Ice Skating on the Frozen Reflecting Pool

You can see the Lincoln Memorial behind the skaters. Washington, DC in the January of 1922.

Bukit Nanas

Its name means "Pineapple Hill" in Malay, and it is among the smallest patches of rainforest in the world. Located at the heart of Kuala Lampur, the virgin tropical forest Bukit Nanas has been a nature preserve since 1906. Unfortunately it has not escaped the encroaching city. Although 17.5 hectares were originally put in the preserve, only 9.3 hectares remain forest.

An American Crime Journaliste

Edna Buchanan, who was born in 1939, moved from New Jersey where she was born and raised to Miami in the 1960s. She wanted to pursue a career as a journalist, and she was offered a job by a small community newspaper near the big city. Florida worked out well for Edna. Her wit and writing skills caught the notice of editors at the larger Miami Herald, and they hired her in 1973 as a crime reporter.

She loved her new job. As their police reporter, she covered thousands of violent crimes, while Miami lived through its peak as the center of the international drug trade. She is famous for grabbing the reader’s attention with the opening lines of her crime stories. When reporting on Gary Robinson, an ex-con who was shot and killed by a security guard at a Church’s Chicken restaurant, after getting violent when they ran out of fried chicken, she wrote “Gary Robinson died hungry.” With writing like that, Edna got many accolades, including the highest. In 1986, she won a Pulitzer Prize for general reporting.

She loved crime so much that even when she retired, she kept writing about it, publishing multiple mystery novels. Edna said of her job: "Nobody loves a police reporter. The job can be lonely and arduous. I have been threatened with arrest, threatened physically, had rocks thrown at me. I've gotten threatening letters, subpoenas, and obscene phone calls, some of them from my editors. It is tiring, haunting, and truly wonderful."

Though arranged marriages were banned in 1950, factory bosses and Communist cadres still did much of the matchmaking, and when a young intellectual named Yan Yunxiang was sent down from Beijing to the village of Xiajia, in China’s northeast, in 1970, he found an abundance of miserable love. Local women had so little say in whom they married that there was a village tradition of sobbing when you left home on your wedding day. It wasn’t until the eighties that the village elders began to relinquish control over local marriages. Yan Yunxiang eventually became an anthropologist and continued to visit the village over the years. He attended a wedding where the bride was marrying for love and she confided to Yan that she was too happy to sob. She rubbed hot pepper on her handkerchief in order to summon the tears that her parents’ generation expected.


quoted from Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China (2014) by Evan Osnos


"If you bet on a horse, that’s gambling. If you bet you can make three spades, that’s entertainment. If you bet cotton will go up three points, that’s business. See the difference?"

Blackie Sherrod (1919 - 2016), an American journalist and sportswriter

A Bank? A Pub? The Irish Don't See The Difference

In 1970, the entire banking system in Ireland went on strike. But the country was not crippled. Pubs stepped up -- after all, pub owners were very familiar with whether a patron could pay up or not. The strike ended six months later, and everything went on, the Irish economy basically unhurt.

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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