The Fugitive Slave Law and the Slaves Who Fled

… from 1840 to 1850, the subject of slavery and fugitives in the District of Columbia began to occasion debate, which was never long silenced. It was notorious that almost under the windows of the Capitol negroes were confined in public jails on the ground that they were fugitives; and that a free negro so confined might be sold for his jail fees. Resolutions for an investigation of the condition of the jails were offered in 1848 by Mr. Giddings;153 and Mr. Hall also introduced more sweeping propositions to repeal all laws of Congress and of Maryland which authorized or required courts, officers, or magistrates to issue process for arrest or commitment to the jail of the District of any fugitive slave.154Congress, however, was in a mood too conciliatory toward the South to consider these propositions; and no action was taken.

In 1850, the Second Fugitive Slave Act was passed by both Houses and signed into  law:

Provisions of the second Fugitive Slave Act.—Every provision of the act was arranged for the protection and benefit of the slaveholders. It was based upon the law of 1793, but a number of new regulations were added.160 Commissioners were to be chosen by the Circuit Courts of the United States and the Superior Courts of the Territories, to act with the judges of those courts in fugitive slave cases. Such commissioners could be fined one thousand dollars for refusing to issue a writ, and were liable for the value of any slave escaping from them. The testimony required for rendition was the official declaration of the fact of the escape of a slave by two witnesses, and the establishment of his identity by oath. The testimony of the accused could not be admitted. The right of trial by jury was not affirmed, and was therefore practically denied. A sheriff might call upon any bystander for help in executing the law, and the penalty for harboring or aiding in a rescue was increased from five hundred dollars, as in 1793, to one thousand dollars, and imprisonment for not more than six months. Should the slave escape, damages to the same amount were to be paid to the claimant. If a mob were feared, military force might be employed; and by a discrimination little likely to win respect for the act, the fee of the commissioner was to be increased from five to ten dollars whenever the case was decided in favor of the claimant.

Southern politicians argued that a new law with sharper teeth was necessary because, essentially, the entire north was full of abolitionists who spent nearly all their time devising ways and means to separate slaves from slaveholders, to the point that in New York there had even been a huge convention held to that purpose.  Any attempt to regain fugitive slaves, the southern politicians said, was met with resistance, deceit, and sometimes mobs.

Such, according to the Southern Congressmen, was the condition of affairs. They then proceeded to contrast it with the situation as contemplated by the Constitution, and supported by the decision of the Supreme Court in the Prigg case. Mr. Butler insisted that this bill required “nothing more than is enjoined by the Constitution, and which contains the bond of union and the security of harmony; and in the name of Washington, I would invoke all parties to observe, maintain, and defend it.” He said it was the handiwork of sages and patriots, and resulted from intelligent concessions, for the benefit of all.165 Many speeches were filled with prophecies, more or less openly expressed, of the dissolution of the Union. Mr. Soulé said the South must fight for its rights, since it is the weaker of the two sections.166 It had come down to the question, How could the Union be preserved?167Some concessions must be made. Mr. Badger urged the bill, because it “will give assurance, it will satisfy the public mind that the Government is disposed, is truly anxious, to accomplish the restitution of fugitive slaves; sincerely wished and is resolved to do right to the uttermost of its power. The proof of this will be complete, because we furnish the best means for the recovery of the slave himself, and if these fail we can secure prompt and adequate indemnity for the loss.”168

Northern politicians were, regrettably, weak on the topic;

Arguments against the bill.—On the Northern side, there seems to have been an admission that some bill of the kind was necessary for the interests of the Union. The opposition dwelt chiefly, therefore, upon the details of the measure. Many considered them unjust, as recognizing only one class of rights, those of the masters. Mr. Chase, from the antislavery wing, demanded that a claim of this kind be put on the same footing as any other statutory right. “Claims of right in the services of individuals found under the protection of the laws of a free State must be investigated in the same manner as other claims of right. If the most ordinary controversy involving a contested claim of twenty dollars must be decided by jury, surely a controversy which involves the right of a man to his liberty should have a similar trial…. It will not do for a man to go into a State where every legal presumption is in favor of freedom, and seize a person whom he claims as a fugitive slave, and say, ‘This man is my slave, and by my authority under the Constitution of the United States I carry him off, and whoever interferes does so at his peril.’ He is asked, ‘Where is your warrant?’ and he produces none; ‘Where is your evidence of claim?’ and he offers none. The language of his action is, ‘My word stands for law.’”

However, the South probably overplayed its hand with this new Fugitive Slave Act.  It forced every one to become an agent for the southern slaveholders.  This awakened the slumbering consciences of many who had been satisfied enough to merely hold opinions mildly in favor of freedom without actually having to act on them.

Unpopularity of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.—The passage of the new law probably increased the number of antislavery people more than anything else which had occurred during the whole agitation. Many of those formerly indifferent were roused to active opposition by a sense of the injustice of the Fugitive Slave Act as they saw it executed in Boston and elsewhere. Hence, in the cases of the period from 1850 to the outbreak of the Civil War, we shall find a new element. The antislavery party, grown strong, resisted the regulations, and instead of the unquestioned return of a fugitive, as in colonial times, or of prosecutions carried on under the simple conditions of the act of 1793, the struggle became long and complex. In fact during this time hardly an important case can be cited in which there was not some opposition to the natural course of the law. These exasperating effects were not at first apparent to the South, since before the famous rescues began several cases of rendition showed the power of the Executive. As the escapes grew more and more frequent yearly, increasing all the time in boldness, the slaveholders put forth greater efforts to punish the offenders, and prosecutions were numerous. But the “new law had no moral foundation,” and against such an act public sentiment must sooner or later revolt, no matter how severe may be its provisions.190 As Mr. James Freeman Clarke has said, “It was impossible to convince the people that it was right to send back to slavery men who were so desirous of freedom as to run such risks. All education from boyhood up to manhood had taught us to believe that it was the duty of all men to struggle for freedom.”191

I have had, regrettably more than once, the strange experience of listening to a freedom loving white person try to tell me slavery just wasn’t so bad as it was pictured in northern propaganda.  The argument of one of them was actually that it didn’t even make sense, because the south was renowned for its hospitality, ergo, how could such a hospitable people have mistreated its slaves?  There’s really no arguing with this, not because it’s true, but because it’s like trying to convince a tired toddler that they are actually tired.  Toddlers, and people like this, are impervious to logic.

To no avail, I have attempted to point out the obvious- even if absolutely no abuses ever occurred, the race based institution of slavery was simply not compatible with what those very people who were defending it to me would want for themselves.  If nothing else, it was a complete trampling of the Golden Rule.

Marion McDougall also looked into the reasons why slaves chose to leave their bonds:

Reasons for escape.—First, why did the slave seek to escape? However unlike the attending circumstances, we find upon investigation that the negro’s desire to run away may be traced to one of but three or four motives. Among the more intelligent slaves, who could comprehend the nature and injustice of their position, it often rose solely from the upspringing in their hearts of that love of freedom natural to all men. It is probable that in the greater number of cases this was the motive at the root of the matter. A fugitive, on being questioned at an Underground Railroad station as to his reasons for escape, replied that he had had a kind master, plenty to eat and to wear, but that notwithstanding this for many years he had been dissatisfied. He was thirsting for freedom.216 Another said that his owner had always been considerate, and even indulgent to him. He left for no other reason than simply to gain his liberty.217

A second reason, and that which perhaps most frequently led them to take the decisive step in this often long premeditated act, was the cruel treatment received from their masters. An owner upon one of the Southern plantations said his slaves usually ran away after they had been whipped, or something had occurred to make them angry.218

A third and very effective cause was the fear of being sold South, where slave life, spent in toil under the merciless masters of the rice swamps and cotton fields, was seen on its darkest side. Such was the horror with which the slave regarded this change, that the threat of it was constantly used by owners as one of the surest means of reducing their rebellious slaves to submission.

Quoted text above taken from the very interesting book Fugitive Slaves, by Marion Gleason McDougall.  It’s available free at Amazon or at Gutenberg.

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Free4Kindle: Slave Narratives

Twelve Years A Slave: Original Edition – With Bonus of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Original illustrations
Yep, the original. Also, this is two books in one. I downloaded this one. We have Twelve Years a Slave on cassette tape- my older kids listened to it on a long car drive years ago, and now their youngest sister wants to read it. It’s good, really, really good.

Update: this one is already .99, and I couldn’t find a free one.  The rest of these should remain free:

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Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass should be required reading in all high schools. This book was so eloquently written that it is easy to forget that the man who wrote it taught himself how to read and write! He is expressive and poetic, yet concise. He takes the reader on a journey through horror and hope. I learned things about slave-life that I could have never imagined.

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Up from Slavery: an autobiography

It remains one of the most important works on such an influential African-American leader.”–Professor Delia Crutchfield Cook, University of Maryland, KC

“This book is a must read.”–Professor Warren C. Swindell, Indiana State University

“This book is definitely a classic and I have used every year im my African-American history course.”–Professor W. Marvin Dulaney, College of Charleston

“Reading ‘Up From Slavery’ has provided my students with an opportunity to encounter a key figure in African American history on his own terms. It has provided them with greater insight into the mind of this man and his times.”–C. Matthew Hawkins, Carlow College

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Behind the Scenes or, Thirty years a slave, and Four Years in the White House

“Invaluable…Elizabeth Keckley’s memoir of her life as a White House dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln…[is a] curious gem”–Eric J. Sundquist in The New York Times Book Review

“A remarkable vantage point on the Civil War” –Chicago Sun Times
About the Author
Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley (1818–1907) was born a slave near Dinwiddie Court House, Virginia, and, after purchasing her freedom, became head of the Domestic Science Department at Wilberforce University in Ohio.

