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Cooking Up Change

They looked so young, the four college students who sat down and ordered coffee at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., on Feb. 1, 1960.

Legal challenges and demonstrations were cracking the foundations of segregation, but a black person still couldn’t sit down and eat a hamburger or a piece of pie in a store that was all too willing to take his money for a tube of toothpaste.

Those four freshmen at North Carolina A&T College — Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond — sat until the store closed, but they still didn’t get their coffee.

But that day helped spark other sit-in protests — led by young people like themselves — that spread throughout the South in 1960, energizing the civil rights movement. And the Greensboro Woolworth desegregated its lunch counter later that year.

It wasn’t the first time that food, or the lack thereof, figured large in the movement.

Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction

Occupy Portland stumbled on a way to use the tactical superiority of the local police department, and by extension, the fluidity of the crowd, against them.

On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.

The tactical evolution that evolved relies on two military tactics that are thousands of years old — the tactical superiority of light infantry over heavy infantry, and the tactical superiority of the retreat over the advance.

The whole article is worth a read, and nicely summarizes Occupy Portland’s serendipitous tactical breakthrough.

(thanks, Joel)

Tim Tebow & Why Faith Makes Us Nervous

If you all haven’t already happened upon it, Chuck Klosterman wrote an absolutely fascinating essay for Grantland describing the significance of Tim Tebow and why he seems to be so polarizing as a professional football player. It’s mostly about Tebow and football, except that it’s not – it’s about so much more than that:

I doubt many Christians believe that God is unfairly helping Tebow win games in the AFC West. I’m sure a few hardcores might, but not many. However, I get the impression that especially antagonistic secularists assume this assumption infiltrates every aspect of Tebow’s celebrity, and that explains why he’s so beloved by strangers they cannot relate to. Their negative belief is that penitent, conservative Americans look at Tebow and see a man being “rewarded” for his faith, which validates the idea that believing in something abstract is more important than understanding something real. And this makes them worried about the future, because they see that thinking everywhere. It seems like the thinking that ran this country into the ground.

I don’t think I’ve read such a straight-forward and correct explanation for why I get so nervous in a culture preoccupied more with feeling something than knowing anything. Also, I’m fairly convinced that some of the best writing happening today is on Grantland, the little sports website that could.

Phil Ochs: “I’m Going to Say It Now”

Achingly brief clip of Ochs in performance. Said to have been filmed at a Free Speech rally held in the spring of 1965 on The Oval at The Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio.

photo out of context

headline of the day

Ohio Elections Board Says Worker Bit Voter’s Nose

photo out of context


(Im)possible Chicagos is a series of hallucinatory joyrides through one hundred and twenty five asynchronous Chicagos.

Alexander Trevi‘s first joyride through (Im)possible Chicago traversed Acer Necropolis.

Trevi recently completed his nineteenth, wherein:

At night when you’re out driving, you can tell which neighborhood you’re in by the light of the streetlamps, because each ward basks in its own different hue. For instance, if the streets are all aglow in azurite, you’re definitely joy riding around Marquette Park.

Zoning codes require that windows are tinted according to the neighborhood’s chromatic identity, so no matter how the interiors are lighted, houses, skyscrapers and 7-Elevens do not give off wayward wavelengths.

Even your car lights beam out the same color. But when you cross over into another ward, they instantaneously switch filter to match that ward’s assigned spectrum.

(Im)possible Chicago #19

Photo Out of Context

Dear Clusterflock


image with all the context it needs

from the comments

Michael Smith:

Fact: Bald eagles live in Alaska
Fact: Sarah Palin is from Alaska
Fact: I heard she might have killed a guy
Fact: Bald eagles have tried to kill postal customers
Fact: The Post Office is an example of big government
Fact: Sarah Palin hates big government
Fact: Birds are smart and easily trained

headline of the day

Bald eagles attack post office customers

Brooklyn Torch Open Call Line

Hello Clusterflockers!

I’ve been working hard at founding the Brooklyn Torch, a local paper currency project based in Brooklyn, NY. We’ve had a few local events and we have met some challenges and opportunities with a degree of success and mixed-success (always forward, never straight!) We are working on a mission statement and future goals and overall ideals. I’d love to hear what you guys might want to know about the project. I.e., what the hell are you talking about? Or, what is the internal rate return for investing in a project like this? Or, what does the bill look like? You know, anything. As I draft and come up with language on what we are, I will post semi-non-regularly here and at our project site. Just letting you know, there’s more on the way. For now, our lines are open. Call up and ask!

The Spencer Plan started in the 1930s as a form of “carefully regulated corporal punishment” between husband and wife

Single mothers, former drug addicts and other struggling young women who came to wealthy businessman Henry Allen Fitzsimmons for a chance to climb out of their financial hole knew his help came with a catch.

(via marginal revolution)

the civic duty of leaving a data trail

There is something about this I find very appealing:

Instead of arguing about ownership and the right to privacy, they say, we should be imagining data as a public resource: a bountiful trove of information about our society which, if properly managed and cared for, can help us set better policy, more effectively run our institutions, promote public health, and generally give us a more accurate understanding of who we are. This growing pool of data should be public and anonymous, they say — and each of us should feel a civic responsibility to contribute to it.

An act of public punctuation

Not my work, but appreciated nonetheless.

What should the community call the new government building at 200 E Berry?

headline of the day

Utah lawmakers propose M1911 as official state gun

quote out of context

The only disorderly conduct the jury found was that of the TSA officers.

headline of the day, II

Tod’s founder to restore Rome’s Colosseum

Believe This or Piss Off

The new Alabama govenor has an interesting take on representative government:

Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister….

Murdered Kansas Abolitionist David Hoyt’s Bloodstained Map and Condolence Letter

David Hoyt's bloodstained map

What he was doing in the area is not entirely clear. Some reports indicate that he was attempting to negotiate a truce with proslavery elements; others suggest that he was “testing” the intentions of Southerners in Lawrence by entering a proslavery gathering unarmed.

The Cowan’s Auctions copywriter continues,

Included with the lot is a 3pp letter, 5 x 8″, Leominster, 11 Sept. 1856. The letter is from James F. Legate to the parents of David Hoyt expressing his condolences and trying offer some solace in the idea that their son gave his life …that Freedom might live….Take comfort for he died that Liberty might come to the oppressed people of Kansas…. Incredibly, he also asks Hoyt’s parents if they know anyone else who will come carry on the fight: I have been laboring ever since in the State to get a party to go back with me. Has he no friends to go & do battle for which he fell a [martyr]? If so I’ll take them to the spot where he yielded his young, useful life….

Both map and letter sold last month for a mere $705.

Possible moral of the story: Do not “test” the intentions of Southerners while unarmed.

(Via SC.)

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