African-American teen actress and singer, Marsai Martin, notable for her role as Diane Johnson in the popular comedy series Black-ish, made history in 2019 when she became the youngest Black executive producer in Hollywood. Marsai Martin’s film, Little, which is based on original ideas from the teen actress but inspired by the movie Big, helped her ink her name in the history books.
”After the Season 1 finale of Black-ish, we told Kenya Barris about it, and he called Will [Packer] and said: ‘Yo, you know the girl who plays Diane on Black-ish? She has this dope idea!,”blackhistory.com quoted the teen actress.
Martin’s experience as a teen actress on Black-ish and the inspiration from one of her favourite movies, Big, which she viewed at the age of 10 helped her materialise the idea. Little tells the story of a woman who, when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear, gets the chance to relive the carefree life of her younger self. The film, which had a production budget of $20 million, grossed $40.7 million in box offices in the U.S. and Canada, and $48.8 million worldwide.
RZA is without a doubt a master of many talents which is nothing short of his genuine creativity. In support of fellow creatives, right on Wu Wednesday, the abbot of the Wu-Tang Clan dropped a new EP titled Guided Explorations. The five-track EP is a part of a collaborative effort with premiere herbal tea TAZO, where RZA is stationed as the listener’s calming guide to revelation.
The five tracks are strategically formulated to help aspiring creatives breakthrough any burden that may be preventing them from access to their core intuition through the act of meditation.
In a recent interview with Forbes, RZA broke down the purpose behind the creation of the meditative album which the “Triumph” producer revealed was burgeoned by his ability to inspire.
“I’m at the phase in my life where I think the best thing I could do is inspire, whether that’s inspiring some kid from my neighborhood who thinks they’ll never make it out; [or] inspiring someone who picked up a guitar and is frustrated, feeling like the dexterity of his fingers won’t ever get there to hold the chord; or some writer who thinks that they’ll never write anything good because they don’t have the time and they’ve gotta chase the dime. I’m looking to inspire and break that stagnation from other artists and other creative minds.” said RZA.
RZA’s collaboration is not just limited to an EP. Accompanying the gem will be two-day camping retreat called Camp TAZO, where adults will spend time with the Wu icon practicing key measures to help them unlock their creative potential ultimately serving pure zen. The camp is set to take place in Staten Island, his respective stomping grounds.
While RZA has philosophical grounding with the teachings of the Five Percent Nation, he also shares an understanding with Taoism, which inspired his book The Tao of the Wu.
Guided Explorations is currently available for grabs on Spotify and Apple Music
Ever have a weird type of dream ? familiar situations but in a different type a way? I don’t associate too much with the dreams that occur due to the amount of wildness that can be found in my mind during sleep but these two were fascinating. There may be some dream Juju happening upon me. Watching fishing videos on youtube have a calming effect plus you learn. I plan on grabbing a line and going out on the waters myself soon. Wilder learned the lesson of mirror magic. Sometimes success can undermine your overall progress. Patterns and people watch and observe. The pleasures of losing your memory for a few hours. Special guest cousin Rasheeda dropping some quotes on ya noggin. Enjoy
Quotes Of The Day
Everything understood doesn’t have to be said
Don’t ever put all your business out in public some things should remain a mystery.
Not everybody deserves an explanation
If you don’t want it to be seen in the light don’t do it in the dark
What you eat doesn’t make my stomach full , mine is not ours
Once you realize your imagination is as a tangible as your memory your experiences are limitless.
This month, a friend forwarded me a Toronto Star article titled “Loss. Grief. Acceptance. How the ancient Tibetan practice of sound baths brought me peace.” He jokingly wondered why his parents never bothered to give him “sound baths.” I agreed.
Allow me to briefly assume the role of a Tibetan cultural ambassador to inform all who are willing to listen that the practice of sound baths are neither “ancient” nor “Tibetan.”
The scholarly consensus is that “Tibetan” singing bowls and sound baths are a thoroughly Western invention and their alleged Tibetanness a modern myth. There is no credible historical evidence, whatsoever, of Tibetans ever having used singing bowls.
History tells us that these metallic bowls were originally food bowls from North India or Nepal, and today, the bowl has become an object of orientalist fetishization and a star product of the sound bathing industry. These bowls are thus as Tibetan as the white Toronto Star author who bathed in its vibrations. Needless to say, these bowls are as spiritual and sacred to a Tibetan person as the exotic English teacup is for the average North American.