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Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself

Harriet Ann Jacobs (1813-1897) was an American writer, who escaped from slavery and became an abolitionist speaker and reformer. Jacobs’ single work, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, published in 1861 under the pseudonym “Linda Brent”, was one of the first autobiographical narratives about the struggle for freedom by female slaves and an account of the sexual harassment and abuse they endured. The narrative was designed to appeal to middle class white Christian women in the North, focusing on the impact of slavery on women’s chastity and sexual virtues. Christian women could perceive how slavery was a temptation to masculine lusts and vice as well as to womanly virtues. Jacobs criticized the religion of the Southern United States as being un-Christian and as emphasizing the value of money (“If I am going to hell, bury my money with me,” says a particularly brutal and uneducated slaveholder). She described another slaveholder with, “He boasted the name and standing of a Christian, though Satan never had a truer follower.” Jacobs argued that these men were not exceptions to the general rule. Much of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was devoted to the Jacobs’s struggle to free her two children after she escaped. Before that, Harriet spent seven years hiding in a tiny space built into her grandmother’s barn to see and hear the voices of her children. Jacobs changed the names of all characters in the novel, including her own, to conceal their true identities. The villainous slave owner “Dr. Flint” was based on Jacobs’s former master, Dr. James Norcom. Despite the publisher’s documents of authenticity, some critics attacked the narrative as based on false accounts. There was a reaction against the more horrific details of slave narratives, and some readers believed they could not be true.

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This one is fiction, and it’s still kind of infamous with many southerners. However, while it is fiction, Mrs. Stowe based many of the incidents and people on true accounts she’d seen in newspapers and learned of while interviewing escaped slaves. She wrote about that in the book Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

For .99 you can get a Kindle versioin that has both UTC and the Key, which gives the sources for all her material in UTC:

Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Halcyon Classics)

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During the Depression, one of the government work projects sent writers and journalists out around the country to talk to former slaves about what their lives had been like. Obviously, given the timing, many of the interviewed had been children at the time of slavery, and some of the oldest may have had their memories clouded a bit by their years, but these narratives remain a valuable historical resource. Here are just a few of them (all free):

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves, North Carolina Narratives, Part 2

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Kansas Narratives

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Ohio Narratives

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Kentucky Narratives
(reader review: These slave narratives from the WPA–this group conducted in Kentucky–compare to nothing else. One just wishes there were more of them. I especially enjoyed the ones where the slaves were allowed to relate their experience. Some interviewers used the opportunity to tell how happy the ex-slaves were, and well-cared for under the plantation system–a few bad eggs of overseers made everybody look bad, etc. It seemed that some interviewers asked leading questions about superstitions, like belief in charms was somehow unique to the slave quarters. I would expect that had white citizens with similar opportunities/educations been questioned, they would have been just as superstitious. That being said, reading these from any state is always edifying.)

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Georgia Narratives, Part 2

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves Florida Narratives

Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves. Texas Narratives, Part 2

(Reader review of one of the set from Texas: “these were recorded/written in 1937 as part of the WPA writers’ project, and the year must be considered – that’s understandable. But, these read as though the writers were given a “script” of prompts (and perhaps a “dictionary” of how to write in dialect) to ask the former slaves – how slave cabins were built, what they ate, did they believe in “hoo-voo” and ghosts, what was their religion and songs they sang, how “good the massa” treated them, etc – many stereotypes that became monotonous. It’s obvious that most of those interviewed were afraid to offend the “white folks.” But, some divulged something on their own that proved informative, and people looking for ancestry might find a family name and place pop up. The most interesting point that emerged was how unprepared the former slaves were for “freedom” since many had never been off the plantation and hadn’t been allowed to learn to read/write; unless they had a particular skill like blacksmithing, they were doomed for extreme poverty, as provisions to help their adjustment didn’t exist. Many stayed on the lands where they were born, at least until the owners went broke or died, and most of their children deserted them as they aged.”)

Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States – From Interviews with Former Slaves Arkansas Narratives, Part 7

(Amazon reader review: The book written in 1937 interviewed former slaves. It was very informative and gave you a personal perspective of the era. One thing that stands out is how some of the interviewees said that the new generation of children (remember this is back in 1937) was getting bad and that they lacked respect. Good book for the price. I’d like to see more school children read this book to get a better perspective on how man could treat his fellow man so bad.)

This link should take you to a page of slave narratives from different states:
WPA Slave Narratives Page

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American Slave Trade or, An Account of the Manner in which the Slave Dealers take Free People from some of the United States of America, and carry them … carrying on of this most infamous Traffic

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The History of Mary Prince A West Indian Slave

This book is a great primary source read that gives an in-depth image of the life of Mary Prince. From the transporting between colonies and England, to the violence endured, and being passed from family to family – Mary Prince remains hopeful of her situation and also for her future as a wife. The book directly engages the reader and provides not only information about the life of a Black female slave, but also humanizes Mary as a woman rather than just a slave as many accounts and even history tends to classify them as.

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The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America 1638-1870, by W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt) Du Bois

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From Slave to College President Being the Life Story of Booker T. Washington
a biography
Reader review: This is a factual account of the life of Booker T. Washington. It is not the type of book that hold one on the edge of their seat, but it is a witness to how much difference one man’s life can make in the lives of others. He helped make great strides in the education of the negro race. He was completely dedicated to the task and it comes through loud and clear in this biography

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Thirty Years a Slave From Bondage to Freedom: The Institution of Slavery as Seen on the Plantation and in the Home of the Planter: Autobiography of Louis Hughes

Reader review: the author wrote/described his story very vividly. It is very authentic and gave a true account of his life, the year and the underlying circumstances of the time/period in history. I commend him for his courage, his spirit and desire for freedom. His longing to be free and improve himself gave true meaning for his real struggle and desire to improve himself, thus, being successful in every endeavor he embrace.

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The Narrative of William W. Brown, a Fugitive Slave

 

Amazon blurb: William Wells Brown (November 6, 1814 November 6, 1884) was a prominent abolitionist lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian. Born into slavery in the Southern United States, Brown escaped to the North, where he worked for abolitionist causes and was a prolific writer. Brown was a pioneer in several different literary genres, including travel writing, fiction, and drama, and wrote what is considered to be the first novel by an African American. An almost exact contemporary of Frederick Douglass, Wells Brown was overshadowed by Douglass and the two feuded publicly. William Wells Brown was born into slavery in Lexington, Kentucky. His mother, Elizabeth, was owned by a Dr. Young and had seven children, all with different fathers. (In addition to Brown, her children were Solomon, Leander, Benjamin, Joseph, Milford, and Elizabeth.) Brown’s father was George Higgins, a white plantation owner and cousin of the owner of the plantation where Brown was born. Even though Young promised Higgins never to sell the boy, he was sold multiple times before he was twenty years old. Brown spent the majority of his youth in St. Louis. His masters hired him out to work on the Missouri River, then a major thoroughfare for the slave trade. He made several attempts to escape, and on New Year’s Day of 1834, he successfully slipped away from a steamboat at a dock in Cincinnati, Ohio. He adopted the name of a Quaker friend of his, who had helped him after his escape by providing him with food, clothes and some money. Shortly after gaining his freedom, he met and married Elizabeth Schooner, a free African-American woman, from whom he separated and later divorced, causing a minor scandal. Together they had three daughters. From 1836 to about 1845, Brown made his home in Buffalo, New York, where he served as a conductor for the Underground Railroad and as a steam boatman on Lake Erie, a position he used to ferry escaped slaves to freedom in Canada. There Brown became active in the abolitionist movement by joining several anti-slavery societies and the Negro Convention Movement.

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The Fugitive Blacksmith or, Events in the History of James W. C. Pennington, Pastor of a Presbyterian Church, New York, Formerly a Slave in the State of Maryland, United States

It is impossible to read accounts like Mr. Pennington’s (a slave who escapes, pursues education, becomes a writer and speaker and advocate) without utmost admiration for the greatness of spirit and courage evident. It is not a developed work, but more like a transcription of memories some time after the fact. Its plainness of expression and straightforward account, lacking exaggeration or hyperbole, make it all the more effective. It could serve as an excellent introduction into the realities of life both as a slave and as an escaped slave and supposedly free man.

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Narrative of the Life of J.D. Green, a Runaway Slave, from Kentucky Containing an Account of His Three Escapes, in 1839, 1846, and 1848
“Narrative of the Life of J.D. Green” is an interesting account of J.D. Green’s escapes to freedom. It is a short story but very well written, moving along at a good pace. Green was a clever man. He details his thoughts and the various ways he found to escape. He was captured and sold and escaped, so it was quite a story as to how he landed in Canada. I was fully immersed in the tale and was able to read it in one sitting.

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Biography of a Slave, Being the Experiences of Rev. Charles Thompson, a Preacher of the United Brethren Church, While a Slave in the South. Together with … Occurrences Incidental to Slave Life.

This is a fascinating account that brings to life an unreal existence. Charles manages to reflect Christ even as a mistreated slave. His faith is sustaining and strong. I am humbled by his faithfulness under such circumstances. It will challenge believers to reexamine their faith walk and prompt those without faith to wonder at a faith so strong. Great read!

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Fugitive Slaves 1619-1865

Marion Gleason McDougall
published in 1891

This looks like a very interesting chronology of fugitive slave laws, fugitive slaves, and court cases in North America during the period mentioned in the title. It’s also at Gutenberg, where I lifted this excerpt:

 5. Escapes in New England: Attucks case.—Although we do not find records of fugitive slave cases tried at this time within the New England colonies, advertisements of runaways exist in sufficient numbers to prove that escapes were common. It seems probable, therefore, that the return of a slave when within his own colony was taken as a matter of course, and roused so little opposition, and required so simple a process at law, that matters concerning it would seldom find mention in the chronicles of the time. Here is a typical advertisement:—

“Ran away from Samuel Gilbert of Littleton, an indentured Servant Boy, named Samuel Gilson, about 17 years old, of a middling Stature for his Age, and wears black curled Hair, he carried away with him a blue cloth Coat, a light colored Jacket with sleeves, one pair of worsted Stockings, two striped woolen Shirts, and one good linnen Shirt. He went away in company with a short thick set Fellow, who wore a green coat and a green Jacket double breasted, also a pair Indian green Stockings. Whoever shall take up and secure, or give information of said runaway, so that his master may find him again, shall receive a Reward of two dollars and all necessary charges from

Samuel Gilbert.

