Blog Archive

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sounding Rockets Launch Into an Aurora | NASA

Sounding Rockets Launch Into an Aurora | NASA

Tour the International Space Station - Inside ISS - HD A tour on the inside of the International Space Station (ISS) with expedition 18 Commander Mike Fincke. From Wiki : The International Space Station (ISS) is a space station, or a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. It is a modular structure whose first component was launched in 1998. Now the largest artificial body in orbit, it can often be seen at the appropriate time with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays and other components. ISS components have been launched by American Space Shuttles as well as Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets. Google+ ► https://www.google.com/+aheli Best of Hubble Space Telescope (2014) - High res ► https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmx19... About the blond from the thumbnail not being there..., that is NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg and she says thank you for watching the tour. Category Science & Technology License Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Rocky Mountain National Park Viewed From the International Space Station | NASA

Rocky Mountain National Park Viewed From the International Space Station | NASA

SMAP Takes to the Skies | NASA

SMAP Takes to the Skies | NASA

Hubble's View of the Polar Ring of Arp 230 | NASA

Hubble's View of the Polar Ring of Arp 230 | NASA

Saturday, January 17, 2015

First Notable Solar Flare of 2015 | NASA

First Notable Solar Flare of 2015 | NASA

NY Times -- QUOTATION OF THE DAY "I see this as a call for action to close the gap between conservation on land and in the sea." LOREN McCLENACHAN, of Colby College, on a huge new analysis that finds the oceans on the brink of ecological disaster.

Environment

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

Photo
A dead whale in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 2011. As container ships multiply, more whales are being harmed, a study said.
 Credit Marco De Swart/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Continue reading the main story 
A team of scientists, in a groundbreaking analysis of data from hundreds of sources, has concluded that humans are on the verge of causing unprecedented damage to the oceans and the animals living in them.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” said Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of the new research, which was published on Thursday in the journal Science.

But there is still time to avert catastrophe, Dr. McCauley and his colleagues also found. Compared with the continents, the oceans are mostly intact, still wild enough to bounce back to ecological health.

“We’re lucky in many ways,” said Malin L. Pinsky, a marine biologist at Rutgers University and another author of the new report. “The impacts are accelerating, but they’re not so bad we can’t reverse them.”
Continue reading the main story


Scientific assessments of the oceans’ health are dogged by uncertainty: It’s much harder for researchers to judge the well-being of a species living underwater, over thousands of miles, than to track the health of a species on land. And changes that scientists observe in particular ocean ecosystems may not reflect trends across the planet.
Photo
Transplanted coral off Java Island, Indonesia. Great damage results from the loss of habitats like coral reefs, an analysis found. Credit Aman Rochman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Dr. Pinsky, Dr. McCauley and their colleagues sought a clearer picture of the oceans’ health by pulling together data from an enormous range of sources, from discoveries in the fossil record to statistics on modern container shipping, fish catches and seabed mining. While many of the findings already existed, they had never been juxtaposed in such a way.

A number of experts said the result was a remarkable synthesis, along with a nuanced and encouraging prognosis.

“I see this as a call for action to close the gap between conservation on land and in the sea,” said Loren McClenachan of Colby College, who was not involved in the study.

There are clear signs already that humans are harming the oceans to a remarkable degree, the scientists found. Some ocean species are certainly overharvested, but even greater damage results from large-scale habitat loss, which is likely to accelerate as technology advances the human footprint, the scientists reported.

Coral reefs, for example, have declined by 40 percent worldwide, partly as a result of climate-change-driven warming.

Some fish are migrating to cooler waters already. Black sea bass, once most common off the coast of Virginia, have moved up to New Jersey. Less fortunate species may not be able to find new ranges. At the same time, carbon emissions are altering the chemistry of seawater, making it more acidic.

“If you cranked up the aquarium heater and dumped some acid in the water, your fish would not be very happy,” Dr. Pinsky said. “In effect, that’s what we’re doing to the oceans.”

