Thursday, April 28, 2011

Who Says Lightning Never Strikes Twice?

Don't know if this is fake or not, but its been circulating the internet today

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Letter from a former slave to his former master

Source

Letter from Jourdan Anderson to His Former Master, 1865:


Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P. H. Anderson,
Big Spring, Tennessee

Sir: I got your letter and was glad to find you had not forgotten Jourdan, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Col. Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville hospital, but one of the neighbors told me Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.

I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here; I get $25 a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy (the folks here call her Mrs. Anderson), and the children, Milly, Jane and Grundy, go to school and are learning well; the teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday-School, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated; sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks, but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Col. Anderson. Many darkies would have been proud, as I used to was, to call you master. Now, if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.

As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free-papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department at Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you are sincerely disposed to treat us justly and kindly?and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years and Mandy twenty years. At $25 a month for me, and $2 a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to $11,680. Add to this the interest for the time our wages has been kept back and deduct what you paid for our clothing and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams Express, in care of V. Winters, esq, Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night, but in Tennessee there was never any pay day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.

In answering this letter please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve and die if it comes to that than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood, the great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.

P.S.—Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.
From your old servant, Jourdan Anderson


"Letter from Jourdan Anderson to His Former Master," in Leon F. Litwack, ed.,
Been in the Storm So Long: The Aftermath of Slavery (New York: Knopf, 1979).

China's Overdevelopment



Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Insane Ski Accident


Stefan Ager survives a huge vertical drop off mountain peak

Awesome Comeback

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Origins of Parkour

Yep, even before Jackie Chan


Buster Keaton & Douglas Fairbanks

Defiant Japanese boat captain rode out tsunami

Source



Oshima, Japan (CNN) -- Susumu Sugawara looks bemused and a little embarrassed at all the attention he's getting.

The 64 year old has become a local hero on the Japanese island of Oshima. Smashed boats adorn the coastline of this once-idyllic tourist spot, but Sugawara's pride and joy, "Sunflower" is intact and working overtime transporting people and aid to and from the island. It can hold around 20 people at a time.

When the tsunami came, everyone ran to the hills. But Sugawara ran to his boat and steered it into deeper waters. "I knew if I didn't save my boat, my island would be isolated and in trouble," he tells CNN.

As he passed his other boats, used for fishing abalone, he said goodbye to them, apologizing that he could not save them all.

Then the first wave came. Sugawara says he is used to seeing waves up to 5 meters high but this was four-times that size.

"My feeling at this moment is indescribable," he says with glistening eyes. "I talked to my boat and said you've been with me 42 years. If we live or die, then we'll be together, then I pushed on full throttle."

"Here was my boat and here was the wave," he says, holding one hand low and the other stretched high above his head. "I climbed the wave like a mountain. When I thought I had got to the top, the wave got even bigger."

Sugawara's arms flail wildly as he describes the top of the wave crashing down repeatedly onto his boat. "I closed my eyes and felt dizzy. When I opened them, I could see the horizon again, so I knew I'd made it."

Then the next wave came. Sugawara can't remember if there were four or five waves, but he says he did not feel afraid, he was just focused on steering his boat.

Suddenly the sea was completely calm and he knew he had beaten the tsunami. Sugawara stayed at sea until dark, pumping water from the boat's engine room. He believed his island had been destroyed by the wave. He says he didn't cry but felt angry and utterly helpless. He didn't know if his family had survived.

Trying to get back to Oshima, he had to navigate carefully past wrecked houses, boats and other debris that floated past him. The island of Oshima was in complete darkness; the only way he could find his way was with the guide of raging fires at Kesunnuma -- 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.

For twenty days, he has been making hourly trips to the mainland. For the first two weeks at least he provided almost the only connection with it. Without Sugawara and the Sunflower, the island would have been completely cut off.

He doesn't ask passengers for money if they have none. Those that can, pay just 300 yen (US$3.5) towards fuel.

Oshima is an island of just 3,500 people. Locals say 35 of them are confirmed dead and some are still missing, though they don't know how many. Others are believed to have taken their boats out to sea and tried to ride the tsunami like Sugawara but didn't make it.

The supermarket owner, Tadaomi Sasahara, tells me he gave all of his food away for free after the disaster. Many islanders then brought their food from their homes and shared it out.

He adds, "Everyone used to look out for themselves on this island, but after this, the whole community is now helping each other."

With his supermarket shelves empty, he now helps Sugawara with his hourly trips to the mainland.

Sugawara risked his life for his boat and his island -- one of the very few to ride a tsunami and to live to tell the tale.

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