Krista on Being

by Kate Moos, managing producer

As we began to spread the word to close friends about our name change from Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett to Krista Tippett on Being, we were invited to speak to an audience of colleagues here at American Public Media earlier this month. Our pal, Future Tense host John Moe, agreed to interview Krista and get at the basic questions: Why the change? Why Being? What does it all mean? In this video, our inimitable host takes on these questions with passion, intelligence, and grace.

We’ve heard from hundreds of you that the name change is a brilliant idea, a terrible idea, or something in between. Some who regret the change see the necessity for it. Some who love the old name acknowledge the new name is a better fit for the program content. Others says they need some time to think about it and adjust. For many, there is some sadness in losing the word “faith” in its robust and broadest meanings, and we acknowledge that loss. We’ve also heard you say you don’t quite get Krista’s name in front of Being. It’s there (especially during this transition) so you know that Krista Tippett remains central to this program and its vision. In general conversation on the radio and in other applications, the name of the program will most often be Being.

But we also want to reassure you that we are not losing faith in a programmatic sense. The name change is not a signal of a change in the editorial vision or content. As you will hear Krista relate in this video, the new name reflects an evolutionary change that has occurred over time. Being will remain the conversation about “religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas” you have come to know.

Reblogged from On Being Tumblr


Mapping Evolution in Wikipedia
Trent Gilliss, Online Editor

Broadcasting this week’s show on Charles Darwin reminded me of this history flow diagram of the changing face of the Wikipedia explanation of evolution over time. Nearly four years have passed since I read about it in Discover magazine.

What would the graph look like nowadays? I’ll hazard a wild guess that it’s as colorful as ever, with myriad black columns (indicating the entry being deleted by vandals). Boy I’d love to see a follow-up chart for this trajectory.

(History Flow diagram courtesy of Frank Van Ham, Fernanda Viegas, and Martin Wattenberg of the Visual Communication Lab, IBM Research)

Reblogged from On Being Tumblr


A spherical view towards the neighborhood of home. Left Arm Single shot and edited this kaleidoscopic video to Birkwin Jersey’s “Orinoco” off of his Old Hands EP to be released Friday the 13th via Absent Fever.

Neighborhoods of sounds like the hollowing caves on a carousel ‘round where the church bell rings sound - scufflings of pruned palms greeting “how do you do?” to rotting railways or through the hair of little pat on the top people - nail galloping on bored old oak desks of bored old oak folk - the inside quarrels that had hardly sound and happened nearly exclusively in the lined up houses of neighborhoods that marched like a marching band to nearly always in need of repair dusty alarm clocks. And god-dammit being home hadn’t ever sounded so kind. 

Reblogged from verb/re/verb


REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK, No. 2. The Dated Rifles of Afghanistan

Propaganda and hype surround the Kalashnikov line, but one part of the legend is irrefutable: the better-made variants of the rifle have an extraordinary durability in the field. This has given the weapons a longevity in combat that is peerless for weapons in their class, and helped fuel the AK-47 legend.

Over the years, I have inventoried Kalashnikovs and their ammunition wherever time has permitted and the people who store or carry them have allowed me to get in close and take notes and make images. This has been, and is, part of a larger inquiry to try to determine which weapons and ammunition are prevalent where, and to trace, where possible, their origins and means of travel.

Usually recording the information was simple and straight-forward. Sometimes it has created uncomfortable situations, as it did in Uganda when I was on vacation a few years ago, and a group of UPDF soldiers grew enraged and threatened to arrest me. At times the habit of documenting small arms and munitions has been journalistically productive, and my habit has led me to other searches, as when decades-old Chinese 7x62.39mm ammunition, purchased by the U.S. Army, began appearing in Afghan bunkers in 2007. (The ammunition sampling in that case helped unravel what federal prosecutors later called a conspiracy by the precocious young gun-runner, Efraim Diveroli, and his AEY firm in Miami Beach, to defraud the Pentagon.)  

The investigation of AEY’s activities took many months, and the firm’s behavior and trail revealed itself slowly. But sometimes my habit produced facts of immediate value. This is because a rifle’s or a cartridge’s markings, with the right reference material, can tell stories. On most Kalashnikovs, the left side of the receiver carries identifying marks — a factory stamp, a serial number, sometimes a date of manufacture. I’ll post more at another time about how serial numbers can be organized by manufacturers in ways that can be deliberately deceptive. But even weapons bearing markings intended to deceive can still speak.

The photo above provides an example. The stamped triangle with the arrow inside is the factory marking from the enormous small-arms manufacturing complex in Izhevsk, Russia. That triangle-and-arrow, along with this rifle’s 1954 date stamp and its solid-steel machined receiver, mark it as one of the AK-47s manufactured in the Kalashnikov line’s earliest years, when the Soviet Union was busily arming Soviet ground forces with their first assault rifles.

What makes that interesting? This particular rifle was more than a half-century old that day I made this picture, and it was not in a reserve armory or a museum. It was still in active use, and was carried on this day, a few years ago, by an Afghan soldier on a joint Afghan-American patrol in Ghazni Province. Can you think of tools that last this long, or that you expect to? Your pickup truck? Cell phone? Refrigerator? Television? Laptop? Do you own anything that was manufactured in the 1950s and still is in regular, active use in your life? Sure, there are examples. (The original toilets in older buildings are one; older electric lamps are another, although many antique lamps have been rewired by their owners, so maybe they don’t count.)  When set against almost all products, the list is not large.

As weapons go, the Kalashnikov is not alone in lasting this long. Many rifles and pistols from an earlier era — the old Lee-Enfields are but one example — are still fully functional. But in the main these weapons were not automatics, and were of a more simple design. In a post we’ll likely publish this week in the At War blog, I’ll publish from a large set of photos of the varied rifles in use by the Taliban in Marja, Afghanistan. Many of the rifles predate World War Two, and one is nearly a century old. The post on At War will describe how the weapons were collected, and what they might tell us. I’ll then post more images here.

Reblogged from THE GUN.


Otis’ Improved Hoisting Apparatus

Patented January 15, 1861, Elisha Otis’s elevator was the first with a safety catch to guard against the breaking of the cable. The Otis Company would become the premier manufacturer of electric elevators.

Reblogged from Today's Document





I got a new book out called the Gunshow Superbook One and you can buy all my current books (and an old one) in a big pack deal called the EXPANSION PACK which i will draw in all of yr books for the Expansion pack. The single superbook can be gotten with a sketch or without one! Please let everyone in the world know, and also buy the Superbook or Pack if you want to! I would appreciate it a bunch, thank you.

Reblogged from midnite surprise


Asafo Company Flag (Frankaa). Fante, Ghana, early-mid C20th (via Brooklyn Museum: Arts of Africa)

Reblogged from A London Salmagundi