Fragile ecosystems like mangroves are being replaced by fish farms, which are projected to provide most of the fish we consume within 20 years. Bottom trawlers scraping large nets across the sea floor have already affected 20 million square miles of ocean, turning parts of the continental shelf to rubble. Whales may no longer be widely hunted, the analysis noted, but they are now colliding more often as the number of container ships rises.

Mining operations, too, are poised to transform the ocean. Contracts for seabed mining now cover 460,000 square miles underwater, the researchers found, up from zero in 2000. Seabed mining has the potential to tear up unique ecosystems and introduce pollution into the deep sea.

The oceans are so vast that their ecosystems may seem impervious to change. But Dr. McClenachan warned that the fossil record shows that global disasters have wrecked the seas before. “Marine species are not immune to extinction on a large scale,” she said.

Until now, the seas largely have been spared the carnage visited on terrestrial species, the new analysis also found.

The fossil record indicates that a number of large animal species became extinct as humans arrived on continents and islands. For example, the moa, a giant bird that once lived on New Zealand, was wiped out by arriving Polynesians in the 1300s, probably within a century.

But it was only after 1800, with the Industrial Revolution, that extinctions on land really accelerated.

Humans began to alter the habitat that wildlife depended on, wiping out forests for timber, plowing under prairie for farmland, and laying down roads and railroads across continents.

Species began going extinct at a much faster pace. Over the past five centuries, researchers have recorded 514 animal extinctions on land. But the authors of the new study found that documented extinctions are far rarer in the ocean. Continue reading the main story

Before 1500, a few species of seabirds are known to have vanished. Since then, scientists have documented only 15 ocean extinctions, including animals such as the Caribbean monk seal and the Steller’s sea cow.

While these figures are likely underestimates, Dr. McCauley said that the difference was nonetheless revealing.

“Fundamentally, we’re a terrestrial predator,” he said. “It’s hard for an ape to drive something in the ocean extinct.”

Many marine species that have become extinct or are endangered depend on land — seabirds that nest on cliffs, for example, or sea turtles that lay eggs on beaches.

Still, there is time for humans to halt the damage, Dr. McCauley said, with effective programs limiting the exploitation of the oceans. The tiger may not be salvageable in the wild — but the tiger shark may well be, he said.

“There are a lot of tools we can use,” he said. “We better pick them up and use them seriously.”

Dr. McCauley and his colleagues argue that limiting the industrialization of the oceans to some regions could allow threatened species to recover in other ones. “I fervently believe that our best partner in saving the ocean is the ocean itself,” said Stephen R. Palumbi of Stanford University, an author of the new study.

The scientists also argued that these reserves had to be designed with climate change in mind, so that species escaping high temperatures or low pH would be able to find refuge.

“It’s creating a hopscotch pattern up and down the coasts to help these species adapt,” Dr. Pinsky said.

Ultimately, Dr. Palumbi warned, slowing extinctions in the oceans will mean cutting back on carbon emissions, not just adapting to them.

“If by the end of the century we’re not off the business-as-usual curve we are now, I honestly feel there’s not much hope for normal ecosystems in the ocean,” he said. “But in the meantime, we do have a chance to do what we can. We have a couple decades more than we thought we had, so let’s please not waste it.”

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DelanceyPlace.com -- i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling) E. E. Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever, Pantheon Books; a division of Random House: Copyright 2014 by Susan Cheever Pages xi-xiii

Today's selection - from E.E. Cummings: A Life by Susan Cheever. The poet E.E. Cummings was part of a literary movement known as Modernism, along with an illustrious group of artists including James Joyce, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso:

"Primarily remembered these days for its funky punctuation, [E.E.] Cummings's work was in fact a wildly ambitious attempt at creating a new way of seeing the world through language. Part of a powerful group of writers and artists, many of whom were Cummings's friends -- James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Hart Crane, Marianne Moore, Ezra Pound, Marcel Ducharnp, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse -- he struggled to reshape the triangle between the reader, the writer, and the subject of the poem, novel, or painting. As early as his 1915 Harvard College graduation valedictorian speech, Cummings told his audience that 'the New Art, maligned though it may be by fakirs and fanatics, will appear in its essential spirit ... as a courageous and genuine exploration of untrodden ways.'