The Tibetan singing bowl doesn’t exist and isn’t real, but the racist mythologization of Tibetan people most definitely is. The singing bowl industry aggressively markets itself as reproducing an “ancient Tibetan ritual.”
This Western practice of essentializing Tibetan culture and capitalizing on that cultural commodification forces marginalized Tibetan refugees into a tricky situation — they get the economic opportunity to sell some metal bowls to fascinated white people but at the cost of being a willing participant in the orientalist imagination of Tibetaness, which in turn causes great cultural trauma and pain to the Tibetan people.
Sound energy enthusiasts tend to blur a variety of New Age beliefs and claim that each “Tibetan singing bowl” has its own “frequency,” “chakra,” “planet,” “energy” and accumulated “psychic history.” Diehard connoisseurs travel across the planet hunting for authentic antique Tibetan singing bowls, which they insist have been infused with “sacred ancient sound technology,” unlike cheap and fraudulent “modern knock offs.”
When confronted about their easily falsifiable claims of Tibetan cultural linkages, you find that “sound healers” often dismiss Tibetan people’s disavowal of knowledge by clinging onto the conspiracy theory that singing bowls are purposely shrouded in secrecy because Tibetans are guarding their ancient sound-based spiritual knowledge from prying outsiders.
They insist there exists a secret lineage of metalworking “shamans” who pass ancient mysteries down through the centuries. This example of wilful white ignorance is so patently absurd, I’m not sure whether I should laugh at its sheer silliness or cry at the exploitation of my cultural heritage by bigoted Westerners.
In the Western imagination, Tibetan identity/brand is largely confined to a mythical, asexual, masculine spiritual figure. In this light, my existence as a queer, fashion-loving, atheist Tibetan woman starts to become disorienting and surreal. Now that I have made these confessions, tell me, do I still qualify as sufficiently “Tibetan” to the orientalist eye?
Western bourgeois fantasies about Tibet and the harmful racial stereotypes they peddle simply have no need for the real Tibet and the suffering my country endures.
The real Tibet is subservient to the myth of Tibet. This myth, however, has real power and it has become the dominant framework through which the West perceives Tibetan political struggle. The myth reduces Tibet to a museum exhibit. The myth conflates the politics of Tibet to a question of the survival of a dying, one-dimensional civilization. The myth prevents Tibet’s political concerns from being taken seriously. The myth invites sentimentalities rather than political expediency. The myth ensures Tibetans never get the institutional and governmental support we tirelessly lobby for.
If you find “sound baths” healing, great! Good for you! But if you can, however, please kindly stop mythologizing and exoticizing Tibetans, and leave us out of your pseudo-scientific New Age nonsense. We are quite preoccupied resisting China’s violent settler colonial rule and fighting to preserve our rich cultural heritage as it is.￼
Eaten as a fruit, pressed as a juice or dried as a snack, tamarind is both tasty and healthy.
Much research has been done on tamarind and the results have been promising. Tamarind is effective in helping to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Tamarind contains a good amount of fiber which helps to reduce cholesterol by removing LDL cholesterol from arteries. Researchers believe the potassium found in tamarind helps to reduce the blood pressure because it is a well known vasodilator. Tamarind also contains high levels of vitamin C which helps in the neutralization of free radicals.
Nutritionists have found that tamarind can aid in weight loss and weight maintenance. Tamarind contains hydroxycitric acid which has been found to inhibit an enzyme found in the body that is known to store fat. Studies have shown that eating tamarind can suppress the appetite. Researchers have found that tamarind increases serotonin neurotransmitters. More research is being done with promising results which show that tamarind may be used as a weight loss supplement.
Tamarind has been known throughout history as a natural laxative and recent studies have proven this to be true. Full of fiber when eaten as a fruit, the tamarind can increase the effectiveness of your digestive tract. Fiber can also bulk up stool which makes it move through the intestinal tract smoother and more easily. Research has found that the consumption of tamarind helps to stimulate the activity of bile which dissolves food faster. Because tamarind has a lot of fiber, the gastric juice are stimulated which speeds up digestion. Recent studies have found that tamarind can also help with chronic diarrhea as well.
