Friday, September 6, 2013

Defining Black Pride for Self

I began thinking about this in earnest yesterday, after several discussions (see: Facebook) on race and race politics in America.  The seed for this was planted in my mind after reading this spectacular article written by my friend Mo the Educator regarding race politics and "proper blackness".  After reading this article and leaving my comments on it, I began thinking: What does it mean to me to be a Black American and to have Black Pride? I ask these questions and, in what follows, hope that I have found the beginnings of an answer.  As always, please chime in on the comments (or contact me by other means) if you have an opinion.  Twenty-seven years of life as a Black American doesn't qualify me as some supreme expert on the subject, and I welcome all feedback; anything that makes me think is worth considering.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Orishas: Oxum

This is my second post about the orixás of Candomblé.  This time, we'll chat about the Orixá of freshwater, love, beauty, wealth, and other such things: Oxum (Oshun, Ochun; pronounced "oh-SHOON" regardless of spelling).  A bit of disclaimer before we begin (and this will be at the end as well): I am by no means an expert on Orixás of any religion, be it Candomblé, Umbanda, Yoruba, Santeria, Vodou, or anything else.  I'm just a dude with a lot of curiosity and the power of the internet.  As such, if you see something here that seems kinda fishy, take it with a huge grain of salt.  And if you know more about the subject matter here, please please PLEASE speak up and point me in the right direction.  I also didn't do references like I did last time, as this was much more of a synthesis of ideas instead of a line-by-line pasting (except where mentioned).

My inspiration for this particular goddess came from watching the classic 1990's African-American romance movie: Love Jones.  The male lead, a poet named Darius Lovehall (Lorenz Tate), is trying to kick it to this girl he just met at the bar, the female lead named Nina Moseley as played by Nia Long.  In order to further get her attention, he devises a poem that he calls "A Blues for Nina":

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Science Sunday: The Black After the Fire

This should be a relatively short one.  The other day, this question popped into my mind: Why is it that when things burn, they turn black?  Physically, what exactly happens when something is being burned that causes that blackness to be left behind, and what is that blackness?  The answer that made the most sense to me at first thought was that the blackness that was left behind was probably some form of carbon.  Firstly, materials of pure carbon tend to appear blackish (e.g. graphite), except when their atomic bonds are arranged in the tetrahedra that create diamonds.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Verdadeira Capoeira

By Angelo Augusto Decânio Filho - Mestre Dr. Decânio.
Translated by Mestre Fernando "Gato" Albuquerque, and retranslated/edited by me.

The true capoeira of each one of us is that which lives in the body of each of us. There exists ethical, technical, and musical standards, however capoeira is the behavioral manifestation of each being; the greatest expression of human individuality. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Science Sunday: The Sound and Fury of Lightning

It's been a long while.  I shouldn't have left you (left you), without a dope post to step to.  Step to, step to, step to...  I'm so totally not addressing the 3 month absence.  Onward!

Lightning!  One of nature's many spectacular light shows! I learned a little bit about electric discharges in college-level Electricity and Magnetism, with a brief mention as to how lightning works.  However, since I never took any atmospheric science, I never got an in-depth look at it.  Let's get into it RIGHT NOW!  Note, there is going to be a bit of physics jargon in this post, but I promise to keep it light.  Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Repost: Astronomer to Data Scientist

An interesting blog post that my coworker posted on Facebook.  The author of the post transitioned from Astronomy to a job as a data scientist.  She expounds upon what's needed to make the jump.  Interesting for those who are considering the move from academia.
I recently made the transition from astrophysics researcher to data scientist for a tech company (Yammer / Microsoft). Below are suggestions for people in academia / research who are interested in pursuing a tech job.
Most tech companies are interested in smart, talented people who can learn quickly and have good problem solving skills. Scientists have these attributes. Therefore if you apply for jobs at tech companies, you'll likely get at least a response from a recruiter. However, once you get an interview, there are many other skills that the company will try to assess, skills that you may or may not have already. Below are some tips which will help you both in the application / interview process, as well as on the job at a tech company.