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Oakland Symphony performs radical social justice song of yore

5 juillet[ —]

Oakland Symphony was forced to cancel its season but they've continued to rehearse through Zoom. In lieu of its regular in-person concert, they performed their version of "This Land is Your Land" and posted it on YouTube. Its conductor, Michael Morgan, says of the song choice, "It's often misinterpreted as just another patriotic ditty. The reputation of its composer, Woody Guthrie, is smoothed over and sanitized. But the fact is, it was written in 1940 when many patriotic songs seemed to either exclude or present a very narrow vision of what it was to be American. 'This Land is Your Land' comes out of the bedrock of the social justice movement. It was an anthem of inclusion when inclusion was not mainstream. This song is radical. Woody Guthrie was a socialist, if not a communist, and his song is for everybody..."

Yes, he's talking about the same Woody Guthrie who had a sticker on his guitar that read, "THIS MACHINE KILLS FASCISTS":

screengrab via Oakland Symphony/YouTube; image via United States Library of Congress/Wikipedia

Celebrate the 4th with an Otto professional steak grill for perfectly cooked meat in 10 minutes

4 juillet[ —]

With all due respect to our vegetarian friends, there might be nothing more intrinsically linked to the 4th of July holiday than a big ole cookout. Sure, fireworks and celebrating the birth of a constitutional republic are great too, but showing off your cooking prowess with a brilliantly seared, mouth-watering slab of grade-A American beef is the true measure of a peak summer holiday.

Of course, cooking perfection doesn’t happen without the right tools — and right now, a July 4th sale is shaving hundreds off the price of one of the hottest steak grills on the market today, the Otto Lite 1,500°F Professional Steak Grill.

Otto’s Steak Grill won the prestigious German Design Award in 2018 for its outstanding product design by doing one thing exceptionally well: delivering prime cooking conditions for steak quickly and easily.

The real secret to the stainless steel Otto Lite isn’t really a secret at all: it’s this unit’s extreme heat. Unlike most barbeques that aren’t capable of hitting the extreme temperatures needed, the Otto Lite fires up to an insanely hot 1,500°F in just three minutes.

With the Otto Lite’s blistering, radiant heat distribution technology, you can sear a steak quickly to give it a delicious, flavor-sealing crust while your meat remains tender on the inside. That means depending on the size of your cut, you can go from sparking the grill to finished, plated meals in less than 10 minutes.

The Otto Lite also brings some versatility with its game, featuring six slide-in slots allowing safe height adjustment of the grate; as well as two simultaneously controlled radiant infra-red burners so you can dial in the ideal temperature for your meat. Meanwhile, the gas-powered over-fire ceramic burners are fuel-efficient and cook from above, preventing flare-ups and also allow independent control so you can cook steak, meat, fish, or even pizza flawlessly. 

Retailing for $899, the Otto Lite Professional Steak Grill is currently $200 off, bringing the price down to only $699. But you can also use the code JULYFOURTH20 during checkout to knock an additional 20 percent off your total, putting an elite-level steak grill in your backyard for just $559.20.

How to make simple browser window mockups

4 juillet[ —] fits any image you upload into a web browser-style frame and gives you a new image of the composite. It's perfect for turning photoshopped web design ideas into mockups so people know what they might look like in real life. Or simply as a cute frame for your favorite images, for sharing on the internet.

LEGO Art announces new posters: Warhol, Beatles, Iron Man, and Star Wars sets

4 juillet[ —]

LEGO is jumping on the mosaic art craze with the LEGO Art poster series, out this fall. Sets will include Andy Warhol portraits of Marilyn Monroe, The Beatles, Iron Man, and a Star Wars series of Sith Lords.

The sets also come with collector's style booklets, and some include music options for listening while assembling.

Via Brothers Brick:

LEGO hopes that LEGO Art will be “a new canvas for creative expression” that allows adults to relax and give them a chance to create and display art based on their passions. The structure of each portrait is comprised of 9 new 16 x 16 stud mosaic plates which can be connected to each other with Technic pins to form the larger portrait. Each set comes with two new Technic wall-hanging elements as well as a new black separator specially crafted to assist in quickly reassembling mosaics into alternate versions.

