Franklin, the state that sort of was

In 1784, before Tennessee’s slender shape had ever been imagined and drawn on a map, there were rumblings of discontent in three counties in western North Carolina : Washington, Sullivan, and Greene. These small counties were isolated from the rest of North Carolina and their governing representatives, separated by the formidable Southern Appalachian mountain range. Residents were all too aware of how the mountains they lived in and around disenfranchised their lives.

~ Madelyn Brown from, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/americas-lost-state-franklin

Today, from the wait-wat?! department: There was almost-sort-of a fourteenth original state—except the Continental Congress never recognized it. Oh, geo-politics are complicated. *wry smile*

More seriously, Atlas Obscura is a terrific web site ticking off an endless list of amazing, surprising or simply interesting places on this magnificent marble we call home.

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Violins are meant to sing. Literally sing.

Another finding suggests that Geminiani was onto something. All of the violins included in the study displayed some sonic overlap with the sung vowels. But in the 1570 Amati and the 1560 da Salo, “every violin note appears to carry some degree of human vowel character,” Tai et. al. write in the paper. “This may have been one of the … goals implemented by Amati” when he was inventing and perfecting his design: to make the violin literally sing.

~ Cara Giaimo from, https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/violin-human-voice-study

I don’t know why this struck me as amazing. I mean, sure, violins sound amazing, and playing them is subtly difficult. But the idea that someone sat down — in the 1500 — and said, “How do I make an instrument that sounds like a human voice singing.” Mind blown.

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