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Early American Dominance in the Great Tea Races

There are many factors that lead up to the world famous tea clipper races in the mid 19th century, where merchant companies raced each other three quarters of the way across the globe to command the best price for tea….
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Roughly 5,280 Reasons America Should Have Gone Metric A Long Time Ago

Defining Our Terms: Metric vs. Ye Olde English If you’ve been to elementary school in the United States, you’ve encountered the metric system. As you’ll remember, it’s a system based on ten. There are 100 centimeters in a meter. 1,000…
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In Defense of the MFA: My Story

I have decided to pursue an MFA in creative writing. Lots of people in the writing / publishing world have strong opinions about MFAs. Not all of them favorable. Here’s what I’ve concluded. When I was a kid I wanted…
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Book Review | The Tea Clippers: Their History and Development 1833-1875 by David R. MacGregor

The exploits of the great Victorian-era sailing vessels Cutty Sark, Thermopylae, Taeping, and Ariel have transported the imaginations of seafarers and would-be adventurers for over 150 years.  These amazing clipper ships collected tea in China and raced each other all the…
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Re: Philanthropy, Thoreau Got It Wrong

  Dear Henry,   I’ve recently read your book Walden and would like to share my observations with you, if that’s alright. I’m sorry to hear that your cabin was torn down, reassembled, and ultimately dismantled not long after you…
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Book Review: “Running Her Easting Down” by William F. Baker

Running Her Easting Down is an overview of the life and times of the great tea clippers of the 19th century. It was written by William F. Baker (not to be confused with the engineer who designed the Burj Khalifa), an…
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Where to Find Your Next Favorite Book

  As good old-fashioned bookstores become more and more yeti-like these days (i.e. difficult to find, smelly and temperamental when cornered) it can be tough to know where find a good book. You go to Amazon, scroll through the “other…
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20 Podcasts I Think You Might Like

I’m a big NPR nerd. No question. Have been for a while. (Yes, I realize that “NPR nerd” is redundant.) NPR-listening,  as with all gateway drugs, inevitably led me into that crooked psychotropic world of podcast addiction. Once you start…
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