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Entries Tagged as 'Misc.'

The Best Job in the World

May 24th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

When I was in sixth grade (1984, give or take) I wrote a short essay titled “The Best Job in the World.” I discovered this last night while digging through some old boxes. It turns out that at a time when my wife wanted to be a famous actress I was “doing a research project […]

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Tags: Misc.

An Envelope Marked ‘Death’

May 9th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Forgive a bit of self-indulgence here, but last August this blog lost one of its biggest fans when my dad, Tom Wolfe, of Davenport, Iowa, died. You may remember him for his silly notes or for his provocative (and perhaps not entirely defensible) comparisonof Robert E. Lee with Hitler and Stalin. Now I’ve published an essay in The Morning News about him, those silly notes, […]

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Tags: Misc.

The Great Ella

April 25th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Today’s Google Doodle (seen above) celebrates a Virginian (by birth): Ella Fitzgerald. The great jazz singer was born ninety-six years ago today in Newport News, but soon after her birth her parents separated and her mother moved the family to Yonkers, New York. Virginia’s loss but the world’s gain. If you’ve never seen it before, this […]

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Tags: Misc. · Virginia Arts

By the Book

April 22nd, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

IMAGE: The Librarian (1566) by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Wikipedia Commons)

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Tags: Misc. · Visual History

Between Southern Pride and Southern Bling

April 8th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC6Ev5o5r7Y From The Hairpin: Prepare your jaws, everyone. Brad Paisley released a song called “Accidental Racist” and it’s a terrible thing. The song begins with this strange story about wearing a Confederate flag in public: “To the man that waited on me at the Starbucks down on Main, I hope you understand when I put on that […]

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Tags: Misc.

Compromised (Cont’d)

February 24th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Last week we mentioned on these pages an unfortunate column written by the president of Emory University, who held up the three-fifths compromise at the Constitutional Convention as the sort of pragmatic politicking to which we ought to aspire today. The idea of the three-fifths compromise was to count enslaved men, women, and children as […]

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Tags: Misc.

Mississippi (Finally) Says Yea

February 18th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

In 1865, the citizens of Mississippi rejected the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which outlawed slavery. It didn’t matter because the amendment, in December 1865, was ratified by three-quarters of the states anyway. See Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln for the full story. Here’s the thing about Mississippi, though. It finally got around to rubber-stamping the amendment […]

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Tags: Misc.

Compromised

February 17th, 2013 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Everybody needs a break, and I’ve been taking a much-needed one while we at Encyclopedia Virginia work to meet a grant deadline. But it’s hard to ignore this from the president of Emory University. In his regular president’s letter for the university’s alumni magazine, James Wagner begins with the usual bromides about political polarization and […]

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Tags: Misc. · Virginia History

The Overview Effect

December 11th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Not because this has anything to do with Virginia history, but because we’ve already posted about the Blue Marble and, this morning, the Black Marble, the above video is worth the time. Think of it as rounding out the trilogy. It begins with that famous prediction, by the British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, who wrote […]

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Tags: Misc. · Visual History

All Black and Blue

December 10th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Last week we celebrated the fortieth birthday of the so-called Blue Marble image of Earth, taken by Apollo 17 on its way to the Moon. Now, via the Atlantic, comes Black Marble: For three weeks spread out over April and October of this year, the Suomi NPP satellite (jointly of NASA and NOAA) scanned all […]

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Tags: Misc. · Visual History

From a Distance

December 7th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

The famed “Blue Marble” view of Earth turns forty years old today. From Life.com: A large part of Blue Marble’s lasting appeal surely has something to do with the fact that the proportions and the features on display in the photo are so familiar. In a roughly square frame sits the almost perfectly round Earth […]

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Tags: Misc. · Visual History

The Second American Civil War

November 28th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

If all fifty states simultaneously seceded and declared war on each other, who would win? That question was recently posed on the crowd-sourcing website Quora, and one particularly long response—submitted by the marine, Iraq War veteran, and Texas native Jon Davis—offers up some good (well, kinda good) news for Virginia. In no-nonsense prose, Davis delivers what he […]

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Tags: Misc. · Virginia History

Say Hello to Your Mama

November 26th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

I offer up “I Hope Yer There,” a song that is seven years old now but just discovered by yours truly over the Thanksgiving holiday, for no other reason than it references not one but two people in the encyclopedia: Edgar Allan Poe and Nat Turner. How you build a song that finds room for […]

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Tags: Misc.

