Friday, February 17, 2012

Gin & Tacos February Potpurri

 & illustrated by this picture from Let them Read Beckett at occasional links & commentary, thereby combining two of flâneuse's favorite blogs. The juxtaposition, c'est trés amusante, n'est-ce pas?

Everyone loves getting blown on a Friday. Mind-blown, that is. So without further ado, here's a bunch of stuff for your "I could work, but why?" period this afternoon, [whether or not you are working: let's not make it the sine qua non of our identities]
1. The proper plural for "octopus" is "octopodes", and Britney Spears is a perfect anagram for "Presbyterians."
2. In this staggeringly interesting Fresh Air interview, voice actor Billy West (Futurama, etc.) describes how his research and preparation for voicing Popeye required mastering the art of Tuvan throat-singing. Apparently original voice actor Jack Mercer had unwittingly employed it to create the classic Popeye voice in the 1940s. Listen to this interview. It's fantastic.
3. Chinese officials were forced to shut down a supercomputer this week because it was learning. What was it learning, you ask? To give vaguely sexual answers to queries from users. Apparently when supercomputers finally become sentient they will be like 15 year old boys.
and there's more at Gin & Tacos' (opiate of the asses) February Potpurri

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

PBS Special: Slavery By Another Name

WSJ 071601-Alabama convict labor.doc Download this file


Reposted from the UALE mailing list:


As you may be aware, PBS broadcast a special 90-minute film Monday, Feb. 13, 9pm ET/PT, 8pm CT, in most cities, as part of Black History Month.  

[KQED in San Francisco will broadcast at 10pm PT, and WTTW in Chicago at 9pm CT; below is a list of some larger media markets where the times are different.].  

This film vividly presents the little-known story of thewidescale reimposition of actual slavery in the South, after Reconstruction, which reached its height in the early 20th Century and continued -- with its condoning by the US Dept. of Justice -- until Pearl Harbor.  |

The consequences for African-American families and communities in the South were horrific.This severe abuse represented a form of judicial, political and economic terrorism which still reverberates in American politics.  

The film concentrates on a few stories of the hundreds of thousands of African-American men dragged into the “convict-leasing system” – and assigned to coal mines, brick factories, farming and other industrial-sized enterprises, with murderous consequences for them and incredible profits for the corporations which used them. In coal mining, the slave labor system was explicitly used to stop one of the most important strikes in Southern history – the UMWA’s effort to stop convict leasing at the US Steel mines in Birmingham. That strike was smashed by the Alabama state militia in an incident every bit as brutal as the well-known incident in Ludlow, CO.  
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