PIXELS 
Three amigos: Bullet, DC and Jake



 2023 ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Dear Neighbor, 2023 began with California emerging from unprecedented and  converging crises relating to its continuing pandemic recovery, a growing housing affordability crisis, inaccessible health as well as mental health care, worsening climate change. The Legislature took strong action ... made possible by the tireless work of advocates, labor groups, and support from constituents, [is] incredibly proud to serve diverse communities of California.
budget

San Francisco's 30 Stockton bus, the busiest line west of St Louis
$1.1B to avert "big service cuts ... largely in cap-&-trade funds ... for public transportation oper­a­tions," until mid-2025.
senate bill 770: Sets “a concrete timeline” for California to achieve “a unified healthcare financing system.”
senate bill 43: Harm done by individuals going through “life-threatening psychoses” is a potent reason to “expand conservatorship laws,” and allow the county to intervene.
assembly bill 665: Allows youth ages 12+, following “standards of mental health care consent,” into “equal mental-health care accessibility regardless of insurance type.”
2017 Embarcadero pedestrial walkway, with Piers 30-32 near right, and the Bay Bridge with lights turned on
senate bill 273: Rehabilitates San Fran­cis­co Piers 30-32 to become “a mixed-use public space, infra­struc­ture, and housing project.”
senate bill 423: Shaves housing permit wait-times, “from years to six months or less, in areas that underperform their housing targets.”
senate bill 593: Greenlights replacement of 5,800+ housing units demolished in San Francisco, from the 1950s to the ’70s.
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senate bill 4: “Allows faith institutions and non­profit colleges to build affordable housing on their property by right.”
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budget
$5M “to help those impacted by violence,” find a safe space and future museum, activate the future.
budget
$2.5M for "a new facility ... to serve the AAPI com­mu­nity in the Tender­loin and surround­ing neighbor­hoods."
budget
$1M to expand drug-check­ing on-site stations, tasked with i.d.-ing unsafe street drugs, in an on-going inter­vention “to prevent fentanyl over­dose deaths.”
senate bill 253: “Requires all large corporations that do business in California to publicly disclose their greenhoue gas emissions.” During the day, the Sun warms the Air and heats the Earth.
	At night, Earth releases this heat back into the atmosphere, where it dissipates.
	Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, traps heat; build-up of these gases is poisoning Earth.
senate bill 365: Corporate defendants appealing a trial judge ruling can no longer bring proceedings to a crawl. SB365 “allows a lawsuit from a worker, a consumer or a govern­ment to move forward.”
cheeseboard with breads, cheeses, and scissor-cut paper
senate bill 407: LGBTQ foster youth have assurance for placement into foster homes “that affirm their sexuality and gender identities.”
budget
unfolding ceremony of panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, SF Golden Gate Park, January 2024
$1.5M to find a “permanent home for the AIDS Memorial Quilt.”
attendees at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con: a female Firefly and the Black Knight from a paintbox dimension
senate bill 76: “During festivals,” neighborhood businesses can serve alcoholic beverages to-go. The entertainment zones act is a temporary tavern without walls.


 RED MIRAGE  The nine members of the January 6 Committee sit for a group portrait

Donald Trump never said he’d abide by the outcome of the election. In May of 2020, fearing that Biden might win in November, he tweeted, “It will be the greatest Rigged Elec­tion in history!” He under­stood that he would likely lose but that, owing to an effect known as the Red Mirage, it would look, for a while, as if he had won: more Democrats than Republicans would vote by mail and since mail-in ballots are often the last to be counted, early counting would favor Republicans. “When that happens,” Roger Stone advised him, “the key thing to do is to claim victory. ... No, we won. Fuck you, Sorry. Over.” That was Plan A.
In September, The Atlantic published a bombshell article by Barton Gellman report­ing that the Trump campaign had a scheme “

to bypass election results and appoint loyal elec­tors in battle­ground states where Repub­li­cans hold the legis­la­tive majority.
” That was Plan B.
Plan A (‘Fuck you’) was more Trump’s style. “He’s gon­na declare victory,” Steve Ban­non said. “But that doesn’t mean he’s the win­ner. He’s just gonna say he’s a win­ner. On Election Night, Novem­ber 3rd, Trump wanted to do just that, but his campaign team persuaded him not to. His patience didn’t last long. “This is a fraud on the American public,” Trump said on November 4th. “We were getting ready to win this elec­tion. Frankly, we did win this election.” The next day he tweeted, “Stop The Count!” On November 7th, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, the Associated Press, and Fox News all declared that Joseph Biden had won. The election was not close. Counting the votes just took a while.
After Biden won, Trump continued to insist that widespread fraud had been com­mit­ted. Bill Stepien, Trump’s cam­paign man­ager, told the January 6 Committee that the cam­paign became a “truth telling squad,” chas­ing allega­tions, discovering them to be unfounded, and telling the President, “Yeah, that wasn’t true.” The Depart­ment of Home­land Security looked into allegations, most of which popped up online, and announced, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” The Justice Department, too, investigated charges of fraud, but, as Barr informed the committee, he was left telling the President, repeatedly, “They’re not panning out.
For Plan C, the Presi­dent turned to Rudy Giuliani and a group of lawyers that included Sidney Powell. They filed 62 lawsuits challenging election results, and lost all but one of these suits (and that one involved neither allegations of fraud nor any significant number of votes).

Twenty-two of the judges who decided these cases had been appointed by Repub­li­cans, and ten had been appointed by Trump.
On December 11th, the Supreme Court reject­ed a suit that had challenged the results in Penn­syl­va­nia, Geor­gia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump had had every right to challenge the results of state elections, but at this point he had exhausted his legal options. He decided to fall back on Plan B, the fake-electors plan, which required hundreds of legislators across the country to set aside the popular vote in states won by Biden, claiming that the results were fraudulent and appoint­ing their own slate of electors, who would cast their Elec­tor­al College votes for Trump on December 14th. Accord­ing to Cassidy Hutchi­son, an aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, the White House counsel deter­mined that, since none of the fraud alle­ga­tions had been upheld by any court, the fake-electors plan was illegal. But one deputy assistant to the President told Trump that it didn’t matter whether there had been fraud or not, because “state legis­la­tors ‘have the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to substitute their judg­ment for a certified majority of their con­sti­tu­ents’ if that prevents socaialism.
Plan B required Trump to put pressure on a lot of people. The com­mit­tee counted at least 200 attempts he made to influence state or local officials by phone, text, posts, or public remarks. Instruct­ing Trump sup­port­ers to join in, Giuliani said, “Some­times it even requires being threat­ened.

