Commentary: Black Scientists, Explorers, and Inventors
By dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
When you plug your printer, keyboard or monitor into your PC, the majority of the time you'll find, happily, that it simply works, no matter what brand your peripherals are or how long ago you purchased them.
This is largely because of the developments of inventors Mark E. Dean and Dennis L. Moeller, who developed the internal architecture of what's know as the ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) systems bus at IBM in the early 1980s.
Mark Dean was born on March 2, 1957, in Jefferson City, Tenn. He earned a B.S. in electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee in 1979, followed by a master's degree in electrical engineering from Florida Atlantic University in 1982. He later went on to earn a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, in 1992. He began working for IBM in 1980.
Dennis L. Moeller was born on April 28, 1950, in St. Louis, Mo. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri. In 1974, he joined IBM's semiconductor manufacturing team, and later moved onto IBM's Series 1 mini-computer printer project.
The pair began working together on a team tasked with building a microcomputer system with bus connectivity for peripheral processing devices for IBM computers and compatible PCs. A bus is a device that connects a computer's central processing unit with devices such as keyboards, mice, monitors, printers and the like. A bus allows the devices to communicate with one another, making it possible for devices to work together efficiently and at high speeds.
Dean and Moeller made architectural improvements within the PC and the bus that laid the foundation for explosive growth in the computing industry. Their invention, for which they received U.S. Patent No. 4,528,626 in 1985, made it possible for users to connect computers to peripherals by simply plugging them in.
IBM first brought the concept to market in 1984 with its PC/AT computer. An augmented version of the ISA bus remains standard within most PCs to this day. Dean and Moeller were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for their invention in 1997..…Read more here ->
News round up by dopper0189, Black Kos Managing Editor
In just a few months, Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson went from being a relatively unknown candidate in a crowded 2023 Chicago mayoral field to surging in the polls and cementing his place in the city’s April 4 runoff election against former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas. Johnson and Vallas represent opposing ideological stances that could push Chicago further left or right.
The Chicago Teachers Union, Service Employees International Union, United Working Families, and community organizers are backing Johnson. He is running on a progressive platform that would invest in people and address the root causes of violence, such as employment, housing, and mental health care. Vallas, who has the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, has called for hiring at least 500 more police officers and expanding charter and magnet schools. He has previously finished ninth in the 14-candidate race for Chicago mayor in 2019, and lost bids for Illinois lieutenant governor in 2014 and Illinois governor in 2002.
Nearly half of Chicago voters chose neither Vallas nor Johnson in the first round of the election on Feb. 28. On election night, Vallas secured 179,740 votes, or 33 percent of the vote, to Johnson’s 114,262 votes, or 21 percent of the vote. So both campaigns have many voters to persuade over the next month.
Black voters are a significant bloc that each candidate will need to win over on the road to the runoff. Incumbent Mayor Lori Lightfoot performed better than the seven other Black mayoral candidates in majority Black wards, but it wasn’t enough to secure her spot in the runoff. She came in third place, making her the first popularly elected mayor to lose reelection since first-term incumbent Jane Byrne lost to Harold Washington 40 years ago. Johnson and businessman Willie Wilson came in second and third place in majority Black wards.
Endorsements have begun flowing in for the runoff, but it is still unclear which candidate Black political and business leaders will overwhelmingly support. Who Black political leaders and others endorse in the runoff matters.
Rosa Parks being a Black woman is crucial to her role in America’s civil rights movement, but one textbook publisher dismissed that fact to comply with a Florida rule.
Textbooks play a significant role in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ fight against what he calls “woke indoctrination” in the nation’s public schools, especially when it comes to issues of race and gender, according to The New York Times.
As the Republican governor’s administration targets his state’s social studies curriculum, a small army of Florida experts, educators, political activists and parents have combed thousands of pages of book text as part of the review process.
Critical race theory and “social emotional learning” — which aims to support students in cultivating positive mindsets, yet is viewed by the DeSantis administration as unrelated to basic academics — are explicitly targeted by the state’s guidelines for evaluating textbooks.
“Normally, a state adoption is a pretty boring process that a few of us care about,” said former publishing executive turned education consultant Jeff Livingston, The Times reported, “but there are a lot of people watching this because the stakes are so high.”
U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tim Kaine of Virginia are putting their weight behind an initiative to reduce illicit arms trafficking and strengthen security and stability in the Caribbean basin, where an uptick in guns and migration trafficking is endangering small island communities and raising national security concerns for the United States.
The proposed Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Authorization Act, which passed the House of Representatives last April, has found support from Rubio, a Republican, and Kaine, a Democrat, in the Senate. The two are sponsoring the bipartisan and bicameral legislation.
The bill would authorize appropriations of $74.8 million each year in foreign assistance. The funds would go to promoting the rule of law in the Caribbean; reducing trafficking in narcotics, weapons, bulk cash, and other contraband, and reducing corruption and the influence of authoritarian regimes such as China and Russia. Money also is to be used to “counter malign influence from authoritarian regimes, including China, Iran, Cuba, and Russia,” according to the bill.
The proposed legislation also says that money is to be used to strengthen the ability of beneficiary countries to prepare for and respond to natural disasters, and to increase regional coordination and collaboration between beneficiary countries and Haiti.
Driving to work one summer afternoon in Memphis last year, Ralph Jones saw a woman on the sidewalk pull over him. He thought she was in trouble or needed a ride, Mr. Jones said, and pulled over.
After a brief conversation in which she tried to lure him to a nearby motel, Mr Jones said he drove away but was soon stopped by police and yanked from his truck. The 70-year-old welder said that with just 86 cents in his pocket, he had no intention or money to poach a prostitute, officials claimed.
His protests were unsuccessful. Mr Jones was summoned and his truck was impounded along with the expensive tools inside. The charges were eventually dropped, but the truck and its work equipment remained on an impounded lot in the city for six weeks, when prosecutors finally agreed to return it for a $750 payment.
“It’s nothing but a bat,” said Mr. Jones.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have long used asset confiscation laws to seize property suspected of being linked to criminal activity, a tactic designed to deprive lawbreakers of ill-gotten gains from future crimes prevent and incidentally provide a lucrative source of income for the police departments.
But it became a law enforcement tactic of choice in Memphis, where the elite street crime unit involved in the Jan. 7 death of Tire Nichols, known as the Scorpion Unit, was among several law enforcement teams around the city that used vehicles widely seizures started.
Like Mr. Jones, some of those affected by the confiscations had not been convicted of a crime, and defense attorneys said they disproportionately affected low-income residents and people of color.
Over the past decade, civil rights activists in several states have successfully pushed to make it harder for police to seize property, but Tennessee still has some of the most aggressive confiscation laws in the country.
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