FYI January 30, 2018


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On This Day

1930 – The Politburo of the Soviet Union orders the extermination of the Kulaks.
Kulaks (Russian: кула́к, tr. kulak, IPA: [kʊˈlak] (About this sound listen), plural кулаки́, Polish: kułak) ‘fist’, by extension ‘tight-fisted’; kurkuli in Ukraine, also used in Russian texts (in Ukrainian contexts) were a category of affluent peasants in the later Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, and the early Soviet Union. The word kulak originally referred to independent farmers in the Russian Empire who emerged from the peasantry and became wealthy following the Stolypin reform, which began in 1906. The label of kulak was broadened in 1918 to include any peasant who resisted handing over their grain to detachments from Moscow.[1] During 1929–1933, Stalin’s leadership of the total campaign to collectivize the peasantry meant that “peasants with a couple of cows or five or six acres more than their neighbors” were labeled “kulaks”.[2]

According to the political theory of Marxism–Leninism of the early 20th century, the kulaks were class enemies of the poorer peasants.[3] Vladimir Ilyich Lenin described them as “bloodsuckers, vampires, plunderers of the people and profiteers, who fatten on famine”.[4][5] Marxism–Leninism had intended a revolution to liberate poor peasants and farm laborers alongside the proletariat (urban and industrial workers). In addition, the planned economy of Soviet Bolshevism required the collectivisation of farms and land to allow industrialisation or conversion to large-scale agricultural production. In practice, government officials violently seized kulak farms and killed resisters;[3][6] others were deported to labor camps.

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Born On This Day

1866 – Gelett Burgess, American author, poet, and critic (d. 1951)
Frank Gelett Burgess (January 30, 1866 – September 18, 1951) was an artist, art critic, poet, author and humorist. An important figure in the San Francisco Bay Area literary renaissance of the 1890s, particularly through his iconoclastic little magazine, The Lark, he is best known as a writer of nonsense verse, such as “The Purple Cow”, and for introducing French modern art to the United States in an essay titled The Wild Men of Paris. He was the author of the popular Goops books, and he coined the term blurb.

Early life
Born in Boston, Burgess was “raised among staid, conservative New England gentry”.[1] He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a B.S. in 1887. After graduation, Burgess fled conservative Boston for the livelier bohemia of San Francisco, where he took a job working as a draftsman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1891, he was hired by the University of California at Berkeley as an instructor of topographical drawing.

Cogswell fountain incident
In 1894, Burgess lost his job at Berkeley as a result of his involvement in an attack on one of San Francisco’s three Cogswell fountains, free water fountains named after the pro-temperance advocate Henry Cogswell who had donated them to the city in 1883. As The San Francisco Call noted a year before the incident, Cogswell’s message, combined with his enormous image, irritated many:

It is supposed to convey a lesson on temperance, as the doctor stands proudly on the pedestal, with his whiskers flung to the rippling breezes. In his right hand he holds a temperance pledge rolled up like a sausage, and the other used to contain a goblet overflowing with heaven’s own nectar. But wicked boys shattered the emblem of teetotalism with their pea-shooters and now the doctor’s heart is heavy within him.”[2]

In response, numerous acts of minor vandalism had been inflicted upon the fountain.

Four iron posts with ornate lamps at the top originally graced the corners of this gurgling example of temperance, but now they lean and lurch and pitch like a drunken quadrille. Beer wagons heavy laden humped into the posts, shattered the stained-glass lamps and destroyed their equilibrium. Some of the lamps are canted over like a tipsy man’s hat, and the whole group presents a most convivial aspect.”[3]

The toppling incident took place in the early hours of January 1, 1894. As the Call reported,

Some iconoclastic spirits, probably made bold by too freely indulging in the convivialities of New Year’s day, found vent for their destructive proclivities in the small hours of the morning yesterday. With the greatest deliberation, apparently, a rope was coiled around the mock presentment of Dr. Cogswell and with a strong pull, and all together, he was toppled from his fountain pedestal at the Junction of California and Market streets.[4]

The newspaper noted that “no one professes to have knowledge of the perpetrators of the outrage,” and no arrests had been, or were, made. However, Burgess’s involvement was suspected and is generally viewed as the reason for his resignation from the university, reported by the Call on March 10, 1894, with the note that the resignation was “to take effect with the close of the year.”[5]

Burgess is now held in high regard at the University of California, Berkeley as a former professor and literary talent. A selection of his original works and his papers are housed in the Bancroft Library on the Berkeley campus.

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Was he abused?
By Katie Rife: Glee star Mark Salling dead in apparent suicide
Mark Salling, former co-star of Fox’s Glee who was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to charges of child pornography back in October, has died. TMZ broke the news, saying that Salling’s body was found in a park near his home in the Sunland area of Los Angeles. The LAPD has yet to issue an official statement, but Salling’s death is being reported as an apparent suicide. He was 35.
By Lindsey Bever: A teenager dying of cancer had a final wish: To marry his childhood sweetheart
By Heather Chapman: Rural journalist rushed to the scene of school shooting and discovered her son was the suspect
By Gary Price: Digitization Projects: University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center Makes Available Records of Appalachian Social Justice Organizations, Access Online
By David Beard: The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life
When a teenager began firing on students in Marilyn Johnson’s old high school east of Cleveland, Johnson searched everywhere to find out what was happening. She first saw the news on CNN, but she found out more on the town library’s Facebook page. The site was “the best, most detailed place to get breaking information,” she says.
By Ben Paynter: This Pawn Shop App Connects Users To Food Banks, In Case They Need More Than Quick Cash
PawnGuru is active throughout the U.S. with a half million registered users and 2,000 or so pawn shops signed up. So far, FoodFinder assists about a thousand towns and cities with roughly 30,000 users. The duo decided to collaborate around the holidays because, especially with many kids out of school and unable to access free or reduced-fee school lunch programs, that’s a time when insecurity spikes. Demand increases in the summer, too, when schools are closed. During those times, FoodFinder sees dramatic spikes in traffic.
By AlexMcLevy: Tim Allen joins a movie trying to “take down PC culture,” which is so brave
By Jennings Brown: Biker Protestor ‘Throttles’ Traffic Around FCC Headquarters
But Bliss told The Next Web that the police were actually very patient with his form of activism. “The cops were amazing,” he told TNW. “I think DC police just has a lot of great training and also experience due to frequent interactions with nonviolent protestors.”

Despite their patience, law enforcement eventually set up a constant presence so that Bliss couldn’t continue keep throttling traffic. If only net neutrality was that easy.
By Daniel Terdiman: Facebook Reveals Its Privacy Principles For The First Time
By Terrell Jermaine Starr: I Toured One of the Most Radioactive Places on Earth
By Jake Buehler: Invasive Pine-Killing Wasps Are Even Worse Than They Sound
By Lindsey Adler: Tell Us How You Wash Your Face
Some people have “good” skin, some people have “bad” skin, some people just don’t give a shit about the visible condition of their skin. Personally, I have what I call “problem skin” and boy, do I like buying a bunch of random chemicals to try to beat it into submission.
By Ryan F. Mandelbaum: Scientists Are Reviewing Amazon Products the Way They Actually Use Them
By Gary Price: National Air and Space Museum Releases “VR Hangar” App

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