A Trump-campaign spread­sheet documents efforts to contact more than 190 Republican state legis­la­tors in Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan alone.
Barr resigned. “I didn’t want to be part of it,” he told the committee. Plenty of other people were happy to be part of it, though. Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chair, par­tic­i­pat­ed and provided Trump with the assis­tance of RNC staffers. On December 14th, certified electors met in every state. In seven states that Biden had won – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – fake electors also met and produced counterfeit Electoral College cer­tif­i­cates for Trump. Five of these cer­tif­i­cates were sent to Washington but were rejected because they lacked the required state seal; two arrived after the deadline. None were accepted.
Trump then launched Plan D, which was not so much a plan as a pig’s breakfast of a con­spir­a­cy, a coup, and a putsch. Every­thing turned on January 6th, the day a joint ses­sion of Congress was to certify the results of the Elec­toral College vote. To stop that from hap­pen­ing, Trump recruit­ed members of Congress into a con­spir­a­cy to overturn the election by rejecting the certified votes and accepting the counter­feits; he asked the Vice-President to participate in a coup by simply declaring him the win­ner; and he incited his supporters to take over the Capitol by force, in a poorly planned putsch, which he intend­ed to lead. On December 17th, Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News, “There has been an alter­nate slate of elec­tors voted upon that Congress will decide in January.” Two days later, Trump tweeted, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.” The legal architect of the Pence part of the pig’s break­fast – “a coup in search of a legal theory,” as one federal judge called it – was a lawyer named John East­man. The Trump lawyer Eric Hersch­mann recalled a conversation he had with Eastman: “You’re saying you believe the Vice President, acting as Pres­i­dent of the Senate, can be the sole decision­maker as to, under your theory, who becomes the next President of the United States? And he said, yes. And I said, are you out of your Fing mind?
Trump pressed the act­ing Attor­ney Gen­eral, Jeffrey Rosen, and other mem­bers of the Depart­ment of Justice to aid the conspiracy by declaring some of the voting to have been fraudulent.

Rosen refused. “The DOJ can’t and won’t snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election,” he told Trump. Trump replied, “I don’t expect you to do that. Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Con­gress­men.” Trump tried to replace Rosen with a lackey named Jeffrey Clark, but, in a tense meeting at the White House on January 3rd, Rosen and others made clear to him that, if he did so, much of the department would resign. Trump and East­man met repeatedly with Pence in the Oval Office and tried to recruit him into the conspiracy. Pence refused. At 11:20 am on January 6th, Trump called Pence and again asked him, and again Pence refused, after which, according to Ivanka, the President called the Vice-President a pussy.
Trump was slated to speak at his be-wild rally at the Ellipse at noon, but when he arrived he was un­happy about the size of the crowd. The Secret Service had set up magnetometers, known as mags, to screen for weapons. Twenty-eight thousand people went through the mags, from whom the Secret Service collected, among other banned items, “269 knives or bades, 242 cannisters of pepper spray, 18 brass knuc­kles, 18 tasers, 6 pieces of body armor, 3 gas masks, 30 batons or blunt instruments.” Some people had ditched their bags, and pre­sum­ably their weapons, in trees or cars. In a crowd that included members of white-supremacist and far-right, anti-gov­ern­ment extremist groups – including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, America First, and QAnon – another 25,000 people simply refused to go through the mags. “I don’t fuck­ing care that they have weapons,” Trump shouted. “They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking mags away.” The mags stayed. Trump took to the podium and fired up his followers for the march to the Capitol until 1:10 pm, and then he walked to his motor­cade, climbed into the Presi­den­tial S.U.V., which is known as the Beast, and demanded to be driven to the Capitol. Secret Service agents persuaded him to return to the White House.
Just before the Joint Session was to begin, at one o’clock, Pence released a written statement: “I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice Pres­i­dent with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress. The voting began.

By 1:21, Trump had been informed that the Capitol was under attack. He spent the rest of the day watching it on tele­vision. For hours, his staff and his advisers begged him to order the mob to dis­perse or to call for mili­tary assis­tance; he refused. At 1:46 Representative Paul Gosar objected to the count from Arizona, after which Senator Ted Cruz endorsed that objection. Pence was evacuated at 2:12. Seconds later, Proud Boys achieved the first breach of the Capitol, smashing a window in the Senate wing. Eleven minutes later, the mob broke through the doors to the East Rotunda, and Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” The mob chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.” Meadows told a colleague, “He thinks Mike deserves it.” Kevin McCarthy called the President. “They literally just came through my office windows,” he said. “You need to call them off.” Trump said, “Well, Kevin, I guess they’re just more upset about the election theft than you are.” At 4:17 pm, the President released a video message in which he asked the insur­rec­tion­ists to go home, and told them that he loved them.
And that, in brief, is the executive sum­ma­ry of the Jan­uary 6 Com­mis­sion Report, which concludes that “the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump.








-¦ May 2024  ¦-





 TIME TRAVEL: 2013

The Four Seasons

unesco world heritage sites

   Namib Sand Sea became a world heritage site in 2013 because atmo­spher­ic conditions provide exceptional visibility of landscape features by day and the dazzling southern hemisphere sky at night. Essentially uninhabited except for several small villages, this much sand is an ideal laboratory to track dune types and elevations reach, monitor how playas are formed, and study the totality’s behavior to air currents. Gazelles prance across Namib

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   In 2013, a com­mit­tee from the United Nations opened its 37th session in Siem Reap, Cambo­dia, then concluded while in Phnom Penh, Vietnam. A short list for world-heritage site des­ig­na­tions was released: All have historical heft, and each imparts the gift of time travel. The criteria for induction, worked out by the United Nations Edu­ca­tion­al, Scientific and Cul­tural Organi­zation (UNESCO), is a parcel unique on Earth.