The pieces will come pre-sorted by color, and the instructions will feature a “color by numbers” grid for assembling each mosaic plate. Each set comes with a unique printed 2×4 signature tile and additional black pieces to build a frame around the final portrait.

Image: YouTube / Lego Quick Review

Unmasked shopper asserts constitutional right to sit on the floor in Costco

4 juillet[ —]

In a video posted to Tiktok, a shopper asserts her constitutional right not to wear a mask in Costco, then her constitutional right to plant her rear on the floor.

Daveed Diggs: "What to my people is the Fourth of July?" episode download
4 juillet[ —]

In this sobering video made for the Movement For Black Lives, Hamilton actor Daveed Diggs asks that we look at what Independence Day really means for Black people right now. It was inspired by Frederick Douglass’ 1852 speech "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" and was written by Safia Elhillo, Danez Smith, Lauren Whitehead, W. Kamau Bell, Angel Nafis, Idris Goodwin, Pharoahe Monch, Camonghne Felix, and Nate Marshall.

What, to my people, is the Fourth of July? My people, who are failed every day by every country, sleepless in the long night, terrorized by fireworks, we who have cried salt baths for our kin.

Look at all we have borne for you: arms, armistice, the sweetest fruits, flesh of children hidden away from the ugly summer of their own blood — we are on the front lines. Help me, tell me, what do we tell the children of your Fourth of July? What is death to a daughter? What is river to a sea? Where is the country where my people are safe?

Ancestors set the table send dream mares in high supply. Too heavy, too spent, too hot to cook, no promise beyond the sparkly simple bombs. Keep your holiday, your hunger, the blood in your teeth. Police parade down streets, proud descendants of the slave patrol. Theater of denial, a propaganda pageant, and we are on the front lines all summer. My uncle can’t sleep and he was born free. And he ain’t never been.

Now watch the descendants of Frederick Douglass read his speech:


Happy Independence Day

4 juillet[ —]

Most of you being American, I hope you celebrate July 4 with all the radical joy you can muster.

Here are 39 of the best July 4th deals to help keep some money in your wallet

4 juillet[ —]

We’re at the midway point of 2020.’s the year going for you so far? 

Yeah...we can guess. But while there’s a lot about 2020 we can’t directly control, maybe a little retail therapy can help make you feel better.

Sure, the 39 items we gathered together can absolutely bring a smile to your face. But more importantly these days, they’re all sporting some significant discounts of up to $300 off. 

On top of the already lower prices, you can also feel the July 4th love with some extra savings: another 15 percent off with the code JULYFOURTH15 on any purchases of $50 or more; and 20 percent off on purchases of $75 or more by using the code JULYFOURTH20

The Yard

Solar Powered Firefly LED Light String - $17.95; originally $89.95

When you’re sitting on the patio and the sun goes down, the fireflies come out in the form of this mini-LED light string. It’s solar-powered, then sparks up at night to cast a sweet reflective glow over your yard during those twilight and evening hours, all without ever having to turn them on.

MOGICS Coconut Portable Waterproof Light (Multicolor) - $36.99; originally $49

You could also try the portable light source that can go virtually anywhere. This foldable, sturdy, waterproof light self-inflates in seconds, has four different brightness modes and offers a truly unique backyard centerpiece during those summer nights.

Smokeless Non-Stick Indoor/Outdoor Grill - $24.99; originally $49.95

If you want to grill outdoors — or even when you bring it inside — this smokeless, non-stick grill is perfect for intimate gathering when you don’t want to fire up the big grill. Safe to use over both electric and gas heat, this grill heats evenly without the need for oil or butter to promote healthier, better-tasting meals while still sealing in natural juices.

Quickfire Fire Starters (50-Pc. Canister) - $27.99; originally $34.99

For the outdoor fire pit, Quickfire All-Purpose Fire Starters can get the flames rising fast. Just put a Quickfire under your wood and light the pouch, igniting the paraffin wax inside to produce robust flames for up to 10 minutes. It gives your logs just what they need for either a sustained evening blaze or even to start the BBQ.

