The Book of Life.
I point you to the “What is it” page. Better to just dip your toes in, on the main page (click the logo top-left).
Register.UK: Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it.
Some iconic films should stand alone.
Archaeology News Network: Antikythera Mechanism older than thought.
“Starting with the ways the device’s eclipse patterns fit Babylonian eclipse records, the two scientists used a process of elimination to reach a conclusion that the ‘epoch date,’ or starting point, of the Antikythera Mechanism’s calendar was 50 years to a century earlier than had been generally believed.” Any links to Archimedes are getting thinner (at the moment).
EOS HD: Does Cinema EOS mark the end of high spec Canon DSLR video?
Slate: Turkey eggs - Why we eat white and dark meat at Thanksgiving but not eggs.
Okay. And I suppose quail are similar. Imagine the little tiny omelets one could make.
Happy Turkey Day, all!
And a song suggestion. Stills *and* Hendrix.
365/2: 328. Nice hallway. Good light.
Guardian.UK: Muscular dystrophy experts on brink of therapy breakthrough.
PS Mag: The Exponential Benefits of Eating Less.
“Eat Less You Pig.” HAHAHAHAHA ... poignant.
Vox: Ferguson, explained in 7 sentences.
Hmmm. We in NM have a different view.
Do you remember James Boyd? No? Shame on you. March of this year. He was shot because he was ... wait for it ... illegally camping. Officers flash-banged him as he turned his back to pack his things, shot him three times in the back at close range with rifles (not handguns) ... and while he was lying incapacitated, tasered him, pummelled him with beanbags shot from shotguns, let a police dog chew on him a bit, then handcuffed him while he gasped for breath from a bullet-induced pneumothorax [one lung was perforated]. He died the next day after having his arm amputated from the bullet damage. This man was cornered and killed like an animal in its lair.
Albuquerque had protests, too. With militarized equipment. No indictments. Why no great national outcry for him? No multi-city demonstrations?
He was just a homeless mentally-incapacitated white man. A troublesome nutjob noone really cared for anyway. Dime a dozen. Done away with like a stray cur.
Turns out now, a harbinger. The ‘canary in the coal mine’ that noone paid attention to. Which is why I largely agree with John McWhorter.
My intention is not to minimize the issue of race relations or cultural issues in Ferguson. Brown certainly didn’t deserve to die. My point is, neither did Boyd. You can hang ‘race’ on Brown, ‘lack of mental heath care services’ on Boyd, and let the righteous indignation flow long. I feel those well-worn and little-cured serious issues are obscuring the most dangerous aspect of these events:
The problem of disproportionate police response.
Ask yourself: How much greater would the outrage be, if Brown had been treated as Boyd was? How many would be screaming about race and how this kind of treatment ‘only happens to minorities’? If this had been publicized about Brown’s shooting and not Boyd’s?
Everyone would be livid, urban areas would be burning, and nothing positive would ever come of it. Righteous indignation would translate to violence, and more would die. Police procedure would be militarized further.
[Which, I honestly wonder if that isn’t the point of fanning the flames of ‘race’ alone. Further militarization. Escalating to where such materiel is necessary. There’s a very nefarious feel to how this is all playing out.]
The irony is, Boyd *was* a minority. A minority noone really gives a flying flip about. The mentally-ill don’t have the ability to organize. They have no great orators to capture the 24/7 news cycle. Which makes the fact that Boyd’s needless death is largely forgotten even more chilling. Most minorities have voice, and wide support. But some don’t. Who defends them?
So my contention is, filtering the shooting of Brown through race alone is obscuring most of the real problem here; missing the forest for the tree.
These two men, Brown and Boyd, are victims of police procedures that increasingly see the binary of life/death as the only solution to each and every problem. You don’t need race or mental status to clearly see what happened in both places. The range of possible responses has narrowed ridiculously, inhumanely. Wilson could have let Brown walk away, even after the alleged exchange, and waited for backup. Boyd could have been neutralized by simply waiting him out - crazy as he was, he’d have to sleep sometime.
But no, it seems once you’ve engaged, you must push an incident to an immediate solution - lethal or not. The officer has the legal right to play God - to choose life and death for others. It’s a mighty responsibility that is little appreciated. A responsibility that demands recognition of the fact there are not two responses, a lethal one for minorities, nonlethal for others. All lives should be equal, without regard for skin color, mental or economic status.
Change is necessary, before another such tragedy occurs. Police procedure needs to be looked at from the Federal level, and the use of lethal response needs to be spelled out in unequivocal language. Police need a range of responses with logical escalation steps that are clearly understood. We as citizens should be educated on what to expect in certain encounters, and how to respond. What our rights are, and how existing rights will not be impinged. We, the public, have to be able to stick our noses into police training procedures and judge for ourselves.