"Modernism as Cummings and his mid-twentieth-century colleagues embraced it had three parts. The first was the exploration of using sounds instead of meanings to connect words to the reader's feelings. The second was the idea of stripping away all unnecessary things to bring attention to form and structure: the formerly hidden skeleton of a work would now be exuberantly visible. The third facet of modernism was an embrace of adversity. In a world seduced by easy understanding, the modernists believed that difficulty enhanced the pleasures of reading. In a Cummings poem the reader must often pick his way toward comprehension, which comes, when it does, in a burst of delight and recognition. Like many of his fellow modernists (there were those who walked out of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and viewers were scandalized by Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase), Cummings was sometimes reviled by the fakirs and fanatics of the critical establishment. Princeton poet Richard P. Blackmur said Cummings's poems were 'baby talk,' and poetry arbiter Helen Vendler called them repellent and foolish: 'What is wrong with a man who writes this?' she asked.

Duchamp -- Nude Descending a Staircase


"Nothing was wrong with Cummings -- or Duchamp or Stravinsky or Joyce, for that matter. All were trying to slow down the seemingly inexorable rush of the world, to force people to notice their own lives. In the twenty-first century, that rush has now reached Force Five; we are all inundated with information and given no time to wonder what it means or where it came from. Access without understanding and facts without context have become our daily diet.

Although in the 1950s and '60s Cummings was one of the most popular poets in America, he sometimes didn't make enough money to pay the rent on the ramshackle apartment in Greenwich Village on Patchin Place where he lived with the incandescently beautiful model Marion Morehouse. This bothered Cummings not at all. He was delighted by almost everything in life except for the institutions and formal rules that he believed sought to deaden feelings. 'Guilt is the cause of more disauder/than history's most obscene marorders,' Cummings wrote.

"Cummings was an American aristocrat with two degrees from Harvard; my father had been headed for Harvard when he was expelled from high school, and he adored Cummings's combination of academic success and lighthearted lack of reverence for academic success. In spite of his establishment background, Cummings treated the establishment with an amused contempt.

"At a time when The New Yorker annoyingly bowdlerized ... mentions of kissing, Cummings got away with writing graphic erotic poetry, neatly stepping around the Mrs. Grundys of the magazine world. 'may i feel said he / (i'll squeal said she / just once said he),' he wrote, in a famous poem that doesn't upset the apple cart as much as give it a new team of wild horses. He also wrote some of the sweetest love poems of the century:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

E. E. Cummings: A Life
Susan Cheever
Pantheon Books a division of Random House
Copyright 2014 by Susan Cheever
Pages xi-xiii

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Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

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Monday, January 12, 2015

DelanceyPlace.com -- The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931 Author: Adam Tooze Publisher: Viking Adult Copyright 2014 by Adam Tooze Pages: 343-343. 346, 347

Today's selection - from The Deluge by Adam Tooze. In 1919, devastating inflation that resulted from the disruption of World War I led to massive labor strikes across the U.S. This in turn led to a "Red Scare," a fear of the spread of communism to America. But the communist threat never genuinely materialized. Instead, this inflation, and the sharp deflation that followed, led to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, which grew from a few thousand in 1919 to as many as 4 million by 1924:
 "[In 1919], the very real threat to the savings of millions of American families [was] posed not by anarchists or foreign radicals but by the anonymous, all-pervasive force of inflation. By October 1919, even in America, the society best cushioned against the impact of the war, the cost of living index had risen by 83.1 per cent since 1913. Up to the end of 1917, wages had lagged seriously behind. They caught up in 1918 under the pressure of the war effort. But as inflation accelerated in 1919 real wages were once again eaten away. One could fight strikes with armies of private security thugs. Court injunctions would humble trade union leaders. One could offer concessions, even including an eight-hour day. ... But none of this really addressed the grievances of tens of millions of people whose standard of living was threatened by the huge surge in prices. ... Their appeal was in vain. By the end of 1919 it took $2,000 a year to purchase a comfortable 'American' standard of living. At the time of the strike unskilled workers at US Steel struggled to make even the $1,575 that marked basic subsistence. It was these facts, not Bolshevik subversion, that impelled the strike wave of 1919, in which a record 5 million American workers participated in 3,600 separate disputes. ...

