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Member since: Fri Sep 26, 2008, 10:10 PM
Number of posts: 11,442

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From The Guardian: 'How is Pauli Murray not a household name?

The extraordinary life of the US’s most radical activist.'


'She explored her gender and sexuality in the 20s, defied segregation in the 40s and inspired Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Now, a film is bringing her trailblazing achievements to light.

It seems inconceivable that someone like Pauli Murray could have slipped through the cracks of US history. A lawyer, activist, scholar, poet and priest, Murray led a trailblazing life that altered the course of history. She was at the forefront of the battles for racial and gender equality, but often so far out in front that her contributions went unrecognised.

In 1940, 15 years before Rosa Parks, Murray was jailed for refusing to move to the back of a bus in the Jim Crow south. In 1943, she campaigned successfully to desegregate her local diner, 17 years before the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins of 1960. Her work paved the way for the landmark supreme court ruling Brown v Board of Education in 1954 – which de-segregated US schools – to the extent that Thurgood Marshall, a lawyer for the NAACP civil rights group, called Murray’s book States’ Laws on Race and Color “the bible for civil rights lawyers”.

Murray also co-founded the National Organization for Women (Now), in 1966, alongside Betty Friedan. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg won the Reed v Reed case in 1971, which ruled that discrimination “on the basis of sex” was unconstitutional, her arguments were built on Murray’s work. Ginsburg named Murray as co-author of the brief. “We knew when we wrote that brief that we were standing on her shoulders,” Ginsburg later said.'

There's much more text and photos at the link. I'm 72 years old and this is the
first time that I've read about Pauli. But now I'm aware and no longer ignorant.

From The BBC: Your pictures of Scotland: 10 - 17 September (2021)

It's finally Friday with the appearance of another pleasing collection of photos from
Scotland. Enjoy!


From Al Jazeera: 'Cuba begins vaccinating children as young as two against COVID-19.

Cuba, using its homegrown vaccines, is one of the first nations to begin vaccinating very young children.'


Sitting on her mother’s lap, two-year-old Lucia looked at the illustrations in her book while around her several children watched the doctors in white coats and nurses with thermometers in amazement.

In an adjoining room, Danielito, also two, sniffled while getting a shot as a clown tried to distract him.

On Thursday Cuba began a massive vaccination campaign for children between the ages of two and 10, becoming one of the first nations to do so. Health officials in the country say Cuba’s homegrown vaccines have been found safe for young children.

“Our country would not put [infants] even at a minimal risk if the vaccines were not proven save and highly effective when put into children,” Aurolis Otano, director of the Vedado Polyclinic University, told The Associated Press news agency in a vaccination room.

There's more text and photos at the above link. In the article it states that the
post-vaccine observation wait time is one hour.

From Al Jazeera: "Pakistan, Russia to 'coordinate' positions on Afghanistan;

Pakistani PM Imran Khan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin hold talks ‘focused on the need for peace and stability’ in Afghanistan."

When I first read this headline I thought that perhaps it was originally an article from
The Onion since I'm not aware of Russia or Pakistan ever being concerned about
'peace and stability' anywhere before. But it does appear to be a valid news article so here are a few paragraphs from it:

"The leaders of Pakistan and Russia have held telephone conversations to “coordinate” their position on the situation in Afghanistan, statements from both governments say, ahead of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) later this week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke on Tuesday, the statements said.


'While exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan, both parties voiced their interest in coordinating both countries’ approaches for the sake of stabilising it,' read a brief Russian statement.

The Pakistani statement on the meeting also said 'close coordination and consultations between Pakistan and Russia on the evolving situation in Afghanistan were of crucial importance'."


There's more text and photos at the link above. Again, it's a surprise to me that
Pakistan and Russia have any interest in "stabilizing" anything except their own
respective positions of power, but that's just me. Whaadya think?

From The BBC: Garden photography reveals a world of hedgehogs and foxes*

This is a pleasing photo essay that contains the clearest and most remarkable wildlife
photos I've seen yet. Enjoy! *(photo subjects also include a badger and deer)


From The BBC: "The chefs who cook with the sun (in Chiles's Atacama Desert)

These Chilean chefs have found a novel and sustainable way to share their culture and respect for Mother Earth with visitors to the Atacama Desert."

