Daily Archives: 9 Jan 14

R.I.P. Amiri Baraka


Tooting on His Sideways Horn: Amiri Baraka died today at seventy-nine; The Paris Review had the pleasure of publishing several of his poems. Baraka wrote “Pres Spoke a Language” to celebrate the jazz saxophonist Lester Young, but one could just as easily apply its eulogy to the poet himself:

had a language
and a life, like,
all his own,
but in the teeming whole of us he lived
toooting on his sideways horn

(Paris Review)

Harvard psychiatrist Grinspoon on David Brooks


English: David Brooks
David Brooks

“His ignorance about this subject is vast”:‘ “I hope he’s on more solid ground with the other things he writes about in the New York Times,” says Dr. Lester Grinspoon of NYT columnist David Brooks. Grinspoon is a Harvard psychiatrist and author of the 1971 book, Marijuana Reconsidered.

Joe Dolce interviewed the 85-year-old Harvard professor emeritus about David Brooks’ widely-ridiculed NYT opinion piece in which Brooks wrote that he’d had fun smoking pot as a youth but believes other people should be punished for smoking pot. ‘ (Boing Boing).

Northern Lights: Coming to a Sky Near You?

‘The massive flare that erupted from the sun on Tuesday could bring beautiful displays of the Northern Lights as far south as Colorado late on Thursday night and early Friday morning. It was associated with a huge eruption of material called a coronal mass ejection. Now, that material is racing toward Earth and is expected to trigger a strong geomagnetic storm — a disturbance to Earth’s protective magnetic bubble called the magnetosphere. It’s that kind of disturbance that triggers the Northern Lights.

The University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute predicts that auroral activity will be high on Thursday:Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Igaluit to Juneau, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay and Sept-Iles, and visible low on the horizon from Seattle, Des Moines, Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and Halifax… There are no guarantees, of course. Clouds could obscure the view, city lights could wash it out, the solar material could arrive earlier or later than forecast, affecting visibility, etc. For the latest updates on what might happen, check the Space Weather Prediction Center...’  (DiscoverMagazine.com). Barring an overcast night, I’m going to be outside tonight, somewhere I can get a dark sky away from city lights, watching and waiting…