Maine and Virginia Pioneers 400 years ago



Photo Credit; Wikimedia Creative Commons, Attribution Peter Isotalo


The Historical Diaries notes a 1622 letter from immigrant Sebastian Brandt from Jamestown Virginia. Almost in passing, he writes of his wife’s and brother’s earlier deaths. Illness kept him from “travel up and down the hills and dales for good mineralls of golde, silver, and copper. He seems to have died soon after sending his letter.

Maine, considered a part of Virginia at that time, was settled before Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 when Sir George Popham led a group of pioneer explorers to what is now midcoast Maine . But after just one winter spent on the gale buffeted ledges where the firs marched down the rocks to the  bitter Atlantic, the colonists decided this northernVirginia was too cold. They built a ship, called it “The Virginia,” and sailed back to England—thereby allowing the Jamestown colony to claim that they were the first permanent settlement on the East Coast.

Maine started a seafaring tradition on her coast that continues to this day. In the heyday of sail, the state boasted 250 shipbuilders. The wooden boats they build today still hold more cachet than their modern fiberglass replacements.

Street Art in Kuala Lumpur

Graffiti worth a second look

Bespoke Traveler

Travel writer Arman Shah goes in search of graffiti in Kuala Lumpur and finds these artistic murals by the Klang River.

Photo courtesy of Arman Shah Photo courtesy of Arman Shah

The seed of intrigue revolving around the graffiti scene in Kuala Lumpur (KL) was first planted in me one Tuesday afternoon at work, when I was researching on art-related activities to engage in at the Malaysian capital. I was flying there from Singapore for a business trip, and I wanted to make sure that I fully utilized my time doing productive things – as opposed to being cooped up in the hotel room like the dull young adult who I’m (hopefully) not – when I wasn’t attending any work event.

I remember Google producing a list of articles about street art in Malaysia, and after a few clicks of the mouse and a thorough ingestion of the various features and their accompanying images, I…

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Immigrants, Diversity, and Medical History


Franz Eugen Kohler, kohler’s Medizin-Pflanzen Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

North America is filled with Immigrants

Although our pioneer forebears all came from somewhere else, we Americans  often consider ourselves to be the greatest in the world at everything. But as our population diversifies, we have learned that we are not.

I go in for complementary medicine. Massage. Meditation.  Acupuncture and Qi Gong. So I perked up when I read the following article. BIO-PIRACY: WHEN WESTERN FIRMS USURP EASTERN MEDICINE. Raj Choudhury and Tarun Khanna, Harvard Business school professors, examine the history of herbal patent applications, and challenge the stereotype that Western firms are innovators, while emerging markets are imitators.

Carmen Nobel, senior editor of Harvard’s Working Knowledge, begins her July, 2014 article: “In May 1995, two scientists at the University of Mississippi were granted an American patent for the use of turmeric to treat flesh wounds. Soon thereafter, an Indian research organization won a lawsuit challenging the novelty of the patent. As it turned out, Indians had been using turmeric as a wound ointment for thousands of years. The United States Patent and Trademark Office revoked the patent in 1997. Patents are supposed to be novel, but patent offices know little about the novelty of herbs.

I sprinkle turmeric and cinnamon on my family’s cereal. I take a daily turmeric capsule. Along with eating copious amounts of fruits and veggies, I swallow black elderberry syrup for coughs, and drink green tea.

I hope that these mysteries help my health. What are your favorite home remedies?

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