Piercing rays of light beamed down on the Chilean village of Villaseca as Luisa Ogalde placed a pot filled with cabrito (young goat's meat) in an angular, transparent-topped box and angled it in the direction of the mid-morning sun. The cabrito, she explained, would stew in that box for four hours, slowly transforming into meat so juicy and tender you could slice it with a fork.

In another box nearby Ogalde placed rice, which she said would take 40 minutes to cook, and dough, which would need about an hour to become bread. Other boxes contained rabbit, chicken and pork, which would each simmer for about two hours under the fierce sunbeams that sizzle towns like this on the southern edge of the Atacama Desert.

"The benefit of living here is we have sun practically every day of the year," said Ogalde, explaining that she uses it – instead of gas, electricity or firewood – to power her restaurant, Entre Cordillera Restobar Solar, which opened in 2018. The boxes are solar ovens and they work by heating meat the same way a parked car heats a human on a hot summer day. Ogalde has eight of them, as well as a parabolic solar cooker she uses to boil water and a solar dehydrator that lets her dry goat meat into ch'arki (jerky), which is a key ingredient in the traditional potato and pumpkin stew charquicán.

Ogalde uses the solar ovens to make other traditional stews, including beef- or chicken-based cazuela, and even desserts such as the flan-like leche asada with goat milk. "We're rescuing all of the old recipes of the area and giving value to the homestyle foods of our grandparents," she explained. Yet, while the recipes may be old, the way of cooking them is brand new.


There's much more text and photos at the link above.

This is very interesting and informative, but I doubted that this solar cooking is
"brand new" technology. I was rewarded by being informed (with a quick search)
that this is indeed old tech but still very welcome today.

search results for "history of solar cooking":


From The BBC: Your pictures of Scotland: 3 - 10 September (2021)

My week would never be complete without these diverse views of Scotland, its
people, nature and places. As an extra bonus today there are puns aplenty in the
photo captions. Enjoy!


From The BBC: Afghanistan: The pledge binding al-Qaeda to the Taliban

This is a very informative article. There are a lot of short paragraphs and it's difficult
to get across the main points that The Taliban and al-Qaeda remain allies, with
ISIS as their enemy. One thing I have to wonder about is whether China, Pakistan
and Russia will defend Afghanistan and The Taliban against ISIS? That's my
question and it doesn't appear in this article.


"Al-Qaeda is bound to the Taliban by a pledge of allegiance - or "bay'ah" - which was first offered in the 1990s by Osama Bin Laden to his Taliban counterpart Mullah Omar.


Under the 2020 peace deal with the US, the Taliban agreed not to allow al-Qaeda or any other extremist group to operate in areas under their control. They reiterated this vow days after the takeover of Kabul on 15 August.

But they do not appear to have publicly rejected al-Qaeda either.

And al-Qaeda has certainly not softened its rhetoric towards the US."

much more text and photos at link

Revealed: life inside 'global villages' of Islamic State jihadis in Afghanistan

From The Observer and Guardian... This is an interesting report on the recruitment
and training of ISIS members in Afghanistan. It's quite a read but tells how jihadists
don't stay in any one area but travel to take their efforts and expertise to various


"In 2017, a group of senior Arab fighters travelled from Syria to Afghanistan, to cement the links between Islamic State cells in the two areas.

They arrived in an international village, where the jihadi families included a blond German husband and wife and French, Russian, Chinese Uyghur and central Asian families, according to a rare testimony by an Uzbek woman who was a member the group.

She spent nearly eight years as a fighter’s wife in eastern Nangarhar province under a web of international jihadi groups that have taken root in eastern and northern Afghanistan, shifting names and allegiances, but currently known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), a reference to the historical name for a cross-border region.

They were the group behind the bombing at Kabul airport, during the final days of the western evacuation mission, that killed at least 182 people. The 13 US military casualties made it one of the deadliest attacks of the 20-year war for Americans."

This is a long read. There's much more text and photos at the link.

My movie recommendation for today is the film Paris Blues that was released

in 1961 when I was 12 years old. The film stars Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman
with a guest star appearance by Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong. A very fine jazz
soundtrack is included at no extra charge.

It's showing right now on my cable ScreenPix Voices channel. You might like it and
you might not but what else have you got to do today? Further I sayeth not.
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