“All masters of vessels and others are cautioned against harboring,” etc.16

Again a case interesting not only as an illustration of the customs of the time, but also because the fugitive himself bears a name known to history in another connection, is noticed in the Boston Gazette of 1750. Here is advertised as escaping, October 2, 1750, from his master, William Browne of Framingham, Massachusetts, “A molatto fellow about twenty-seven years of age, named Crispus.” After describing his clothing and appearance, a reward of ten pounds, old tenor, is offered for his return, and “all masters of vessels and others are cautioned against concealing said servant on penalty of law.”17 Tradition has it, however, that he was never arrested, but returned of his own accord after a short time, and was for the next twenty years a faithful servant.18Then, in 1770, presumably while in town upon one of the expeditions he often undertook to buy and sell cattle for his master, he was drawn into the Boston Massacre of March 5.19

More from this book here.

Other free books on the topic:

The Duty of Disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act An Appeal To The Legislators Of Massachusetts, Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 9

The Fugitive Slave Law and Its Victims Anti-Slavery Tracts No. 18

Speech of John Hossack, Convicted of a Violation of the Fugitive Slave Law Before Judge Drummond, Of The United States District Court, Chicago, Ill.

Report of the Proceedings at the Examination of Charles G. Davis, Esq., on the Charge of Aiding and Abetting in the Rescue of a Fugitive Slave Held in Boston, in February, 1851.

book and candle

 

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It’s spring at last, but…

Recap: After a bad leg break while ice-skating back in January and a nightmarish experience of getting from the ice where she was injured and finally to surgery- the FYG’s leg is crooked- knee and ankle no longer align. She’s far from where she needs to be physical therapy wise. Often her leg is still discolored and inflamed and swollen. And her surgeon dismissed her and said everything was great- about two weeks before she had even finished the physical therapy he had prescribed in the first place, and without bothering to read the report the PT had written for him, which explained how far she is from being done with PT.

So, my husband and the FYG met with the family doctor a few days ago to get the referral to the new surgeon so we can get a referral for further physical therapy. Our family doctor agrees with what is obvious and should have been noted by the surgeon- her leg is now crooked, a screw is also longer than it really ought to be (we can actually feel it beneath the skin and if she pulls the skin just a little, you can see the outline of the screwhead. This is entirely too close to the surface and it gives her pain). We’ll talk to the *new* surgeon in May. The doctor suggested the best fix for the crooked leg might be one we don’t want to take unless she is going to be a professional athlete. At least one screw might have to come out. Other options will be presented by the new surgeon and we’ll see what’s what from there. I ‘m kind of sick about it all and angry as well, and every additional cut they make is just more scarring due to her hypertrophic scarring issue and we’re already fighting that.

Today: It’s a sunny day, warm enough to have windows open. Green shoots are now sticking up, about level with the dead leaves all over the ground outside. I expect to see some blossom buds any day now.

The FYG came to get a school assignment from me, and then, as she left to get her books, she rubbed her hands together in glee, and said, “I am going to do my school outside on the desk. SPRING is here!”

And then more glumly and under her breath as she limped out of the room, “I wish I could spring.”

Me, too, sweetheart. Oh, with all my heart, I wish that for you, too.

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Hollywood and Thought Crimes

The HG and I were recently talking about Robert Downey, Jr’s comment:

“I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”

Rather telling, isn’t it, that he doesn’t feel he can freely state his views?

From there in our conversation we went to general Hollywood hypocrisy – they work with child rapists and overlook drug abuse, battery, assault, rape and all kinds of nastiness, ignore Baldwin’s spewing of all kinds of slurs, but when somebody whose politics and faith they don’t share blows it, that person is shunned and blacklisted.  Here’s an interesting read on one journalist’s turn around on Mel Gibson.

But Gibson won’t be forgiven any time soon, because the truth is, Hollywood really doesn’t care about his spat with the mother of his child and the ugly things he said to her or even the alleged black eye- I don’t think Hollywood really believes her about that anymore than the investigating officers of the DA’s office did.  Hollywood doesn’t really care about the hateful things a mean, drunk actor says.

What they care about is Gibson’s thought crimes. He won’t be forgiven unless he shows his thoughts have been successfully ‘re-educated.’  He could successfully prove his rehabilitation only if he does something drastic to unite himself with the thought police in power- if, say, he becomes an atheist or a Buddhist, or discovers he’s been secretly homosexual all these years.

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Sociology, economics, and politics in a loaf of bread, and a vintage receipt for milk toast

hospitality bread and milkI’ve read about milk toast in old storybooks before, and I always thought it sounded quite nasty, but it appears from the recipe below, found in

 A Little Cook Book for a Little Girl, by Caroline French Benton

published in 1905, that I’ve actually made it for breakfast before when we had bread, but no biscuits and wanted something like biscuits and gravy. I just used flour instead of cornstarch, and I did not bother with a double boiler. We also don’t stack our ‘milk toast’ as described.

Toast

Toast is very difficult for grown people to learn to make because they have made it wrong all their lives,  but it is easy for little girls to learn to make because they can make it right from the first.

Cut bread that is at least two days old into slices a quarter of an inch thick. If you are going to make only a slice or two take the toasting fork, but if you want a plateful,  take the wire broiler.  Be sure the fire is red without any flames.  Move the slices  of bread back and forth across the coals, but do not let them brown. Do both sides this way and then brown first one and then the other afterward. Trim off the edges, butter a little quickly, and send to the table hot. Baker’s bread makes the best toast.

Milk Toast

Put one pint of milk on in a double boiler and let it heat. Melt one tablespoonful of butter, and when it bubbles stir in one small tablespoonful of corn-starch, and when these are rubbed smooth, put in one-third of the milk. Cook and stir till even, without lumps, and then put in the rest of the milk and stir well; add half a teaspoonful of salt, and put on the back of the stove.
Make six slices of toast; put one slice in the dish and put a spoonful of the white sauce over it, then put in another and another spoonful, and so on till all are in, and pour the sauce that is left over all. If you want this extra nice, do not take quite so much butter, and use a pint of cream instead of the milk.

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I am not really sure what, precisely, is meant by ‘baker’s bread.’  Any suggestions?  I believe it was purchased at the bakery rather than baked at home, but I am not clear on what the difference is that made it better for toast than home-baked bread.

“Baker’s bread was associated with the working class because it required little or no space or time at home for preparing bread, and it suggested a mother who worked for wages, inside or outside the home. ”

The School of Education Record of the University of North Dakota, Volumes 1-2, 1915, at Googlebooks, says that bread made at home is far more nourishing than Baker’s Bread, and since many mothers cannot make bread at all, it devolves upon the school’s domestic science department to teach children bread baking.

On the other hand, in 1920, the California Grocers Advocate, Volume 25, Issues 1-26
was saying:

Home economics experts are coming out in favor of buying bread from the baker as being more expedient for the householder than baking bread at home. A conference with representatives of the manufactured food products and the faculty and students of the department of Foods and Cookery Teacher’s College Columbia University New York was recently held at the University. Mrs Vera Edmundson Nelson of the Fleischmann Company in an address emphasized the value of baker’s bread over the product of the amateur in the household kitchen.
“Bakers Bread,” said Mrs Nelson, “if it is of standard quality contains all the elements necessary to a well balanced meal.”

Miss Anna Barrow, assistant to Miss Mary B Van Arsdale, director of the School of Cookery, presided.

In an interview on the subject of baker’s bread versus home bread, Miss Barrow said “The up to date baker is far likely to be more expert in bread making than the average housewife because of the highly specialized equipment he has at hand. This is the age of specialists and the earnest baker is a specialist in his line. Every good housekeeper should be taught to know good bread so that she can be discriminating in her purchases. We teach students to make good bread in order that they might be the better able to judge the baker’s product and also that they might be able to bake in emergencies and when baker’s bread is not available. But the most efficient plan for the housewife is to locate a good baker and buy.”

Mrs Nelson in her address said that the Fleischmann Company is being accorded a large share of the credit for popularizing bread as a food in America. She reviewed the facts about the Fleischmann Company one/half million dollar advertising campaign to teach the public the value of bread through the great national magazines. She also outlined the plan how the Fleischmann Company had urged bakers all over the country to meet the demand of the public with a greater output of better bread. Mrs Nelson also reminded the student in household arts that bread is the most important food in the diet since it contains all the food elements necessary to health and growth.

Mrs Ida C Bailey Allen director of Mrs Allen’s School of Good Cookery New York also urged housewives to buy good bread from the bakers in place of baking at home according to a statement she made recently to a Fleischmann representative.

While Mrs Allen prepares future housewives in bread baking in order that bread baking at home may not become a lost art she lays great stress on teaching her students how to make bread dishes and using up the leftovers of baker’s bread. Other leaders in the profession of household arts are advocating baker’s bread in place of the housewives own product.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Raw Milk and Refrigerated Eggs

Sometimes you scratch a self described conservative and just find another statist- as in This article on raw milk from Hot Air, which is essentially worthless, from an actual Constitutional or libertarian point of view.

It’s kind of worthless from a real life point of view, too.  Most stats and scary stories about pathogens in milk are connected to huge dairy farms and cross contaminations when milk from one sick cow gets mixed up with the milk from other cows.  But I buy my raw milk from a smaller dairy.  I used to buy it from a family with two cows.  Most of the scary stats would go away with ‘know your dairy farmer.’  It’s like taking research on the transmission of athlete’s foot in school gymns and showers and saying the same level of risk applies to your own shower in your own home, so it should be required that every home shower have a tub of athelete’s foot powder to step into as you get out of the shower.