Research is being done with tamarind in regards to the body and nerves. Tamarind contains very high quantities of Thiamine which is responsible for improving nerve function. Not only does it help with nerve function but it aids with muscle development as well. Thiamine is a B complex that helps with activity and reflexes.
Researchers are studying the link between tamarind and its ability to help those with diabetes. Tamarind has been found to stop an enzyme that is known to stop carbohydrates from being absorbed. The carbohydrates are then converted to simple sugars or fats. Carbohydrates can cause uncontrolled insulin and glucose levels and tamarind has been found to be helpful in monitoring and controlling these fluctuations.
If you live in Portland, Oregon, your lights are now powered in part by the water flowing through your pipes.
The city recently installed new municipal water pipes equipped with four 42-inch turbines that create electricity from the water passing through them.
Historyically, hydropower has been created by damming rivers and installing turbines inside the dams, which can be damaging to fish and the river itself.
Tap-water hydropower creates virtually no effect on wildlife, as it is simply harnessing the energy of water that’s already flowing through the pipes.
“It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,”saysGregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy, the Portland-based startup that designed the new system.
“But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. That’s what’s exciting.”
Another bonus about hydro-power is, unlike wind and solar, it’s always working as long as water is flowing.
The turbines can only be installed in places where municipal water pipes flow downhill, as using electricity to pump water through them would defeat the purpose.
The four turbines are expected to produce at least $2 million worth of free electricity over the next 20 years. More turbines would produce more.
A larger tap-water hydro-power system could have a major impact in places like California where 20% of total energy consumption goes toward treating and pumping water to farms, residents and businesses,Fast Company notes.
Lucid Energy already has a pilot program in place in Riverside, California, where they city’s water utility is using the turbines to offset operating costs during the day and power streetlights at night.
Another slain rapper, when will we learn? Boosie vs Dwade the battle of moral vs a shift in cultural acceptance. Is having photographic skin fetishes a thing? What if break milk tasted like coconut water. Operation Yogi Infiltration is on stage 2. A nice 4 mile run to get the blood flowing as thoughts of endurance and pain management rise. Learning how to crab fish on a San Diego beach. This one was random, enjoy.
Quotes Of The Day
Every river that runs into the sea loses its name
No Sweet Without Sweat
Riches are like perspiration if you rest they dry up
ESA’s technical heart has begun to produce oxygen out of simulated moondust.
A prototype oxygen plant has been set up in the Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory of the European Space Research and Technology Centre, ESTEC, based in Noordwijk in the Netherlands.
“Having our own facility allows us to focus on oxygen production, measuring it with a mass spectrometer as it is extracted from the regolith simulant,” comments Beth Lomax of the University of Glasgow, whose Ph.D. work is being supported through ESA’s Networking and Partnering Initiative, harnessing advanced academic research for space applications.
“Being able to acquire oxygen from resources found on the Moon would obviously be hugely useful for future lunar settlers, both for breathing and in the local production of rocket fuel.”
ESA research fellow Alexandre Meurisse adds: “And now we have the facility in operation we can look into fine-tuning it, for instance by reducing the operating temperature, eventually designing a version of this system that could one day fly to the Moon to be operated there.”
Samples returned from the lunar surface confirm that lunar regolith is made up of 40–45% percent oxygen by weight, its single most abundant element. But this oxygen is bound up chemically as oxides in the form of minerals or glass, so is unavailable for immediate use.
ESTEC’s oxygen extraction is taking place using a method called molten salt electrolysis, involving placing regolith in a metal basket with molten calcium chloride salt to serve as an electrolyte, heated to 950°C. At this temperature the regolith remains solid.
But passing a current through it causes the oxygen to be extracted from the regolith and migrate across the salt to be collected at an anode. As a bonus this process also converts the regolith into usable metal alloys.
In fact this molten salt electrolysis method was developed by UK company Metalysis for commercial metal and alloy production. Beth’s Ph.D. involved working at the company to study the process before recreating it at ESTEC.
“At Metalysis, oxygen produced by the process is an unwanted by-product and is instead released as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which means the reactors are not designed to withstand oxygen gas itself,” explains Beth. “So we had to redesign the ESTEC version to be able to have the oxygen available to measure. The lab team was very helpful in getting it installed and operating safely.”
