Thursday, January 31, 2013

It is the final day of January. Are you ready for the new month? Ready to pay the bills that are due the beginning of the month? At least we have Family Game Day to look forward to just a couple of days away.

Some of the writers born on this day include:

Miska Magyarics (1825), Zane Grey (1872), John O’Hara (1905), Miron Grindea (1909), Thomas Merton (1915), Norman Mailer (1923), Kenzaburo Oe (1935), Gerald McDermott (1941), Derek Jarman (1942), Connie Booth (1944), Ken Wilber (1949), and Daniel Tammet (1979).

On this day in 1747 the first venereal diseases clinic opened at London Lock Hospital. Back then there were fewer ways of preventing the spread of such diseases and less knowledge about how to deal with such things. Fortuantely medical technology and public knowledge have improved but unfortunately venereal diseases are still far too common.

The City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the result of a unity between Juneautown and Kilnbourtown when the Milwaukee Bridge War ended on January 31, 1846.

On this day in 1862 Alvan Graham Clark discovered the white drawf star Sirius B. This star is a companion of Serius. He used an 18.5-inch telescope that is now located at Northwestern University to make this discovery.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was passed 148 years ago today. This amendment abolished slavery. It then had to be submitted to the states for ratification.

On January 31, 1950 President Harry S. Truman announced a program to develop the hydrogen bomb.

Twenty-three years ago today the first McDonald’s in the Soviet Union opened in Moscow. McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. They are headquartered here in the United States and began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald. In 1948 they reorganized their business as a hamburger stand using production line principles. (I can almost smell the french fries now, perhaps it’s lunch time!)

On this day three years ago the epic science fiction movie Avatar, written and directed by James Cameron, became the first film to gross over $2 billion worldwide. Following the film’s success, Cameron signed with 20th Century Fox to produce two sequels. In September of 2011, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts made an announcment of plans to partner with James Cameron, his Lightstorm Entertainment production company, and Fox Filmed Entertainment to develop attractions based on this film franchise exclusively for Disney theme parks. The first installation is planned for Disney’s Animal Kingdom park (part of Walt Disney World in Florida) in the form of an Avatar-based section of the park. Disney did not give specifics at that time but the new area was described as being several acres in size and costing an estimated $400 million to build. This is a scale similar to Cars Land that opened this past summer at Disney California Adventure Park across from the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

Avatar is an epic Sci-fi. Which brings us to one last piece of trivia for today. The Canadian author Gordon R. Dickson,best known for his science fiction novels and collections passed away a dozen years ago today at the age of 77.

geometry of sisters

The highlighted title for today is “The Geometry of Sisters” by Luanne Rice. We have Very Good used copies of the mass market paperback edition in stock and available through our Amazon store for $1.99. Amazon describes the book as follows:

New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice explores the complex emotional equations of love and loyalty that hold together three pairs of remarkable sisters, in an unforgettable story of loss, redemption, and forgiveness

The storm off Mackinac Island that engulfed Maura Shaw’s husband and elder daughter,Carrie, also swept away the illusion of her life as the perfect midwestern wife and mother. Now, after years away, Maura has returned to Rhode Island to teach English at the fabled Newport Academy and to seek a new beginning. Newport has never failed to infuse Maura with a sense of mystery and hope, but ever since the accident, her younger daughter, fourteen-year-old Beck, has retreated into the safe, predictable world of mathematics. Without Carrie, Beck has lost half of herself—the half that would have fit into the elite private school she and her brother, Travis, will attend. The half that made things right. Sixteen-year-old Travis is also struggling to adjust—juggling a long-distance first love and an attraction to a girl with a wicked sparkle in her eye. And for Maura, ghosts linger here—an unresolved breach with her own beloved sister and a long-ago secret that may now have the power to set her free. . . .

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Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia.   Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.

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