Hi, Kids! Wanna know why the Washington Monument changes colors midway up?
Once upon a time, there was a Political Party that hated immigration, and ran stuff into the ground.
No, not THAT one. Another one. The Know Nothing Party.
So in the 1850s, the Know Nothings felt immigration was a threat to “native” Americans, by whom they meant White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
They also opposed Catholics, who they felt were loyal to a foreign king, the Pope.
Now in the 1850s, folks were building the Washington Monument. The project was controlled by a non-Governmental “society” using donations from the public. They accepted both cash donations… and stones.
Stones came from all over. Including from the Vatican. The Pope sent a marble stone that was once part of a Roman Temple. On it was inscribed “From Rome, To America”.
The Know Nothings were incensed. George Washington, Father Of The Nation, had opposed a King. Having a stone from another – The Baba King Of Foreigners – in his monument was to them an unacceptable insult.
So 9 No Nothings stormed the building site at night, and stole the Pope’s Stone.|
Nobody is sure if they overpowered the guard, or he helped them*.

*All similarities to any party, storming, or guards are entirely coincidental.
The Know Nothings milked the controversy, but also got more involved in the Monument’s affairs. And then in 1855, they rigged the election of the Monument Society, and took over the construction. They swore to make sure no un-American influences touched the Monument again.
Under the Know Nothings, work ground to a halt.
In the 6 years before them, the monument rose to 154 feet.
In their 4 years in charge, it added…. 3 feet.
What caused it: competence or corruption? Yes*.

*All similarities to 4 years of no incompetence & corruption are...
Eventually, the Know Nothings abandoned the project. Then the Civil War erupted. Work paused until 1879, when the Government took over.

The 3 feet of stone laid under the Know Nothings had to be removed due to shoddy quality of stone and work.
By the time Govt restarted the work, the quarry where most of the original stones came from was spent. They got stones from elsewhere, with a different color. That’s why the top is different.
The Pope’s Stone was taken from the Temple Of Concord in Rome. Concordia was the goddess of harmony and agreement. Romans worshipped her to grant social cohesion.
The Know Nothings uprooted social accord.
The Know Nothings left their mark in the stasis they caused. The World moved on without them, while the Work they were entrusted to govern stood still. By the time it restarted in their wake, things were lost that could not be regained.
When I think of the incomplete monument sitting there through Know Nothing malfeasance and later Civil War, I remember the incomplete Pyramid on the Great Seal. It's there to symbolize America as a work in progress, and undertaking on which Providence may smile.

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More from @andyRoidO

18 Sep 20
Allow me. Let me start by saying that the rule the Government handles were quoting, doesn't (or shouldn't) apply to everybody. If you're not a resident of another country, it doesn't apply to you. Now let me explain.
So Nigeria signed up to an international agreement, arranged by the OECD. The goal of the agreement is to make sure that Country A is aware of any of its residents who are making money in other countries. This info is needed for proper taxation. @Chydee
The problem was, before now, there was no way for Country A to know if Resident R was doing business in country B. Meanwhile, Resident R may be gaming the system in Country B, paying reduced tax by claiming to be a Resident of Country A.
Read 14 tweets
27 Jun 20
Finally got around to re-reading the infamous Section 230, and large chunks of the Communications Decency Act to which it belongs.

Man, lots of the takes were very, very off.

Twitter is actually quite onside in its choices to flag and fact-check tweets.
Section 230 immunity covers online platforms that even if they go as far as edited posted content, as long as they do not substantially change the meaning of the content.

The platform can flag the content to its heart's content.
And thinking about the whole thing from both a Common Law and US Constitution angle, the Free Speech arguments really do not seem to apply. First Amendment protects speaker from government, not speaker from publisher OR platform.
Read 10 tweets
9 Feb 20
Last month, the OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY added new words taken from Nigerian English. These words & phrases violate traditional English usage, but OED added them in recognition of Nigerians taking ownership of English.

If grammar can change, so can pronunciation.
Watch Sky News. You will see Britons pronounce the same words in different ways, based on their regional accents. Some of those pronunciations differ more from "standard" UK English than these Nigerian ones. Nobody is saying their accent isn't "proper".
You are about to say "iT's BeCaUsE tHeY aRe BrItIsH "

Well, the Americans, New Zealanders, Aussies, South Africans, and Canadians are not British, but I BET you don't think their accents are "incorrect", the way you think yours is.
Read 5 tweets
4 Nov 19
"the scanners contracted under build operate own and transfer (BOOT) and transferred to Nigeria Customs Service in 2014/15 have all collapsed, thereby forcing the Nigeria Customs Service to embark on 100 per cent physical examination."

Collapsed in < 5 years. Hail Hydra.
Civilization are systems that reduce their internal entropy. We should be able to add some new capability (e.g. port scanners), & expend energy to build systems to maintain it (revenue, technical know-how, institutional wisdom).

Nigerian Civilization actually accelerates entropy
The idea that Government - usually the among the best organized institutions in a society - cannot keep port scanners operational for 5 years, is alarming.

We are all used to this incompetence, but it needs to be pointed out.
Read 8 tweets
1 Sep 19
This week, at work, I had to make many calls to Francophone Weat Africa, mainly Senegal.
My airtime was doing fiam fiam in a say that doesn't happen when I call the US, for example.
So I checked my provider's rates for Senegal vs USA. Up to 50 times higher. This got me thinking.
Why are calls from an African country to USA or Western Europe *generally* cheaper than calls from one African country to another?

Like with many African problems, the answer is: infrastructure.
Calls from Nigeria to Seattle are routed across the Atlantic by undersea cable. Undersea fiber-optic cable.
The number & capacity of these cables have been increasing over the years.
I'm a bit of an infrastructure geek, so I'm always gawking at submarinecablemap.com/#/
Read 17 tweets
30 May 19
As I watch my Igbo friends mark #BiafraRemembranceDay, I would like to join you in remembering all those murdered in the pogroms, & the civilians killed in the war by intentional starvation, planned massacres, and bombings.
Biafra was declared in response to Igbos being killed in Northern Nigeria, in what can only be called genocide. The Nigerian Government failed to protect them.

As such, Biafra was a just cause, and humanity should praise the brave people who stood for it #BiafraRemembranceDay
I also remember every soldier, on either side of that terrible, wasteful conflict, who kept his hands clean of atrocity, while fighting for what he believed in.

We must all join hands to condemn all those who partook in atrocity.

Read 8 tweets

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