How the States got their Shapes by Mark Stein
Take a look at a map of the United States. Ever wonder how or why the states are shaped the way they are? Why don't borders match where logic says they should? Why are some large, and some small? Oddly enough, a great deal of thought went into each bend, bootheel, and arc., and this book is here to tell you why.
Mr. Stein's book "How the states got their shapes" is a state by state history and geography lesson on how the American states shapes evolved. In amazing detail he tells of pre colonial land grants, wars with foreign powers, territorial mineral wars, shifts in river banks, voting blocs, slave and non slave states. Is all here, in elaborate detail, yet concise and highly readable.
I highly recommend it.
I am not a frequent EBAY shopper, but I well understand its utility, and as an asylum for American's pack rats it was a genious invention.
To me, its greatest innovation was the feedback mechanism. The original idea that buyers and sellers could rate each other on how well they performed was insanely great. Somehow though, the whole idea became corrupted by the inmates and then EBAY f'ed it up even worse.
While I appreciate the notion of feedback, somehow I never caught on to the idea that as a buyer, I had to furnish feedback first. It seems to me if I won an auction and paid for the item, I'd completed my end of the bargain and feedback was due NOW! not after I received the goods and stroked the seller a bit.
Consequently, I have never provided feedback to sellers who did not see things my way. You'd be amazed at how testy they become.
Recently, EBAY pissed in the pool by requiring sellers to provide positive feedback if they met the basic terms of the sale, ie: won and paid. Becomes sorta meaningless at that point.
So now feedback has become ingrained in the fabric of internet sales. I hope it catches on. I always appreciate things that save me from myself.
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