68 Years ago Ebony Magazine made its debut.

The date was November 1/1945.  Most of us weren't even born yet.

A new hefty coffee table, artsy-fartsy, trendy magazine hit the newstands. The first magazine published of its kind. Ebony Magazine. A magazine dedicated to the blacks of America, showcasing the achievements of African-Americans, putting them into a more positive light. The first cover, ironically showed seven pre-teen boys, six were white while only one was black.

The pubisher, John H. Johnson started the magazine calling his publishing company 'The Negro Digest' with a $500 loan using his mothers furniture as collateral. 

He decided that it would improve the race relations between white and blacks to soften the blow, by using just one black, instead of highlighting some famous black American like Billie Holiday. A wise decision. The first issue was a success at 25,000 copies sold.  In 1997 circulation peaked with almost 2 million copies in print. 

The magazine centred itself around fashion and beauty for blacks, civil rights, education, entrepreneurial enterprises, and important black history, and stories real and folk lore. Things about African-Americans that the main stream 'white' magazines totally ignored. Ebony overed the stories when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. organized a boycott, won the Nobel Peace Prize, marched on Selma Alabama, his murder and funeral. The famous photographer Moneta Sleet won the Pulitzer Prize the first African-American to win that award. It had the distinction of having the first interview with now first black president, Barrack Obama.

Circulation continues, a mainstay for African-Americans estimated to be over 1.1 million.

The magazine has recently made a statement with it's September issue, declaring 'We Are Trayvon'

An exhibit on John H. Johnson News History Gallery

Online Ebony Magazine

Dog Brindle

No one talks about the real reason Earth is in the state it's in today...


It makes me laugh when I hear people say you have to conserve environmentally. 

  • We have to become less dependent on oil.  As if we didn't know the earth's supply of oil is dwindling.
  • We have to find new ways of producing energy. 
  • We have to find new ways of making field crops more productive.
  • We have to protect wild life, the forests, the air, the water.
  • We have to recycle and reuse and use less
  • Give this up...
  • Do that. All we do is take, take, take...

No one mentions how people are thwarted by religion to conserve culturally. (In other words not using birth control).  

Religion, I feel, is the relative link to all of earths apocalyptic problems, simply by not embracing birth control. 

Imagine, religions around the world now-a-days not promoting safe sex by simply using a condom or preventing an unwanted birth by taking the pill, but instead preaches abstaining as the only solution. Most religions do, and it doesn't seem to be working.

Population of earth today is 7.121 Billion (2012) already two to three time higher than the sustainable level.

By the year 2050, the population of the earth will be 9.7 Billion. I'm glad I won't be around to find out how it all turns out. There probably won't be enough fuel left, to cremate these ole bones of mine.

Dog Brindle

The "Continuing-of-Life-Experience"... After Death.

I hesitate to believe anyone who claims to have had an "After-Life-Experience" or "Near-Death-Experience," after being declared clinically dead.  

We've all read about people telling of their experiences under anesthesia, as being a huge void, an abyss, a black hole, a nothingness. Some even tell of having an "Out-of-body Experience," levitating up out of their bodies to the ceiling and watching themselves. Questionable! Floating through a tunnel, aiming for a white light, there's always a reference to a white light. God inviting you enter. Questionable! Or the opposite going to hell, seeing suffering, torment , etc. The devil, questionable!

Much like it was before you were born, they say, which is also questionable. All these experiences are questionable.

It has even be measured. Scientists at the death lab, have noticed a slight decrease in weight as soon as death occurs.  Ummm... I wonder how that is accomplished. Do people lay on a scale somewhere, waiting for death to arrive? Do they turn to the death scientist and say, "I think I'm going now, go get the scale!" Where is this lab?

If you believe a person could be aware of an after life? Then it couldn't be an "After-Life-Experience" but the existence of life still continuing after the soul leaves the physical body.  

We shouldn't be calling these events as "Near-Death-Experiences." Maybe, a better title would be 

"The Continuing-of-Life-Experience."

Dog Brindle

What makes those old black and white photos look so depressing?

Today Was the Beginning of The Great Depression

Oct 29, 1929

The Day After The Stock Market Crashed.

We all know what happened.  It's something to fear. 

There's something about looking at old pictures of the Depression, that got my curiosity.  Seeing children in rags standing in a line-up, scrounging for a meal from a soup kitchen. The homeless, in their shanty's.  The poverty and the starvation. The dying. 