"After continuing to accelerate to an annual inflation rate of 25 per cent in the first half of 1920, in the second half of the year the price level plunged by an annualized rate of 15 per cent. In the entire macroeconomic record of the US, this switchback is completely unique. In the Great Depression deflation was even sharper, but it did not follow a period of rapid inflation. In 1920 as prices fell, industrial output plummeted and unemployment shot up. By January 1921 the National Industrial Conference Board estimated that industrial unemployment topped 20 per cent.

"But it was agriculture that suffered the worst. ... As cotton prices collapsed, farmers resorted to 'night riding', threatening arson against ginneries and warehouses that paid inadequate prices. A new generation of populists organized in the cross-party 'Farm Bloc' tarred Wilson's Fed with responsibility for 'the crime of 1920'. One of the first actions of the incoming Republican Congress was a Joint Congressional commission of agricultural inquiry, to embarrass the outgoing Democrats. Meanwhile, Wilson's former controller of currency, John Skelton Williams, fanned the storm of agrarian protest by alleging that the mishandling of the crisis and the collapse in farm prices were the work of a Wall Street cabal.

 "Across the South and much of the West, the agrarian crisis fuelled the second coming of the Ku Klux Klan. Feeding off popular discontent across the American heartland and supercharged by a highly incentivized recruitment system, membership in the Klan surged from a few thousand in 1919 to as many as 4 million by 1924 -- one in six, the Klan claimed, of the eligible white male population. At their peak thousands of inductees were initiated en masse in torch-lit monster rallies. In northern Florida entire city neighbourhoods were cleared of their black inhabitants. In 1923 Texas, Alabama and Indiana all returned Klan candidates to the Senate. Southern Illinois was convulsed by white on white 'Klan wars'. Oregon's state politics were entirely under the spell of the local Grand Goblin. In Oklahoma the Klan's influence on the state legislature, court system and police force was such that the state governor was forced to resort to martial law."


The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931
Author: Adam Tooze 
Publisher: Viking Adult
Copyright 2014 by Adam Tooze
Pages: 343-343. 346, 347

If you wish to read further: Buy Now



If you use the above link to purchase a book, delanceyplace proceeds from your purchase will benefit a children's literacy project. All delanceyplace profits are donated to charity.
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Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

DelanceyPlace.com -- Kevin Dutton: "What Psychopaths Teach Us About How to Succeed" from Scientific American, October 2012 -- "The great thing about insensitivity, Moulton explains, is that 'it lets you sleep when others can't.' "

In today's encore selection -- from "What Psychopaths Teach Us About How to Succeed" by Kevin Dutton. We share some observations on the similarity between successful people, such as surgeons or CEOs, and psychopaths. In fact, one prominent venture capitalist states that the three characteristics most predictive of success in executives are determination, curiosity and insensitivity. (Full disclosure -- I have been a CEO for much of my career):

"Traits that are common among psychopathic serial killers -- a grandiose sense of self-worth, persuasiveness, superficial charm, ruthlessness, lack of remorse and the manipulation of others -- are also shared by politicians and world leaders. Individuals, in other words, running not from the police. But for office. Such a profile allows those who present with these traits to do what they like when they like, completely unfazed by the social, moral or legal consequences of their actions. ...

"If you are violent and cunning, like the real-life 'Hannibal Lecter' Robert Maudsley, you might take a fellow inmate hostage, smash his skull in and sample his brains with a spoon as nonchalantly as if you were downing a soft-boiled egg. (Maudsley, by the way, has been cooped up in solitary confinement for the past 30 years, in a bulletproof cage in the basement of Wakefield Prison in England.)