The Kitchen

TailGate at Home Mini Dip Warming Crock - $17.99; originally $29.99

The perfect dipping sauce or queso dip is just minutes away with this stainless steel, 21-ounce mini warming pot. While it’s a seamless party addition, it can also be used to warm maple syrup for morning breakfasts or even scooped melted chocolate on to dipping fruits, cookies or drizzle it over sundaes.

Snack Bag Open and Seal Mini Machine - $24.95; originally $39.95

Those potato chips are never going to taste as fresh as when the bag is just reseal the bag! With the 2-in-1 OPen and Seal Snack Bag, the built-in cutter cleans up the bag that holds your snacks, sandwiches and other munchies, with the other side heat seals your food until you’re ready to go back for seconds.

Alkemista Bar Bundle: Infusion Vessel and Packets - $79.99; originally $100

This complete collection helps turn any ordinary alcohol into a completely different tasting experience with an infusion of fruits, spices, herbs and other exotic additives. In addition to the stainless steel filter and vessel, this kit caters especially to the whiskey lovers, offering three distinct infusion blends that completely reshape the taste of your beverage. 

FinaMill Bundle: Spice Grinder, Tray, FinaPods, and Batteries - $43.99; originally $54.99

Spices are often too specific and too expensive to use often, so just make your own with this collection from FinaMill. With this powerful electric grinder and three FinaPods, you can fill ‘em up with your own dried spices and herbs and freshly grind them directly into your recipe. 

Damasukasu Japanese 3-Piece Master Chef Hanshu Knife Set - $69.99; originally $299.99

This 3-piece blade set is the kitchen prep tool you really need. The carbon-rich steel blade is crafted for enhanced hardness and flexibility, providing laser precision cuts for the 7-inch Nakiri vegetable knife, 8.5-inch slicing knife and 5-inch utility knife to slice meats, vegetables, and everything else you need in any well-stocked kitchen.

Hestan Cue Smart Pan and Sauce Pot Bundle - $449.99; originally $599.90

Hestan Cue Smart Cooking System - $599.99; originally $899.95

The Heston Cue is meal-making simplified. Using the Cue, the world’s smartest cooktop, and the included cookware, it all connects through the Cue’s own app, allowing the induction cooking system to cook to perfection every time, guaranteed. Just tell Cue what you want to make — and Cue handles the rest.

You can either get the bundle with the Cue, an 11-inch smart plan and the 3.5-quart saucepan ($449.99); or get the one that also includes the 5.5-quart smart pot to round out your full cooking ensemble.


10-Foot Nylon Braided USB-C Cable (3-Pack) - $21.99; originally $59.97

For all those charging cables that break in days or are too short to do a good job, this 10-foot solution to your power needs is here. The premium quality braided nylon shields the cable to withstand heavy usage, pulling and even pet chewing, while also providing a high-performance, fast charge for your Android phone. It also comes in seven different colors to match your phone, your decor or basically...anything.

Screen Mom Screen Cleaning Super Bundle - $23.99; originally $29.99

A gross, gunged-up phone or tablet is no longer just unsightly. Now, it’s a health risk. With the Screen Mom system, you get a 16-ounce bottle of the screen cleaning solution good for over 15,000 sprays along with 5 large microfiber towels to get into all those nooks and crannies. Remove all the fingerprints, smudges, dust, streaks, and more, all without any odor from this chemical-free formulation.

U-STREAM Video Conference Kit with 10" Ring Light & 62" Tripod - $39.99; originally $99.99

This home studio setup including an adjustable phone tripod that extends up to five feet and the 10-inch light ring with 3 distinct lighting options will help save you from looking washed out, dingy or otherwise less than stellar for your next video call, selfie or YouTube video. The light ring even comes with its own remote control so your shoots can always look ultra-professional.

Apple Magic Mouse 2 Bluetooth Rechargeable (Certified Refurbished) - $54.99; originally $79.99

Apple Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (Certified Refurbished) - $99.99; originally $129.99

If it’s time to upgrade your Mac keyboard and mouse, you may as well go wireless with Apple’s own Magic tandem. The mouse has an optimized foot design that allows the mouse to track easier and moves with less resistance than previous versions and also lasts about a month or more between charges.

