Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Happy Hump Day. We are half way though the week! Progress! The weekend is getting closer! How is your reading going this week?  Enjoying a good book? Tell us about it.

Some of the writers born on February 27th include:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807), John Steinbeck (1902), James T. Farrell (1904), Peter De Vries 91910), Lawrence Durrell (1912), Kusumagraj (1912), Irwin Shaw (1913), Denis Whitaker (1915), Peter Stone (1930), N. Scott Momaday (1934), Ralph Nader (1934), Uri Shulevitz (1935), David Ackles (1937), Jake Thackray (1938), Nguyen Chi Thien (1939), Charlayne Hunter-Gault (1942), Ken Grimwood (1944), Robert Spencer (1962), Michael A. Burstein (1970) and Derren Brown (1971).

Charles Best was born on this day in 1899. He was an AmericanCanadian medical scientist and one of the co-discoverers of insulin.

The American actress Joanne Woodward turns 83 today. The British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor was also born on this day, in 1932 but passed away in 2011.
Today we remember Louis Vuitton, the French luggage maker. He passed away on this day in 1892 at the age of 70.

We also remember Ivan Pavlov who passed away on this day in 1936. He was a famous Russian physiologist. Ivan Pavlov devoted his life to the study of physiology and sciences, making several remarkable discoveries and ideas that were passed on from generation to generation. He won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904. The concept for which Pavlov is famous is the “conditioned reflex” he developed jointly with his assistant Ivan Filippovitch Tolochinov in 1901. He had come to learn this concept of conditioned reflex when examining the rates of salivations among dogs. Pavlov had learned then when a bell was rung in subsequent time with food being presented to the dog in consecutive sequences, the dog will initially salivate when the food is presented. The dog will later come to associate the ringing of the bell with the presentation of the food and salivate upon the ringing of the bell. Pavlov’s work with classical conditioning was of huge influence to how humans perceive themselves, their behavior and learning processes and his studies of classical conditioning continue to be central to modern behavior therapy. Pavlov’s research on conditional reflexes greatly influenced not only science, but also popular culture. Pavlovian conditioning was a major theme in Aldous Huxley‘s dystopian novel, Brave New World, and also to a large degree in Thomas Pynchon‘s Gravity’s Rainbow.

It was ten years ago today that we lost Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers, known to many as Mr. Rogers, is remembered best as the host of his own children’s show on PBS, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was also an educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter, and author. Over the course of three decades on television, Fred Rogers became an indelible American icon of children’s entertainment and education, as well as a symbol of compassion, patience, and morality. He was also known for his advocacy of various public causes. His testimony before a lower court in favor of time shifting was cited in a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Betamax case, and he gave now-famous testimony to a U.S. Senate committee, advocating government funding for children’s television. Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide’s Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time. Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a “Treasure of American History”.

The American author and commentator, William F. Buckley, Jr. passed away on this day in 2008.

Henry IV was crowned King of France on February 27, 1594.

On this day in 1617 Sweden and Russia signed the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.

As part of the American Revolutionary War, on February 27, 1776, the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in North Carolina broke up a Loyalist militia.

Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. was placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress on this day in 1801.

Manuel Belgrano raised the Flag of Argentina in the city of Rosario for the first time on February 27, 1812.

The poet Lord Byron gave his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire on this day in 1812.

On February 27, 1844, the Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti.

Abraham Lincoln made a speech at Cooper Union on this day in 1860 in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.

Russian troops fired on a crowd in Warsaw protesting against Russian rule over Poland on February 27, 1861. Five protesters were killed.

The first Northern prisoners arrived at the Confederate prison at Andersonville, Georgia, as part of the American Civil War on this day in 1864.

The current flag of Japan was adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships on the twenty-seventh of February, 1870.

The British Labour Party was founded on February 27, 1900. The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, and one of the two main British political parties along with the Conservative Party.

On this day in 1921 the International Working Union of Socialist Parties was founded in Vienna. The International Working Union of Socialist Parties (IWUSP; also known as 2½ International or the Vienna International; German: Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft Sozialistischer Parteien, IASP) was a political international for the co-operation of socialist parties.

On the twenty-seventh of February in 1922 a challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, was rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.

On this day in 1939 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikers violate property owners’ right and are therefore illegal.

Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14 on February 27, 1940.

As part of World War II, on the twenty-seventh of February, 1942, during the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied strike force is defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea in the Dutch East Indies.

On this day in 1943, the Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, exploded, killing 74 men.

The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified February 27, 1951. This Amendment limits Presidents of the United States to two terms.

The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation was inaugurated on this day in 1961.

On this day in 1964 the government of Italy asked for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.

Doctors in the first Dutch abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhem) started to perform aborti provocati on February 27, 1971.

On this day in 1973, the American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front delcared independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic on February 27, 1976.

The United States Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis starting February 27, 1986.

Venezuela was rocked by the Caracazo riots on this day in 1989. The Caracazo is the name given to the wave of protests, riots and looting and ensuing massacre that occurred twenty-four years ago today in the Venezuelan capital Caracas and surrounding towns. The riots were the worst in Venezuelan history and resulted in 3,000 deaths, mostly at the hands of security forces. The main reason for the protests were the neoliberal, pro-market reforms imposed by the government of Carlos Andres Perez, who had recently been elected in a campaign where he promised the opposite such reforms. The word Caracazo is the name of the city plus the suffix -azo, which implies a blow and/or magnitude. It could therefore be translated as something like “the big one in Caracas”. The name was inspired by the Bogotazo, a massive riot in neighboring Columbia in 1948 that played a pivotal role in that country’s history.

As part of the Gulf War, on this day in 1991, U.S. President George W. Bush announced that “Kuwait is liberated.”

The initial version of the John Jay Report was released on February 27, 2004. It had details about the Catholic sexual abuse scandal in the United States.

Three years ago today an earthquake measuring 8.8 on the Richter scale struck central parts of Chile leaving over five hundred dead and thousands injured. The quake triggered a tsunami which struck Hawaii shortly after.

Dracula

Today we bring you Dracula by Bram Stoker. We have new copies of this mass market paperback in stock. This is the story whose main character is often referred to as “The Original Vampire”.  Amazon gives the following brief description:

Since its publication in 1897, Dracula continues to terrify readers with its depiction of a vampire with an insatiable thirst for blood and the group of hunters determined to end his existence before he destroys a young woman’s soul.

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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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