Take your piece of paper and lay it in front of you. Fold it in half to find the middle. Fold in the corners. Crease the edges tightly. Fold it in half, and then gently bend your wings outward, carefully. You've made a plane. You did all this by tapping your finger on your screen. So, turn your phone sideways, and throw your plane. Watch your plane circle the globe around and around. Imagine yourself on it, soaring through the purple and teal sky. Leave your plane to its flight and check back later. Someone has caught your plane, someone in Brazil. They opened your plane and stamped it inside, like a passport, so you can see where they were when they swung their phone like a net and caught your plane out of the digital sky. "Paper Planes" is not a game, really. There is no way to win. The only thing to do is fold, catch, stamp, and throw these little digital planes around the globe. In its simplicity, the game has found something we can have in … [Read more...] about This beautiful paper plane game is the relief from election season you need
“In this war, there were neither winners nor losers,” said Timochenko, one of the leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, after a peace deal was announced this summer between FARC and the Colombian government. My first reaction upon reading those words from Timochenko (the nom de guerre of Rodrigo Londoño) was sorrow — so many lives lost, so many years wasted. Colombia’s leftist rebels and the government were engaged in a brutal civil war for five decades, during which 220,000 people were killed, according to Colombia’s National Center for Historical Memory. And only now is the realization beginning to set in that this long conflict was for nothing. This war could have been stopped after the first year, or after 10 years, or after 40. But both sides kept fighting, steadfast in their belief that the other side would eventually fall. But that never happened. Now a real peace is within reach, and I hope that both sides don’t waste … [Read more...] about Opinion: War is easy
Dear Professor Gates: I’m trying to find out if my grandfather and great-uncles fought in World War I and if they were assigned to the French army. My grandfather was Webb A. Owens, born in 1899 in McComb, Miss.; his brother Wallace Owens was born in 1896 in McComb, Miss.; his brother Philip Demoulin was born in New Roads, La., on March 19, 1897. Any information will be appreciated. —P.J. Owens Yours is a fitting question during a week that includes America’s annual celebration of its veterans. As a 2003 article in the Army Historical Foundation’s On Point magazine noted, during World War I, there were four all-black regiments: the 9th and 10th cavalries and the 24th and 25th infantries. The troops in them, however, were not being used in combat roles; many were, instead, relegated to labor roles in U.S.-controlled territories. Mounting pressure within the black community for the chance to prove their bravery led to the creation of two African-American … [Read more...] about Were My Black Ancestors Deployed With the French in WWI?
Astute readers—of which I have nearly none, as you are a pack of Judas-livered, porridge-pantsed, mung-brained tit-mice—know that I am renowned throughout the Republic for my formidable business acumen. And though my fame and fortune spring mainly from my able helms-manship of The Onion news-paper, I have had many successful marketing ventures over the years. I certainly didn't get to be the East Coast's fore-most miser by depending on your literacy, you know! However, due to complexities of finance too arcane to go into here, I could not always take credit for the money-making consumer goods I created. To circumvent this nation's moronic laws concerning usury, copy-rights and the income-taxation, I was forced to do business under many different noms de guerre, including Lucian Wentworth, T. Zwibbleford Hermansen and, in Europe, Herr Professor-Doktor Ignatius G. Farben. But the products were mine, I assure you, and I list them here as an example of what an enterprising … [Read more...] about Ideas That Made Me Millions
Despite the standard Black History Month lessons you may have been taught in school, there’s much more to the story than slavery, civil rights and an ever-growing list of “firsts.” Henry Louis Gates Jr., founding director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University and The Root's editor-in-chief, who recently wrote and executive-produced PBS’ six-part series, African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, knows that well. Here, the historian highlights a set of his favorite triumphant, unexpected, adventurous and otherwise fascinating stories. There's the saga of 12 Years a Slave's Solomon Northup, plus 17 other tales, each of which could provide the basis of its own gripping feature film. They're all part of the black experience in America, and they're all, according to Gates, African-American history events you'll want to know about. Coming to America 1513: A century before the first “20 and … [Read more...] about Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s 18 Black History Events You Should Know