Monday, February 4, 2013

Another Monday. Yes, we can hear the groaning and whining all the way from here. The weekend came and went. Back to the grind. Today is Rosa Parks Day. This holiday was created by the California State Legislature and first celebrated February 4, 2000. It is also World Cancer Day. World Cancer Day is marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

Some of the writers born on February 4th include:

Nicolaus Rey (1505), Pierre de Marivaux (1688), Almeida Garrett (1799), Josef Kajetán Tyl (1808), Jean Aicard (1848), Jean Richepin (1849), E. J. Pratt (1892), Friedrich Glauser (1896), Jacques Prévert (1900), MacKinlay Kanto (1904), Julian Bell (1908), Alfred Andersch (1914), Ray Evans (1915), Russel Hoban (1925), Eduard Zimmermann (1929), Tomasz Pacyński (1958), Siobhan Dowd (1960), Stewart O’Nan (1961), and Gavin DeGraw (1977).

The American author Henry Kuttner passed away on this day in 1958.

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

The Codex Sinaiticus, also known as “Sinai Bible” was discovered in Egypt on February 4, 1859. This is one of the four great uncial codices, an ancient, handwritten copy of the Greek Bible. It is considered a priceless historical treasure. It was written in the 4th century.

In Montgomery, Alabama, delegates from six break-away U.S. States met and formed the Confederate States of America on the fourth of February in the year 1861 as part of the American Civil War.

On February fourth, nineteen thirty-six, Radium became the first radioactive element to be made synthetically. This was done by Dr. John Jacob Livingood, at the raditation lab at University of California, Berkeley. Radium was first discovered fy Marie and Pierre Curie on December 21, 1898 in a uraninite sample. Radium has been used in self-luminous paints for watches, nuclear panels, aircraft switches, clocks, and instrument dials. A lawsuit in the mid-1920s was filed against the United States Radium Corporation by five dying “Radium Girl” dial painters. The dial painters’ exposure to radium caused serious health effects including sores, anemia, and bone cancer. This is because radium is treated as calcium by the human body and gets deposited in the bones, where radioactivity degrades marrow and can mutate bone cells. Radium was once an additive in products such as toothpaste, hair creams, and even food items due to its supposed curative powers. These products were eventually prohibited by authorities in many counties after it was discovered they could have serious adverse health effects. Radium has also been used in medicine to produce radon gas which in turn was used as a cancer treatment. A specific type of Radium, the isotope 223Ra, is currently under investigation for use in medicine as a cancer treatment of bone metastasis.

Today marks seventy-five years since the first feature-length animated film was released nationwide in the United States. That film, of course, was Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in California December 21, 1937, before being widely released.

Three years to the day after the nationwide release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, another entertainment related historical event occurred. The United Service Organization (USO) was creased on February 4, 1941 to entertain American troops.

It was 9 years ago today that Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook. Now Facebook has over a billion users. Do you “like” Village Book Shop on Facebook yet?

go ask alice

Today’s highlighted title is “Go Ask Alice“.  This book is about 224 pages long.  Amazon gives the following description:

After you’ve had it, there isn’t even life without drugs….

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life.

Read her diary.

Enter her world.

You will never forget her.

For thirty-five years, the acclaimed, bestselling first-person account of a teenage girl’s harrowing decent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teen readers. As powerful — and as timely — today as ever, Go Ask Alice remains the definitive book on the horrors of addiction.

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

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