Thursday, August 17, 2017

Race and Racism in the Age of Trump


The 2017 Hutchins Forum will be live from Martha's Vineyard at 5pm ET on August 17. The forum is hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and moderated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Panelists include Charles Blow, Alan Dershowitz, Asma Khalid, Leah Wright Rigueur, April Ryan and Armstrong Williams.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Blockchain and Cryptocurrency


A blockchain is a distributed database that is used to maintain a continuously growing list of records, called blocks. Each block contains a timestamp and a link to a previous block. A blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for validating new blocks. By design, blockchains are inherently resistant to modification of the data. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks and a collusion of the network majority. Functionally, a blockchain can serve as "an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. The ledger itself can also be programmed to trigger transactions automatically.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

History.com: America's War On Drugs


America’s War on Drugs
http://www.history.com/shows/americas-war-on-drugs/about:

“America’s War on Drugs” is an immersive trip through the last five decades, uncovering how the CIA, obsessed with keeping America safe in the fight against communism, allied itself with the mafia and foreign drug traffickers. In exchange for support against foreign enemies, the groups were allowed to grow their drug trade in the United States. The series explores the unintended consequences of when gangsters, war lords, spies, outlaw entrepreneurs, street gangs and politicians vie for power and control of the global black market for narcotics – all told through the firsthand accounts of former CIA and DEA officers, major drug traffickers, gang members, noted experts and insiders.

Episode 1: Acid, Spies & Secret Experiments
Episode 2: Cocaine, Cartels, & Crack Downs
Episode 3: Gangs Prisons, and Meth Queens
Episode 4: Heroin, Terrorists, and Kings of Pain

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Before The Dawn


(repost for a friend)

Talk of the Nation, Science Friday
'Before the Dawn' Author Nicholas Wade
April 26, 2006

Review - Monstersandcritics.com

Amazon.com
- From Publishers Weekly

"Scientists are using DNA analysis to understand our prehistory: the evolution of humans; their relation to the Neanderthals, who populated Europe and the Near East; and Homo erectus, who roamed the steppes of Asia. Most importantly, geneticists can trace the movements of a little band of human ancestors, numbering perhaps no more than 150, who crossed the Red Sea from east Africa about 50,000 years ago. Within a few thousand years, their descendents, Homo sapiens, became masters of all they surveyed, the other humanoid species having become extinct.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Gyu Kaku Boston


Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ in Brookline and Harvard Square is the ideal spot for a great dining experience in Boston. The restaurant type is called Yakiniku in Japanese.This barbecue spot is a great place to meet friends. Not a place to dine alone.

A post shared by Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ (@gyukakujbbq) on

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Family's Slave - The Atlantic - Alex Tizon






In 'Lola's Story,' A Journalist Reveals A Family Secret
NPR's Morning Edition
May 16, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

American Gods


Based on the novel by English author Neil Gaiman, a blend of Americana, fantasy, and various strands of mythology, all centering on the mysterious and taciturn Shadow. Several of the themes touched upon in the book were previously glimpsed in The Sandman comic book series.

The central premise of the novel is that gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them (a type of thoughtform). Immigrants to the United States brought with them spirits and gods. The power of these mythological beings has diminished as people's beliefs waned. New gods have arisen, reflecting America's obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and drugs, among other things.





Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Boston MBTA Proposed North South Rail Link


The North–South Rail Link is a proposed pair of rail tunnels, each about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long, that would connect North and South Stations in downtown Boston, Massachusetts.

The tunnels would better link Amtrak's various trains into and out of the city, but would mainly benefit the MBTA Commuter Rail by connecting its northern and southern lines. Currently, the Amtrak Downeaster line from Maine has no direct connection to the Northeast Corridor routes south and west. Both Amtrak and the commuter rail lines currently terminate at North and South Stations.



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

American Experience: The Great War


6 Hours:

Part 1: American neutrality erodes as Wilson declares “the world must be made safe for democracy.”
Part 2: As patriotism sweeps the nation, the country assembles its first mass conscripted army.
Part 3: The climactic struggle and ensuing peace that forever changed a president and a nation.