Meanwhile, the keyboard has an extended layout with numeric keypad, document navigation controls, full-size arrow keys and a low profile optimized for how your fingers dance over the keys. It’s packing a rechargeable battery of its own and also gets about a month between charges.


Resound XL Portable Bluetooth 5.0 Speaker - $23.99; originally $69.99

This lightweight boomer also has a booming battery as well, capable of serving up the music for up to 30 hours. Good thing it sounds just as good as it lasts, featuring great bass enhanced by Aduro's proprietary passive downward-facing bass radiator for a broader soundscape that really thumps for such a portable speaker.

Sony Over-Ear Wireless Stereo Headphone System (Open Box) - $34.95; originally $110

Few names in tech command more respect than Sony, so with these noise-reducing, wireless headphones with a range of up to 150 feet to experience all your dynamic, detailed sound, savvy buyers already know the type of quality to expect. The voice mode helps dialogue ring out during viewing and with 13 hours of battery life, it’s strong enough to handle nearly any binging marathon. And get two of 'em!

TREBLAB Z2 Bluetooth 5.0 Noise-Cancelling Headphones - $78.99; originally $259

The Z2’s got their name for offering twice the sound quality, twice the battery life and twice the convenience of its rivals, so these headphones packed with Bluetooth 5.0, T-Quiet active noise cancellation and advanced Sound2.0 technology bring a lot to the table. 

EVEN H4 Wireless Headphones with EarPrint Technology - $99.99

The H4’s don’t just sound great, they actually adapt to your specific hearing range. With their EarPrint technology, you map the way you hear, then the H4’s deliver what suits you best. There’s even EVEN’s voice assistant Sarah to go along with your unique hearing profile, so the 20 hours of battery life can be put to good use in a variety of ways.

TUNAI Square Bluetooth Amp for Headphones - $45.99; originally $54.99

If your headphones aren’t Bluetooth compatible, no problem — the TUNAI Square is a portable receiver that easily pairs with your phone to stream wireless CD-quality audio or hands-free call to your non-Bluetooth headphones. 

Altec Lansing ALT-500 Turntable - $74.95; originally $150

All the charm and functionality of an old-school turntable -- with all of the ease and convenience of new-school technology. This turntable lets you play music three different ways: through your phone or other device, through a Bluetooth speaker or with a direct RCA plugin. And of course, the turntable and built-in stereo speakers can help you spin platters just like your grandparents used to.

LuguLake Vintage Phonograph Record Player - $249.99; originally $275.99

Of course, if you’re going to go old school, you might as well go super old phonograph era old-school. Yet even with this copper-plated horn is equipped with a 10-watt tweeter and this unit can also stream all your favorite Bluetooth, USB, FM radio and other music player tunes.


H2 Headlamp LED Wide 180° Angle Headlight - $36.99; originally $50

With its revolutionary 180° broad spectrum of illumination design, this LED 360-lumen headlamp cuts through the night like a searchlight. Slip it on your forehead and this super lightweight 4-ounce marvel can help you enjoy camping, hiking, running or other activities, even once the sun goes down.

Aurora A7 GITD Keychain Flashlight - $45.95; originally $56.95

If you don’t want to wear a light on your head, then this 550-lumen LED powerhouse might grab your attention. Smaller than a AAA battery, the A7 is actually made of a fluorescent powder that makes the whole light glow in the dark. So even when it’s not on, it’s definitely on.

Active Strap Modern Leather Strap for Apple Watch - $49.99; originally $69.95

No more cheap plastic watch straps for your Apple Watch. This heavy waterproof Heinen leather from Germany assures you can wear your watch even during the heaviest of everyday use like during your workout. Sweat, dirt, sand, saltwater, you name it — the Active Strap handles it, then comes out squeaky clean with a simple wipedown.

Motorola Smart Safe with Secure Wall Mounting - $109.99; originally $129

Bolt this smart safe to your wall and rest easy knowing if anything happens, you’ll get a security alert sent right to your smartphone. With a water-resistant keypad, humidity and odor control system, remote open capability, an intelligent reminder system, and other security features, your most precious items will also be under extreme lockdown.

