Posts Tagged ‘ABC Wednesday’

One of those mundane questions I’ve long wondered about, but never bothered to look up, is why virtually all the radio and television stations in the US start with either the letter W or K.

From Primer Magazine: “In 1912, several countries attended a conference centered on the subject of ‘International Radiotelegraphs.’ One of the biggest things to come out of this gathering was the assignment of certain letters to certain countries, to identify their radio signals – America was given W, K, N, and A (fun fact: Canada got ‘C’ and Mexico got ‘X’).”

But why those particular letters in the US has seemingly been lost. (A for America?)

“While N and A were chosen for American military radio stations, W and K were designated specifically for commercial use. Stations were allowed to choose the letters that followed the K or the W, and the combination was allowed to be three or four letters in length.”

Initially, the K stations were to the east and the W stations were to the west. Thus one can find early radio stations such as KDKA out of Pittsburgh, PA, established in 1920. By 1926, the Federal Communications Commission codified the idea of having four letters, but stations with three didn’t need to change.

From Early Radio History:

“The original K/W boundary ran north from the Texas-New Mexico border, so at first stations along the Gulf of Mexico and northward were assigned W calls. It was only in late January, 1923 that the K/W boundary was shifted east to the current boundary of the Mississippi River. With this change, K’s were assigned to most new stations west of the Mississippi; however, existing W stations located west of the Mississippi were allowed to keep their now non-standard calls.”

This page has more information on the topic than most mortals would want to know, such as the K/W exceptions and other trivia. For instance, some break the rules by owner requests -examples: WACO in Waco, Texas; WMT (Waterloo [Iowa] Morning Tribune). The page was compiled on 1 January 2017, so it’s quite recent.

For ABC Wednesday

ANDI MACK – Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” stars Sofia Wylie as Buffy, Joshua Rush as Cyrus, Peyton Elizabeth Lee as Andi and Asher Angel as Jonah. (Disney Channel/Craig Sjodiin)

In any civil rights struggle, it is natural to want to celebrate the victories, the accomplishments. Yet when I first heard writer Michelangelo Signorile talk about “victory blindness,” probably on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I knew immediately that it was fundamentally true, and not just with regard to LGBTQ justice.

In this 2015 HuffPo interview, Mike says, “Victory blindness is …a term I use to describe the phenomenon in which we focus on the wins, so starved for validation, that we allow them to blind us to the continued bigotry we face. We become enthralled, intoxicated — spellbound by even a little bit. The effect is that it obscures our reality — literally our vision — and it makes us lose our gumption, not wanting to rock the boat, fearful that we’ll lose what we’ve gained and not get what little bit we think we need, when in fact we need a lot and we should be strong and confident knowing our allies will stay with us.”

I would add that engaging in victory blindness often leads to great surprise and disappointment when there is the inevitable backlash. Signorile was speaking specifically about LGBTQ rights. After the victory of marriage equality being confirmed by the Supreme Court comes a county clerk in Kentucky who refuses to issue some marriage licenses, e.g.

More recently, the US attorney general was asked if federal workers blatantly discriminate against LGBTQ people. Jeff Sessions wasn’t sure.

I think America suffered victory blindness in another arena, BIG TIME, when it elected Barack Obama. Racism is solved! We’re in a “post-racial” society! That did not quite turn out to be the case.

I suspect that the optimism following the November 2017 not-evil election results won’t lead to overconfidence. The battle against bigotry and inequality continues. Perhaps November 8 will, in someone’s words, empower and excite, not satisfy and placate.

Still, I was oddly pleased to see the so-called One Million Moms announce a Disney boycott over a gay character. My family happens to watch Andi Mack regularly, and the one boy’s feeling of jealousy that his male friend is interested in the girl who’s the title character rather than himself is just a small part of the texture of the series. The boycott seems to have had little impact on the enthusiastic fan base of the program.

For ABC Wednesday

I needed a U post and decided on USB port. My first problem? Despite my use of them virtually every single day, I didn’t know what it stood for.

A USB port is a “standard cable connection interface for personal computers and consumer electronics devices.” Yeah, I knew that.

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, “an industry standard for short-distance digital data communications. USB ports allow USB devices to be connected to each other with and transfer digital data over USB cables. They can also supply electric power across the cable to devices that need it.”

When I first got chargers for my cellphones and tablets, they were in one piece, with a USB cable doohickey on one end and a plug on the other. Now they come with the cord with different size connectors on each end and a plug as a separate attachment, I gather for greater flexibility.

It has come in handy. At a conference last year, I received – well, I didn’t know WHAT it was. It had an In DC 5V port and an Out DC 5V port at the same end. It turned out to be a portable charger. You stick one end of a cord into a laptop or computer, and the other end into the charger. Then you use the charger when your cellphone or tablet is dying.

