Posts Tagged: politics

Tidbits for Your Weekend Reading

Encounter with the Infinite:
How Did the Minimally Trained, Isolated Srinivasa Ramanujan, with Little More than an Out-of-Date Elementary Textbook, Anticipate Some of the Deepest Theoretical Problems of Mathematics—Including Concepts Discovered Only after His Death?

Ms. Jen says – Well written article on Srinivasa Ramanujan, culture, math, and life by Robert Schneider

Gut Microbes Combine to Cause Colon Cancer, Study Suggests

Tales of the Forest

Turning our fairy tales feral again

Beyond the Gaze: Reclaiming the Female Form After Nochlin

An Illustrated Guide to Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”

Eau de Nil, the Light-Green Color of Egypt-Obsessed Europe

Glaucous, the Greeny Blue of Epic Poetry and Succulents

Mormons want to save the Republican party’s soul. But is it too late?
Ms. Jen says – I believe the Republican Party may be beyond amendment.

The Virtues of Willfulness: How Fairy Tales Teach Us to Look for Truths Beyond the Simple Stories

A few Tweets on the State of America Today…

Tidbits from Sunday Blog Reading

Living Small on Battening Down the Hatches, while Charlotte has a freezer full of pork, I have a freezer full of lamb (from the OC Fair).
Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front poem:

“Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.” – Wendel Berry, exerpt

Anina goes to the TechCrunch Beijing Disrupt and comes home to write Girls in TechCrunch
From a photographer living in Iraq, 5 Tips for Safely Photographing a Dangerous Event
Brian Fling has decided it is time to write Book #2:

“At the heart of all of these transitions is mobile. I’ve seen it have a transformative impact on some of the biggest and oldest companies on the planet. I’ve seen geniuses become dumbfounded. I’ve seen great intentions fail miserably.
I want to explore and share those stories. I do not talk want to talk about the virtues of native apps or HTML5 apps – or any other irrelevant discussion that revolves around the technology of today. Mobile is no more about the technology, as the printing press was about paper.
Instead this book will be as much a manifesto of 21st century experiences as it is a guide to using century old tools to solve the problems of today, even the ones we may not be able to define yet.”

@Jyri tweeted: “If I had an angel credo it’d be to invest in quirky solutions to big problems: e.g. Valkee treats depression with light
Last but not least, Timo Arnall posts Three films on communication and networks. It is worth it to watch the videos/films.

Truth, Lies, and Politics

Here are two YouTube videos where an Illinois State Senator, Rickey Hendon, and US Congressman, Ron Paul, throw down/peach to their colleagues about lies, hypocrisy, politics, telling the truth, DADT, Wikileaks, and what it means to do the right thing.
Illinois Senator Hendon:

US Congressman Paul:

I want to know where I can donate to Senator Hendon to encourage him to run for the US Senate.

On Flying, Part Deux

It is all fine and dandy to drive to San Francisco or Lost Wages or Phoenix from LA, but what happens if you need to go farther afield or even across an ocean? Not even BlkPhbe the trusted Prius can drive across the ocean.
As bizarre as I find the whole flying experience in recent years, particularly the part at the airport before departure, I do like airports. Back when one could walk one’s friends or family to their departure gate, before the advent of boarding pass folks beyond security only, I used to offer to take friends to the airport, as I enjoy the hustle, bustle, and air of possibility that pervades a good, large airport.
People are going places! I could be going places! What fun people watching!
The only problem in the post 9/11 world, the hustle and bustle has been replaced with dour faced, tired, stressed out people. And that only covers the employees and TSA folk, as for the passengers there is an air of defeat.
GW Bush’s pronouncement of “Mission Accomplished” aside, I think the terrorists have won. Instead of airports being a place of movement, anticipation, and possibilities, they are now a place of banal, mindless bureaucracy that verges on shows of soul-corroding power trips in the name of supposed security.
One wanna-be terrorist failed to blow up his shoe, now millions of people get to have their shoes inspected. One failed terrorist couldn’t get his underwear to explode, now many more innocents get to be patted down & felt up in the name of making us all safer.
Before you start thinking, “Well, I am willing to put up with ALL of that AND MORE to be secure!” Are you really that secure? I raise an eyebrow at you. You must not fly that often anymore.
As I detailed out in last night’s post, for trips shorter than 6 hours, I now drive rather than deal with the b.s. at the airport.
Flying internationally is one exception to my little no-fly rule, as I do like to get into an aluminum tube with wings and be strapped in for 10-12 hours so that I can emerge on the other side in a new world. This I like so much, I will put up with quite a bit.
I like watching Labrador, Baffin Island, Greenland, and Iceland from 35,000 ft in the air as the metal tube is getting jostled about by the turbulent air in the interstices of the North Atlantic and the North American landmass. It is even more fun to watch Greenland & Bafflin Island go by with a barf bag* in one hand while one is trying to operate a camera in the other while pressing the lens to the window.
One of these days, I will touch down in Iceland and Greenland for a proper visit rather than just fly over. For Greenland, I will even put up with the airport.
*Sometimes, if it smells real bad, no matter how hungry, don’t eat the airplane food. Yes, they still feed you on International flights.

