Apr 30, 2008

Mmm, fainting goat

(NYTimes) - Some people would just as soon ignore the culinary potential of the Carolina flying squirrel or the Waldoboro green neck rutabaga. To them, the creamy Hutterite soup bean is too obscure and the Tennessee fainting goat, which keels over when startled, sounds more like a sideshow act than the centerpiece of a barbecue.
But not Gary Paul Nabhan. He has spent most of the past four years compiling a list of endangered plants and animals that were once fairly commonplace in American kitchens but are now threatened, endangered or essentially extinct in the marketplace. He has set out to save them, which often involves urging people to eat them. Continued

Mmm, beer

Mmm, rendered edible beef fat

Baltimore Museum of Industry.
Canon EOS 5D, EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

Mmm, tinned meat

Baltimore Museum of Industry.
Canon EOS 5D, EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

1894 - Coxey's Army reaches Washington, D.C. to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893

(Wikipedia) - Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from the United States, led by the populist Jacob Coxey. They marched on Washington D.C. in 1894, the second year of a four-year economic depression that was the worst in United States history to that time. Officially named the Commonweal in Christ, its nickname came from its leader and was more enduring. It was the first significant popular protest march on Washington and the expression "Enough food to feed Coxey's Army" originates from this march. Continued

Apr 29, 2008

Absinthe’s mind-altering mystery solved

(MSNBC) - An analysis of century-old bottles of absinthe — the kind once quaffed by the likes of van Gogh and Picasso to enhance their creativity — may end the controversy over what ingredient caused the green liqueur's supposed mind-altering effects. The culprit seems plain and simple: The century-old absinthe contained about 70 percent alcohol, giving it a 140-proof kick.
... Laboratory tests found no other compound that could explain absinthe's effects. The scientists are set to detail their findings in the May 14 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Link

In related news, Albert Hofmann may or may not be dead. Was he ever here at all?

Image: inabsinthia

1861: Maryland's House of Delegates votes not to secede from the Union ...

... proving that, contrary to popular belief, the state legislature has made at least one practical decision in its long history.

Appomattox Court House, Va.

Source and photo: Wikipedia

Apr 28, 2008

1788 - Maryland becomes the 7th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution

(440.com) - Maryland was one of the first of the United States of America, entering the Union as number seven on this day. It was named in honor of England Charles I queen, Henrietta Maria.
Maryland's capital city, Annapolis, is famous as the home of the U.S. Naval Academy. Maryland, the Free State or Old Line State, calls the black-eyed Susan its state flower, and the Baltimore Orioles are the ... yes, the state baseball team ... but also, the state bird/s. Using this same reasoning, you'd think that baseball would be the state sport. Silly us. Maryland's state sport is jousting. Continued

More Maryland neon

Baltimore Museum of Industry.
Canon EOS 5D, EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens.

Massacre at Katyn still strikes the hearts of Polish Americans

(Carolyn Peirce, Baltimore Examiner) - In a ceremony binding generation to generation, Polish Americans gathered at the Katyn Memorial on Sunday to remember thousands of lives lost in the World War II massacre of Polish army officers.
“We can never forget what happened to these people who were just murdered by communists,” said Richard Poremski, chairman of the National Katyn Memorial Foundation. Continued

Photo: National Katyn Memorial Foundation

Apr 27, 2008

Were America’s first slaves white? This book says they were.

(NYTBR) - ... “White Cargo” begins with the discovery of a 17th-century skeleton in Maryland in 2003; it turned out to be that of a boy, about 16 years old, who had suffered from tuberculosis and injuries consistent with hard labor. Presumably he had been a slave, since his body had not been properly buried, but thrown into the basement of a home near Annapolis, “in a hole under a pile of household waste.” He was northern European, probably British, one of tens of thousands of victims of a century-long practice, stretching from Boston to Barbados, that treated whites as slaves and that largely predated both the black slave trade and American independence. Continued

