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Raven Rock

As the nuclear threat bled into the Cold War, the US government began a massive and secrete program around Continuity of Government – the systems that would ensure all necessary and crucial branches of government could survive a decapitating strike by the USSR.

Raven Rock chronicles several of these black sites, maintained by the CIA and built with the tacit cooperation of locals (who couldn’t help but suspect the reasons for massive infrastructure projects such as the book’s titular Raven Rock facility south of Gettysburg towards the Maryland border).

The Greenbrier is also featured, but ironically this colonnade-fronted building painted white would not house the Executive branch but the Legislature in the event of a catastrophic attack. I grew up visiting the Greenbrier, where my grandparents had retired. As Raven Rock notes, the resort’s TV repairmen (who my grandparents knew!) turned out to be CIA agents keeping the site ready in case something happened. This was into the early 90’s, until the Washington Post revealed the site’s existence in 1992.

Very interesting book if you are into shadow government structures/processes. But perhaps not if you are too inclined to paranoia ????.

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Essays

Capturing Shawmont Station before its $1,000,000 preservation begins – the oldest extant passenger rail station in America

Originally a 18′ by 36′ stone house (Wissahickon Schist), the structure wouldn’t have stood out from the other country homes in this part of Philadelphia, at the tip of the Manayunk Reach, situated at the end of today’s Manayunk Canal Towpath.

Testing WordPress Gutenberg on a high volume news site

Water, sand, and societal change

How Warren Buffett thinks about Berkshire’s newspaper holdings

At Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting, the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett shared a dismal outlook on print media.

EverQuote and patent medicine

In a thread begun October 2016, Washington Post technology director Aram Zucker-Scharff tweeted about the shady advertising practices of EverQuote, a Boston-based startup. Since then these ads have become prolific on the web (and nearly as prolific are Aram’s tweets documenting the malfeasance).

The other Hershey (and its railroad)

Cuban town Camilo Cienfuegos might be one of the least expected places to find remnants of America’s great 20th-century industrial expansion – that is, until you hear its pre-revolutionary name: Hershey.

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