That’s Heaven, That’s Not Earth

Tues 10.06.09 – Ta-Nehisi Coates and Andrew Sullivan conducted an interview to talk about Ideas | Life | The World | Etc a week and a half ago, and since both have released video snippets on their blogs that have been very intriguing. I hope that the Atlantic will post the whole of the interview on their website – Look! They have, in pieces.
Today’s snippet, above, deals with war, innocence, gay rights, sacrifice/transcendence , Jesus, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Good stuff.
Here are a few of the other video snippets:
Touching The Void
Obama, The Tory
Almost Grateful
On another note, Sullivan does some great Dog Blogging this past week.

Tilt-Shift the Union Town

07.15.06 - County Down Unionist Town Along the A2 (Newry Rd) just north of Kilfeaghan

Sun. Feb. 1, 2009 – It has become quite the thing to tilt-shift one’s photos and make them look like architectural miniatures. Recently, I came across a tilt-shift maker and decided to try a photo or two.
Due to my style of photography, most of my photos were not successful, at least to my eye, when rendered in the tilt-shift mode. Except the above photo of a red white & blue curb in Kilkeel (or possibly Ballymartin – sorry I didn’t geotag this photo at the time due to driving when I took it).
This photo was taken during the Around Ireland mobile / geo-photo project in the summer of 2006. I made many trips to Northern Ireland that summer, as I was attempted to suss out as much of the real NorIE from all the tales as possible.
Frankly, the Unionist towns CREEPED me out. They mean to. All that red, white and blue is meant to give the viewer a big case of the creeps. It is meant to keep you in line. It is meant to let you know who is boss.
The painted curbs and buildings, the Union Jack flags, the flags posted on light poles and painted on bridges in certain towns. It is all meant to send a sign. To the let the viewer and visitor know who rules this town.
Thus, the tilt-shift is perfect for this photo as the whole perspective becomes even more tilted than the drive by tilt already in the photo (taken at driving speed) and the tilt-shift technique blurs/focuses, and miniaturizes the objects in the photo. Just like sectarianism does for people’s perspectives and lives.
Most of Northern Ireland is delightful. I have been back since 2006 to take my mom to NorIE, as her grandfather was from Ulster and much of my father’s people were from Newry and surrounds. This is the land many of my people came from. I felt at home in much of the north. Except the towns with the red, white, and blue.
Fast forward to the recent U.S. election season. All the red, white and blue this election seemed darker and slightly creepy this past year, as if America was blurred and focused on a small dot, tilted in all the wrong places, and miniaturized in all the wrong ways. The emphasis on patriotism with out reflection, lock step to the party.
America, we have fought long and hard for our freedom, let’s not fall down the dark, myopic hole of sectarian, partisanship. The flag is only a sign, a symbol, not an idol to worship. Let’s take the opportunity of a new beginning to work together.
Original photo taken by Ms. Jen on 07.15.06 with her Nokia N80 while driving north in County Down on the Newry Rd to Belfast.
As a small note: I am neither Republican of the Irish or American variety, nor am I an Unionist of the Irish or American variety.