Reading History Morally?

November 19th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

An interesting historical debate has broken out in the pages of the New York Times Book Review. A few weeks ago, John Jeremiah Sullivan reviewed Nicholson Baker‘s new collection, which includes the essay “Why I’m a Pacifist,” which, in turn, is a response to the hullabaloo that erupted on the publication of Human Smoke (2008), […]

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Tags: Misc.

Election Day Rag

November 6th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Our colleague from BackStory, Eric Mennel, on why you should get out and vote …

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Tags: Misc.

I Just Wanna Thank President Lincoln

November 5th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

The above video, which aired on Saturday Night Live this past weekend, is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long while. And because it features Louis C.K., one of the smartest, most provocative comedians working today, it’s not your average, sophomoric SNL fare. Take, for instance, the fact that it portrays a down-on-himself, decidedly […]

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Tags: Misc. · Thomas Jefferson

History of Voting Rights

November 5th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Election Day is tomorrow, and the above video does a nice job of relaying the anything-but-even progress in voting rights over the years. Although it covers a lot of territory in just three-and-a-half minutes, I noticed one gap worth filling in. The video notes the widespread, “unofficial” attempts at disenfranchising black citizens in the years […]

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Tags: Misc.

Must-See TV

October 31st, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

  Exorcist: The Situation Comedy, from filmschoolrejects.com. Happy Halloween!

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Tags: Misc.

Superstorms of History

October 30th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

Dr. Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at wunderground.com, puts Sandy into historical perspective: In a stunning spectacle of atmospheric violence, Superstorm Sandy roared ashore in New Jersey last night with sustained winds of 90 mph and a devastating storm surge that crippled coastal New Jersey and New York. Sandy’s record size allowed the historic storm […]

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Tags: Misc. · Virginia History

The Human Wormhole

October 19th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

  From the Atlantic: The America of Lincoln and the Civil War can feel like distant history, but every now and then, through the appearance of what Jason Kottke has called a “human wormhole,” we are confronted with the brevity of a century and a half. The above video captures this phenomenon succinctly. Here is a man, […]

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Tags: Misc.

And the Third Shall Be First …

September 25th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

As we already noted, on this day in 1789, Congress presented to the states for ratification twelve—not ten—amendments to the United States Constitution. The first two weren’t immediately ratified, meaning that today’s First Amendment was actually the original Third Amendment. Which is why this bit of rhetoric, from the blogger Andrew Sullivan, is ironic: America […]

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Tags: Misc.

They Washed Me Out with a Hose

September 17th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

On Friday we posted a (probably staged) photograph of a B-17 bomber crew in Virginia during World War II. The historian Henry Wiencek commented that his father flew on such bombers and then sent the above photograph: “Here’s how my dad fought the war.” He fought, in other words, inside what was called a Sperry […]

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Tags: Misc.

In Passing

August 20th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 2 Comments

Apologies for being away from my post for a number of days, and I return now with the sad news that the Encyclopedia Virginia blog has lost one of its biggest fans: Tom Wolfe, of Davenport, Iowa. You may remember him for his silly notes or for his provocative (and perhaps not entirely defensible) comparison […]

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Tags: Misc.

Jazz’s Number One Saint

August 6th, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · 1 Comment

On this day in 1931, the jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke ceased being mortal and transformed instead into one of jazz’s original and most enduring legends. I have connected Bix to Virginia previously in these pages; today I offer up a few words on his legacy, excerpted from the unpublished manuscript Finding Bix, in which I visit […]

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Tags: Misc.

George McClellan Cannot Be Trusted

August 2nd, 2012 by Brendan Wolfe · No Comments

This ad was brought to you by Steam Boat Veterans for Truth.

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Tags: Misc.