Thursday, 20 October 2016

My Thoughts on Last Night's Debate

Image: Photo of Donald Trump, decorated with devil's horns, inside a border of spooky black trees and bats, with an approximation of the title of the movie "The Conjuring" just above Trump's photo.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

from the NYT

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love
Mandy Len Catron’s Modern Love

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

Saturday, 15 October 2016

On the Vanishing Cabinet in Harry Potter

Vanishing Cabinet
“We forced him headfirst into that Vanishing Cabinet on the first floor.”

The Vanishing Cabinet and its pair are among the many magical objects in the world of Harry Potter. They are well enough described in the series that I do not need to introduced. Where were they located, though? We know that one was in Borgin & Burkes, and eventually even the least observant of us are forced to acknowledge that one is at Hogwarts. But where in Hogwarts? Was it always in the Room of Requirement?

Dreams, by Dumbledore

After Siruis Black entered the castle in search of Peter-Pettigrew-cum-Scabbers and Dumbledore had relegated the students to the Great Hall to sleep, Snape entered into conversation with him.Eventually, the following line passed Dumbledore's lips: "In dreams we enter a world that is entirely our own. Let them swim in the deepest oceans or glide over the highest cloud." I overlaid that quote on the ceiling of the Great Hall, which that night was emblazoned more with galaxies than mere stars. Click the image to see it better.

Monday, 10 October 2016

The Economic and Impact of Slavery on the North: Reading Eric Foner's Texts

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery
On the strength of its control of the transatlantic trade in cotton, New York City rose to commercial dominance. Even the abolition of the slave trade from Africa in 1808, a year before Lincoln’s birth, did not slow slavery’s growth. A flourishing domestic slave trade replaced the importation of slaves. By the eve of the Civil War, the slave population in the United States had reached nearly four million. The economic value of these men, women, and children when considered as property exceeded the combined worth of all the banks, railroads, and factories in the United States. In geographical extent, population, and the institution’s economic importance, the South was home to the most powerful slave system the modern world has known.

Foner, Eric (2011-09-26). The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (Kindle Locations 582-587). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Black Lives Matter Khutba Ideas

BLM Khutba Ideas

Finally: The Integral role of Black Americans in Islamic revival
In the post-colonial era, the Muslim world became characterized by immense corruption, ritualism, and poverty. Gone was the era of the Islamic golden age in places such as Islamic Spain in which Muslims commanded universal respect and admiration. In light of this, numerous Muslim intellectuals from Abul ala Maududi, Ali Shariati, Abul ala Maududi, and many others have devoted themselves to how the Islamic world could achieve a revival. What role to Black Americans played in this?

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Ringwood Forest, Friday 07 October 2016

A peaceful sort of presence - just being with Nature. To see each photo in its full glory and splendour, click on the photo itself.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Howard Sharper's Weather Forecast, 06 October 2016

Local Photographer Wins Award

"Autumn Sunset in Saginaw," by Howard Sharper, won an award. Check it out!


Autumn Leaves in Mist


When Are You Not in My Mind?

When are you not in my mind,
or your hand not in mine?
I am grateful that none of my nights
I am now away from you.

If things are that difficult there,
sell the heart, give up life,
Don't such conditions exist, my friends,
in my lover's neighborhood?

The swagger with which one enters
the execution chamber - that hubris
lives on; life comes and goes,
this life is not such a big deal!

Faith's arena is not a palace,
no one cares for the name or genealogy;
no one is named Lover,
love is not the caste of anyone.

If this is a contest for love,
lay down what you can, without fear
wonderful if you win,
If you lose, it is not a defeat.
-Faiz Ahmed Faiz


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

15 Unexpected Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By Yanique Dawkins

15 Unexpected Quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
By Yanique Dawkins - September 26, 2014

“I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today – my own government.”

“There is a magnificent new militancy within the Negro community all across this nation. And I welcome this as a marvelous development. The Negro of America is saying he’s determined to be free and he is militant enough to stand up.”

“You can’t talk about solving the economic problem of the Negro without talking about billions of dollars. You can’t talk about ending the slums without first saying profit must be taken out of the slums. You’re really tampering and getting on dangerous ground because you are messing with folk then. You are messing with captains of industry. Now this means that we are treading in difficult water, because it really means that we are saying that something is wrong with capitalism.”

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked ‘insufficient funds.’”

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was ‘well timed,’ according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word ‘Wait!’ It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This ‘wait’ has almost always meant ‘never.’ We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that ‘justice too long delayed is justice denied.'”

“The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we be? Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or the extension of justice?”

“If America does not use her vast resources of wealth to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life, she too will go to hell.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“If our economic system is to survive, there has to be a better distribution of wealth … we can’t have a system where some people live in superfluous, inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.”

“The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists, who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood. The trailblazers in human, academic, scientific and religious freedom have always been nonconformists. In any cause that concerns the progress of mankind, put your faith in the nonconformist!”

“Somebody told a lie one day. They couched it in language. They made everything Black ugly and evil. Look in your dictionaries and see the synonyms of the word Black. It’s always something degrading and low and sinister. Look at the word White, it’s always something pure, high and clean. Well I want to get the language right tonight. I want to get the language so right that everyone here will cry out: ‘Yes, I’m Black, I’m proud of it. I’m Black and I’m beautiful!’”

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’”

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”

There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. (I Have a Dream)