My vintage looking manual coffee grinder! A copper and wood hand ground coffee mill.

  One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year wasn't expensive, wasn't flashy and wasn't something I suppose most females had on their wish lists.  A vintage, hand milled, manual coffee grinder.  If you've visited It's Just the Coffee Talking in the past you might know how many times I've posted I wanted a non-electric coffee grinder.  I had one on my wish list at Amazon that was a small canister style, but I didn't really care so much what my coffee grinder looked like, so much as just wanting one. 

But it's one of those things I would never buy for myself.  Luckily my husband and one of my daughter's were shopping at World Market near our home and when my husband saw this vintage copper and wood coffee grinder he remembered I had mentioned (a few dozen times over the past four years) that I really wanted one. 

My husband found this one at World Market and at the time it was $19.99 I think.

From their website - Product description:  Slow brew coffee connoisseurs will love our retro-chic copper coffee mill. Featuring adjustable settings, this manual burr grinder does not heat coffee beans like an electric grinder, and it's easier to clean and much less noisy. Plus, it looks great on the counter top

  • Made of metal with copper finish and wood
  • Adjustable settings
  • Base: 4.72"Sq.
There was no assembly and no 'learning curve' to use it.  I also love that it just doesn't have plastic, breakable parts like my 2 electric grinders do.  As a matter of fact, one of our electric grinders was knocked off the counter top, the plastic top/cup cracked and a piece broke off.  Not only frustrating and ugly, but this particular grinder has a 'built in safety mechanism'  (insert me rolling my eyes) that if the arrows don't match up when you place the cup on, it won't run. 

Manual coffee grinders don't deal with that and are quieter to boot! 

You can change the grind of the coffee from fine to coarse depending on your preferences or your machine you will be using it in.  However I did a test run when I received it, found the grind was perfect as is. 

To use, you just pour the beans in the top, and crank.

This was my 'test' to see the grind of the beans.  For a personal k-cup or for the 'pour over method' (which is what I typically use) this was perfect.

Just grind the amount you want, it falls to the little pull out box below and you simply remove the box, and use your coffee!

I've been enjoying my grinder at least once or twice a week since Christmas and I love it all over again every time I use it. Fresh ground coffee beans produce a most delicious cup of hot coffee.  Whether you want a more compact grinder for camping or travel, a sturdy one for daily use or one for your emergency prep-supplies in case of power outages or disasters of some sort, I believe if you love fresh ground coffee, a manual grinder is a great item to have 'just in case'. 

Related coffee mills available from Amazon;

Coffee Mill with Ceramic Grinder 18 cm
Hario "Canister" Ceramic Coffee Mill
Norpro Coffee Grinder
Manual Cast Iron Coffee Bean Grinder with Drawer
Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder, Mini
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton  Storage Capacity (100g)


My heart breaks for families hurt by inept, stupid, apathetic or egotistical people wtih a little power


A nightmarish string of medical errors left a Long Island baby dead, and her grieving parents were falsely accused of abuse, according to a lawsuit.

"Sara Keenan, 35, had breastfed baby Lana and put her down for a nap on Jan. 3, 2014. About an hour later, the dad, Padraig Keenan, 37, found the 3-month-old in her crib, choking on her own vomit, they claim. Miraculously, a houseguest who works as an EMT quickly revived the baby, who began to breathe again.

The parents then called 911, unknowingly igniting a chain reaction of medical missteps that doomed their tiny daughter, according to their suit."

Considering the baby was just choking on milk she vomited and was fine and breathing fine, I'm sure most (me included) would have left it at that, but they decided to err on the side of caution or perhaps with the advice of the EMT that apparently was a friend of theirs and a house guest at the time.

The EMT's that responded to the call, from Exchange Ambulances carried her to an ambulance parked four doors away and didn't even bother to protect her from the cold temperatures.  Ok, I'm still not questioning anything at this point but here is where my blood starts to boil.

"Instead of taking the child to pediatric intensive care units at nearby Good Samaritan or Stony Brook hospitals, the medics brought her to Bay Shore’s Southside Hospital. There, an emergency-room doctor pumped the 12-pound girl with a “cornucopia of drugs,” including Propofol, the powerful sedative linked to Michael Jackson’s death."

WHAT THE H**L WERE THEY THINKING?  Or should I say NOT thinking?  

"The deadly cocktail lowered the infant’s blood pressure so much, oxygen didn’t get to her brain for at least an hour. An attempt to correct the condition with epinephrine, meant to raise Lana’s blood pressure, failed when an IV was incorrectly inserted, the suit claims."

She was a tiny little new baby, she vomited, choked on it, was breathing on her own but brought in to be checked and they gave her a bunch of adult drugs that lowered her oxygen level to the point that her brain was without oxygen for at least an hour?  And then realized they screwed up and tried to backtrack by giving her epinephrine and inserted the IV wrong!???

But wait!  IT GETS WORSE.

"The baby was then brought more than an hour away, to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens" where Dr. Hoffman-Rosenfeld with a strange sense of humor introduces herself as "Dr. House" (a TV show character) and then, on her own, decided the infant had shaken-baby syndrome.

Dr. Jamie Hoffman-Rosenfeld (NYT article)
This doctor accused the parents of both of harming their child and causing the injury which ultimately led to her death.  HOW did she EVEN come up with this!????

“The type of brain damage [Lana] sustained did not even closely resemble what is seen in ‘shaken baby syndrome’ or cases involving intentional or accidental ‘traumatic head injury,’ ” according to the lawsuit.

Not only were these parents dealing with a baby with brain damage that wasn't present until the oxygen deprivation by the previous hospital's blunder but wait...


At this point the Suffolk County social workers got involved and got orders of protection against the parents from not only being with that poor baby, but took custody of their other two children; 6 and 3.

Here it even gets more interesting;  the police and the District Attorney’s Office investigated but uncovered no criminal acts were involved.

Two autopsies later confirmed that no physical abuse occurred.

"But the child-protection agency pursued a custody case, alleging parental abuse, in Suffolk Family Court for 11 months after Lana’s death in February 2014."

They weren't cleared until January of 2015.  Until then their lives were hell!  Imagine having your baby harmed by others, not being able to be with her AS SHE LAY DYING and then having your other two children ripped from your family!  The emotional and mental stress, fear, sickening damage this does to the parents AND THESE KIDS.