Or it’s like taking the risks of sexually transmitted diseases from the men’s bathhouses in San Francisco and applying them to married monogamous couples, or the bathhouses in Korea without taking into account the very different practices and risk taking levels at these three locations.

But mostly, laws banning the sale of raw milk are not compatible with small government conservativism.

The fact that the antiraw milk article showed up on a self described conservative site isn’t shocking, though it is disappointing. IT’s frustrating that so many of the commenters don’t understand that the real difference between them and progressives isn’t the amount of government interference they accept. It’s only a case of what and where, not how much.  However, I did enjoy some of the comments:

Like these:

In response to: Bottom line is if folks want to buy raw milk fine…but if they get sick do Tax Payers pay for their new kidney op?

In the age of Obamacare that is likely…

workingclass artist on April 5, 2014 at 4:56 PM

“Why is it MORE likely that’ll taxpayers will pay for the consequences of (the tiny possibility that someone becomes deathly ill from drinking) raw milk than for any other reason people might get sick?

Much more reasonable to ban the sale of peanut products- I’ll guarantee more kids die from peanut allergies than from raw milk. Yet why are you not calling for reasonable restrictions on peanut butter?

Why fixate on this particular risk, among so many much more likely ones, and why is there the assumption that somehow YOU will be called upon to pay for it?

Most people still have insurance that will cover their illnesses, be it resulting from peanuts or raw milk or or water skiing or alcohol (Yeah! let’s go THERE!), so I find it disingenuous that there is all this hand-wringing over poor me, the taxpayer, on the hook for all those doctor bills.

How many people actually get sick from contaminated raw milk- not dead, not hospitalized, just sick? Maybe 100 per year. How many get sick from contaminated vegetables and fruit? Well over 2000 per year.

Quit hand wringing.

Pless1foEngrish on April 5, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Or this one:

I can’t deny the fact that many products and ingredients which can be legally ingested into our bodies are often bad for us, so frankly I don’t see why we should sacrifice our liberties on something as stupidly base as MILK when you can eat raw vegetables bathed in fecal matter. Or, you could drink grain alcohol, smoke tobacco, and if doing so often enough, fry your liver and lungs.

We’re so used to government regulating our choices, at this point, that it’s just about a lost cause. I don’t drink raw milk, but if I wanted to I’d want the freaking government OUT OF MY BUSINESS as I do so. On that basis alone, I’d side with those who feel the same.

xNavigator on April 5, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Or this one:

Responding to-

if they get sick do Tax Payers pay for their new kidney op?

workingclass artist on April 5, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Really? You want to have a who-deserves-what-treatment conversation? ‘Cause raw milk is awfully far down the list of what self-induced maladies “Tax Payers” are on the hook for these days.

Jaibones on April 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM

And this one:

Michigan allows consumers to buy cowshares in individual cows.

The risk is limited to their own cow

I think people should be allowed that informed risk, with the understanding they are solely responsible

When milk is sold to dairies, and product from multiple cows combined, the risk is multiplied

This is the risk people face everyday eating cooked hamburger. The average fast food hamburger may contain the meat of a thousand cows, so the outbreaks can be devastating, even if the meat is cooked, due to Heat stable enterotoxins excreted by bacteria like certain e coli strains. These beef bacteria also cause organ shut down and death

Superbugs are now everywhere, and heating does not kill all toxins

Meanwhile there is no limit on the number of unprotected sex partners a person may have, despite the AIDs and hepatitis viruses. Obamacare requires we pick up the medical bill. We even have to pay for sex change operations, with no refund to us, if the newly changed person has unprotected sex leading to disease

If we allow people to choose to have multiple unprotected sex partners, they should certainly be allowed to have informed unpasteurized cow sampling. I may try this (meaning cow) one day myself. See the Weston A Price Foundation which does great work in this field.

I also believe people should be allowed to smoke, should be allowed have clubs and other assemblies where they smoke, and should be allowed to have businesses where smoking is permitted. And I do not smoke

entagor on April 5, 2014 at 8:14 PM

And this:

“Before we do that, however, let’s put the current discussion of unpasteurized milk safety into a wider context. Foodborne illness is a concern for many types of food. According to the most recent review of foodborne disease outbreaks in the U.S. in 2008 by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), seafood, produce and poultry were associated with the most outbreaks. Produce is responsible for the greatest number of illnesses each year (2,062), with nearly twice as many illnesses as poultry (1,112). Dairy products are at the bottom of the list. They cause the fewest outbreaks and illnesses of all the major food categories – beef, eggs, poultry, produce and seafood.

According to the CDC, during the period from 1990 − 2006, there were 24,000 foodborne illnesses reported each year on average. Of those, 315 per year are from dairy products. This means dairy products account for about 1.3% of foodborne illnesses each year. That’s not exactly an alarming number, considering that more than 75% of the population consumes dairy products regularly.”

Jaibones on April 5, 2014 at 11:21 PM

And this:

Are the risks higher? Perhaps. But do the benefits outweigh that risk is the more appropriate question. That includes the risk to individual liberty. See Wickard v. Filburn as one of the greatest abominations to our Constitution in history.

Notwithstanding the misinformation on both sides, the market and citizens should decide (in full knowledge of the details) if selling raw milk from small farm producers is permissible or even desirable. Ultimately it should be about the quality and benefits of the product which in the end determine its availability- not some nanny state action under the guise of protection. See the armed raids on raw milk producing farms as one example of excessive application of force.

The primary issue is of course the grotesque overreach of government into peoples everyday lives today. In those endeavors they’ve lost all credibility and even if there is a legitimate point- it’s lost on most people.

Now I will say of consumed both raw and pasteurized milk from family farms. Nobody that I can recall over the years ever became sick from it. That’s not to say there isn’t a risk of contamination- there is. But it is, and should be a matter of preference and ensuring quality.

Marcus Traianus on April 6, 2014 at 9:19 AM

 

Should Americans be allowed…?” That says it all. Who does the ‘allowing’ and who’s business is it to tell us what we can or cannot eat? Next thing you know they will not ‘allow’ us to order our fried eggs sunny side up. Get off my lawn, feds…

bimmcorp on April 6, 2014 at 9:27 AM

 

Like most regulations, rules requiring pasteurization of milk have the effect of favoring larger businesses over smaller ones, and in this case, factory farms over traditional family farms. The danger from raw milk comes from the way most dairies manage their cows. If they heat the milk, they then can ignore most of the precautions farmers traditionally took to keep milk safe before pasteurization was available. None of the raw-milk bills I’ve seen absolve milk producers from liability for their product, and that remains the most effective incentive for them to take proper care with what they sell.

tomwinfl on April 6, 2014 at 10:05 AM

 

Should Americans be allowed to buy anything raw? Meat is dangerous and should be kept away from children. Perhaps the safest thing would be to pass laws that require all products to be cooked by professionals before they pass into the stupid hands of the unwashed masses.

Another Libertarian on April 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Should Americans be allowed to buy alcohol?

Should Americans be allowed to buy tobacco products?

Should Americans be allowed to possess firearms?

Should Americans be allowed to own and operate automobiles?

Should Americans be allowed to decline the practice of meeting the minimum RDA through supplementation?

Should Americans be allowed to worship the God of their choosing, in the church of their choosing?

Every one of these things has a potential for physical harm to the chooser, even to the point of death.

Since we’re obviously not educated enough or bright enough to work the calculus for ourselves, and later generations won’t want to decide for themselves either, it sure is a good thing the government is here to decide for us.

applebutter on April 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM

The FDA, the original organization to implement food safety, now engages in deliberately trying to destroy small businesses (my friend runs a small vitamin company and knows their raids, and subsequent court tossing of the charges, first hand) and delaying healthcare drugs to market. Much of the expansion of government, that now causes pharmaceuticals to be so expensive, has been directly caused by this organization. This organization has also spawned dozens of similar agencies that now overlap areas and result in thousands upon thousands of unneeded regulations. Like the hydra of Greek legend, this one organization has sprouted many heads that threaten our liberty on countless fronts. It needs severely trimmed. Yet some “patriots” think that the many bites and environment of fear to exercise our liberty is somehow a good thing.

By the way… what article/section of the US Constitution authorizes the existence of this department? (And don’t cite I.8.3 or you’ll just embarrass yourself.)

dominigan on April 7, 2014 at 2:01 PM

That’s a funny word – “allowed”. I wonder if the government keeps a master list of the things we’re allowed to do. I should very much like a copy, so that I can review it every morning before going out to live my life.

ceruleanblue on April 7, 2014 at 6:57 PM

MOST regulation is DRIVEN by the incumbent producers as a means of rent-seeking…keeping new producers from entering a market because the costs of compliance are so high.

Read up on the regulation of the railroads as a great lesson of the above.

Ragspierre on April 5, 2014 at 2:48 PM

So exactly how much of a person’s daily personal choices SHOULD we control for “heath reasons”?

Obesity is a huge problem ad we can cure it… we just need government enforced “fat camps” with mandatory labor and we’ll improve health.

Since we’re willing to control people, limit choices, and make them give up their freedom for enforced health rules, why not?

And kids and vaccinations and such…we can’t let the uneducated be parents; we should take all children for the state and have the state rear them, as the collective government clearly knows best and could manage all these properly without parent’s choices getting int he way.

No, this is overboard and silly? SO you WILL draw lines where freedom has some value?

Then accept others might draw those lines in a different place from you; and it doesn’t mean they are “anti-science” to do so.

gekkobear on April 5, 2014 at 3:07 PM

We have a farm and drink raw milk. My wife is lactose intolerant but has no problems with the raw milk. Last I checked the data a large percentage of dairy cattle in the large production facilities have Johne’s disease which is the animal variant of Crohn’s disease.