Image: Indenture, George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799

The Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania

(Wikipedia) - The Hamilton Watch Company was established when the Keystone Standard Watch Company was forced into bankruptcy and sold at a sheriff's sale to a group of Lancaster, Pennsylvania entrepreneurs whose "objective was to build only watches of the highest quality." During this same year, a merger took place between the newly established Lancaster based watchmaking concern and the Aurora Watch Company of Illinois. A decision was made to name the new company after James Hamilton, owner of a large tract of land which was granted to him from William Penn and included what is now the city of Lancaster. The new company would be known as The Hamilton Watch Company. Continued

Photo taken at the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, PA. Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Spring plowing in Maryland

Maryland 1930's: Farm Security Administration, LoC, various photographers.

Apr 26, 2008

Some Chesapeake Bay steamboats

Howard County group still awaiting guide to Route 40 development

(Examiner) - Four years after a group of twenty residents and community leaders made recommendations for the improvement of the Route 40 corridor, Howard County planners have not released a design manual based on those suggestions.
A design manual, which would be codified by the County Council, would help guide development along the Ellicott City stretch.
“We urge you ... to ask the Department of Planning and Zoning before the end of the year to produce a design manual,” Grace Kubofcik, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Howard County, told the council at a recent hearing. Continued

Image: U.S. Route 40 entry at Wikipedia

Apr 25, 2008

Federal Hill School

This was a "colored school" back in the days of segregation. It's now a house. It sits on Route 165, above Jarrettsville, Maryland.

Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

Photographer assaulted at Baltimore high school

(Baltimore Examiner) - An Examiner photographer, on assignment for a school-violence special report, told police a student assaulted her Thursday morning outside Reginald F. Lewis High School, the same school where art teacher Jolita Berry was viciously attacked by a student earlier this month.
Arianne Starnes, 24, said she was thrown to the ground after a student came out of a group of about 20 other students and accused her of taking his picture. For Berry, who has filed second-degree assault charges against her alleged attacker, this wasn’t a surprise. Continued

Baltimore and Potomac Railroad

(Wikipedia) - The Baltimore and Potomac Rail Road was part of the Pennsylvania Railroad's main line from Baltimore, Maryland southwest to Washington, DC. It is now part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor; freight is handled by Norfolk Southern. Continued

A Deadhead’s Dream for a Campus Archive

(NYTimes) - The Grateful Dead, whose songs celebrated personal freedom, American idealism and mind-altering drugs, will donate a cache of their papers, posters and props on Thursday to the University of California, Santa Cruz, which plans to use the musical miscellany as part of a research center to be known as Dead Central.
What exactly is to be donated, of course, is something of a mystery even to band insiders.
“It’s kind of a surprise box to us as well,” said John Perry Barlow, one of the group’s lyricists. Continued

Image: Backstage Pass, RFK Stadium, Washington D.C., June 26, 1993. Courtesy of dead.net.

Apr 24, 2008

Unmarked marked

Little Falls Meeting House, Fallston, Maryland

Canon EOS 5D, EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens

Who wrecked real estate? We did

(Mark Gimein, Slate) - Here's the narrative we've heard about the mortgage meltdown: miscalculation and unfounded optimism, clueless investors, cash-strapped home buyers clobbered by rate resets.
But there's one piece of the mortgage-meltdown tale that virtually every article or television program dances around without ever quite confronting. It's the simplest aspect of the crisis to understand and also the most troubling, because it's not about complicated financial dealings and can't be fixed with bailouts. It's about an astounding breakdown of social norms.
It's the story of the liar's loan. Continued

Photo: falmanac

Smith Island cake now Maryland's official dessert

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - An unusual multilayered cake served on Maryland's Eastern Shore has become the state's official dessert. ... Islanders trace the cake to British settlers and traditionally packed slices into the lunch pails of crabbers and oystermen who made up most of the Chesapeake Bay island's economy. Continued

