The set of values or ordered n-tuples, which when taken as parameters to some system yield the result of zero.
Ex: A number of the set {-2, -4, -6, ... } when taken as a paramater to the Riemann Zeta Function yield zero. These values happen to be non-trivial roots.

my grandfather says
we can trace our family back seven generations,
across the sea and back again
bearing the same genetic code.
he shows me the photographs
resemblance in the bone
i see my face in theirs:
these are my roots,
this is where i grew from.

The funny limbs that live underground
They keep you from falling down
Don't you think that you need them now?

from Your Redneck Past by Ben Folds Five

My brother and I were talking during his last visit here in August, talking on the doorstep where he was staying, with cigars and frozen fruit drinks.

"You and I have shallow roots," he said. "When I look at you I see a lot of myself. We can go anywhere. Nothing holds us back." By saying he reminds me of him, he's saying he's proud of me, because he's proud of himself. We both feel this need to legitimize why we are as we turned out.

"People who never move from where they grew up, what happens to them? Their family moves away, their friends die off, not replaced with new people. Their world gets smaller and smaller, until soon they don't even leave the house." He blows a puff of smoke and looks across the street at the cars parked against the curb, cars with out of state plates. "That's not going to happen to us, Laura."

My brother has seen 63 countries and has been married twice, now moving into a third, with two children from the second wife, the one I knew the most and the one who was around for 10 years. I don't know if I want to be like my brother, though. I don't want to be divorced. I kind of like the idea of being somewhere where I belong, a place I can put up with for a long time. I believe that such places still exist, even if I may not find one for several years.

At the time my brother said all this, I agreed with him, I was happy to have found a kindred spirit. But now, after having looked at him, now 40, I can't help but question if I am not as guilty as he is in feigning happiness in light of his choices. This is the kind of thing that happens when you're in a distant family when you've raised yourself and don't keep in touch with your parents, when your parents have no real idea what you're all about and it's too late. This is what can happen when you have no roots.

Roots is a Toronto-born Canadian clothing company founded in 1973. They are most well known for their stylish and unique outfitting of Canadian Olympic Teams in both the 1998 Winter Olympics and the 2000 Summer Olympics. Not being partial to Canadians showing up their athletes (this is humour...laugh :) ), the US team has signed on to be outfitted by Roots for the 2002 Winter Olympics as well.

Prior to the 1998 Winter Olympics, Roots was a well-established clothing brand in Canada with stores in cities everywhere. More recently, they have become tremendously popular in Korea and Taiwan and seem to be making their mark on the US as well with a total of 7 stores currently open for business.

Both a best selling book by Alex Haley, and a miniseries first broadcast on ABC in January 1977, "Roots," chronicles the history of Haley's own family across many generations. The story leads from the kidnapping of a young African warrior, Kunta Kinte, to his descendants’ eventual release from slavery after the American Civil War. The story is a combination of fact and fiction, in that the members of Haley's family did exist, and the major events that happened to them in the book did happen in real life, but much of the rest of the book is fictional.

Kunta Kinte is captured one day while looking for wood in Africa, and survives a hellish Atlantic crossing to be sold in America. He receives brutal treatment at the hands of his “Masters” and refuses to consider himself a slave. After time and repeated escape attempts, he is eventually sold to a somewhat kindlier master, settles down and marries, to a lady named Bell. Together they had a daughter named Kizzy, who inherits her father’s rebellious streak.

One night at the age of 16, Kizzy breaks the rules, and is sold the next day to a fighting cock breeder named Tom Lea. Tom rapes Kizzy almost nightly, and she has his son, “Chicken” George, so named because of his skill at cockfighting. George uses his skills to buy his freedom, and also meets and marries another slave, Matilda, with whom he has 8 children. The story then goes on to follow the 4th child, Tom, who fights in the American Civil War for the Union Army, and gains emancipation when they emerge victorious. He and his father must then go on to deal with living as free men in a society filled with racism.

The best-selling book by Alex Haley received the 1976 National Book Award, a 1977 Pulitzer Prize, and the Spingarn Medal from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Over all it is regarded as a damned fine book.

The miniseries based upon the book made television history. The 12 hours of material was broadcast on 8 consecutive nights in January 1977. It averaged an incredible 45 rating and 66 share, and it still remains as the highest rated miniseries of all time. 100 million people watched the final night of the miniseries setting a single episode ratings record that was not beat until the 1983 finale of M*A*S*H. It swept the Emmys that year, winning 9 awards. 85% of American homes watched one or more part of the miniseries, which ABC had initially thought would be a flop. They had remained skeptical about the viability of marketing a series with black heroes and white villains to the American public at the time. There are some who called Roots the single most spectacular educational experience in race relations in America.

