western tips

The incredible quest to find the African slave ships that sunk in the Atlantic

OFF THE COAST OF DAKAR, SENEGAL — The archaeologist rose in the bow of the speedboat, pointing to the choppy waters where the 18th-century slave ship had gone down.

“It’s somewhere over there,” Ibrahima Thiaw said.

Off the western tip of mainland Africa lie some of the most important vestiges of the transatlantic slave trade: the wreckage of ships that sank, carrying thousands of African men, women and children to America. But despite historians’ immense interest in that period, no one has ever tried to excavate them. Until now.

For years, the wrecks were considered too hard to find. The work was too expensive. And there were few African researchers willing to take on the project in countries where the slave trade is often considered a source of shame — not a subject worthy of study. Read more.


Pebbled beach at Djúpalónssandur, at the far western tip of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, its western tip. The beach is probably subject to large currents from the open ocean - waves would clear out the fine-grained sediment at this spot. All the rocks are lava that recently eroded and were carried down a nearby waterfall.

Some nice summer planning.

Keep following your study habits even during holidays and breaks; I promise you it will be both good in terms of filling your summer days with interesting things and making the adjustment to the academic routine in Autumn easier.

Have a nice Friday, everyone!


Clallam Bay Corrections Center is a medium, maximum and closed-custody prison for men, located near Clallam Bay, Washington. (about 133 miles NW of Seattle.) The facility houses around 900 inmates, all of whom were convicted for crimes in Washington State. The location is so remote that there are no radio station frequencies or cell phone service. It is in the north western-most tip of Washington State, and is separated from Canada by the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Inmates in medium security reportedly are able to see Vancouver Island from their cell windows. The prison participates in a dog training program. Select inmates who have undergone rigorous screening and interviews and are approved for the program are partnered with a dog who has been labeled as “unadoptable” by local animal shelters, and are tasked with training them in obedience and social skills to facilitate their adoption into a forever home. The dog sleeps in a cell with their handler and gets plenty of unconditional love, affection and exercise. The effect that this partnership has on the inmate cannot be overstated. For a person who has been abused, neglected and thrown away, or a person who has made horrible mistakes and has rightly been abandoned by everyone they ever knew, forging a bond with an animal who has been through the same things can be transformative.