Saturday, August 31, 2013

Google Car in Mirror

Hey, a Google street view car took a picture of itself in a traffic mirror in the Czech Republic. Good times.

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Child Labor in Charlotte

That National Child Labor Committee was formed in 1904 and chartered by Congress in 1907. When I was researching the NCLC and saw that it was chartered I wondered what that meant. I see now it can mean a lot of things. Mainly, it appears to mean that it is an entity recognized by the Congress as having some importance. The chartering of a group, according to a 2004 report by the Congressional Research Service, means “is that it tends to provide an `official' imprimatur to their activities, and to that extent it may provide them prestige and indirect financial benefit.” It’s a way, I guess, for our government to indirectly endorse the activities of a group. I guess NAMBLA or a Neo Nazi party wouldn’t receive a charter from Congress. The document from the Congressional Research Service uses the word “eleemosynary,” that being lawyerese for charitable or philanthropic.

In 1908 the NCLC hired Lewis Hine as a photographer. They sent him out into the country to document child laborers. He did this for nearly ten years. He would often have to sneak into factories under false pretenses in order to photograph child workers on the sly. He put himself in danger in order to document the abuses of these children. He is credited as being the first to use photography as a documentary tool. His work help shock the nation into changing and enforcing child labor laws.

Recently the Library of Congress posted on their website a huge collection of Hine's photographs. Naturally, I searched to see if I could find any photographs from the Charlotte, NC area. There were several.

I was going to post more about child labor in North Carolina but this site is way ahead of me.

Here a few from around Charlotte. All of these were taken in January 1909.

Tallest girl, Kate McManus. Smallest (next) Zorobell Hatley; (next) Louis Blanchard (next) Edith McManus.

Comment by Hine: "They said they had been in mill work only few weeks or months. Evidently they had been quizzed before and were "wise.""

Atherton Mill. Location: Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Here is an example of Hine photographing child laborers in defiance of the mill authorities.

Comments by Hine:
Atherton Mill, Doffer boys Charlotte, N .C. Photo taken during absence of Supt. and contrary to his orders. Tallest boy--Lester Blunt. Been in the mill work 2 years. Middle boy--Eb Saddlefield. Been in mill work 3 years. Boy on the right hand end,--Roscoe Simpson. Been in mill work 3 years. Location: Charlotte, North Carolina.

atherton mill doffer boys

One of the smallest doffers in the Atherton Mill, Charlotte, N.C. Others nearly as small working there. Location: Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Will Freeman. Been in mill work 4 years. Atherton Mill in Charlotte, NC.

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Comments by Hine:
A few of the hands on the night shift in Highland Park Mill No. 3, Charlotte, N.C. 10:30 P.M. January 7/09. 100 hands in all. Ten children as small as smallest in photo to some smaller. One chap (48 in. high) was kept out of photo. Looked 9 years old. Boy on right hand and (by barrel) has been in mill work 9 years ; half of it at night. said "Rather work nights." Boss of spinning room began at 8 years and is now 30. Location: Charlotte, North Carolina.

hine 0484

I guess we should be thankful that American children don't have to work under conditions like this anymore. That brutal practice is now exported. With the push for deregulation and the lowering of wages we may yet get back to the good old days here. Fingers crossed!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Vine Video

Today at lunch I upgraded my camera. I can now use Vine. My first video is below. I call it "Chair."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Patton Oswalt on Twitter

Last night I came across an odd Twitter post by Patton Oswalt. It was the one below.

I read this post and I thought, "What the fuck is that about? That doesn't sound like Patton Oswalt." I looked further down the line and saw he was sending out two tweets at a time where the second one, if taken out of context, was offensive. Here is how the tweet I read works when read together with its partner:

Here's another one.

Twitter has become on of my favorite things about the Internet.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Great video here about a Texas town and it's groundwater.

There were two fascinating quotes by a Glenda Kuykendall.

1) "We’re in the United States, in America, where this should not happen." I think this is a prevailing attitude by many. People think because they live in the US that problems that you see in the rest of the world won't touch them. They way corporations have completely hijacked our political system situations like this are going to become common. Third world problems are coming home.

2) “Why can’t these oil companies understand?” Oh, they understand. They know they are stealing your water and killing your town. They don't care. Companies that are fracking in this Texas town are going to bleed it dry. It will become a ghost town and lives will be destroyed while the oil companies swim in money.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

GTA V Multiplayer Trailer

I may truly never have to buy another video game ever again if they deliver everything they say they will.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Dog, Long Dead

Another old photo from a negative. I love this shot of the dog leaping over a hedge. This was probably taken in Chicago in the early 40s.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

39 Booms

A truck carrying propane tanks burns on a Russian highway. It explodes 39 times. Driving in Russia should be a reality series.

Mt. Fuji at Sunrise

I was thinking of this today. Still one of the most stunning views I have ever seen was Mt. Fuji at sunrise. Right as the sun is breaking the horizon behind you this is what you see if you are facing the Mt. Fuji. The world is still in full night except for the conical mountain at whose feet you sit. It's soft dark red beacon. I saw this view after sitting all night is a freezing guard shack at the entrance to an ammunition storage facility. I spent that long night in the company of a Japanese policeman who knew as much English as I knew Japanese. I think we mostly nodded, smiled and pointed most of the night. When this view appeared I was able to say, "Utsukushi Fuji" and he replied, "Hai, beautiful Fuji." Mountain-FUJI (sunrise)

Thanks to Flickr user Hasselbad_man for making this picture embeddable.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

There is Something About a Dog

We are currently fostering a Retriever mix called Scooter. He is a lean, happy dog that is just dying for attention. The people who left him chained up in a yard when they moved must have neglected him well before they abandoned him. Judging from his performance while walking, I think he hasn't been walked on a leash at all. Getting him to behave properly on a leash is going to be a project. At least when he fetches a ball he brings it back. Melanie's dachshund loved to chase a ball but once he got his mouth around a tennis ball it was his.

Of course, I say we are fostering him but I don't really see me being able to give him up.

What a doofus

Friday, August 02, 2013

Children and a Dog

One of the reasons I think this pictures are from Chicago is the store in the background of this picture. The store is National Tea Company a grocery chain started in Chicago in 1899.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

More Old Photographs

Two shots of the same child on a tricycle with two different women. I think these may have been taken in Chicago in the 40s. Why do children back in that time often look like miniature adults? Was it the beatings?