Archive for January, 2013

What Fees Does Your Airline Charge?

It would appear that every airline levies a fee for every amenity and service they provide. This Comprehensive Airline Fees Guide lists the major U.S. carriers and what they charge for booking fees, change fees, pillows, premium seats, and so on. This way, you’ll know how much your flight is really going to cost you.

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State of the Internet in 2012

Did you know that in 2012, there were 144 BILLION emails a day of which 61% were considered non-essential; that as of December 2012, there were 634 million websites; and that there were 2.4 billion Internet users in 2012? These and a vast array of other statistics are all available at: Internet 2012 in Numbers. This site can be augmented by: Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Internet Usage (tables from the 2012 Statistical Abstract of the United States); Measuring the Information Society 2012 (International Telecommunications Union, replete with dozens of graphs, tables, and charts); Internet and Computer Use Studies and Data Files (National Telecommunications & Information Administration);  Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2010 (Census Bureau, latest figures in this series); Pew Internet & American Life Project (statistical and research publications); Global Internet User Survey 2012 (Internet Society);  and Internet World Statistics 2012, 2d Quarter (Internet World Statistics, has dozens of additional links).

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What and Where is the City of Timbuktu?

As French and allied forces continue to fight the Islamists in Mali, attention has been focused recently on the city of Timbuktu. It has been called “fabled,” “inaccessible,” “mysterious,” “a great trading center and crossroads,” and a “center of learning.” It is all this and more. It is an historical city, one of the most important during the height of its hegemony; trade caravans from around the known world, from the Middle East to Europe, crossed paths here in West Africa. Timbukto’s heritage is so important that it is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The following links provide a great deal more information: an eyewitness description of Timbuktu from 1526; The narrative of Robert Adams, an American sailor, who was wrecked on the western coast of Africa, in the year 1810, was detained three years in slavery by the Arabs of the Great Desert, and resided several months in the City of Tombuctoo (1817); and An authentic narrative of the loss of the American brig Commerce, wrecked on the western coast of Africa, in the month of August, 1815, with an account of the sufferings of the surviving officers and crew… and containing a description of the famous city Tombuctoo….(1833); and Timbuctoo the mysterious (1896). More contemporary information can be accessed at: What is at Stake in Timbukto? (Timbukto Heritage); On the Edge, Timbuktu (NPR); Timbuktu – City of Legends (BBC); The Lost Libraries of Timbuktu (BBC4-YouTube);  The Road to Timbuktu (PBS); Factbox – Timbuktu (Reuters); Timbuktu (Mali) (New York Times); Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries on Timbuktu (Library of Congress); Trekking to Timbuktu – Teacher Version (NEH); Timbukto Library –  a treasure house of Malian history (The Guardian); the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project; and Timbuktu: Journey to the Empire of Knowledge (YouTube).

“Salt comes from the north, gold from the south, but the word of God and the treasures of wisdom are only to be found in Timbuktu.” – 15th-century Malian proverb

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Text of “Bipartisan Framework for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

The text as released by eight Senators from both sides of the aisle. They have scheduled a news conference at 2:30 today.  A good summary is available  from Reuters. Some recent reports should be of interest: Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery (Migration Policy Institute, January 2013); and Overview of Immigration Issues in the 112th Congress (CRS, January 2012) and Permanent Legal Immigration to the United States: Policy Overview (CRS, December 2012).

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Key Demographic Data for the 113th Congressional Districts

Published by the Census Bureau, EasyStats features demographic data (housing, educational attainment, income, population, migration, etc) for states, counties, places, and Congressional districts. Don’t know your Congressional district? Then come here, type in your address, and you’ll find out.

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Secretary of State Clinton Appears Before Congressional Commitees on the Benghazi Attack

Starting at 9am today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will spend a full day before Congressional committees looking into the consular attack at Benghazi. C-SPAN is providing full coverage.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Antislavery Publications

Ths entry will mostly limit itself to newspapers, pamphlets and other ephemera. Nor will we review the long history of the abolitionist movement; we’ll allow this site that also has links to excerpted primary sources to answer for us. What we have tried to do is track down substantial runs of antislavery or abolitionist newspapers; we are not listing single issues or very limited runs. We want to present you, the reader, with a critical mass of information to more fully understand the power of the abolitionist movement and the courage of those who participated in it. By all accounts, the Society of Friends (“Quakers”) were the first group to condemn slavery; they wrote extensively on this issue and many of their works can be found in a fourteen-volume compilation entitled The Friends’ Library: Comprising  journals, doctrinal treatises, & other writings….(1837-1850).

The newspapers that follow are listed in chronological order:

Genius of Universal Emancipation was started in Baltimore in 1821 by Benjamin Lundy, a Quaker; 46 issues are here while HathiTrust holds a run from 1830-1833.

Freedom’s Journal, the first black-owned and operated newspaper in the country was published in New York between 1827 and 1829, and contained numerous editorials against slavery.

The Free Enquirer was another New York paper; it was published between 1828 and 1835. Portions of this paper are found in Tracts by Robert Owen (1830).

Published from 1831 to 1865 in Boston by William Lloyd Garrison, The Liberator was among the most important of the abolitionist papers; The Liberator Files contains extensive reproductions.

St Louis Observer was published between 1831 and 1836. It is best remembered because its editor, Rev. Elijah P Lovejoy, was killed by a proslavery mob as he defended his press. Many of his editorials are preserved in the Memoir of the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy, who was murdered in defence of the liberty of the press (1838) beginning in chapter six.

The Anti-Slavery Examiner was a New York-based paper published between 1836 and 1845 by the American Anti-Slavery Society, the major abolitionist group in this country. It also published The Anti-Slavery Record from 1835 to 1837, The Quarterly Anti-Slavery Magazine (1836-37), and its annual report (selected volumes).

The Friend of Man was published by the New York State Antislavery Society from 1836 to 1842. Almost the entire run is available.

The Signal of Liberty, out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, ran from 1841 to 1848. It was associated with the Michigan State Anti-Slavery Society. All issues are available.

New-York (Daily) Tribune, published from 1841 to 1866 by Horace Greeley, also espoused educational reforms as well as antislavery sentiments.

Anti-Slavery Bugle was published by the Ohio American Anti-Slavery Society from 1845 to 1861.

Pamphlet collections of major value include:

Antislavery Collection, 1725-1911. From the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Includes speeches, sermons, and pamphlets.

Boston Public Library Anti-Slavery Collection. Includes documents, letters, and other textual material from 1832 until after the Civil War.

From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1822-1909 and African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907 are important collections from the Library of Congress.

James G. Birney Collection of Anti-slavery Pamphlets has 2000 items of interest.

Pennsylvania Abolition Society Papers has a wide selection of  local sources.

Samuel J. May Anti-Slavery Collection at Cornell University contains over 10,000 pamphlets and leaflets as well as sermons, anti-slavery society newsletters, broadsides, etc.

And last but not least is the The Black Abolitionist Archive, a database containing over 800 addresses by African Americans as well as over 1000 abolitionist newspaper editorials; here you can find editorials from Frederick Douglass’ The North Star. Audio readings are included as well. A valuable tool.

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