Saturday, February 21, 2015


1. So... remember that one time in Africa when James Jameson, heir to the Jameson's Irish Whiskey Company, purchased an 11-year-old girl from slave traders, then presented her as a gift to a tribe of cannibals on the sole condition that he be allowed to watch as they tortured, murdered, butchered, cooked, then ate her, all because he wanted to paint some lovely watercolors of the ensuing carnage? Jameson's is gonna leave a whole 'nother kind of taste in your mouth after learning that, I bet. If you're interested in more background information on this and other horrific crimes committed by "civilized" old white dudes in the service of colonialism, check out this extended section from a biography of Henry Morton Stanley - the 19th century's "greatest gentleman explorer", and none too gentle himself, but a veritable Saint compared to Jameson, whose crimes Stanley was able to corroborate with his own two barely believing eyes. You know, there's a movie in there, somewhere, but I don't know if anyone would be willing to sit through it. There's tons more information on this incident on the web, if you just Google the key-words. Happy hunting.

2. Are you an amateur lexicological sleuth? A word freak? Then you're gonna love this awesome "word map", which allows you to type in any word currently defined by Wikipedia and "map" it across the world, with translations into every language currently supported by Google Translate, in order to put into context "the relationship between language and geographical space." Personally, I'd love to see this page grow into a graphical display that maps the etymological roots and evolutionary peregrinations of as many words from as many languages as possible, through a historical place/time-mapping interface. Maybe in a year or two?

3. Hey! Why not cap off today's Suggested Reading List with Russia Today's incredible drone-shot aerial video of the once-super-secret Soviet-era super-lightning-generating Tesla Towers on the outskirts of Moscow? Though somewhat dilapidated in appearance, these rusty beauties are still capable of generating 500-foot-high artificial lightning bolts so massive, they rival the entirety of this partially-resurrected superpower's energy grid output in just a few measly miliseconds! So WATCH!

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