The U.S. has announced it will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba – opening an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than 50 years.

Before the revolution, Cuba had become a tropical playground for the USA’s rich. But when Fidel Castro took power it became the site of one of the most uncompromising experiments in Communism in the world – seizing private property and closing down the gambling business and sending refugees fleeing. But despite crippling embargoes and threats from the United States Cuba has remained under single party power. While giving Cubans enviable state public services, their personal freedom has often been called into question.

A Look Back At U.S./Cuba Relations

In Profile: Fidel Castro

1962 Cuban Missile Crisis

View Of Modern Cuba as Relations With U.S. Begin To Thaw


Author Ruth Feldstein explores the little-known but central role played by black women entertainers—like Lena Horne, Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, and Cicely Tyson—in helping communicate and shape the civil rights movement.

Worth a listen.

anonymous asked:

When you have time for a 'Sam Explains' thing, could you give a short tutorial on Evernote? Thanks!

Evernote is actually pretty super-duper simple once you get the hang of it, but that can sometimes be a little complex…

Uh. So. People will tell you to download the app for your phone. Don’t do that unless you really like taking notes and surfing the web on your phone. Just fucking move on without the app, you don’t need it, YOU ARE A STRONG PERSON.

Go to (because evernote the brand and evernote the website are two different things, evernote the brand has all this other shit, don’t go there yet, shh) and click “sign up” in the upper right corner. Sign the fuck up!

Then, wait for it, no, don’t do anything evernote tells you, go BACK TO and click on “get the web clipper”. If you are on firefox, you need to install the little plugin thing and then go to View>Toolbars>Customize and add the elephant-head-looking-thing to one of your menu bars. If you’re on Chrome you shouldn’t have to add it, it will add itself, self-determining elephant heads a go-go. If you’re on Internet Explorer, you have my sympathy and there is no help or hope for you.


When you come across a fanfic or a webpage or a fanart or IDK, that really funny bit of Facebook where your dad posted a selfie of his thumb, click the little elephant head thing. On Firefox you generally get a drop-down where you can alter the text, choose what notebook the page will go into, add tags, and other stuff. On Chrome this shows up on the side and sometimes the tags are autofilled, but you can click on basically any part of the drop-sideways bar and edit shit.

IF evernote is highlighting the wrong part of the page to be saved, close the evernote drop-down/sideways and highlight the part you want saved, then click the elephant head thing again and select “clip selected”. It will clip only the part you highlight.

If you go to and log in, you will be taken to your Evernote account where all this shit is stored. You can click on any item to view or edit it. You can make notebooks to store shit in, tag things, delete tags, rename tags, edit fanfics to remove that one really glaring grammar error or cut out any bit that’s not porny, whatever your heart desires.

It’s really pretty intuitive so you should get the hang of it quickly, but I’ll do some kind of live-action Evernote tutorial this weekend on livestream, if people so desire.


All advice is autobiographical (YMMV)

I’m working on a keynote next week for SUNY Broome, a community college in upstate NY. The name of the talk is “How To Steal Like An Artist (And 10 9 Other Things Nobody Told Me)” — here’s a sneak peek:

  1. Steal like an artist.
  2. Write the book you want to read.
  3. Don’t wait until you know who you are to start making things.
  4. Use your hands.
  5. The Secret: do good work and put it where people can see it.
  6. Geography is no longer our master.
  7. Stay out of debt.
  8. Get yourself a calendar. (And a logbook.)
  9. Be boring. (It’s the only way you get work done.)
  10. Creativity is subtraction.

I was digging in my archives for a photo and came across this Instagram, which I posted a few days before I gave the “Steal Like An Artist” speech. It’s funny, if you click the links: I’d completely forgotten how much material for the original speech was just writing I’d collected over a half decade or so of blogging. People talk about blogging as if it’s this ephemeral thing — you just type things into boxes and it just gets lost in the wash of the Internet, but if you do it right, if you save your writing, tag it, archive it, have a good system for going back through it, it’s pretty cool what you can turn these bits and pieces into later.

sfenhry asked:

Hi! Since you post a lot of stuff about economics, I was wondering if you had any book recommendations for people who know very little about it (besides the basics)? Any branch/field, I don't have anything specific in mind. Thank you! :)

I was fortunate in college to have: 1) majored in economics, so i didn’t have to read to learn the dominant economic ideology; i showed up at lectures 2) i had a couple of professors who taught history of ideas courses so i got to read/ hear some of the dissenting opinions like marx, environmentalists, and feminists (to a lesser extent. There are some people on here who probably know a lot more about economics and feminism than i do).

that said, i think ill try to make a list of some stuff:

so for neoclassical economics (the current dominant ideology among both Democrats and Republicans in the US), I’d recommend listening to some lectures like these or maybe in iTunes U and university podcasts. Also Kahn academy has a couple lectures on finance and capital markets which you need to understand to understand the financial crisis. Just listening to the lectures at kahn academy might be pretty good. if you’re looking for a textbook, the one everyone uses is noted asshole Gregory Mankiw’s; I think its Economic Principles. Also mishkin’s textbook on money & banking is another widely used textbook although mishkin is a fucking asshole. Lately, students have been rebelling against Mankiw and his uncritical views. 

