Subscribe: Barkings!
http://blog.smalldog.com/atom/?limit=10
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
analog  apple  black  digital  douglass  frederick douglass  iphone  mail  new  parks  rights  slavery  store  swipe  time  work 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Barkings!

Barkings!



The Small Dog Apple Blog



Updated: 2017-04-28T16:48:18Z

 



How Technology Improves the Life of Old Fogies

2017-04-24T14:03:38Z

Now that I am on Medicare and always get the senior discount at the movies I thought it was time to reflect upon how technology has helped to improve the lives of those of us showing some gray. One of the most important demographics for Small Dog Electronics is our older customers. Where technology is second nature to the millennials it has a bit more wonder for those that were used to pencils, books and talking to their neighbors. There are so many ways that technology and specifically Apple technology can enhance the life of seniors. I have written before about my experiences with hearing aids. Apple technology made it possible to have my hearing aids paired with my iPhone for control and streaming of phone calls and music. I always wanted to start a collection of ear trumpets but these high tech hearing aids have truly changed my life. Apple has a strong commitment to accessibility and has built-in many useful features for making your computing experience on your Mac, iPhone or iPad easier. We have reviewed many of these accessibility features for sight, hearing, touch and interfacing with your device. Those all make it easier to access the technology but how does this access actually help make your life easier. Staying in touch is one thing that most seniors want to do, whether it is by email, voice, social media or FaceTime. FaceTime has been a huge boon for seniors trying to stay in touch with their families. I remember going to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago in the 50s to be wowed by the AT&T picture phone which was going to be the future. Of course, that never happened but FaceTime did! It doesn’t matter where you are, you can easily FaceTime your family or friends or if they are not using Apple, try Skype which also will allow worldwide connections. It was so cool to be way over in China and be able to talk and see Grace back in Vermont. Getting out to shop for anything can be a real production, especially if you have to travel some distance. I am a very firm supporter of shopping locally but the convenience of having my dog food delivered on a monthly basis for the pups sure beats lugging those bags to the car and into the house. Mail order pharmacies have made getting medicine a bit more easy – no more standing in line at the drug store (you just have to stand in line on the phone sometimes). There is so much that technology can do to help manage your health. I have diabetes and my nurse practitioner is always on my case to measure my blood sugar. I have tried all kinds of devices and I have settled on the iHealth glucometer which interfaces via Bluetooth to my iPhone and can automatically send my readings to my health professional. But, this week also had news that for some time Apple has had a team working on a whole new concept for blood glucose monitoring that will eliminate the finger sticks that prevent many from bothering. It could open a whole new era for diabetes management. I have a smart scale that helps me lose weight, Apple’s Health app can help monitor other medical issues, remind you of your medications, track nutrition and much more to allow seniors more control over their health and eliminate some trips to the clinic. Video games are not just for the kids, playing games can improve cognition and mental agility. With thousands to choose from it is no longer just dealing solitaire from a worn deck of cards. Gaming involves some social interaction, too! Wireless internet and home automation are two pieces of technology that can really help seniors. Whether it is employing sensor devices to call out for help when needed or simply being able to turn on the lights by asking Siri, wireless technology frees up seniors. Never forget to lock your door if you have a HomeKit compatible lock and it knows when you arrived home and unlocks the door for you, too! Okay, it is not just that I am old but I have directionally challenged. It sort of runs in my family. Grace says I have to go someplace a dozen times before I remem[...]



What the Cloud?

2017-04-24T14:02:42Z

(image)

My work includes quite a lot of explaining about how cloud backup can be configured and updated and how much it should be trusted, among other questions related to redundant server-based data storage. I want to make one thing crystal clear: There is nothing inherently different between the way servers operate and the way your machines operate at home, beyond layers of redundancy, variant OS, and complexity of filesystem organization.

The truth is, at least under the average data storage and bandwidth use of a household, a custom-designed personal server is often perfect for daily needs and once it’s set up it can be just as reliable in so many ways. One perk is that you don’t pay a monthly or annual fee (beyond upgrading / replacing hardware, updating the OS and paying for internet service) and you are able to directly manage and configure all hardware and software without as much restriction and dependence on the IT staff of a cloud-based storage company.