The article went on to give a possible reason for the continuing case - ".... believe the Family Court case was pursued to pressure them into making a false confession and clearing the medical community of culpability."

Hmm.  Good point.  Something to ponder.

And the little curt response that Northwell Health gave makes me sick. “The loss of a child obviously is a tragedy, and we have extended our sympathies to the family,” spokesman Terry Lynam added.

I don't think they want your sympathy.  I think they'd rather have their daughter back. 

It's just a gun. To many it's like leaving home with a cellphone or wallet.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that a loaded gun was found in a passenger's bag at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

The Luger 9 millimeter pistol was discovered in a carry-on bag around 5:45 a.m. on Thursday.  TSA called police, who took the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.

TSA says while firearms may be transported in checked baggage (provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded), they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”

I don't know the specifics of this particular case - but I've read many news articles over the past year or two where the person with the gun was completely unaware of the specifics of airline travel, or frankly - forgot it was even in their purse or bag.  In this particular news article it doesn't say the person was charged with anything this time, but geeze... there is just no need to completely freak out. Chill.

Even calling the police seems to be overkill considering more than likely they completely forgot it was even in their bag or they may not travel by air often (or hardly at all...  or never) and didn't know the rules.  For many, carrying their handgun is like carrying a wallet or a purse.  It's just there and they don't think about it. 

Calling the police, making them miss their flight, imposing TSA fines...  what about just letting them know "Sorry, that's not allowed - we are afraid you cannot fly until you have someone come get it from you to take home or you want to discard it with the other objects not allowed to be taken on flights".

One Minute History with Coffee: National Socialism - Otherwise know as Nazism

What was Nazism?

Short for national socialism, "Nazi" was a derisive abbreviation that held.  The Nazi doctrine rests on the three philosophies;  extreme nationalism, anti-Semitism, and anti-communism.  As one of the Central Powers, Germany's defeat in World War I resulted in severe punishment of that country and its seriously diminished role in Europe.  The doctrines of Nazism took hold there, appealing to the masses with promises of a rebuilt Germany.

The 'bible' of Nazism was Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf (My Struggle; 1923) which asserted the superiority of a pure Aryan race, led by an infallible ruler; the reestablishment of a German empire; and the systematic annihilation of people who Nazis perceived to be German's worst enemies: Jews and Communists. 

Nazis ruled Germany from 1933 when Hitler rose to power as head of the National Socialist German Workers Party.  In their own country, they enforced their policies through a secret police (the Gestapo), storm troops (called the SS), and Hitler's bodyguard (called the SA).  Elsewhere in Europe, the Nazis used sheer force in imposing their system.  Their aggression and ruthlessness resulted in World War II.  During the Holocaust, Nazi soldiers, led by "Hitler's henchmen" persecuted and exterminated upwards of 12 million people, at least half of whom were European Jews.  Nazism ended in 1945, when Hitler killed himself and Germany lost the war.  The doctrine, which demonstrated how detrimentally powerful a theory can be, was outlawed thereafter.  Sadly, the late twentieth century saw a resurgence of "neo-Nazism" among extremists in Germany and the United States.


The Handy History Answer Book, Second Edition (The Handy Answer Book Series)

A concise guide to all things historical, this compendium addresses people, times, and events in a wide-ranging and comprehensive manner, complemented by helpful illustrations and a chronology of major events. Some of the history-making events include the election of George W. Bush, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; spectacular images from probes in outer space, medical advances and debate, and many new scientific discoveries on Earth; a devastating earthquake in Iran and the deadly tsunami in Asia; the downfall of Enron and the comeback of Apple, as well as the dot-com bubble burst. Beginning with a section on historical eras, this popular reference source tracks history and organizes information in 13 specific subject sections, ranging from politics and war to science and religion. It tackles exploration and settlement, technological advances, legal fireworks, financial and business events, social movements, natural and man-made disasters, medicine and disease, and art and culture. This resource is the perfect fingertip, time-traveling guide through the pages of history.

The 2015 release edition;

The Handy American History Answer Book (The Handy Answer Book Series)

Old Fashioned Coffee Directives from 1874-1914

My love of history is fairly well known if you've been around the blog or my Twitter much... and this post combines the love of history and coffee together!  This is from an old Household Discoveries book published in 1874 and republished a couple more times until 1914 (and past that but I haven't got a copy of those).

Back in 'the day' coffee wasn't always made from coffee beans as many Americans couldn't afford coffee.  Houses on the prairie often made their coffee with barley, wheat or bran with a little molasses.  And "crust" coffee!  Have you ever heard your Great Grandparents discuss having to drink crust coffee? 

Coffee Substitutes. — Cereal products as coffee substitutes appear to be made of parched barley, wheat and other grain, sometimes mixed with pea hulls, corn cobs or bran. Such grain parched with a little molasses in an ordinary oven makes something undistinguishable in flavor from the cereal coffees on the market. The claim of the manufacturers that these substitutes yield more nourishment than   coffee   is   entirely   unfounded.

        They contain little or no nutriment, skim milk being about twenty times as nutritive. If strict economy is necessary it will be found equally as satisfactory to use old-fashioned "crust coffee" made by toasting broken crusts of white, brown, or preferably "rye and Indian" bread, steeping them in hot water and straining until comparatively clear. Or parched corn, rye sweet potato or other old-fashioned coffee substitutes may be used.

I found this interesting; even over a hundred years ago, manufacturers were trying to scam consumers by adding 'bulk' and 'fillers' to the coffee.  This informative paragraph tells you how to look for the

         There is hardly any adulterated tea on the market, although there are some very poor grades and there may be too much "tea siftings" in the sample. Ground coffee is very often adulterated. Some simple tests for adulterants may be made. If ground coffee is dropped into a glass of cold water, the genuine coffee will float, and will not discolor the water for several minutes. Most of the adulterants sink to the bottom and leave a brown trail in the water. But little coffee is contained in the so-called "coffee substitutes." The proportion of coffee in a sample may be ascertained approximately by dropping it into cold water, as very few coffee substitutes will float

Further along in the book are two 'recipes' for coffee.  We've discussed "egg coffee" on Coffee Talking before but back then it was just considered coffee.  It's how you made it.  Period! Here it is, straight from the 1800's!

French Coffee.
        1 cupful finely ground coffee, 6 cupfuls boiling water.