"Or if you are a brilliant neurosurgeon, ruthlessly cool and focused under pressure, you might, like the man I'll call Dr. Geraghty, try your luck on a completely different playing field: at the remote outposts of 21st-century medicine, where risk blows in on 100-mile-per-hour winds and the oxygen of deliberation is thin. 'I have no compassion for those whom I operate on,' he told me. 'That is a luxury I simply cannot afford. In the theater I am reborn: as a cold, heartless machine, totally at one with scalpel, drill and saw. When you're cutting loose and cheating death high above the snowline of the brain, feelings aren't fit for purpose. Emotion is entropy -- and seriously bad for business. I've hunted it down to extinction over the years.' ...

"Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused. Yet, contrary to popular belief, they are not necessarily violent. Far from its being an open-and-shut case -- you're either a psychopath or you're not -- there are, instead, inner and outer zones of the disorder: a bit like the fare zones on a subway map. There is a spectrum of psychopathy along which each of us has our place. ...



"[In a test designated as Case 1, subjects were told they could save five lives, but to do so they had to flip a switch that would kill one person. In Case 2, they could also save five lives, but they could only do so by pushing another person to his death.] Just like most normal members of the population, psychopaths make pretty short work of the dilemma presented in Case 1. Yet -- and this is where the plot thickens -- quite unlike normal people [who have difficulty with Case 2 because it is more personal], they also make pretty short work of Case 2. Psychopaths, without batting an eye, are perfectly happy to [push that person to his death].

"To compound matters further, this difference in behavior is mirrored, rather distinctly, in the brain. The pattern of neural activation in both psychopaths and normal people is well matched on the presentation of impersonal moral dilemmas -- but dramatically diverges when things get a bit more personal.

"Imagine that I were to pop you into a functional MRI machine and then present you with the two dilemmas. What would I observe as you went about negotiating their moral minefields? Just around the time that the nature of the dilemma crossed the border from impersonal to personal, I would see your amygdala and related brain circuits -- your medial orbitofrontal cortex, for example -- light up like a pinball machine. I would witness the moment, in other words, that emotion puts its money in the slot. But in a psychopath, I would see only darkness. The cavernous neural casino would be boarded up and derelict -- the crossing from impersonal to personal would pass without any incident. ... 
" 'Intellectual ability on its own is just an elegant way of finishing second,' one successful CEO told me. 'Remember, they don't call it a greasy pole for nothing. The road to the top is hard. But it's easier to climb if you lever yourself up on others. Easier still if they think something's in it for them.'

"Jon Moulton, one of London's most successful venture capitalists, agrees. In a recent interview with the Financial Times, he lists determination, curiosity and insensitivity as his three most valuable character traits. No prizes for guessing the first two. But insensitivity? The great thing about insensitivity, Moulton explains, is that 'it lets you sleep when others can't.' "


author:Kevin Dutton
title:"What Psychopaths Teach Us About How to Succeed"
publisher:Scientific American 
date:October 2012


  
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Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

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DelanceyPlace.com -- How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise by Chris Taylor, Publisher: Basic Books; Copyright 2014 by Chris Taylor, Pages 165-167

Today's selection -- from How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor. The first few moments of George Lucas's smash hit Star Wars set a tone that immediately hooked moviegoers:


"Back when Warner Brothers wrested THX 1138 [George Lucas's first feature film] from Lucas's control, Fred Weintraub -- the studio's 'youth expert' -- gave the young director this advice. 'If you hook the audience in the first ten minutes,' he said, 'they'll forgive anything.' Those ten minutes, roughly the length of a film's first reel, could make or break a movie -- especially one that required viewers to make a leap of faith, as both THX and Star Wars did.

"Lucas resented Weintraub, as he resented all studio interference, but he would proceed to follow Weintraub's dictum for the rest of his career. The entire set up of the plot of American Graffiti was conveyed in its first ten minutes. And more ground was covered in the first ten minutes of Star Wars than in -- well, just about any other movie up until that point. Within this short timeframe the film won over skeptical audiences around the world, and earned itself and its Creator a place in cinematic history.

