australia apologized… then what?

Feb 28th, 2009 Posted in cultures, currents | no comment »

My second post on this blog, one year and a couple of weeks ago, was about Australia’s new center-left government issuing an official apology to its Aboriginal peoples for a hundred years of mistreatment.  A quote from that post:

It’s an important symbolic step that was long overdue, but of course it remains to be seen what happens next.

So what did happen next?  Not much.

inside man

Feb 22nd, 2009 Posted in history | one comment »

Meet William Jackson.  He was a slave of Confederate president Jefferson Davis — and a spy for the Union army.  It turns out that a number of slaves engaged in espionage for the north.  Collecting information wasn’t hard for them; because of their menial status, they were simply ignored as Confederate leaders openly discussed war strategy in their presence.  Because of their tradition of oral history (and reliance on memory since teaching them to read and write was illegal), the slaves were able to remember even minute details.

Another interesting note: In addition to her Underground Railroad activities, Harriet Tubman also led a number of espionage missions, and even an 1863 raid in South Carolina.

jar heads

Feb 2nd, 2009 Posted in science | no comment »

Given the hype, money, and glamor surrounding the Super Bowl and the NFL in general, one can see how kids might be drawn into dreams of a football career.  However, as a study on the brains of several deceased football players shows, there is a definite price to be paid later on for all of those hits.