New Jersey releases 2,261 – but to what?

first_imgThe State of New Jersey released 2,261 incarcerated workers from its state prisons on Nov. 4. This largest single-day release in U.S. history comes on the heels of state law S2519, passed in September, which calls for the release of nearly 3,000 people in prisons to stop the rampant spread of disease inside and protect the health of the public during the ravenous coronavirus pandemic. (NBC News, Nov. 4)Invest in people, not police and prisons!This release is an important win that was hard fought by various community organizations and saves thousands of lives. And, as we see this system reproducing its violence in mutated and new forms, we must be sure to fight all the conditions that have allowed the death-making policies of human captivity, trafficking, and family separation to flourish since settlers first stepped foot on the Western Hemisphere.Whether it’s an im/migrant detention center, jail and/or prison, those walls don’t and won’t ever stop the spread of disease and death from reaching inhabitants outside walls. These cages in their various forms exist to maintain the law and so-called order of settler-imposed capitalism on stolen land, while simultaneously serving as lethal, overcrowded catch-alls for society’s contradictions.Because prisons have been hotspots for COVID and a detriment to public health, the legislation passed in September explains that “prisoners in New Jersey within a year of completing sentences for crimes other than murder and sexual assault are eligible to be released as many as eight months early.” (New York Times, Nov. 4)This selection – between who is granted release from their own kidnapping from their communities at the hands of police, and who is left to face a possible COVID-19 death sentence inside jail facilities —  reinforces and reproduces the myth that cages keep society safer from real harm, like murder and sexual assault. This false myth disregards the material reality that these cages reproduce murder and assault themselves, rather than addressing the root causes of these ills.Mia Mingus, of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective and a fierce advocate around Disability Justice, explains: “As a survivor of child sexual abuse, working for abolition via transformative justice, more police and more prisons will not stop sexual violence. If it did, we would not have the devastatingly high epidemic-level rates of sexual violence that continue to persist.” (tinyurl.com/yy6e9rzd , June 26)Collectively attacking cultural conditions of racism, ableism, patriarchal violence, and homophobia alongside attacking the structural conditions of housing, food and job insecurities are essential in our efforts to break free of the rot of this system, which was designed to divide and conquer.Fighting further criminalizationIn anticipation of these New Jersey mass releases, many volunteers and community organizers who greeted released people at bus stations used community crowdfunds to provide people with resources upon their re-entrance into society.New Jersey “Department of Corrections” officials spoke of how folks would be released with IDs so they could pick up prescriptions and procure housing, but community organizers witnessed many left stranded during the pandemic by state neglect, without a single one of the promised resources. (WNYC, Nov. 7)They were released without even one of them having secured a safe housing plan or a way to access resources needed to not only survive but to live safely during an unprecedented pandemic. Such a lack dooms those released to a caged future, unless members of our collective class can intervene with inside-outside solidarity.Another related area of organized state violence we must organize against is immediate rearrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE immediately rearrested 88 of the 2,261 people released. Although New Jersey is supposedly a sanctuary state, prisons can and do notify ICE when prisoners who have committed certain crimes, specifically related to “violent crimes” and “drug offenses,” are released.While some of these incarcerated workers are undocumented, others are permanent residents at risk of deportation because of prior convictions. Municipal, county, and out-of-state law enforcement agencies immediately recaptured 98 additional folks of the 2,261 released. (WNYC, Nov. 5)Cages are a form of state surveillance and death-making machines that target particular populations for genocide, and they currently serve the ruling class in their global plunder of the planet for profit over people’s lives. Documentation of criminalization across borders drawn by the imperialists precipitate punishment and a never-ending conveyor belt of vulnerability to premature death rather than any substantive change in the material conditions that had led up to the bars of a cell.We must be sure to resist criminalizing and caging members of our class trying to survive, whether they’re using drugs or participating in sex work. We must attack harm at the root causes as we build for the presence of abolition and socialist revolution. Free them all for public health! Attack the conditions that necessitate cages! Tear down the walls! 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Grasping with the eyes

