Sunday Reads: A line around the number…

6629Good Morning

This will be a quick post, I will try and post a longer one later on this afternoon. My sleep patterns are way off and I am just too tired.

Check this out, a real literacy test that was used to get the okay to vote in the state of Louisiana: Voting rights and the Supreme Court: The impossible “literacy” test Louisiana used to give black voters.

This week’s Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder overturned Section 4(b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which mandated federal oversight of changes in voting procedure in jurisdictions that have a history of using a “test or device” to impede enfranchisement. Here is one example of such a test, used in Louisiana in 1964.

After the end of the Civil War, would-be black voters in the South faced an array of disproportionate barriers to enfranchisement. The literacy test—supposedly applicable to both white and black prospective voters who couldn’t prove a certain level of education but in actuality disproportionately administered to black voters—was a classic example of one of these barriers.

The website of the Civil Rights Movement Veterans, which collects materials related to civil rights, hosts a few samples of actual literacy tests used in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi during the 1950s and 1960s.

The test is unbelievable…

This test—a word-processed transcript of an original—was linked to by Jeff Schwartz, who worked with the Congress of Racial Equality in Iberville and Tangipahoa Parishes in the summer of 1964. Schwartz wrote about his encounters with the test in this blog post.

Most of the tests collected here are a battery of trivia questions related to civic procedure and citizenship. (Two from the Alabama test: “Name the attorney general of the United States” and “Can you be imprisoned, under Alabama law, for a debt?”)

But this Louisiana “literacy” test, singular among its fellows, has nothing to do with citizenship. Designed to put the applicant through mental contortions, the test’s questions are often confusingly worded. If some of them seem unanswerable, that effect was intentional. The (white) registrar would be the ultimate judge of whether an answer was correct.

Go to the link to try your hand at that test…it is a hell of a thing. When you want to see some of the answers, here is an answer key: Key for literacy – Key for literacy test.pdf

This next article is a good example of how expensive it is to…Just Have the Baby? A New Mom Reveals Why There Is No ‘Just,’ and Not Necessarily Any Justice Either

To say “Just have the baby” is to say “Just risk a prolonged illness, surgery, and the loss of your income when you have a lot of new expenses.” It’s to tell someone casually that they should sign up for the possibility of experiencing more physical pain and agony than they thought a person could live through, and maybe having a great deal of it continue for days, weeks, months, possibly even years.

Go read the whole piece, it is good.

This was something cool: Russian meteor shockwave circled globe twice

The shock wave from an asteroid that burned up over Russia in February was so powerful that it travelled twice around the globe, scientists say.

They used a system of sensors set up to detect evidence of nuclear tests and said it was the most powerful event ever recorded by the network.

More than 1,000 people were injured when a 17m, 10,000-tonne space rock burned up above Chelyabinsk.

The study appears in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

The researchers studied data from the International Monitoring System (IMS) network operated by the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).

The detection stations look out for ultra-low frequency acoustic waves, known as infrasound, that could come from nuclear test explosions. But the system can also detect large blasts from other sources, such as the Chelyabinsk fireball.

Alexis Le Pichon, from the Atomic Energy Commission in France and colleagues report that the explosive energy of the impact was equivalent to 460 kilotonnes of TNT. This makes it the most energetic event reported since the 1908 Tunguska meteor in Siberia.

There is more at the link about some new discoveries over at the Tunguska site, you can give the link a click to read the rest.

Think of this as an open thread. Hopefully I will see you a bit later on, otherwise…please share what you are reading about this morning.


32 Comments on “Sunday Reads: A line around the number…”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Just a quick comment – have a lot to do, including cleaning the bathroom that’s been nearly trashed by the adorable 5 kittens I picked up last Sunday to foster until they are adopted. I picked them up after FINALLY seeing Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. Any Shakespeare and/or Whedon fans out there? This is such a beautiful, funny/tragic film. The only actor you might be familiar with is Nathan Fillion of Castle fame. The others are Whedonverse stock actors seen in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly & Dollhouse. It is in black & white, filmed in the Whedon’s home in Santa Monica, designed and built by his wife, Kai. The home, interiors, furnishings and grounds are amazingly beautiful. The film is an independent film, so it’s not widely distributed, so you may have to search and then drive further than normal to catch it. I promise if you are a fan of either Shakespeare or Whedon, you will be delighted by this latest adaption – set in modern day but faithful to the original. Here’s the official website where you can watch the trailer:

    Oh, and those kittens? I’ve named them Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles & Spike – all characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They are SO CUTE! If you’d like to see the adoption flyer you can email me at cagorl at bellsouth dot net.