Some folks are intimidated by the concept of setting up a server in their own home, but remember that we are here to help! Some NAS (Network Attached Storage) drives we’re currently selling include the Drobo 5N, the Seagate 8TB NAS. If you’re serious about having a long-term solution and willing to make the investment in a server rack, we could help you design a system of 1U servers that could theoretically rival the performance of many cloud-storage solutions, especially if your internet connection is strong enough. Plus, you’d be able to share access with trusted individuals in the same manner that iCloud or Google Drive allows you to.

I’m not saying that services like iCloud or Amazon Cloud Drive or Dropbox or Carbonite or Google Drive are at all inferior to a home-based server. In many ways they outperform and can withstand far more catastrophic failure than many local alternatives. It’s a bit like apples and oranges – understanding that they each have their place, and neither will ever be fully secure or indestructible. Redundancy is key, but so is security and organization. These may be unreachable goals at their farthest theoretical extent, but we must do what we can to adapt to the entropy and loopholes of the universe and attempt to keep data both safe and accessible while keeping our tech as intuitive as possible.




Lions and Tigers and Bears and Digital and Analog, Oh My!

2017-04-24T14:07:04Z

From time to time in Kibbles articles I’ve written, I’ve talked about the differences between digital and analog circuits, but it’s almost always in passing and tertiary to something else. I decided this week that it was worth doing a whole article about it. Some of this will probably be a bit of a refresher, but that’s ok. We have to start somewhere. People generally seem to understand that computers, smart phones, smart watches, even calculators…all that stuff is digital. We commonly refer to those things as digital, but we don’t often explicitly describe what makes them digital. First of all, the word “digital” isn’t what I would’ve chosen if I was choosing to name that class of circuits. We call them digital because they function entirely based on binary digits (0 and 1). This is fine, but if given the chance, I would’ve called them “discrete” circuits because this is more generic and more descriptive of the actual architecture itself. When I studied computer science in college, we actually had special math classes we had to take, totally separate from the mathematics department. These classes were called “discrete mathematics” and they revolve entirely around the specific types of mathematics relevant in so-called “digital” circuits and the higher level “computers” they make up. This includes things like boolean algebra (easy), graph theory (harder, but interesting and useful), set theory and combinatorics among many others. Discrete mathematics eventually prepared you for things like computational theory. By far the hardest thing I had to learn in those later classes was linear algebra. The one common thread in all of these classes though is that the units were discrete. There were no gradations, fractions, derivatives or integrations that you’d find in almost any other math class. The reason for the difference is the fundamental difference between digital and analog. Digital circuits can by definition only operate discretely. They are completely blind to anything that occurs within their discrete ranges. This doesn’t mean that digital circuits themselves can’t do analog tasks, or do things involving real numbers, but their operation does not use these things. Analog circuits on the other hand exist over an entire domain. Analog circuitry can be described by conventional mathematics (primarily algebra and calculus). Much like digital circuits are not ideal at perfectly replicating analog systems, analog systems are poor at functioning in discrete terms. A single digital circuit can be configured to calculate any number of different things and can even be reprogrammed for new tasks. Analog circuits can also “calculate” things, but they do so in a very different, specialized and limited way. I remember asking this question when I took an electrical engineering class. Why create some complex circuit that effectively calculates the integral of some signal when a digital circuit could be programmed to do the same thing? The answer is that digital circuits have a lot of overhead and take time to calculate something (due to clock cycles). The time they take is totally dependent on the efficiency and accuracy of the programming. An analog circuit doing the same thing would be accurate every single time and would do so at the speed of electricity (the speed of light). It would also be simpler in construction. An example of an analog circuit that’s performing a function would be an amplifier. The amplifier’s job is to take an input signal and boost its amplitude. A digital circuit could be programmed to do this, but to do so at virtual instantaneous speed and accuracy would be a tall order. The analog circuit would also be able to follow the input signal exactly at every single infinite point on its waveform. A digital circuit, because it’s discrete and slave to a clock, would miss all the pieces of th[...]



iPhones Panorama Mode

2017-03-30T18:41:01Z

(image)

I’m lucky enough to be in Key West this week work on some improvements at our store here. The temperatures are a bit cool for Key West this week, but at least I wasn’t around for the blizzard that hit Vermont earlier in the week.

While I’ve been down in Key West I’ve been mixing up work and play, and have been taking advantage once again of some amazing features on my iPhone. I continue to be amazed with the quality of photos I can take with this phone. As I’ve been using my phones camera feature more than usual over the last month with my travels I thought now is a great time to talk about panorama mode in the iPhone. This feature has been around for several generations of phones so it’s not new, but until you try to fit in a photo of a breathtaking sunset or try to capture in a photo of just how vast the water around you is you probably haven’t needed to capture on camera more than what’s just directly in front of you.