   Founded in the 1400s and developed to be a desert destination, Agadez was the southern gateway to the Sahara desert, the last town before reaching Tripoli, on the Mediterranean sea.
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agadez

   For 3,000 years, people have lived in this dry desert in central Iran, adapting to and in symbiosis with the environ­ment. A 2006 census of the Cultural Landscape of Meym­and showed at that time a population of 673, living in 181 families: nomadic agro-pastor­al­ists, moving twice a year and bringing live­stock, to tend to orchards and small vegetable plots. In spring they go up the moutains, where their animals can graze, and live in stone-walled houses with thatched roofs of wild thistle. Winter is spent in the valley, their houses hand-dug from soft rock. Due to the harsh terrain, water is precious, so rivers and springs are diverted to reservoirs, while wells can bring water up from subter­ranean pools.


   The Medici Villas and Gardens in Tuscany was begun during the 1400s, and was altogether a new type of princely residence. Built in a pastoral setting, the gardens became stewards to their surroundings, while the residents lived for knowledge, the arts, and leisure - humanism. First, though, the builder had to survey the grounds, adjust the landscape, lay down lawns, put up villas, all in a quest for resonance with nature - renaissance.


   Taking on its iconic form thousands of years ago, when the shinto school for ascetic bud­dhism was beginning to stir, Mount Fuji stands alone in the middle of Japan, showing superb symmetry no matter from which side the extinct volcano is viewed. Desig­nat­ed a sacred space in 2013.
two paintings of mount fuji

   This 2013 cultural property is in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Ringed by mountains: an ancient city, guarded by walls and gates, containing several palaces, an astronomical and meteorological observatory, and a tomb complex, and became a welcoming place for philosophers to gather. The Historic Monuments + Sites in Kaesong are twelve separate structures and sites (which together make a geomantic map), to tease out how neo-confucian manners, buddhist feelings and taoist rites trickled into native customs, to show assim­i­la­tion of the cultural, spiritual and political values, spanning five centures, of the various states that existed on the Peninsula.


   The masterpiece in absolutism was awarded in 2013 to Bergpark Wi­lhelm­shöhe, a german palace in Kassel on 590 acres. The garden is part french-formal, part italian-baroque, both can peek into the windows of the neo-classical residence, but shun an artificial ruin of a gothic-revival castle. The out­door feature is an irresistible theatre of water, devised in long-ago 1689. Hydro-pneumatic devices and reservoirs use under­ground pipes to direct water flow, and manual labor is used to control the locks. The resulting orchestral maelstrom, abetted by rustling leaves, is made up of basins, ponds, grottoes, a lake, fountains, waterfalls of various heights, and a gone-wild rapid. Surveying all this from atop of the grounds is Hercules, 70.5m (231ft) tall and sheathed in copper, who came in 1701 and never left.


   The Basque historic whaling sta­tion in the fishing village of Red Bay, Labrador, together with other nearby whaling stations, helped turn whale-oil pro­duc­tion into a large-scale busi­ness. This 2013 world heritage site is the earliest, most com­plete, and best preserved exam­ple into euro­pean whaling practices in the 1500s, a dangerous 80-year period of pros­per­ity. Whaling crews would end up transporting millions of barrels of whale oil, from New­found­land and Labrador, to Europe - a treasure then as valuable as gold brought home by conquistadors.

   This ancient city, Tauric Chersonese and Its Chora, is a preserved site in Ukraine, and an example of sensible land organization by a polis 'city'. Tauric Chersonese is a settlement made up of six urban neighbor­hoods, and chora 'retangular plots of equal sites' is the land alotted each household.


   This city sat along the Silk Road, became a trading gate­way between east and west, where goods and cultural cus­toms changed hands and minds. Bolgar His­tor­ical and Archae­ological Com­plex contains epochs of history.


   When salt deposits were discovered under Poland, beginning in the 1200s, royal interest ensured this precious spice be granted native patronage. Now two of them, the Wieliczka and Bochnia Royal Salt Mines, is the epitome of tech­no­log­i­cal human progress. Together, the two salt mines cover a walking distance larger than from Krakow to Warsaw: 252km (157mi).


children playing dockside next to a pier, on the horizon a ship is seen

   First it was a port in the Fiji Islands, then was a hub for sea routes from all directions, traveling through Melanesia on their way somewhere else, and became a town offering rest and recreation for sailors, and respite ships. The oldest social orga­ni­za­tion in Poly­nesia is here, so is the oldest hospitality house. The oldest Masonic lodge in Oceania (b.1875) still holds meetings, where they discuss articles in the Fiji Times (b.1869), still being printed. Festooned with mango trees and coconut groves, Lekuva seeped into history sometime during the 1950s.


   Two adjoining parks in Lesotho’s tundra country became an ecological landscape recipient in 2013 and now is one: Maloti Drakensberg National Park, home to endemic plants - tropical to alpine, birds, lakes, and interesting rocks.
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   Where headwaters from five rivers originate is the land that gives life, Pimachiowin Aki, part of the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg people of Manitoba, Canada. They have a lifelong practise of 'keeping the land' ji-ganawendamang gidakiiminaan, making seasonal outings to commune with the goddesses and gods of the Fish, the Hunt, and the Gathering.


   Looking the same today as it did some four million years ago, Tianshan Xinjiang manifests ongoing biological and ecological evolutionary processes. This 2013 natural property is a powerhouse combo made up of three parks and three nature reserves, each with their own values, and sits on land touching Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang), and China.


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eight polish tserkvas:
Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Chotyniec)
St Michael the Archangel (Turzańsk);
St Michael the Archangel (Smolnik);
St James the Less (Powroźnik);
Virgin Mary's Care (Owczary);
St Paraskevia (Kwiaton);
St Parskevia (Radruz);
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St Archangel Michael, a ukrainian tserkvas in Uzak

   Seen in the proper light, these churches in the Car­pathian Region, the Wood­en Tserkvas of Poland and Ukraine, are depictions of the creation of the universe. To this day, parishioners go on high holy days and practice an unbroken liturgy, in buildings of horizontal-log construction on stone foun­da­tions, with three-sectioned interiors topped with domes - built between the 1500s to 1800s: renaissance to post-alchemy.

eight ukrainian tserkvas:
Birth of the Theotokos (Nizhny Werbiaz);
St Archangel Michael (Uzak);
Ascension (Jasin);
Holy Spirit (Rohatyn);
St George (Drohobych);
Holy Trinity (Zolkiew);
St Demetrius (Matkow);
Pentecost (Potylicz).
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aerial view of an archaeological site of a preserved pearl port, buried in sand

   Founded by pearl merchants in long-ago Qatar, on the shores of the Persian Gulf, this archaeological site recipient offers a singular insight into a history of the underwater pearl. Summer was its season, and folks up and down the coast, as well as from inland, would head for 'pearl town' to seek work: to dive and fetch them; to buy and trade them; or to protect the town and its wealth from outside attacks.

different colored pearls
Children living in this oyster­land treat pearls as toys, and play 'turtles and pearls'. The game takes place underwater, and players hold a pet turtle and jump in. The turtle is used as a projectile to hit at a colored pearl, on a game-board, among bowls of different-colored pearls: the aim being to hit another pearl of the same color out.

