Ever since the Magna Carta, people have had the right to petition their government for redress of their grievances. The Bill of Rights also guarantees the right of peaceable assembly to be heard. The first event I attended was in Redwood City the same day as the main Women’s marches around the country the day after the inauguration. The event was billed as a “non-partisan, multigenerational gathering” to affirm the community values under attack by the new administration.
Apocalypse When? Some people I know are convinced we all have only months to live, certain that the kind of rhetoric being hurled around means that nuclear annihilation or maybe biological catastrophe will take most of us by surprise. The rules of society in the US have changed so completely we can no longer count upon collective good will to get us through tough times and that we’re due for either anarchy or brutal repression.
It took me a while to get this blog running properly and I think I should record what I had to do in case I need to refresh my memory sometime. I’ve had plenty of before including one which started out as a statically generated one (in a Python script I hacked together). Things have changed now and I wanted to do something that didn’t have so many tiers to it, just a simple virtually unhackable set of static HTML pages that can be hosted somewhere with a content distribution network.
In 2016 I went to a bunch of technical talks, none of which I intend to discuss right now, and all of which armed with a cameraphone along with everybody else in the audience. In this day of Slideshare and official corporate tech blogs many of the presentations will make it up to the web in pristine form, so why would anyone want to take a crooked, out of focus, keystone distorted, and sometimes half second too late picture of the screen?
When I was a kid growing up in San Francisco everybody was well versed with rain, which seemed like it could come down at any time except during the warmest part of the year in September-October. We didn’t have advanced materials to protect us from the elements then like Gore-Tex and super-hydrophobic coatings for our windshields then. I was a traffic boy in elementary school and we often went out in the mornings and was often sent out wearing a rubberized slicker with brass clasps like the one on this Etsy page.
I think I should explain the title of this blog in case you’re wondering. I’ll do this beauty pageant style. Coming in third, purely in my subjective opinion, was the title Like Breadths of Topaz which comes from Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘304’. As you’ll begin to understand in a moment, I really like her work. I think this line would make a fantastic name for a blog, particularly one which talks about beautiful things.
Here is the final set of tweets I thought were worth collecting. More than anything, it reminds me how much of a visual creature I am. And yes, there is one overtly political tweet in among the others. September Just Pinned to Animated: phyllo-eye https://t.co/BSKcXiF7Lj pic.twitter.com/6v5gBmQnqN — It has happened before (@richmagahiz) September 23, 2016 October Just Pinned to Travel: A volcano, the Milky Way, the Moon, and a meteor https://t.
Here is the second installment of my list of memorable tweets from last year. I didn’t include any of the memorial tweets attached to the many cultural figures who died during the year because I figure they are collected elsewhere anyway. These are just snapshots in the moment as they moved me. August Just Pinned to Visual art: The Transcendental Lightscapes Of James Turrell – iGNANT.de https://t.co/O3WJSKfZWj pic.twitter.com/zsrIdoQZtt — It has happened before (@richmagahiz) August 3, 2016 https://t.
While 2016 had some pretty awful things happen throughout, there were a number of aspects I will remember with some fondness. I went through my timeline and picked out some of the memorable ones. There were so many I’ll have to post this in installments. Thanks to all the people who made me think, who showed me something in a different way, or who had the impulse to go and actually do something.
It’s been years since I have worked at a place where I’ve had an office of my own. In fact, only two of the eight jobs I’ve had since finishing schools have featured this My first job teaching physics at a college was the only one where I had an actual room with bookshelves and a desk and a phone of my own. I also had a lab with benches and cupboards and could ask the departmental secretary and the departmental machinist for help.