Since iOS 6 phones have been able to use panorama, so I’ll start with a few tips. First you’ll want to hold your iPhone in portrait orientation. Open the Camera app and swipe left three times on the viewfinder to switch to panoramic mode. This is same process you use to switch from photo to portrait. You’ll want to start with the left side of the image in the view finder, hit the round start button (same button you hit to take a photo) and move the iPhone smoothly and slowly continuously to the right to capture the scene. If you move your hands too fast you will get a blurred image, alternatively if you happen to bounce your hand or wiggle your hands too much you will also get a distorted image. If you move up and down too much during the shot you will get black jagged lines in the image. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get the image right, so hang in there!

Here are a few tips. Your iPhone will stop taking the panorama automatically when the arrow reaches the end of the line, but you can stop taking the panorama photo at any time before then. So if you don’t want an unsightly tree or the group of people taking photos next to you in your shot you can easily cut them out.

While we generally think of panoramas as wide vistas, you can also use the iPhone’s panorama mode to capture vertical panoramas as well like a large tree, skyscrapers and more. You can take the photo the same way you did with the phone in portrait mode, the only difference is that you simply hold the phone horizontally.

Panorama mode works by combining a lot of separate photos into a single image. You can take advantage of that fact by creating some interesting effects:

You can have someone appear in both the left and right sides of a panorama. After you have panned past the person on the left side, have them run around behind you and have them jump to the right side of the scene! If your in the passenger sear of a car, try capturing a panorama of an interesting screen by taking advantage of the cars motion… the photos come out pretty cool!

Not every panorama photo comes out the way you might envision, sometimes that’s the fun and frustration of photos! I’ve gotten some pretty silly photos just from accidentally jostling my phone unexpectedly or having someone or something suddenly jump into a photo.




Managing Your Apple ID

2017-03-03T19:19:04Z

Too many times when I am helping customers I get a blank stare when I ask for their Apple ID. Some quickly look through scraps of paper while others just start guessing. You Apple ID is the personal account you use to access Apple services like the App Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, iMessage, the Apple Online Store, FaceTime, and more. It includes the email address and password you use to sign in, as well as all the contact, payment, and security details that you’ll use across Apple services. So, yes it is important and you should remember it. Setting up an Apple ID Okay, so you are new to the Mac and want to take advantage of all that iCloud stuff, FaceTime and buy stuff at the App store. You need to set up your Apple ID. Before you run off to create a new Apple ID, consider whether it might be better to continue using one you already have. Remember that you might not be able to move data or purchases from an old Apple ID to a new one. If you aren’t sure if you already have an Apple ID, Apple can help you find it. If your email address has changed, you can change the address you use for your current Apple ID to continue using it. You can create your Apple ID when you set up a new device or sign in to iTunes or iCloud for the first time. You can also go to the Apple ID site (https://appleid.apple.com/account#!&page=create) and select Create Your Apple ID. Here’s what you need: A valid email address to use as your Apple ID username. A strong password. Your date of birth. Three security questions and answers to verify your identity and a rescue email address. You can also use this information to reset your password. It really doesn’t work well to have multiple Apple IDs and they cannot be combined after the fact so be careful to only set up one that you will use for a long time. Managing your Apple ID Things change. You may have to change your email address, you may want to change your password or payment method. You can do all this at the Apple ID Account page (https://appleid.apple.com/#!&page=signin). Here you can: Update your Apple ID email address to make sure it’s an address that you use frequently. Change your password to help maintain the security of your account. Manage your payment information to keep your payment method or billing address up to date. Add additional email addresses to help people find and communicate with you on Apple services like FaceTime, iMessage, Game Center, and Find My Friends. See and manage the devices that you’re signed in to with your Apple ID. Setting up an Apple ID without a Credit Card If you already have an Apple ID and want to remove your payment method it is easy. You can choose to remove the payment method for your existing Apple ID after you have signed in to the iTunes Store, App Store, or iBooks Store. You won’t be asked for a payment method again until you make a purchase. If you are just setting up an Apple ID you can do so without a payment method. On a iPhone, iPad or iPod touch follow these steps: Open the App Store app, iTunes Store app, or iBooks app. Choose any free app, song, video, or book. Tap iOS Get button next to the item, then tap again to get it. When you’re asked to sign in with an Apple ID, tap Create New Apple ID. Follow the onscreen instructions. When you’re asked for payment information, choose None. After you enter your information, you’re asked to verify your Apple ID by email. You must verify your Apple ID before you can begin using it. It is a little bit different if you are setting it up on your Mac. Open iTunes, then go to the iTunes Store. Scroll down and find the country or region flag in the lower-right corner of the window. If it’s not the flag of the country or region where you live, click it and choose your country or region. From the menu in the upper-left corner, choose Music,T[...]