National Animal Health Monitoring Systems (NAHMS) study, Dairy 2007, shows that 68.1 percent of U.S. dairy operations are infected with Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis (MAP), the bacteria known to cause Johne’s disease. Dairy 2007 also suggests that at least one out of every four U.S. dairy operations may have a relatively high percentage of Johne’s-infected cows in their herds. http://www.johnesdisease.org/These cows are still milked and all milk goes into the central containment and mixes, diseased or not. You can take the chance of drinking this putrid stuff and hope the “pasturizing” cleans it up but not this farmer. I will drink the raw stuff. I know my cattle are disease free. People drank raw milk for ages until the FDA decided it could make a few bucks and the milk lobby got involved.

This is the same FDA telling you not to drink raw milk who acknowledges from their own site? “Medications approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration result in nearly 100,000 deaths every year from what the federal agency describes as Adverse Drug Reactions, or ADRs”. Worse, over 2 million Americans suffer non-deadly adverse reactions to drugs every year that the FDA has approved “safe”.

Who are you going to trust, your lying eyes or big government?

usarmyretired on April 5, 2014 at 3:26 PM

You are vastly more likely to get sick from your own poop on your own hands (or a food server’s poop on HIS hands) than from any dairy product, raw or pasteurized.

And sad but true- at least 2 or 3 of the toddlers that died from the Jack in the Box e. coli outbreak were secondarily infected (secondary infections tend to be more virulent) from their own parents. That is, mom or dad ate a hamburger, didn’t wash their hands and infected their doomed child with their own feces.

FYI; every public bathroom door handle, when tested, is found to be contaminated with SOMEBODY’S poo.

Risk should be assessed rationally. Raw milk is so low on the list as to be almost invisible.

Pless1foEngrish on April 5, 2014 at 4:03 PM

When my wallet is off the hook, you’ll be free to engage in whatever crackpot fad you like. But if I have to clean up your mess, I demand reasonable precautions.

Adjoran on April 5, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Response to the above: So glad to hear you don’t indulge in any “risky” behaviors, like driving a small car or taking prescription medications, owning a backyard pool or living in Los Angeles or Detroit.

Because my wallet demands you limit your risk in any way I think suitable. After all, I might have to contribute some pittance some day to your health care.

If Bob the Hippie drank raw milk every day for 100 years, the risk of his getting sick wouldn’t even come close to the risk Bob runs every time he gets in an automobile.

But you knew that. You just wanted a chance to label somebody a crackpot and complain about stuff you think you pay for.

Pless1foEngrish on April 5, 2014 at 4:36 PM

———————

We are afraid of our food, and it’s good to have a healthy respect for the possibly contaminants that could occur.  But we are afraid and that fear is not tempered by knowledge.

Take a look at this article from Forbes:

Believe it or not, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) graded eggs would be illegal if sold in the UK, or indeed anywhere in the European Union (EU). It’s all to do with the fact that commercial American eggs are federally required to be washed and sanitized before they reach the consumer. EU egg marketing laws, on the other hand, state that Class A eggs – those found on supermarkets shelves, must not be washed, or cleaned in any way.

“In Europe, the understanding is that this mandate actually encourages good husbandry on farms. It’s in the farmers’ best interests then to produce to cleanest eggs possible, as no one is going to buy their eggs if they’re dirty, ” explained Mark Williams, Chief Executive, British Egg Industry Council in a phone interview.

According to the USDA, despite how conscientious and thorough modern day farm-management practices might be, there will still be a small percentage of “dirty eggs” produced. Dirt almost always equates to chicken manure and, if the eggs are produced in a free-range system, other raw agricultural commodities that hens might pick up from roaming freely.

Any feces on the exterior of an egg shell poses a food safety threat from potential cross-contamination if, say, a consumer cracks open an egg then proceeds to prepare a salad with those same bacteria-riddled hands. Since egg shells are porous, there’s also the possibility of micro-organisms migrating inside the egg under certain conditions.

A Thorough Clean

The USDA requires producers to wash eggs with warm water at least 20°F warmer than the internal temperature of the eggs and at a minimum of 90°F. A detergent that won’t impart any foreign odors to the eggs must also be used. After washing, the eggs must be rinsed with a warm water spray containing a chemical sanitizer to remove any remaining bacteria.  They are then dried to remove excess moisture.

This last step is crucial because bacteria cannot penetrate a thoroughly dry egg shell. Add a thin layer of moisture, however, and not only is there a medium that promotes bacterial growth, but the water also provides an excellent vehicle for pathogens such as salmonella and other critters to pass through via the tens of thousands of pores on the surface of the egg shell.

It’s in part because of the above risk that the EU has ruled out egg washing, asserting that careless washing procedures can lead to more damage than good.

The egg naturally comes with protection when the hen lays it:

Just as a hen is about to lay an egg, she applies a liquid coating around it that naturally protects against contamination. It also helps prevent moisture and carbon dioxide loss that in turn leads to an overall degradation in the quality of the egg. This layer, called the cuticle or bloom, is still wet when the egg emerges, but quickly dries after a few minutes.

According to the text of the EU egg marketing regulations this cuticle provides “an effective barrier to bacterial ingress with an array of antimicrobial properties.” It goes on to add that washing is prohibited because it could damage the cuticle making eggs even more vulnerable to contamination from pathogens and other micro organisms rather than providing an additional safety net.

Even the USDA’s official Egg-Grading Manual concedes that research has shown that washing removes most of the cuticle

 

But, you know, surely government knows best- so long as it’s regulating whatever you want it to regulate, I guess.

Posted in agrarian, food | 3 Comments

Books4Kindle, Mostly Free- nature, science, Christianity

we love free books

In Africa Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country

Amazon Reader Review (I downloaded this one thanks to this review): Some of the best things about In Africa Hunting Adventures in the Big Game Country aren’t just what McCutcheon writes, but the pictures that he formed in my mind about what it was really like to go on such an adventure in the early days of the 20th century.

It is so easy to get trapped in our present view where travel involves packing a bag and getting on an airplane, only to arrive anywhere in the world within 24 hours. During the flight, we use our vast electronic resources to learn (we think) everything about our destination.

This wasn’t the Africa that John McCutcheon knew. His Africa was largely un-mapped, the game species were only loosely documented, and even getting there was an adventure.

What a joy it was to ready McCutcheon’s description as he opens the book with a the description of the massive logistical effort that needed to be undertaken just to get to Africa in the early 1900s. Add to that, his fantastic description of going to the British Museum during his stop in London with his safari companions so that they could review the appearance and anatomy of animals that they had never seen before, but intended to hunt. It’s fascinating to think about a time that really wasn’t all that long ago, yet many species of animals in Africa had yet to be photographed.

History buffs will also be held captive by his descriptions of the unease that existed on the final leg of his voyage from Italy to Africa. His descriptions of the tension that existed on-board ship between the British and German passengers sent a chill up my spine. It was almost although there was a sense of foreboding borne by the sea air on that voyage. They seemed already resigned the inevitability of a Great War that was still hidden over the horizon.

Once in Africa, the danger was very real. Not just the obvious danger, from the animals. McCutcheon references several times the pains they took to avoid areas that were thought to harbor “fevers”. Again, from our modern world that keeps us wrapped in an antibiotic safety blanket, it’s startling to think of just how big of a risk a safari was in terms of dying from illnesses that are now easily preventable and curable. It’s with this danger factor in mind that I found parts of the story became even more thrilling. For example, when McCutcheon attempted to head off a giraffe on horseback by running at a full gallop across a grassy plain. On any stride, the horses hooves could have found a hole and McCutcheon would be seriously injured or (if lucky) killed outright.

It seems fashionable for some readers of these accounts of safaris to preface their comments with the fact that they are against shooting animals. Especially in Africa. John McCutcheon explains in detail his views on why it is justifiable. If you read his accounts of the extreme danger and utter fairness involved in hunting elephants they way they did it–on foot and on the ground, up close and personal–it’s hard to see McCutcheon in unfavorable terms. He was a sportsman of his day and of a time when the vast numbers of animals in Africa meant that the sportsman had no impact whatsoever on the health of the species.

Except, perhaps, that it was the sportsmen that were increasingly raising the alarm as settlers increasingly killed off game in order to protect crops and cattle.

A very entertaining, sometimes thrilling, and often thought-provoking read that shows the modern reader the details of what it was really like to go there. It was interesting for me to think about the concept of courage. Would any of us these days have the courage to travel and then to hunt dangerous game in the time, place and in the world that McCutcheon lived in?

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Camp and Trail

For a free book on the Kindle the value is astronomical.

The people saying this book is dated are right, you’re not going to be wearing moccasins. Waterproof boots are less of a gimmick with the advent of goretex In fact the outdoors-man has an astounding number of gear options since the author’s lifetime 1873-1946. This book isn’t going to tell you what kind of treaking poles you should use, or the technological wonder that is a spandex polyester blend long underwear. Its also not going to tell you how to build a campfire or tie a knot, or a number of other things that a man was just expected to know in the early 1900′s.

What you are going to get by reading this book is how the author approached his gear philosophically and practically. You’ll learn what he used and more importantly why he used it… you’ll also understand how his gear and approach changed after more hours outdoors then most modern folks will ever see. I think by reading this book you’ll understand how the author would choose his gear in modern times. You’ll come to understand that the needs of a human being haven’t changed that much, nor has the debate on how to fulfill them.