When a successful attack in 1811 finally managed to sack the enterprise, residents moved inland and rebuilt, abandoning their home, which was later discovered buried in sand. Al Zubarah is comprised of a fortified town, an inner and an (earlier) outer wall, screening walls, two forts overlooking the harbor, and a sea canal.


   The university in Coimbra was founded in 1290, the sec­ond oldest continuous insti­tu­tion of higher learn­ing in Europe (the Uni­ver­sity of Paris is older). In 2013 the town was deemed ... an integrated university city, with a specific urban typology, as well as its own cere­mo­nial and cultural tradi­tions.
student rally in Coimbra

   The land­mark in this natural prop­er­ty can be seen from miles around: a glacier-clad ex­tinct vol­cano rising up on semi-arid savan­nah grass­lands in the tropics. Mount Kenya, known to the Kikuyu tribespeople as mountain of brightness, was designated a world heritage site back in 1997, the second highest peak in east Africa. The site was extended in 2013 and renamed as Mount Kenya-Luwa Wildlife Conservancy, to include a traditional route for migrating African elephants, already roaming through different kinds of forests, home to rhinos and buffalos, baboons and bushbucks, white-tailed mongoose, x-size hogs and bush-pigs, leopards and hyenas.


   This complete and coherent group recipient is the Hill Forts of Rajasthan in northwestern India: six defense settlements spread across the rocky terrain of two mountain ranges, built by rajput (8th to 18th century) warriors who made use of natural defenses in the landsdcape to rein­force their might. These six forts are:

Amber, built with four gates facing the four cardi­nal directions. The princi­pal buildings followed the contours of the hill and impor­tant rooms had a view of the lake.
        Access to Chit­taur­garh, draped over a hill­top, and the grandest of the six forts, can only be gained by passing through seven gates.
        Built of yellow sand­stone, Jaisalmer has a single gateway. The defensive walls, seen against the back­drop of the yellow desert, blended during a certain time of day, and turned invisible.
        The defensive wall of Kum­bhal­garh has seven stone gate­ways, each leading to a pas­sage that zigzagged and pock­marked by small side cells.
        Sitting high above dense jungles, Ran­tham­bore has stonewalls, towers, strong­holds, and four gates. The main approach is a steep ascent, with stairs cut into rocks.
        Built where two rivers meet, Gagron sat on a flat hilltop and watched over trade routes.


   Part of the vast Eastern Mindanao Biodiversity Corri­dor, Mount Hami­gui­tan Range Wild­life Sanc­tuary is in a pristine penin­sula and home to an aboriginal pygmy forest, an endangered eagle (left) and a threatened cockatoo (right). three photos: endangered philippine eagle, endangered cockatoo, mountainsides

   In the Mountains of the Pamirs, where the highest ranges on the Eurasian continent meet, there is a high-altitude park that undergoes frequent strong earthquakes. Seldom visited, sparsely inhabited hence unspoiled, Tajik National Park is otherwise home to endemic fish, indian goose, siberian ibex, marco-polo sheep, brown bear, and snow leopard – co-existing in a land of rivers (170), lakes (400), and glaciers (±1,000).


   Spewing lava consistently for centuries, a natural property since 2013, Mount Etna in Sicily is alive, and a favorite haunt for volcanologists, near enough to monitor “ongoing volcanic landform processes” as they occur.


rice terraces semi-hidden by fog

   There is a vast farm ranging across mountains in southern Yunan, its current condition shaped by countless hands for more than a thousand years, turning mountainsides into terraces, and each terrace a rice paddy plot. Honghe Hani Rice Terraces is irrigated by springs flowing into four trunk canals, which branch off into 392 ditches, the whole being maintained communally. The water comes from springs, which originate from clefts in granite rocks that channel rainfall collecting in sandstone deposits. The sandstone traps the water and releases it gradually as springs.


   Built for a sultan as a compound set within a rose garden, the Golestan Palace Complex is the real deal: seventeen palaces; a tall tower affording pano­ramic views; wind towers to funnel upper air so as to promote an indoor breeze. Built with geometric precision to achieve spacial volume and organi­zation, the rose garden is split in two: a smaller one on a north-south axis, with passageway to a larger garden, along a northeast to south­west axis.

inside-outside view from the Karim Khani Nook in Golestan

foto fail: burst  
 2023 ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
budget