There are a number of pots on the market for making French coffee; any of them are suitable, provided they contain a fine strainer, which holds the coffee and prevents the grounds from getting into the infusion. To make coffee in this fashion, put the coffee into the strainer, which is generally set into the mouth of the pot; place the pot on the stove and slowly pour the water over the grounds, allowing it to filter through. If you wish to have the coffee stronger, pour out the infusion and pour it a second time over the grounds, but do not allow it to cool.

Boiled Coffee.
        4 heaping tablespoonfuls ground
        coffee, 1  quart freshly boiling water, white of egg.

Mix the white of egg with 3 table-spoonfuls cold water, beating with a fork; add the coffee and stir till wet. Scald coffeepot, put in prepared coffee, pour in boiling water, cover the spout, and boil five minutes. Pour in quickly -i cupful cold water; stand three minutes to settle. Strain into a hot pot or have strainer on table.

French Press Coffeemakers available from Amazon;
MIRA French Press Coffee Maker - 34 ounce capacity, borosilicate glass, with bonus Glass Milk Frother
Colorful Brew French Press Coffee Maker - Large Brewer Makes 34oz of Coffee - Made with a Strong and Thick Glass Carafe
French Press Coffee Maker by Real People 8 Cup 32 oz Coffee Tea Maker with Stainless Steel Plunger High Quality Glass and Stainless Steel Construction Comparable to Bodum Coffee Makers


Yes I am the mother of two young women and no... I absolutely did not let anyone inject them with Gardasil

This is a hot topic for me - one I can easily start to ramble on about even without coffee in hand.  I'm absolutely frustrated, irritated and well, scared that some states are making this vaccine mandatory!  

Instead of me rambling over coffee, I thought I'd just leave most of my chatting out...  there is a little of me in this post but I was able to use government websites and the FDA site in addition to a couple more - linked below. 

From Gardasil's own website, they say it best;
"Only a doctor or health care professional can decide if GARDASIL is right for your child."

But unfortunately for us (not them) there are already states who are now mandating your 7th grade daughter receive this vaccine before they can attend school.  What happened to letting you and your physician make the decision!?

HPV does not spread through the air like measles or the flu. HPV infections occur mainly with sexual intercourse. This viral infection is  extremely common over a life tim—e; in fact, more than 90% of sexually active women will contract HPV at some time during their life. But here’s the kicker: studies have confirmed that most women who contract HPV do NOT develop cervical cancer, and almost all HPV infections resolve over 1- to 2-years on their own. Girls with previous exposure or previous infection with HPV strains 16 or 18 will receive no benefit from the vaccine. There are no plans to test any girls – or boys – for positivity before giving them the vaccine.

There are 3 questionable ingredients included in the vaccine, but let's just look at one of them.  Borax.  Yes, the stuff I used with my laundry detergent and that I sprinkle around the dogs beds in the summer to kill fleas.
  • Borax is an acidic salt also known as sodium borate. When it enters the body, it becomes boric acid, an ingredient commonly found in rat poison, pesticides, flame retardants, and laundry detergent.
  • When given orally, sodium borate and boric acid interfere with sperm production, damage the testes and interfere with male fertility when given to animals at high doses. Depending upon the dose, boric acid produces developmental defects, including reduced body weight, malformations and death, in the offspring of pregnant animals. Therefore, sodium borate has been banned as a food preservative in the United States and several other countries .According to the MSDS sheet for borax, the full effects of injecting boric acid is unknown, but if it this harmful to ingest it, how much more harmful is it to inject it?

Researchers have known since at least 1979 that it takes only 6-8ppm of boron to effect the testicles, resulting in complete germinal cell aplasia. In the testicle, the germinal layer manufactures sperm and the Leydig cells produce testosterone. Little boys, injected with Gardasil, can develop normally, with normal testosterone levels, but be infertile when they reach the age of parenthood.
Gardasil has 35 mcg of borax (35 ppm) per dose. (1 mcg ~     1 ppm). Borax contains about 11% boron by weight.

In 2008, the FDA reported that 73.3% of girls in Gardasil clinical trials developed new illnesses, which ranged from disorders of the gastrointestinal and neurological systems to autoimmune disease and skin outbreaks.
Faced with ALL of that, does it even work, meaning, does giving a 12-year old a shot of Gardasil really lower the incidence of cervical cancer at 40 years of age, when cervical cancer is most prevalent? Not only highly doubtful – truth is, absolutely not. Here’s what a Merck whistle blower has to say about it:
In 2014, Dr. Bernard Dalberge, a former Merck industry physician said, “I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine…has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers. Gardasil is useless and costs a fortune.  In addition, decision-makers at all levels are aware of it.”

Shall we go back to the beginning and start with the question; What are human papillomaviruses?

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are a group of more than 200 related viruses. More than 40 HPV types can be easily spread through direct sexual contact, from the skin and mucous membranes of infected people to the skin and mucous membranes of their partners. They can be spread by vaginal, anal, and oral sex (1). Other HPV types are responsible for non-genital warts, which are not sexually transmitted.

Sexually transmitted HPV types fall into two categories:
  • Low-risk HPVs, which do not cause cancer but can cause skin warts (technically known as condylomata acuminata) on or around the genitals, anus, mouth, or throat. For example, HPV types 6 and 11 cause 90 percent of all genital warts. HPV types 6 and 11 also cause recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a disease in which benign tumors grow in the air passages leading from the nose and mouth into the lungs.
  • High-risk HPVs, which can cause cancer. About a dozen high-risk HPV types have been identified. Two of these, HPV types 16 and 18, are responsible for most HPV-caused cancers (2, 3).

Which cancers are caused by HPV?

High-risk HPVs cause several types of cancer.
  • Cervical cancer: Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV, and just two HPV types, 16 and 18, are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases (7,8).
  • Anal cancer: About 95 percent of anal cancers are caused by HPV. Most of these are caused by HPV type 16.
  • Oropharyngeal cancers (cancers of the middle part of the throat, including the soft palate, the base of the tongue, and the tonsils): About 70 percent of oropharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV. In the United States, more than half of cancers diagnosed in the oropharynx are linked to HPV type 16 (9).
  • Rarer cancers: HPV causes about 65 percent of vaginal cancers, 50 percent of vulvar cancers, and 35 percent of penile cancers (10). Most of these are caused by HPV type 16.
High-risk HPV types cause approximately 5 percent of all cancers worldwide (11). In the United States, high-risk HPV types cause approximately 3 percent of all cancer cases among women and 2 percent of all cancer cases among men (12).