What I found most valuable: an easy to follow method on deciding what is necessary and what is unnecessary gear. How to avoid dangers of being over-encumbered, while still avoiding the dangers of being under equipped is the key to enjoying the outdoors. It was also refreshing to see that gear selection was situation dependent (some modern folks seem to be stuck on having a one size fits all solution to their outdoors kit)

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I just liked the sound of this title:

The Amateur Poacher

It’s also at Gutenberg, and it’s very lovely nature writing:

A dreamy, slumberous place, where the sedges slept, and the green flags bowed their pointed heads. Under the bushes in the distant nook the moorhen, reassured by the silence, came out from the grey-green grass and the rushes. Surely Calypso’s cave could not be far distant, where she

with work and song the time divides,
And through, the loom the golden shuttle guides.
For the Immortals are hiding somewhere still in the woods; even now I do not weary searching for them.

But as we rested a shadow fell from a cloud that covered the sun, and immediately a faint sigh arose from among the sedges and the reeds, and two pale yellow leaves fell from the willows on the water. A gentle breeze followed the cloud, chasing its shadow. Orion touched his rod meaningly. So I stepped ashore with the gun to see if a channel could be found into the open water, and pushed through the bush. Briar and bramble choked the path, and hollow willow stoles; but, holding the gun upright, it was possible to force through, till, pushing between a belt of reeds and round an elder thicket, I came suddenly on a deep, clear pool—all but walking into it. Up rose a large bird out of the water with a bustling of wings and splashing, compelled to ‘rocket’ by the thick bushes and willow poles. There was no time to aim; but the old gun touched the shoulder and went off without conscious volition on my part.

The bird flew over the willows, but the next moment there was a heavy splash somewhere beyond out of sight. Then came an echo of the report sent back from the woods adjoining, and another, and a third and fourth, as the sound rolled along the side of the hill, caught in the coombes and thrown to and fro like a ball in a tennis-court. Wild with anxiety, we forced the punt at the bulrushes, in the corner where it looked most open, and with all our might heaved it over the weeds and the mud, and so round the islet into the next pool, and thence into the open water. It was a wild duck, and was speedily on board.

Stepping the mast and hoisting the sail, we drifted before the faint breath of air that now just curled the surface, steering straight across the open for the stony barren islands at the mouth of the bay. The chart drawn in pencil—what labour it cost us!—said that there, a few yards from the steep shore, was a shoal with deep water round it. For some reason there always seemed a slight movement or current—a set of the water there, as if it flowed into the little bay.

In swimming we often came suddenly out of a cold into a stratum of warm water (at the surface); and perhaps the difference in the temperature may have caused the drift, for the bay was in shadow half the day. Now, wherever there is motion there will fish assemble; so as the punt approached the shoal the sail was doused, and at twenty yards’ distance I put the anchor into the water—not dropping it, to avoid the splash—and let it slip gently to the bottom.

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Life of Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O. Capt. 25th Royal Fusiliers

Random chapter excerpt (taken from Gutenberg):

The years 1872-1874 were undoubtedly the most strenuous of Selous’ life, for after his return to South Africa in 1876 he used the horse in the greater part of his journeys in the interior, except on such trips as he made into the “fly,” when he seldom met with elephants. He landed again at Algoa Bay on March 15th, 1876, and at once organized another trip into the interior, taking four months before he reached the Matabele country by bullock waggon. Here he met his old friend Dorehill, Lieutenant Grandy, R.N., and a Mr. Horner, and as it was too late to make an extensive trip after elephants the party spent the remainder of the year in short hunting trips down the Tati, Shashi, and Ramokwebani rivers. Much of this time was spent in hunting giraffes, and he gives many lively accounts of this exhilarating sport, also of hunting buffaloes and the larger antelopes. One day on the Ramokwebani Selous and his friends had a thrilling hunt after an old male lion which gave much trouble. Selous broke the animal’s shoulder with the first shot and then followed into thick bush in which the lion kept retreating. For that evening he was lost as night came on, but next day Selous tried his dogs, which seemed disinclined to face the quarry. The lion, however, was soon found, as a wet night had made “spooring” easy, and he kept up a continuous roaring, which is unusual. Grandy and Horner had shots, after which the lion continued his retreat from one thicket to another, but roaring at intervals.[15]

“As it was, however, I was peering about into the bush to try and catch sight of him, holding my rifle advanced in [100]front of me, and on full cock, when I became aware that he was coming at me through the bush. The next instant out he burst. I was so close that I had not even time to take a sight, but, stepping a pace backwards, got the rifle to my shoulder, and, when his head was close upon the muzzle, pulled the trigger and jumped to one side. The lion fell almost at my very feet, certainly not six feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Grandy and Horner, who had a good view of the charge, say that he just dropped in his tracks when I fired, which I could not see for the smoke. One thing, however, I had time to notice, and that was that he did not come at me in bounds, but with a rush along the ground. Perhaps it was his broken shoulder that hindered him from springing, but for all that he came at a very great rate, and with his mouth open. Seeing him on the ground, I thought that I must have shattered his skull and killed him, when, as we were advancing towards him, he stood up again. Dorehill at once fired with a Martini-Henry rifle, and shot him through the thigh. On this he fell down again, and, rolling over on to his side, lay gasping. We now went up to him, but, as he still continued to open his mouth, Horner gave him a shot in the head. I now examined my prize with great satisfaction. He was an average-sized lion, his pegged-out skin measuring 10 ft. 3 in. from nose to tip of tail, sleek, and in fine condition, and his teeth long and perfect.

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Warwick Woodlands Things as they Were There Twenty Years Ago

Also at Gutenberg.

Intro: It was a fine October evening when I was sitting on the back stoop of his cheerful little bachelor’s establishment in Mercer street, with my old friend and comrade, Henry Archer. Many a frown of fortune had we two weathered out together; in many of her brightest smiles had we two reveled–never was there a stauncher friend, a merrier companion, a keener sportsman, or a better fellow, than this said Harry; and here had we two met, three thousand miles from home, after almost ten years of separation, just the same careless, happy, dare-all do-no-goods that we were when we parted in St. James’s street,–he for the West, I for the Eastern World–he to fell trees, and build log huts in the backwoods of Canada,–I to shoot tigers and drink arrack punch in the Carnatic. The world had wagged with us as with most others: now up, now down, and laid us to, at last, far enough from the goal for which we started–so that, as I have said already, on landing in New York, having heard nothing of him for ten years, whom the deuce should I tumble on but that same worthy, snugly housed, with a neat bachelor’s menage, and every thing ship-shape about him?–So, in the natural course of things, we were at once inseparables.

Well–as I said before, it was a bright October evening, with the clear sky, rich sunshine, and brisk breezy freshness, which indicate that loveliest of the American months,–dinner was over, and with a pitcher of the liquid ruby of Latour, a brace of half-pint beakers, and a score –my contribution–of those most exquisite of smokables, the true old Manila cheroots, we were consoling the inward man in a way that would have opened the eyes, with abhorrent admiration, of any advocate of that coldest of comforts–cold water–who should have got a chance peep at our snuggery.

Random excerpt from the middlish section: Luncheon was soon discussed, a noble cold quail pie and a spiced round of beef, which formed the most essential parts thereof, displaying in their rapidly diminished bulk ocular evidence of the extent of sportmen’s appetites; a single glass of shrub and water followed, cheroots were lighted, and forth the comrades sallied, the Commodore inquiring as they went what were the prospects of success.

“You fellows,” he concluded, “have, I suppose, swept the ground completely.”

“That you shall see directly,” answered Archer; “I shall make you no promises. But see how evidently Grouse recollects those dogs of mine, though it is nearly a year since they have met; don’t you think so, A—?”

“To be sure I do,” replied the Commodore; “I saw it the first moment you came up–had they been strangers he would have tackled them upon the instant; and instead of that he began wagging his tail, and wriggling about, and playing with them. Oh! depend upon it, dogs think, and remember, and reflect far more than we imagine–”

“Oh! run back, Timothy–run back!” here Archer interrupted him–”we don’t want you this afternoon. Harness the nags and pack the wagon, and put them to, at five–we shall be at home by then, for we intend to be at Tom’s to-night. Now look out, Frank, those three last quail we marked in from the hill dropped in the next field, where the ragwort stands so thick; and five to one, as there is a thin growth of brushwood all down this wall side, they will have run down hither. Why, man alive! you’ve got no copper caps on!”

“By George! no more I have–I took them off when I laid down my gun in the house, and forgot to replace them.”

“And a very dangerous thing you did in taking them off, permit me to assure you. Any one but a fool, or a very young child, knows at once that a gun with caps on is loaded. You leave yours on the table without caps, and in comes some meddling chap or other, puts on one to try the locks, or to frighten his sweetheart, or for some other no less sapient purpose, and off it goes! and if it kill no one, it’s God’s mercy! Never do that again, Frank!”

Meanwhile they had arrived within ten yards of the low rickety stone wall, skirted by a thin fringe of saplings, in which Archer expected to find game–Grouse, never in what might be called exact command, had disappeared beyond it.

“Hold up, good dogs!” cried Harry, and as he spoke away went Shot and Chase–the red dog, some three yards ahead, jumped on the wall, and, in the act of bounding over it, saw Grouse at point beyond. Rigid as stone he stood upon that tottering ridge, one hind foot drawn up in the act of pointing, for both the fore were occupied in clinging to some trivial inequalities of the rough coping, his feathery flag erect, his black eye fixed, and his lip slavering; for so hot was the scent that it reached his exquisitely fashioned organs, though Grouse was many feet advanced between him and the game. Shot backed at the wall-foot, seeing the red dog only, and utterly unconscious that the pointer had made the game beyond.

“By Jove! but that is beautiful!” exclaimed the Commodore. “That is a perfect picture!–the very perfection of steadiness and breaking.”

