RIP Nelson Mandela

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In my personal pantheon of heroes, Nelson Mandela ranks very high.

As much as his inevitable passing is a sad day, I’m comforted by the fact that unlike King, Gandhi, and Lincoln, Mandela was able to live out his full lifespan and die peacefully of old age. Perhaps this was Fate’s payback for the 27 years of his life he spent locked away in prison.

What he did for South Africa needs no retelling here. Like so many others around the world, I have found his commitment to freedom and equality, and especially his steadfast leadership of South Africa into its post-apartheid era, to be both moving and inspiring.

Mandela spoke these words in 1964 when on trial for his life:

“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

And despite 27 years of imprisonment, he did achieve it.

Godspeed, Mandela. Thank you for all that you did. We will not see your like again soon.

The Phoenix Project

Flying through Paragon City

I spent several happy years heavily addicted to the late great MMO City of Heroes. It was the first MMO I ever played, and the one I loved the most.

So when I recently heard from a friend that there was a serious attempt to bring a new CoH-inspired MMO to life, I was very interested. And when I heard that their Kickstarter to fund development of City of Titans had fully funded in just the first few days, I was thrilled.

It takes a lot of work to create an MMO and there are no guarantees that this new project will ever see the light of day. I’m impressed by the effort Missing Worlds Media has put into the project, though, and am cautiously optimistic that some day I’ll be able to roll up a new hero and maybe even restart the old supergroup.

A girl can dream, right?

Saturday Project: Homemade Basil Pesto

Basil for pesto
Genovese basil.
Photo credit: Burpee

Pesto a la Lux

1 large pinch of sea salt
4 tablespoons pine nuts
4 cloves roasted garlic
2 cups basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
1/2 cup olive oil

Wrap the garlic in a little tin foil and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool.

Put the salt and the pine nuts into a food processor. Blend. Add the basil, blend more. You’ll want to stop and scrape down the side of the processor to get everything blended smoothly. Add the garlic, ditto. Add the cheese, ditto. Finally, keep blending and pour in the oil in a gentle stream.

Store in the fridge until used.

NOTE: It’s even better when the basil comes fresh out of your own garden.