General Briefing

Consider Yourself Briefed

7,394 notes

snarkbender:

note-a-bear:

petermorwood:

peashooter85:

Ancient Persian Freezers —- The Yakhchals

Today in the modern world we take freezers, and the frozen results of freezers for granted.  But in ancient times, cold drinks, frozen desserts, and chilled tropical cocktails were a luxury unknown to most people.  However the idea of artificially freezing goods is nothing new.  As far back as 400 BC, the ancient Persians built special freezers called yakhchals.  Yakhchals were large buildings used for storage of ice and foodstuffs during the hot Persian summers.  Typically they were around 60 feet tall, and had a large subterranean storage space dug out from under it.  The Yakhchal itself was made from a special type of mud clay called sarooj which was composed of clay, sand, lime, goat hair, egg whites, and ash mixed in a special proportion which made it extremely resistant to heat transfer.  In other words the inside stayed cool, while heat from the outside was prevented from entering the building because of the thick insulated walls.  This combined with the subterranean storage ensured that whatever goods were stored in the pit stayed cool, as temperatures below ground level are usually around the 60 to 65 degree Fahrenheit range.  However, these designs were not what made a yakhchal a freezer.  There was one other brilliant design feature which ensured that the yakhchal would stay frosty all year long.

At the top of the dome was a small hole, or series of small holes called windcatchers.  Typically windcatchers were pointed in the direction of the prevailing winds.  Due to its conical shape there was always a negative pressure gradient inside the yakhchal.  According to Bernoulli’s Law air flow at a high pressure will always move toward areas of low pressure.  Thus air from the outside was constantly flowing through the yakhchal.  In addition, according to Venturi’s Principal, whenever air flows through a small hole, the smaller the hole, the greater the speed of the flow.  The small hole, or series of holes of the yakhchal ensured that air passed into it at great flows.  What resulted was a great amount of outside air entering into the yakhchal at high speeds.  While the air itself wasn’t cool, the flows at which it was being entrained into the yakhchal created temperatures that were below freezing. Typically the windcatchers were cut in such a way that the incoming jet of air would be directed onto the storage pit.

The ancient Persians primarily used their yakhchals for storing ice and foodstuffs.  During the summer, Persian nobles often enjoyed a frozen treat called faloodeh (pictured above), which is made from thin noodles with syrup made from sugar and rose water, then flavored with lemon, lime, fruits, almond, pistachio, and other flavorings.  Due to the Persian’s freezing technology, faloodeh (which is still popular today) goes down in history as one of the first frozen desserts.  The practice of building and using yakhchals continued up to the 20th century, when they were eventually replaced with modern freezers and refrigerators.

Ancient technology can be really cool…

;->

But brown folks were backwards and technologically incompetent.

UM THIS IS AMAZING

(via aka14kgold)

12,029 notes

atane:

The above are the first 3 responses to Dr. Redmond’s spot on tweet. This is the boorish behavior that Black people have to deal with from white people for merely speaking out against white supremacy. The harassment from white people towards Black people is constant and virulent. If you’re a Black person speaking out against white supremacy, white people will attack you or at the very least, they will have a major problem with you. They will attack you more than a “good” white person saying the exact same thing. Tim Wise does not put up with an inkling of the abuse Black people endure and he isn’t saying anything new. Discourse about white supremacy from a white mouth is more palatable to the white masses than from the mouths of those victimized by white supremacy.

Ironically, the “good” white people become like the rest of their white brethren when they attempt to separate themselves by saying “not all white people”. They too become a nuisance that everlastingly badgers. They are largely silent about injustice, inequity and marginalization at the hands of white supremacy. However, the minute the marginalized speak out against their abusers, they are quick to lend a voice in defense of the abusers. It’s because even when white people are clearly abusers, other white people still see their humanity. In the face of this abuse, merely pointing out that the perpetrators of the abuse are white angers white people. The abuse itself doesn’t elicit the same level of anger from them.