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Round About a Great Estate
The only spot about the Chace where the wind-anemones grew was in a small detached copse of ash-poles nearly a mile from the great woods. Between the stoles, which were rather far apart, the ground was quite covered in spring with dark-green vegetation, so that it was impossible to walk there without treading down the leaves of bluebells, anemones, and similar woodland plants. But if you wished to see the anemones in their full beauty it was necessary to visit the copse frequently; for if you forgot it, or delayed a fortnight, very likely upon returning you would find that their fleeting loveliness was over. Their slender red stems rise but a few inches, and are surrounded with three leaves; the six white petals of the cup-shaped flower droop a little and have a golden centre. Under the petal is a tinge of purple, which is sometimes faintly visible through it. The leaves are not only three in number, but are each cut deeply thrice; they are hardy, but the flower extremely delicate.
On the banks dividing the copse from the meadows around it the blue dog-violets, which have no perfume, often opened so large and wide as to resemble pansies. They do not appear like this till just as their flowering time is almost over. The meadows by the copse were small, not more than two or three acres each. One which was marshy was white for weeks together with the lady’s-smock or cuckoo-flower. The petals of these flowers are silvery white in some places, in others tinted with lilac. The hues of wild flowers vary with their situation: in shady woodlands the toadflax or butter-and-eggs is often pale—a sulphur colour; upon the Downs it is a deep and beautiful yellow. In a ditch, of this marshy meadow was a great bunch of woodruff, above whose green whorls the white flowers were lifted. Over them the brambles arched, their leaves growing in fives, and each leaf prickly. The bramble-shoots, as they touch the ground, take root and rise again, and thus would soon cross a field were they not cut down.
Pheasants were fond of visiting this copse, following the hedgerows to it from the Chace, and they always had one or more nests in it. A green woodpecker took it in his route, though he did not stay long, there not being many trees. These birds seem to have their regular rounds; there are some copses where they are scarcely ever heard. They prefer old trees; where there is much large and decaying timber, there the woodpeckers come. Such little meadows as these about the copse are the favourite resort of birds and the very home of flowers—more so than extensive woods like the Chace, or the open pastures and arable fields. Thick hedgerows attract birds, and behind such cover their motions may be watched. There is, too, more variety of bush and tree.
In one such hedgerow leading from the copse the maple-bushes in spring were hung with the green flowers which, though they depend in their season from so many trees, as the oak, are perhaps rarely observed. The elder-bushes in full white bloom scented the air for yards around both by night and day; the white bloom shows on the darkest evening. Besides several crab-stoles—the buds of the crab might be mistaken for thorns growing pointed at the extreme end of the twigs—there was a large crab tree, which bore a plentiful crop. The lads sharpen their knives by drawing the blade slowly to and fro through a crab-apple; the acid of the fruit eats the steel like aquafortis. They hide stores of these crabs in holes in the hayricks, supposing them to improve by keeping. There, too, they conceal quantities of the apples from the old orchards, for the fruit in them is often almost as hard and not much superior in flavour to the crab. These apples certainly become more mellow after several months in the warm hay.

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Organic Composting Made Easy: How To Create Natural Fertilizer At Home

Just ten chapters.

In this day and age it’s difficult to know what is really in your food, even vegetables labeled as “organic” can contain artificial substances and are often grown in fertilizers that can harm both the earth and the plants themselves.
Compost has been made from organic matter that has decomposed; it is the best, most environmentally friendly fertilizer for your plants.
Whether you want to have an organic farm so that you know exactly where your fruits and vegetables come from or you want a thriving garden, composting is the way to go and this book will help you along the way.

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Ketogenic Diet: A Low Carb Approach to Lose Weight, Beat Disease, and Feel Amazing (Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss – Your Ultimate Plan for Optimal Health)

This book, Ketogenic Diet: A Low Carb Approach to Lose Weight, Beat Disease, and Feel Amazing (Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss – Your Ultimate Plan for Optimal Health), is a very well written and indeed very thoughtful book. The book is divided into What is the Ketogenic Diet? – In the most general terms, a Ketogenic Diet is any diet that causes ketone figures to be transformed by the liver, moving the body’s digestion system far from glucose usage and towards fat usage, What is Ketosis? – The point when perusing or catching wind of low-carb diets, you may have heard the expression “Ketogenic Diet”. Progressively, individuals have addressed about this. Are all low-carb diets Ketogenic? Is that a great thing or a bad thing? What constitutes a Ketogenic Diet? What are the preferences and hindrances of a Ketogenic Diet?, What are the Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet? – Certain people will react differently to different diets, and so you need to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting into, Are there any Risk to the Ketogenic Diet – Like with every diet that you may consider, there are definitely a handful of negatives that may occur as a result of going on the Ketogenic Diet. When making the decision as to whether or not you’re going to go on the Ketogenic Diet, you need to keep the following potential issues in mind as well. Of course, as you will see, some of these problems may not affect you, So, What Does Ketogenic Diet Look Like? – Of course, we’ve been sitting here talking about all of the different benefits and potential risks that are associated with the diet, but what does the diet look like? As we’ve said in other sections, a Ketogenic Diet is a lot different than a standard low-carb diet, because there are a number of changes that you have to make in order to make sure that the diet works correctly for you and your body, Sample 3 Day Meal Plan for Ketogenic Diet – If you are looking to start a Ketogenic Diet Plan, it’s good to have an idea of what you’re supposed to be eating on a regular basis. A basic meal plan can give you an idea of everything that you want to schedule and arrange, Recipes to Use while on the Ketogenic Diet – When you are on a Ketogenic Diet, you are likely wondering about recipes that you can try? Just eating random foods can get boring. If you want to liven up your Ketogenic Diet and make dishes that your whole family can enjoy, take a look at these recipes and try them for yourself.

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Chemistry

Their blurb:
The Boundless Chemistry textbook is a college-level, introductory textbook that covers the exciting subject of Chemistry, a discipline foundational to many areas of scientific study. Boundless works with subject matter experts to select the best open educational resources available on the web, review the content for quality, and create introductory, college-level textbooks designed to meet the study needs of university students.

This textbook covers:

Chemistry — Overview of Chemistry, Classification of Matter, Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter, Units of Measurement, Measurement Uncertainty, Dimensional Analysis

Atoms, Molecules, and Ions — History of Atomic Structure, Discoveries Leading to Nuclear Atom Model, The Structure of the Atom, The Periodic Table, Types of Chemical Bonds, Chemical Formulas, Naming Compounds, Organic Compounds

Mass Relationships and Chemical Equations — Atomic Mass, Molar Mass, Compound Composition, Experimental Data and Empirical Formulas, Reaction Stoichiometry

Aqueous Reactions — Types of Aqueous Solutions, Precipitation Reactions, Acid-Base Reactions, Oxidation-Reduction Reactions, Solution Concentration

Gases — Properties of Gases, Gas Laws, The Ideal Gas Law, Gas Stoichiometry, Partial Pressure, Kinetic Molecular Theory, Deviation of Gas from Ideal Behavior

Thermochemistry — Energy, Thermodynamics, Enthalpy, Calorimetry, Standard Enthalpy of Formation and Reaction, Energy Use and the Environment

Quantum Theory — The Nature of Light, Bohr’s Theory, Quantum Mechanical Description of the Atomic Orbital, Orbital Shapes

Periodic Properties — The History of the Periodic Table, Electron Configuration, Periodic Trends, Variation in Chemical Properties

Basic Concepts of Chemical Bonding — Lewis Dot Symbols and Lewis Structures, The Ionic Bond, The Covalent Bond, Electronegativity, Formal Charge and Resonance, Exceptions to the Octet Rule, Bond Energy and Enthalpy

Advanced Concepts of Chemical Bonding — VESPR Model, Molecular Geometry, Molecular Shape and Polarity, Valence Bond Theory, Molecular Orbital Theory

Liquids and Solids — Kinetic Molecular Theory of Liquids and Solids, Intermolecular Forces, Liquid Properties, Solid Properties, Types of Crystals, Crystals and Band Theory, Amorphous Solids, Phase Changes, Phase Diagrams

Solutions — Properties of Solutions, Concentration Units, Factors Affecting Solubility, Colligative Properties of Nonelectrolyte Solutions, Colligative Properties of Electrolyte Solutions, Colloids

Chemical Kinetics — Reaction Rates, The Rate Law: Concentration and Time, Activation Energy and Temperature Dependence, Reaction Mechanisms, Catalysis

Chemical Equilibrium — Equilibrium, Writing Equilibrium Constant Expressions, Calculating the Equilibrium Constant, Factors that Affect Chemical Equilibrium

Acids and Bases — Acids and Bases, The pH Scale, Strength of Acids, Strength of Bases, Diprotic and Polyprotic Acids, Acid Strength and Molecular Structure, Acid-Base Properties of Salts, Acid-Base Properties of Oxides, Lewis Acids and Bases

Acid-Base Equilibria — Homogeneous versus Heterogeneous Solution Equilibria, Buffer Solutions, Buffer Effectiveness, Acid-Base Titrations, Solubility Equilibria, Complex Ion Equilibria and Solubility, Qualitative Chemical Analysis

Thermodynamics — The Laws of Thermodynamics, Entropy, Gibbs Free Energy, Free Energy and Chemical Equilibrium

Electrochemistry — Oxidation-Reduction Equations, Electrochemical Cells, Standard Reduction Potentials, Cell Potentials, Batteries, Electrolysis, Corrosion

Nuclear Chemistry — Radioactivity, Nuclear Reactions, Nuclear Transmutation, Nuclear Fission, Nuclear Fusion, Use of Isotopes, Effects of Radiation on Life

Metals — Occurrence and Properties of Metals, Metallurgic Processes, Band Theory of Electrical Conductivity, Alloys, Metals, Some 3d Transition Metals

Nonmetallic Elements — Properties of Nonmetals, Hydrogen, Silicates, Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorous, Boron, Oxygen, Sulfur, Halogens

Transition Metals — Properties of Transition Metals, Chemistry of Selected Transition Metals, Coordination Compounds, Bonding in Coordination Compounds: Valence Bond Theory, Bonding in Coordination Compounds: Crystal Field Theory, Reactions and Applications of Coordination Compounds

Organic Chemistry — Classes of Organic Compounds, Allphatic Hydrocarbons, Alkenes and Alkynes, Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Functional Group Names, Properties, and Reactions

The following chapters are also included:
Polymers
Chemistry and The Real World

Reader Review: The lesson that most students never learn is that all text books are really the same. And if you really want to learn something, it’s the effort you put into your mastery of the subject that matters, not the price of the book.

