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August 01, 2012

Hitler's nephew defected from Germany, joined the American Navy to fight the Nazis

That is pretty badass. Letter Of Note of the Day - The Daily What
I am the nephew and only descendant of the ill-famed Chancellor and Leader of Germany who today so despotically seeks to enslave the free and Christian peoples of the globe. … I am one of many, but I can render service to this great cause and I have a life to give that it may, with the help of all, triumph in the end. … As to my integrity, Mr. President, I can only say that it is a matter of record and it compares somewhat to the foresighted spirit with which you, by every ingenuity known to statecraft, wrested from the American Congress those weapons which are today the Nation’s great defense in this crisis. I can also reflect that in a time of great complacency and ignorance I tried to do those things which as a Christian I knew to be right. As a fugitive from the Gestapo I warned France through the press that Hitler would invade her that year. The people of England I warned by the same means that the so-called “solution” of Munich was a myth that would bring terrible consequences. On my arrival in America I at once informed the press that Hitler would loose his Frankenstein on civilization that year. Although nobody paid any attention to what I said, I continued to lecture and write in America. Now the time for writing and talking has passed and I am mindful only of the great debt my mother and I owe to the United States. More than anything else I would like to see active combat as soon as possible and thereby be accepted by my friends and comrades as one of them in this great struggle for liberty.

South Korean hipsters are the best goddamn archers in the entire world

This is their Olympic team. I need a tv show starring these women ASAP, people. ASAP. South Korea’s hipster archers unironically win gold | Fourth-Place Medal - Yahoo! Sports

July 30, 2012

Genealogy site claims Obama descended from "first American slave"

Their claims are specious, but it's an interesting examination nonetheless. Obama Descended From First Slave? | TPM Editors Blog
Ancestry.com is out with a press release and a study this morning claiming that President Obama is descended from what they call the first ‘slave’ in America. “President Barack Obama,” says the press release, “is the 11th great-grandson of John Punch, the first documented African enslaved for life in American history.” And the kicker is, at least as far as this study goes, that it’s through his white mother. There are a lot of contingent claims in the study, done by Ancestry.com genealogist Joseph Shumway. The first is that an African man named John Punch became the first slave in 1640 — more on that in a moment. Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham was descended from slave-owning Virginians and Shumway’s argument is that Punch had children with a white woman who inherited her free status and eventually ‘passed’ into the white population. He is thus the ancestor of the Dunhams. That’s certainly not inherently implausible. There’s a lot of African blood among Southern whites. Much more common was white men and black women, though in these very early decades race hierarchies weren’t quite so nailed down. Very few historians believe that the first ‘slave’ in what would become the United States became a slave in 1640. But Shumway’s argument is at least plausible. Here’s why.

There are 962 places so precious to us that all the nations of the world have agreed to protect them

That's what this list is, at the accompanying page. A list of sites so important to the gathered cultures of Earth that we have decreed they should all be protected and never subjected to attack or violence. It's a beautiful idea. Nature should be preserved. Art should be recognized as vital to the human condition. Great archaeological findings of our past must be kept safe so that we might ever understand more of our origins. UNESCO World Heritage Centre - World Heritage List