PRODUCER:     Stan Margulies
Adapted for Television by William Blinn 
Kunta Kinte (as a boy): LeVar Burton 
Kunta Kinte (Toby: adult): John Amos 
Binta: Cicely Tyson 
Omoro: Thalmus Rasula 
Nya Boto: Maya Angelou 
Kadi Touray: O.J. Simpson 
The Wrestler: Ji-Tu Cumbuka 
Kintango: Moses Gunn
Brimo Cesay: Hari Rhodes 
Fanta: Ren Woods 
Fanta (later): Beverly Todd 
Capt. Davies: Edward Asner 
Third Mate Slater: Ralph Waite 
Gardner: William Watson 
Fiddler: Louis Gosett, Jr. 
John Reynolds: Lorne Greene 
Mrs. Reynolds: Lynda Day 
George Ames: Vic Morrow 
Carrington: Paul Shenar 
Dr. William Reynolds: Robert Reed 
Bell: Madge Sinclair 
Grill: Gary Collins 
The Drummer: Raymond St. Jacques 
Tom Moore: Chuck Connors 
Missy Anne: Sandy Duncan
Noah: Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs 
Ordell: John Schuck 
Kizzy: Leslie Uggams 
Squire James: Macdonald Carey 
Mathilda: Olivia Cole 
Mingo: Scatman Crothers 
Stephen Bennett: George Hamilton 
Mrs. Moore: Carolyn Jones 
Sir Eric Russell: Ian McShane 
Sister Sara: Lillian Randolph 
Sam Bennett: Richard Roundtree 
Chicken George: Ben Vereen 
Evan Brent: Lloyd Bridges 
Tom: Georg Stanford Brown 
Ol' George Johnson: Brad Davis 
Lewis: Hilly Hicks 
Jemmy Brent: Doug MaClure 
Irene: Lynne Moodu 
Martha: Lane Binkley 
Justin: Burl Ives 
Title: Roots
Artist: Sepultura
Style: Thrash Metal


1. Roots Bloody Roots
2. Attitude
3. Cut-Throat
4. Ratamahatta
5. Breed Apart
6. Straighthate
7. Spit
8. Lookaway feat. Mike Patton and Jonathan Davis
9. Dusted
10. Born Stubborn
11. Jasco
12. Itsari
13. Ambush
14. Endangered Species
15. Dictatorshit

Produced By Ross Robinson.
Co-Produced By SEPULTURA.
Mixed By Andy Wallace.

Max Cavalera - Throat, 4 String Guitar, Nylon Strings Acoustic
Andreas Kisser - Guitar, 12 String Steel Acoustic, Nylon Strings Acoustic
Paulo J.R. - Bass And Floor Tom
Igor Cavalera - Drums And Percussion

(p)&(c) 1996 ROADRUNNER Records

The last Sep' album to feature Max on vocals, this is truly one of the essential metal albums of the nineties. Roots marked the peak of Sepultura's (at the time) eleven year long career. Despite being released at a time when the popular thing to do was alternative rock and grunge, the worldwide hype surrounding the band was easily compared to that of most pop outfits. An impressive feat, considering that metal in 1996 still had a long way to go before reaching the seven digit sales figures that bands like Slipknot, Limp Bizkit and Papa Fucking Roach enjoy today.

Musically, the album expanded on the brazillian influences that had made Sepulturas previous effort, Chaos AD, into such a compelling album. Flirting heavily with tribal drums and percussion and hints of traditional brazillian music such as samba here and there, the album had a truly unique sound.

The sonic explosion that starts the album off, Roots Bloody Roots, still stands as one of the most furious and brutal songs ever written. Simple in form yet highly effective, the track became an immediate hit with metal heads and recieved a fair share of MTV airplay. If you only hear one Sepultura song ever, this should be the one.

Another definite highlight of the album is track 4, Ratamahatta. Blending heavy and groovy riffs with pants-wetting percussion, this track was all over MTV even though it's sung entirely in portugese. Showing that the band was not content with lightning speed riffs over double bass drums, the song reeks of joy from playing and emphasizes what makes this album so unique.

Straighthate is another track worth scrutinizing. A dark song with a slow and heavy groove, there's a destinct nu-metal feel to it. However, this was written in 1996, years before any clever journalist came up with this stupid term. Are the bands of today simply ripping Sepultura off?

Lookaway features both Mike Patton (of Faith No More and Mr. Bungle fame, among others) and Jonathan Davis (of Korn) on vocals, with lyrics by the latter. You can't really hear Davis on the song though, as he pretty much drowns in Pattons deep and growling voice. Very eerie track, with a deep and heavy chorus. Good stuff.

Also of note is Jasco and Itsari. Sepultura has a tradition of putting at least one explicitly non-metal track on their cds, and on Roots, we get two. Jasco is simply Andreas Kisser demonstrating his classical guitar abilities. A beautiful two-minute instrumental piece that I can only imagine being a complete hell to tab. Following that is Itsari, a live recording of the band jamming away along with the chanting of central Brazil's Xavantes tribe. It's kinda strange that the climax of a metal album is a song played entirely on acoustic instruments.

Shortly after the release of Roots, Max lost his step son Dana, a tragic event for both him and his wife Gloria, who also happened to be the band's manager. Three months after that, at the last show of the Roots tour, Andreas, Paulo and Igor approached Max and explained that they were fed up with Gloria's management and wanted to find a new manager. Max left the band that night in a mix of anger and despair, and went on to form Soulfly a year later. Thus ended an era. The remaining members found a new lead singer, Derrick Green, and Sepultura has released two albums since Roots. None of these live up to the standards set by the "old" Sepultura, though.

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