San Francisco's 30 Stockton bus, the busiest line west of St Louis
$1.1B to avert "big service cuts ... largely in cap-&-trade funds ... for public transportation oper­a­tions," until mid-2025.
senate bill 770: Sets “a concrete timeline” for California to achieve “a unified healthcare financing system.”
senate bill 43: Harm done by individuals going through “life-threatening psychoses” is a potent reason to “expand conservatorship laws,” and allow the county to intervene.
assembly bill 665: Allows youth ages 12+, following “standards of mental health care consent,” into “equal mental-health care accessibility regardless of insurance type.”
2017 Embarcadero pedestrial walkway, with Piers 30-32 near right, and the Bay Bridge with lights turned on
senate bill 273: Rehabilitates San Fran­cis­co Piers 30-32 to become “a mixed-use public space, infra­struc­ture, and housing project.”
senate bill 423: Shaves housing permit wait-times, “from years to six months or less, in areas that underperform their housing targets.”
senate bill 593: Greenlights replacement of 5,800+ housing units demolished in San Francisco, from the 1950s to the ’70s.
`
senate bill 4: “Allows faith institutions and non­profit colleges to build affordable housing on their property by right.”
`
budget
$5M “to help those impacted by violence,” find a safe space and future museum, activate the future.
budget
$2.5M for "a new facility ... to serve the AAPI com­mu­nity in the Tender­loin and surround­ing neighbor­hoods."
budget
$1M to expand drug-check­ing on-site stations, tasked with i.d.-ing unsafe street drugs, in an on-going inter­vention “to prevent fentanyl over­dose deaths.”
senate bill 253: “Requires all large corporations that do business in California to publicly disclose their greenhoue gas emissions.” During the day, the Sun warms the Air and heats the Earth.
	At night, Earth releases this heat back into the atmosphere, where it dissipates.
	Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, traps heat; build-up of these gases is poisoning Earth.
senate bill 365: Corporate defendants appealing a trial judge ruling can no longer bring proceedings to a crawl. SB365 “allows a lawsuit from a worker, a consumer or a govern­ment to move forward.”
cheeseboard with breads, cheeses, and scissor-cut paper
senate bill 407: LGBTQ foster youth have assurance for placement into foster homes “that affirm their sexuality and gender identities.”
budget
unfolding ceremony of panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, SF Golden Gate Park, January 2024
$1.5M to find a “permanent home for the AIDS Memorial Quilt.”
attendees at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con: a female Firefly and the Black Knight from a paintbox dimension
senate bill 76: “During festivals,” neighborhood businesses can serve alcoholic beverages to-go. The entertainment zones act is a temporary tavern without walls.





 RED MIRAGE  The nine members of the January 6 Committee sit for a group portrait

Donald Trump never said he’d abide by the outcome of the election. In May of 2020, fearing that Biden might win in November, he tweeted, “It will be the greatest Rigged Elec­tion in history!” He under­stood that he would likely lose but that, owing to an effect known as the Red Mirage, it would look, for a while, as if he had won: more Democrats than Republicans would vote by mail and since mail-in ballots are often the last to be counted, early counting would favor Republicans. “When that happens,” Roger Stone advised him, “the key thing to do is to claim victory. ... No, we won. Fuck you, Sorry. Over.” That was Plan A.
In September, The Atlantic published a bombshell article by Barton Gellman report­ing that the Trump campaign had a scheme “

to bypass election results and appoint loyal elec­tors in battle­ground states where Repub­li­cans hold the legis­la­tive majority.
” That was Plan B.
Plan A (‘Fuck you’) was more Trump’s style. “He’s gon­na declare victory,” Steve Ban­non said. “But that doesn’t mean he’s the win­ner. He’s just gonna say he’s a win­ner. On Election Night, Novem­ber 3rd, Trump wanted to do just that, but his campaign team persuaded him not to. His patience didn’t last long. “This is a fraud on the American public,” Trump said on November 4th. “We were getting ready to win this elec­tion. Frankly, we did win this election.” The next day he tweeted, “Stop The Count!” On November 7th, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, the Associated Press, and Fox News all declared that Joseph Biden had won. The election was not close. Counting the votes just took a while.
After Biden won, Trump continued to insist that widespread fraud had been com­mit­ted. Bill Stepien, Trump’s cam­paign man­ager, told the January 6 Committee that the cam­paign became a “truth telling squad,” chas­ing allega­tions, discovering them to be unfounded, and telling the President, “Yeah, that wasn’t true.” The Depart­ment of Home­land Security looked into allegations, most of which popped up online, and announced, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” The Justice Department, too, investigated charges of fraud, but, as Barr informed the committee, he was left telling the President, repeatedly, “They’re not panning out.
For Plan C, the Presi­dent turned to Rudy Giuliani and a group of lawyers that included Sidney Powell. They filed 62 lawsuits challenging election results, and lost all but one of these suits (and that one involved neither allegations of fraud nor any significant number of votes).

Twenty-two of the judges who decided these cases had been appointed by Repub­li­cans, and ten had been appointed by Trump.
On December 11th, the Supreme Court reject­ed a suit that had challenged the results in Penn­syl­va­nia, Geor­gia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Trump had had every right to challenge the results of state elections, but at this point he had exhausted his legal options. He decided to fall back on Plan B, the fake-electors plan, which required hundreds of legislators across the country to set aside the popular vote in states won by Biden, claiming that the results were fraudulent and appoint­ing their own slate of electors, who would cast their Elec­tor­al College votes for Trump on December 14th. Accord­ing to Cassidy Hutchi­son, an aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, the White House counsel deter­mined that, since none of the fraud alle­ga­tions had been upheld by any court, the fake-electors plan was illegal. But one deputy assistant to the President told Trump that it didn’t matter whether there had been fraud or not, because “state legis­la­tors ‘have the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to substitute their judg­ment for a certified majority of their con­sti­tu­ents’ if that prevents socaialism.
Plan B required Trump to put pressure on a lot of people. The com­mit­tee counted at least 200 attempts he made to influence state or local officials by phone, text, posts, or public remarks. Instruct­ing Trump sup­port­ers to join in, Giuliani said, “Some­times it even requires being threat­ened.

A Trump-campaign spread­sheet documents efforts to contact more than 190 Republican state legis­la­tors in Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan alone.
Barr resigned. “I didn’t want to be part of it,” he told the committee. Plenty of other people were happy to be part of it, though. Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chair, par­tic­i­pat­ed and provided Trump with the assis­tance of RNC staffers. On December 14th, certified electors met in every state. In seven states that Biden had won – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – fake electors also met and produced counterfeit Electoral College cer­tif­i­cates for Trump. Five of these cer­tif­i­cates were sent to Washington but were rejected because they lacked the required state seal; two arrived after the deadline. None were accepted.
Trump then launched Plan D, which was not so much a plan as a pig’s breakfast of a con­spir­a­cy, a coup, and a putsch. Every­thing turned on January 6th, the day a joint ses­sion of Congress was to certify the results of the Elec­toral College vote. To stop that from hap­pen­ing, Trump recruit­ed members of Congress into a con­spir­a­cy to overturn the election by rejecting the certified votes and accepting the counter­feits; he asked the Vice-President to participate in a coup by simply declaring him the win­ner; and he incited his supporters to take over the Capitol by force, in a poorly planned putsch, which he intend­ed to lead. On December 17th, Kayleigh McEnany said on Fox News, “There has been an alter­nate slate of elec­tors voted upon that Congress will decide in January.” Two days later, Trump tweeted, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.” The legal architect of the Pence part of the pig’s break­fast – “a coup in search of a legal theory,” as one federal judge called it – was a lawyer named John East­man. The Trump lawyer Eric Hersch­mann recalled a conversation he had with Eastman: “You’re saying you believe the Vice President, acting as Pres­i­dent of the Senate, can be the sole decision­maker as to, under your theory, who becomes the next President of the United States? And he said, yes. And I said, are you out of your Fing mind?
Trump pressed the act­ing Attor­ney Gen­eral, Jeffrey Rosen, and other mem­bers of the Depart­ment of Justice to aid the conspiracy by declaring some of the voting to have been fraudulent.

