May 22, 2019
Five minutes of eye-popping video optical illusions, including "Drawing Hands", "Jenga Anamorphosis", and "Umbrella" .
“What I’m saying is that at least now, when people use my last name, they will sure as hell use my first name as well. And that’s a win.” Joss and Jillian Sackler are profiled in Town & Country magazine about their very different approaches to having "the most toxic name in philanthropy." [more inside]
The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world. Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned. [more inside]
Billie Jean King once tried to find a sustainable business model for feminist sports coverage. Then women’s fitness tried to revive the swimsuit model.
Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina passed away from a stroke last night at the age of 48. He is probably best known in the West for his essay "How To Write About Africa," (video). His memoir, One Day I Will Write About This Place (excerpt), describes growing up in Kenya in the post-colonial Kenyatta and Moi era of politics, his experiences as a student in South Africa, and returning to Kenya around the post-election violence in 2007. In 2014, he published a lost chapter, "I am a homosexual, Mum", and he imagined the conversation he would have liked to have had with his father. He was one of Kenya's most vocally out gay men, and was also open about his HIV+ status. [more inside]
Film director Amma Asante came across an old photograph taken in Nazi Germany of a black schoolgirl by chance. Curiosity - who the girl was and what she was doing in Germany - set the award-winning film-maker off on a path that led to Where Hands Touch, a new movie - an imagined account of a mixed-race teenager's clandestine relationship with a Hitler Youth member, but based on historical record.
On May 15th, 1919, the country — and the world — watched in astonishment as tens of thousands of workers walked off the job in Winnipeg. They demanded higher pay, better working conditions and the right to bargain collectively. Some 35,000 workers took over the running of Canada's third-largest city for six weeks. The Winnipeg General Strike was one of the most important labour events in Canadian history. “Men who had just returned from a horrific war in Europe could not find employment; factories were shutting down and bankruptcies were a common occurrence. Tens of thousands of people in Winnipeg, Manitoba alone lived in substandard housing, where disease was a deadly reality. Working-class immigrants faced deep divisions along ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines.” Lessons From The Winnipeg General Strike
Yasuke (variously rendered as 弥助 or 弥介, 彌助 or 彌介 in different sources) (circa 1555–1590 CE) (Wikipedia) was an enslaved African taken to Japan in 1579 in the service of the Italian Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano (Beyond Ricci, Boston College), who had been appointed the Visitor (inspector) of the Jesuit missions in the Indies (East Africa, South and East Asia). "When Yasuke got to Kyoto (with Jesuit missionaries), there was a massive riot. People wanted to see him and be in his presence" (Thomas Lockley, quoted by CNN), as he was one of the first Africans seen by many of the Japanese. But he quickly went from novelty to trusted and valued retainer to, and warrior for, the Japanese hegemon and warlord Oda Nobunaga in 1581 and 1582 (Wikipedia). [more inside]
Someone—no one really knows who—has been disrupting the train system, sneaking into cabs, pulling the emergency brakes, and grinding not just one train, but entire lines in the system to a halt during the busiest hours of the day. And just like that, they then melt into the darkness between the tunnels, waiting to strike again
A violent white supremacist who was believed to have been held in isolation longer than any other inmate, he personified a campaign against solitary as cruel and unusual punishment. Silverstein had been in solitary for 36 years, and was serving three consecutive life terms for the killing of two fellow prisoners and a guard while behind bars. He had been incarcerated continuously since 1975, originally on an armed robbery conviction. He was said to have joined the Aryan Brotherhood, the white nationalist prison gang, while serving time at Leavenworth Penitentiary in Kansas. The ACLU cited his case in its campaign against solitary. [more inside]
If it's raining where you are, you can put on "Sunset Mission," the 2000 jazz noir album by Bohren & der Club of Gore (Youtube, Soundcloud). If it's not raining where you are, you can make it rain, and then put on the album.