Who gets HPV infections?

Anyone who has ever been sexually active (that is, engaged in skin-to-skin sexual conduct, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex) can get HPV. HPV is easily passed between partners through sexual contact.  HPV infections are more likely in those who have many sex partners or have sex with someone who has had many partners. Because the infection is so common, most people get HPV infections shortly after becoming sexually active for the first time (13, 14). A person who has had only one partner can get HPV.
Someone can have an HPV infection even if they have no symptoms and their only sexual contact with an HPV-infected person happened many years ago.

Can HPV infections be prevented?

People who are not sexually active almost never develop genital HPV infections. In addition, HPV vaccination before sexual activity can reduce the risk of infection by the HPV types targeted by the vaccine.   
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three vaccines to prevent HPV infection: Gardasil®, Gardasil® 9, and Cervarix®. These vaccines provide strong protection against new HPV infections, but they are not effective at treating established HPV infections or disease caused by HPV (15, 16).
Correct and consistent condom use is associated with reduced HPV transmission between sexual partners, but less frequent condom use is not (8). However, because areas not covered by a condom can be infected by the virus (7), condoms are unlikely to provide complete protection against the infection.

HPV is the name of a group of viruses that includes more than 100 different types. More than 30 of these viruses can be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. For most women, the body's own defense system will clear the virus and they don't develop health problems.

Women Vaccinated for HPV May Be at Higher Risk of HPV Infection

In an analysis of nearly 600 women between the ages of 20 and 26, 60 percent of those who had received the original Gardasil vaccine, which protects against only four strains (types) of HPV (6,11,16,18), had a higher risk of being infected with another non-vaccine HPV virus strain.
The unvaccinated women had lower rates of the non-vaccine high-risk strains of HPV, which suggests getting vaccinated may make you more susceptible to being infected with other strains of HPV.
The researchers' solution to the problem was to suggest women who already have gotten three doses of the original four-strain Gardasil vaccine now get another shot of a new Gardasil vaccine, which contains nine different HPV strains.
In December 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil 9 that includes five additional HPV types (31, 33, 45, 52, 58) not found in the original vaccine. So if you have already received one or more doses of the original Gardasil vaccine, you may actually be at a higher risk of being infected with the five additional HPV types than if you had never been vaccinated at all.

The Risks of HPV Vaccine Are Significant

By mid-March 2015, the HPV vaccine Gardasil had generated more than 35,000 adverse reaction reports to the US government, including more than 200 deaths.8
This is probably a gross underestimate, because, although a federal law was passed in 1986 (the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act) mandating that doctors and other vaccine providers report serious health problems or deaths that occur after vaccination to VAERS, there are no legal penalties for vaccine providers not reporting and it is estimated that perhaps less than 10 percent of the vaccine adverse events that do occur are reported to VAERS.9

Pap Smears Can Detect Cervical Cancer and Pre-Cancers Early On

It's also important to understand that if cervical cancer does occur, it is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer. Routine pap smear testing is a far more rational, less expensive, and less dangerous strategy for cervical cancer prevention, as it can identify chronic HPV infection and may provide greater protection against development of cervical cancer than reliance on HPV vaccines that have not been adequately proven to be safe and effective.
Cervical cancer cases have dropped more than 70 percent in the US since pap screening became a routine part of women's health care in the 1960s, as it can detect pre-cancerous cervical lesions early so they can be effectively removed and treated.

Do women who have been vaccinated still need to be screened for cervical cancer?

Yes. Because these vaccines do not protect against all HPV types that can cause cancer, screening continues to be essential to detect precancerous changes in cervical cells before they develop into cancer.


  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • NVIC Vaccine Reaction Registry. Make a vaccine injury or death report to NVIC that will not be shared with others unless you give permission.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors, employers, or school officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall. View or post experiences of being vaccinated and still getting sick with the infectious disease that the vaccine was supposed to prevent.


A Texas family is being sued for letting their four small children play in their own back yard

"I can't imagine the sound of kids playing at any stage of my life and thinking that I needed to sue someone over it"

Woman sued for loud kids playing outside

The sound of children's laughter is usually counted as one of the best sounds on earth.  Not so for one Plano, Texas couple, Irving and Anita Ward, who are suing the family who lives next to them because their four children, ages 10, 7, 4 and 2 make too much noise playing in their own back yard.

"The residents next to Kelly Counts said her kids are 
upsetting their tranquil quality of life and 
"creating noise issues as well as visibility issues 
for them and their pets."

The story goes on to mention the Wards never once asked the mother of the children to quiet down the backyard play, but instead, started to play extremely loud, explicit music in retaliation and then, out of the blue, served her with a lawsuit.

Good gracious.  WHAT has happened to this country?

A Kajillion people are checking PowerBall numbers and visiting their website so, I thought they should probably fix this typo

I'm not a regular PowerBall lottery player.  Actually, I've never bought a lottery ticket and I'm not sure I ever will because I just don't have much interest in them.  But my husband does once in a great while.  Usually when the pot gets big enough he remembers the lottery exists.  He only buys one or two tickets and we have no expectations to win so it's not really a 'thing' in our house.

I also want to say that I'm not a grammar or typo Nazi.  Lord knows I make errors in my typing ALL the time. I am horrible with punctuation actually.  I try.  But eh, I type rambling posts over morning coffee for my own amusement so I guess if I don't use the correct punctuation or grammar it's not like a billion kajillion people will see it.

But ah...  let's get back to PowerBall shall we?  I just wanted to point out that I usually skip over typos and mistakes others make.  I just really don't care enough and Lord knows there are enough real problems in the world to fuss about than typos.

The website.  I had to go there this morning to check the numbers for last night's drawing since my husband had bought a couple tickets.  Unlike my site, they do have a billion kajillion people that see their little typos.  And because they are kind of a big deal, I was really surprised to see a glaring spelling mistake on their site.

I don' t know how long their website has been up or if it's always had this typo, but people all over the world are clicking in, only to see the word "numbers" spelled with an extra "m".  Numbmers. *Cringe* because I think with so many billions of eyes going to the website, it reflects badly on us as Americans since our lottery is so well known.

