In the mid 1800s, not many (non-native) Americans had ever been west of the Mississippi. When Frederick Law Olmstead visited the west in the 1850s, he remarked that the plains looked like a sea of grasses that moved "in swells after a great storm." Massive herds of buffalo wandered the plains. Cowboys shepherded cattle across long stretches of no man's land. It was truly the wild and unmanaged west, but it was all about to change, due, in large part, to one very simple invention that would come to be known as "the devil's rope."
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Busy over the weekend? No matter, these things can wait. Valentine's Day may just be another consumerist Hallmark holiday -- but that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with it. So instead of jewellery or flowers, why not get your loved one something a little more... animated? (Not safe for work!)
Imagine taking a time machine back to 1750 -- a time when the world was in a permanent power outage, long-distance communication meant either yelling loudly or firing a cannon in the air, and all transportation ran on hay. When you get there, you retrieve a dude, bring him to 2015, and then walk him around and watch him react to everything.
If you want to follow conversation threads relating to this show on social media -- whether Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, Tumblr -- you know to look for the hashtag: #99pi. In our current digital age, the hashtag identifies movements, events, happenings, brands -- topics of all kinds. The "#" didn't always have this meaning, though.
There's a little trophy shop called Aardvark Laser Engraving down the street from our office in Oakland. It's small but bustling, and its windows are stuffed to the brim with awards made of all kinds of materials and in any shape you can imagine: chalices, orbs, golfers, gavels, apples and plaques. Plenty of plaques. They are engraved to award the Club DJ of the Year, the newest member of a local Freemason branch, one mysterious trophy just says "Rifle Expert", and there are plenty of heartfelt engravings to spouses, family members and retiring co-workers.