In: art, connecticut, local, photography · Tagged with: connecticut, ct, new haven, photo, photography, quinnipiac river, sunset
A small city in heavily Christian northern Florida is about to become home to the first public monument in the United States dedicated to atheism.
Florida members of American Atheists, a national advocacy group, plan to erect a 1,500-pound granite display in front of the Bradford County Courthouse in Starke, Fla., next month, opposite a controversial year-old display of the Ten Commandments outside the same courthouse.
"We’d rather there be no monuments at all, but if they are allowed to have the Ten Commandments, we will have our own," said Ken Loukinen, the director of regional operations for American Atheists who designed the monument.
The new structure will feature quotes related to secularism from Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and American Atheists founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair on a 4-foot-high panel, alongside a bench. It will stand in a small square in front of the courthouse, opposite the 5-foot, 6-ton Ten Commandments monument sponsored by a Christian group.
They were awesome.
Like Violet has a sound that, in some ways, brings me back to the 80s and early 90s, with influences from artists and groups like The Cranberries or Bjork and U2 (Shaepe’s guitar playing definitely showed influence from the Edge), but also with something fresh and new, and influences from more recent groups, like Paramore and New Years Day.
Their performance was tight, and their songs were creative, well-crafted, and perfectly executed. Their dynamics, something that seems to elude many young bands, were spot on for the whole show, bringing the crowd within a single song from a contemplative, pensive, somber and reflective mood, to elation or raging emotional highs. Carly’s vocals at times made a chill run up my spine; Caitlin’s rhythmic pulse perfectly drove the songs, and Shaepes’ tastefully executed, artfully composed guitar work drove me off the planet. Great stuff!
I look forward to seeing this band again.
official music video Fire Fire- Like Violet by likevioletmusic on YouTube
Shaepes Valleau – Guitar & Vocals
In: connecticut, entertainment & media, local, music · Tagged with: artsandideas, connecticut, ct, like violet, likeviolet, new haven, newhaven
This Bloomberg article says that the recent NSA spying scandal should open up opportunities for new web service providers to provide secure means for social communications, etc., that haven’t yet been finger-fucked by the NSA. But their premise is that this means new companies…
Centralization and Infrastructure of the Internet: Video on Bloomberg
They’re really missing the important point, however: When we depend on some corporate fascist for ANY of these services, eventually, they’re going to manipulate or take advantage of us, through vendor lockins, unreadable ToS, privacy violation, etc., and they will always be subject to manipulation or bullying by government agencies, subpoenas, and warrants.
We need NOT depend on new companies, but rather (as we here at ~friendica and red# are doing), take control of our own communications and content. The ONLY way we can ensure ourselves of secure, private communications through the internet is to NOT depend on ANY centralized service, but rather take control of our communications with decentralized, secure services.
In: free software, human rights, info technology, international, news, open standards, personal, web · Tagged with: communications, decentralization, networking, privacy, security
There’s been a lot of talk this week about how to avoid NSA’s ubiquitous dragnet.
This list of alternatives to corporate owned, NSA violated platforms is a good start, but, honestly, is woefully inadequate.
For instance, there are definitely secure e-mail alternatives, like, admittedly, some more technologically complex ones, like running your own mail server, using SSL and GPG encryption, or using a platform like friendica or redmatrix where you can send private messages that are, likewise, protected by both, SSL and encryption. And there’s always HushMail.
Friendica with the DeathStar theme.
See more Friendica themes as http://www.friendica-themes.com
Additionally, there are some foreign e-mail providers more committed to protecting their users. gmx.com, for instance, is a good example.
Above all, their list of social alternatives is very lacking. While they do mention Diaspora and http://pump.io (both of which, while promising, are barely beta releases at this time), they completely fail to mention more mature options, such as, again, friendica and http://status.net (which, hello, has been around for a very long time), as well as other promising newcomers, such as redmatrix and libertree, plus options such as running your own server with forum software, like phpbb or SimpleMachines, or even other platforms (maybe http://elgg.org ?) for, say, local groups, personal friends, or family, as one friend of mine does.
