February 8th, 2020

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Today's Adventures

We met with my parents in Champaign-Urbana today.  On the way up, we went through 365 Skinny Smoothies, which is more use as inspiration than exact recipes.  It uses a lot of ingredients we don't have or don't like, but the flavor combinations are good and I won't hesitate to replace coconut water with some other coconut.

We had supper at Koh-i-Noor.  my_partner_doug wanted to try a new dish with paneer and mushrooms, which turned out quite good.  :D

After that, there was just time to visit World Harvest for smoothie ingredients.  There was just a little snow dusting down.

At Krannert, we watched Step Afrika! again.  Their current program is called Drumfolk.  It was awesome.  :D  They did a lot of drumming and dancing.  I particularly admire the high spinning leaps that some of the men made.  The costuming was splendid: most of it period, similar without being quite identical, but it looked like a matched set of costumes rather than random crap like the modern tendency.  At several points, the dancers wore wide collars and bracelets of gold metal in African fashion, which caught the light and made it easier to track their movements.  They taught the audience a little about body music, call-and-response, and techniques for rebellion.  Just in case.

The program was actually a history lesson about the Stono Rebellion and the Negro Act of 1740.  These two things are the heart of what became America: rebellion and oppression and race wars.  It's all there.  And of the principal participants, it was the rebels who most embodied the ideals that America likes to think it has, and the colonists who most embodied how America actually behaves.

So now it's my turn ...

Read about the Stono Rebellion and other slave rebellions in America.  Most people don't like to discuss this topic, because they don't want modern blacks to get uppity, but the zeal for freedom is undeniably American.

Explore drums, ring shout, tap, hambone or body music, steppingcall-and-responsedeclamation, and rebellion as parts of African and African-American culture.

Learn how to make a pretty good, pretty cheap drum with PVC pipe and Duck Tape.

Drums can be used for communication as well as entertainment.  There are even talking drums.

Even if you don't have a drum, you can teach and learn drum rhythms by talking them out.  Among the easiest is the doumbek, named after its two main beats, "doom" and "bek" (spelled in various ways).  You can talk out doumbek rhythms like these, which are two of the most popular for bellydancing:

DOOM tek-a tek-a tek-a DOOM tek-a tek

DOOM DOOM tek-a tek-a DOOM tek-a tek

Now let me unpack some favorite rebel techniques, in case you need to start a revolution.  (In America, you have a constitutional right to do that, although if you actually try to use it the government may well kill you or put you in a cage.)

https://www.historyextra.com/period/georgian/10-ways-to-start-a-revolution/

https://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Revolution

https://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Rebel-Movement-in-School

https://www.aeinstein.org/nonviolentaction/198-methods-of-nonviolent-action/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategy_and_tactics_of_guerrilla_warfare

https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/voices.uchicago.edu/dist/c/1708/files/2019/03/tactics-29niyzj.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clandestine_cell_system

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/26184

https://www.wikihow.com/Learn-Morse-Code

https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Art-of-Sending-Secret-Messages/

They took the drums away, but they could not stop the beat.

So pick up a drum and beat some bigots!

After the show, we went to the Intermezzo and had cake.  By the time we got out, it was snowing more.

We went shopping, because I really didn't want to go back out again in a few days for more groceries.  I'm overloaded enough already. :/ 

It was still snowing.  Not a lot, but enough to make the roads slick, which delayed us getting back home.

All in all, a good day.
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Community Building Tip: Chandeliers

For my current set of tips, I'm using the list "101 Small Ways You Can Improve Your City."

11. Hang some chandeliers. Need a way to brighten a blah block and add whimsy to a dark sidewalk? The Chandelier Tree in Los Angeles has become a local landmark for the dozens of lighting fixtures ensconced in a sycamore. Neighbors donate to the electric bill using a repurposed parking meter. In Vancouver, a spinning, LED-lit chandelier was installed under a bridge underpass.