Friday, April 07, 2017

American Playboy


The Amazon Original Series draws from unprecedented access to more than 17,000 hours of footage and over 2,600 scrapbooks from Hefner's personal archives, chronicling the life of an American icon and the history of the brand he created.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Legion


Legion, based on the Marvel Comics, follows the story of David Haller – a troubled young man who may be more than human. 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

The People versus O.J. Simpson / O.J: Made in America

Two series on O.J. Simpson within the last year.
Both are good, award winners.
Underscores what an incredibly complicated and tragic figure.






Monday, March 27, 2017

Fareed Zakaria: Relationship between Trump and Putin


Fareed Zakaria searches to find the true nature of the relationship between President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, and the implications of their relationship for the world. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Boston Dynamics: Introducing Handle

Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4​ ​feet vertically! ​It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge. ​​​Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles​ found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.

Imagine, this used to be only seen in a movie using special effects. But this thing is real, and not tethered! 

The video gave me a sense of awe, and a bit of 'yikes'. Welcome to the future. A matter of time until one of these gets armed with a weapon.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Africa's Great Civilizations


In his new six-hour series, Africa's Great Civilizations, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. takes a new look at the history of Africa, from the birth of humankind to the dawn of the 20th century. This is a breathtaking and personal journey through two hundred thousand years of history, from the origins, on the African continent, of art, writing and civilization itself, through the millennia in which Africa and Africans shaped not only their own rich civilizations, but also the wider world.





Friday, February 24, 2017

The Last Man on the Moon


When Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan stepped on the moon in December 1972 he left his footprints and his daughter’s initials in the lunar dust. Only now, over forty years later, is he ready to share his epic but deeply personal story of fulfillment, love and loss. Cernan’s burning ambition carried him from a quiet Chicago suburb to the spectacular and hazardous environment of space, and ultimately, to the moon. Five years in the making, The Last Man on the Moon unveils a wealth of rare archive, and takes Cernan back to the launch pads of Cape Kennedy, to Arlington National Cemetery and to his Texas ranch, where he finds respite from a past that refuses to let him go.




Eugene Cernan 1934-2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NASA: TRAPPIST-1

NASA announces that TRAPPIST-1 System has 7 Earth-sized planets - 6 within the star's habitable zone.





Thursday, February 16, 2017

NOVA: The Origami Revolution



Engineers are using origami to design drugs, micro-robots, and future space missions.

The centuries-old tradition of folding two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional shapes is inspiring a scientific revolution. The rules of folding are at the heart of many natural phenomena, from how leaves blossom to how beetles fly. But now, engineers and designers are applying its principles to reshape the world around us—and even within us, designing new drugs, micro-robots, and future space missions. With this burgeoning field of origami-inspired-design, the question is: can the mathematics of origami be boiled down to one elegant algorithm—a fail-proof guidebook to make any object out of a flat surface, just by folding? And if so, what would that mean for the future of design? Explore the high-tech future of this age-old art as NOVA unfolds “The Origami Revolution.”

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Independent Lens: Birth of a Movement



Birth of a Movement Full Film | Video | Independent Lens | PBS:

The story of William Monroe Trotter, the nearly forgotten editor of a Boston black newspaper who helped launch a nationwide movement in 1915 to ban Hollywood’s first blockbuster movie, the later controversial The Birth of a Nation.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

American Experience: Oklahoma City


PBS.org

"OKLAHOMA CITY traces the events — including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco — that led McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. With a virulent strain of anti-government anger still with us, the film is both a cautionary tale and an extremely timely warning."


Friday, January 27, 2017

Frontline: Divided States of America



FRONTLINE investigates the partisanship that gridlocked Washington in the Obama era, and the polarized America that Donald Trump inherits as president.

Broadcast Jan 17/18, 2017

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Alex Gibney: Zero Days


Zero Days is a 2016 American documentary film directed by Alex Gibney. Zero Days covers the phenomenon surrounding the Stuxnet computer virus and the development of the malware software known as "Olympic Games."


Wednesday, December 21, 2016


My President Was Black
A history of the first African American White House—and of what came next
By Ta-Nehisi Coates

I. “Love Will Make You Do Wrong”
II. He Walked on Ice but Never Fell
III. “I Decided to Become Part of That World”
IV. “You Still Gotta Go Back to the Hood”
V. "They Rode the Tiger”
VI. “When You Left, You Took All of Me With You”