Photo: tangiersound

Hampton National Historic Site opens restored tenant-farmer quarters

(Virginia Terhune, Towson Times) - The Hampton National Historic Site in Towson opened its newly restored tenant house April 23, showing how tenant farmers, many of them newly arrived immigrants, lived on the plantation around 1900. The two rooms are open to the public. Continued

Photo: Hampton Farm, Towson, Maryland
Canon EOS 5D, EF 28-135 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens

Crossing Debris

Perryville, Maryland

Canon EOS 20D, EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS lens

Books for Congress

(LoC) - Today, the Library of Congress celebrates its birthday. On April 24, 1800, President John Adams approved the appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of "such books as may be necessary for the use of congress."
The books, the first purchased for the Library of Congress, were ordered from London and arrived in 1801. The collection of 740 volumes and three maps was stored in the U.S. Capitol, the Library's first home. Continued

Apr 23, 2008

Formstone: A Maryland Tradition Since 1937

(PPNA) - John Waters called it the “polyester of brick.” In Baltimore, we call it Formstone, a brand name that describes the cementious materials applied to exterior walls, and manipulated to look like stone. Other brand names include “Permastone” and others.
... Bland and homely, Formstone stimulates profound passions. In some areas, the first sign of Yuppie-fication is the appearance of scaffolding, and the disappearance of Formstone. But according to some architectural historians and nostalgia buffs, this simulated masonry may be worthy of preservation. Continued

Photo: Formstone, Havre de Grace, Maryland. Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

It’s Not You, It’s Your Books

(RACHEL DONADIO, NYTBR) - Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!”
We’ve all been there. Or some of us have. Anyone who cares about books has at some point confronted the Pushkin problem: when a missed — or misguided — literary reference makes it chillingly clear that a romance is going nowhere fast. Continued

Photo: moriza

Susquehanna Canal Lottery

(portdeposit.com) - A group of Baltimore merchants in November 1783 petitioned the State of Maryland for permission to build the "Susquehanna Canal" to the Pennsylvania line on the east bank of the Susquehanna.
This canal, variously referred to as the "Susquehanna Canal", "Port Deposit Canal", or "Conowingo Canal", ran from a tidewater connection near Rock Run to Love Island, just below the Mason-Dixon line. The general assembly of Maryland grants a charter to build a canal along the route of the lower Susquehanna River. The Proprietors of the Susquehanna (Port Deposit) Canal is incorporated.
The canal was opened in 1801, but was never a financial successful. In 1817, the sheriff of Cecil County sold the canal at public auction. The canal was finally abandoned when the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal began operations.

Apr 22, 2008

Welcome to PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly Collection

(VCU) - An Army publication on preventive maintenance would hardly be a common choice when deciding what materials to digitize and make available to a wider audience. But most Army publications aren't filled with the incomparable art work of the late Will Eisner (1917-2005).
Will Eisner was already famous for his work on The Spirit when he was drafted for duty during World War II. While in the service, Eisner put his artistic talents to work in army publications, creating a character named Joe Dope. After the war, the army wanted to design a publication dedicated to preventive maintenance that soldiers would actually want to read, and turned to Eisner's young company, American Visuals Corporation. Eisner was the artistic director for PS Magazine from its inception in 1951 through 1972.
Eisner began a 24 year absence from the comic book world when he founded the American Visuals Corporation in the late 1940s to produce commercial work. As one of the biggest names in the industry, Eisner attracted some of the best aspiring comic artists. Artists you will find in PS Magazine include: Murphy Anderson (Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space, Adam Strange, The Flash, Green Lantern); Mike Ploog (Creepy, Planet of the Apes, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing); Don Perlin (Werewolf by Night, Ghost Riders, The Defenders); Dan Spiegle (Space Family Robinson, Mangus, Robot Fighter, Korak); and comic strip artist/writer Andre LeBlanc ("The Phantom," "Flash Gordon," "Rex Gordon, MD"). Continued

VCU Libraries Digital Collections via BibliOdyssey via boingboing

The Evangelistic Church of Deliverance

Havre de Grace, Maryland
Canon EOS 30D & EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS lens

John Waters

(Wikipedia) - John Samuel Waters, Jr. (born April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, personality, visual artist and art collector, who rose to fame in the early 1970s for his transgressive cult films. He had a major mainstream hit in 1988 with the movie "Hairspray" starring Divine and introducing Ricki Lake.
... Waters was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Patricia Ann (née Whitaker) and John Samuel Waters, who was a manufacturer of fire-protection equipment. Waters grew up in Lutherville, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore. His boyhood friend and muse Glenn Milstead, later known as Divine, also lived in Baltimore County, Maryland, a short distance away.