Another problem are these alleged white liberals. Truth be told, I get more harassment from white liberals than from anyone else. White conservatives don’t hide their disdain for Blackness. For them, it’s a badge of honor. We know where they stand. White liberals in contrast tend to be silent, but will speak up to center themselves in a crisis or will be apologetic towards white abusers, instead of condemning them. Many will not acknowledge that white supremacy even exists. If they do acknowledge a problem, they will wrap it up in empty platitudes about everyone needing to get along, how they don’t see race, how we’re all human, how they have Black friends or whatever post-racial nonsense they ascribe to, as if that addresses white supremacy. They believe that the problem “goes both ways”.

If the above isn’t you as a white person, do not take this as your cue to respond with “not all white people”. As the saying goes, the hit dog will holler. If something does not apply to you, then why are you hollering? Did I hit you? Maybe I did. The only thing many white people can bring themselves to say in response to Black suffering and white supremacy is “not all white people” or "this is reverse racism" or their favorite chopped up MLK Jr. quote “hate cannot drive out hate”. The response from white people is never a unanimous “the system of white supremacy is a scourge that must end and we must fight to end it”. It is never that.

Whiteness will always justify the extermination of Blackness. Mike Brown was gunned down in Ferguson by officer Darren Wilson and the Ferguson police in turn releases video stills of what they claim to be Brown being an alleged criminal days after his murder. This was completely unrelated to his murder, but there is always a reason for dead Black bodies when whiteness governs. So why did they release these stills if the Ferguson police themselves have admitted that it is completely unrelated to Brown’s murder at the hands of officer Darren Wilson? They did it to smear his image. This is a tactic of white supremacy. It always smears the image of a Black victim.

When Black people are victimized and dehumanized, they still aren’t quite human in the eyes of many white people. At least not on the level of white humanity. It’s why a white terrorist like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can be put on the cover of Rolling Stone, like he’s a heartthrob in a boy band, and be described as “popular and promising”, while unarmed Black people murdered by white people are criminalized in death. Their image gets smeared because full victimhood is relegated to whiteness. Innocence and chasteness will be awarded to a white murderer before a Black murder victim.

I don’t argue or engage with white people on this subject anymore. This Malcolm X quote is forever relevant. I’ll respond or say my piece if need be, but I won’t debate a white person about Black humanity. My response to “good” white folks will always be “go and get your people”. That’s all I have to say to them. Truly good white people don’t need to be told that. They know. Word to John Brown.

(via fyeahcracker)

35 notes

Autopsy Reveals Louisiana Cops Lied About Shooting of Suspect in Custody

(Source: ttfkagb, via aka14kgold)

7,441 notes

When a white teenager named Steve Lohner was stopped by the police last month and refused to show his ID after carrying a loaded shotgun on the streets of Aurora, Colorado (the same city where a mass murderer killed 12 people and injured 70 others in a packed movie theater in July 2012), the teen walked away with nothing but a citation. But when a 22-year-old black kid named John Crawford picked up a mere BB gun in a Walmart store in Dayton, Ohio last week, customers called the police, who then shot and killed him. Here lies a racial disparity that’s difficult for honest people to ignore. How can black people openly carry a real gun when we can’t even pick up a BB gun in a store without arousing suspicion? The answer in America is that the Second Amendment doesn’t really apply to black people.

Keith Boykin: Does the Second Amendment Only Apply to White People? (via clambistro)

Shit, neither does the first. As demonstrated by the reaction to protesters in Ferguson. 

(via be-blackstar)

none of them damn amendments were written for us.. Y’all they still see us as commodities… NON-HUMANS… Vessels for profit.. Whether it’s the prison industrial complex.. Entertainment.. etc etc… We are supposed to produce capital.. WE ARE CAPITAL.. So these amendments will never apply to a commodity…

(via jcoleknowsbest)

(via gallifreyglo)