Rosen refused. “The DOJ can’t and won’t snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election,” he told Trump. Trump replied, “I don’t expect you to do that. Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Con­gress­men.” Trump tried to replace Rosen with a lackey named Jeffrey Clark, but, in a tense meeting at the White House on January 3rd, Rosen and others made clear to him that, if he did so, much of the department would resign. Trump and East­man met repeatedly with Pence in the Oval Office and tried to recruit him into the conspiracy. Pence refused. At 11:20 am on January 6th, Trump called Pence and again asked him, and again Pence refused, after which, according to Ivanka, the President called the Vice-President a pussy.
Trump was slated to speak at his be-wild rally at the Ellipse at noon, but when he arrived he was un­happy about the size of the crowd. The Secret Service had set up magnetometers, known as mags, to screen for weapons. Twenty-eight thousand people went through the mags, from whom the Secret Service collected, among other banned items, “269 knives or bades, 242 cannisters of pepper spray, 18 brass knuc­kles, 18 tasers, 6 pieces of body armor, 3 gas masks, 30 batons or blunt instruments.” Some people had ditched their bags, and pre­sum­ably their weapons, in trees or cars. In a crowd that included members of white-supremacist and far-right, anti-gov­ern­ment extremist groups – including the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, America First, and QAnon – another 25,000 people simply refused to go through the mags. “I don’t fuck­ing care that they have weapons,” Trump shouted. “They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking mags away.” The mags stayed. Trump took to the podium and fired up his followers for the march to the Capitol until 1:10 pm, and then he walked to his motor­cade, climbed into the Presi­den­tial S.U.V., which is known as the Beast, and demanded to be driven to the Capitol. Secret Service agents persuaded him to return to the White House.
Just before the Joint Session was to begin, at one o’clock, Pence released a written statement: “I do not believe that the Founders of our country intended to invest the Vice Pres­i­dent with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted during the Joint Session of Congress. The voting began.

By 1:21, Trump had been informed that the Capitol was under attack. He spent the rest of the day watching it on tele­vision. For hours, his staff and his advisers begged him to order the mob to dis­perse or to call for mili­tary assis­tance; he refused. At 1:46 Representative Paul Gosar objected to the count from Arizona, after which Senator Ted Cruz endorsed that objection. Pence was evacuated at 2:12. Seconds later, Proud Boys achieved the first breach of the Capitol, smashing a window in the Senate wing. Eleven minutes later, the mob broke through the doors to the East Rotunda, and Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done.” The mob chanted, “Hang Mike Pence.” Meadows told a colleague, “He thinks Mike deserves it.” Kevin McCarthy called the President. “They literally just came through my office windows,” he said. “You need to call them off.” Trump said, “Well, Kevin, I guess they’re just more upset about the election theft than you are.” At 4:17 pm, the President released a video message in which he asked the insur­rec­tion­ists to go home, and told them that he loved them.
And that, in brief, is the executive sum­ma­ry of the Jan­uary 6 Com­mis­sion Report, which concludes that “the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump.



-|  May 2024  |-





  ROCKETEER  

   Dreaming the myth of Icarus, man­kind was roused by an apple fall­ing to the ground.


a n a l y s t      On April 15, 1726, while taking tea in the garden with his friend, Issac Newton (b.1642) pondered on an apple which had just fallen to the ground. William Stuckeley records how Newton mused:


      “Why should that apple always descend perpen­dic­ularly to the ground? Why should it not go sideways, or up­wards? but constantly to the earth’s centre? Assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. There must be a drawing power in, and the sum of the draw­ing power in the matter of the earth must be in the earth’s centre, not in any side of the earth. There­fore does this apple fall perpen­dic­ularly, or toward the center. If matter thus draws, it must be in propor­tion of its quantity. There­fore the apple draws the earth, as well as the earth draws the apple.”


a n g e l      The ancients, unconcerned of this “drawing power” that Newton was to articulate, mocked the gravity throne and continued sending prayers to heaven. En­treaties written in temple script on paper were then folded into a pouch. A lit candle attached to the pouch sends smoke inside, causing its ascent.       Humankind then followed the lanterns, yet the earliest ones didn’t know to carry oxygen, and returned spouting the wildest tales of beings living in the upper air. The four winds, curious, would approach with whistles and roars and yells, asking questions, including that confounded new con­tri­vance, a wind tunnel.       Sensing fear in their visitors’ eyes, the thunderous voices abated. Zephros drew closer and whis­pered: “We are wind gods of the four cardinal points, heralds of seasons, sons to Typhöeus, fifth and final monster born to mother Earth. We too seek a rea­son for exis­tence, and wheth­er or not it be­comes us to be suit­ed up in turbines, pumps, and such fetters.”       Notos spread icicles while parting his lips: “Can these regulation systems really help with my rest­less­ness? and what’s up with welded insulation?” Euros brought up the sorest point: “Can gravity weigh me down and curb my mood.” Boreas’ grum­ble rumbled: “Magnetosphere con­strains our empire but why? And who are these rocket­men and their reckless aerial turns in guidance and control?”