Oh, and speaking of phones, I finally got a smartphone this year, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I can text without typing the 2 three times to get the letter C. I still don’t do it much, but I COULD.

It happened because I lost my not-smart cellphone in NYC in August; I didn’t really miss not having one until I traveled to Binghamton in early October. And while I could have gotten the same phone I had, with the same $7 a month deal, I ended up with an LG something-or-other for $35 per month package, which seems sufficient right now.

And I got a new bike light this year, which was expensive. But it is rechargeable. I had to take it to the bike shop to FIND the USB port, and someone with better fingernails than I had to take off the hard plastic piece hiding it. Plug it in, And There Was Light.

For ABC Wednesday

Early in October, I needed to get back from my hometown of Binghamton, NY back to my home in Albany in order to see The Color Purple at Proctors Theatre in nearby Schenectady. I stopped at the nice newish transportation hub in Binghamton, which had been spruced up a whole lot since I last took a bus out of Binghamton.

Unfortunately, it closed at 9:45 p.m., and I was there at 10:30. Worse, when I got online, I discovered that the bus I wanted, which leaves at 4:15 a.m.(!), was sold out.

Still, my friend got up at 3:15 to take me to the bus station; now THAT is a true pal. A bus heading for Syracuse, north, but a couple hours west of Albany, shows up around 4:15. The last time I needed to buy a ticket when the station was closed I would buy it from the driver.

Apparently, the procedure now is that he holds my ID, drives me to Syracuse, and THEN I buy a ticket for the trip I’ve already taken, and get my ID back. Then I buy a ticket for the bus from Syracuse to Albany, which was showing up at 6:30, only a half hour after I arrived; cool.

Syracuse has an even nicer transportation hub. I could have caught the train from there, if necessary.

I liked this: a young woman was heading back to college in western Massachusetts from Rochester, west of Syracuse. Unfortunately, she overslept and missed her bus. Fortunately, her father drove her the nearly 90 miles from Rochester to Syracuse in the middle of the night. She was very appreciative.
***
When I ride my bike, I ride along the right side of the road, the way I am supposed to. At least a couple times a week, I see a guy bearing right at me, because he’s going on the left side, usually going the wrong way on a one-way street to boot.

Almost every time this happens, he yells, “You’re on the wrong side!” To which I yell back, “You are incorrect.” Short of throwing page 91 of the New York State driver’s manual, which reads, “Where there is [no bicycle lane, bicyclists] must remain near the right curb or edge of the road or on a right shoulder of the road, to prevent interference with other traffic,” there’s not much I can do.

For ABC Wednesday

The conversation about Confederate statues in the United States is highly charged, as recent events in Charlottesville, VA have shown.

I absolutely agree with The Hill:
“Please don’t direct the discussion towards the ownership of slaves. Then we just get into the argument that people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. That’s not the point! Washington and Jefferson are well known in history from the beginnings of our country. [General] Robert E. Lee was a traitor to his country. These monuments were constructed well before African-Americans were permitted to vote, and they are only a reminder that racism still exists.”

But, as The Week notes in How America forgot the true history of the Civil War: “Ex-Confederates and associated sympathizers began to think up alternative histories that sounded better [than slavery], starting right after the war ended. The major plank of this was the ‘Lost Cause,’ which argued that the war was not actually about slavery — instead, it was about ‘states’ rights.’

“The antebellum South was cast as a sepia-toned paradise of noble gentlemen, virtuous ladies, and happy slaves.” John Oliver reveals The Ugly Reality Behind The ‘Lost Cause’ Cult.

In other words, the Confederate memorials were an attempt to erase history, as this southern white male and this one note.

Most of those statues were erected during the Jim Crow era before and after World War I, after the re-imposition of white supremacy. As Smithsonian magazine makes clear, We Legitimize the ‘So-Called’ Confederacy With Our Vocabulary, and That’s a Problem. “Tearing down monuments is only the beginning to understanding the false narrative of Jim Crow.

More than 4,000 black people were lynched in the South — where are their monuments?

To understand how toxic the period was, read Before its subversion in the Jim Crow era, the fruit symbolized black self-sufficiency. So, what changed? And Lynching and Antilynching: Art and Politics in the 1930s.

Robert E. Lee was NOT “invariably kind and humane” to the people he enslaved, despite scuttlebutt of his benevolence. Here’s W.E.B. DuBois on Robert E. Lee. My fellow TU blogger Rob Hoffman noted:”The last thing we need in our divided nation is to excuse the behavior of a man, even one as talented as Robert E. Lee, for betraying his country at a time when it really needed him most.”

Moreover, Lee himself said: “I think it wiser …not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

I’d like to see some of those statues in museums, where context can be explained. Listen to the semi-comedic The Ballad Of General Robert E. Lee’s Statue.

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