• Don Lichterman

Rayshard Brooks, Virtual Helicopter 360 Everest Trek, Angela Davis, Robin D.G. Kelley, at Sunset TV!

Virtual 360 Everest Trek Part 01 - Helicopter Ride to Lukla, Nepal

Join our virtual trek to the south side of Mount Everest to the top of Kala Patthar, in immersive 360 VR video, in this limited series from Jon Miller and The Rest of Everest! Part 01 - Kathmandu to Lukla

In the Fall of 2019, I returned to Everest with my dear friend and guide, Dawa Sherpa. We had last trekked to Everest Base Camp in 2014 and a lot has changed in the region since the 2015 Nepal Earthquakes. Our goal was to visit with friends and family at new and rebuilt lodges in the Solukhumbu as well as to explore helicopter transportation options to leverage on a future project that is in the works.

Joining us from the USA were Dawa’s friends Caroline and Christy who were there to experience Nepal for the first time! All four of us live in Fort Collins, Colorado so it was a wonderful experience for me to meet some new friends.

Assisting Dawa were guides Tshering and Tenjing as well as our excellent porters Khul and Ongchu.

It was absolutely wonderful to be back in Nepal for the first time in 5 years and to see so many treasured friends in my short time there.

As with each trip I take out to the Himalayas, I experiment with new camera technology in my endless efforts to bring the Himalayas to you in a new way. In 2003 I filmed in SD. In 2007 I upgraded to HD. In 2010 I experimented with 3D. In 2014 I was one of the first to fly in the region with drones. For this trip in 2019, I experimented with a 360 camera that let me film in VR. For those that are new to the concept of 360 videos, it allows you to look anywhere you’d like as you watch the episode—not just at what is in “front” of the camera. I’m very excited about this technology and while some people may not like it, old-school Rest of Everest fans will likely be thrilled to see that much more of what a trek to Everest is actually like.

In this first Part 01, we visit the famous Boudhanath Stupa before I visit my old friend Sagir the barber at his new shop in Thamel. Then we fly to Lukla in a helicopter—my first time doing so— before we start the trek proper. The helicopter ride was truly something special and there’s more where that came from in a later episode. This series is comprised mostly of the 360 video but is peppered with “flat” footage where necessary to fill in the story. The camera tools may have changed, but old-time viewers of the show will feel right at home with how it all feels…even if your intrepid host looks much more middle-aged than he feels.

While you can absolutely enjoy this series on a mobile phone or computer, for the most “you are there” immersive experience I HIGHLY recommend viewing the videos using a VR headset. Here are some suggestions that I own and have personally tested. They range in price from just a few bucks to a few hundred dollars. Buying them from these links will support this endeavor!

I Am Cardboard VR Box https://amzn.to/3d3CSu6

This is a fantastic entry-level VR viewer that can be used with the YouTube app on your mobile phone. I found this one to be superior to the less expensive versions that need to be assembled. This one comes ready to use and has a more thoughtful design and better user experience. Worth buying even if you only have a passing interest in VR content.

Pansonite 3D VR Glasses Virtual Reality Headset https://amzn.to/37s06ZJ

A real upgrade from Google Cardboard devices. This is a true headset and is very comfortable to use. Since you actually wear it, the experience is much more immersive yet still uses the YouTube app on your mobile phone for viewing which keeps it inexpensive. It is also far more adjustable than the Cardboard options. I’ve given a Pansonite unit to Dawa’s family for viewing these episodes!

Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset - 32GB https://amzn.to/2MVhz3a

Oculus Go Standalone Virtual Reality Headset - 64GB https://amzn.to/2Ba0z6u

This entry-level Oculus is a true VR headset and is completely standalone with no phone needed. It has everything you need to view all kinds of VR content and even play VR games. It is a lot of fun!

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 64GB https://amzn.to/2YE3oF2

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset – 128GB https://amzn.to/3fnOKbN

The Oculus Quest is the best all-in-one VR headset on the market right now. Using it is like peering into the future. For viewing 360 videos it only beats the Oculus Go in terms of screen quality but if you’re interested in gaming THIS is the headset to purchase. There is NO comparison. I use an Oculus Quest connected to Adobe Premiere while I edit these episodes. Amazing device with a lot of “wow” factor.

