Riots in Charlotte following shooting of African American

Riots in Charlotte, NC after shooting by police of Keith Lamont Scott

The management of Face Activities extends our sympathies to the people of Charlotte, North Carolina, enduring a second night of riots following the tragic killing of 43-year-old Keith Lamont Scott, an African American motorist, by police. Though the investigation is ongoing and accounts of the event differ, it’s clear that far too many black men are shot by police in the U.S.

We must pull together as one people, regardless of social class or ethnicity, to demand justice, and reform. The loss in human potential, and the trauma to the family members left behind and the communities damaged by these tragic deaths is far too great to tolerate any longer. The fact that the officer who shot Scott is also African American illustrates that this is a complex issue, and we must seek long-term, systemic solutions.

Scott’s family, the NAACP and Jennifer Roberts, Charlotte’s Mayor, have urged the protesters to keep their demonstrations peaceful. But sadly a person was shot during the rioting, by a civilian, and remains in on life support, in critical condition. The city’s African American community is in an uproar, after police officers, looking for another man with a warrant, came upon Scott, and shot him to death, after claiming he drew a gun and wouldn’t comply with their commands.

The family disputes the police account, and claims the deceased was merely reading a book in his car when he was approached by police, with fatal consequences. They insist he was unarmed, waiting for his son to return home from school, while police insist they found a gun on the scene, but no book. Some of the police were wearing body cams, but according to North Carolina law they won’t be released to the public.

Learn more about the riots in Charlotte, and Keith Lamont Scott (CNN.com)

 

Photo: nbcnews.com

 

 

Singer songwriter Ray LaMontagne cancels appearance due to gun law

Singer songwriter Ray Montagne cancels appearance due to gun law

Singer songwriter Ray LaMontagne has cancelled an appearance at the University of Texas, Austin, in protest of the state-wide campus concealed carry handgun law. Signed by the state’s governor in June, the law permits people aged 21 and older with the proper licensure to conceal carry handguns on college campuses throughout the state.

Many find it ironic that the bill became law on the 50th anniversary of a mass murder in which 50 students died on a Texas University campus, while others, who support the bill, believe it will make campuses safer places in the long run.

LaMontagne is very much against the law, but the law has strong support in Texas. According to LaMontagne, America doesn’t need any more guns. And many echo his sentiments, despite the majority view, including some officials in Texas government. Nonetheless, despite strong minority sentiment, many in Texas feel that the better access to guns will save lives. They believe it’s the best way to stop gun violence on campuses and other places. By encouraging law-abiding citizens to arm themselves, they believe that mass murderers and terrorists will be met with violent opposition before they have the opportunity to inflict mass casualties.

Alternatively, realists point out that the chances of young students getting into serious trouble with guns is quite high, and a much greater threat than the potential threat of mass murder. Young, hot-tempered college students, who haven’t quite completed their emotional development, often immersed in the atmosphere of heavy drinking found on many college campuses, would be at greater risk for crimes of passion, and suicide attempts, with guns easily accessible and permitted at Universities.

For better or worse Texas Universities have become a laboratory for the safety of University students, faculty and staff, across the state. Will the conceal carry law that LaMontagne protests afford the universities some measure of protection against violent criminals, or merely increase safety risks? What ever your heart felt opinion, at least there will be hard data to analyze in the coming years. And when those numbers are in, we must analyze them properly, and act without hesitation in the best interests of the people.

Learn more about Ray Montagne’s protest and this law (CNN)

 

 

Photo: mattCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Three Broadway Girls, 1932, a film by Lowell Sherman

Three Broadway Girls, 1932, a film by Lowell Sherman

Three Broadway Girls, 1932

A film by Lowell Sherman

This film is also known as ‘The Greeks had a name for them,’ and follows the adventures Jean, Polaire, and Schatze, living together as roommates in a luxurious apartment that’s way beyond their means. They are ex-show girls with gold-digging tendencies, who are on the hunt for wealthy men.

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Watch the 2016 Emmy Awards Ceremony & Backstage Coverage, LIVE!

The 2016 Emmy Awards Backstage, LIVE!

Enjoy an entertaining and action-packed live stream presentation of televisions prestigious 2016 Emmy awards backstage, hosted again by Jimmy Kimmel, starting with the Red Carpet Arrivals through the beloved award show, starting Sunday, September 18, at 5 pm Pacific time (8 pm EST)

Photo: emmys.com (screen capture)

Playwright Edward Albee dies at 88

Playwrite Edward Albee dies at 88

Celebrated playwright Edward Albee has died at 88 years of age. Considered by many to be America’s greatest living playwright, he penned such classics as Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?, The American Dream, and Three Tall Women, among many others. Long-recognized as a master of his craft, he wrote 30 plays and won the coveted Pulitzer-Prize for Drama three times over the course of his long career.

Adopted by a wealthy family with close connections to the old Vaudville tradition (his father owned several theaters,) he felt out of place both at home and at school. He was expelled from two high schools, and left a military academy early. Though he did ultimately graduate from high school, he was eventually expelled from college for skipping classes and failing to comply with chapel attendance requirements—-how times have changed.

Albee knew he wanted to be a writer very early on, and moved to New York City as a very young man, living in the fast-paced and avant-garde Greenwich Village neighborhood, long before gentrification, and then home to struggling artists of all kinds. Working odd jobs to support himself, he tirelessly practiced his art, and gained recognition as a writer fairly early. Openly gay for much of his life, he once said that he wanted to be known not as a gay playwright, but as a playwright who happened to be gay.

Learn more about playwright Edward Albee (Time.com)

 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, CC0 (public domain image)

Solar Plant kills thousands of birds

Solar Plant kills thousands of birds

The pursuit of alternative energy is a noble endeavor, but even clean solar energy methods can have serious environmental impacts, and sometimes they are quite negative. One solar power plant in California kills up to 6,000 birds annually. This is of course tragic, surprising, and unacceptable. But despite their best efforts, engineers haven’t been able to stop these deaths.

The plant uses mirrors to focus light on a boiler, converting water to steam, which powers a turbine and generates a substantial quantity of energy. It’s the same priniple as a kid using a magnifying glass to burn a hole in a leaf or piece of paper. Unfortunately, the highly concentrated light attracts large numbers of insects, which attract birds, seeking an easy meal. When the birds fly through the beams of concentrated light, they are incinerated within seconds. Counter measures haven’t stopped the carnage, and scientists and engineers are working to find a solution. Even the ground-based measures, like a huge fence to protect tortoises, have had unintended environmental consequences, like changing the relationship between coyotes and their prey, road runners.

This is very frustrating, since solar power is an excellent alternative to the burning of fossil fuels, like oil and natural gas. It’s completely carbon neutral, so it won’t contribute to the increasing global warming crisis. Most scientists believe that anthropogenic climate change is responsible for many serious environmental problems, including a greatly increased extinction rate of species world-wide, so carbon neutral alternatives to fossil fuels are essential.

Though arrays of solar panels wouldn’t kill birds, the method of solar capture used at this power plant is very efficient, and ideal for a desert environment with lots of sunlight and land to work with. Unfortunately the environmental impact in this case is considerable. If the experts can’t find a work-around that saves the birds from these horrific, fiery deaths, Californians will need to ask themselves some very difficult questions in the coming years.

Is this much-needed carbon neutral energy source worth the trade-off in animal lives, and negative environmental impacts? Or are the dangers of burning fossil fuels simply too great?

Learn more about the bird deaths at this solar energy plant (sciencealert.com)

 

Photo: Sbharris/WikiCommons

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