Besides all that!

It's the pictures themselves, taken in black and white which give them that sinister, hopelessness look. 

I compared the picture above to a similar picture that could have been taken in any major Canadian city, today!

It must have been my imagination
because colour gives it depth, mystery and realism as this picture suggests.

Doesn't it?

Isn't it, more real?

Dog Brindle


The Tower of David - The Worlds Tallest Slum

Ghetto in the sky!

The Tower of David

Centro Financiero Confinanzas

The worlds tallest slum.

The "Torre de David" Named after David Brillembourg.

Intended to be a symbol of Caracas bright financial future, an emblem of Venezuela's entrepreneurial spirit.

Now, a representation of Venezuela's decline.

David Brillembourg began building the Tower in 1990, he died in 1993 at the age of 56. He had invested his life savings into the construction of the building, but during the banking crisis of 1994 the government seized the building and it has never been completed to this very day.

It is the third highest skyscraper in capital city of Caracas, Venezuela, forty-five stories high, 190 metres. It was never meant to be lived in.

The Slum Scraper as it is called today, is a hotbed of crime, drugs and corruption.  It sits unfinished with no elevators, no electricity, no running water, no windows or railings, from which many children have fallen to their deaths, nor walls in many rooms. The smell from garbage and human waste in the halls is unbearable. 

By October of 2007, the occupation was led by Alexander Daza a former gang member, turned religious leader in prison. During massive housing shortages he led the occupation of the building by squatters (estimated to be 700 families or 2,500 people), who improvised, running electricity and water up to the 22nd floor. People now live up to the 30th floor. There's a supermarket and many small stores and offices for unlicensed professionals to practice their trades. 

The squatters even park their cars in the underground parking lot. There is no need for the heliport on the roof. It's never been used.

The building complex consists of six buildings, the El Atrio, or lobby. Two towers, A and B with the heliport, two big buildings Edificio K and Edificio Z. Plus 12 stories of parking space.

The building has gained fame by being the set for an episode of the US Television Drama Homeland filmed basically in Puerto Rico.  

The Tower before in 1994 and after in 2012

Surprisingly, for a building that has the best view of Caracas, dozens of Direct TV satellite dishes can be seen on balconies blocking that view. 

The squatters feel they are not stealing anything. Families pay approximately $15 a month to live there, which pays for the electricity and water up to the 22nd floor. 

Most of the squatters agree with Mr. Daza that living conditions in the Tower can be resolved through negotiation. But many of the residents of Caracas do not.  It's a symbol of anarchy.

"It is like rewarding the man who steals because he is hungry. No, this act of invasion is not justified. It (the tower) cannot be simply handed over to the squatters."

Residents claim, it is better than the streets and the surrounding slums that can be seen on the hillsides in the distance from the tower.  It's a place they call home.

So... next time you call your landlord to complain about something, think of the Tower of David.  You might not call.

Dog Brindle

Luckily, Your Boss Suffered From Nepotism.


There's a new job posted in the lunch room at work. They need someone to attach do-dads to thing-a-ma-gigs along side this row of huge gas tanks. The pay is twice as much as what you are receiving now and you haven't had a raise in three years. You have all the technical skills needed, infact more. You have been going to night school, just to learn how to attach these do-dads to thing-a-ma-gigs.  You were top in the class with straight A's and now have a diploma to show for it.  

You go over to the board to read further and find out where to deliver your application.  You're surprised it's in your very own department.  You have been on excellent terms with your immediate boss. Why hadn't he mentioned the opening to you?

Then you find out there are two other people interested in the job.  First, someone under you, who would never be considered.  He knows that and would never over-step his boundaries and when he hears you're interested in the position, backs down and doesn't apply.  

The other person applying is a new person, you've never met him but recognize his name. It's the same as the companies. Someone from outside the business but has connections higher up on the inside.  

You find out the connection is your boss's boss and it's his favourite nephew that you are competing with. He's green, right out of high school.

He gets the job.

You quit, get a new job with more pay and live happily ever after.

End of Story.

Oh, I forgot! Two months after you quit, the business blows up, literally explodes. A gas leak, in tank number five.  Three people are killed.  Your old boss, his boss and his boss's nephew. 

Luckily for you, your boss's boss suffered from Nepotism.  The practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.  

