The Hot Wire on Transparency

“An Email Ain’t a Record?” Governor Andrew Cuomo was under the gun to explain his administration’s policy of failing to save digital correspondence.  Office emails are routinely deleted and Cuomo communicates with his staff strictly using “Blackberry to Blackberry” messaging, which like the private files of J. Edgar Hoover are destroyed by protocol.  The Huffington…

Dog Document Day Afternoon

In June, thief of historical documents Barry Landau was sentenced to seven years in prison.  The Justice Department nabbed Landau stealing documents between December 2010 and July 2011 from “the Maryland Historical Society, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the Connecticut Historical Society, the University of Vermont, the New York Historical Society and the Franklin D.…

China Gate

The Epoch Times recently claimed to have received an anonymous collection of documents which detail item-level corruption in the Chinese government.  Names, dates and numbers are listed in the retrieved secret documents regarding government officials who are prisoners, embezzlers, or expatriates. The provenance of the papers is a mystery, but “based on the language and…

The Mark Twain Rises

Internet Archive has posted the single extant footage of writer Mark Twain in a motion picture format.  Shot by Thomas Edison in 1909, the minute-and-a-half clip shows Twain pacing the grounds of his Connecticut house, smoking a cigar, and sitting for tea with his two daughters, one of whom puts on a pretty hat. This…

Roots

The worlds of politics and genealogy recently converged when Ancestry.com completed the family tree of Barack Obama, which traces the President’s ancestors back to a man called John Punch, who shows up in the 1640s in the Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, and is claimed to be the “first African…