first_imgIt seems like big data is everywhere you look. And in a way, it is: Maps, medical scans, and weather charts are commonplace forms of data visualization. Each was examined during “Thinking with Your Eyes,” a two-day conference that brought together experts in the arts, sciences, humanities, and technology — as well as academic and computing groups from across Harvard — to investigate how graphic representation brings knowledge to life.“In a technological age where large amounts of data can be captured like never before, how big data is used and portrayed presents significant challenges,” said keynote speaker Martin Wattenberg, who along with Fernanda Viégas leads Google’s “Big Picture” visualization research group.Author James Davenport, who created the popular “The United States of Starbucks” graph that shows that 80 percent of Americans live within 20 miles of a link in the coffee chain, pointed to the potential for wider impact. “Visualization makes technical information available to everyone,” he said, adding: “We love to study ourselves. Data is never boring when it’s about us.”Studying ourselves — and condensing that information into pictorial form — is not new. “The history of art fundamentally is also the long history of visualization,” said Jennifer Roberts, the Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities.“I never think just with my eyes. I think with my hands, as well.” — Nathalie MiebachIn a panel discussion, Roberts, who teaches a course called “The Art of Looking,” traced the Google Maps interface to Gerard Mercator, the Flemish cartographer who devised a cylindrical map projection that distorts the shape of large objects, such as the poles and some continents, to preserve the angles of smaller ones. The projection is still used today. “It’s interesting to think that as you’re navigating around using Google Maps on your phone, you’re actually activating a visualization that was designed for now-obsolete navigation techniques for 16th-century sailing ships,” she said. “So there’s a bit of salt and spray and shiver-me-timbers deep in your iPhone.”Michelle Borkin, a doctoral candidate at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, tapped her background in physics to create a tree diagram for diagnosing and treating heart disease. The diagram is based on a similar illustration Borkin used to plot the structure of nebula, which was influenced by a bioinformatics image of gene sequencing. In turn, the gene sequences were derived from Charles Darwin’s graphic of the evolution of species, which took its cue from an early figure showing the evolution of language.“Straight from linguistics through biology and biophysics and astrophysics back to medical imaging,” Borkin said. Her interdisciplinary approach reflected the conference’s many contributors, a list that included Harvard College Library, Harvard Library, Harvard Art Museums, HUIT, HarvardX, the Office for Scholarly Communication, the FAS Academic Technology Group, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.As presenters acknowledged the long and cross-cultural history of visual representation, it was often in the context of seeking new ways to make information more memorable.“How would our understanding of data change if we could actually touch it?” asked artist Nathalie Miebach. Miebach collects data on weather patterns and translates it into woven baskets, sculptural installations, and musical scores. “I never think just with my eyes. I think with my hands, as well,” she said.Across Harvard, organizations such as the Initiative for Teaching and Learning aim to understand modes of thinking to strengthen the science behind learning, and to put that understanding toward research and better, more accessible tools for data manipulation.“This, by definition, means making use of scientific information and big data to inform our pedagogical decisions, both of which are often best distilled and understood through robust and diverse visualizations,” said Vice President for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Sarah Thomas. Thomas introduced the event’s closing keynote, Vice Provost for Advances in Learning Peter Bol.“What’s interesting about data visualization is this whole idea of people learning,” said Bol. “You have to learn to see. Once we’ve learned to read a scatterplot we remember how to read it. Once we’ve learned how to read a map, we remember how to read it. There had to be a point in history when people didn’t know what maps were, and they began to learn.”last_img read more

Chicago Star Bebe Neuwirth Looks Back on 18 Years in the Cellblock

first_img See Neuwirth in Chicago at the Ambassador Theatre! Character Most Like Me (Velma, Roxie or Mama): None of them are really like me, but if pressed I’d have to say Velma, because she loves to be on stage (but that’s the only thing we have in common!). Chicago Best Tony Awards Memory: Dancing the “Hot Honey Rag” with Ann Reinking. Our cast was on fire, the audience was on fire, and there was so much love in our hearts for each other and the music and the choreography. Favorite Costume Piece: Velma’s fishnet tights. They’ve become a wardrobe staple for me. Best Thing About the Ambassador Theatre: My memories of playing there when I was in Dancin’. There were four of us gals in what is now (amazingly) the Velma dressing room. Favorite Chicago Song: To perform? “I Can’t Do It Alone.” It is a perfect song/number—it illuminates the character, it’s emotionally charged and full, it drives the story forward and it is funny. Annie’s choreography is fantastic. View Comments Best Post-Show Night Spot: Nothing beats being quiet at home with my husband. Sometimes he makes us a simple late-night pasta supper. Perfect. But—if I do go out, I love Joe Allen’s. Favorite Chicago Lyric: “How can they see with sequins in their eyes?” So brilliant on so many levels. As a pure lyric with internal rhymes and repetitions, how it scans and sings within the tune, and of course as a dark cultural commentary. Biggest Line Flub: OK, this is raunchy, but absolutely unforgettable. In “Class,” Marcia Lewis (Mama) sang, “Everybody you watch,” to which I (Velma) should have responded, “‘S got his brains in his crotch.” Instead I sang, “‘S got his face in his crotch.” Needless to say, neither one of us was able to sustain our final note due to the ferocious giggling welling inside us. Bebe Neuwirth is bravely going where no actress has gone before—she’s tackling her third leading role in Broadway’s Chicago! After snagging the Tony Award in 1996 for her portrayal of merry murderess Velma Kelly, Neuwirth returned to play Roxie Hart a decade later. Eighteen years after taking her first Broadway bow in Chicago, she has officially graduated to the role of Murderess’ Row warden Matron “Mama” Morton. Now that she’s achieved the Chicago trifecta, Broadway.com asked Neuwirth to reflect on her favorite memories, craziest moments and most treasured times in the cellblock. Best Celebrity Visitor: We’ve had so many thrilling people come see us. I kept a guestbook, and there are some amazing people in there. I can’t pick a favorite, but it was a unique honor and a moving experience to have Jerry Orbach come to my dressing room. One of the finest gentlemen in show business. Or anywhere! from $49.50 Related Shows Star Files Bebe Neuwirthlast_img read more