Dog Brindle

* The origin of the word Nepotism is from the mid 17th century, from nipote meaning nephew. (with reference to nephews of popes who in many cases were their illegitimate sons)

Getting Rid of "Ole Sailors" in Your Circles

As I mentioned in another blog "Don't Circle for the Sake of Circling"

The same applies when creating new Circles. "Don't make new circles for the sake of creating new Circles." 

You might regret it! 

Having too many Circles is one feature which needs a little improvement from Google's end. I don't know why, I just think the onus is on them. 

I just recently (after about a year) found the button that deletes a Circle once you've made one and no longer need it. It's in the Google+ ribbon at the top of the page.

Take my one Circle called, 

"Ole Sailors"

It has sat dormant for months. Not one sailor! I've never met a Sailor, nor do I want too! I just frantically made a hundred Circles when I first started, Sailor happened to be one. 

Don't ask questions!  ; )

I have other empty Circles that need tending. (especially in the friends category)

It's taken me a year—as I've mentioned, I'm not as computer savy as I look—to figure out that Google makes it simple to view and manage Circles, making it easy to move, remove and delete people from Circles even manage Circles themselves. All from the Google+ ribbon at the top of your Google page.

If you want to move a person around; use the drag and drop method from your Circles tab. It's so easy, even though it took the year for me to discover it. Grab the persons image and drag it to another Circle.

You can remove them by dragging their picture right out of the Circle. Puff they're gone! Be careful though. If that is the only Circle they were in, then they will be gone forever, you'll have to research them out again.  But, you might have put them into another Circle. So check that. He will still be there until you pull him out of that Circle also. I've Circled people twice, three times, accidentally and intentionally under different headings when suddenly the deleted person pops up in another Circle.

You can also edit and delete from this ribbon. Push the edit button, the Circles come up. Do what you have to do, Edit or delete! Again so simple. Why did it take me a year to find this out?

This is the best part.  Sharing.  

Go to your Goggle+ Ribbon and click share. Sharing is good when you have a specialized topic, that you want to share to other like minded people, things like food recipes, hobbies etc. Click the Circle you want to share, fill out why you want to share this circle, then specify who you want to Circle with, private or people in specific Circles. Don't forget to include yourself with every Circle that you share. 

Click Share and you're up live on your stream.

Feel free to add me to your "Friend" Circles.
Happy Circling,

Dog Brindle

For more info:  Google Find People and Create Circles

"Terrorist Alert!" The Suicide-Bomber Halloween Pumpkin

The Suicide-bomber Halloween Pumpkin enters the crowded Pumpkin Field.  

Thousands of ripe pumpkins are gathered to watch the spectacle.
All hoping to win.
All donning orange the Halloween colours.

The judge is ready to proclaim his decision, 

"The Biggest Pumpkin Grown This Year!"

The Suicide-bomber Pumpkin rolls into the barn, 
and quietly intermingles with a group of Pumpkin pie enthusiasts.

He centres himself around ten or so unbaked pie crusts.
Tins of Pumpkin, sit on the shelves, orange with envy.

King Squash pushes and trundles his way up to the pulpit, to make his acceptance speech!

No pumpkins were hurt in this re-enactment.

Dog Brindle

Don't Circle for the Sake of Circling - Have a Plan!

I'm really green to all this social networking stuff! This is for beginners using the Circle features in Google+Circles

This was the first big mistake I felt I did when I first joined Google+. I filled up my quota of people within the first couple of days. Five thousand people. Circles coming out of my ying yang! Until I wasn't allowed anymore! There is a limit of how many people you can follow. 

I circled people that haven't posted a thing in five years. People that only spoke a foreign tongue that even translate couldn't translate. People I wouldn't give a cow's ass if we met in public. Half of them probably dead! The other half under fifteen. Why would I want to add people like that on my computer, to my site, taking up valuable space! I wasn't thinking. That space was meant for you...

The first thing you should do after signing up for Google+ is add people. That is what Google recommends. They tell you to add people you are interested in.  

There was the problem.

I find lots of people interesting.

Anyway... Google sets you up with four Google+ Circles to start with, then as your circles grow you can break them down and add more custom named Circles to suit more specific interests; e.g. Friends could become = Girl Friends and Boy Friends. Get the picture. Here's a description of what the first four circles are about:

  • Friends - In this circle, put people that you consider personal friends. People you know. This circle gets the most access to your account and your Google+ content. If you don't have any friends leave blank.