I thought I'd just tweet them to say "hey, you might want to fix this spelling error on your page if you get a moment."

But I didn't see a link on their page to a twitter account.

No worries.  I'll just drop an email to them.

I found the CONTACT US link.

Contact Us page (

But instead of contact information, I see this....

"Greetings Gentle Reader,
Here are the answers to the most common questions. 
PLEASE browse through the information below 
to find your answers right now. We get a lot of mail 
(up to one a minute during a big jackpot). 
By checking below, you get your answer faster 
and we can get to the rare new questions faster too. 

If your question is one of the very few not answered here, 
you can click the link at the bottom of the page to send us your question.

Multi-State Lottery Association"

... followed by a really long page of questions and answers.

Totally agree this is a good idea.  Saves time with thousands of people emailing with the same questions over and over, every day of every week of every month of every year.

So at the bottom of the page there is still not a contact us link, but there is one for 'real letters'.

Real Letters page (

And after reading through some of the 'real letters' they get, I am embarrassed for some of the stupid letters the poor employee of the lotto system has to deal with every day.  But, it might also be a fun job to answer them too.  As it seems the guy who gets to answer them as a sense of humor similar to mine and PowerBall is totally ok with that!  (Kudos!)

At the bottom of the page they did actually list a general email address you could send an email to.

But by this time my coffee was gone and my mind was drifting to all the things on my 'to do' list that I had been ignoring thus far... so I decided to just screenshot the typo and save it for a coffee post.

Something to ramble about.  :)

So, with fresh coffee in hand, here is the typo screenshot seen by kajillions of people that really, they should probably fix.  And now that someone won the huge pot and it's started over at just 40 million, and perhaps they aren't getting as many silly emails and questions to answer, they might find time to fix it.

Not too chatty this morning... so, instead, here are some of the stories I was reading over coffee.

Doctor investigated over claims he sexually assaulted a hospital patient - oh goodness - if he really did this (and there seems to be evidence he did) then I am so glad he was caught! 

Witnesses testified that Jordan intentionally tripped children, stepped on their toes, encouraged them to fight each other and sprayed them in the face with a hose. Oh, this story hurts my heart. Innocent children in daycare so they can't leave the situation or get away.

Uber driver returns to rape, burglarize passenger at her home -

"Mysterious Sleeping Boy at State of the Union Identified" - Seriously, who cares?  WHY was this 'headline' news and why did the media think this little boy had to be identified anyway?  He's little, and fell asleep.  And? -

"It’s a painful reminder that our armed forces have been starved of funds to maintain and repair equipment during Obama’s watch as commander-in-chief, and they’ve also watched their numbers steadily shrink."  "Even worse, this incident comes weeks after Iran taunted us by suddenly test-firing a missile less than 1,500 yards away from American ships that were patrolling the Hormuz Straits. We of course did nothing."

Patient dies after doctor beats him - The doctor was fired and his actions are classified as negligence, since there is no evidence he intended to kill the patient -

Why the Bathroom of a Pizza Place Moved One Mom to Tears - Crying over a bathroom? -

Ohio Man Who Recorded Fatal Accident Scene Sentenced to Jail - Hmm.  Yes it was a dick move and he's disgusting and it's a crime against humanity but truly illegal trespassing? Anyone who stops to help after an accident and opens the vehicle door is also illegally trespassing then. -

Judge throws out excessive force case against officer who took down and injured an Indian man


Fabrication and Falsification - Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? No.

This work is protected by copyright and may be linked to without seeking permission. Source

Coffeetalking adds:  the bold text is mine.

Did the U.S. Army Distribute Smallpox Blankets to Indians? Fabrication and Falsification in Ward Churchill's Genocide Rhetoric

In this analysis of the genocide rhetoric employed over the years by Ward Churchill, an ethnic studies professor at the University of Colorado, a "distressing" conclusion is reached: Churchill has habitually committed multiple counts of research misconduct—specifically, fabrication and falsification. While acknowledging the "politicization" of the topic and evidence of other outrages committed against Native American tribes in times past, this study examines the different versions of the "smallpox blankets" episode published by Churchill between 1994 and 2003. The "preponderance of evidence" standard of proof strongly indicates that Churchill fabricated events that never occurred—namely the U.S. Army's alleged distribution of smallpox infested blankets to the Mandan Indians in 1837.  The analysis additionally reveals that Churchill falsified sources to support his fabricated version of events, and also concealed evidence in his cited sources that actually disconfirms, rather than substantiates, his allegations of genocide. 

All historians believe in honoring the integrity of the historical record. They do not fabricate evidence. Forgery and fraud violate the most basic foundations on which historians construct their interpretations of the past. An undetected counterfeit undermines not just the historical arguments of the forger, but all subsequent scholarship that relies on the forger's work. Those who invent, alter, remove, or destroy evidence make it difficult for any serious historian ever wholly to trust their work again. American Historical Association's Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct. 

Ward Churchill tells a shocking tale of war crimes committed by the U.S. Army at Fort Clark against the Mandan Indians in 1837. Fort Clark stood perched on a windswept bluff overlooking the Missouri River, in what is today North Dakota. Churchill reports that in early 1837, the commander of Fort Clark ordered a boatload of blankets shipped from a military smallpox infirmary in St. Louis. When the shipment arrived at Fort Clark on June 20, U.S. Army officers requested a parlay with Mandan Indians who lived next to the fort. At the parlay, army officers distributed the smallpox-infested blankets as gifts. When the Indians began to show signs of the illness, U.S. Army doctors did not impose quarantine, but instead told the Indians to scatter, so that the disease would become more widespread and kill more Indians. Meanwhile, the fort authorities hoarded smallpox vaccine in their storeroom, instead of using it to inoculate the Indians.

Every aspect of Churchill's tale is fabricated. Between 1994 and 2003, Ward Churchill published at least six different versions of this accusation against the U.S. Army. While the Mandans and other Indians of the Upper Plains did suffer horribly from a smallpox epidemic in 1837, Churchill presents no evidence whatsoever to indicate that the infection was anything but accidental, or that the U.S. Army was in any way involved. Fort Clark was a privately owned fur trading outpost, not a military base, and there were no U.S. troops in the vicinity. The closest U.S. military unit was an eight hundred mile march away at Fort Leavenworth.

