from the world's big
The Republic of Indian Stream (1832-1835)
Double taxation without representation? No wonder this grey area declared its independence.
The territorial history of the US seems pretty straightforward: 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard secede at the end of the eighteenth century, then follow their ‘Manifest Destiny’ westward, eventually encompassing 50 states by the middle of the twentieth century.
There are, however, ‘territorial anomalies’ that serve as interesting footnotes to this consolidation of empire. One of them is the Republic of Indian Stream: a self-declared (but unrecognised) republic in a ‘grey area’ between the US and Canada, that existed from 1832 to 1835. Although very small and sparsely populated (the ‘Streamers’ never numbered more than about 300), the RoIS boasted a constitution and an elected government.
The ‘grey area’ in which the RoIS was established, resulted from an ambiguity in the Treaty of Paris (1783), which established the border between the newly independent US and the remainder of British North America. It defined the border between the US and (what was to become) Canada in the north of New Hampshire as the northwesternmost head of the Connecticut River. There are however several possibilities, as shown on the map: the heads of Hall’s, Indian and Perry Streams, and Third Lake, the origin of the Connecticut River itself.
Obviously, the US and Britain each interpreted the ambiguity to their maximum advantage, the US considering Hall’s Stream the border between the two states, and Britain opting for the waterway beginning at Third Lake. As a result of this, the area in between was neither here nor there. Except for tax purposes. Both states sent tax and debt collectors into the area – which chagrined the inhabitants so much that they declared their independence… but only until the Americans and the British could sort out their differences.
Things came to a head when a band of Streamers invaded Canada to liberate one of their countrymen from custody. This particular Streamer had been arrested by a British sheriff because of an unpaid hardware store debt. The invading posse shot up the judge’s house where their compatriot was held. This caused an international incident – even if the idea of going to war over a case of shoplifting seems a bit over the top.
As the Brits and Yanks agreed to resolve this particular border dispute, the Streamers hastily voted to be annexed by the US. The New Hampshire Militia occupied the area shortly thereafter. Britain relinquished its claim in 1836 and the border was established according to the ‘maximalist’ American interpretation of the Treaty of Paris.
In 1840, the area of the RoIS was incorporated as the township of Pittsburg, which still is the largest township in the US, covering about 750 km². The dispute was definitively resolved in 1842 in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, which mainly dealt with the establishment of the boundary between (what were to become) the US state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick.
This map was taken from this Wikipedia page.
Strange Maps #27
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Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.
- Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
- One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
- "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.