In early October I received the sad news that Paul Pena passed away on October 1st. What an amazing man.
Anyone who reads this, please do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of New Train, his brilliant album that was held in hiatus for 27 years. His obituaries inevitably mention the academy-award nominated Genghis Blues, and the fact that he's well known for having written the Steve Miller Band hit "Jet Airliner."
Less well-known is the fact that Paul's 1973 version of "Jet Airliner" was superior. Somewhere, in a parallel universe, Pena's version of "Jet Airliner" was a monster hit, and continues to be played in heavy rotation on oldies rock radio. I've made mixtapes for friends and always included that song, and the first question everyone I have ever given a tape to asked is: "Who's singing that amazing version of Jet Airliner?" Then I know what to get them for Christmas, assuming they didn't run right out and buy a copy of New Train.
While searching for a Korean language lesson on shortwave radio on December 29, 1984, Pena was intrigued by an example of Tuvan throat-singing he heard on a Radio Moscow broadcast.
While searching for a Korean language lesson on shortwave radio in 1984, he was intrigued by an example of Tuvan throat-singing on Radio Moscow.
Based on that record and extended experimentation, he was able to teach himself the vocal techniques called Khoomei, Sygyt and Kargyraa.
Based on that record and extended experimentation, he was able to teach himself Tuvan vocal techniques.
Pena attended a performance of Tuvan throat-singing at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco on February 6, 1993. He performed an impromptu Tuvan song in the kargyraa style, which impressed famous Tuvan throatsinger Kongar-ol Ondar. Ondar invited Pena to sing in the second international Khoomei Symposium in 1995 in Kyzyl, Tuva.
Pena attended a performance of Tuvan throat-singing at the Asian art museum in San Francisco in 1993. He performed an impromptu Tuvan song which so impressed throat singer Kongar-ol Ondar that he invited Pena to the second international Khoomei symposium in 1995 in Kyzyl, Tuva.
Tuvans affectionately call him "Cher Shimjer" (Earthquake), because of the deepness of his voice.
Tuvans affectionately called him Cher Shimjer (Earthquake) because of the deepness of his voice.
There's more; these are the more obvious examples.
Most of the Chief of Engineers graduated from West Point, so I did some cleanup on West Point articles and lists. I noticed that a lot of students who graduated in the same class ended up on opposing sides of the war.
So I caught Civil War fever, and have started creating some articles (smaller battles, mostly), and cleaning up others.
There's lots of confusion and incorrect information about 19th and early 20th century baseball team names. For example around the turn of the century Boston, Massachusetts had 4 different teams with 'Red' in their name:
There are many entries confusing the National League Red Stockings with the American League Red Sox and vice versa. And a 3rd team, the Players League Boston team, were also called the Red Stockings in 1890. Confused yet?
Similar confusion exists with other cities and teams.
There's also confusion on nicknames. Research of newspapers of the day has proven the Red Sox were not known as the 'Pilgrims', even though official baseball sources now claim that as fact.
So the below projects are my efforts to make sure Wikipedia as accurate as possible in this area.
I'm spending time cleaning up the 'Boston Pilgrims' entries; it's a common misconception that the Boston Red Sox were known as the 'Boston Pilgrims' through 1907. Quoting the Boston Red Sox page:
The team was never known as the Boston Pilgrims. 
Many official baseball sources have propagated the myth. They were known simply as the 'Bostons', or the 'Boston Americans', to differentiate them from Boston's national league team. They were named the Red Sox before the 1908 season.
I've also cleaned up a few 'Somersets' and "Plymouth Rocks" (which also have no historic basis, see sources above).
I'm using 'Boston Americans' in the various world series, etc., entries, for clarity's sake.
There is additional misconception on who the 'Boston Red Stockings' were, and many sources assume they became the Red Sox.
The Boston Red Stockings played in the National Association from 1871-1875. They became a charter member of the National League in 1876. They allegedy (see below) changed their name to the Beaneaters in 1883, and were later named the Boston Braves (now Atlanta Braves).
In other words, the 1871-1875 Red Stockings != Red Sox.
Boston's National League team were alllegedly called the 'Beaneaters' from 1883 to 1906 (See the official Atlanta Braves MLB site, ).
But newspaper accounts of the day called both the NL and AL Boston teams 'Beaneaters', and an analysis of 1903 papers shows the name 'Beaneaters' was used most often for the AL team:
...both the Boston Nationals and the Boston Americans were sometimes dubbed the Beaneaters! Even within columns by the same sportswriter in the same newspaper, these casual nicknames were changed from day to day. Late in 2002, I completed a game-by-game chronology of the entire 1903 season, and found that the nickname used most consistently for the AL team — the only one which was really widely used at all — was the "Americans."
So 'beaneaters' appears to be an informal nickname used by the press; I haven't seen evidence it was used officially by the team. Baseball cards and photos from that era usually say 'Boston', 'Boston NL', 'Bostons', or 'Boston Nationals'.
One theory is people from Boston were called 'beaneaters' so that name was used for both Boston teams. If that's the case, should the NL team simply be called the 'Bostons', or 'Boston Nationals'? If so, most of the official baseball record is inaccurate, as are many Wikipedia entries.