Racial Dots


Researchers at the University of Virginia used the 2016 census to create a racial dot map of the United States. Every dot represents a citizen colour coded by ethnicity. Blue dots for white people, green for black, orange for Hispanic, red for Asian, brown for Native Americans and other ethnic groups. Racial segregation is immediately apparent.

This is Chicago, below is Los Angeles, followed by Washington DC

Libby Anne at https://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2018/12/the-most-sobering-thing-about-the-racial-dot-map.html?fbclid=IwAR2jRC4rVJV4I7gbP79GJcneLnzaf3etHjfi0O-sRGSyzlOp2fChoteLBPc&utm_source=quora&utm_medium=referral started looking at the bigger picture, focusing on predominantly white rural areas. She noticed peculiar patterns of clustered green dots representing black citizens in rural white America.

She took to Google Maps which explained green dot anomaly as the Clinton Correctional Facility in Clinton County, New York. A maximum security prison housing almost 3,000 adult males.

Here’s another one –

The Houtzdale Corrections Facility in Pennsylvania, opened in 1996 to house 1,597 inmates, now stuffed with 2,800 predominantly black green dot prisoners.

Libby Anne didn’t start with a list of correctional facilities. She looked at anomalies in the racial dot map and used Google Maps to understand what she was seeing. The pattern repeated itself over and over again all across America. In the words of Libby Anne –

“When activists talk about the criminalization of the African American male and the need for prison reform, this is what they’re talking about – an imprisoned population so racially unbalanced that you can find the locations of correctional facilities on a map that shows only demography and nothing else”

Ponder What Matters


As 2019 draws to a depressing conclusion, forget Trump, divisive partisan media jibber-jabber and political fear mongering. Put aside religious, racial, political and sexual bias – ponder what matters. Every last one of us has a choice – to open our hearts and minds, or languish in perpetual darkness of rigidity.

Playing For Change embodies the essence of equality through the power of music. If you’re unfamiliar with Playing For Change, get on board.

Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire and connect the world through music, born from the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. – https://playingforchange.com/

Hunter’s Moon 2019


In honour of the full Hunter’s Moon this weekend – timelapse from Adrien Mauduit at Night Lights Films – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCC0CLzCpM6nuLSAi1JNBjkA

Hunter’s is an autumn moon, the first full moon of fall following the Harvest (full moon closest to the fall equinox) moon. https://earthsky.org/tonight/full-hunters-moon-from-dusk-till-dawn?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=45a5e032e7-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_02_02_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-45a5e032e7-393970565

Ponder origin of all named moons at the link below –

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/moon/full-moon-names.html

Open Contest To Name 20 New Moons Of Saturn


Today, Scott Sheppard of Carnegie Institution for Science launched a contest to name 20 newly discovered moons of Saturn. For those keeping score,  Saturn (now with 82 moons) leapfrogged past Jupiter (79 moons) to claim satellite supremacy.

Illustration is courtesy of the Carnegie Institution for Science, Saturn image is courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute. Starry background courtesy of Paolo Sartorio/Shutterstock.

Dust off history books, brush up on Norse, Gallic and Inuit mythology – between now and December 6, 2019 the contest is open to anyone who follows IAU rules. Follow link below to enter contest.

From Wikipedia –

In 1847 the seven then known moons of Saturn were named by John Herschel. Herschel named Saturn’s two innermost moons (Mimas and Enceladus) after the mythological Greek Giants, and the outer five after the Titans (Titan, Iapetus) and Titanesses (Tethys, Dione, Rhea) of the same mythology. Until then, Titan was known as the “Huygenian (or Huyghenian) satellite of Saturn” and the other moons had Roman numeral designations in order of their distance from Saturn. Subsequent discoverers of Saturnian moons followed Herschel’s scheme: Hyperion was discovered soon after in 1848, and the ninth moon, Phoebe, was named by its discoverer in 1899 soon after its discovery; they were named for a Titan and a Titaness respectively. The name of Janus was suggested by its discoverer, Audouin Dollfus.

Current IAU practice for newly discovered inner moons is to continue with Herschel’s system, naming them after Titans or their descendants. However, the increasing number of moons that were being discovered in the 21st century caused the IAU to draw up a new scheme for the outer moons. At the IAU General Assembly in July 2004, the WGPSN allowed satellites of Saturn to have names of giants and monsters in mythologies other than the Greco-Roman. Since the outer moons fall naturally into three groups, one group is named after Norse giants, one after Gallic giants, and one after Inuit giants. The only moon that fails to fit this scheme is the Greek-named Phoebe, which is in the Norse group.