  • Family - This could be all your relatives. Sisters and Brothers, Aunts and Uncles, Mum and Dad.  Immediate family! You have to be a little careful in this circle. You might not want that brat of a brother to read something intended, say for your grandmother. Remember you can separate circles into more circles.  An example would be; Family on Mothers side and Family on Fathers side. If you don't have any family leave blank. 

  • Acquaintances - This circle could be tricky.  These may be people you may know but are not your friends.  You wouldn't call them up on the phone to chat, say. If they're not Friends or Family then they are Acquaintances; co-workers, classmates or the store clerk down the street.  This circle would be easy to make new circles from, just call them what they are, co-workers, classmates etc... I'm not losing anyone here am I? If you have never met another human being, leave blank.

  • Following - Simple, list here people you want to follow.  Experts, professionals, popular bloggers, me! That's dogbrindlebarks.blogspot.ca 

Thanks for joining Dog Brindle Barks.  You could add me to your following, we could be acquaintances, even friends but no, I'm not your Daddy!

Happy Circling!  

Dog Brindle

recommended reading for Google+ beginners.  

The Smallpox Threat is Declared Over - This Day, October 26, 1979

I've never known anyone who suffered and died from Smallpox a fatal disease.

A young child with Smallpox (fatal)

Then again, I've never known anyone with Malaria or Leprosy or the dreaded Flesh-Eating disease. 

But... almost everyone knows someone who has died of AIDS, or Breast Cancer. Newer fatal diseases.


The only human disease to have been eradicated.

Have you known anyone?

It's one of those contagious, infectious diseases unique to humans, two virus, Variola Major and Minor. Said, to have killed more people than all other infectious diseases combined,
300 million people.

The name in Latin, Varius means spotted. It took on the name of Smallpox only to distinguish it from another great pox, during the 15th century called, 


Smallpox was first contacted in humans around 10,000 BC. Ramses V of Egypt is the earliest case discovered. There were others you might recognize, Sitting Bull, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson. They had the disease but didn't die. Several relatives of Henry VIII, his sister Margaret, Queen of Scotland, and his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves plus his two daughters and his niece Mary, Queen of Scots. His son died, after recovering from the disease. His only male heir.

The Smallpox Virus,
magnified thru the lens of a microscope.

Smallpox was killing an estimated 400,000 European people per year. Mortality rate was 30 - 35 %, so you can guess how many were infected.  In the millions!

As recently as 1967 The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated at least 15 million people contacted the disease that year alone and 2 million died.

Extreme measures were enforced. Martial Law in some places, forcing quarantine, surveillance and containment. 

The disease was eradicated off the face of the planet by this day on October 26, 1979 after an exhaustive global continuing campaign to vaccinate the masses, in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The last case of Smallpox in the United States was in 1949, a year before I was born and the last case in the world 1977. Samples of the disease still exist, in laboratories around the world. 

Now, word out is Smallpox can be used as a bio-terrorist weapon. Gads!!!

I don't remember ever meeting anyone that suffered from Smallpox, but I remember, Polio. That disease was rampant when I was a kid, you don't see that anymore either. 

I have a story about Polio. It will be in another blog.

Dog Brindle

For more info: Smallpox  World Health Organization

My Gay Politically Incorrect Halloween Costume

I remember as a kid...  around ten years of age. It was Halloween. 

All my class-mates were coming to school dressed in costumes.  A 'show and tell'  sort of day.  This was the 50's, a different time. We were allowed to dress-up, pretend, supposedly to have fun. I told my mother that I needed a costume, that I was going to be the only person dressed normal.  

Help!  I started to cry, as any kid would do!

She spotted something on the kitchen table, thought for a moment, ...  

Then ran up stairs, grabbed an old skirt, red and white skirt, and an old blouse, dressed me in it and wrapping a bandana around the top of my head and a checkered tea towel around my neck.  For some reason we had sticks of charcoal which she rubbed all over my face. 

There she said...

"Pretend you're Aunt Jemima!"

You can imagine the look on the teachers faces when they asked me who I was, pretending not to recognize me.

"I'm Aunt Jemima," I said.

A memory that's haunted me right up until I'm writing this, something I'll never forget.

that they gave each other.

Different times.

The only time, I've dressed in drag and the first moment I realized that I was different.

This is the advertisement my mother saw...

Politically Incorrect!

