UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond Reopens British Embassy @UKinIran in Tehran


Posted: 1:46 pm EDT



Speaking at the re-opening ceremony of the British Embassy in Iran, the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, has said:

I am delighted to be here today. I am the first British Foreign Secretary to visit Tehran since Jack Straw in 2003, and only the third British Minister to visit since 1979. It’s a huge pleasure and privilege to be here.
This Embassy, and this beautiful compound, is a special place. Britain acquired in it 1869 for 20,000 tomans, then £8,000. A huge sum, in those days, but it has repaid us many times.

It has witnessed great moments…

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Janelle Monáe just gave her generation its protest anthem


That Janelle Monáe‘s new song clocks in at over six and a half minutes long — an eternity in today’s 3:30-radio-friendly-hits age —  speaks to the extensive history of violence that inspired it.

In the song, “Hell You Talmbout,” Monáe, the psychedelic-soul heiress to George Clinton’s throne if there ever was one, abandons her spaced-out aesthetic for a grounded piece of realism perfectly fit for the here and now.

The formula for the song is simple, and therein lies its strength: Monáe and her Wondaland Records labelmates repeat the names of black men and women who have been killed by police officers or by other vigilantes, both in American history (Emmit Till  and Amadou Diallo) and in very recent events (Eric Garner and Michael Brown).

“Sandra Bland: Say her name!” Monáe’s usually polished voice trembles over the track, invoking Bland’s death in a Texas jail…

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New themes: Lovecraft or Libretto?

I have been using a default them for blogging, Twenty Ten I think it is called.  Experimented with similar themes, but always came back to the basic.  As a result of the assignment, I experimented not only with similar themes, but with very different ones.  I tried the new WP theme, Blask, then tried ECTO, Sandbox (which I liked because it reminded me of Wikipedia once I changed the background color), and was somewhat attracted to Syntax.  Then, for something entirely different, I tried Lovecraft and let it sit overnight.

In the morning, Lovecraft just didn’t do anything for me.  So I searched free themes (for now, I might decide to try a premium theme in the future when my revenue stream recommences) and came across Libretto. I tried it. I customized it just a bit. And I activated it. I think I really like it!  May stick with it for a few days.  May switch back to Lovecraft. My pages are hidden, but perhaps they need to be, and perhaps that function can be restored.

On the job search side, I ran into a fellow retiree in the lobby of our building last night who had just returned from an overseas WAE (While Actually Employed, government-speak for the program whereby federal retirees can return to work on a part-time basis).  I mentioned thinking about WAE work, but only domestically, not overseas.  Then she mentioned that she had received information about volunteer opportunities at the Smithsonian and at the Library of Congress.  Inside my head, bells started ringing and light started blinking!  Yeah, I could apply my recently acquired librarianship skills in a meaningful way at either.  So when I got to my apartment, I went immediately to the websites of both to look up potential opportunities.  And, Bingo!

So I am checking it out further.  Wish me luck.

And today’s quote from Epictetus:

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