Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Mar 8, 2022 in Stuff You Should Know

Lakota Petitions Scottish Museum for Return of Artifacts

In December1890, a group of U.S. Army soldiers killed hundreds of Native Americans at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. The Lakota were participating in a spiritual ritual called a Ghost Dance. The U.S. soldiers were involved in the U.S. government effort to move Native Americans onto reservation lands and give up their nomadic culture. Many Lakota resisted the settled reservation life and used the Ghost Dance to hold onto part of their culture.  The U.S. soldiers demanded that the Lakota hand over their weapons and relocate to the reservation, but the Lakota would not. A battle began killing between 200 and 300 Lakota men, women, and children.

Clothing and other items were removed from the dead and were sold around the globe. Some found their way into museums. Now, a group of descendants of those who survived or were killed at Wounded Knee (the Wounded Knee Survivors Association) is petitioning a museum in Scotland, asking that their items be returned. The three items they are asking for are a pair of beaded moccasins; a war necklace made of deer hooves; and a cloth baby bonnet.

This is not the first time that such a dispute has occurred. In 1992, a Native American man visiting the same Scottish museum noticed a bloodied Ghost Dance shirt on display. When he asked that it be returned to the survivors of the massacre, however, the museum instead sent it to a tribal council. It then ended up in another museum. It took until 1999 for the sacred item to finally be returned to the Survivors Association, which believes that these items still contain the spirit of their dead ancestors and should not be displayed. Here in the United States, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act prevents this from happening. However, other countries don’t have this law, and so it’s technically up to the museum itself to decide whether it is willing to return these objects.

Dig Deeper What does “repatriation” mean? How does it apply in this case?

Companies Sever Ties with Russia Over Ukrainian Invasion

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, many companies which have done business with Russia in the past are now refusing to do so. One of these companies is ExxonMobil, an American gas and oil giant. The company withdrew from a major project off Sakhalin Island  near Russia’s far eastern shore. This work was generating tens of billions of dollars for the Russian government. In addition, ExxonMobil has pledged that it will not make any new investments there. Other petroleum companies, such as BP and Shell, have also ended ties with Russia.

photograph of pipeline construction
ExxonMobil is withdrawing from an oil project in Russia.

Fuel companies are not the only ones refusing to do business with Russia right now. Google, Netflix, IKEA, Dell, Ford, Honda, Boeing, and BMW are more examples of companies that have temporarily ceased operations or partnerships with Russia. In many cases, the response from companies goes even further than simply refusing to do business. FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, has pledged to remove the Russian national team and Russian clubs from its popular FIFA video game. Apple has disabled its traffic feature in Apple Maps in Ukraine to help keep residents there safe. Disney has announced that it will pause the release of any new movies in Russia. Airbnb is providing free, short-term housing for 100,000 refugees. And Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, has pledged $15 million to organizations assisting with the Ukrainian relief effort.

Dig Deeper Make a list of five products or services that you use regularly. Then use Internet resources to learn what action, if any, those companies have taken in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Write a short paragraph sharing what you discover.

Fitbit Recalls Ionic Watches

If you’re trying to get healthy, one way to start is to use an electronic step tracker. If you are in looking for one to buy, here is some important news. Fitbit is voluntarily recalling roughly one million of the Ionic model of fitness watch because 115 people in the United States and 59 people internationally reported being burned by them. Apparently, the battery inside the Ionic smartwatch can overheat, which caused the burns. In very rare cases, these burns were severe: four people in the U.S. reported second-degree burns, and two reported third-degree burns. Fitbit, which stopped selling this model in 2020, has sold about one million of them in the United States and 693,000 internationally. So, the percentage of users who have been burned is quite small. Nevertheless, the company initiated the voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. Other Fitbit models are not included in the recall.

What should you do if you own this type of Fitbit? First, stop using it immediately. Then contact Fitbit to receive the packaging and instructions that you’ll need to return it. Once you do that, you’ll receive a check for $299 and a coupon for forty percent off a future Fitbit purchase.

What Do You Think? If Fitbit sold 1,693,000 Ionic smartwatches, and 175 people were burned by them, what percentage of users were injured? If all 693,000 people who purchased the product receive a rebate for $299, what will this cost the company?