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Woodworking: Windtraveler shoji lamp

This is getting exciting!

The kumiko are finished and ready for oiling!

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Reading: There There by Tommy Orange

There There by Tommy OrangeWell narrated by Darrell Dennis, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Alma Ceurvo, and Kyla Garcia

In this first book of an extremely gifted young writer, Orange breathes life into a vivid cast of characters whose lives tell an important part of the story of Native Americans living in cities, specifically in this case, Oakland.

As he allows each character to reveal their story more deeply in their own unique voice, he slowly draws all of their stories toward a startling intersection. This is not a comfortable story, but at times it sparkles with exhilarating grace.

Orvil mainly listens to powwow music. There’s something in the energy of that big booming drum, in the intensity of the singing, like an urgency that feels specifically Indian. He likes the power the sound of a chorus of voices makes too, those high-pitched wailed harmonies, how you can’t tell how many singers there are, and how sometimes it sounds like ten singers, sometimes like a hundred. There was even one time, when he was dancing in Opal’s room with his eyes closed, when he felt like it was all his ancestors who made it so he could be there dancing and listening to that sound, singing right there in his ears through all those hard years they made it through.

Random House Audio, 2018

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Contemplating: A better rice farming method

Photo of rice crop near Ambositra, Madagascar by Bernard Gagnon
Rice crop near Ambositra, Madagascar
Photo by Bernard Gagnon⩘  - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0⩘ 

This is one of the more hopeful bits of news I've read in a long time.

A method of growing rice, which was developed in Madagascar in 1983, requires a fraction of the seed and much less water per hectare, and is resulting in significantly higher yields. "Reports from China, India, Southeast Asia and Africa suggest that average yield increases of 20 to 50 percent are regularly being achieved by farmers adopting the 'system of rice intensification' (SRI)."

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Amateur radio: Pi-Star and digital voice hotspots

Pi-Star is great software for digital voice hotspots and repeaters. It can handle DMR, D-STAR, and YSF, and even P25, NXDN, and YSF and DMR cross modes when used with a multi-mode digital voice modem that supports those modes.

Paired with a compact board like the ZUMspot or MMDMV_HS_Hat, Pi-Star is a great solution for use both as a base station and as a mobile hotspot.

MMDVM_HS_Hat mobile hotspot setup

More: Playing with Pi-Star and Hanging out with hotspots

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