In telling his fantastic tale, Churchill has fabricated incidents that never occurred and individuals who never existed. Churchill falsified the sources that he cited in support of his tale, and repeatedly concealed evidence in his possession that disconfirms his version of events.

Ward Churchill is currently a Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado. The university granted Churchill tenure in 1991 in spite of the fact that he lacks a Ph.D. and had not served the normal probationary period as an untenured assistant professor. Churchill holds a M.A. degree in Communications from Sangamon State University. Documents from the University of Colorado archives indicate that Churchill obtained his tenured position there under a program designed to "recruit and hire a more diverse faculty" (Clark, 2005). In early 2006, the University investigated Churchill on seven allegations of research misconduct, one of which was Churchill's smallpox blankets hoax.  The committee unanimously found Churchill guilty on all seven counts, and the Chancellor has recommended his dismissal from the university.

Given the politicization of this topic, it seems necessary to acknowledge at the outset that far too many instances of the U.S. Army committing outrages against various Indian tribes can be documented. A number of these were explicitly genocidal in intent. It is not the intention of this author to deny that simple fact. However, as the eminent Cherokee sociologist Russell Thornton has observed of Ward Churchill's fabricated version of the 1837 smallpox epidemic: "The history is bad enough—there's no need to embellish it" (Jaschik, 2005). That the U.S. Army is undoubtedly guilty of genocidal outrages against Indians in the past in no way justifies Ward Churchill's fabrication of an outrage that never happened.

What Really Happened?

The High Plains smallpox epidemic of 1837 has been analyzed by numerous historians. None of the previous histories have indicated any U.S. Army presence in the vicinity, much less any military involvement in genocide. None have mentioned a word about a boatload of blankets shipped from a military smallpox infirmary in St. Louis. None have mentioned any medical personnel as even being present in the vicinity, much less deliberately violating quarantine by sending infected Indians out among the healthy population.
Historians agree that smallpox was brought to the High Plains in 1837 aboard the steamboat St. Peter's—which was owned by a fur trading company—as it made its annual voyage up the Missouri River from St. Louis, delivering goods to the company's trading posts along the way. The disease followed in the steamboat's wake, making its appearance among the southern-most tribes along the river before it spread to the Mandans at Fort Clark and tribes north (Connell, 1984; Ferch, 1983; Dollar, 1977; Hudson, 2006; Jones, 2005; Meyer, 1977; Pearson, 2003; Stearn & Stearn, 1945; Sunder, 1968; Thornton, 1987; Trimble, 1985; Trimble, 1992; Robertson, 2001).

Many eyewitness accounts of the 1837 epidemic have survived. None mention any U.S. Army presence in the vicinity of Fort Clark. Only two government employees were on board the St. Peter's as it approached the Upper Missouri. Joshua Pilcher was the Indian Bureau's sub-agent to the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Ponca (Sunder, 1968). Pilcher left the boat at Fort Kiowa, where he was posted, before the boat arrived at Fort Clark. Pilcher's letters to his superior, Superintendent William Clark, indicate that the disease was carried by a number of sick passengers on board the St. Peter's. As Pilcher began to realize the magnitude of the disease, he took steps to quarantine as many of his Indian charges as possible. Pilcher wrote Clark in June 1837 and again in July, warning of the smallpox outbreak. Pilcher advocated to Clark that an extended vaccination program should be initiated to stem the epidemic. Pilcher noted of his vaccination plan that: "it is a verry delicate experiment among those wild Indians, because death from any other cause, while under the influence of Vaccination would be attributed to that + no other cause[.]"  Still, he told Clark, "[I]f furnishd with the means, I will cheerfully risk an experiment which may preserve the lives of fifteen or twenty thousand Indians[.]"

William Fulkerson was the other Indian Bureau sub-agent on board. Under Fulkerson's purview were the Upper Missouri tribes, from the Mandans at Fort Clark to points north. Fulkerson was the only federal employee who rode the steamboat all the way up and back down the river, and the only one to meet the Mandans at Fort Clark. There is no evidence at all that Fulkerson distributed any blankets to Indians. Fulkerson's letters to Superintendent William Clark both before and after the trip complain that the government had not allocated funds for the annual annuity gifts to Fulkerson's tribes. Clark's accounting records bear this out. 

Fulkerson corroborates Pilcher's report of sick passengers on board the St. Peter's. Fulkerson requested of the steamboat captain that he put the first man to come down with smallpox off the boat.  Captain Pratte, who was a principal in the fur company that owned the boat, refused to stop or turn back because of the disease, for turning back would have interfered with his delivery of trade goods. That would have caused havoc with his business, and put his traders in danger from angry Indians who were counting on the trade goods. Thus the brunt of responsibility for the epidemic lies with Pratte, for refusing to cancel his trip upriver once the smallpox was discovered aboard. Upon William Fulkerson's return from the steamboat trip, he warned William Clark that: "the small pox has broke out in this country and is sweeping all before it—unless it be checked in its mad career I would not be surprised if it wiped the Mandan and Rickaree [Arikara]Tribes of Indians clean from the face of the earth." 

Francis Chardon was the trader who commanded Fort Clark. His journal provides an eyewitness account of the events there as the disease took its course (Chardon, 1970). Jacob Halsey was the trader who commanded Fort Union, several hundred miles upriver from Fort Clark. Halsey was a passenger on the St. Peter's, and contracted smallpox himself. The letter that Halsey wrote to his superiors in the fall of 1837 gives us another eyewitness account (Chardon, 1970, pp. 394-396). Charles Larpenteur was another trader at Fort Union. Larpenteur's journal is another invaluable eyewitness record. Larpenteur's journal was later edited and published in book form (1989).
Two of the eyewitnesses at Fort Clark offer the same hypothesis of how the disease was transmitted to the Mandan Indians. William Fulkerson, the Indian agent, and Francis Chardon, the trader, both tell a story about an Indian sneaking aboard the steamboat and stealing an infested blanket from a sick passenger. Chardon relates that he attempted to retrieve the infested blanket by offering to exchange it for a new one. This stolen blanket was the theory of infection believed by Fulkerson and Chardon who were both at Fort Clark and observed the incidents there first-hand (Audubon, 1960, pp. 42-48; Fulkerson to Clark, September 20, 1837).

