British Plug Design

This post links a few of my favorite things: design, funny british guys, and new information. First, watch the below video and prepare to have your mind blown.

I had no idea. Not only is the design of the plug quite ingenious, but the knowledge that was standard teaching practice in England puts even our high school-level understanding of electronics to shame.

Second, an article over at Atlas Obscura by Ernie Smith, entitled Why Can’t The World Just Pick One Design For Plugs? discusses the history behind plug design and asks exactly that question. Here’s a taste:

Different countries use different types of voltage, and chose to do so without considering the fact that people might want to travel around the world and plug in their iPad no matter what country they’re in. The U.S., for example, standardized on the 120-volt system at a 60 Hz frequency, but at the same time, Germany was making up its mind that a 220- to 240-volt system at 50 Hz was a better idea. And in Japan, half the country uses a 60 Hz frequency while the other half uses 50 Hz—something that created big headaches and ensured that inconsistencies between the various systems abounded. These inconsistencies followed their way to the outlets as well.

I had no idea. The article goes on to discuss the fact that there have been design standards for decades, but there is little to no incentive for countries to move to the standard. Interestingly enough, the tech industry may have almost-accidentally fixed this issue with the USB standard. Only time will tell, but these types of things drive me nuts.

Mind blown via The Loop.

Read, Think, Share, Repeat

The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.