Rosa Parks

2017-02-17T12:30:42Z

Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist, whom the U.S. Congress later called “the first lady of civil rights”, and “the mother of the freedom movement”.

Rosa Parks is one of my heroes that grace my wall by my desk in Vermont. I have this photo signed by Rosa in a place of honor. What a brave, strong and persistent woman!

On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks, age 42, refused to obey bus driver James Blake’s order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. Her action was not the first of its kind. Irene Morgan in 1946, and Sarah Louise Keys in 1955, had won rulings before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Interstate Commerce Commission, respectively, in the area of interstate bus travel.

Nine months before Parks refused to give up her seat, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to move from her seat on the same bus system. In New York City, in 1854, Lizzie Jennings engaged in similar activity, leading to the desegregation of the horsecars and horse-drawn omnibuses of that city. But unlike these previous individual actions of civil disobedience, Parks’ action sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Parks’ act of defiance became an important symbol of the modern Civil Rights Movement and Parks became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation. She organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including boycott leader Martin Luther King, Jr., helping to launch him to national prominence in the civil rights movement.

At the time of her action, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for workers’ rights and racial equality. Nonetheless, she took her action as a private citizen “tired of giving in”. Although widely honored in later years for her action, she suffered for it, losing her job as a seamstress in a local department store.

Eventually, she moved to Detroit, Michigan, where she found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to African-American U.S. Representative John Conyers. After retirement from this position, she wrote an autobiography and lived a largely private life in Detroit. In her final years she suffered from dementia and became embroiled in a lawsuit filed on her behalf against American hip-hop duo OutKast.

Parks eventually received many honors ranging from the 1979 Spingarn Medal to the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Her death in 2005 was a major story in the United States’ leading newspapers. She was granted the posthumous honor of lying in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.

On February 4, 2013, the U.S. Postal Service issued a special Rosa Parks Forever stamp on what would have been the late civil rights icon’s 100th birthday.




Black History Month - Sojourner Truth

2017-02-24T17:16:32Z

Sojourner Truth was one of the most famous nineteenth-century black American women. She was an uneducated former slave who actively opposed slavery. Though she never learned to read or write, she became a moving speaker for black freedom and women’s rights. While many of her fellow black abolitionists spoke only to blacks, Truth spoke primarily to whites. While they spoke of violent uprisings, she spoke of reason and religious understanding. Sojourner Truth was born Isabella Baumfree around 1797 on an estate owned by Dutch settlers in upstate New York. She was the second youngest in a slave family of the ten or twelve children of James Baumfree and his wife Elizabeth. When her owner died in 1806, Isabella was put up for auction. Over the next few years, she had several owners who treated her poorly. John Dumont purchased her when she was thirteen, and she worked for him for the next seventeen years. In 1817 the state of New York passed a law granting freedom to slaves born before July 4, 1799. However, this law declared that those slaves could not be freed until July 4, 1827. While waiting ten years for her freedom, Isabella married a fellow slave named Thomas, with whom she had five children. As the date of her release approached, she realized that Dumont was plotting to keep her enslaved. In 1826 she ran away, leaving her husband and her children behind. Important events took place in Isabella’s life over the next two years. She found refuge with Maria and Isaac Van Wagenen, who had bought her from Dumont and gave her freedom. She then underwent a religious experience, claiming from that point on she could talk directly to God. Lastly, she sued to retrieve her son Peter, who had been sold illegally to a plantation owner in Alabama. In 1828, with the help of a lawyer, Isabella became the first black woman to take a white man to court and win. Soon thereafter, Isabella moved with Peter to New York City and began following Elijah Pierson, who claimed to be a prophet. He was soon joined by another religious figure known as Matthias, who claimed to be the Messiah. They formed a cult known as the “Kingdom” and moved to Sing Sing in southeast New York in 1833. Isabella grew apart from them and stayed away from their activities. But when Matthias was arrested for murdering Pierson, she was accused of being an accomplice. A white couple in the cult, the Folgers, also claimed that Isabella had tried to poison them. For the second time, she went to court. She was found innocent in the Matthias case, and decided to file a slander suit against the Folgers. In 1835 she won, becoming the first black person to win such a suit against a white person. For the next eight years, Isabella worked as a household servant in New York City. In 1843, deciding her mission was to preach the word of God, Isabella changed her name to Sojourner Truth and left the city. Truth traveled throughout New England, attending and holding prayer sessions. She supported herself with odd jobs and often slept outside. At the end of the year, she joined the Northampton Association, a Massachusetts community founded on the ideas of freedom and equality. It is through the Northampton group that Truth met other social reformers and abolitionists, including Frederick Douglass, who introduced her to their movement. During the 1850s, the issue of slavery heated up in the United States. In 1850 Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which allowed runaway slaves to be arrested and jailed without a jury trial. In 1857 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Dred Scott that slaves had no rights as citizens and that the government could not outlaw slavery in new territories. The results of the Scott case and the unsettling times did not deter Truth away from her mission. Her life story, Narrative of Sojourner Truth, cowritten with Olive Gilbert, was published in 1850. S[...]



