haxbee

Blacksparrow

We have a new website at Blacksparrow. We’ve also dropped “Auctions” and are simply now Blacksparrow, Inc. Our business has expanded to independent publishing, so it makes sense to not be limited by descriptors.

Oppression

It is often that the oppressor learned to oppress from once being oppressed.

This is happening

UnimartPosterSlider1

“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.”

– Buddha

“Unleash Chang”

150115_date_bush_2_gty

In 2005, in a ceremony that officially designated then-state Rep. Marco Rubio as the first Cuban-American House speaker in Florida history, then-governor Jeb Bush stated in his speech:

“Chang is a mystical warrior. Chang is somebody who believes in conservative principles, believes in entrepreneurial capitalism, believes in moral values that underpin a free society. I rely on Chang with great regularity in my public life. He has been by my side, and sometimes I let him down. But Chang, this mystical warrior, has never let me down.”

Then Bush presented Rubio a golden sword and explained its significance. “I’m going to bestow to you the sword of a great conservative warrior,” he said.

There’s just one problem. The inscription on the sword reads: “C-H-I-A-N-G,” not, “C-H-A-N-G.”

“Unleash Chiang” was the rallying cry of John Birchers, who in the 1950s urged the United States to arm Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese Nationalist leader, so he could retake Red China from Mao Zedong. The motto later became sports trash talk in the Bush family (like when George H.W. would warn from the baseline that he was about to “unleash Chiang” with his next serve).

Some journalists covering the Rubio ceremony did not recognize the allusion and wrote it up straight. Rubio himself clearly did not understand the story’s origins.

Robert Kinoshita

robertkinoshita01

The man who created Robby the Robot for the 1956 sci-fi classic, Forbidden Planet, died a few weeks ago. In addition to Robby the Robot, Robert Kinoshita also created the B-9 robot in Lost in Space and the robot Tobor from Here Comes Tobor. His other credits include Science Fiction TheaterHighway PatrolSea HuntBat MastersonMen Into SpaceThe Phantom PlanetHell’s Bloody DevilsHawaii 5-0Barnaby Jones, and Gene Roddenberry’s pilot, Planet Earth. Kinoshita died on Dec. 9, 2014 at a nursing care facility in Torrance, CA. He was 100.

For more: Robert Kinoshita, Robot Designer for ‘Forbidden Planet’ and ‘Lost in Space,’ Dies at 100.

(Photo credit: Angry Asian Man)

Legacy

2015/01/img_0177.jpg

No legacy is so great that it is immune from the squabbles — usually over money — between descendants.

Paris

2015/01/img_0176.jpg

For free speech. For the right to expression without fear of violence. For those who died defending that notion.

Data

In this age of data mining, collecting and breaches, it’s easy to get paranoid. Yes, the amount of data that’s being culled and collating is unprecedented. Technology has enabled that. But paranoia aside, there are people doing good work with all this data that’s out there. Take Nate Silver and his team at Five Thirty Eight for example. Silver and his associates strive to put data in context and then glean meaning from the noise. This is what they did with regards to President Obama’s proposed executive action on the immigration issue: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/every-immigration-related-executive-action-of-the-last-58-years/.