      Sensing fear in the visitors’ eyes, their thun­derous voices abated. Then Zephros drew even closer and whis­pered: “We are wind gods of the four cardinal points, heralds of seasons, sons to Typhöeus, fifth and final monster born to mother Earth. We too seek a rea­son for exis­tence, and wheth­er or not it be­comes us to be suit­ed up in turbines, pumps, and such fetters.”       Notos spread icicles while parting his lips: “Can these regulation systems really help w/ my rest­less­ness? and what’s up w/ welded insulation?” Euros brought up the sorest point: “Can gravity weigh me down and curb my mood.” Boreas’ grum­ble rumbled: “Mag­ne­to­sphere con­strains our empire but why? And who are these rocket­men and their aerial ad­ven­tures in guidance and control?”


a i r m a n      The four winds invariably took their gasping guests on the grand tour. Earth’s atmosphere is spherical and contains a precise mixture of gases such that oxygen becomes its miraculous chemical product. It has the same shape as mother Earth due to her gravitational grit, which she bestows also to water and all living things. The sea and mountains are deemed to be sentient by the ancients, and so too is Aether considered a being, having undergone “bio­chem­i­cal mod­i­fi­ca­tions by living organisms” ever since its aboriginal form coa­lesced into a paleo-atmosphere. Material enough for Earth to lassoo the grandson to Chaos with a girdle tight enough to separate the deity into distinct layers, and is the main cause of clouds.       This primeval sky god can only be discerned when he digs into his bag of optical tricks and throws mirages, or scatters light. Aether is patron to Earth, whose existence depends on a narrow band of the bottom layer, beginning at sea level.


a v a t a r      Innovative proto-aviators watched how birds populate the air and go where they will. Wings got built and tied to men. Jumps happened. Leonardo da Vinci (b.1452) had his own solution; yet his own design, wings that can flap, never left the sketchbook.      



   Bird wings are folding fans, able to expand and collapse. Each wing is a web of arm bones, having joints which, by evolutionary decree, have quills on the knuckles; each quill grasps one feather.


a e r i a l i s t      Divinities of the air were entranced to receive paper prayers heaven-bound using paper, glue and heated air. They also found out that hydrogen, when it is un­adulterated, possesses levitational abilities also. But being a gas, it would simply dissipate when in contact with one or more gasses.       Rare and difficult to distill, hydrogen requires a chamber, white-hot iron, run­ning water; and had to wait until a non-porous material to con­tain the new gas, was was dis­cov­ered around 1780, had not yet been de­vel­oped.       A ginormous pillow, with a small opening, tied to a large basket and fed a healthy gulp of heated air, took to rising into the atmosphere. Then, as the trapped air cools, this “hot-air balloon” will descend. The first companions chosen to carry out this maid­en flight were a french sheep, duck and rooster.


a c r o b a t      Smoke from large fires first showed the way during wartime: to send a signal, or initiate a maneuver. Kites were another way to harness wind behavior to send sturdier signals. It can also be used as a measure­ment of distance, or just to “test the wind.” Kites can also fight each other.       Dog-earred generals carried mint editions of “The Myth of Icarus” into battle and tasked military engineers to accessorize kites so as to become fit for carrying a passenger. Even­tual­ly squadrons of pas­seng­ers paid visits to the sky, and giving notice that the empire of the four winds was coming to an end.       Kites were invented for children when they first became aware how they might have, as playpals: the four winds.       Not for war’s sake, Benjamin Franklin (b.1706) is prob­ably the first to use wind power to send a laboratory into space: kite + key + lightning storm.


a l c h e m i s t      Through trial and error someone came up with gunpowder. That a right mixture of carbon, sulfur and saltpeter (an efflorescence mineral found on the surface of stones) will produce a flash accompanied by fire that burns off – an explosion. A wrong mixture produces instead just “smoke and flames.”

      Soldiers saw the promise and quickly adopt­ed the recipe. Dream­ers invented fireworks. Paper tubes filled with confetti and a spoonful of gun­powder then sealed with a fuse sticking out. The tube is tied to a long stick that will act as a tail, then aimed towards the sky. Flame is introduced to the fuse and the detonation produces a propulsive force inside the tube, which ascends before spilling out its contents.       Al­though it was John Bate (b.1600s) figured out how to make compound-rockets, which boosted the appeal of his brand of “fyer workes,” it took until Hermann Oberth (b.1894) to sheath it in metal, for the first time, to insure a sturdier flight.       Fireworks are propelled missiles guided during a brief initial phase of powered flight. Then a subsequent trajectory that obeys the laws of gravity, and codified as classical mechanics.


a r c h e t y p e       When World War 2 was over, pilots and other aero­nauticals returned to civilian roles.       Back to working for a paycheck, these airmen flexed their know-how and birthed an aerospace industry that now­adays has gone global. By 1960 the skies were al­ready beginning to get mighty crowded.

      Governments were wont to fund space ex­plor­a­tions, get bragging rights, so they practised by dividing up North Pole, a melting continent.       Long­i­tudes and latitudes led to pre­ci­sion map­ping of the world, and in the co-mingling of new dis­ci­plines rock­et science took off to map a hypothetical heaven.




  GROUND  CONTROL 


e n v o y      Today’s astronomers worry about micro-meterorites and cosmic rays bombarding the Inter­nation­al Space Station, close calls among satellites and spacecrafts, and especially wardrobe malfunctions in outer space.      

Yester­day’s astronomers had fewer worries, more wonderment. Taking notes, they devised almanacs and calendars. Some built structures to greet celestial returns, Karnak’s temple turns orange with the rising of the midwinter Sun, and the standing stones at Stone­henge ‘has some align­ment on astro­nom­ical phenomena.’       The Babylonians divided the sky into twelve equal wedges, to facilitate the tracking of positions as well as move­ments. Then a map was passed around, show­ing longitudes and latitudes. The Vatican became intrigued, wanting to learn more of this new science, which arrived in Europe from Spain, in translations of Indian and Islamic texts, and a mechanism known as an astrolabe, that can show a map of heaven.

      Caroline Herschel (b.1850) started out as an assistant to her astronomer brother William Herschel (b.1738), polishing mirrors and mounting telescopes. When he then discovered Uranus, she too took a peek, and soon enough discoverd a satellite to the Andromeda galaxy: an elliptical dwarf galaxy.       Then a Harvard computer, while cataloging stars over several photographic glass plates by using a spectroscope, which charts ‘stellar brightness in proportion to luminosity-oscillation periods’ (i.e., the twinkle), devised a ‘standard candle for determining cosmic distances.’ Henrietta Leavitt (b.1868) had just invented a space tape measure to judge distances.


e y e w i t n e s s      The ancients were intrigued by natural glass found in nature, able to let light through, to enhance eyesight by magnification. These qualities were refined, when glass-making was invented, to help address loss of eyesight in the aged, among many other benefits. Polished with a concave or sometimes convex surface, fitted into a holder, this became a magnifying glass. Then someone fitted several lenses into a tube and invented the telescope.

