Anti-apartheid activist and South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, is dead today at 95.
Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.
He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.
South Africa is still bedeviled by challenges, from class inequality to political corruption to AIDS. And with Mandela’s death, it has lost a beacon of optimism.
Feb. 1990: NBC’s Robin Lloyd reports on Nelson Mandela on the eve of his release from prison in 1990. Mandela’s name has become a rallying cry for the overthrow of apartheid, but no one but prison guards and visitors have actually seen him since he was jailed 27 years ago.
In his jailhouse memoirs, Mandela wrote that even after spending so many years in a Spartan cell on Robben Island – with one visitor a year and one letter every six months – he still had faith in human nature.
Today I’m interviewing PuZuZu Ba’al, and we are mostly going to be talking about his website “spellsandmagic.com” along with his experiences with alien life. To kick things off, other than Spells And Magic, do you want to talk a bit about yourself and your hobbies?
Myself now or… well to summarize it all up I was a little military brat and lived in quite a few different states and visited a few different countries in Europe. Started out in a mainstream religion; indoctrinated into the same mainstream religious stuff that most people are at a young age. Started into the occult probably around 16 or 17. My hobbies and stuff as far as now would be skydiving because when my dad was dying at the age of 50 (cancer, induced by Agent Orange) he told me, “Why don’t you do anything adventurous?” So I got into skydiving. I love it because it makes me feel like I have more of an appreciation for life when I do it.… Read the rest
Informational signs scattered throughout warn passersby, “Your life is precious”. Tofugu on one of the spookiest spots in Japan:
Located at the base of Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara is perhaps the most infamous forest in Japan. Also known as the Sea of Trees, Suicide Forest, and Japan’s Demon Forest, Aokigahara has been home to over 500 confirmed suicides since the 1950s.
Wataru Tsurumui’s controversial 1993 bestseller The Complete Suicide Manual is a book that describes various modes of suicide and even recommends Aokigahara as the perfect place to die. Undoubtedly, the most common method of suicide in the forest is hanging.
Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have permeated Aokigahara’s soil and trees, generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter from escaping the gnarled depths of the forest.
Adam Scorgie is a producer and indie film-maker most commonly known for his work on the documentaries The Union,The Culture High The Good Son, Ice Guardians & I AM BRUCE LEE.
Hot on the Jim Marrs’ post “Who Parked Our Moon” that resurfaced last week, now the highly respected science journal Nature gets in on the act of questioning just what the deal is with our moon. Author Robin Canup, associate vice-president of the Planetary Science Directorate of Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, says current theories on the formation of the Moon owe too much to cosmic coincidences:
The Moon is more than just a familiar sight in our skies. It dictates conditions on Earth. The Moon is large enough to stabilize our planet’s rotation, holding Earth’s polar axis steady to within a few degrees. Without it, the current Earth’s tilt would vary chaotically by tens of degrees. Such large variations might not preclude life, but would lead to a vastly different climate.
Knowing how the Moon was made is central to understanding Earth and the formation of other planets.
This is one effective form of protest. Buzzfeed writes:
Workers incensed by rumors of a co-worker’s death in a police firing burned down one of Bangladesh’s 10 biggest garment factories supplying to major Western brands on Nov. 29:
According to authorities, factory workers were enraged after a loudspeaker from a mosque announced a worker’s death during a police firing to disperse a road blockade by factory employees earlier that day.
Six months’ worth of supplies for U.S. brands, including Gap and Wal-Mart, were burnt in the fire. Other burnt garments included those from huge global brands such as American Eagle Outfitters, Marks and Spencer, Sears, Uniqlo, and Zara. A Standard Group official estimated that the firm could lose well over $100 million in the fire.
Every new revelation about the global reach of the National Security Agency underscores that the extremism of the surveillance state has reached gargantuan proportions. The Washington Post just reported that the NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.” Documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden have forced top officials in Washington to admit the indefensible while defending it. One of the main obstacles to further expansion of their Orwellian empire is real journalism.
Real journalism is “subversive” of deception that can’t stand the light of day. This is a huge problem for the Obama administration and the many surveillance-state flunkies of both parties in Congress. What they want is fake journalism, deferring to government storylines and respectful of authority even when it is illegitimate.
In motion now, on both sides of the Atlantic, are top-down efforts to quash real journalism when and how it matters most.… Read the rest
Via the Weekly Standard, Charlotte Allen writes that the tech bastion offers a preview of where society as a whole is headed:
Master and servant. Cornucopian wealth for a few tech oligarchs plus relatively steady but relatively low-paying work for their lucky retainers. No middle class, unless the top 5 percent U.S. income bracket counts as middle class. Silicon Valley is a tableau vivant of what many economists and professional futurologists say is the coming fate of America itself, a fate to which Americans, if they can’t embrace it as some futurologists hope, should at least resign themselves.
The increasing ability of computers to perform ordinary tasks will inexorably transform America into an income oligarchy in which the top 15 percent of people—with skills “that are a complement to the computer”—will enjoy “cheery” labor-market prospects and soaring incomes, while the bottom 85 percent, that is to say, 267 million out of America’s 315 million people, will be lucky to find Walmart-level jobs or scrape together marginal “freelance” livings running $25-a-pop errands for their betters via TaskRabbit (say, picking up and delivering a pair of designer shoes).
A new video from our friends at JoyCamp:
“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices… to be found
only in the minds of men.”