Full Moonset above Crozet, France : 29 December 2012 : Photo copyright: Janet M Kincaid
It's February. That's a good thing. February means we're heading into the downhill from dark, dreary Winter into warm, welcoming Spring.
Okay, maybe I'm jumping the gun a little, but the days are getting lighter again and the temperatures are fluctuating slowly upwards.
My job search continues, but I gotta tell ya, I've had enough of being jobless. Seriously. And, I've said it elsewhere, but job searching sucks. Still, I persevere and am confident I'll find something, either on my own or through the kindnesses of friends.
Speaking of whom, chapeau today to friends Everett and Natasha for sending me two possibilities. I appreciate all of my friends and former colleagues who continue to keep me in mind and send leads, ideas, and encouragement my way. It is received with gratitude and depths of affection beyond measure.
I've been up since 6:00 AM, which means I have been reading and have lots to share. If you're interested, here is a brief selection. Click and read as you want.
Johns Hopkins hoping to revive east Baltimore neighborhood on its border
It's Super Bowl Weekend in the U.S. Next to Thanksgiving, it's the biggest eating holiday in America. This year's dust-up will feature the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. In the Raven's hometown, Johns Hopkins University is directly involved in urban renewal in East Baltimore -- the section of the city wherein their world-renowned campus lies. It is an effort worth watching and one that hopefully bears replicating in other urban, suburban, and rural areas.
Shootings keep gun debate firing; gamers deny cupability
In the last 72 hours, shootings have continued to headline the news out of the U.S. The murders of an attorney in Arizona, a district attorney in Texas, a student in Chicago who only last week participated in President Obama's inaugural festivities, a school bus driver in Alabama (and subsequent hostage-taking of a 5-year old), and a student in Atlanta have all occurred with rapid fire succession and continue to underscore the need for sensible gun control measures in the United States.
All of this has been unfolding in the midst of testimony before Congress by gun rights and gun control advocates. The National Rifle Association (NRA) continues to clamor the loudest for Americans to retain the right to bear any and all arms. Meanwhile, those seeking reasonable restraints on certain types of guns and the ability to sue manufacturers in an effort to make guns safer are thwarted by NRA-backed legislation that prohibits litigation against gun makers. If we can regulate the safety of automobiles, fertilizer, air transport and travel, and alcohol, why not guns? It only makes sense.
In the same debate, the entertainment/games industry decries its role in gun violence and the mental health sector asks gun control advocates and legislators to exercise caution and thoughtfulness when considering laws targeting the mentally challenged and gun rights.
Positive News is Also Nice, Say Readers...
In other, lighter news, today is World Hijab Day -- an effort started by New Yorker Nazma Khan to foster understanding among Muslim and non-Muslim women about wearing hijab and destigmatizing what is seen by many as a tangible symbol of the oppression of women.
Also from the Beeb, an article on why some countries regulate naming. The very thought in a place like the U.S. is anathema to America's cherished First Amendment Rights (freedom of speech) and would never fly, but in many European countries, there are specific rules about who can be named what.
Not to be BBC-centric, but this article also caught my eye, because No. 5 in this list mentions the Italian Futurists -- a group of forward-thinking artists, writers, and architects from the early 20th century who included people like my partner's great-grandmother, Ruzena Zatkova. If you enjoy articles about how writers and thinkers from the past conceived the future, this is a fun read!
Today's news round-up is brought to you by the letter F and the number 28. Have a great day, friends!