This is a perfectly servicable text book for analytical chemistry I and II.

Part of a new series, if you’re interested in other textbooks (all free right now), look for Boundless.
For instance: Physics
(for a motivated beginner with some background- reader review)

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The Bible, Genesis & Geology

Most people believe the seven days of Genesis to be some enigmatic description of the Earth’s geologic history, but Scripture does not support this. There is a time gap between the first two verses of Genesis. In this book you will learn about a literal interpretation of the Genesis narrative that does not contradict the scientific evidence for an Old Earth. The Gap Theory or Ruin-Reconstruction interpretation is a theological doctrine much older than Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. It is based on the Scriptural fact that in the second verse of Genesis, the Holy Bible simply and clearly states that the planet Earth was already here in a ruined state before the creative process of the seven days begins. The Bible itself provides insight into a great mystery in Earth’s natural history at what is known as the Pleistocene – Holocene boundary. Science remains at a loss to definitively explain the Ice Age and the anomaly of the mysterious mega fauna extinctions across the face of the Earth about 13,000 to 10,000 Radio Carbon years ago. Geologic evidence from that period indicates extraordinary global massive volcanism, gigantic tidal waves, seismic activity on a vast scale, and extreme temperature swings on the Earth over a geologically brief period of time. It is no coincidence that the Bible in Genesis 1:2 describes the Earth as flooded, desolate, and in darkness in the time frame closely corresponding to these catastrophic events in the Earth’s natural history. Clearly, these two mysteries are linked. The Earth has an ancient natural history that can be deciphered from the geologic record, but it also has an equally important ancient spiritual history that can only be deciphered by rightly dividing the Holy Bible.

OR:

Understanding the Times
by Ken Ham- Ken Ham is the president/CEO and founder of Answers in Genesis – U.S. and the highly acclaimed Creation Museum.

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Not free, but only a dollar, and WOW:

The Answer to the Atheist’s Handbook

Rev. Wurmbrand languished for fourteen years in Communist prisons. Though beaten and starved, he never broke. Having passed through hell on earth, this courageous Romanian pastor emerged with a burning love for God and his fellow man.

In this remarkable book, conceived while he was in solitary confinement, Wurmbrand demolishes the arguments for atheism as presented by the Soviet Academy of Science in its Atheist’s Handbook.

Throughout the Communist world, people who wanted to get ahead had to master The Atheist’s Handbook. Its teachings were drilled into children at school. But Wurmbrand demonstrates that the atheist creed leaves more questions unanswered than it professes to settle. On the positive side, he marshals the testimony of artists, musicians, writers, philosophers, scientists, statesmen, and saints–all of whom bear eloquent witness to the reality of God.

With the sparkling sense of humor that helped sustain him through unspeakable sufferings, Wurmbrand tells the story of God’s love for us in language anyone can understand. Is there a God? Does He care about man? Can we trust what the Scriptures tell us about Him? Yes, says Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, in a ringing affirmation of faith that comes from the heart–and from the head.

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The Descent of Man

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick: we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is a reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed”

Why you should read this.

Darwin does get blamed for a lot of things he didn’t say or that are misunderstood (the title of his first book, for example, includes the term ‘favoured races,’ but it’s wrong to claim he was talking about human races there). Be sure you know which is which.

More here.

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Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer

Dr. Tabor’s FIGHT NOW book provides information on lifestyle choices that might improve breast health and overall health. The purpose of Dr. Tabor’s medical research is to empower you to become proactive against breast cancer now with specific food and lifestyle choices. We can make specific food and lifestyle choices to lower the risk of getting breast cancer, risk of recurrence, and risk of dying from breast cancer. The only alternative is to be reactive after you get breast cancer or have a recurrence of breast cancer. The choice is clear.

Whether you are currently fighting breast cancer; are a survivor; or, simply trying to lower your risk, Dr. Tabor’s FIGHT NOW book will give you concise, critical information that you can start using today. You don’t have to read hundreds of pages, or have a medical degree to reduce your cancer risk. Spend just a few hours reading this book and you will be empowered to Fight Now.

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CK-12 Middle School Math Grade 6, Volume 1 Of 2

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John Muir books-
Travels in Alaska

The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
John Muir (1838-1914) was born and raised in Dunbar, East Lothian. When his family emigrated to Wisconsin in 1849, young John was bought up to hard labour on his father’s homestead. A natural inventor, he first discovered the joys of walking, and writing, after an industrial accident nearly blinded him. His journals, articles and lectures helped to develop international awareness of the need to preserve and protect the environment, and led to the foundation of the General Grant, Sequoia and Yosemite national parks in the US, as well as important conservation areas in his native East Lothian. John Muir has been honoured ever since as the father of the modern environment movement.

Steep Trails California, Utah, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, the Grand Canyon
John Muir, the most passionate naturalist in print. Without his
writing and political activism back in the l800′s we’d not have
the Sierra Club, Yosemite National Park, etc. etc.
Our nation owes this wonderful man a great deal of gratitude.
He writes like an angel. I am reading several of his books. Check also
into one of the greatest dog stories I’ve ever read: Stickeen.
Also read: The Mountains of California. Read everything he wrote.
He is poetic, he is a brilliant botantist, he is profoundly spiritual.
Read his boyhood biography. He memorized the whole New Testament by the
time he was 13…word for word!
His Dad was always beating him so he retreated to the wilderness
and watched the birds, learned the latin names of the flowers, and
hiked the mountains with a hard roll, no jacket, and no sleeping bag….
Someone should make a movie about him.
Read any of his books and become a John Muir fan.
I camped in Yosemite many times in my 20′s and discovered his writings
then. Its a joy to read them again and be as thrilled 40 years later!
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book and candle

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Music Video

This is beautiful:

Lee Michelle/ Michelle Lee is bi-racial- black and Korean. She grew up without her father- he left the family and returned to the states before she was born. It’s not easy, to put it mildly, growing up in Korea as a bi-racial child of any kind, but it is particularly difficult for children with black parents (this was true in Japan, too)

But this message isn’t just about prejudice. I think it’s a great message for most teen-aged girls- how beautiful they are is not calculated based upon having or not having a boyfriend. Self-worth is about who you are (a human being with a soul, created by God, in the image of God), not so much about who thinks you’re pretty.

More about this remarkable young singer here.

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Nature Study Goals For the Early Years

Outdoor time blog picOutdoor play should give the children the opportunity to develop a love of nature and to learn and recognize:

  • Common plants, domestic and Wild- this is the beginning of classification, noting the shape, size number of petals, leaves, veins, trees with and without leaves, animals with and without backbones; plant or meat eaters. Direct observations so that the child will learn and recognize:
  • Field crops, in every seasonal aspect
  • Wildflowers and weeds, both leaves (shape, size, growth pattern) and flowers, type, whether head, single blossoms, spikes… And habitats (look at the ground to see that plant might grow)
  • Tree recognition:
  1. Compare and contrast half a dozen varieties
  2. Choose half a dozen specific, individual tress to follow throughout the year. Make a special effort to look at those trees carefully and note how they have changed.
  3. Begin in winter to compare and note differences, watch for first signs of seasonal changes
  4. In spring learn their names as you spot the leaves, note how the new leaves are folded.
  5. Note the bud styles and variations between species
  • Keep pressed flower collections and collections of leaves and plants
  • Organize the collections by forms or shapes in order to assist classification skills later,
  • Make careful brush drawings
  • Paint (This is a good time to learn some simple principles of color mixing)
  • Follow seasons, note changes in plants
  • View each new discovery and change with excitement and mystery, note when each species first is spotted blooming
  • Keep calendar of first sightings, where and when, use it every year and follow it, noting any changes, adding new species and information
  • Nature diary- descriptive entries in a nature journal
  • The FYG took this picture of a moth getting a drink after the rain.

    The FYG took this picture of a moth getting a drink after the rain.

    Observe Living creatures:

  1. Keep pets and watch them, comment on their behavior and appearance

  2. Tadpoles

  3. Ants

  4. Have a bird feeder (and bird bath, if possible)

  5. Learn to recognize bird calls, and, if possible, imitate them

  6. Practice ‘bird stalking’ on winter walks (see page 85, volume 1)

  7.           cocoons- watch the life cycle of caterpillar to moth or butterfly
  • Geography: Outdoor play can also incorporate opportunities to give children experiences that will lay a good foundation for later studies in geography.
  • The Sun:
  1. Observe its position at various times throughout the day

  2. Note times of sunrise and sunset as well as their direction

  3. The place of the sun at the hottest part of the day

  • Distance and direction- In addition to noting the location of the sun:
  1. Note the time it takes to walk- A foot, a yard, a block, a quarter mile, a half mile
  2. To frequent destinations- a friend’s house, the store, the library, the barn, the corner, around the block
  3. (wherever it is you do walk- learn how far that is and how long it takes to walk that distance)
  • Wind
  • Direction, learn what a western wind means (it is blowing from the west, not toward the west, just as a Canadian is _from_ Canada)
  • Clouds
  • Observe their shape, size, style, color and note the connection between clouds and weather
  • Note all kinds of weather, and observe

Again- all of this is supposed to be done through _personal observations_ and first hand experience.

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Mt. Kilimanjaro’s Glaciers Not Cooperating With Global Warming Predictions

From the we told you sotime and time again department comes this story about Gore’s buddy, Dr. Lonnie Thompson and his Kilimanjaro glacier that just won’t die like they want it to, even though they don’t believe their own hype.

From ETN Global Travel Industry News:

Mount Kilimanjaro Glaciers nowhere near extinction

More here.

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