Because I think we can all agree that “Will code for food to be able to sell it for money to then get art supplies so that I can paint and then try to sell some paintings for rent and food so that I’ll have a roof over my head where I can then continue to learn and improve my coding skills to be able to then go out and code for more food” would just be too big-ass of a sign.
Bring up the historic levels of wealth disparity in this country and all of the sudden you’re accused by the ‘psychophants’ and water-carriers of waging class warfare.
How about that people are finally making commonsense observations about how democracy and rule “of, by and for the people” has been subverted by an oligarchic rule. Just by starting a discussion, you rub up against their indoctrinated misbeliefs, set off their shriek monkey alarms and are accused of starting a war.
A war that they themselves have been unwittingly fighting on behalf of people who disdain them. A war that has been going on for over thirty years in broad daylight, but one which they themselves refuse to acknowledge even exists. The real outrage should be directed at the widening wealth disparity, not at the people who are finally noticing it.
Just because there’s no tanks and bombs, no news coverage and no formal declarations, don’t think it isn’t war. It is. It’s unbridled class warfare; and you, your neighbors, your co-workers and your fellow citizens, along with the planet itself, is under attack. Remaining silent, claiming ignorance or simply not wishing to ‘rock the boat’ is simply acquiescing.
Here’s Thom Hartmann on “Billionaires vs “We the People.”
And what a ride it’s been. For his body, for music, and for all of us. Happy Birthday Keith.
His use of silence/space, the 5-string open G Tele, playing milliseconds behind or ahead of the beat, the multitude and breadth of styles he could inhabit, the infectious grooves he could create, the heart and ‘tude he’s brought to the table all these years.
Vitamin D, Echinacea, Garlic, Nux Vomica, Green Superfoods
With the arrival of colder temperatures for the last 2-3 weeks for much of the U.S. and Canada, it’s time for a followup to last year’s ““5 Great Supplements for Winter”” post. That article espoused Singer’s Saving Grace throat spray, vitamin C powder packets, OscillococcinumTM (homeopathic flu remedy), Rescue Remedy and Olba’s Inhaler as five of my trusted companions during the chillier part of the year. Here are five more supplements for the winter months.
Vitamin D -the most common forms come from cod liver oil and sheep’s wool. The lanolin version from sheep’s wool is the closest to a ‘vegetarian’ form since it technically doesn’t have you ingesting an animal part, and no animals are harmed during the process. Unlike vitamin C, there aren’t a whole lot of non-animal/dairy food sources of this nutrient. Many people also supplement with D in the winter because the northern climes they live in don’t provide enough winter sunlight for them to get their usual amount of skin-absorbed and synthesized vitamin D that they get during the warmer months. Capsules or drops in the 400, 1000 and 2000 IU dosages are popular. There’s been a noticeable uptick since 2010 of doctors and nutritionists starting to recommend higher dosages of this supplement for their patients, and of manufacturers rolling out potencies as high as 5000 IU.
Echinacea growing behind the Smithsonian in DC
Echinacea -tincture, tea or capsule form. The purple coneflower; echinacea angustifolia and echinacea purpurea are the two most commonly used species. Echinacea helps support the immune system and produce white blood cells. Usually ‘pulsed’; that is, taken for three to four weeks and then stopped, for a break, before resuming. Once a bug or cold is three days old, echinacea is not as impactful. Thus, it is a good immune supporting supplement when you’re not sick or if taken at the first signs of an oncoming illness. I prefer the liquid tincture forms, which usually come in 1- or 2-oz. dropper bottles in a vegetable glycerin or grain alcohol base. The alcohol-based tinctures tend to have a longer shelf life (sometimes by years) than the sweeter tasting glycerin ones, but you can prolong the efficacy of the glycerin-based tinctures by storing them in the fridge after opening them and using them up within six months. Good echinacea (tincture) causes a distinctive tingling sensation on the tongue after ingestion.
To the bells of the cathedral
I am thinking of your voice…
And of the midnight picnic
Once upon a time
Before the rain began…
And I finish up my coffee
And it’s time to catch the train.
-Suzanne Vega, “Tom’s Diner”
Talk-sing-whispers. Suzanne Vega burst onto the scene in 1985 with her eponymous debut on A & M Records. My friend Giles turned me onto it over the holiday break that year while we were both in town visiting family and friends in Pittsburgh. It was a refreshing change-up at the time for acoustic music fans, and indeed the public at large, to hear something like “Marlene On The Wall” on the radio. Amidst a musical landscape dominated by synth pop, hair ‘metal’, modern R and B, a burgeoning alternative rock and post-punk scene, rap and more, came a record of quiet observations and introspective verse delivered in a half whispery singing style atop a finger-picked acoustic guitar. Qu’elle difference! A sparse but sharp set of backing musicians fleshed out the arrangements with a modern feel, mixing in atmospheric electric guitar and keyboards.
Her smash followup, 1987′s “Solitude Standing”, featured “Luka”, “Tom’s Diner” and a bevy of great songs including “Wooden Horse (Kasper Hauser song)”, “Ironbound/Poultry Parts” and the Homeric references of “Calypso”, presented live below from a July 2011 performance in France:
Today I walked with thousands of people from all over the country along a route filled with historical landmarks and present-day reminders of economic, racial and systemic injustice; -thinking of how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go. It was fifty years later, to the day, of the March on Washington in 1963. The main stretch of the 1.6 mile route took us down Constitution Avenue past the Dept. of Labor, the U.S. Courthouse, the Federal Trade Commission and the Dept. of (what passes for) Justice.
Students from a local D.C. school led the way.
At the head of the march was a group of students from the Washington Dupont Park Adventist School. It must have been quite an extraordinary day for them. Perhaps some of them will attend the one fifty years from now, much like the people they were marching right in front of. For, walking behind them, and perhaps just a tad slower than they had in 1963, was a line of seniors, arms linked, who had all been to the original march fifty years ago as children, college students, young adults and organizers. They braved the stormy skies and once again commanded Constitution Avenue; there for each other, there for those who could not be there. There for those who would come after. A sea of umbrellas and conversations followed, as the numbers packed the westbound lanes and spilled across the sidewalks.
I’ve been playing around with a new app I got, called Sketch (for Mac). The main things I’ll be using it for are to:
Have a tool to make flat icons for websites (see image below)
Create SVG’s (scalable vector graphics) that can re-size without pixellation on the curves
Design header and logo elements for web sites
Have a tool to muck about with creatively (see image at top)
While I’m finding out that learning to create with vector tools isn’t as intuitive of a process as I’d like it to be, it’s neat to have an app that can spit out the SVG code for me when I design complicated forms that in the past I would have to load onto websites as raster images.
It’s also one twentieth of what the traditional cost of entry for the industry standard (Adobe Creative Suite, or ACS) was before it switched to a subscription model this year. Up until now, I had found that the only reasonable alternative to ACS had been the excellent (and free) open-source app Gimp; which, although something I will definitely return to in the future, I had found to have too steep of a learning curve for a newbie.
4 screen-size flat icons merged into a single transparent .png with Sketch.
While Sketch is professional-level and suitable for general web design work, it is not a photo processing/editing tool, and is more akin to ACS’s Fireworks and Illustrator. So for working with photo images, maybe that’s what I’ll try to selectively learn to do with Gimp.
Of course, 90% of web designers and clients still work with Photoshop documents. That number isn’t going to drastically change anytime soon. But with easily affordable web design tools like Sketch, Gimp, iPhoto and Balsamiq Mockups, a starting web designer can still have a fighting chance without spending a small fortune (or having to buy a pirated or student copy of ACS).