    Get some rest JJ. Ya’ll have a wonderful Sunday & terrific 4th of July week!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Hi Connie,

      How are you doing? We’ve missed you lately! Have fun with those kittens.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Besides being old & tired, guess I’m doing okay. I need 5 hands & 5 laps. These are the most affectionate/attention demanding kittens I’ve ever dealt with – and the messiest. Just cleaned up the bathroom that they trashed. It is going to be tough to part with them, but I must. They are keeping me busy.

    • cygnus says:

      Ecocat! Huge Whedon fan over here! *So* looking forward to seeing his Shakespearean effort. Maybe you should play the Buffy musical episode to the kittens to keep them occupied 😉

      • bostonboomer says:

        I want to watch The Cabin in the Woods. Maybe I’ll do it today.

        • ecocatwoman says:

          That’s the only Whedon work I won’t watch. I am too much of a scaredy-cat. Not a fan of horror, although knowing Josh’s wit, I am certain there are some funny/funny bits in it. Fran Kranz is in it. He plays Claudio in Much Ado. Also Amy Acker (Beatrice) & Tom Lenk (Verges) are in CitW.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Hurry!!!! It won’t have a long run, although for a small, independent film it’s done really well at the box office. Here’s a link to the theater listings for the week of 06/28.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Actually Cygnus, I have the soundtrack to Once More on CD. Love it – Spike’s song is my favorite. Love that boy!

    • Haven’t seen the Whedon version of Shakespeare, but last night on TCM they had Tony Richardson’s Hamlet. Oh it was the best Hamlet I have ever seen. Brilliant. Nicol Williamson was spectacular. If anyone can see it, please watch it.

      And yes…I woke up at three this afternoon. Guess the second half of this post will be an evening one.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Much Ado was finally released about 3 weeks ago, so it’s relatively new in the theaters. My favorite Shakespeare film, until now, was Olivier as Richard III. And, as much as I’ve always despised Mel Gibson, I thought his version of Hamlet was better than I expected.

        JJ, I think you would like Much Ado – this version in B/W is a bit like Cary Grant/Rosalind Russell – their battle of wits.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    For some reason, WordPress won’t let me “like” this post.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Really good piece by Linda Greenhouse at NYT on John Roberts’ agenda for SCOTUS–making sure court chooses cases that will enable reversing civil rights progress.

    • RalphB says:

      I remain mystified as to why Democrats confirm these judges when they get nothing back for it? Thomas, Alito, and Roberts shouldn’t be on the court. Scalia, meh.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        A BIG yes to what you said. It’s a puzzlement to me too. Apparently Dems (Dumbs???) think if they vote yes to what Repugs want, the Repugs will return the favor. I have decided to anoint them the Dumbocrats.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      As old as McCain? As old as Ron Paul? As old as Mitch McConnell? As old as James Inhofe? I think not! Maybe if those jerkwads retired then the Repugs could throw their stones (if they actually had any that weren’t the size of raisins).

    • I’m reminded of the scene from Fried Green Tomatoes, where Kathy Bates says “I’m older and I have better insurance” after repeatedly rear-ending the car of the women who took her parking space and mocked her for her age.

      Repubs are skeeeered of Hillary the older she gets…cause she has more and more power.

    • RalphB says:

      That’s downright funny and kind of dumb on their part.

  4. Great post, JJ! I liked the picks you narrowed it down to for a ‘quickie’ 🙂 😀

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Love the meteorite links. That’s one of my fascinations.

  6. Beata says:

    JJ, I know you and I share an interest in classic films. I found a really fun site called “GlamAmor” that is devoted to the history of fashion in film. You might like it, too.

  7. RalphB says:

    One of the best articles I’ve read in a long while about elective politics.

    Kathleen Geier: Wendy Davis shows why progressives need to nurture the grassroots