      When the tube became much much larger, a glass plate treated on one side with a photo­sensitive agent was placed inside, and after a period of time, up to two years, yielded a photo­graph of stars.       Author Agnes Giberne (b.1845) wrote the first astronomy books for young minds, bringing them face to face with the Moon, the Sun, comets. “Among the Stars,” which came out in 1885, is 360 pages.


e x a m i n e r      Mary Palmer (b.1839) married a doctor, and amateur astron­o­mer, Henry Draper (b.1837), and became an astute student of the sky. His sudden death age 45 left her with money, paperwork and photographic evidence of their galaxy quest.       Mary Draper then bequeathed an annual sum, beginning in 1886, to Harvard College Observatory, to procure sufficient staff to finish her husband’s catalog of stars.

      The photographic evi­dence were captured on hun­dreds of glass plates, either 17x14 or 8x10 inches in size. Each plate is overlaid with numbered grids and placed, on an inclined plane, under a microscope. A light under the glass-plate illu­mi­nates the photograph.       The first computer, looking through the microscope, calls out each star’s name and grid position, while another computer enters the information into a ledger.       The glass plates are also studied using a spectro­scope, and requires an ap­ti­tude for mathematics to take readings ‘based on the bright­ness of stars.’ Descrip­tions can include normal, hazy, sharp, and inter-deter­m­inants (several kinds). Be­cause of the long exposure time, the pho­to­sen­si­tive agent was able to register ‘long inte­gra­tion times’ yielding data on color, temperature, chemical com­po­si­tion.       Wil­lia­mina Fleming (b.1857) was one of the first Harvard com­puters, a team of women scientists. She had no such background and trained on the job, which was to ‘compute mathematical clas­si­fi­ca­tions.’ It turned out she had a flair for the work: “From day to day my duties at the Observatory are so nearly alike that there will be little to describe outside ordi­nary routine work of measurement, exam­i­na­tion of photographs, and of work involved in the reduction of these observations.



e t y m o l o g i s t      NASA’s predecessor had hired female math­e­ma­ti­cians, as early as in 1935, as human com­puters in a segregated system. As­signed to dif­fer­ent de­part­ments, they would be tasked to take down notes, parse flight test scores, run cal­cu­la­tions, perform analytics.       Jeanette Scissum (b.1938) on her first day, in 1964, at NASA: “Math­e­ma­ti­cian, entry level. They didn’t have computers or a computer science pro­gram at A&M when I grad­u­at­ed, so I didn’t know how to do that. Once I did, everybody had me doing computer stuff for them.”       Math­e­ma­ti­cian Katherine Johnson (b.1918), work­ing in NASA’s flight mechanic division, was told that a space­craft would want to make a landing during prime-time television on a specific date. She then had to figure out when takeoff time must take place. Using analytic geom­etry, Johnson figured it out.       High-school whizkid Mary Winston (b.1921), with degrees in math­e­matics and physical science, worked in the com­puter pool, and was assigned to assist in wind tunnel tests at twice the speed of sound. Showing promise, she went back to school and got an engineer’s degree and became an aerospace engineer. Married to a sailor in the U.S. Navy, she became Mary W. Jackson. The National Aeronautics Space Administration’s D.C. headquarters is now named after her.      

Mathematician Dorothy Vaughan (b.1910), in a 28-year career at NASA’s Langley Research Center, became a specialist in calculating flight paths. Vaughan then had ac­cess to a new office machine, read the user’s manual, taught herself the machine’s lan­guage, Fortran (Formula Translating System), and learned how to program NASA’s first electronic com­puter.       Math­e­ma­ti­cian Grace Hop­per (b.1906) championed the use of English in com­pos­ing tasks fed into elec­tron­ic computers: “Man­ip­u­lat­ing symbols was fine for mathematicians but it was no good for data pro­ces­sors who were not symbol manip­u­la­tors. If they are they become pro­fes­sion­al math­e­ma­ti­cians, not data pro­ces­sors. It’s much easier for most people to write an Eng­lish statement than it is to use symbols. So I decided data processors ought to be able to write their programs in Eng­lish, and the com­puters would translate them into machine code. That was the beginning of COBOL (Com­mon Business Oriented Lan­guage), a computer language for data processors.”       Mathematician Evelyn Boyd (b.1924) joined IBM in 1956: “At a two-week training session I was introduced to the IBM 650 and the pro­gram­ing language SOAP. ... Creation of a computer program is an exercise in logical thinking. Afterwards I worked as a consultant in numeri­cal anal­ysis in an IBM subsidiary. When NASA awarded IBM a contract to plan, write, and maintain computer pro­grams I readily agreed ... to be a part of the team of IBM mathematicians and scientists who were re­spon­si­ble for the formulation of orbit computations and computer procedures, first for project Vanguard, and later for project Mercury.

      Mathematician Melba Roy Mouton (b.1929) worked for the Army Map Service before working as a human com­puter for NASA, and fig­ur­ing out trajectory and orbit­al solu­tions for a metal­ized bal­loon in proj­ect Echo.       Writ­ing prop­o­si­tions and coming up with solutions by hand was routine for math­e­ma­ti­cian Annie Easley (b.1933). Then electronic computers came along and, although Easley learned Fortran and be­came a more-valued asset, she still can re­mem­ber the micro-ag­gres­sions: “My head is not in the sand. If I can’t work with you, I will work around you. I was not about to be [so] dis­cou­raged that I’d walk away. ... I’m out here to do a job and I knew I had the ability, and that’s where my focus was.”       Work­ing in the computer pool, Chris­tine Darden (b.1947) was given the task to come up with a computer program for sonic boom. Darden, who grew up taking apart and putting back together bicycles and other manu­fac­tured contraptions, is today an aero­space engi­neer: “I was able to stand on the shoulders of those women who came before me, and women who came after me were able to stand on mine.