A Letter to Fayetteville, AR Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Dear Mayor Jordan,

I wanted to write and personally thank you for your support for Fayetteville Pride this year. I am from the Washington, DC area, where we have a long tradition of Pride festivities. Every year the same tired arguments agianst Pride are pulled out and dusted off. Every year we hear that we’re “pushing homosexuality down people’s throats” or that we’re “celebrating perversion.” Every time one of those virulently homophobic articles appears, it simply underscores the need for Pride celebrations.

Pride is about celebrating our history, our diversity and our culture. It is about reminding people that we exist! We are a minority, and many of us are forced into hiding out of fear for our safety and well-being. Pride celebrations are one of the best ways for those of us who choose to live openly and freely to reaffirm our existence, to confirm the value and goodness of those of our community who are forced to live in hiding, and to remind the world that we deserve to be treated with respect and decency.

For years now I’ve watched Pride celebrants all over the world as they are greeted with hate and violence – sometimes even from local authorities. Your celebration of Pride means far more than you know. It is an amazingly powerful thing to know that your Government has your back – to know that local authorities will treat you with the respect and decency due any member of the human race.

For providing that hope and empowerment to my brothers and sisters in Fayetteville, I thank you. I thank you for standing by young Will Philips side as that incredibly courageous young man stands with us. He’s everything Pride has hoped for these long decades. He is a child who understands that all people deserve to be treated with respect and decency – a child willing to fight to bring that right to every last person in the USA.

Yours,

Aaron Akins

P.S. I’ll probably publish this letter on my blog, so that others can more fully understand the importance of your support.

Emergency Services & Law Enforcement May Get Radar To See Through Walls

The FCC has approved L-3 CyTerra’s application to sell their radar that can see through walls.

It’s passing strange to have two posts on similar topics in the same day – I guess my inner geek is getting a workout. Check out this article on CommLawBlog about the FCC approving tech company to sell radar that can see through walls. The technology apparently uses broad-spectrum RF pulses rather than the traditional single-wavelength pulse common to most radar systems (hence the FCC involvement).

Soldier scanning building through wall.
Soldier scanning building through wall.
From my research and a look at L-3 CyTerra’s site, it looks like this technology was originally developed to help soldiers search for insurgents in urban environments. The applications in local law enforcement or emergency services settings are obviously of similar types – police could detect the position of captors and hostages through walls, and firefighters could locate victims of smoke inhalation during a house fire.
 
There are some equally obvious 4th Amendment and Privacy questions – this tool might let police officers “virtually” search a residence for a suspect without ever needing to enter. Would they need a search warrant for such an application? The stalker potential is equally as disturbing.
 
As always, technology is evolving several steps ahead of the law. I’m sure the legal battles and political struggles L-3 CyTerra is in for will prove pretty interesting.

My New (cute) Geek Hero is a Pyromaniac

This guy’s name is Everett Bradford, and everything about him is made of win. He designed and built his own FLAME THROWER that looks like something out of Iron Man.

This guy’s name is Everett Bradford, and everything about him is made of win. He designed and built his own FLAME THROWER that looks like something out of Iron Man. AND he’s cute as HELL.

 
The only addition I would make to this is to fit the entire thing over a fire-proof glove (yikes!).

M&M’s Cure Everything

Caught this awesome article about how M&M’s are awesome over at Joe.My.God. “The food dye that gives blue M&M’s their colour can help mend spinal injuries, researchers say. “

Caught this awesome article about how M&M’s are awesome over at Joe.My.God.

The Blue M&M.
The Blue M&M.
The food dye that gives blue M&M’s their colour can help mend spinal injuries, researchers say. The compound Brilliant Blue G blocks a chemical that kills healthy spinal cord cells around the damaged area – an event that often causes more irreversible damage than the original injury. BBG not only reduced the size of the lesion but also improved the recovery of motor skills, tests on rats showed. Those treated with BBG were later able to walk, although with a limp. Rats that did not receive the BBG solution never regained the ability to walk. On the downside, the treatment causes the skin to temporarily turn bright blue and BBG needs to be injected soon after the trauma. The test injections were given within 15 minutes.

Skip on over to Metro.co.uk to read the full article. Also note that Joe.My.God is the best gay blog ever.

MissionGathering Church Says Sorry.

MissionGathering Church of San Diego, CA uses their float in San Diego Pride to apologize for the Christians who voted for Prop 8.

MissionGathering Church Says Sorry.
MissionGathering Church Says Sorry.

MissionGathering Church of San Diego, CA uses their float in San Diego Pride to apologize for the Christians who voted for Prop 8.