"In Alaska’s North Slope, the population of bowhead whales seems to be recovering. But that’s really not the coolest part of this Alaska Dispatch story. Instead, it’s this, noticed by Geoffry Gagnon"
"Bowheads seem to be recovering from the harvest of Yankee commercial
whaling from 1848 to 1915, which wiped out all but 1,000 or so animals.
Because the creatures can live longer than 200 years — a fact [Craig]
George discovered when he found an old stone harpoon point in a whale —
some of the bowheads alive today may have themselves dodged the barbed
steel points of the Yankee whalers."
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.
I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.
As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.
In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.
Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.
According to the BBC, researchers in the UK have essentially invented for themselves what might be the greatest job in the world: ticklin' for science. Their focus has been on how gorillas at a local wildlife park vocalize in response to some well-placed fingertip rub downs in order to learn more about how laughter may have evolved in humans. What they found were more similarities than differences, says Dr. Marina Davila-Ross of the University of Portsmouth.
The camel laughing above sounds just like Stuart from MadTV
UPDATE: Lewis Hine was a photographer who began working for the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC) in 1908 documenting working children.
Joe Manning ferreted out the stories behind this picture, and many others:
"As I type the opening words of this story, it has been five years to the month since I saw this picture for the first time, in August of 2006. It was posted on a photo blog I ran across while searching for information about Lewis Hine."
The children and families depicted in the child labor photographs of Lewis Hine were unwittingly caught in the act of making history, but we know almost nothing about them. The pictures were taken for a noble purpose, but a century later, they have become an enormous photo album of the American family. By finding out what happened to some of them, and by revealing the photos to their descendants (most descendants are unaware of them), we are dignifying their lives, and the lives of everyone that history has forgotten.
The thoughts of Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf Should I be worried that the top Google result (update: in October of 1994) for Relentlessly Optimistic is to the former Iraqi Information Minister?
That's somewhat offset by the fact that the #3 link is to Sponge Bob Square Pants.