I would not recommend NPR’s planet money or freakonomics probably; they’re just not very good. I really hesitate to suggest popular books on these subjects because they usually aren’t that great and usually derive from scholarly work.

the lectures above will just tell you the ideological system that legitimizes banks etc. for a broader picture of our economic system you could read:

  1. Marx’s Capital: or at the very least read about it. It is still the most important dissenting work. There are some good intros/ books about it like David Harvey’s lecture series Reading Marx’s Capital, Althusser’s Reading Capital, and Ben Fine and Alfredo Saad-Filho’s Marx’s Capital.  
  2. David Harvey’s The Limits to Capital and his history of Neoliberalism are worth checking out. 
  3. Foucault’s lectures on neoliberalism especially The Birth of Biopolitics and Society Must be Defended; Foucault has originated a lot of influential criticisms.
  4. Negri and Hardt’s work i.e. Empire
  5. Piketty’s new book Capital in the 21st Century: It  is an important turning point for liberal economists. ‘His’ graphs about inequality were popularized by Occupy. You can read his book, but I’d probably suggest reading about it in articles etc. David Harvey’s article on it is good. The Nation had an article that tried to situate it in the current intellectual climate. The New Republic also had an article that tried to show the differences between Piketty or Marx. Piketty also argued with Mankiw on wbur which is interesting.
  6. Keeping with liberals, it might be worth reading some of Joseph Stiglitz’s Globalization and its Discontents. I think he talked a lot about the Washington Consensus.
  7. A website called Remapping the Debate wrote a series of articles about how neoclassical economics became so unquestionable, sacrosanct in American universities. I think it’s a VERY important history to understand.
  8. It’s also worth noting that neoclassical economics is not the same as classical economics. If you’re interested in reading about that, there are a couple of readers (i.e. Routledge) for the history of economic thought. When I studied this, my professor always stressed primary source documents, so I don’t really know any good secondary sources in this field at the moment. 
  9. Also, there’s a course on youtube about the History of Economics. I listened to (some?) of it like 5 years ago. I don’t remember how good it is.
  10. Neoclassical economics tends to ignore economic history. I’ve always been very interested in economic history and there are some interesting books about the history of insurance, the atlantic slave trade, upward mobility, the economic consequences of discrimination in the US, agriculture, and education. Fernand Braudel is also a giant in the field of economic history. For me, history is always a key to the question why are people wealthy or poor. Personally, I’m mostly familiar with American economic history so this is not the best list, but the books I linked to are worth reading for 50ish pages except the one by Ira Katznelson which everyone should read all of.
  11. There’s also been a movement since the beginning of the 20th century to recognize ‘housework’ as ‘work.’ Marxists started writing about this at the beginning of the 20th century and it took until Gary Becker and the 60s for the rest of economics to figure this out. On tumblr right now, Silvia Federici is probably one of the most visible writers on this subject. It’s probably worth reading Engels’ thoughts on this subject too. Also, Kathi Weeks The Problem of Work comes to mind here too. I’m not the best source or even a good source for books about feminism and economics.  
  12. I realize reading this that there aren’t any anarchists on here and that’s because I’m not an anarchist; I guess you could read David Graeber’s history of debt. I’ve actaully been meaning to read it but I haven’t.  
  13. After reading this list, it’s very US and theory centered. It might be worth reading some things about Latin America especially ”the Chicago Boys” and Pinochet or Nkrummah’s Neocolonialism or Liberia’s relation with Firestone or Arundhati Roy’s thoughts on India.  
  14. some more history of economics/ economic history books (From how Harvard thinks ‘the history of capitalism’ should be taught so it’s ‘unbiased’ unlike me.) 

Start Your Remix Engines: Millions of New Public Domain Images Now on Flickr

Over 2.6 million images from books published between 1500 and 1922 are now on Flickr thanks to a Yahoo! fellow who, in a sense, reverse scanned 600 million pages from the Internet Archive.

Via Open Culture:

Thanks to Kalev Leetaru, a Yahoo! Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University, you can now head over to a new collection at Flickr and search through an archive of 2.6 million public domain images, all extracted from books, magazines and newspapers published over a 500 year period. Eventually this archive will grow to 14.6 million images.

Via The BBC:

Mr Leetaru said digitisation projects had so far focused on words and ignored pictures.

"For all these years all the libraries have been digitising their books, but they have been putting them up as PDFs or text searchable works," he told the BBC.

"They have been focusing on the books as a collection of words. This inverts that.

"Stretching half a millennium, it’s amazing to see the total range of images and how the portrayals of things have changed over time.

Geek Speak: Traditional book scanning uses optical character recognition to extract text from books but, in doing so, more or less ignores images. Leetaru wrote a program that went back through the scans and reversed the process, favoring images over text.

Back to The BBC:

The software also copied the caption for each image and the text from the paragraphs immediately preceding and following it in the book.

Each Jpeg and its associated text was then posted to a new Flickr page, allowing the public to hunt through the vast catalogue using the site’s search tool.

Read through to the BBC to learn more about how it was done.

Image: Partial screenshot, page 26,198 of the collection.

LOC Gov Doc: Personal Archiving: Preserving Your Digital Memories

Did anyone make it to the Personal Digital Archiving Conference?


How to Preserve Your Own Digital Materials:

Plan a Personal Digital Archiving Day Kit for planning guidance and relevant information resources you can use to develop your own program. Includes presentations, handouts, publicity materials, reference, videos & more.