rostrum

KING CALLS WAR A ‘BLASPHEMY’

uncredited writer, Chicago Tribune, 26 March 1967

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership conference, told 5,000 peace demonstrators yesterday that the Viet Nam war is a “blasphemy against all that America stands for,” and that President Johnson is more interested in the Viet Nam war than in the war on poverty.

Dr. King had led the demonstrators in a parade in State street. At his side was Dr. Benjamin Spock, co-chairman of the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, a sponsor of the parade and rally.

Atrocities Equal Cong’s
Speaking in the Coliseum, Dr. King said, “We are committing atrocities equal to any perpetrated by the Viet Cong. We are left standing before the world glutted by our own barbarity. We are engaged in a war that seeks to turn the clock of history back and perpetuate white colonialism.”

Dr. King said the United States spends $322,000 for each enemy that is killed and it spends $53 for each person in the “so-called” war on poverty.

“And much of that $53 goes for salaries of people who are not poor,” he said.

Peace Lovers Organize
“Those of us who love peace must organize as effectively as the war hawks. As they spread the propaganda of war, we must spread the propaganda of peace. We must combine the fervor of the civil rights movement with the peace movement. We must demonstrate, preach, and teach, and organize until the very foundations of our nation are shaken.”

Dr. King left immediately after he spoke, and the audience began to leave with him. Dr. Spock, who followed Dr. King to the rostrum, spoke to a half empty house.

Dr. Spock called America the aggressor in Viet Nam and charged that our government has succumbed to an unhealthy distortion of reality.

“Accusation Isn’t True”
“Lyndon Johnson launched attack on North Viet Nam claiming that it was engaged in a direct military effort to take over South Viet Nam. But history shows—to anyone willing to read it—that this accusation was not true.

“For 13 years our government has been trying, unsuccessfully to gain control of South Viet Nam, by means of a Quisling puppet regime and more recently by armed invasion.”

Dr. Spock to Quit
After the rally, Dr. Spock, 64, said he plans to retire from his post at Western Reserve university to devote more time to the peace movement.

 Another speaker, Emil Mazey, secretary-treasurer of the United Auto Workers, said, “There has been a tremendous credibility gap in the information that the American people have been fed concerning Viet Nam.”

He called upon President Johnson to redouble efforts to achieve peace.

Peaceful Pacifists
During the parade, the demonstrators marched along peacefully carrying numerous signs protesting the war and identifying some of the groups of marchers.

Most of the spectators went about their shopping business after brief glances at the parade. Here and there along the route were groups of young men who carried signs saying “We support our men in Viet Nam” and shouting “We hate communists” and “we want Rockwell.”  This was a reference to George Lincoln Rockwell, head ot the American Nazi party.

Sharks: Not Vicious, Just Mouthy and Inquisitive

In lieu of all of the sensationalist shark media occurring out there this summer, let’s talk about shark behavior and, in specific, shark attacks and white shark.

Some basic white shark facts (and yes, Carcharodon carcharias is often also officially called the great white, but that just exacerbates all the media attention, so white shark it is). Whites are huge pelagic (open water) sharks that get on average 4-5 meters long, and their only known predator as an adult are orcas. They’re one of the longest lived cartilaginous fish known with a lifespan that appears to extend into their 70′s. They have hella tons of teeth and lots of rows of them, so that when one pops out the next just pops into place as if on a conveyor belt. A white shark’s bite force is something like 4000 pounds per square inch from a six-foot-long animal. (Thanks to wiki for all the basic facts). 

Have a white shark anatomical drawing from wiki, because while it’s nightmare-inducing, it’s the only thing about sharks that should be. 

People love to talk about sharks as these horrible monsters of the deep, eating everything they come across with gruesome abandon. This is just ‘perfect’ for summer, when sharks start showing up on beaches in the US and scaring the bejeezus out of basically everyone. 

