To be perfectly honest…

…I haven’t really taken so much as a break as just been a little lazy. I am currently ramping up for MancsterCon, an independent sequential art convention I organise with some friends of mine. I’m also getting started on an Afrofuturist weekend event in October (which is Black History Month in the UK) – a little bit late, I suspect, but as we’re keeping the event fairly low-key, hopefully it will all turn out fine.

I’m still scribbling away at my short stories, having found a few more anthologies looking for the kind of thing I tend to write, but it’s mostly scrappy little bits. My main focus is on a programming project where I’m currently hacking my way through understanding Google Maps JavaScript API. It’s sort of fun, but a little daunting when you’re at the stage beyond the nice tutorials.

On that note, I’ve found some useful JavaScript blogs and articles:

JavaScript Object Prototype

How to learn JavaScript Properly – some very helpful links for anyone who’s cobbled together a working knowledge of JavaScript but would like some formation.

How to Use HTML5 Geolocation API with Google Maps – haven’t quite reached this stage yet, but needed to bookmark the link.

Getting Creative with the Google Maps API

Progress has slowed down a little with me coming home fairly late from work these days and with the events management stuff, but I’ll get there, slowly but surely!

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Laura Bassi

Laura Bassi – Italian 18th century woman physicist

It’s always fascinating reading about women scientists, philosophers and academics of the past. My usual sphere of interest is Medieval Europe, but I enjoy reading about figures from the Enlightenment era, especially those outside of the usual trio of Britain, France and Germany.

Emily Warren Roebling: a Steampunk Feminist Persepective

Cogpunk Steamscribe

It isn’t often that science and engineering is the background of a love story. Then again, Emily Roebling was a remarkable woman. Emily Warren Roebling was the wife of Washington Roebling, who was  Chief Engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Her poor husband developed decompression sickness while working on the bridge. Emily took it upon herself to learn bridge construction, and then took over much of the chief engineer’s duties, including day-to-day supervision and project management, and liaising with the men doing the construction, while she fought for her husband to retain his position as chief engineer (the Brooklyn Bridge has been his father’s project to begin with). At the same time, she was her husband’s nurse – he was to suffer from the effects of decompression sickness for the rest of his life, remaining partially paralysed. It was only due to her intelligence and determination that the project was finished. After the bridge…

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The writer is at work!

I’m currently working on a few short stories for some anthologies, so the fiction output on this blog will be limited.

At the moment I’m reading ‘The Lords of Humankind’ by V.G. Kiernan which is – as it should be for any decent popular history – turning into a simultaneously fascinating and disquieting read. It focuses on the attitudes of the coloniser and the colonised, though mostly from a perspective critical of the former (I find it telling that the majority of the West African experience is devoted to slavery and there is none of the detailed discussion of the contemporary and pre-colonial society that the writer affords to India, for example. This is often the case, and is actually quite a boon because it means I have to read more!).

Like I said, it’s a good enough read, though it will be interesting to find other critical perspectives, especially those that focus more on the social complexities of the colonised nations. The book was published in the late 60’s and the writing (and biases) occasionally shows it’s age!

I’m still transferring a couple of blogs into this one. I have created a new blog section for posts and links concerning my independent research into pre-colonial Nigerian technologies and their intersection with all things interesting (gender, sexuality, religion, disability etc. The usual!) and in the meantime will hopefully remember to get some more of my essays and critical pieces up as well.

Chizoba of the Black hills

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Author’s note: updated from empty draft 25th August 2019

From the drowned boroughs of London, here I come.

From the shifting spires of Guangzhou, here I come.

I see you. I see all of you. You let us starve as you play your games, you steal our past as you trade your trinkets for our ancestors. You make us blow each other up for your own gains, just as you let the world burn and flood to keep the stock value up. I see you.

I am Chizoba, of Baohan, of Peckham. I am Chizoba of the black hills, here I come.

Inspired by Write World