Tuesday Topics: What’s in Your Cellphone? When They See Us, Tumblr, & Delaney on Violin

Coltan: Conflict Mineral



Where would we be these days without our laptops and cellphones?

Take a walk through any public space and notice how many times you see two people standing right next to each other, but aren’t saying a word to each other because they are both glaring at their phones.

People have shown that they can still hold conversations, it just happens to take place over the internet these days instead.

Recent studies indicate that with the rise of technology, and its total integration into nearly every aspect of our lives, we will eventually have major issues with making genuine connections with other members of our society.

Yet, we are already facing an immediate threat; one that most folks are completely unaware of!

This menace actually comes in the form of the substance that actually fuels our electronic addiction. This obscuration is an unassuming dull metallic mineral found heavily in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it’s leaving violence and suffering in its wake – I’m talking about coltan.

One of Africa’s most rare-minerals-rich countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo, has nevertheless endured continual poverty and internal strife, stemming from Belgian colonization and slavery, where militant groups control the extraction of “conflict resources.” The tech industry turns these raw materials into components of mobile phones and computers. Yet the cost is deadly, including forced labor, often involving children, and taking a massive environmental toll on one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.


Some of the modern uses for coltan:


  • Laptops
  • Cellphones
  • Camera lenses
  • Inkjet printers
  • Video cameras


Click here for more of what you should know.


Click here even more of what you should know.





Ava DuVernay on “When They See Us,” About the Boys Who Became the Central Park Five


In April 1989, I was a high school senior getting ready for graduation and half-way preparing for my unfocused future.  I recall that time being a complicated one where racial attitudes weren’t all that different from the one’s encountered by previous generations.  It was reflected in the music I listened to, the movies I watched, and the schools I attended.

The case of the Central Park 5, is just another example of the racial issues I’ve been exposed to for the whole of my 47 years as a member of a marginalized community.



In her Netflix film, “When They See Us,” Ava DuVernay shines a light on how false accusations and racial implications could land 5 teens behind bars!

Listen to Ava DuVernay speak about it on The New Yorker Radio Hour.


For more on this case:




I’m On Tumblr


If you are interested in a more behind-the-scenes look into the “stuff” we are up to, then click on over to Through My I, on Tumblr.  I will post (almost) daily some of my experimental, goofy, wack, corny, fun stuff that I’m not interested in everyone seeing.  I’m using this as a practice tool and an outlet to improve myself as I continue to stumble and bumble toward self-discovery.

Stop by sometime if you’re interested!



Practice Makes Progress: Delaney Plays the Violin


Delaney Plays the Violin – and she just keeps getting better and better. Practice truly makes progress. Keep up the good work Delaney!




This Week’s Pics

In Washington DC

Look at those slices!

In The Beatles Suite – The Beatles stayed in this room in 1964 when they first came over from Britain.

Go over to Tumblr and check out the super short clip.



Back in C’ville


Tuesday Topics //

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Comments (2)

Oh man, this Coltan issue just gave me a brand new discussion topic with London on our societies dependence on technology while disregarding the economic impact it *should* have on the countries that supply the natural resources that fuel ability for such a dependency. Also thank you for bringing this to our attention, the things you just don’t know. 💜

Part of living a conscious life is being aware of how the choices we make, directly impacts the lives of others. This coltan issue is a good case in point. A global increase in consciousness is long overdue.

Thank you so much for your comment!

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