"The first reel of Star Wars was vital -- and yet a surprising amount of the credit for it belongs to people whose names are not George Lucas. It's an object lesson in how filmmaking is a fundamentally collaborative endeavor, and the collaboration often extends across decades. Take the first thing the audience at the Coronet [the theater where Star Wars debuted] would have seen in that first public screening on the morning of May 25, after the Duck Dodgers cartoon: the Fox fanfare. Five seconds of thumping drums and bright brass in B-flat major, the fanfare was composed way back in 1933 by prolific movie composer Alfred Newman, a friend of Irving Berlin and George Gershwin, and expanded in the 1950s for the launch of CinemaScope, the studio's wide-screen movie format. The fanfare had fallen into disuse by 1977, but George Lucas loved Newman's work and asked that it be revived for Star Wars. If you're counting, that's one point for Newman and one for Lucas.

"For generations of kids, that fanfare would not mean Twentieth Century Fox so much as it would mean Star Wars. The part of the fanfare that was extended in the '50s is the bit that plays over the Lucasfilm logo; many viewers wrongly assume it to be some kind of separate Lucasfilm fanfare. Indeed, while not technically part of the film, the fanfare has become so widely associated with the following two hours of entertainment that it was rerecorded by John Williams in 1980 and placed at the beginning of every Star Wars soundtrack album.



"After the fanfare dies away, the screen falls silent and black. Up pop ten simple words, lowercase, in a cool blue:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away ...

"These are Lucas's words, as edited by Lucas: the corny addendum 'an amazing adventure took place' from the fourth draft is gone. No title card in the history of cinema has been more quoted; no ten words are more important. Watching the movie in a theater in Colorado, the beat poet Allen Ginsberg read those ten words and said aloud to his companion: 'Thank goodness. I don't have to worry about it.'

"It was a revolutionary statement -- but why? Leave aside the fairy tale cadence, which lulls us into story time. Consider instead that this is exactly what every fantasy epic needs to give you right off the bat: a setting in space and time that says, relax. Don't bother trying to figure out the relationship between what you're about to see and your own Earthbound reality, because there isn't one. This isn't Planet of the Apes; the Statue of Liberty isn't going to turn up in a last-reel twist. No other movie had ever announced its divorce from our world so explicitly before; with the exception of Star Wars sequels, none would ever be able to do so again without seeming derivative.

"The perfect simplicity of those ten words appears to have been hard for a lot of people to understand in the run-up to the movie's release. The words that open Alan Dean Foster's novelization ('another galaxy, another time') aren't quite the same -- that might place us in the future, rather than in a story that is safely in some history book. Fox didn't get it at all: its trailer for Star Wars opened with the words 'somewhere in space, this may all be happening right now.'

"The ten words remain on the screen for exactly five seconds, long enough for the casual viewer to think, Isn't this supposed to be a science fiction movie? Aren't they all set in the future? What kind of thing is--

"Boom. The largest logo you've ever seen fills the screen, its yellow outlines nudged right up to the top and bottom of the frame, the color a deliberate contrast with the blue of the preceding ten words. It is accompanied by a violent orchestral blast in the same key as the fanfare, B-flat major. Both were placed there by Lucas."



How Star Wars Conquered the Universe: The Past, Present, and Future of a Multibillion Dollar Franchise
Author: Chris Taylor
Publisher: Basic Books
Copyright 2014 by Chris Taylor
Pages 165-167

If you wish to read further: Buy Now


If you use the above link to purchase a book, delanceyplace proceeds from your purchase will benefit a children's literacy project. All delanceyplace profits are donated to charity.
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Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Title: In Vivo Ketamine-Induced Changes in [11C]ABP688 Binding to Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Subtype 5 Author: Christine DeLorenzo,Nicole DellaGioia,Michael Bloch,Gerard Sanacora,Nabeel Nabulsi,Chadi Abdallah,Jie Yang,Ruofeng Wen,J. John Mann,John H. Krystal,Ramin V. Parsey,Richard E. Carson,Irina Esterlis Publication: Biological Psychiatry Publisher: Elsevier Date: 1 February 2015 Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


