"One of the most enigmatic objects on display in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is "Ashley's Sack." On loan from South Carolina's Middleton Place, this unbleached cotton sack features an embroidered text recounting the slave sale of a nine-year-old girl named Ashley and the gift of the sack by her mother. Until now, Ashley's identity has been unknown. New research by Mark Auslander traces Ashley's Sack from the initial gift during the era of slavery to the present."
Earlier this week, Ranger Lee Snook took a morning stroll down to Taft Creek, a tributary of the Hoh River, to look for salmon that were spawning. But when Snook arrived at the river, she wasn’t alone. A female bobcat was out fishing, which is not your everyday sighting in the park, since the cats are usually elusive. [more inside]
We give you the gray jay. Also known as the whiskey jack or Canada jay, it is Canadian Geographic’s official choice for National Bird of Canada. [Canadian Geographic] There are more than 450 species of birds across Canada, but until now, not one of them has been designated as our national bird. In 2015, the team at Canadian Geographic decided it was time to change that, and founded the National Bird Project with the aim of declaring an official bird for Canada by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Confederation. [more inside]
"...the President is hereby authorized to invite each and all the States to provide and furnish statues..." Each state can send up to two statues to the collection, representing notable people from that state. The statues may be rendered in either marble or bronze. [more inside]
No, I'm not talking about the "super volcano" that'll destroy the Earth (which is, you know, not likely). I'm talking about all the crazy stuff that's happened there this season, the result of growing numbers of both tourists and wildlife. [more inside]
In 1981, NPR affiliate station KUSC hatched a bold plan to adapt George Lucas’ Star Wars for radio. Easily the most visual film of the last decade, Star Wars as a listening experience seemed like an unlikely idea, but Lucas sold them the rights to adapt the hit movie for one dollar, and opened the Lucasfilm vaults to the show’s producers: Star Wars sound effects would be available to them in their raw form, along with every note of John Williams’ music. The cast was a mixture of original Star Wars cast members, Hollywood veterans, and future TV and movie stars still in the early stages of their careers. Novelist Brian Daley and Director John Madden then turned the first three films into "movies to watch with your eyes closed." [more inside]
Here is a big collection of old photos from the Grand Canyon. Among others, there are photos from John Wesley Powell's expeditions down the Colorado river in the 1870's. Pictures of people touring the canyon rim by car in the early 1900's, and ladies going down into the canyon by mule in 1909 wearing very nice hats. There are pictures of Hopi dancers on the rim from the 1940's. And there are pictures of park rangers leading fishing trips down into the canyon in the 1940's, and pictures of the early commercial Colorado River trips in the 1930's through the 1950's.
FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
Bob’s Buskers is an animated web series featuring prominent musicians covering original songs from Bob’s Burgers. Four episodes were made: “Bad Girls” by St. Vincent, “Sailors in your Mouth” and “Christmas Magic” both by the National, and “Electric Love” by Stephin Merritt and Kenny Mellman. Special bonus: the original “Electric Love” and Sleater-Kinney’s ”A New Wave” (featured previously). [more inside]
US Creates Largest Protected Area in the World. Over 3x larger than California, the Obama administration has enlarged the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Fishing, dumping, and removal of coral are now prohibited.
It's that time of the year again, when the (television network) continent of Europe comes together to sing, wear interesting clothing, and gyrate before an enthusiastic/baffled world. [more inside]
GDELT data is now publicly available. GDELT stands for Global Data on Events, Location and Tone, and is a dataset that contains information on over 200 million geolocated events. [more inside]
Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s Post-Scandal Playbook (Spoiler: The disgraced Congressman is likely running for Mayor of New York City. SLNYT, Via)
January 13, 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society. The Magazine is celebrating by taking a yearlong look at the past and future of exploration. [more inside]
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel isn't Wild, Taboo or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer. It's Doomsday Preppers, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
Global Trends 2030 Alternate Worlds is the latest quadrennial report from The US National Intelligence Council (NIC). (Report: PDF / Talking Points: PDF.) Similar to its predecessors, '2030' attempts to predict 'alternate visions of the future.' An official blog discusses their speculations. The Atlantic Council has published a "companion publication": "Envisioning 2030: US Strategy for a Post-Western World." [more inside]
A streaker comes across the stage. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now
Gravity's Rainbow won the National Book Award in 1974. Its author, the famously reclusive Thomas Pynchon, did not appear at the awards ceremony, but instead sent comedian Irwin Corey in his place who accepted the award on behalf of one "Richard Python." At the end of the speech, a streaker ran nude across the stage. [more inside]
Every year since 1900, Britt, Iowa, has played host to the National Hobo Convention. In 2008, CBS sent a camera crew. The main event at the four day convention is selecting the Hobo King and Queen. Meanwhile, no one knows where the word 'hobo' originally came from.
There is now a live stream of bears gathering to eat salmon at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park. [more inside]
The 1988 Crystal Light National Aerobics Championships, hosted by Alan Thicke. This is still a thing.
National Public Rodeo Vanity Fair's David Margolick on the recent history and (somewhat) uncertain future of National Public Radio.
