Differential Topology—Two quarter sequence at UCLA Extension for Fall/Winter 2021

It hasn’t been announced officially in the UCLA Extension catalog, but Dr. Mike Miller’s anticipated course topic for Fall 2021 is differential topology. The anticipated recommended text is Differential Topology: An Introduction by David B. Gauld (M. Dekker, 1982 or Dover, 1996 (reprint)).

The offering is naturally dependent on potential public health measures in September, which may also create a class limit on the number of attendees, so be sure to register as soon as it’s announced. For those who are interested in mathematics, but have never attended any of Dr. Miller’s lectures, I’ve previously written some details about his stye of presentation, prerequisites (usually very minimal despite the advanced level of the topics), and other details.

A few of us have already planned weekly Thursday night topology study sessions through the end of Spring and into Summer for those interested in attending. Just leave a comment with your contact information and I’ll be in touch with details.

I hope to see everyone in the fall.

Listened to Episode 2 - Zines! by This Is Altadena from This is Altadena (Podomatic)

What is a zine? The name "zine" is a shortened version of "fanzine" which is a portmanteau of the word "fan" and "magazine". Most people that think of zines think of punk rock and the punk community, where the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos is more than just a slogan, it's a way of life. In truth, "zines" have been around for centuries, going back to Thomas Paine's famous pamphlet "Common Sense". These homemade publications can be about anything their creators desire - music, art, politics, or something personal. Chloe Cavelier sits down for a conversation with library staffer and resident zine expert Alice Wynne to discuss the past, present and future of zines and Altadena Public Library's very own zine collection. Later Chloe speaks with Bob Lucas Branch manager Diana Wong to discuss Bob's new and improved demonstration garden. Subscribe to This Is Altadena at any and all of the places you get podcasts including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I got a copy of the library’s zine last Friday. This is such a cool project. They’ve reached out to me briefly as a steward of a Little Free Library, but I’ll have to stop in and pick up a few copies to have in my library.
 
I’d like to join the next session to see what I might add to help people bring their zines into online spaces as well. I see a lot of overlap here with some of my work with the IndieWeb.

 

Listened to Episode 1 - The Legacy and Art of Charles White by This is Altadena from This is Altadena (Podomatic)

Welcome to This Is Altadena, a podcast hosted by the Altadena Libraries, celebrating people’s life experiences and stories, and the hidden histories of Altadena, California. In our inaugural episode, we look at the life and times of Altadena legend, artist Charles White. Library staffer Chloe Cavelier sat down with community members Veronica Jones, Keni Arts, and Eugene Hutchins for 3 in-depth conversations about Charles White, his art and legacy, and his ties to our thriving local art community. Then later, our own Aaron Kimbrell chats with resident Teen Librarian Isabelle Briggs about the amazing programs and services offered in the teen department here at the Altadena Library District. For more about Charles White, don't hesitate to reach out to the Altadena Library: https://www.altadenalibrary.org For more about Keni Arts, visit his website: https://keniarts.com

This podcast is simply awesome! It makes me proud to be a resident of Altadena, CA. Can’t wait to see what they continue to come up with.
Followed This Is Altadena (Podomatic)
Welcome to This Is Altadena, a podcast hosted by the Altadena Libraries, celebrating people's life experiences and stories, and the hidden histories of Altadena, California.
I just discovered “This Is Altadena” a podcast by the Altadena Library District. Adding it to my list of local Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Altadena area news sources.

To my knowledge this is the only local area podcast I’ve come across.

I may be starting a day or two late, but I’m going to participate in the YWCA Glendale‘s 21 Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge.

It looks like they’ve got a wealth of great resources with many things that can fit a variety of schedules with activities each day that take either 5, 20, or 30 minutes.

I encourage others to join us.

Starting it either contemporaneously with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or even Inauguration day would have been great and highly appropriate, but given what I’m seeing so far, they’ve got a lot more material so I can probably extend it far beyond 21 days to extend through the entirety of Black History month as well.

Read Your Local Bookstore Wants You to Know That It’s Struggling (nytimes.com)
Independent booksellers are desperate for customers to return, and not just for an online reading.
Bookmarked on: Oct 15, 2020 at 20:19


Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga., sends personalized URLs to customers with a list of handpicked recommendations. 

Perhaps if they went the step further to set up domains for their customers, they could ostensibly use them not only as book blogs, but also to replace their social media habits?