The oxygen plant runs silently, with the oxygen produced in the process is vented into an exhaust pipe for now, but will be stored after future upgrades of the system.
“The production process leaves behind a tangle of different metals,” adds Alexandre, “and this is another useful line of research, to see what are the most useful alloys that could be produced from them, and what kind of applications could they be put to.
“Could they be 3-D printed directly, for example, or would they require refining? The precise combination of metals will depend on where on the Moon the regolith is acquired from—there would be significant regional differences.”
The ultimate aim would be to design a “pilot plant” that could operate sustainably on the Moon, with the first technology demonstration targeted for the mid-2020s.
“ESA and NASA are heading back to the Moon with crewed missions, this time with a view towards staying,” says Tommaso Ghidini, Head of ESA’s Structures, Mechanisms and Materials Division.
“Accordingly we’re shifting our engineering approach to a systematic use of lunar resources in-situ. We are working with our colleagues in the Human and Robotics Exploration Directorate, European industry and academia to provide top class scientific approaches and key enabling technologies like this one, towards a sustained human presence on the Moon and maybe one day Mars.”
(CNN) — Around the world, fireflies light up the night with their shimmering bodies. But scientists say this magical display is under threat — with the loss of their natural habitats, pesticide use and artificial light putting some of the 2,000 or so species at risk of extinction.
Habitat loss is leading to the decline of many wildlife species, with some fireflies suffering because they need certain environmental conditions to complete their life cycle, said Sara Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University, who led the research published Monday in the journal Bioscience.
For example, she said, one Malaysian firefly (Pteroptyx tener), famous for its synchronized flashing displays, needs mangroves and the plants they contain to breed but across Malaysia mangrove swamps have been converted into palm oil plantations and aquaculture farms.
More surprisingly, the researchers found that the use of artificial light at night, something that has grown exponentially over the past century, was the second most serious threat to the creatures.
Artificial light includes both direct lighting, such as street lights and commercial signs, and skyglow, a more diffuse illumination that spreads beyond urban centers and can be brighter than a full moon.
“In addition to disrupting natural biorhythms — including our own — light pollution really messes up firefly mating rituals,” said Avalon Owens, a PhD candidate in biology at Tufts and a co-author of the study, in a news release.
Many fireflies rely on bioluminescence — chemical reactions inside their bodies that allows them to light up — to find and attract mates, and too much artificial light can interfere with this courtship. Switching to energy efficient, overly bright LEDs is not helping, said Owens.
The study noted that, according to conservative estimates, more than 23% of the planet’s land surface now experiences some degree of artificial brightness at night.
The authors of the study, who are affiliated with the International Union for Conservation of Nature Firefly Specialist Group, surveyed 350 members of the Fireflyers International Network to catalog the threats faced by the insect.
They said that more monitoring studies, with long-term data, were needed to understand to what degree firefly populations were declining. Most evidence about firefly numbers is anecdotal, they said.
Dave Goulson, a professor of biology at the University of Sussex in the UK, said the ranking of habitat loss as the single most important driver, with pesticides a significant secondary concern, is in line with what is believed to be driving declines of insects more broadly.
“Of course fireflies are particularly vulnerable to light pollution, more so than perhaps any other insect group, so it makes sense that this also emerges as a major concern,” said Goulson, who was not involved in the research.
The firefly paper highlighted the risk posed by insecticides, like neonicotinoids, which is used in the US for corn and soybean seeds.
Another factor was what the authors called “firefly tourism.” In places like Japan, Taiwan and Malaysia, it’s long been a recreational activity to watch the spectacular light displays put on by some firefly species. However, it is now becoming more popular and widespread — attracting more than 200,000 visitors per year — impacting firefly numbers as a result.
In Thailand, the authors said that motorboat traffic along mangrove rivers in Thailand was toppling trees and eroding river banks and destroying habitat, while flightless species were getting trampled on by tourists in North Carolina and Nanacampila in Mexico.
The authors said guidelines were needed to establish and manage tourist sites that outline the best way to protect the fireflies from trampling, light pollution, and pesticides.
“Our goal is to make this knowledge available for land managers, policy makers, and firefly fans everywhere,” said co-author Sonny Wong of the Malaysian Nature Society. “We want to keep fireflies lighting up our nights for a long, long time.”