Black History Month - BB Stringfield

2017-02-17T11:59:19Z

Bessie B. Stringfield, a.k.a. “BB,” was the first black woman to make eight long-distance solo tours across the U.S. on a motorcycle. In the 1930s, BB Stringfield rode her hot rod through areas known for racial violence and prejudice. She earned the nickname “The Negro Motorcycle Queen.”

On her tours, Bessie Stringfield traveled through Brazil, Haiti and parts of Europe. Her next destination was determined by tossing a penny on a map. As she rode through Jim Crow country, BB would sometimes sleep on her motorcycle with a blanket if there were no safe places for her to stay during her trip.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, BB Stringfield came to America as a child and was given up for adoption. At age 16, she was given a motorcycle by her Irish adoptive mother, whose name she was not allowed to repeat. After she was gifted her first 1928 Indian Scout bike, BB Stringfield would later purchase another 27 motorcycles throughout her life.

Throughout her travels, BB performed motorcycle stunts for local carnivals. The press loved her balancing stunt while her Harley was in motion.

Bessie used her motorcycle talent to work as the only female civilian motorcycle dispatch rider in World War II. She quickly carried documents between military bases and sharpened her riding skills by riding over makeshift bridges. Once her tour was complete, she moved to Miami and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club. In Miami, Stringfield secretly entered riding contests as a man, and after winning, removed her helmet to reveal her gender. As a result, she was often denied the prize money.

In her personal life, BB Stringlfied married and divorced six times. She lost three children over the years. Her final husband, Arthur Stringfield, asked that Bessie keep his last name because it made him famous.

Bessie Stringfield, the Negro Motorcycle Queen, died in 1993 at age 82 from an enlarged heart. Her memory was left with the remainder of her six ex-husbands. In 2002 she was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.




