Longform: ‘A Taste of Power': The Woman Who Led the Black Panther Party

Notes To Ponder:

Read this with an open mind and heart, a truly remarkable story.

Originally posted on Deconstructing Myths:

Her skin was very white. She was a porcelain doll, and just as delicate. I never resented what Masai felt for her. It was understandable. Jean Seberg was truly beautiful.

We had met Jean in the early part of that terrible year of 1969. David had “assigned” Masai and me to see her. She was another white movie star who wanted to help.

A small group of Hollywood helpers had already begun to astound us with their…

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In 2007, the name “Vsauce” was registered as a YouTube channel. That account sat idle until June 24, 2010 when Michael Stevens began uploading videos. At first Stevens focused on video games with an occasional educational clip. Those educational clips became so popular, as of September 2012 Vsauce ditched gaming, becoming the “go to” place for physics demystified.

If you haven’t stumbled upon Vsauce, you’re missing out on a remarkable resource. Click below for answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.


Vancouver Today

Vancouver witnessed a most unusual Sunday. Waking to tendrils of curled brown smoke across north shore mountains, we dismissed occasional whiffs of campfire memory in favor of a summer day without obligation. Heading downtown, we joined scores of revelers.  Oppressive heat wasn’t enough to squelch festivities as thousands of American tourists besieged Vancouver for the FIFA women’s World Cup final.

By 6 PM the wind shifted. Environment Canada issued a air quality advisory,  all residents were cautioned to keep doors and windows shut. Ash fell, the sun struggled to glow under curtains of opaque haze making it difficult to determine the time of day.

From trickles of wildfire smoke, to world cup shenanigans and an onslaught of fickle wind shifting smoke screens – this was Vancouver today.

bc fires

NASA satellite image showing smoke over B.C.


Secret Service presence on Robson St. for Joe Biden’s appearance at the FIFA World Cup women’s final.

U.S. fans outside B.C. Place.


2015-07-05 14.58.25

Brazilian fans lead parade from “fan zone” to the stadium.

Smoke from wildfires in the interior of British Columbia blanket downtown Vancouver, B.C. Sunday,...

Vancouver skyline obstructed by wildfire haze.


Crazy Ant

A few days ago I came home to ants in my laptop, not so much an infestation as a scouting party. Their source immediately clear, I watched as solitary soldiers stepped tentatively across the windowsill then up the side of my desk. Not easily discouraged, they kept coming until setting an “ant trap” on the exterior sill miraculously avoided a very bad situation.

Oblivious to the magnitude of swift intervention, it wasn’t until a friend sent links to ant infested laptops that sobering reality set in. Who knew ant infested computers were a problem?

Several YouTube videos later I stumbled upon the Crazy Ant. Dubbed “crazy” for their erratic movement, these ants make my minor problem seem trivial. Widely distributed in tropical and sub-tropical countries, this little monster wasn’t on North American radar until 2002. That year Houston, Texas rang the infestation bell – since then, crazy ants have spread across the southern U.S. from Texas to Florida.

Among other peculiarities, crazy ants have a fondness for electronics. Not shy about inviting themselves in, some scientists theorize they’re attracted to the magnetic field around electronics.

exotic ant

Considered invasive for their ability to obliterate indigenous ant species, crazy ants have officially reached “pest” status in America. Taking no prisoners, these guys can produce and cover themselves with formic acid to survive fire ant venom. They don’t sting, but sure can bite, aren’t attracted to bait or traps and scoff at commercially available insecticides. Also known as Raspberry or Tawny Crazy Ant, these marauders are here to stay.



Once In A Blue Moon

Tonight’s’ full moon sets the stage for a Blue Moon on July 31st. “Blue Moon” refers to a second full moon in a calendar month. Our moon follows a 19 year loop called the Metonic Cycle – every 19 years phases of the moon recur on or near the same calendar date. Nineteen years has 228 months with 235 full moons, meaning 7 of those 228 months have a blue moon. Sometimes February’s short number of days produces 8 blue moons in a Metonic Cycle (February 2018 won’t have a full moon, pushing the extra moon to another calendar month)

Popular use of the term is credited to a 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine. Author James Hugh Pruett penned an article “Once In A Blue Moon”, Pruett inadvertently screwed up finer details when referencing the 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac – nevertheless “once in a blue moon” was born.


The Maine Farmers Almanac described blue moons as an extra full moon in a “season”. Each season – spring, summer, fall, winter typically has 3 full moons, when a 4th happens, the 3rd moon of that season becomes the blue moon. By this rule the next one falls on May 21, 2016. Although two distinctly different definitions exist, most people subscribe to the monthly club.

It’s possible to have 2 blue moons in a calendar year, the next time is January and March of 2018, followed by January and March 2037. Sometimes a rare year has both monthly (2 full moons in a month) and seasonal (3rd full moon of 4 in a season) – don’t hold your breath, it will be 2048 before the monthly in January, seasonal in August.