1. This piece from Jennifer B. Calder is the realist and saddest thing I’ve ever read. A husband takes his life, leaving his wife (Jennifer) and 3 children. I don’t even know what to say about this, it’s one of the best things I’ve read all year.
2. The Whippett arrives ever week or maybe every other week and it’s one of the best things that I read each week (or whenever it arrives in my mailbox). It is usually something that I’ve never ready or thought about and I very much enjoy it each week.
3. Ever heard of Lake Bled? Me neither. Lake Bled is in Slovenia. There’s a church there with 99 stairs dating from 1655 and it is good luck to carry your bride up the 99 stairs the day of your wedding. You can also take a pletna, a wooden boat, across the lake.
4. One of the most confusing things that I don’t understand is how a carbon offset works. I really don’t even know what it does or is. Outside Online’s Tim Neville explains what it is (this is just a part of it):
Halverson climbs out of the trench and looks around. Pickups. Cows. A scar of freshly turned earth. The pipeline will bring water to tanks stashed among the thirstier corners of his ranch, which will allow him to run more cattle and earn more than he could before. But the trench does even more than that. Thanks to the pipeline, Halverson can now harvest carbon out of the sky and be paid for it.
“For ranchers of my age, this is, like, something from Mars,” he says.
The Halversons are one of four families in Montana behind a new effort called the Montana Grasslands Carbon Initiative, which seeks to pay ranchers to fight climate change by letting the grasses grow tall across their rangelands. If you change the way cows graze, the thinking goes, you can give huge swaths of chewed-up grasslands time to regrow properly. More grass means more photosynthesis, the process plants use to convert light energy into food. More photosynthesis means more carbon dioxide is siphoned out of the atmosphere and excreted back into the earth as organic compounds. That makes the soil richer with nutrients, oxygen, and water, which in turn leads to healthier grasses.
5. The Smithsonian with the roles of slaves of the Confederacy in the Civil War is something that I have not read before and it was history that I needed:
Anywhere between 6,000 and 10,000 enslaved people supported in various capacities Lee’s army in the summer of 1863. Many of them labored as cooks, butchers, blacksmiths and hospital attendants, and thousands of enslaved men accompanied Confederate officers as their camp slaves, or body servants. These men performed a wide range of roles for their owners, including cooking, cleaning, foraging and sending messages to families back home. Slave owners remained convinced that these men would remain fiercely loyal even in the face of opportunities to escape, but this conviction would be tested throughout the Gettysburg campaign.
On the first of the new year, Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which emancipated enslaved people in the states that seceded from the United States. The news quickly filtered through Confederate ranks and was certainly discussed among the army’s enslaved servants. The Proclamation, in effect, turned Union armies into armies of liberation, functioning as a funnel through which newly freed men could enlist in one of the black regiments that were filling up quickly throughout the North as well as in occupied parts of the Confederacy. Conversely, the Proclamation highlighted even further the degree to which the Confederate Army represented a force of enslavement. Lee’s decision to bring his army north into free states in early May, following his victory at Chancellorsville, was fraught with danger given the dramatic shift in Union policy; his soldiers’ rear guard, the support staff of enslaved labor, were at risk of emancipation.