Indian sub-agent Joshua Pilcher, on the other hand, offered a different theory of infection. Pilcher informed his superior that three Arikara women aboard the steamboat also came down with the disease, and then left the boat at Fort Clark to rejoin their tribe. [ All modern researchers agree with Pilcher that the disease was more likely spread by human contact than by blankets. Dr. Michael Trimble's detailed epidemiological analysis draws on the relevant primary sources to give the fullest account of the epidemic's introduction and spread among the High Plains Indians around Fort Clark (Trimble, 1985). There was a party at the Mandan village the night the St. Peter's arrived, attended by many of the white passengers. Thus there were plenty of opportunities for person-to-person transmission of the infection.

In short, there is no evidence at all to support the key elements of Ward Churchill's tale. There is no evidence that U.S. Army officers or doctors were anywhere in the vicinity in June 1837. There is no evidence that any blankets were shipped from a military smallpox infirmary in St. Louis. There is no evidence that anyone passed out infested blankets to Indians with genocidal intent. Ward Churchill has invented all of this.

Defining "Research Misconduct"

Under federal law, "research misconduct" involves fabrication, falsification, or plagiarism. Fabrication means making up data. Falsification means changing or omitting data in your possession, "such that the research is not accurately represented in the research record." Just because Churchill's version of history is iconoclastic, that does not necessarily mean that he committed research misconduct. Federal law allows that: "Research misconductdoes not include honest error or differences of opinion." 

Churchill's transgressions take two forms. First, Churchill commits fabrication by inventing events that never happened and historical characters who never existed. Specifically, Churchill (2003b; 1997) claims that "the commander of Fort Clark had a boatload of blankets" shipped "from a military infirmary in St. Louis quarantined for smallpox," and that "army officers" distributed these infested blankets among the Mandans as part of a genocidal plot. Churchill offers no evidence that substantiates any of this, and no such evidence exists. Churchill indicts fictional "army doctors" and "army surgeons" with ordering the Indians to disperse, thus deliberately violating quarantine practices in order to spread the disease more quickly. Again, Churchill offers no evidence that could substantiate this claim, and none exists.

Second, Churchill commits falsification by misrepresenting the sources he does cite, and by concealing disconfirming evidence in his possession. None of Churchill's sources confirm his tale. On the contrary, all of his sources disconfirm his tale. Churchill never discloses that the authors he has cited disagree with his version of events, and never discloses that the authors he has cited offer evidence that disconfirms his own version. Churchill's manipulation and concealment of this crucial data meets the definition of falsification under federal law. While Churchill does not appear to have received any federal funding for his research, the University of Colorado—and most other American research universities—hold all their faculty to the federal ethical standards.

 You can read Churchill's various version that were debunked' here:  Source

After this close reading of Churchill and his sources, it is time to step back and look at the big picture. What Churchill has done, in at least five different essays, is to accuse the U.S. Army of committing genocide against the Mandans by deliberately giving them smallpox-infested blankets. Scholars can and do make honest errors. But honest scholars do not invent historical characters who never lived and events that never happened. 

Tailoring the facts to fit one's theory constitutes neither good science nor good journalism. Rather, it is intellectually dishonest and, when published for consumption by a mass audience, adds up to propaganda. Ward Churchill.  

Pondering Powerball Fever Over Coffee - 70% of the people who win big, lose it!


Mr. Coffee and I are not regular lottery players.  About once a year or maybe two, he might get the bug when the jackpot is high and buy 2 tickets; dreaming of the 'what if' he actually won.  However, we realize the odds of giving birth to conjoined twins are larger than the odds of winner the 'big' bucks so we don't sweat it.

Tonight I was thinking about the guy that won back in the early 2000's that got robbed at a strip club... that's all I could remember at the time but a quick internet search got me his name.  "Jack" Whittaker of West Virginia, who won the $315 million Powerball jackpot back in 2002.

I learned a lot of things I didn't know about him;

  • Whittaker was already a self-made millionaire through his construction business. 
  • After taxes, he ended up with $83 million.
  • Whittaker carried around so much cash that he was constantly getting robbed. (I already mentioned him getting robbed in a strip club... the only thing I remembered about him.)  He got drunk and had a briefcase full of cash with him that was taken.

"Upon winning the then-largest-ever $314 million Powerball jackpot in 2002, the West Virginia construction company owner said he wanted to pay tithes to the Church of God, get some of his laid-off workers back on the job and start a charitable foundation.

He might buy a helicopter, and he'd definitely pamper his daughter and granddaughter, he said.

"I'm not going to buy anything for myself," he said during a news conference announcing his windfall. "The very first thing I'm going to do is, I'm going to go home. I'm going to sit down and make out three checks to three pastors for 10% of this check. That's the very first thing I'm going to do."

Already a millionaire via his company, Whittaker predicted the money wouldn't faze him at all. His life, he said, would carry on normally.

"If I can help it, it's not going to change. I'm content with my life," he told reporters. "I'm not going to change my life much."

Within four years Whittaker was a broken-down man who had lost his granddaughter to drugs and who had a reputation for DUIs, frequenting strip clubs and getting robbed. His divorce would be finalized the following year.

"70% of those incurring a financial windfall 
lose that money within a few years, 
according to the National Endowment 
for Financial Education"

  • William Post was on disability in 1988 when he pawned a ring for $40 and bought 40 tickets through the Pennsylvania state lottery. One of those tickets won him $16.2 million. But then his own brother tried to kill him. He bought an airplane, a mansion and various businesses, leaving him bankrupt and divorced for a sixth time by the time he died in 2006.
  • Alex Toth was also on disability, and had six kids with his wife, when he played the Florida state lottery in 1990 and won $33 million, according to the Tampa Bay Times. They were hounded by relatives and blew money in Las Vegas. Years later, they got busted for cheating on their taxes, owing back taxes, bouncing checks and growing marijuana. By 2002, their 10-acre plot had dwindled to a half-acre with a trailer and they were left penniless.
  • Urooj Khan, a man described as a successful, hardworking Indian immigrant, died of cyanide poisoning the day after collecting $425,000 from a scratch-off lottery ticket. No arrest has been made.
  • A British man squandered a 2002 jackpot of 9.7 million pounds, much of it on cocaine and hookers, only to find himself working as garbage man again by 2010.
  • A St. Louis wig maker won $18 million in 1993, only to spend so lavishly on political and philanthropic causes and filed for bankruptcy four years later.
  • A New Jersey woman won the lottery twice -- a grand total of $5.4 million -- but was so helpless to avoid games of chance that she ended up in a trailer after giving the lion's share of her money to Atlantic City casinos.