An IndieWeb friendly platform run by your local bookseller might be out of their wheelhouse, but it could potentially help solve their proximal problem while also solving one of society’s problems all while helping to build community.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:51PM

Take Vroman’s Bookstore, a 126-year-old institution in Pasadena, Calif. It has more than 200 employees, 20,000 square feet of space and the rent to go along with it. In a normal year, it hosts anywhere from 300 to 400 events, bringing in authors for readings and signings, along with customers who buy books and maybe a glass of wine from the bar. But none of that is happening this year. 

Coincidentally I bought two books at Vroman’s yesterday and it looked reasonably busy for mid-day. (Maybe because of this article?)

It’s a bit disingenuous to mention wine at their bar as their wine bar was only finally open for a minute before the pandemic shut everything down.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:54PM

Like many other stores, Vroman’s is hosting online events to promote new books, which can attract attendees from all over the country but generally bring in almost no money. 

Maybe they need a book paywall for admission into those events? Buy a book to get the zoom code to get into the event?

David Dylan Thomas essentially did this for his recent book launch.
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:55PM

In the best of times, the margins at a bookstore are paper thin — traditionally, a successful shop hopes to make 2 percent in profits — but operating during a pandemic is even more expensive. 

Yes—they said paper thin…
Annotated on October 16, 2020 at 12:57PM

The bobcat and the peacock

The bobcat and the peacock
While enjoying the morning, I saw a bobcat skulking across the street. He disappeared into the neighbor’s back yard. Moments later, he was followed by a peacock who was honking all the way to warn the neighborhood about the danger. The peacock’s family was about a half a block away doing their morning forage.

Some shots of the Bobcat Fire while away from the house
The wind has shifted and the smoke in the atmosphere isn’t as suffocating as it has been until this morning. I still can’t see the Bobcat fire from the house by looking up at the mountain, but it’s apparently very close to Mt. Wilson and the closest part of the fireline is about 3 miles from the house. Things generally aren’t looking good. I suspect we may see flames before the evening is out.
Replied to a tweet (Twitter)
I’m sure there was a similar peak in 2009 for the Station Fire. I remember seeing the pyrocumulus cloud in Glendale/Pasadena all the way down to San Diego.

It’s also the last time that Mt. Wilson was threatened, though tonight it’s from the East side of the mountain. I’m watching closely because I’m 8 miles from the Bobcat Fire to the East and we’re under an evacuation warning. Fortunately the live cam has some reasonably clear footage of the immediate danger as the observatory is 4 miles up the hill above us.

Night photo of flames burning near the Mt. Wilson Observatory.
Mount Wilson Observatory live cam facing east toward the Bobcat Fire at 12:40 AM PST
Bobcat Fire update
I’m just South and slightly West of the Wilson Observatory which is at the top of the mountain just above our house. Fortunately we’re not in any of the preliminary evacuation zones which are all immediately South of the fire. We won’t really need to worry heavily unless it gets closer to the observatory.

View from the Mount Wilson Observatory East towards the burning flames of the Bobcat Fire
View from the Mount Wilson Observatory facing east toward the fire at 9:00 PM on September 7th.
Topological map of the Bobcat fire in the Angeles National Forest
The Bobcat fire coverage as of about 11:30 AM this morning. (Courtesy of the Angeles National Forest)
Read An Almost Thirty Year Journey of a non-African-American Black Man Residing in the U.S. by David SamuelsDavid Samuels (DLS Partners)
Before I moved to the United States of America in 1991, I had very mixed feelings about this country that called itself a “Melting Pot.” Perhaps it was because my Jamaican parents had siblings that had emigrated here, just as my parents had emigrated to England post World War II. In actuality, I was curious about the USA because of its history and accomplishments. As a young black British boy, it did not escape me that the racial history of American and England were significantly different. I was both aware of the relationship between England and its former colonies, as well as the unique history in America to slavery, Jim Crow and segregation, and its laws and views on interracial relationships. Just as in the famous work of Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” published in 1835, he also noted the irony of the freedom-loving nation’s mistreatment of Native Americans and its embrace of slavery.
I’ve met David several times at local events including Innovate Pasadena‘s excellent Friday Morning Coffee Meetup. It was great to see his article on the front page of the Pasadena Outlook (though I’d have put it above the fold) this morning. I was saddened not to find it on the Outlook’s website, but was glad to find it living on David’s own website so I could share it. (Hooray for the independent web and David’s owning his own content!)

I share it not only because his experiences are valuable and worth noting, but because I hope that people will take a look at the leadership services he’s offering to the community as well.