U 21’s European semis

first_imgPhoto © Pixabay It’s semi finals day in the European Under-21 Championships.First up, England take on Germany from 5.And at 8, it’s the meeting of Spain and Italy.last_img

Ghana’s Thomas Agyepong leaves Man City for FC Twente

first_imgDutch club Twente Enschede have taken teenage striker Thomas Agyepong from Manchester City on loan but will not be able to use him until next month.Twente announced the season-long loan deal for the 19-year-old, captain of Ghana junior national team, but a broken foot means Agyepong is only expected to be fit in September.The deal keeps the stream of young players loaned by the Dutch club from elsewhere in Europe.Twente have already taken Nigerian striker Michael Olaitan from Olympiakos and Brazilian defender Bruno Uvini from Napoli on loan deals this season.–Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtaglast_img

Celebrate 10 Years of EarthCaching! — Table Rock EarthCache (GCMH1C) — Geocache of the Week

first_imgPhotos: The falls are even beautiful at night. Photo by geocacher ChodHappy geocachers making the find! Photo by Team OSSAnother beautiful shot of the falls. Photo by geocacher Desert Varnish Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. Photo by geocachers OddballCachersGeocache Name:Table Rock EarthCache (GCMH1C)Difficulty/Terrain Rating:1/1Why this is the Geocache of the Week:Tomorrow marks the 10 year anniversary of EarthCaching—that’s a decade of not only earning a smiley, but also learning more about the bubbling, rock shattering, and often hidden geological processes that shape our Earth. If you feel like celebrating, pay a visit to one of the most favorited EarthCaches in the world (this is the most favorited). Here geocachers will learn how glaciers and erosion formed these magnificent waterfalls known as Niagara falls. One tip: make sure to bring a rain jacket or poncho; otherwise you’ll get soaked from the spray coming off the falls. Consider the soaking a very wet souvenir.# of Finds:3,330# of Favorite Points:436What the geocache owner, Team Tigger International, has to say:“Firstly Niagara Falls is my favorite place it’s so beautiful and powerful.  We really enjoy Earthcaching because it can be really fun and scientific , plus you get to learn something you may not have known about our Earth. As we visit the beautiful Table Rock area on a regular basis , and find it absolutely fascinating , we thought it was the perfect place to place an earthcache.”“We really enjoy seeing all the logs on this cache it is one of our most popular that we have placed. We especially love to see all the pictures of this beautiful area.”What geocachers are saying:“We spent a great day at Niagara Falls with perfect weather. This is just an absolute amazing place. It was so exciting to see the enormous power of the water running down the falls.” – Orpheos“Snagged this earth cache on our whim to go to Niagara Falls. So glad we did it – awesome vacation and awesome sights! Ontario was great and everyone was very friendly. TFTC” – tigervhaga“Thank you for bringing us to this area. The information was very interesting and I’m not sure we would have stumbled upon it by ourselves.” – CeeeKerRead More Logs See More Photoscenter_img What’s the most amazing thing you’ve learned from finding an EarthCache? Tell us in the comments.Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGeocaching Unlocks the Secrets of the Earth – Geocaching Weekly NewsletterJanuary 21, 2013In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Is this still Earth? — Rainbow’s End: Grand Prismatic Spring (GC1JY47) — Geocache of the WeekAugust 6, 2014In “Community”Discover EarthCaching and 11 Stunning LocationsAugust 5, 2014In “Community”last_img read more