  • Two of the newly discovered prograde moons fit into a group of outer moons with inclinations of about 46 degrees called the Inuit group. All name submissions for this group must be giants from Inuit mythology.
  • Seventeen of the newly discovered moons are retrograde moons in the Norse group. All name submissions for this group must be giants from Norse mythology.
  • One of the newly discovered moons orbits in the prograde direction and has an inclination near 36 degrees, which is similar to those in the Gallic group, although it is much farther away from Saturn than any other prograde moons. It must e named after a giant from Gallic mythology.

https://carnegiescience.edu/NameSaturnsMoons

Vancouver Street Names


This afternoon a friend sent a link to origins of Vancouver street names. Researcher Justin McElroy used City of Vancouver open data sets to eliminate numbered avenues/streets and duplicate names to arrive at 651 unique street names.

https://newsinteractives.cbc.ca/longform/streets

McElroy determined 90% of named streets had documented stories linked to specific events, persons or things. 62 street names had no discernable origin, names like Adanac (Canada spelled backward) or Little, a one block East Vancouver pipsqueak.  I live on the corner of a numbered avenue and Willow, one of 38 named tree/plant streets. To the east I cross 11 streets named for Canadian provinces, to the west a wave of 20 streets named for military battles. Explorers (31), royalty (20), dead Europeans (28), B.C. places (19), places in the United Kingdom (25), geography (56), industry (22),  B.C. landowners (46), prominent railway persons (27), B.C. politicians (27), golf courses (26), connection to George Vancouver (12), universities (6), indigenous names (11), North American places (8), ships (6), hotels or houses (7), characters in novels by Walter Scott (12), Canadian historical figures (11), civic politicians (28), city/government officials (13), B.C. pioneers (6), forestry (11), business owners (9) miscellaneous persons unrelated to other categories (11) and a police dog named Valiant round out the list.

Valiant Street was named for Valiant, the first of eight Vancouver Police Service Dogs that have died from injuries suffered while on the job. (VPD)

Valiant was Vancouver’s first police dog to perish in the line of duty, shot in 1967 by an escaped prisoner on the run from authorities.

McElroy determined over half of Vancouver’s unique streets fell into 5 categories –

I’ve always taken street names for granted, history didn’t unfold until pausing to ponder nomenclature of the place I call home.

Fool Me Once…..


Pondering a personal reality check, in March 2016, I wrote –

Settle down America, Donald Trump will never become President. Trump is America’s Rob Ford. Just as Toronto’s crack smoking mayor enjoyed a period of inexplicable popularity, Trump’s narcissistic, racist, misogynistic buffoonery will crash and burn. Similarities between Ford and Trump reside in ability of both men to exhibit reckless disregard for traditional politicking.

Disregard is a powerful weapon. Unexpected, refreshing, born of screwed up priorities. Gathering momentum, fueled by unspoken discontent, it penetrates stagnant air with herculean force. Caught unaware, disgruntled populations equate disregard with solutions.

Bolstered by celebrity, Trump entered politics with a haughty declaration, he would make America great again. Basking in waves of rhapsodic affirmation, Trump preened his vision of magnificence. Conservatives dismissed arrogance as patriotism, lining up to hang on his every word. Unscripted tirades mocked political correctness, lack of propriety made it abundantly clear – he didn’t know how, or was interested in playing politics. Overnight, Trump became the voice of blind conservatism.

Trump made it OK to blame, he gave fear direction and purpose. Elated numskulls embraced blame without social restraint. Build a wall to keep Mexicans out (financed in part by seizing money illegal immigrants send to family in Mexico ) ,round up and deport an estimated 11 million undocumented Mexicans, teach China how to do business ( after all, China created the climate change “hoax” to undermine the U.S. economy ), bomb the shit out of ISIS, ban Muslims from entering America, close all mosques, create a Muslim registry – blame black, brown and yellow, music to the ears of America’s white underbelly.

Disregard lances a boil, relief is immediate. Donald Trump embodies rivulets of ooze escaping that wound. Complications arise when reliance on disregard obliterate common sense. Buoyed by waves of delusional disregard, Donald Trump doesn’t realize he’ll never be President. Blame, exclusion, mockery of civil and constitutional rights, ignorance, inflammatory contempt for those daring to question his greatness – wait to deliver a sobering reality. Wake up Donald, do the math – America doesn’t have enough pinched white minds to close the deal. I’m not sure who or what you’ll blame, but assure you I’ll find your attempt entertaining.