Castro seriously ill


Cuban leader Fidel Castro suffered from a serious infection of the large intestine and remains in serious condition, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported Monday.

The newspaper quoted two sources at a Madrid hospital, where a doctor, who visited the Cuban leader last month, works. The report said Castro had suffered complications after three failed surgeries to correct the problems.

The paper reported that Castro suffered from diverticulitis, an inflammation of sacs on the large intestine that can rupture and cause bleeding. The infection spread to the tissue on the walls of the abdomen, a condition called peritonitis. ( more… )


In response to E’s post below, I think that what we can do on MLK Day is think. Something that we don’t do enough of most days.

We can think about our own biases/prejudices with regard to race.

A good starting place to take stock of what you really think is at the Implicit Association Test, an ongoing research project put together at Harvard. It is a series of tasks that can be done online at their website. First you are shown a series of faces that are either African-American, or European-American, and you are asked to push one key for one group and a different key for the other. Then you are shown a series of words. “Good” words are things like joy, laughter, peace. “Bad” words are things like misery, failure, agony. Again, you push one key for one group and another for the other. Then, I think, you go back to faces again, this time with the left-right matchings reversed. Then, they run you through two more sets. The first asks you to press one key if you see either a European-American face or a “good” word, and to press a different key if you see either an African-American face or a “bad” word. Then, finally, they cross those up and ask you to press one key if you see either an African-American face or a “good” word, and the other key if you see either a European-American face or a “bad” word. Finally, they have a bunch of questions to answer. The whole thing takes about 15 minutes.
The test measures your speed of response time as well as your correct/incorrect answers and compares your response times from one situation to the other. It then tells you how strongly you associate each group of faces with either “good” or “bad”.

Give it a whirl.

Martin Luther King's Birthday


So, now, that we have a holiday, what are supposed to do with MLK day? March? Contemplate? Enjoy a day off from work? It is my belief that we need to reflect on Dr. King’s dream. Once we have the dream in focus, what can we do to bring that dream, his dream, our dream to reality?

From WaPo:

In a recent survey of college students on U.S. civic literacy, more than 81 percent knew that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was expressing hope for “racial justice and brotherhood” in his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

That’s the good news.

Most of the rest surveyed thought King was advocating the abolition of slavery. ( more… )

Nice article in Time about his last days.