This Friday I had the chance to help facilitate a workshop with the New York City Nutrition Education Network, better known as NYCNEN. Held at The New School, the workshop was part of their May General Meeting. The overarching theme for the meeting was “Developing Partnerships for a Healthier NYC: A Workshop Exploring Resource Mapping and Cultural Sensitivity,” and my specific workshop was titled “Community Cartography: Mapping Health, Justice and Power.”
In addition to myself, Takeesha White from The Partnership for a Healthier New York City and Sandra Arévalo, Director of Nutrition Services and Co-Director of The Starting Right Initiative at Community Pediatrics (part of the Montefiore Hospital and Children’s Health Fund) gave presentations. Sandra’s talk was particularly interesting to be for some of the language and cultural barriers to food and nutrition labeling she discussed, many of which I have never thought about before. Like frijoles! Read More
I’m Not Mad at You in Particular, Just Everyone in General
It’s been one of those weeks,
in the middle of the month
when you just want to scream
and break something beautiful
like those drones in the halls
playing pretend scholars
on blood money and silenced ghosts
Williamsburg, BK. – Nazi SS glasses on a Draw Anything 2 poster at corner of Bedford Ave and N 12th.
Posted by horatio on Tuesday May 7, 2013 Under journal
Some of my latest kitchen edibles, blue oyster mushrooms. These spawn blocks are from Fungi Perfecti.
Earlier this week the FBI announced that they were elevating Black Liberation Army (BLA) and Black Panther Party (BPP) activist Assata Shakur (formerly Joanne Chesimard) to their ‘Most Wanted Terrorist’ list of domestic suspects, making her the only woman in history to have such a designation, and the second US citizen ever to be added to the list. The timing, coming on the 40th anniversary of her alleged killing of a NJ cop, reeks of FBI Cointelpro 2.0, and has the PATRIOT Act, police state and prison-industrial complex slime all over it from head to foot and back again.
Assata Shakur, aunt of the famous rapper Tupac Shakur, has been a thorn in the side of the racist US government since before I was born–as you can see from, the original 1973 FBI wanted poster below. She was a leading Black thinker and activist during the height of the Black liberation struggles of the late 60′s and 70′s, and continues to be a brilliant and outspoken radical from her home in exile of Cuba. She continues to argue she is innocent. You can read the response of her lawyers to the FBI charges here. Read More
In case you haven’t heard, a young girl named Kiera Wilmot was arrested on Monday (4/29) at Bartow High School in Polk County, Florida for a science experiment involving “The Works” (Drano knock-off) and tin foil in a bottle. That’s right, arrested, expelled and now facing felony charges! And it has got many folks in the science community in an uproar, as can be seen here and here and here and also here. And twitter pretty much blew up on #ScienceIsNotACrime and #Solidarity4Wilmot.
For those note familiar, basically how this backyard experiment works is that you mix something like Drano/The Works and aluminum foil together in a closed container–usually a 1 liter soda bottle with a screw cap–which creates an acidic chemical reaction. For the science nerds it’s: 6 HCl (aq) + 2 Al (s) —> 2 AlCl3 (aq) + 3 H2 (g). This chemical process rapidly produces gas which then builds up in the sealed container until the pressure expands the plastic bottle and forces the bottle cap to pop off with a loudish exploding pop and a puff of smoke. Here’s an example of the process–you can find hundreds of similar videos on YouTube and elsewhere online. Read More
In other news, Politix reports on a recent incident where students were allegedly forced to listen to a Christian fundamentalism sermons disguised as a student assembly, this time in a Mississippi public school in Rankin County.
“A Mississippi public high school has caused a furore by forcing students to attend Christian assemblies, students allege. Northwest Rankin High School assemblies were led by local church officials, students claim, and showed Christian video while teachers actually blocked the exits to prevent students leaving.”
Here’s the basic details as reported by local station WAFB 9:
“The Appignani Humanist Legal Center learned from Northwest Rankin High School students that a mandatory assembly was held during school hours on April 9 where a representative of the Pinelake Baptist Church spoke of finding “hope” in “Jesus Christ,” according to a press release from the American Humanist Association.
The group claims that students stated anyone who attempted to leave the April 9 assembly were prevented from doing so. The press release adds that at the end of the presentation, the speakers led the students in a Christian prayer.” Read More
So this weekend I had the pleasure of wandering around the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens with a friend at their Sakura Matsuri Festival, which was a combination of the annual cherry blossom festival plus lots of other Japanese cultural events–taiko drums, cosplay, origami workshops, Ukiyo-e artists, musical performances and more. The cherry blossoms themselves actually weren’t that impressive, as a lot of the trees have still not bloomed yet, but there were a few nice examples that were in bloom, such as this one below.
Cherry blossoms at the Sakura Matsuri Festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
I live in a Greenpoint, Brooklyn neighborhood in the northwestern corner of the Greenpoint area, sandwiched between the BQE, Calvary Cemetery and the East River industrial zone. It’s a lovely little place with a very toxic history dating back centuries, and continuing today. Although the form of the industrial pollution may change from time to time, the basics problem is always the same–oil and synthetic chemicals. If you aren’t paying attention, it’s quite likely that you may have walked right past the latest example of this ongoing industrial disaster zone and not even noticed. Here is an example of what I am talking about, taken while walking home this Friday.
So in honor of the annual celebration that is 420, I whipped up a little something something in the kitchen–Carurú De Camarón. And before you ask, no, it was not a “420 dinner,” as some folks might suspect given the date, just the basic ingredients, with no special sauce
So the dish I made is one I really enjoy, and have made 6-7 times over the past year, always trying out variations on the ingredients, ratios, etc. Here’s a photo of the cook in his element.
[Editor's Note: Offensive language follows]
Did you catch the latest white supremacist twitterganza following the MTV movie awards? If not, then check out Public Shaming’s Tweets of Privilege post here. I would say that this sort of thing is shocking, but truth be told, having spent this semester teaching a course on race, immigration and white privilege, and writing and thinking about issues of justice and privilege for a while now, I’m becoming less and less surprised by such incidents, and more and more convinced it speaks to something much deeper in the US psyche. Read More