What’s funny is, while completely ignoring these options, the only alternative they offer for media sharing is mediagoblin, which, while an excellent platform, is a very complex solution requiring that one run their own server (or have a friend who does). I know a good handful of hardcore geeks who’ve had difficulty trying to get mediagoblin working and given up on it (as well as a few who have succeeded, as well, mind you). And, honestly, redmatrix and friendica can be used well to share media, privately, as well (although they aren’t structured solely as media galleries). Plus there are other FLOSS media gallery platforms, like piwigo, ownstagram or gallery, etc. (In my very biased opinion, redmatrix is our best hope for private, secure social interaction, media sharing, and communications, with friendica, of course, pulling in a close second).
an image gallery in the redmatrix
Another failure is their list of search options. The one they mention, startpage.com, is okay, offering google results over a secure proxy, thus, without the tracking, but the same provider also offers ixquick.com, plus, the authors completely ignore probably the most well-known, popular, privacy respecting search alternative, duckduckgo , as well as decentralized search indexes, like yacy and Seeks.
Their list of alternative operating systems is rather incomplete, as well. I do have to credit them for correctly seeing Microsoft and Apple as contributors to the problem, and suggesting GNU/Linux as an alternative (by far, the most popular, and probably most user-friendly), but there are also other Free operating systems, such as HaikuOS, various flavours of BSD, GNU/Hurd, and others.
For additional information and discussion of decentralized social platforms and privacy respecting search options, see http://www.farcebork.com
In: free software, gnu/linux, human rights, info technology, international, news, open standards, technology, web · Tagged with: floss, freedom, NSA, privacy
This is the shoe I raced in today, the New Balance 670v2 Men’s Running Shoe.
Light-weight, supportive, and stylish.
I just bought them yesterday for US$45 in the local shopping mall,
as the Saucony shoes in which I’ve been training have seen a lot of miles.
I couldn’t find them on New Balance’s own website, oddly.
Distance: 2.485 mi
Pace: 08:27 min/mi
Weight: 143 (-2 from initial 145)
This was the CT Rollery Derby’s 2nd Annual Derby in Derby 4k race.
First race since about 1987.
That’s 26 years.
Race instinct took over at the start, and I blew past the pack and stayed on the heels of the lead pack for a bit.
They only had brackets for 18 and under, 19 to 55, and 55 and up. Being 44, I didn’t beat all the 20 and 30 year olds, of course, but I think I was 1st or 2nd for over 40 people, at least in the top 3.
Nobody passed me.
Once I got away from the pack, I passed a couple of runners who started strong, but couldn’t hold on.
It wasn’t a big crowd, really, just a small, local race, and a fun one. Lovely day, very nice course.
Went with my friend, Pat Quinn. He’s still recovering from doing a Tough Mudder race just a week ago, so, he took it easy.
Got a t-shirt and a water bottle!
Lots of lovely, healthy lasses there, derby girls, runner girls…a very attractive crowd!
It felt good. I feel good.
I’m definitely going to step up my training now, and look forward to some more 5ks.
In: health, personal · Tagged with: racing, running
Guess what I’m doing on Sunday?
In: health, personal · Tagged with: derby, racing, running
I recently signed up to walk in Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes®. I am inviting you to walk by my side! Now is the best time to get involved!
This month only, when you register for Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes, and make a donation at the time of registration, Equal® and Pure Via® will MATCH your donation, up to a maximum of $50,000!
Step Out is so much more than an event to me. It’s my opportunity to change the future and make a positive impact in the lives of those who are affected by diabetes.
Will you join me in my quest to prevent and cure diabetes once and for all?
By joining me, you will help the American Diabetes Association provide community-based education programs, protect the rights of people with diabetes and fund critical research for a cure.
The power we have together far outweighs what I can do alone. It only takes a few steps to help make my steps go further! When you register, don’t forget to make a donation—it will be matched!
Please Note: Equal and Pure Via will match all donations made at the time of registration before June 30, 2013, up to a maximum of $50,000. The Equal and Pure Via match will not be applied to your personal, team or company fundraising totals (though your gift will be).