Sonic Soak Ultrasonic Cleaner - $119.99; originally $250

Just drop your dirty item and the stainless steel Sonic Soak into a sink, a bowl or even a glass of water and ultrasonic technology does the rest. With 50W of power and 50,000 ultrasonic vibrations per second, This ultra-gentle tool cleans everything from delicates like silk, cashmere, and lingerie to personal care products and accessories to even fruits and veggies. 

The BeachBox Portable Shower & Storage - $169.99; originally $199.99

It’s the world’s first portable shower, stashed in a ridiculously space-efficient storage box that’s barely over two feet long. Perfect for swimmers or surfers, the BeachBox flips open to reveal almost two gallons of insulated hot water, a durable shower wand and enough pressure to shower, change clothes, then repack the shower in a matter of minutes.


Gravitis Wireless Car Charger - $19.99; originally $28.99

Slip your phone into the Gravitis grip and watch as your Qi wirelessly charged device gets powered right back up to full strength. This charger also works as the perfect mounting spot to hold your phone while you’re following directions or streaming music. 

Crave PowerPack 2 50,000mAh Battery Charger - $189.99; originally $249.99

With two PD ports, two QC 3.0 ports and 50,000mAh of power, the Crave PowerPack is how you charge up four devices at once as fast as possible. The PowerPack sports universal compatibility with all your USB-C powered laptops, smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices, so this is a truly one-size-fits-all solution.


"How Far is a Light Year" Framed Print - $55.95; originally $69

This 20” x 24” black-core white matted and framed print gorgeously painted by Spanish artist Alexander Grahovsky over playfulness and a touch of class to any room. Don’t underestimate the power of how much adding just one piece of art can thoroughly reshape an entire room.

Health and Wellness

15" Adjustable Anti-Flea/Mosquito/Tick Collar - $9.95; originally $19.99

Who says good health shouldn’t extend to your best friend too? This collar releases all-natural, non-hazardous, anti-allergic active ingredients that coat your dog’s entire body in just 24 hours, preventing and removing ticks, lice, larvae, mosquitoes and any other harmful, disease-carrying parasites. For up to eight months, your pet will be fully protected at all times.

Paincakes - The Cold Pack That Sticks: 3-Pc. Set - $24.99; originally $39.99

Paincakes are ice packs that actually stick to your skin — no wraps, straps or tape required. Just freeze ‘em, peel off the protective covering and stick them to muscle areas that need targeted pain, soreness or inflammation relief. Latex-free, silicone-free and hypoallergenic, the adhesive gel keeps the pack in place, even during extended activity -- and it’s reusable up to 100 times.

SilverplusTech Washable Cloth Face Mask: 3-Pack - $27.99; originally $39.95

The two-layer, durable cloth face mask employs Silverplus technology, containing a biocide for hygiene and freshness based on silver chloride that prevents the growth of everything from bacteria and harmful pathogens to unpleasant odors and even staining and discoloration. Stay safe out there!

Fresh Ozone Refrigerator Sterilizer - $34.95; originally $49.99

Lord knows what’s growing in your refrigerator. But whatever it is, this ozone generator oxidizes oxygen atoms to effectively kill 99 percent of harmful bacteria in just 20 minutes. Set it inside your frig’s produce drawer to disinfect fruits and veggies while removing foul odors and keeping them fresh. And the unit works virtually anywhere from a closet to a bedroom to the inside of your car.

Tekjoy Shiatsu Kneading Massage Pillow with Extended Velcro Strap - $44.99; originally $69.99

Combining heat with the full benefit of a Shiatsu massage, this pillow offers up eight kneading heads and variable speeds to deliver 12 different massage modes for breaking up muscle tightness while promoting long-term stress relief. You can even strap it on and enjoy your massage hands-free.

Genius Mini 5.0 Pipe - $64.99; originally $75

The Genius Mini takes pipe technology to the next level, utilizing an innovative design that instantly cools smoke without ever losing its taste for an utterly smooth draw. Sleek yet tiny enough to slip into your pocket, the Genius also links to an online profile page so you can track and share all your smoking tips.