Thanks for watching. If you’re new to The Rest of Everest, please consider checking out Episode 000 to see what this series is about and how it all started almost 20 years ago. https://youtu.be/ESyjYeCxxgc

If you’re based in Colorado, consider checking out Dawa’s Fort Collins restaurant, The Himalayan Bistro https://himalayanbistro.com

Jon Miller

June 14, 2020

The Killing of Rayshard Brooks: Atlanta Police Shoot Dead Unarmed Man Who Fell Asleep in His Own Car

Protests have erupted in Atlanta, where the police killing of unarmed African American man Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot has outraged residents. The autopsy revealed that Brooks was shot in the back as he was running away, and the death has been ruled a homicide by the county medical examiner. Brooks’s killing comes as protests against racism and police violence continue across the country. The Atlanta police chief has already resigned, and the officer who shot Brooks has been fired. “What we saw happen to Mr. Brooks is unfortunately something that we continue to see repeated in our communities all across this country,” says Mary Hooks, co-director of Southerners on New Ground, which is part of the National Bail Out collective and the Movement for Black Lives. “What we continue to see is police being called in as first responders to things that they should not be showing up for.”

Mary Hooks: Policing is "inherently rotten" and must be dismantled

Protests have erupted in Atlanta, where residents are outraged at the police killing of unarmed Black man Rayshard Brooks. Brooks’s killing comes as protests against racist police violence continue across the country, with mounting demands for cities to defund and abolish their police forces. Southerners On New Ground co-director Mary Hooks says reform alone is not sufficient. "Officers, no matter their intention, no matter their motive, they are tied and bound to a system that by training, its orders, its beliefs, is inherently rotten." She says the conversation should not be centered around how to keep better tabs on this system, but rather how to "shrink the institution until it is no longer legitimate."

Historian Robin D.G. Kelley: Media focuses on "looting" to dismiss legitimate concerns

The momentum carrying worldwide protests against systemic racism and calls in some cities to defund police can be attributed to decades of organizing by Black women and Black-led collectives, says historian and UCLA professor Robin D.G. Kelley. Still, despite the "enormous work" of movements to underscore the core issues shaping their demands, Kelley says the media is wrongly framing looting as the major problem. He notes that the hyperfocus on looting, which is a common occurrence across history during natural disasters or times of civil disturbance and thus not a new phenomenon in the current protests, is part of a "tendency to treat looting as a way to dismiss legitimate organizing work." The media's coverage of looting also "displaces the history of the United States" and highlights the societal value of wealth and property over Black and Indigenous people's lives. "Is the destruction of property or taking things, taking sneakers or computers, somehow more important than watching someone die on film? Watching 5,000 some-odd people killed by the police over the last few years?" Kelley tells Democracy Now! "We know … that Black bodies were looted. That is how we got here."

Angela Davis on Black liberation and Palestinian solidarity

Last year, legendary Black liberation activist and scholar Angela Davis was awarded the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Shortly after the announcement, the Institute rescinded the award after facing backlash for Davis's support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and advocacy for Palestinian human rights. The decision was again reversed after an uproar from the Black community, and Davis will receive the award later this month in a virtual ceremony. Davis says this is a "teachable moment" speaking to the importance of international solidarity and the crucial links between Black liberation and Palestinian liberation. "There has been this very important connection between the two struggles for many decades," says Davis. "I am hoping that today's young activists recognize how important Palestinian solidarity has been to the Black cause and that they recognize we have a profound responsibility to support Palestinian struggles as well."

Angela Davis: We can't eradicate racism without eradicating racial capitalism

World-renowned activist and professor Angela Davis says that racism is intrinsic to capitalist social relations, and that one will not be abolished without the other. "I am convinced that the ultimate eradication of racism is going to require us to move toward a more socialist organization of our economies," says Davis. "I think we have a long way to go before we can begin to talk about an economic system that is not based on exploitation and on the super-exploitation of Black people, Latinx people and other racialized populations. But I do think that we now have the conceptual means to engage in discussions." Watch the full interview with Angela Davis: https://bit.ly/2AtDFXX