Luckily, those people are making things up. You’re more likely to die because you shook a vending machine and it fell on top of you than you are to get bitten (note: not attacked) by a white shark. There’s a couple things you’re got to know about how sharks function to understand why worrying about getting nommed on by one at the beach is pretty silly. 

To start, they’re not man-eaters. Sharks don’t even know what a human is. We’re not aquatic organisms and they’ve probably only rarely encountered humans before, so there’s no reason to assume they’re going to be like ‘omg tasty hooman’ and charge over for a snack We don’t fit into what sharks consider prey, so they’re not going to prey on us intentionally. 

However, they do prey on seals. Tasty, blubbery, freaking-stupidly-clever-and-fast seals. And a human on a surfboard (which is when almost all shark encounters happen that result in injury) happens to look mightily like a seal if all you can see is a silhouette. More importantly, it’s a slow, stationary seal, which implies an easy meal. Most of the time, sharks ‘attack’ surfers thinking they’re seals. And guess what? Humans do not have all that tasty, energy-loaded blubber that seals do. We’re pretty bony and we’re on these weird plastic things that have got to taste nasty as hell. Most shark ‘attacks’ last for one bite, because the shark pretty quickly realizes that we’re not the pinniped it thought we were, and those bones aren’t worth the effort, and it leaves. Not great for the surfer who is now missing lots of bits, but hey, the shark isn’t purposefully being an asshole. It was a case of mistaken identity!

But there are lots of encounters where people don’t get hurt, right? They just get the shit scared out of them when a shark starts face-punching their arm, and panic, and call the media, and suddenly it’s an attack again. This is actually because most of a shark’s sensory organs are on it’s face. 

All those red dots are organs called the ampullae of lorenzini, and they sense electrical stimulus. They’re the organs that all cartilaginous fish use to locate food - when you see a ray sweeping it’s rostrum across the sand, it’s using it’s ampullae to search for buried critters. So if a shark is curious about something, say, a human, the first response is to nose it to get more information. That’s not aggression, it’s curiosity. Then, unfortunately, if it still wants more information, it’ll go and take a nibble - because, if you look above, there are more dots right around the mouth than anywhere else. Sharks are basically the really sharp aquatic equivalent of that annoying baby who has to put everything in it’s mouth. 

Because humanity is collectively terrified of anything that has more naturally provided pointy bits than we do, everything has to demonize sharks, and that ends really badly. Everything gets interpreted as aggression. This, for instance, is a video in which a shark attempts to figure out what a pontoon boat is and gets stuck in the float. The people watching it of course put JAWS music on and captioned it as an attack, but that’s just a stressed shark going ‘wtf is this weird thing and why won’t it give me my teeth back’. 

It’s shark season, but that doesn’t mean they’re out to eat us. We’re a bony, problematic food that likes to play mean tricks by pretending to be seals. If you don’t want to get attacked by a shark? Be careful about being in the water, and don’t surf at sunset or sunrise. If you see a shark being inquisitive, just bop it. They’re not used to any sort of physical contact from something that isn’t either food, a predator, or a mate, so they’ll generally just leave immediately.

Tl;dr, sharks are mouthy babies who aren’t good at differentiating humans from seals, and we certainly don’t help them any.

WOO AT LAST!! Been working on this one for a little while.

Orcas are such facinating animals. They are the second most-widely distributed mammal on the planet (after humans), and they fill an ecological niche similar to our own. Not only do they vary widely in diet, dialects, and cultural behaviors, but in appearances as well. Again, much like humans :)

We often look at dorsal fins and saddle patches for telling individuals and populations apart. But there’s a TON of variation in rostrum shape, eyepatch size, and ventral markings as well. Just look at all these different orca faces!

I tried to cover a broad range of ecotypes and individuals to show all the variation orcas can have, but I came to realize during my research that there’s a lot more than I initially thought. That being the case, I may go back and add a few more individuals later (possibly even a few wild-caught captives like Nord and Gudrun, since they are so unique in addition to being from known, or sort-of known, populations).

Romantic Nightmare Dream Sequence!

