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Archive for October, 2013

ATOMIC SECRETS, MISSING PERSONS AND GENERAL COLD WAR STRANGENESS

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

The Conelrad Blog is awesome…and disturbing

The Supreme Court’s Cold War Relocation Plan

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

 

Oak Grove Park_Aerial copy

In 1992 the Washington Post revealed to the world the surprising Cold War emergency relocation plan of the United States Congress. In remarkably detailed reporting the newspaper told the Strangelovian story of a massive government bunker built beneath the posh Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia in the late 1950s. The irony of lawmakers riding out World War III under a five star hotel while the public sheltered in place was hard to miss. Needless to say, CONELRAD was intrigued to find, years later, a reference to the U.S. Supreme Court’s oddly similar contingency plan

Is It Possible To Fit the Civil War Into a Single Chart?

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

This chart, digitized by the Library of Congress, depicts major battles, troop losses, skirmishes, and other events in the American Civil War.

Some Wacky, Cruel, and Bizarre Puritan Names

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Slate collected some of the best, worst, and strangest names the English Puritans came up with. Most of these are courtesy of the 1888 book by Charles Bardsley, Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature (seen here on the Public Domain Review’s website), which includes Parish records with details about some of the people who had these names.

20 Puritan Names That Are Utterly Strange

  1. Dancell-Dallphebo-Mark-Anthony-Gallery-Cesar. Son of Dancell-Dallphebo-Mark-Anthony-Gallery-Cesar, born 1676.
  2. Praise-God. Full name, Praise-God Barebone. The Barebones were a rich source of crazy names. This one was a leather-worker, member of a particularly odd Puritan group and an MP. He gave his name to the Barebones Parliament, which ruled Britain in 1653.
  3. If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned. Praise-God’s son, he made a name for himself as an economist. But, for some inexplicable reason, he decided to go by the name Nicolas Barbon.
  4. Fear-God. Also a Barebone.
  5. Job-raked-out-of-the-ashes
  6. Has-descendents
  7. Wrestling
  8. Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith
  9. Fly-fornication
  10. Jesus-Christ-came-into-the-world- to-save. Brother of “Damned Barebone”. I can only imagine this name shortened to “Save.”
  11. Thanks
  12. What-God-will
  13. Joy-in-sorrow. A name attached to many stories of difficult births.
  14. Remember
  15. Fear-not. His/her surname was “Helly”, born 1589.
  16. Experience
  17. Anger
  18. Abuse-not
  19. Die-Well. A brother of Farewell Sykes, who died in 1865. We can assume they had rather pessimistic parents.
  20. Continent. Continent Walker was born in 1594 in Sussex.

More great Puritan names here

Discussion: The Threat to America — From Our Own Nuclear Weapons

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

America’s nuclear arsenal has been subject to a terrifying number of accidents, miscalculations and inexplicable blunders, without a devastating catastrophe—so far. We talk with investigative reporter Eric Schlosser about how close we’ve come, how little the public’s been told, and whether we’re safer now than we used to be.

Neville Chamberlain Was Right to Appease

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Seventy-five years ago, on Sept. 30, 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich Pact, handing portions of Czechoslovakia to Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Chamberlain returned to Britain to popular acclaim, declaring that he had secured “peace for our time.” Today the prime minister is generally portrayed as a foolish man who was wrong to try to “appease” Hitler—a cautionary tale for any leader silly enough to prefer negotiation to confrontation.

But among historians, that view changed in the late 1950s, when the British government began making Chamberlain-era records available to researchers

The Comparative Constitutions Project

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

You can now read, search, and compare 160 constitutions from around the world thanks to Constitute, a website launched by Google on Monday.

The site, developed by the Comparative Constitutions Project, with seed funding by Google Ideas, has digitized the constitutions of 160 countries, making them fully searchable. A user can browse the constitutions using nearly 350 curated tagged topics like religion, political parties, or civil and political rights; or simply search by year or country.

How children’s books thrived under Stalin

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

When Stalin’s great purges made writing dangerous, a group of avant garde artists turned their attention to children’s books. Philip Pullman on a new collection that reveals a vigorous freedom in a time of repression.

Partly because of such collaborations, and partly because children’s books provided a hiding place for a while, the early Soviet period was a miraculously rich time for children’s books and their illustration. A new book, Inside the Rainbow: Russian Children’s Literature 1920-1935 offers a glimpse into that astonishing world. The designer, Julian Rothenstein, and the writer of an essay in the book, Olga Budashevskaya, have produced something truly remarkable. Brilliant primary colours, simple geometrical shapes

The Oatmeal on Columbus and his Legacy

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Zinn and Loewen are sources for this cartoon

NPR Interview: Kinzer on the Dulles Brothers

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

In 1953, for the first and only time in history, two brothers were appointed to head the overt and covert sides of American foreign policy. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed John Foster Dulles secretary of state, and Allen Dulles director of the CIA.

Journalist Stephen Kinzer says the Dulles brothers shaped America’s standoff with the Soviet Union, led the U.S. into war in Vietnam, and helped topple governments they thought unfriendly to American interests in Guatemala, Iran, the Congo and Indonesia. In his new book, The Brothers, Kinzer says the Dulles’ actions “helped set off some of the world’s most profound long-term crises.”

John Dulles died in 1959. President Kennedy replaced Allen Dulles after the covert operation he recommended to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba ended disastrously in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

Kinzer tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that the Dulles’ shared background and ideology played out in their policy decisions: “They had this view of the world that was implanted in them from a very young age,” Kinzer says. “That there’s good and evil, and it’s the obligation of the good people to go out into the world and destroy the evil ones.”

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