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After Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in April 1968, African American communities exploded in rage, and the civil rights movement began to fracture. Some black activists began to question the incremental strategy of nonviolent resistance and political agitation, favoring rhetoric and programs that promoted African American separatism as well as the use of violence to obtain it.
Huey P. Newton, then a student in Oakland, and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party in 1966. Initially the Panthers were a community and grassroots organization seeking to break the cycle of poverty, drug abuse, and crime in the Bay Area; they became famous for organizing free breakfasts for schoolchildren. Over time, the Panthers espoused more violence and confrontation in their politics and personal behavior. Newton was charged with several murders, although he was never convicted; he was also tried for embezzlement. He was killed in a West Oakland crack house on August 22, 1989.
Born in Louisiana, Huey Newton was named after the populist firebrand governor of the state, Huey Long, and he did his best during a tempestuous—and sometimes violent—political career to live up to his namesake’s reputation. The Newton family moved to the San Francisco Bay area in 1945, and Oakland would always be Huey Newton’s home and the center for his political activities. As a college student, Newton co-founded the Black Panther Party with Bobby Seale in 1966; Newton was the party’s minister of defense. The Panthers represented the split in the civil rights movement that was emerging as a younger, more militant generation became politically conscious and active. The Panthers preached community organization and self-defense, and expressed contempt for older civil rights groups like the NAACP. Violence stalked Newton from his days as a street criminal to his ultimate killing by a rival political group.
We are taught in school that Isaac Newton was our greatest scientist. And he was. He not only came up with the laws of motion that bear his name, he split white light into the colors of the spectrum, invented calculus and built a telescope whose design is still in use today. Most important, he defined and quantified gravity.
What they didn't tell us is that for 30 of the most productive years of his life, Newton worked passionately in the field of alchemy, most simply defined as the search for ways to turn one material into another and, more ambitiously, as the search for the forces that run the world. Newton put together one of the finest libraries of alchemical literature ever assembled, and he wrote more than a million words on alchemy in his own laboratory notebooks. Most of all, he spent untold hours hunched over bubbling retorts of mercury, lead, antimony and sulfur (a practice that may have damaged his health). The results were noted in a kind of code. One entry in Newton's notebooks, for example, reports, "I made Jupiter fly on the wings of the eagle!" which apparently had something to do with vaporizing tin. Some of the ideas of alchemy may have spilled over into the work for which Newton is famous. The legendary philosophers' stone, for instance, was characterized by its mysterious power of attraction, a force not completely dissimilar to the gravitational forces that bind one celestial body to another. Alchemical theories of how one material could be transmuted into another involved working with what we today would call subatomic particles. "Any body can be transformed into another, of whatever kind," he wrote.
Such ideas were no more popular in his day than alchemy is today. After his death, Newton's work in alchemy was ignored or worse. Today, however, transmutation of one element into another is a fact, whether occurring naturally in radioactive substances or in the laboratory. Historians of science are poring over Newton's notebooks, finding links between his alchemical dreams and the foundations of modern science.
Are good in all bilious affectations, jaundice, dyspepsia, fever and ague, hypochondria, hysterics, flatulence, costitiveness, diarrhea, indigestion, asthma, worms, catarrh, sick headache, and the liver complaint
Bilious afflictions, jaundice, dyspepsia, fever and ague, hypochondria, hysterics, flatulence, costiveness, diarrhea, indigestion, asthma, worms, catarrh, sick headache, liver complaints