The Chopper Full-Body Workout - $119.99; originally $139

If you ever wondered why lumberjacks are so cut, workouts like those done with The Chopper are likely why. Shaped like an axe yet capable of providing different weight loads, the accompanying app can work you and the axe through a host of chopping motion workouts that can be built into a full-body cardio and strength training regimen.

Prices are subject to change.

Do you have your stay-at-home essentials? Here are some you may have missed.

Why Native Americans are protesting Trump's celebration at Mount Rushmore

4 juillet[ —]

In another controversial decision, President Trump is celebrating the fourth of July with a fiery display atop South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore. The decision may seem troublesome to anyone worried about things such as the uncontained coronavirus or shooting explosives off the top of a forest. But it is most certainly troublesome for the native Lakota people, who’s sacred Black Hills were desecrated for the purpose of the monument.

On a cross country road trip, I recently drove through South Dakota and spent a day exploring the Black Hills. The drive from Mount Rushmore to the Lakota’s Crazy Horse memorial was a discouraging perpetuation of the white supremacy this country was built off of. During the 17-mile ride, I saw Trump 2020 lawn signs spread throughout the hills. At the base of the road that leads to the Crazy Horse memorial is a wild west themed tourist stop for food and souvenirs. On a street corner nearby, a man dedicated his makeshift booth to selling Trump 2020 t-shirts in every color.

From a non-native perspective, it struck me as an unsettling display of ignorance towards true American history. I can only imagine how upsetting it might be for an Oglala Lakota Native living in a place that does not seem to acknowledge you or your history.

The Oglala speakers I heard from at the memorial said nothing about the president and his impact. However, they did speak about the bloody history of the Black Hills and how it affects them to this day.
In the video above, Simon Moya-Smith, a citizen of the Oglala Lakota nation, explains the conflict and why Native Americans are protesting Trump’s celebration today. Seventy years have passed and the Crazy Horse Memorial is still struggling to be completed. If you are able to and would like to make donations towards it’s completion, click here. -- Maddie Lee

These Smart Soccer and Basketballs are making sports training possible in the stay at home era

4 juillet[ —]

When revved-up kids used to dribble a basketball through the kitchen or practice their footwork with a soccer ball in front of the television, exasperated parents would often just send ‘em outside to play. But these days, sending kids out might not be the best course of action.

Despite all the changes, many budding young athletes today are still just as anxious to get out there and hit the court or the pitch as all those previous generations. Unfortunately, with most summer activities canceled, it’s going to be a lot tougher for them to practice and get better without the competition of their peers.

Enter technology. Now, the advent of cutting edge items like the DribbleUp Smart Basketballs and Soccer Balls are offering parents and athletes of all ages an innovative way to improve skills and sharpen talents, all right from home.

DribbleUp was started by brothers Eric and Marc Forkosh around their parents’ Brooklyn dinner table four years ago. Now, they’ve developed an indoor-outdoor Smart Ball and interactive training system that’s basically a Peloton-style training regimen for youth sports.

When you buy either the Smart Basketball or hand-stitched Smart Soccer Ball, the computer vision tracking technology catches the ball movements related to targets on the DU Android or iOS app. It measures metrics like crossover speed, dribble hesitation, endurance levels, and live dribbling tracking with the interactive dribble speed meter. Everyone from kids to adult athletes can mine a wealth of training knowledge about their own skills, all from the DU ball readings.

But where DU really stands out is with their roster of daily live (optional) and on-demand classes available through the app. Trained by pro trainers, sessions are broadcast live from the DribbleUp studios every day, each constructed for players at every skill level.

With daily challenges and drills, the sessions are geared to helping players learn new moves and maybe even land themselves on a class leaderboard and win prizes. Live classes do cost $9.99 a month (first month free), but it’s a great option for kids looking to stay engaged and training over the summer while all the usual active youth leagues remain closed.

Both the DU Smart Basketball and DU Smart Soccer Ball are available in junior and adult sizes through the DribbleUp website. The company is also holding its biggest sale of 2020 between June 27 and July 6 in honor of the 4th of July. Use code JULY4 at checkout for 20% off.

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