A new critically acclaimed film (96%) is coming out soon 12 Years a Slave (trailer), the true story of Solomon Northup. His memoir is a riveting read (or listen to Louis Gossett, Jr. reading it), but this post is about where Northup was enslaved, a cotton plantation near the Red River, Louisiana. [more inside]
"Only the kittens kept us sane." In 1956, three Canadians lashed together nine old telephone poles to create a raft, loaded up on some comforts of home (including two kittens), and set off from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The kittens snoozed on the deck and climbed the masts. The men tied scarves around their heads, grew hipster beards, played chess, and drank coffee and liqueurs. Everyone ate the sardines. 88 days later, they reached Falmouth harbour in Britain. The kittens lived lavishly and happily ever after with the Duke of Bedford. The men had their ups and downs. Pictures. The Pathé newsreel from 1956. CBC Newfoundland reunites one of the sailors and a Newfoundland sailor who intercepted them over 50 years later. Radio summary of the tv story.
On July 5, 1816, the passengers and crew of the shipwrecked French frigate Méduse abandoned 147 people on a makeshift raft in a gale off the coast of Africa. When the raft was found 13 days later only 15 people were still alive. The incident inspired Théodore Géricault's painting Le Radeau de la Méduse (The Raft of the Medusa). [more inside]
Last Saturday in Pittsburgh, over 1800 canoes attempted to break the world record for the largest single raft of canoes and kayaks. This time lapse video shows how they did it in spite of the weather...
Next up for bid, the damn raft. That's right, the top item for sale is the raft that Elian survived on while traveling to the United States from Cuba. Although six days are left in the auction, 112 bids have already been placed on it, with the high bid now at $10 million.