The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

Biltmore Front View

If you like HGTV or just can’t get enough of seeing how other people live, the Biltmore Estate is an essential place to include in your lifetime travels. Completed in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II near Asheville NC, it has 250 rooms and 178,926 square feet of floor space. It . . . → Read More: The Biggest House in America, by Chuck Strom

Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

Prioleau House

This summer, my brother Roger and I spent six hours in Charleston, SC as part of a two-week vacation on the East Coast. Having scheduled visits to the Civil War battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, it seemed right to squeeze in a tour of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor where the conflict . . . → Read More: Six Hours In Charleston, by Chuck Strom

#SELFIE – The Chainsmokers

Sochi and the Heroes of Telemark, by Mark Erickson

I watched the Sochi Opening Ceremony. Kyrgyzstan had a cool flag, and I learned that Nepal has the world’s only nonrectangular flag. I was surprised that Iceland had only five athletes. Mexico had one out of a population of 118 million. By contrast, Sweden had 111 out of a population of less than 10 . . . → Read More: Sochi and the Heroes of Telemark, by Mark Erickson

Touring Chicago’s Bohemian National Cemetery, by Mark Erickson

A treestone at Bohemian National Cemetery.

During one furlough day I had to break from my massive deck project to rest my bones from all the bending, lifting, and stooping. I choose to do something I had never done in my 25 years of living in Chicago: I toured the Bohemian National Cemetery located . . . → Read More: Touring Chicago’s Bohemian National Cemetery, by Mark Erickson

Ned Sublette and His Dazzling Array of Talents, By Tom Kipp

Many years ago at the EMP Pop Conference I heard a scholar and avant-garde musician named Ned Sublette deliver perhaps the greatest impromptu speaking performance I’ve ever experienced in that setting, or possibly anywhere at all! He was then about to publish his landmark study of the Cuban influence on global music, and . . . → Read More: Ned Sublette and His Dazzling Array of Talents, By Tom Kipp

Two Days before September 11, By Chuck Strom

A couple of years ago, National Public Radio ran a story about people recalling what they had done on the day before September 11, 2001. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the story is that people actually recalled in detail what had happened that day, as opposed to September 11th itself. A few people, . . . → Read More: Two Days before September 11, By Chuck Strom

The Minnesota Starvation Experiment: Their Conscience Drove Them to Starve, By Mark Erickson

Passage from Escape From the Planet of the Apes.

Zira: I should have said that chimpanzees had no part in the destruction of Earth. Only the gorillas and the orangutans.

E.2.: What’s the difference? You’re all monkeys.

Cornelius: Please do not use the word ‘monkey.’ We find it offensive. As an . . . → Read More: The Minnesota Starvation Experiment: Their Conscience Drove Them to Starve, By Mark Erickson

‘Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War’

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/02/17/the-co-author-of-hubris-on-torture-secrets-and-what-we-still-dont-know/

– a documentary special hosted by Rachel Maddow tonight, 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.

The news media are as much to blame as the Bush administration — read the article we published on November 19, 2001 in which Enver Masud wrote:

In an October 1999 interview, former United Nations Special Commission chief inspector . . . → Read More: ‘Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War’

Some Iraq War Questions Still Unanswered a Decade Later, By Mark Erickson

In the months before the United States invaded Iraq on March 19, 2003, leaders of the Bush (#43) regime, i.e., National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, and Vice President Dick Cheney, made statements to various organizations such as the United Nations, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the House+Senate Armed Forces Committees, . . . → Read More: Some Iraq War Questions Still Unanswered a Decade Later, By Mark Erickson

Jerry Rubin – Entrepreneur, Yes, Republican, No, By Pat Thomas

Jerry Rubin died 18 years ago in a Los Angeles hospital. An anti-Vietnam War demonstrator during the 1960’s, he and Abbie Hoffman (and many others) marched on and surrounded the Pentagon in ’67, led the riots at the Chicago ’68 Democratic Convention, and inspired John & Yoko to campaign against Nixon in ’72. By . . . → Read More: Jerry Rubin – Entrepreneur, Yes, Republican, No, By Pat Thomas

BBC Storyville: The Love of Books – A Sarajevo Story, By Davin Michael Stedman

I LIKE that we kill trees to make books. I love trees. I’m leaning up against one right now. I feel like a hunter of the Great Plains standing over the last gasp of a dying Buffalo when I hold a good book; admiring its achievement and its power. This book used to be . . . → Read More: BBC Storyville: The Love of Books – A Sarajevo Story, By Davin Michael Stedman

Fred Hampton – Iam a Revolutionary, By Pat Thomas

Before his appalling murder on December 4th, 1969, Fred Hampton, head of the Chicago Panthers, formed an alliance with the Puerto Rican Young Lords and the Patriot Party (consisting of impoverished Chicago whites). Hampton announced this multiracial banding as “a Rainbow Coalition,” years before Jesse Jackson co-opted the term for his own political . . . → Read More: Fred Hampton – Iam a Revolutionary, By Pat Thomas

Portlandia – Sacagawea

Lincoln – A Movie Review, By Gordon Jack Schultz

Well, I fear as if I’m going to be accused of high crimes and misdemeanors, but less than a quarter the way through Lincoln I worried that if I saw one more cliche I was going to throw up. I wanted this movie so bad to be good. No. I wanted it to . . . → Read More: Lincoln – A Movie Review, By Gordon Jack Schultz

The History of the Christmas Market

There are more Christmas Markets across the world than ever before, but have you ever stopped to wonder where they originated from?

Christmas Markets light up many of the most famous towns and cities in the world during the festive season, and they bring delight to most who visit them. In recent years more . . . → Read More: The History of the Christmas Market

Beethoven – Symphony No. 9, By Davin Michael Stedman

Everybody who knows music knows Beethoven had a big ol’ AFRO. His 9th rocks so hard. Makes you want to light a big ol’ blunt and conduct the symphony with a wooden baseball bat on your roof top. This is the Deffest Jam of the 19th Century, NO DOUBT.

I’m just saying… if . . . → Read More: Beethoven – Symphony No. 9, By Davin Michael Stedman

Northern Virginia’s Cedar Crest Country Club and Its Amazing Skateboard Half-Pipe: Once “The Mecca of the Skate World”, and Perhaps the Unlikeliest Punk Rock Venue of All-Time! By Tom Kipp

I found this circa-1988 Cedar Crest skateboard half-pipe footage on YouTube, the best of several CCCC clips there. Seems just a bit different than I remember, but of course I was never there in daylight!