Ancient Native American Mound To Be Destroyed To Build Sam’s Club

It’s been a tough year for ancient monuments, what with subway workers in China accidentally demolishing 3000-year-old tombs, a limestone quarry destroying part of the Nazca Lines, and pyramids in Peru and Belize being bulldozed by “developers.”

Now Alabama is getting in on the game. The city of Oxford, Alabama, has approved the destruction of a mound of stones and the hill on which it stands in order to use the dirt as fill for a Sam’s Club site. City mayor Leon Smith says it’s a natural formation and was only used to send smoke signals, but the State Historical Commission disagrees and says it’s about 1,500 years old and eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Artificial earthen and stone mounds were common features of prehistoric Native American civilizations and are found in many parts of North America. Some were used for burials while others appear to have been ritual sites. There have already been protests against the destruction.

For more on this issue, check out this article by The Institute for Southern Studies, which includes many links to local newspaper articles and official reports.

What Would You Do With One Million Loyalty Points?

That’s the question 10 lucky winners will need to decide in Best Western International’s Loyalty Millionaires promotion, a part of their 25th anniversary celebration. Two randomly selected winners will be chosen each week through July 14, each winning one million bonus points to redeem in any way they like, and not just on hotel rooms either.

“Whether it’s a trip with the family or that special something you’ve been saving for, we hope our 10 lucky loyalty millionaires get their summer off to a great start,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International in a Broadway World article.
With more than 60 redemption options starting at 8,000 points, including free hotel nights, retail gift cards like Starbucks, Target, Home Depot and Amazon, BWR members have countless options to redeem their rewards points. One BWR member recently redeemed their points for retail partner gift cards and used them to buy a tractor.
Redemption options include free hotel nights as well as retail gift cards like Apple, Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Busch Gardens.

But what, exactly, might one million Best Western points get you? We did some calculations for a variety of stuff Gadling readers might want to have or do.For starters, a million points will get you about four months in a Best Western Hotel. But it will also enable buying 200,000 air miles on American, Delta, US Airways or Alaska Airlines. You could also get $3,846 in gift cards from Starbucks, Disney, Outback Restaurants or Dunkin Donuts. Want to spend those million points on gear? You could walk away with a Canon PowerShot A2600, some Beats by Dre Studio High-Definition Headphones, a Samsung 8GB Galaxy 2 Tablet 7″ Screen and tickets to see 400 movies at an AMC Theater with some change leftover.

Read more about Best Western Re
To enter, sign up for the free Best Western Loyalty program then register on the Loyalty Millionaire tab on their Facebook page.

Despite Sea Of Controversy, Paula Deen Cruises Will Sail On

As Paula Deen’s history of using racial slurs has come to light, the celebrity chef has been dropped by the Food Network, Caesars Entertainment, Smithfield, Walmart and Target. But despite a sea of controversy, it looks like two cruises boasting her name will set sail.

ABC News writes New Jersey-based Alice Travel has put together two Deen-themed cruises for 2014, one in January on the Celebrity Reflection and a second in July on the Royal Caribbean. Cruises with Deen have been organized for the past four years, and plans for 2014 were already underway before the controversy erupted – but if anything, the recent turn of events has made them even more popular.

“People are calling and saying they want to support her, even people who have never been on a cruise before. They’re saying they definitely want to go,” Phyllis Loverdi, vice president of Alice Travel, tells the news outlet.

On the Paula Deen Cruise Facebook page, a notice says the company expects both of the 500-capacity cruises will sell out. It’s a win-win for the cruise lines, too; they have no direction association with Deen since the cruises are marketed and sold exclusively through Alice Travel.

Two Brits walk into a Walmart…

American media likes to make fun of other cultures. Stereotypes have been exploited in films like Crocodile Dundee and Rocky IV (along with pretty much any movie that featured Russians in the 1980s) along with television shows such as Outsourced. We tend to tolerate mocking other cultures so long as it’s done lightheartedly or to make America look better. Well, it’s about time that we realized that people from outside the United States like to make fun of us, too. Like these two Brits that visited a Walmart in California.

Apparently, fat Americans (that’s what people call us when we’re not around) enjoy ham and cheese loaves and iced tea by the gallon. Is Walmart an accurate representation of America? Well, in some ways, it kind of is. Just like someone named Liam is an accurate representation of England. Aren’t something like 78% of guys there named Liam?

[Via Matador]

Controversy over Wal-mart on Civil War battlefield

A proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter on the site of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles is being challenged by local preservationists.

The case has gone into a new phase as a local court ruled that opponents to the Wal-Mart have the right to bring the company to trial, reports Civil War News.

When the Orange County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors approved the construction of a 138,000 square-foot Wal-mart Supercenter at the edge of the Wilderness Battlefield, part of a National Battlefield Park, two preservation groups and six local residents sued. They say that the location is too close to the battlefield and will ruin its atmosphere.

The Battle of the Wilderness on May 5-7, 1864 was a brutal slugfest between the armies of Grant and Lee that left tens of thousands of Americans dead or wounded. Many historians see the battle as the start of a long war of attrition that bled the Confederacy to death.

The Board of Supervisors challenged the opponents’ right to sue, but a court said that they do, indeed, have a vested interest in the area and may bring Wal-Mart to court. This will delay Wal-Mart’s final purchase of the land and application for building permits.

This case is similar to one concerning the Gettysburg casino, pitting historians and preservation groups against the interests of big business.

Wilderness battlefield photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.