Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

In Ceres, CA one spot tells two very different stories: 25 years ago, a KKK rally. In 2020, a protest against police brutality.

Ceres, Calif. is home to just over 45,000 people, according to the 2010 Census. And it’s big on farming–the city is named after the Roman goddess of agriculture.

Ceres is somewhat small, predominantly white, and this past weekend, a Black Lives Matter protest took back the space where a KKK rally took place just 25 years ago (almost to the day).

In a charming, sun-bleached gazebo on June 10, 1995, the KKK amassed a small, but intense group of white supremists. For an hour and a half, the group of about 15 spewed hatred, violence, and chanted “white power.”

This…


Photo by Andreas Chu on Unsplash

I’m trying not to be too optimistic when I say that reading the official list of outdoor activities that California considers to be ‘essential’ makes me feel a little better about the future.

It’s just that there’s a kind of bizarre precision to it that makes me want to laugh. It is oddly precise, and yet optimistically poetic.

I mean, just look at some of the acceptable activities on the list:

  • Gardening (not in groups)
  • Tennis and table tennis (singles)
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Tree Climbing
  • Roller Skating and Rollerblading

Those notes are my favorite. Squashed between parentheses, they…


Ai-Da at work

With her inaugural exhibition opening its doors at the prestigious University of Oxford, Ai-Da was feeling…nothing. Unlike other artists, her headspace was free from any trepidation or anxiety, despite the fact that her artwork was about to be viewed, critiqued, and dissected by a large audience of art aficionados. Her mind was blank, like a canvas before a burst of imagination.

However, this is not out of character for the new artist. After all, Ai-Da is a robot.

As the first ultra-realistic humanoid drawing robot artist, Ai-Da does not think or feel. …


Photo by Robert Zunikoff on Unsplash

Jewish holidays, like Hanukkah, always involve copious amounts of food

My dad always says that Jewish holidays typically revolve around one major idea: “We almost died, but we survived. Let’s eat!

He’s misquoting a famous joke about the Jewish people, which goes like this: “They tried to kill us, we won, now let’s eat,” but I like his version too. “We survived” is sometimes more accurate than “we won.”

There’s no better way to describe it: food is intricately woven into Jewish holidays and traditions. Eating is the main part of the celebration. Always. …


“woman planking on gray asphalt road” by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Most health apps actually impede your progress by ignoring behavioral change research

There have to be at least a hundred fitness apps out there, and I believe I’ve downloaded about half of them. Every time I download a new one, I imagine that this is the time that I will definitely, definitely get in shape.

I never do.

See, the key to “getting in shape,” or obtaining some semblance of desired fitness requires patience, time, and, above all, the creation of a habit. Completing a workout could become as routine as brushing your teeth or going to work, and yet so many people struggle.

Why?

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a habit…


How a meme reveals the erasure of females in history

This picture, along with an explanatory caption, claims to depict ‘Princess Qajar’

In late 2017, the photo above began circulating the Internet. In it, a woman with long dark tresses, thick eyebrows and a downy mustache stands regally as she gets her portrait taken. A caption reads that this woman was “a symbol of beauty in Persia (Iran)” and that “13 young men killed themselves because she rejected them,” with other versions of this meme naming her as the “Princess Qajar.” The general shock-value of the meme seemed to come from the way her image defied modern beauty standards, from her large, rounded figure to her noticeable facial hair.

It was also…


Policemen taking a break in Old Havana

As the plane dips in the sky, under the clouds, I am finally able to get my first glimpse ofCuba. Rolling green hills and dark dirt patches litter the landscape. From up above, the country does not look so intimidating. It is just another part of the earth, the same earth that I have seen from many other planes, flying overhead in America.

As we drive through the streets in an air-conditioned tour bus, I see some of the old mansions — somedilapidated and falling at their foundations and some with a fresh coat of paint and intricate ornamentation. On…


A bike taxi driver check his phone in between shifts

When I arrived in Cuba, it was 2015 and wi-fi had just been recently introduced to Havana. And by recently, I mean that just three weeks earlier, hotspots were designated to areas around the city. Parks and small squares were suddenly equiped with this invisible, magical internet connection. Nor was this wi-fi free; Cubans paid per the hour for each upload and download, each check of a newly created Facebook account was billed. Even so, people — tourists and locals alike — crowded in these areas to participate in this new Cuban commodity.

Before then, internet was available, but through…


Cuban woman walks with her child in the town of Trinidad, Cuba

Those who imagine Cuba — the “land lost in time” — as also primitive in ideals for women’s rights would find themselves surprised to learn that women were made equal by law under Fidel Castro’s Regime. Yes, you heard that correctly — gender inequality was made illegal under the very regime that the United States likes to condemn for its treatment of human rights.

Of course, I learned that inequality was stamped out by law from a lecture given by Professor Vivian Antúnez at UC Irvine. Antúnez was visiting from the University of Havana, Cuba and it was her first…

Samantha Solomon

I love writing, sometimes it spills out over here. Opinions are my own.

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