Today I am full and manic and bloated on nervous energy and leftover worries.
My heart is
a lame horse, looking for
any excuse to slow down,
it wants to wait
It would rather limp
it would lose the race
just for the chance
My heart is
a lazy beast, too wilted
to learn its lesson; but still
to stumble down
the bent grass road.
My heart is
an incurable optimist.
It thinks that
you’ll catch up
to my love
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr (1908 -1972 )
Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. didn’t behave like most African-American politicians.
“I’m the first bad Negro they’ve had in Congress,” he bragged, and made more enemies on Capitol Hill than perhaps any legislator before or since.
He was African-American pride personified. He swaggered into the congressional dining room and barber shop Knowing full well that African Americans were not served there, and demanded service. He won it. He badgered racist congressmen and stopped their habit of saying the word “nigger” in sessions of Congress.
One of his most dangerous legislative weapons was the “Powell Amendment,” a rider he tried to attach to any proposals for federal funds. The beauty of the Amendment was that, if successfully attached to a bill, it would nullify federal grants to state or local governments if the agencies receiving the money discriminated. This meant, for example, that even school districts in the deepest South had to open their doors to African-American teachers and students or I risk losing funds set aside for them.
by terry chappelle
Is Marjane Satrapi even capable of not being a BAMF? I don’t think so.
If you could take a pill that would erase any memory, would you take it? Traumatic memories can be painful, debilitating baggage, persisting for decades and often difficult to control. Previous therapies involved discussing traumatic memories in detail, but new models of the elastic and networked basis of memory have demonstrated that this isn’t effective. Jonah Lehrer writes in Wired:
Since the time of the ancient Greeks, people have imagined memories to be a stable form of information that persists reliably. The metaphors for this persistence have changed over time—Plato compared our recollections to impressions in a wax tablet, and the idea of a biological hard drive is popular today—but the basic model has not. Once a memory is formed, we assume that it will stay the same. This, in fact, is why we trust our recollections. They feel like indelible portraits of the past.
None of this is true. In the past decade, scientists have come to realize that our memories are not inert packets of data and they don’t remain constant. Even though every memory feels like an honest representation, that sense of authenticity is the biggest lie of all.
However, a “memory” is not a “thing”, in the usual sense of the word. It is an experience, in our brain, that we replay.
We have new understanding that the formation of memories is utterly dependent on biological processes, on proteins that help write new connections in our neural network. When we “re-fire” this network, we “recall” a memory. What if we could block the proteins that write the connections? Could we truly forget?
New research is getting close to just that. In rats, drugs can block the function of a key protein (PKMzeta) involved in strengthening memory synapses. The effect is preventing experiences from being reinforced. In a sense, one can forget that small neural web, and the memory that it encodes.
When we begin to view memory as relative, as dependent on a constant flux of neural networks, it calls into question what is “true”. And the ethics of taking a “forgetting” pill are just as murky. It turns out that our assumption that we can’t choose what to remember or forget is wrong, and soon we might have the power to make that choice. Would you?
(via Wired Magazine, image by Dwight Eschliman)
- Oral contraceptives, or “the pill,” can cost $1,210 per year without health insurance.
- Women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care costs than do men, in part because of contraceptive costs.
- Surveys show that nearly one in four women with household…
“In my view, health is a business in the United States in quite a different way than it is elsewhere,” says Tom Sackville, who served in Margaret Thatcher’s government and now directs the IFHP. “It’s very much something people make money out of. There isn’t too much embarrassment about that compared to Europe and elsewhere.” The result is that, unlike in other countries, sellers of health-care services in America have considerable power to set prices, and so they set them quite high. Two of the five most profitable industries in the United States — the pharmaceuticals industry and the medical device industry — sell health care. With margins of almost 20 percent, they beat out even the financial sector for sheer profitability. […] This is a good deal for residents of other countries, as our high spending makes medical innovations more profitable. “We end up with the benefits of your investment,” Sackville says. “You’re subsidizing the rest of the world by doing the front-end research.”
You guys know who else gave hugs? Hitler.
“One last thing. While you may be mistaking this for your monthly meeting of the ignorant tight-ass club, in this building when the President stands, nobody sits.” ( x )
What appears to be an array of metal flower petals is not an art installation but part of a cutting-edge solar-power system meant to address the critical power shortage Japan now faces in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
The disaster, which triggered a crippling nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, reignited worldwide debate about the safety of nuclear power and forced Japan to reevaluate its energy strategy.
Of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors, 52 have been shut down for maintenance; the remaining two are set to go offline this spring. The reactors are likely to remain inoperative while Japan’s central and local governments assess which (if any) of them can be restarted, leaving the country to make up for a 30-percent loss in power generation.
Rising electricity prices and limited supply threaten to hamper the recovery for manufacturers. So it makes sense that Solar Techno Park, the first solar-power research facility focusing on multiple technologies in Japan, is operated not by the government but by a unit of the Tokyo-based JFE, the world’s fifth-largest steelmaker. Given the energy-intensive nature of steel production, reliable power will be key to the future of Japan’s steel industry. The facility, which opened in October last year, is developing advanced technology in solar light and thermal power generation that it aims to apply both in Japan and overseas.