Swipe Your E-mail Care Away

2017-02-17T11:58:43Z

If your inbox is anything like mine you understand the frustrations in keeping it clutter free. I actually have multiple e-mail accounts that I use or monitor, further adding to some of my frustrations. There are all kinds of apps, techniques and advice on how to better manage the many messages that flood your inbox every day. Honestly, dealing with too much e-mail is a lot like dieting. Almost any approach will work, at least for a while. The hard part is finding what fits best with your work style or just staying committed to whatever practice you’ve decided to embrace. Built into the Apple operating systems or iOS are a fairly large set of techniques and features to help you organize your inbox. In the last several months I feel like I’ve rediscovered just how useful and invaluable even my iPhone is with its mail features. When I’m out of the office or visiting some of our retail locations I almost exclusively use my iPhone and between the organizations features of Mail and iCloud drive there’s very little I can’t do. Swiping is a critical action on the iPhone (or iPad) to uncover all kinds of features within mail and now with El Capitan and Sierra many of these swipe features also work on your Mac with a magic trackpad or mouse. Most users know if you swipe your finger to the left or right you can quickly manage your messages in mail and quickly archive or delete your message. A quick swipe in either direction will by default archive or delete your message immediately our of your inbox. But there is more to the swipe than just a simple delete. In iOS, when you swipe a short distance to the right and an unread message (from left to right), Mail displays a read button. You can either tap it or keep swiping to the right to mark the message as read. If the message has already been read, that button changes to unread. This swipe is great for those who like marking message as unread to keep them around for later processing. Swipe left (from right to left) a short distance, and you get three buttons. Archive, Flag, and more. Tap archive to store the message in an archive mailbox which is good for getting it our of your inbox without deleting it. Flag will mark the message with a flag so you can find it quickly in your mail’s flagged box. I love this feature! I probably utilize the flag features in my mailboxes several times a day and would be lost without it! You can swipe all the way to the left to archive the message with one motions. Some mailboxes will display delete when you swipe rather than archive. Not to worry though, it’s just going to your trash rather than an archive folder and you still can access the e-mail if you delete it by accident. I recommend going into your mail preferences and make sure you have delay in how soon your trash really dumps your mail permanently. For my work e-mails I have my settings set to never actually empty my trash. You never know when you’ll need an e-mail from 10 years ago and for me, it’s happened! If you tap more, you get a bunch of additional options, depending on the message, that can include: reply, reply all, forward, show related messages, mark (so you can flag), file and more. File is probably my favorite feature and I think it’s better than the file feature in Mac mail. I file almost all my e-mails in folders based on their content rather than deleting them. Staff write what we call weekly reports each week and daily I get cash out reports from the retail stores. When I pull these kinds of e-mails up on my phone and use the folder option, iOS automatically suggests what folder it thinks it should go into and most times it correctly defaults to the folder I want. It makes handling bulk yet standard daily e-mails a breeze to file with iOS. So far I haven’t see this feature w[...]



Frederick Douglass

2017-02-07T13:40:42Z

We are celebrating Black History Month all of February and today we will honor the memory of Frederick Douglass, a former slave that devoted his life to the abolition of slavery. Born into slavery, Frederick Douglass became one of the most respected orators and intellectuals of the time, advising Presidents on abolishing slavery, women’s rights and other topics. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland, around 1818. Frederick Douglass was given to Lucretia Auld, the wife of Thomas Auld, following the death of his master. Lucretia sent Frederick to serve her brother-in-law, Hugh Auld, at his Baltimore home. It was at the Auld home that Frederick Douglass first acquired the skills that would vault him to national celebrity. Defying a ban on teaching slaves to read and write, Hugh Auld’s wife Sophia taught Douglass the alphabet when he was around 12. When Hugh Auld forbade his wife’s lessons, Douglass continued to learn from white children and others in the neighborhood. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. It was through reading that Douglass’ ideological opposition to slavery began to take shape. He read newspapers avidly, and sought out political writing and literature as much as possible. Hired out to William Freeland, he taught other slaves on the plantation to read the New Testament at a weekly church service. Interest was so great that in any week, more than 40 slaves would attend lessons. Although Freeland did not interfere with the lessons, other local slave owners were less understanding. Armed with clubs and stones, they dispersed the congregation permanently. In 1833, Thomas Auld took Douglass back from his son Hugh following a dispute. Thomas Auld sent Douglass to work for Edward Covey, who had a reputation as a “slave-breaker.” Covey’s constant abuse did nearly break the 16-year-old Douglass psychologically. Eventually, however, Douglass fought back, in a scene rendered powerfully in his first autobiography. After losing a physical confrontation with Douglass, Covey never beat him again. Frederick Douglass tried to escape from slavery twice before he succeeded. He was assisted in his final attempt by Anna Murray, a free black woman in Baltimore with whom Douglass had fallen in love. On September 3, 1838, Douglass boarded a train to Havre de Grace, Maryland. Eventually Douglass was asked to tell his story at abolitionist meetings, after which he became a regular anti-slavery lecturer. William Lloyd Garrison was impressed with Douglass’ strength and rhetorical skill, and wrote of him in The Liberator. Several days after the story ran, Douglass delivered his first speech at the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society’s annual convention in Nantucket. Crowds were not always hospitable to Douglass. While participating in an 1843 lecture tour through the Midwest, Douglass was chased and beaten by an angry mob before being rescued by a local Quaker family. In addition to abolition, Douglass became an outspoken supporter of women’s rights. In 1848, he was the only African American to attend the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York. No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck. Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked the assembly to pass a resolution stating the goal of women’s suffrage. Many attendees opposed the idea. Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favor, arguing that he could not accept the right to vote as a black man if women could not also claim that right. By the time of the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country. He used his status to influence the role of African Americans in[...]