes

I’ve been listening to the “Empire” podcast with William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, and in their episode on Gandhi they talked about the influence of the suffragettes on his tactics (hunger fasts, civil disobedience, etc.) Here is an article by historian Ramachandra Guha on precisely this topic.

Gandhi was back in London in 1909, and saw the suffragettes at work again. “The British women who have been demanding the franchise,” he wrote in Indian Opinion, “are putting up a wonderful show. They are not deterred by any kind of suffering. Some of these ladies have suffered in health, but they do not give up the struggle. Every day a number of them keep standing the whole night near Parliament gate with the intention of handing in a petition to Mr. Asquith [the Prime Minister]. This is no ordinary courage. What great faith they must have! A great many women have been ruined, in this struggle, but they do not yield. Their campaign has gone on for a longer time than ours. We can learn quite a few things and draw much inspiration from it.”

Item 3: Sonic Resistance and Cultural Memory in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, music and poetry serve as windows into a world where despite ongoing oppression, one can understand the intricate ways individuals navigate their grievances, create solidarity against a common adversary, and foster collective resistance. In this brief essay, we have provided a sampling of resistance music and how this genre has taken flight in the current moment where the very act of musical performance is forbidden and subject to punitive measures. Taking risk to create music and circulate it widely throughout the world, these examples showcase how these artists are invested in preserving traditional cultural practices of reciting and singing classical Persian poetry while also imbuing it with newfound significance.


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