Will it happen? Doubtful. But it needs to. Doing so will help more than just one minority - many are at risk - and that’s the bigger picture here that everyone’s missing. Clear procedures would protect law enforcement too. Everyone would benefit.
Four brief tangents:
One. I myself got pulled over the other day. The officer unclipped their holster, and tapped on my driver window with hand on .40 automatic. I’m white ... the problem was an obscured license plate. This is considered a proper traffic stop now? Guilty until proven innocent? That’s military thinking. Wasn’t that way, last time I was pulled over. I can’t really ignore what that automatic was telling me, inches from my left ear. If I’d tried anything even close to what Michael Brown allegedly did? I’d be taking a dirt nap - no minority required. All I’d have had to do is make some sort of fast movement with an arm, and no grand jury in the US would ever say that the officer didn’t need to self-defend. “I felt threatened” is the armor of the officer, and has been for decades. [Side note: Anyone you read who was surprised by the Ferguson verdict - erase them from your feed. They’re either dangerously ignorant of jurisprudence in America, or trying to manipulate your opinion.]
Two. The Brown family has been remarkably level headed, graceful in the face of devastating loss ... and I completely agree with their plea for body-cameras on officers. Note, however, that body cameras did not save James Boyd. Nor did it trigger any indictments. But it’s a step. Even if symbolic, it’s a step that needs to be taken. It will have a calming effect on encounters.
Three. It is worth learning about the MRAP vehicles that are being practically given away to forces across the country. Originally designed for the bush war in Rhodesia, they found a purpose in Iraq. We built thousands of them, only to find the center of gravity was too high (among many other weaknesses). Now our police get to play ‘army man’ with flawed military cast-offs. The reason for giving them to police forces? Best I can find in Google, some feel that with veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, these vets understand how to build and use IED’s. In other words ... the reason these are being given to domestic police forces is because we’re afraid of our own ‘patriots’. I kid you not.
Four. During the first Gulf War, I think it was President Bush (I) who made the differentiation between military and police work very clear. He did not wish to take Baghdad because soldiers are trained to kill, and police are trained to arrest. It would have been a disaster to have soldiers operating in an urban environment. One guess why I brought up that differentation, underneath a tangent about military vehicles being sold to domestic police. [My memory’s hazy on this attribution, but the ethic remains no matter the sourcing.]
Later: Dear God. Not even a warning, it seems.
Even later: I give up.
Another framework, extremely small. Useful for minimal sites.
The UpStanding Desk.
Another standing solution. I kind of admire the double-wide.
Design You Trust: Rabbit Showjumping at an Animal Fair in Stuttgart.
This is great. I think I need to visit. Flying Hasenpfeffer!
Youtube: The Hobbit Legacy.
“One last time.” Surely they must give us The Silmarillion ... ? Beren and Luthien?
Guardian.UK: Reflecting sunlight into space has terrifying consequences, say scientists.
SciAm: Vivid Dreams Comfort the Dying.
OpenCulture: Behold a Beautiful Archive of 10,000 Vintage Analog Cameras at Collection Appareils.
Reuters: Romney tops Republican poll for ‘16; ahead of Clinton in election.
“Among possible Republican candidates, Romney’s 19 percent put him ahead of former Florida governor Jeb Bush with 11 percent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Ben Carson each with 8 percent each, and U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky with 6 percent.” I. Can’t. Even.
Modular crock pots.
Daisy chain ‘em. Now, if there were a cure for crock pot flavor/texture. It’s OK for a few days, but then I get the urge for fresh-cooked (rather than 8 hour stew).
Guardian.UK: Ursula K Le Guin’s speech at National Book Awards - ‘Books aren’t just commodities’.
Winter is coming? “... we’ll be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine real grounds for hope. We’ll need writers who can remember freedom – poets, visionaries – realists of a larger reality.”
Guardian.UK: Shakespeare First Folio found in French library.
“One of the most interesting things about the book is that the Henry IV play has clearly been performed because there are notes and directions on the pages that we believe date from around the time the book was produced.” Now that’s cool.
NPR: ‘Paper Love’ - Box Of Love Letters Reveals Grandfather Didn’t Escape WWII With ‘Everyone’.
PS Mag: The Long War Between Highbrow and Lowbrow.
“Shakespeare was The Avengers of the 19th century. To say that Shakespeare was The Avengers, though, is to say, in part, that Shakespeare was not high culture at all. Instead, Shakespeare was popular culture — and treated as such.”