DelanceyPlace.com -- Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him by David Henry, Publisher: Algonquin Books, Copyright 2013 by David Henry and Joe Henry; Pages 112-114

Today's selection -- from Furious Cool by David Henry. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panthers in 1966, partially in response to perceived police brutality. At the inception, the Black Panthers were as much about community service as political protest, and ran a free breakfast program serving thousands of Oakland's disadvantaged children. The Panthers expanded rapidly to sixty eight cities and thousands of members, and achieved success in obtaining a number of concessions from local governments. However, the Panthers devolved in the 1970s due to infighting and reports of criminal activity such as drug dealing and extortion: 

"[Huey] Newton graduated from Berkeley High a functional illiterate but then doggedly taught himself to read by struggling through Plato's Republic, plowing all the way through it no fewer than five times until he understood it. The book, and his accomplishment in learning to read it, fueled his aspirations to become a political leader. 

Original six members of the Black Panther Party (1966)
"By the time he and Bobby Seale formed the Black Panther Party in October of 1966, Huey Newton had completed two years of law school and was well known on campus for his spirited discussions on the finer points of constitutional law. Bobby Seale was an engineering design major who had spent three years in the air force doing structural repair on high-performance aircraft and had worked on the Gemini missile program. Yet the press and political forces portrayed the Panthers as armed hoodlums and drug thugs who roamed the streets looking to gun down white people. J. Edgar Hoover's counterintelligence unit regarded even the Panthers' free breakfast program a threat to national security. The free breakfast program, which by 1969 served more than ten thousand Oakland children every morning before they went to school, was but one of the party's 'survival programs', along with clothing and food giveaways, escort services for the elderly, and health care services that included testing for sickle-cell anemia.

"Still, the only thing that mattered to the media and to a majority of Americans -- the only thing they knew about the Panthers, apparently -- was that they had guns. At that time, white America could scarcely imagine anything scarier than 'armed Negroes.'
 

Panther Jerry Dunigan, known as "Odinka", serves breakfast to children at Panther Free Breakfast Program


"The scariest thing they couldn't have imagined would be Negroes with unconcealed weapons operating out in the open and entirely within the law -- angry young militants brazenly availing themselves of their legal and constitutional rights the same as everyone else. 'They were registered guns,' Newton pointed out. 'Just like the NRA's guns. Just like Charlton Heston's guns.'


"This wasn't what the Establishment had in mind when they advised minorities to work for change within the system. They meant casting ballots -- with proper ID and no outstanding warrants -- every couple of years for either candidate R or candidate D. That didn't mean exercise your rights to peaceably assemble, to engage in free speech, or bear arms and, when challenged, demand the courts to either uphold those rights or announce to the whole world, point-blank, that those rights didn't apply to people like you. But that's what they did. ...

"Exercising their constitutional right to bear arms was but one weapon in the Panthers' arsenal. Along with their guns, they carried tape recorders, cameras, and law books as they patrolled the streets on their mission to 'police the police,' to observe and document law enforcement's volatile interactions with Oakland's black citizenry. ...

"Huey, Bobby, Stokely, Hubert, Eldridge, Sherwin -- who would've guessed that such bookish, even nerdy-sounding names could strike apprehension and fear in the hearts of white America more than midway through what was supposed to be its greatest century?

"Congress went so far as to pass a law against the party's minister of justice Hubert 'H. Rap' Brown -- the 'Rap Brown' Federal Anti-Riot Act, tacked onto a fair housing law at the last minute by Senator Strom Thurmond, making it illegal to travel from one state to another, write a letter, make a telephone call, or speak on radio or television with the intent of encouraging any person to participate in a riot."


Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him
Author: David Henry
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Copyright 2013 by David Henry and Joe Henry
Pages 112-114

 
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Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Portishead Roads live at Glastonbury 2013

DelanceyPlace.com -- Today's selection -- from The Art of Stillness: Adventures In Going No Where by Pico Iyer; Leonard Cohen or Jikan: The Silence Between Two Thoughts

Today's selection -- from The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer. Leonard Cohen, legendary singer-songwriter, musician, poet, and novelist perhaps best known for his song "Hallelujah," has more recently had occasion to explore a more monastic life:


"I'd come up here in order to write about [Leonard Cohen's] near-silent, anonymous life on the mountain, but for the moment I lost all sense of where I was. I could hardly believe that this rabbinical-seeming gentleman in wire-rimmed glasses and wool cap was in truth the singer and poet who'd been renowned for thirty years as an international heartthrob, a constant traveler, and an Armani-clad man of the world.

"Leonard Cohen had come to this Old World redoubt to make a life -- an art -- out of stillness. And he was working on simplifying himself as fiercely as he might on the verses of one of his songs, which he spends more than ten years polishing to perfection. The week I was visiting, he was essentially spending seven days and nights in a bare meditation hall, sitting stock-still. His name in the monastery, Jikan, referred to the silence between two thoughts. ...

"Sitting still, he said with unexpected passion, was 'the real deep entertainment' he had found in his sixty-one years on the planet. 'Real profound and voluptuous and delicious entertainment. The real feast that is available within this activity.' ...

" 'What else would I be doing?' he asked. 'Would I be starting a new marriage with a young woman and raising another family? Finding new drugs, buying more expensive wine? I don't know. This seems to me the most luxurious and sumptuous response to the emptiness of my own existence.'

"Typically lofty and pitiless words; living on such close terms with silence clearly hadn't diminished his gift for golden sentences. But the words carried weight when coming from one who seemed to have tasted all the pleasures that the world has to offer.

"Being in this remote place of stillness had nothing to do with piety or purity, he assured me; it was simply the most practical way he'd found of working through the confusion and terror that had long been his bedfellows. ...




"'Nothing touches it,' Cohen said, as the light came into the cabin, of sitting still. Then he remembered himself, perhaps, and gave me a crinkly, crooked smile. 'Except if you're courtin',' he added. 'If you're young, the hormonal thrust has its own excitement.'

"Going nowhere, as Cohen described it, was the grand adventure that makes sense of everywhere else.

"Sitting still as a way of falling in love with the world and everything in it; I'd seldom thought of it like that. Going nowhere as a way of cutting through the noise and finding fresh time and energy to share with others; I'd sometimes moved toward the idea, but it had never come home to me so powerfully as in the example of this man who seemed to have everything, yet found his happiness, his freedom, in giving everything up. ...

"The idea has been around as long as humans have been, of course; the poets of East Asia, the philosophers of ancient Greece and Rome, regularly made stillness the center of their lives. But has the need for being in one place ever been as vital as it is right now? After a thirty-year study of time diaries, two sociologists found that Americans were actually working fewer hours than we did in the 1960s, but we feel as if we're working more. We have the sense, too often, of running at top speed and never being able to catch up.

"With machines coming to seem part of our nervous systems, while increasing their speed every season, we've lost our Sundays, our weekends, our nights off -- our holy days, as some would have it; our bosses, junk mailers, our parents can find us wherever we are, at any time of day or night. More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk. ...

"Not many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it's often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize. Stillness is not just an indulgence for those with enough resources -- it's a necessity for anyone who wishes to gather less visible resources. Going nowhere, as Cohen had shown me, is not about austerity so much as about coming closer to one's senses."



The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere 
Author: Pico Iyer
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/ TED
Copyright 2014 by Pico Iyer
Pages 2-6

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If you use the above link to purchase a book, delanceyplace proceeds from your purchase will benefit a children's literacy project. All delanceyplace profits are donated to charity.
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About Us

Delanceyplace is a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  There is no theme, except that most excerpts will come from a non-fiction work, mainly works of history, are occasionally controversial, and we hope will have a more universal relevance than simply the subject of the book from which they came. 

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