Posted 1 day ago

After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.

Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
Did this.

I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?

The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.

She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,

Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.

She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.

Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.

Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.

She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
Questions.

She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.

To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.

And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.

And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,

With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.

Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.

They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.

Not everything is lost.

Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” (via endegame)

(Source: oliviacirce)

Posted 2 days ago

NSA Said to Have Used Heartbleed Bug, Exposing Consumers

thebicker:

Yeahhhhhhh so this happened.

Posted 2 days ago
Posted 2 days ago

bluedogeyes:

India teen tells US how to save $400 million by changing font (via The Hindu)

A 14-year-old Indian-origin boy has come up with a unique plan that could help the U.S. save nearly $400 million a year by merely changing the font used on official documents.

Suvir Mirchandani, a student in a Pittsburgh-area middle school, claimed that if the federal government used the Garamond font exclusively it could save about $136 million per year, nearly 30 per cent less than the estimated $467 dollars it spends annually on ink.

An additional $234 million could be saved annually if state governments also implemented the change.

Mirchandani said the idea came to him when he was trying to think of ways to cut waste and save money as part of a science fair project at his school, CNN reported.

The youngster noticed that he was getting a lot more handouts than he did in elementary school and decided to figure out if he could minimize use of paper and ink.

While recycling paper was one way to save money and conserve resources, Mirchandani said little attention had been paid to the ink used on the papers.

“Ink is two times more expensive than French perfume by volume,” he said, adding that he then decided to focus his project on finding ways to cut down the cost of ink.

As part of his experiment, he collected random samples of teachers’ handouts and focused on the most commonly used characters such as e, t, a, o and r.

He noted how often each character was used in different fonts like Garamond, Times New Roman, Century Gothic and Comic Sans and then measured how much ink was used for each letter, using an ink coverage software.

From his analysis, Mirchandani figured out that by using the Garamond font with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24 per cent and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually.

image

He repeated his tests on five sample pages from documents on the Government Printing Office website and got similar results that changing the font would save money.

Mirchandani’s findings have been published in the Journal for Emerging Investigators (JEI), a publication founded by a group of Harvard students in 2011 that provides a platform for the work of middle school and high school students.

One of the journal’s founders Sarah Fankhauser said that of the nearly 200 submissions they have received since 2011, Mirchandani’s project stood out.

“We were so impressed. We really could really see the real-world application in Suvir’s paper,” Fankhauser was quoted as saying…”

Posted 2 days ago

npr:

Photo: Sam Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

"A Gold Obsession Pays Dividends For Indian Women" via @JulieMcCarthyJM

Indian women have always treasured gold for its beauty and for providing a measure of social security. Today it is also being used to give them a larger say in the family’s finances. 

Posted 2 weeks ago
scientificvisuals:


thebrainscoop:

shadowskittle:

Timelapse for the two-faced calfs skull being cleaned by the beetles.
I just thought it was the coolest thing ever so I tried to make a gif.
(x)

nom noM NOM NOM NOM 

A great way to pick bones clean without harming them? Unleash the dermestid beetles, preferably the hide beetle Dermestes maculatus. They eat flesh.

scientificvisuals:

thebrainscoop:

shadowskittle:

Timelapse for the two-faced calfs skull being cleaned by the beetles.

I just thought it was the coolest thing ever so I tried to make a gif.

(x)

nom noM NOM NOM NOM 

A great way to pick bones clean without harming them? Unleash the dermestid beetles, preferably the hide beetle Dermestes maculatus. They eat flesh.

Posted 2 weeks ago

sandandglass:

Republicans stir up controversy over Obama’s nomination for Surgeon General. Dr. Vivek Murthy upset Republicans by saying guns are a healthcare issue and that the NRA holds too much power over politicians.

His original Tweet read “Tired of politicians playing politics w/ guns, putting lives at risk b/c they’re scared of NRA. Guns are a health care issue” and you can find it HERE.

Posted 2 weeks ago

ucresearch:

skunkbear:

Herding Cells - With Electricity!


Researchers at UC Berkeley have managed to use an electric field to herd a flock of epithelial cells — a trick called galvanotaxis. It’s a very blunt tool at the moment, but scientists hope it can be refined and used to help wounds heal.

An exciting step in the direction of “smart bandages” — using an electrical stimulation to help heal wounds. The researchers used the same cells that bind together to form skin, kidneys and other organs.  

Posted 2 weeks ago
ppaction:

Last day to enroll in health insurance until October! Get started here: http://p.ppfa.org/QoCPzj
afternoonsnoozebutton:

Get in loser, we’re getting health insurance.

ppaction:

Last day to enroll in health insurance until October! Get started here: http://p.ppfa.org/QoCPzj

afternoonsnoozebutton:

Get in loser, we’re getting health insurance.

Posted 2 weeks ago
If a woman writes about herself, she’s a narcissist. If a man does the same, he’s describing the human condition.

Emili Gould

(via sandcastleandmanderlay)

Or in modern blogger parlance, a woman writing about herself is navel-gazing, whereas a man doing the same thing is writing a “think piece.”

(via thebicker)

Posted 3 weeks ago

There are very, very few African-American astrophysics PhDs. That’s for a reason. I was doing something people of my skin color were not supposed to do.

I was stopped and questioned seven times by University police on my way into the physics building,” he explained. “Seven times. Zero times was I stopped going into the gym — and I went to the gym a lot. That says all you need to know about how welcome I felt at Texas.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson, an anomaly in American science

Follow policymic

(via policymic)

Posted 3 weeks ago
Posted 1 month ago

adulthoodisokay:

25 Things Only Lazy People Will Understand

This speaks to me on a deep and personal level.

Posted 1 month ago

awkwardsituationist:

from girl rising …to consider on international women’s day (and every day thereafter)

Posted 1 month ago

wocinsolidarity:

mistercoventry:

Lesbians and ice cream

this is so adorable. c’mon, say it with me…

**AWWWWWWWWWWWW**