Tonight the jackpot is up to 900 million.
Did we buy a ticket?

One Minute History with Your Morning Coffee: What is the "Electoral College System"?

One minute history with your coffee....

"The Twelfth Amendment (1804) revised the presidential and vice presidential election rules such that members of the electoral college, called electors, vote for one person as president and for another as vice president.  Prior to the passage of this amendment, the electors simply voted for two men - the one receiving more votes became president and the other became vice president."  -The Handy History Answer Book

e·lec·tor·al col·lege
noun: electoral college; plural noun: electoral colleges; noun: Electoral College; plural noun: Electoral Colleges
  1. (in the US) a body of people representing the states of the US, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
    • a body of electors chosen or appointed by a larger group.

To put it very simply - (so simple in fact that this quote comes from a site geared towards explaining the process to children):

"Did you know that voters in the United States don't vote for the president? People actually vote for a group of electors when they go to the polls on Election Day. These electors have pledged to support a party's nominee for president. In many states the ballot lists only the names of the nominees and not the names of the electors, so many people believe they are voting for the president." - source

The Electoral College selects our president. It does not matter if one person receives more votes than the other nationwide. The candidate who carries the proper number of states and garners the most electoral votes from those states is declared the president.

The Electoral College is a process, not a place.  The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens. The Electoral College process consists of the selection of the electors, the meeting of the electors where they vote for President and Vice President, and the counting of the electoral votes by Congress.

That's about as far as you can go in a minute or so with your morning coffee.  But if you have more time (and more hot coffee ready) check out this easy to understand explanation here - Archives.Gov.


An extra thought to ponder over coffee.....

A comment I hear or read often is residents of various states making the comment;  "They never campaign in my state anyway"  or "My state doesn't matter"  and questioning why some states are more important to campaign in than others.

While reading various internet posts, comments and news articles on this subject, I came across this - and copied it down to my personal files although I didn't note at the time where it came from because I wasn't planning on talking about the electoral college on my blog - I was just reading for my own interest. 

"Under our Electoral College System, a Democrat is favored to capture the brass ring of American politics. The demographic changes of the country and concurrent tilt of the 12 swing states make it a narrow needle for a Republican to win. Only those 12 states matter in the general election. The remaining 38 states have such a predictable propensity for voting for one party’s candidate that they are taken for granted or ignored. Therefore, during the fall, the nominee of each party will only campaign and spend advertising dollars in the 12 battleground states."

One Minute History with Coffee: Was the Civil War Fought Because of Slavery?

One Minute History With Your Morning Coffee.....

For years, American schoolchildren learned that the question of slavery was the only cause of the Civil War (1861-1865): With 19 free states and 15 slave states making up the Union, Abraham Lincoln had called the country "a house divided" even before he became president.  While slavery was central to the conflict, many believe the bloody four-year war had other causes as well.

By the mid-1800's important differences had developed between the South and the North - and many maintain these differences, or vestiges of them, are still with the country today.  The economy in the South was based on agriculture while the North was industrialized.  The ideals and lifestyles of each region reflected these economic realities.  Southerners believed their agrarian lifestyle was dependent on the labor of slaves.  For a long time, slavery was viewed by some as a necessary evil.  But by the early 1800's the view that slavery is morally wrong was beginning to take hold.  Northern abolitionists had begun a movement to end slavery in the states.

There were other factors that contributed to the declaration of secession and the formation of the Confederacy, although some still argue these factors were merely smoke screens for the defense of slavery.  Disputes between the federal government and the states had limited the power of the states and this policy was called into question by Southerners.  Further, the political party system was in disarray in mid-1850s America.  The disorder prompted feelings of distrust for the elected politicians who set national policy.  Before the 1860 presidential election, Southern leaders urged that the South secede from the Union if Lincoln, who had publicly taken a stand against slavery, won.

Related Topics of Interest:

In 1860 only a small minority of whites owned slaves. According to the U.S. census report for that last year before the Civil War, there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves. Even if all slaveholders had been white, that would amount to only 1.4 percent of whites in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern whites owning one or more slaves).

The country's leading African American historian, Duke University professor John Hope Franklin, records that in New Orleans over 3,000 free Negroes owned slaves, or 28 percent of the free Negroes in that city. To return to the census figures quoted above, this 28 percent is certainly impressive when compared to less than 1.4 percent of all American whites. Source.

The first official slave owner in colonial America was a black man, not white; the Arab slave trade in Negroes was far greater and much longer lasting than the transatlantic slave trade; the founder of the southern state of Georgia banned both slavery and Africans from the state; large numbers of “free blacks” owned black slaves; and less than 5 percent of pre-Civil War American families actually had slaves. Source.

Fully 3/4 of Southern whites did not even own slaves; of those who did, 88% owned twenty or fewer. Whites who did not own slaves were primarily yeoman farmers. Practically speaking, the institution of slavery did not help these people.

Although over 90% of American slaves lived in rural areas, slaves made up at least 20% of the populations of most Southern cities. In Charleston, South Carolina, slaves and free blacks outnumbered whites. Many slaves living in cities worked as domestics, but others worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, bakers, or other tradespeople. Source.

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The Handy History Answer Book, Second Edition (The Handy Answer Book Series)

A concise guide to all things historical, this compendium addresses people, times, and events in a wide-ranging and comprehensive manner, complemented by helpful illustrations and a chronology of major events. Some of the history-making events include the election of George W. Bush, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; spectacular images from probes in outer space, medical advances and debate, and many new scientific discoveries on Earth; a devastating earthquake in Iran and the deadly tsunami in Asia; the downfall of Enron and the comeback of Apple, as well as the dot-com bubble burst. Beginning with a section on historical eras, this popular reference source tracks history and organizes information in 13 specific subject sections, ranging from politics and war to science and religion. It tackles exploration and settlement, technological advances, legal fireworks, financial and business events, social movements, natural and man-made disasters, medicine and disease, and art and culture. This resource is the perfect fingertip, time-traveling guide through the pages of history.

The 2015 release edition;

The Handy American History Answer Book (The Handy Answer Book Series)