"NYU...I was there for about five minutes. I don't know what I was thinking about. I went to one class and they kept talking about Potemkin and that isn't what I wanted to talk about. I had just gone to see Olga's House of Shame. That was what I was more into."

Photo: Mr Azed

Apr 21, 2008

Your ticket to the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore

That's all you need to get into the convention, well, that and a Wayback Machine.

Why Edith Wharton's house, the Mount, must be saved

(Kate Bolick, Slate) - Outside design circles, not many people know that Edith Wharton's first publication was a decorating manual.
It's a perplexing fact. Our own American grande dame, author of more than 40 books, friend of Henry James and Theodore Roosevelt … bothered herself with wallpaper and sconces? (Actually, she loathed wallpaper.)
But after the initial shock, perhaps you'll remember reading The Age of Innocence or seeing Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of it and realize that Wharton is fused in your mind with masterfully described interiors—at which point, your confusion will click into a satisfied "Huh!" Continued

Photo: edithwharton.org

1841 Roster of the Howard Fire Company of Baltimore, Maryland


Apr 20, 2008

Guard House: Berwyn, Maryland

Carl Mydans 1936, LoC

Exhibit gives kids a nuts-and-bolts look at America's canals

WILLIAMSPORT, Md. (Examiner) - Just because mule-drawn canal boats have gone the way of buggy whips, don't imagine there's nothing relevant to be learned from the traveling exhibit, which is at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park's Trolley Barn in Williamsport through Oct. 12.
"That same science, that same harnessing of physics, went into a lot of the things you see today - highways, bridges, buildings - and this is really the start of that in America," said Edward Mooney, director of exhibits at the National Canal Museum in Easton, Pa. Continued

Photo: Williamsport, Maryland c1904, Library of Congress

Baltimore signage 1939

Arthur Rothstein, Library of Congress

George Stibitz

(Wikipedia) - George Robert Stibitz (April 20, 1904 – January 31, 1995) is internationally recognized as a father of the modern digital computer. He was a Bell Labs researcher known for his 1930s and 1940s work on the realization of Boolean logic digital circuits using electromechanical relays as the switching element.
Born in York, Pennsylvania, he received his bachelor's degree from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, his master's degree from Union College in 1927, and his Ph.D. in mathematical physics in 1930 from Cornell University. Continued

Apr 19, 2008

If ABC ran the Lincoln-Douglas Debates

LINCOLN: We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sorry to interrupt, but do you think Mr. Douglas loves America as much you do?

LINCOLN: Sure I do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But who loves America more?

LINCOLN: I’d prefer to get on with my opening statement George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If your love for America were eight apples, how many apples would Senator Douglas’s love be?



LINCOLN: In my opinion, slavery will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, did an Elijah H. Johnson attend your church?

LINCOLN: When I was a boy in Illinois forty years ago, yes. I think he was a deacon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you aware that he regularly called Kentucky “a land of swine and whores”?

LINCOLN: Sounds right -- his ex-wife was from Kentucky.


From Obsidian Wings via boingboing. Illustration: Lincoln/Net

Baltimore riot of 1861

(Wikipedia) - The Baltimore riot of 1861 (also called the Pratt Street Riot and the Pratt Street Massacre) was an incident that took place on April 19, 1861 in Baltimore, Maryland between Confederate sympathizers and infantrymen of the United States Army.
It is regarded by historians as the first bloodshed of the American Civil War. Continued

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