Sentence of the Week: The Dark Side of Moby Dick

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Image: Wikimedia CommonsImage: Wikimedia CommonsTwo sentences, actually. Researchers have found the remains of a ship captained by the real-life inspiration for Captain Ahab. Josh Rothman writes:

After the Essex sunk, Pollard and his men drifted around the Pacific for weeks, eventually resorting to cannibalism – Pollard ate his own cousin. Incredibly, he went back out to sea, only to have his second ship run afoul of a reef off the coast of Hawaii.

Whoops! The initial reacton here is to wonder, “Why did he go back to sea?” but when you think about it, it doesn’t seem like Pollard had much of a choice. Cannibalism may not have been expressly forbidden in 19th-century Nantucket, but it was certainly frowned upon. Under normal circumstances, one’s family might be the group that’s most likely to look past such an episode, except in this case Pollard had literally consumed his cousin (Worst. Lifetime movie. Ever). If not broached with a certain level of tact, that’s the type of thing that can really tear a family apart.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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