Monday, January 18th, 2021

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Rep. John Lewis on the first time he met MLK Jr.

Rep. John Lewis speaks on MLK's death:


1/18/2021 7:37 am | | Tags: black lives matter, civil rights, racism

Martin Luther King Day

Over ten years ago, closer to twelve now, Katie and I took a trip to D.C. I was attending a Drupal conference there for work (back when I was a full-time web developer) and we decided to take extra time and see the museums and landmarks.

I will forever remember what Katie wanted on this trip. She wanted a recording of King's "I Have a Dream" speech on her iPod, so she could sit on the steps of the Lincoln memorial and experience and imagine it. I can still see her clearly sitting on the steps in her coat, headphones on, listening to the words of the Reverend and tears silently falling down her cheeks.

The injustice that someone as great as him was murdered and not allowed to continue his work in driving social reform is a terrible tragedy. And it is crucial that people today not gloss over what today is meant to be - a day of remembering and honoring him for his work.

Two years ago, while visiting family in Memphis we went to the Civil Rights Museum which has been built in the motel and surrounding buildings of where he was murdered. It was eye opening for me, and educated me on a lot about the civil rights movement that I had no idea. Things that history class had glossed over or ignored completely.

It's important to understand the magnitude of effort it took to, essentially, turn the dial one or two notches on social injustice. They moved the needle. They changed things. But not completely, leaving more still to be done. It is a fight which requires more figures to stand up and speak out and fight back. Things we are seeing around us, from last year's protests and the riot at the capitol unveiling how many members of law enforcement side with a personality rather than the Constitution.

From the 'I Have a Dream' speech:

We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.

Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

1/18/2021 7:58 am | | Tags: black lives matter, civil rights, racism

A stunning origami samurai made from a single (large) piece of rice paper

Found via

1/18/2021 10:09 am | | Tags: art, origami, japan, samurai

I have to admit, Beyond Meat, does a good job of matching the texture of meat in the mouth. Taste is so-so, but in a dish among other things it is easy enough to overlook.

1/18/2021 11:57 am | | Tags: vegetarianism, beyond meat

Fungi are not plants, this article explains some reasons why

1/18/2021 12:01 pm | | Tags: science, biology, fungi

Aegis - 2-factor Authentication App

Yesterday I moved my 2-factor authentication from FreeOTP to Aegis. I did this because Aegis can make encrypted backups, so in case something happens to my phone, I can download the backup and have Aegis set up again, rather than using backup codes or going through hopes to recover my accounts.

It's Android only, but is open source, and available on F-Droid as well as the Google App Store.

1/18/2021 12:17 pm | | Tags: android, open source, security

Only 29 silent Indian films remain of over 1,300

I'm ashamed to admit how extreme my America-centrist view is in regards to film, I had never really considered the silent film era of other cultures and countries. A very interesting read about a very sad loss of creative art creations.

At 85, Virchand Dharamsey should be leading the retired life, but he is hard at work, digging deep for the hidden and unknown.

For the past few years, the Mumbai-based researcher has been writing a book tentatively titled Archaeology of Early Indian Cinema with Iyesha Geeth Abbas, a colleague from Kerala. Covering the period between 1895 and 1945, the project is as noble as it is challenging, given the shortage of reliable information on the earliest years of Indian cinema.

Just over 1,300 silent movies were made in India in the first three decades of the last century. By 1931, India had produced its first sound film, Alam Ara, and by 1934, the "talkies" had taken over the screens. But only 29 of the silent films made in India survive.

1/18/2021 12:36 pm | | Tags: india, film, history, bollywood

An Anti Racist letter for transorming Public Media

1/18/2021 2:35 pm | | Tags: racism, public radio, systemic racism

Mars Perseverance Rover lands in one month on Feb. 18


I was reminded today by Bobak Ferdowsi that the next Mars Rover aka Perseverance, lands on February 18.

1/18/2021 7:42 pm | | Tags: space, mars, nasa, science

Among the Insurrectionists at the Capitol

I am about 1/10th of the way through this article and it is single-handedly going to get me to subscribe to the New Yorker. It's some of the most well written prose I've read in a long time.

I know the white privilege portion of the Capitol riot has been well covered but this particular passage hammers it home:

A moment later, the door at the back of the chamber's center aisle swung open, and a man strode through it wearing a fur headdress with horns, carrying a spear attached to an American flag. He was shirtless, his chest covered with Viking and pagan tattoos, his face painted red, white, and blue. It was Jacob Chansley, a vocal QAnon proponent from Arizona, popularly known by his pseudonym, the Q Shaman. Both on the Mall and inside the Capitol, I'd seen countless signs and banners promoting QAnon, whose acolytes believe that Trump is working to dismantle an occult society of cannibalistic pedophiles. At the base of the Washington Monument, I'd watched Chansley assure people, "We got 'em right where we want 'em! We got 'em by the balls, baby, and we're not lettin' go!"

"Fuckin' A, man," he said now, looking around with an impish grin. A young policeman had followed closely behind him. Pudgy and bespectacled, with a medical mask over red facial hair, he approached Black, and asked, with concern, "You good, sir? You need medical attention?"

"I'm good, thank you," Black responded. Then, returning to his phone call, he said, "I got shot in the face with some kind of plastic bullet."

"Any chance I could get you guys to leave the Senate wing?" the officer inquired. It was the tone of someone trying to lure a suicidal person into climbing down from a ledge.

"We will," Black assured him. "I been making sure they ain't disrespectin' the place."

"O.K., I just want to let you guys know—this is, like, the sacredest place."

It is hard to imagine that same tone of voice if the people he had been speaking to were Black Lives Matters protesters behaving exactly the same way. There's no way it would be the same calm tone in his voice.

1/18/2021 9:00 pm | | Tags: us politics, white supremacy, congress, conspiracy, qanon

The First Blue Pigment Discovered in 200 Years Is Finally Commercially Available

Living in the digital realm as much as I do, seeing a news story like this is shocking. I know about the absurdly deep black and the legal protection around it, but that is a matter of a material absorbing more light, and not of just being a color.

1/18/2021 9:59 pm | | Tags: art, colors, blue
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