National Register Photostream — Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
Fans of National Lampoon Magazine circa 1970 might remember the iconic Trots and Bonnie comic strip. Recently Jeff Kay (previously) asked the cartoonist, Shary Flenniken for an email interview. She unexpectedly answered his questions in a 4 part video response. PT1 PT2 PT3 PT4 [more inside]
It's that time of year again, time to witness of the parade of sartorial excess that is The Miss Universe 2011 National Costumes! (previously) (via)
Massive Biometric Project Gives Crores of Indians an ID: Aadhaar faces titanic physical and technical challenges: reaching millions of illiterate Indians who have never seen a computer, persuading them to have their irises scanned, ensuring that their information is accurate, and safeguarding the resulting ocean of data. This is India, after all—a country notorious for corruption and for failing to complete major public projects. And the whole idea horrifies civil libertarians. But if Aadhaar’s organizers pull it off, the initiative could boost the fortunes of India’s poorest citizens and turbocharge the already booming national economy. [more inside]
Goodbye public spaces? A recent St. Petersburg Times op-ed reports that Governer Rick Scott, through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has drawn up a plan to turn over portions of more than 50 state parks to private corporations to build camping and RV sites. [more inside]
On April 8, the Pentagon released a report entitled: "A National Strategic Narrative" written by two senior members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a 'personal capacity'. [more inside]
Cultural differences (via) is a video created by National Geographic which documents the culture shock (no not that kind) experienced by Sudanese immigrants to the United States. Though in a country with such strife, this may come as no surprise. [more inside]
"We don't use the word 'vagina'. Because, it's the Latin word for 'sheath'. Yes, as in a sword. (Somewhat NSFW) Virgie Tovar, the writer, blogger, sexuality educator and academic looks at UC Berkeley's Female Sexuality class and asks whether one class can change the way women see their bodies and their educational experience. More on DeCal at UC Berkeley.
X-Ray art is the use of radiography to take a different look at flowers, foliage and faux landscapes, sea shells and sea life (one of a number of flash galleries), and a weird look at the world. But these folks are all millennia behind some artists from Australia, Siberia, and elsewhere. [more inside]
Les Concerts à Emporter (or Take Away Shows) is a project by French filmmaker Vincent Moon in which he records musicians playing impromptu concerts in the street, in a courtyard, or even in an elevator, with often sublime results. [more inside]
The U.S. National Archives' Flickr Photostream. Includes collections of historical photographs and documents | Civil War photos by Mathew Brady | and the Documerica Project by the EPA in the 1970s. There is also a nice set of Ansel Adams landscape photographs.
Although banned in 1997, the last several years, Bioprospecting at Yellowstone National Park has become more and more privatized. Research at nearby Montana State University has been underway, using virus cages for next generation flash drives, using fungus to turn straw into olive oil, and algae to turn garbage into hydrogen.
Inside America's most dangerous national forest.
Herb & Dorothy Vogel is a documentary about a postal clerk and a librarian who amassed over 4000 works of conceptual and minimalist art on their modest income. Their only criteria: it had to be affordable, and it had to fit in their apartment.
Arlington National Cemetery has a problem. Covering 624 acres, the final resting place for 320,000 fallen, the Army can't keep track of where soldiers are buried.
A family tries to cope after their son is killed for being gay Remarkable family. Interesting, layered documentary but bad translation.
She did it again. The Orlando Magic took no chances as they extended their undefeated record at home in the playoffs. The Magic remain undefeated when Gina Marie Incandela sings the national anthem(YT). Since first singing the national anthem for them in February, the team has won every game she sings at. Five years ago she was diagnosed with PDD-NOS autism and she now is a poster child for early intervention(YT). Not to get in a rut singing only the national anthem, Gina has released a CD single.
It's election season, and the stakes are high. The incumbent party is looking a little frayed, and people are looking for change. The opposition leader (a young chap, who despite being neither gifted, nor black, has likened himself to someone of that definition) is accused of profiting from parliamentary questions about undeclared shareholdings. And forget about your $700 Billion, this election has been rocked by scandal over an undeclared NZ$100,000 donation. Some would suggest that the state of the nation can be read largely through sales of doggy chew toys.
This is a collection of the National Archives stored in the Digital Vaults. You can browse through hundreds of photographs, documents, and film clips and discover the connection between some of the National Archives' most treasured records. With the Pathways tool you can see the unique and surprising connections between events and people and test your knowledge of history. As you travel through the site and collect documents, images and films, you can then merge the objects to create your own poster or movie from your collection.
4 months, 48 states, 3 full-time staff living and working out of a 31-foot Winnebago. "The Cover America Tour aims to put a face on the problems Americans are experiencing and to make sure their voices are heard as the debate over health care reform heats up." Meet Blake, Pauline & Meg (Consumer Reports) and talk about your health care issue or just follow past and upcoming stops along the route on the blog. Suggest a stop in your city or view pictures.
Throw the tourist from the train. Ejected from a train for refusing to stop taking pictures from the train. Well, for not stopping anyway; the refusing part is unclear. The nation is now secure.
Some performers like to add quite a bit of their own style, while others keep it strictly operatic. Some prefer to keep it simple, while others pull out all the stops. Some performers don't even sing it, and some really belt it out. And now, please rise! All links YouTube.
The National Journal opened its Political Stock Exchange site this week, creating a free, play-money version of the various political market sites. New users get $10,000 in virtual money to bid on real-life options, including all Senate races, the first round of primaries, potential VP selections, and the margin of Bush's approval rating by the end of the year.
The Grand Tour. Until August 31st, the National Gallery in England is putting reproductions of famous paintings on the streets of London, with MP3 audio guides and maps available for download. The reaction has been good.
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