Dog Brindle

The Mighty Fraser River, Where I Get Inspiration!

When I get writers block...

I love going for walks with my dogs, Cleo and Patti, two boxers, mother and daughter. On one sunny beautiful day...

I found an abandoned beach on the Fraser River near my house.  I've been coming here for over ten years now. 
It's located between a scrap metal recycling depot and a dry wall manufacturer that's gone out of business, the main building empty and ready to be torn down. The complete opposite for the metal recycling business, it's a going concern. Metal against metal, clashing and clanging as the huge electro-magnets pick up scrap to pile on huge barges destined for some far off industrial nation, like China or Korea and Japan. Torches crackling and hissing, sparks flying as the workmen dismantle the large slabs of metal, cutting them into manageable size pieces.

I spotted this tug boat, floating out with the tide. It's prow majestically high out of the water as if proud.

I had to film it.

At this point in the Fraser River, the ocean tide backs up as it comes in, shortening the width of the beach daily, before washing away, leaving a sandy beach that drops down into a muddy guck. The dogs go mad in it and I let them. 

Logs float down the river, alone, as if knowing where they're going. Geese are now forming in V formations, signs of winter, yellow and red leaves on the north shore.

The beach is littered with metal scrap, sharp objects.  The dogs have never hurt themselves learning how to manoeuvre around the metal to collect the sticks that have washed to shore. No paws have ever been cut which is a wonder considering all the dangers; wild coyotes that roam the area, the current that would pull a cow under, the busy train track which we have to cross.

Luckily, Cleo and Patti can't swim. For some reason the length of the bones in the front legs prevent them from doing the dog paddle. They just slap at the water. So, they don't go in over their knees.

It's beautiful down there on a sunny day.
When you have nothing to do, and lots of time.

Just me, the dogs and the Tugs.


This is where the seed for my book.

 a ghost story

sprouted it little head.

Available soon @ Amazon.com

Dog Brindle

Does Google+ Spy On People?

Stop before you fill out that profile.  Read Google+ Privacy Policy First!

Maybe , I'm just being paranoid! 

 I was just curious that's all!

Google+'s Policy Privacy page states that it certainly does collect data.  Information on all of us and uses it to provide better services.   

We all know the capacity of these super computers.

Let's first see what Google collects that could affect you!

Stuff you give them...

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Your telephone # 
  • Credit Card Numbers
  • e-mail Address
  • picture of yourself
They get this personal Information by encouraging you to fill out a Google+ Profile, not unlike any other web site such as Facebook, Linkedin, Skype.

Information Google+ get from you for using their services...

  • What web sites you are clicking on 
  • What ads you click on
  • The hardware you use, model # etc.
  • The operating system
  • Log in information
  • Your search queries
  • Details on how you used their services
  • Activity, hardware settings, browser type, language, date and time
  • Referral URL's
  • Any cookies to identify your browser or Google Account
All this information helps Google provide, maintain, protect and to improve our online experience.

Makes you wonder what else all this information could be used for. 

I trust Google and I hope they would never let that happen. At least without telling us first. 

Am I just being paranoid?

Dog Brindle

For a complete summary of Google's Privacy Policy visit:  Google Privacy Policy Page

Do Old People Smell, Funny?

Apparently there has been a test to identify body odor smells from different age groups and yes, there is an old age smell. Before you run to the shower, read the rest...

According to a Johan Lundstrom, Phd, a sensory neuroscientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Research Center, in Philadelphia who did a study...

He first went around collecting the smell from young people, between the ages of 20-30 (years of age), don't ask me how he did that. Then he sniffed middled aged men and women (45 to 55 years of age) old people, then he sniffed a bunch of old gezzers (75-90 years of age). 

The evaluators, as they called themselves, noses the size of bananas, correctly identified which doors belong to the old age people. Surprisingly, they didn't find the smell unpleasant or nasty.  

The worst smellers were middle-aged men in the (45 to 55 year olds)

So they came to the conclusion that Yes, Old people do have a definite characteristic odor, but...
"The negative association with old people's body odor seems to come from our negative association with old age not the smell itself. 

The evaluators possibly all male, (not verified) said the middle-aged women (45-55 year old) smelled the best. Then old men. Who would have guessed? Then young women, then old women, then young men and last middle aged men. It's odd in this age group, women smell the nicest, and men the worst.

The doc says, "Not to worry, nothing a little shower can't fix!"

Dog Brindle