..I had been summoned forth to appear before a tribunal whose rostrum loomed forth out of a thick cloud of academic dust. 

Presiding over the proceedings was someone who could have passed for Monsieur Nisard;the two other members of the committee resembled Monsieur Cousin and Monsieur Guizot–both former professors of mine. But I was not appearing before them to pass my entrance examinations for the Sorbonne, as had been the case so many years before– No, I was here because I had committed a capital offense. 

..I managed to make out bits and pieces of the indictment, which was being delivered in a voice that appeared to belong to Monsieur Patin: “It’s but a small step from realism to crime, for crime is, by its very nature, realistic.  Fantaisisme inevitably leads to the worship of monsters. Essayisme  has landed this wayward mind on a rotting pallet in a dungeon. You start by stopping in for a drink at Paul Niquet’s–you then proceed to worship a woman with horns and merino hair–and you end up getting arrested in Crespy on charges of vagrancy and out-and-out minstrelsy!…”

I tried to come to my own defense; I invoked Lucian, Rabelais, Erasmus, and other fantaisistes among the classics. But I sensed I was getting pretentious. 

I then broke down into tears.  ‘Confeitor! Plangor! Juro!…I hereby promise to forswear all books outlawed by the Sorbonne and the Institute!  Henceforth I shall only write works of history, philosophy, philology and statistics… You seem to doubt my word… Well, I’ll do even better: I shall write pastoral or morally uplifting novels, I shall compete for the official prizes awarded to poetry and edifying literature, I shall write books against slavery, books for children, didactic verse…and tragedies–yes, especially tragedies! …In fact, let me recite you one I wrote in grammar school– it has just popped back into my mind…’

The phantoms fled away, shrieking for mercy.

-Gerard de Nerval,  October Nights 

youtube

5/14/16 - Incredible footage of orcas investigating a GoPro! From Monterey Bay Whale Watch:

We had an incredible encounter with Bigg’s Killer Whales today! What started out as a traveling group of possibly two family pods, turned in to a very up close encounter. As the group crossed the outer bay, the juveniles started to get curious about our vessel as we watched them travel. The first few passes were very brief, but we decided to try the camera towed behind the boat. The juveniles LOVED IT. You can see in the final clips that they are nudging it with their rostrum and even show their teeth a few times. These whales chose to investigate the camera on their own - showing off their intelligence and grace.

Video by Katlyn Taylor [x]

Divine Feminine

This album is a maturing mans ballad to women.

Mac Miller effortless delivers his best project to date with the Divine Feminine. This album is mature, funky and a breathe of fresh air. Mac has an ear for beats and this put on full display with the uptempo house style production of this project.

This is rather one of the more complete albums you will listen to; from the beats, to he song writing and to the features. Bilal, Anderson Paak, Ty Dolla $ign, Cee Lo Green, Ariana Grande, Njozma and Kendrick Lamar will all leave you wondering why are there not more collaborations with Mac Miller. The best thing about the features is they do not feel forced. Their styles are not polar opposite where one artist is trying to imitate the other so they sound similar. Mac stays in his lane and the features complement him perfectly.

Stay and Skin are an ode to women. In Miller’s own syrupy jazz style, his love and admiration are put on full display. The incorporation of the trumpet in almost every beat is phenomenal. This is definitely a project you should roll one and listen too.

This is a total different Mac Miller considering he made Blue Slide Park. Unfortunately most rappers who are white and make music are considered white rap. This is not white rap this is great rap. You can tell Miller took his time with this project. The music quality on this project is what you would expect from a Childish Gambino or Chance the Rapper. Mac gets personal with the woman of his dreams on Cinderella. Over the carefully crafted beats he professes how he’s “been waiting all night” for a moment alone with her. This album will have you quoting lyrics for Instagram.

Mac Miller delivers a complete hip-hop/rap album with this project during a time when so much music is rushed and forced upon us. The album offers a ton of replay value and deserves critical acclaim. This album shows off the growth and skill of Miller and will have me looking forward to his next project.

5/5 Stars
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️