China, The Political Football

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It is interesting how nearly every politician seeking national office blames China for a major part of our economic ills, as if the China aristocracy has masterminded a plot to take over the world using cheap labor and ruthless acquisitions of land, minerals and scientific data. Well, so is Russia and India – and us.…
Categories: John's Blog

Pokin’ Around in the Fog and Dust of Time

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Before the internet was invented research was different. I used to peruse obscure libraries and secondhand book stores for technical or historical information I needed. Looking for the right books required a great deal of searching–often in old bookstores with creaky floors that smelled of ancient varnish. There were publisher’s lists and sometimes special lists…
Categories: John's Blog

The Curse of Book Jackets

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Don’t you love to gaze upon a dazzling book cover and then read the back hype and know this is a book you’re going to really like? You look forward to a great story. Then you get 40 pages into it and the book isn’t what you thought it was at all. That’s happened to…
Categories: John's Blog

Thomas Jefferson & Sally Hemings

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This post is a reprint of a reply I sent to Bob Turner at the University of Virginia. We met online over a movie that had been made regarding the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. I have done considerable research on this subject as a writer, while Mr. Turner has examined it as…
Categories: John's Blog

Where did the Chinook go?

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The fall of 1780 brought the first widespread Curse on the Northwest Coast. It was called a curse because they couldn’t see it. They couldn’t fight it or protect their families from it. Blisters appeared in their mouths, faces, all over their bodies. The blisters inside their mouths began to rupture. The strength they had…
Categories: John's Blog
Tags: Chinook Of The Pacific Northwest, Northwest History

Captain Robert Gray

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Gray claimed discovery of Big River (what the natives called it) and named it after his ship, the Columbia, in the spring of 1792. Vancouver was there a few weeks ahead of Gray but failed to cross the bar at the river's mouth, which is always violent and dangerous. It is possible other ships were…
Categories: Pacific NW Notes

How the Strait of Juan de Fuca got its name

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To understand this, you should know something about the Greeks. The most recent immigrant in my haphazard family tree to arrive in America was my grandfather, Anthony John Pappadikis, age sixteen, sailing from Greece to the city of New York and right past Elias Island and straight through immigration and into the waiting arms of…
Categories: Pacific NW Notes

The last of the Spanish

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By 1801, the Spanish were all but gone from the Northwest Coast. After nearly starting a war with England over the fur trade centered at Nootka (Vancouver Island), an accord was reached in 1792 and the Spanish were required to return some seized ships and they lost control of Nootka area trading. They still occupied…
Categories: Pacific NW Notes

The story of Orca as told by the Haida of British Columbia, Canada

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/>Once a man found two wolf pups on the beach. He took them home and raised them. When the pups had grown, they would swim out into the ocean, kill a whale, and bring it to shore for the people to eat. Each day they did this until there was too much meat to eat…
Categories: Pacific NW Notes

Welcome to Northwest Notes_some legends and myths

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That ol' devil full moon is blamed for turning people into werewolves, but real werewolves can change shape at any time though they have always favored night. In many myths, they are witches who take an animal form to travel unnoticed using either a potion made from magic ingredients - the fat of dead children,…
Categories: Pacific NW Notes

Dog History in America

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Did all present day dogs come from wolves?  The debate continues.  I’m in the camp that believes they did not, though many breeds do have wolf genes.  We’re pretty certain domestic or semi-domestic dogs-wolves date back at least 7,000 years, or 12,000, 35,000 maybe even 125,000.  Based on ancient writings and symbols Egyptian Pharaohs held…
Categories: Barks: Dog News

Dogs Can Detect Cancer In Humans . . . and a Lot More

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In Germany dogs have demonstrated an innate ability to sniff out the presence of lung cancer in humans.  The dog's ability to detect the presence of cancer has been acknowledged since the late 80's and man's best friend has proven capable of sniffing out cancer types such as skin, bladder, bowel and breast.  Dogs are…
Categories: Barks: Dog News

Bark, Bark . . .

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In an insightful and sometimes humorous article, Stephen Budiansky laid down some harsh words about dogs: “If some advertiser or political consultant could figure out just what it is in human psychology that makes us willing to believe that dogs are loyal, trustworthy, selfless, loving, courageous, noble, and obedient, he could retire to his own…
Categories: Barks: Dog News

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