Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Did you know that Peru fought Chile in a war on the Pacific way back in 1879? I didn't. This battle took place on May 21, 1879. The Peruvian monitor Huascar, under the command of Captain Miguel Grau, fought and sunk the Chilean vessel, Esmerelda. The collapse of the Chilean corvette resulted in the lifting of the blockade on the Bay of Iquique.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Niue is an island nation in the South Pacific. It lies 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand in a triangle between Tonga to the southwest, the Samoas to the northwest, and the Cook Islands to the southeast. Niue is commonly referred to as "The Rock" by its roughly 1,400 residents.
Trivia question for the day: What was the first nation in the world to go completely WiFi?
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
The Wyatt Earp? A strange name for a Commonwealth ship, no? Well, I did some research.
The ship was constructed as a single-deck motor vessel named FV Fanejord, built from pine and oak for the Norwegian herring fishing trade. While being a motorised vessel, her masts and booms normally used for cargo handling were capable of being rigged for sailing in an emergency. She was purchased by the American explorer and aviator, Lincoln Ellsworth, for his 1933 Antarctic expedition, refitted and sheathed with oak and armour plate, and renamed Wyatt Earp after the marshal of Dodge City and Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Earp was used on four of Ellsworth's Antarctic expeditions between 1933 and 1939, primarily as a base ship for his aircraft.
In February 1939, Wyatt Earp was purchased from Ellsworth by the Government of Australia and handed over to the RAN, which intended to use the ship as a Fleet Auxiliary (Ammunition and Store Carrier). In September 1939, it was decided to rename her Boomerang, but the name was already in use by another Australian vessel. Instead, the ship was commissioned on 25 October 1939 as Wongala, an Australian Aborigine word meaning boomerang.
How's that for multi-culturalism?!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Today's boat isn't a stamp, as you can see. But as a postcard it still fits very much into the postal tradition. Besides, stamps with an Ann Arbor theme aren't so easy to come by. I have yet to see a boat of this size floating around in Argo pond, but perhaps a hundred years ago they were as common as the kayaks and canoes are today. I think it'd be great if you could rent a steamboat from the Argo Livery.
Anyhow, it's a great weekend to be in Ann Arbor. Today, Saturday, is the Homegrown Festival in the Kerrytown Farmer's Market—great local food and good, free, live music into the late evening hours. Tomorrow, also in Kerrytown, is the Kerrytown Book Festival. Stop by the festival at 3pm to hear local bookstore owner Nicola Rooney (Nicola's Books) interview Caldecott award winner David Small. Perhaps even more exciting, stop by Nicola's tent at 1:00pm and get your copy of A Sick Day for Amos McGee signed by the author, Philip Stead, and the illustrator, Philip's lovely wife Erin. Philip is quoted as saying, "This will likely be my most poignant signing to date, as I've been feeling under the weather for the last two weeks."