luscious_purple: Boston STRONG! (Boston Strong)
And now, everyone who was born in a year beginning with 18 is dead. Since today is the day after what would have been my grandmother's 127th birthday, it seems appropriate somehow.

Today is also the fourth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, right around the corner, practically, from the building where I rented a room in an apartment during the summer of 1979. I have the Netflix DVD of the Mark Wahlberg movie at home, but I don't think it's going to get watched this weekend, not with the new Doctor Who episode tonight.


Jun. 2nd, 2016 11:56 pm
luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
Just finished watching the four-night remake of Roots on the History Channel. Extremely powerful. My head is spinning.....
luscious_purple: Stop SOPA and PIPA (No SOPA)
I have way too many browser tabs open, so let me get rid of a few here.

A new model of the origin of the Earth-Moon system:

Steampunk podcast:

Sixth-century manuscript decoded by spectroscopy:

Wikipedia recently featured Wells Cathedral, one of the places I've visited in England:

Comcast plans to turn its paying customers into free hot spots:

Just before the world marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Sir Winston Churchill's last living child died. She was quite the badass in her day:

Stupid password tricks:

What things are like for young people today:

What the hell is wrong with America?

Current politics of the ISS:

Forget universal preschool -- we need a 13th grade:

What ever happened to LiveJournal, anyway?

This week Republicans killed Elizabeth Warren's plan to ease Americans' crushing student loan debt:

Growing partisan rancor:

This town's local friendly maker club:

A private browser thing I might want to try:

Some career thing to read later:
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
... was the Pearl Harbor attack.

Just trying to imagine what the impact of the news was like. I know that my Dad volunteered for the military about one month later, instead of waiting for a draft notice.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
I was going to post this yesterday, in honor of the observance of Dr. King's birthday, but I didn't get around to it.

I got the phrase "the joy of discovery" from my high school chemistry teacher, and I certainly felt it nearly 10 years ago, when my UU magazine published a never-before-transcribed MLK speech. Specifically it was a eulogy that Dr. King gave for James Reeb, a UU minister beaten to death while doing civil rights work in the Deep South.

How could a speech by this world-famous guy go unheralded for so many years? Well, Dr. King was a busy guy, so perhaps it's not surprising that a few of his papers got lost in the shuffle of life. Fortunately for all of us, someone unearthed a cassette tape of his eulogy, and it got transcribed at last.

Follow this link to an eyewitness account of the memorial service for Rev. Reeb, with links in the sidebar to a PDF of the text and an MP3 file of the sermon.

For me, it was just such a gift to find these new words so long after the speaker had been so wrongly silenced.

Another MLK link: E.J. Dionne's short piece giving thanks that MLK did not die when he was stabbed in the chest back in 1958. (Please ignore the mostly dumb-ass comments, though.)
luscious_purple: Julia, the Maine Coon Cat (Julia)
To honor what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday, I am posting links to a wonderful set of photos of the Beatles' February 1964 visit to Washington, D.C., immediately after their famous appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

(This is part of a much larger site about John Lennon.)

Since it was snowing, the Beatle entourage took the train from NYC to Union Station. This had the added advantage of putting them only a few blocks from the arena where they were going to give their concert, instead of on the opposite side of the Potomac River. (Remember, these guys attracted huge flocks of screaming girls wherever they went, so it was kinda hard for them to move around.)

I'd never seen any of these photos before I stumbled across them last night, so I was captivated by them. On the train ride, the Fab Four were obviously hamming it up for the photographers, yet they also seemed to be having casual fun. After all, at that time, they weren't much older than frat boys! (And, hey, train travel has certainly changed over the years, hasn't it? They don't make trains like that anymore, at least on our side of the pond!)

The sightseeing photos are cool because you can see the Beatles in front of federal buildings that still exist today -- and the District government wasn't any better at cleaning the streets in 1964 than it is today!

Finally, it's fascinating to see the Fab Four take the stage with their primitive equipment. If anybody's curious about the building where they were playing, the Washington Coliseum (formerly Uline Arena) ... it still stands but is used as a warehouse/garage and is pretty rundown-looking. You can see it from Metro's Red Line. It's a pity it hasn't been refurbished. It might be too small for modern rock concerts, but it would be a great space for some sort of arts center.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
Today I had a tasty lunch with the [ profile] cz_unit. We used to do this quite often, but as it turns out, we haven't even seen each other since Darkover. We went into Chinatown to Tony Cheng's Mongolian BBQ, where everybody recognizes him (well, how many 6-foot-8 guys are there?). Thank you, CZ!

(Now I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping that people didn't notice that I took a much longer lunch than normal....)

I also enjoyed last night's discussions at the Baron and Baroness's At-Home. Reminds me that I really need to motivate myself to SEW if I'm ever going to have any other garb besides the stuff I have now. (But I'm still working on the May/June issue of the Herald's Point newsletter. Kingdom-level duties come first....)

Now for a couple of comments about the other side of the pond:

For all the studying and teaching of medieval Lithuania I do in the SCA, you might not guess that I have a bit of Anglophile in me. I took a modern British history course the semester that Margaret Thatcher became the prime minister, and the professor who taught the course was a visitor from an English university and a card-carrying member of the Labour Party. He didn't have anything nice to say about any Tory, not even Winston Churchill, which seemed rather shocking to me at the time, given the enormous respect the guy gets on this side of the Atlantic.

Anyway, I've been watching the news sites and wondering when the UK election results would start rolling in. Turns out the polls haven't even closed yet. They close at 10 p.m. BST. Wow, can you imagine what U.S. elections would be like if our polls stayed open that late? (Once the Brit polls close, you can follow the results here.)

Also from the Beeb: This little vid about our U.S.-UK "special relationship." Tell me, friends, are you amused or disturbed by a guy in a full Redcoat uniform saying that he served side-by-side with Tommies while he was an Army Ranger?

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