On My Mind

I should be working on my midterm paper for my human development class right now. But I keep getting distracted and checking my personal Facebook account. My heart is so sad right now…

I don’t even know what to say or where to focus my grief. A couple of weeks ago, I posted this video on Youtube:

Already overwhelmed by all of the important news stories going on throughout the world, I didn’t know what I should say or how to process it. I needed to tune out and take a break. In just the couple of weeks since that video, even more chaos has erupted. There have been terror attacks by ISIS in Istanbul and in Baghdad, during Ramadan of all times. I considered whether I should change my profile picture to an image of the Turkish flag but then decided not to because I didn’t see how that would help any more than all of the well meaning, but ineffective, thoughts and prayers. And this coming in the wake of the Orlando shooting that I was still processing.

Now there have been more lives needlessly lost on American soil as two more black men have been murdered by police. Unfortunately, this is not a new story. This has happened time and time again, more times than we have news coverage for. There is a long standing pain being felt in African American communities that I have never experienced, but have heard about from the voices of members of those communities. Then just the other night, a group of police officers in Dallas lost their lives by sniper fire that, from accounts I’ve read thus far, came from a couple of black men. And I feel pain for the loss of these lives as well. As much as it seems the media wants to have us believe that this is an either/ or situation, it is not. I recognize and commend the men and women in law enforcement that put their lives on the line to serve and protect – but we also need standards and accountability.

There is so much pain and hate and hurt and sorrow…


Trojan T-Shirts

I was playing around on facebook today, when I came across a Gizmodo article entitled Free T-Shirts Given to Neo-Nazis Revealed a Secret Message After Being Washed. You can read the entire article here.


Now, I am head over heals in love with this entire concept. From a social standpoint, I adore the message of peace and tolerance that the shirt conveys. As a crypto-buff, I admire the use of steganography (the art/ science of hiding messages). But most important, for the purposes of this blog, I am intrigued by the technical process. In other words, I see this and have to ask, “How did they DO that?”

While I don’t know too much about more complicated dying processes (yet), I know there are 2 basic elements to dying or printing: dyes and resists. Dyes are the what actually penetrate the fabric and create colors. Resists stop the dyes from penetrating into the fiber either in part or in full, this is how all manner of batiks and marbleized effects are done. According to the article, the top image washes out in the first wash. The top image could possibly have been created using some kind of resist, which would not stick to the fabric when washed. However, looking closer at the image of the shirt after washing, you can see that the black of the t-shirt isn’t as dark, in fact it seems that the top layer has broken up into fine particles and dispersed throughout. This might be a resist used in combination with some other paint or dye.  In the commentary to another article on the same shirts, a commentator called Phisrow suggested that “…a starch-binder adhesive mixed with titanium dioxide or a similar pigment powder…” would most likely account for the effect.

Sadly, I do not have an answer as yet as to how they pulled it off, even after spending the last 2 hours searching for an answer on teh internetz. However, this just makes me all the more in awe.