Monthly Archives: March 2013

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” 
― Neil GaimanCoraline

Happy Easter! Hope you have enjoyed your holiday with your family so far. Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. This is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a 40 day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the the full moon following the March equinox. Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs. Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades, which are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians. To Christians, it is the most special day of the year. The resurrection offers the hope of everlasting life to everyone.

Today is Bunsen Burner Day which celebrates the birthday of its creator. German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunson was born March 31, 1811. You probably used one of these in science class. The Bunsen Burner is a long, hollow tube. Gas and air are combined to create a hot flame. The burner is used in a wide range of scientific and laboratory projects.

March 31st is “She’s Funny That Way” Day. How do the women in your life make you laugh? It is suggested that you pay tribute to the female funny bone today by making a list of the top five things your favorite funny ladies do to make you laugh.

Today is Clam on the Half Shell Day. The objective of the day is, of course, to enjoy clams on the half shell. Don’t hide in your shell today. Don’t clam up. Get out and celebrate this special day!

Cesar Chavez Day is an official state holiday in the U.S. states of California, Colorado and Texas. The day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of Cesar Chavez’s life and work. Many, but not all, state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are closed. Many public schools in the state are also closed. Texas also recognizes the day, and it is an optional holiday in Arizona and Colorado. Although it is not a federal holiday, President Barack Obama proclaims March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day in the United States, with Americans being urged to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”  In addition, there are celebrations in his honor in Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Mexico and has been observed in California since 1995, in Texas since 2000 and in Colorado since 2003 as state holidays (optional in Texas and Colorado).

Some of the writer’s born March 31st includes:

René Descartes (1596), Andrew Marvell (1621), Edward FitzGerald (1809), Nikolai Gogol (1809), Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823), Borisav Stanković (1876), Herbert Meinhard Mühlpfordt (1893), Vardis Fisher (1895), William Lederer (1912), Octavio Paz (1914), Albert Hourani (1915), Leo Buscaglia (1924), John Fowles (1926), Lefty Frizzell (1928), John Jakes (1932), Nichita Stănescu (1933), John D. Loudermilk (1934), Judith Rossner (1935), Marge Piercy (1936), Israel Horovitz (1939), Pascal Danel (1944), Valerie Curtin (1945), Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1947), David Eisenhower (1948), Al Gore (1948), Markus Hediger (1959), Brad Slaight (1964), Steven T. Seagle (1965), Kate Micucci (1980), Ryan Bingham (1981), Lennon Murphy (1982), and Jack Antonoff (1984).

Today we remember Charlotte Brontë who passed away March 31, 1855. The English novelest and poet was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood, whose novels are English literature standards. In May 1846 Charlotte, Emily and Anne self-financed the publication of a joint collection of poetry under their assumed names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The pseudonyms veiled the sisters’ gender whilst preserving their initials, thus Charlotte was “Currer Bell”. “Bell” was the middle name of Haworth’s curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, whom Charlotte married. In view of her novels’ success, particularly Jane Eyre, Charlotte was persuaded by her publisher to visit London occasionally, where she revealed her true identity and began to move in more exalted social circles, becoming friends with Harriet Martineau and Elizabeth Gaskell, and acquainted with William Makepeace Thackeray and G. H. Lewes.

The Eiffel Tower officially opened March 31, 1889.

One hundred ten years ago today Richard Pearse allegedly made a powered flight in an early aircraft. It is claimed Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on this day in 1904, some nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft. The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, and Pearse did not develop his aircraft to the same degree as the Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled flight. Pearse himself never made such claims, and in an interview he gave to the Timaru Post in 1909 only claimed he did not “attempt anything practical…until 1904”. Pearse himself was not a publicity-seeker and also occasionally made contradictory statements, which for many years led some of the few who knew of his feats to offer 1904 as the date of his first flight. The lack of any chance of industrial development, such as spurred the Wrights to develop their machine, seems to have suppressed any recognition of Pearse’s achievements.

The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later called the National Collegiate Athletic Association) was established on March 31, 1906 to set rules for college sports in the United States.

Construction of the ill fated RMS Titanic began on this day in 1909.

The United States took possession of the Danish West Indies on March 31, 1917, after paying $25 million to Denmark. The territory was renamed as the United States Virgin Islands.

Daylight saving time went into effect in the United States for the first time ninety-five years ago today.

The Motion Pictures Production Code was instituted March 31, 1930. It imposed strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film, in the U.S., for the next thirty eight years.

TWA Flight 599 crashed on this day in 1931 near Bazaar, Kansas. Eight people were killed including Knute Rockne, head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.

The Civilian Conservation Corps were established eighty years ago today with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment in the United States.

Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau on March 31, 1951.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the border into India on March 31, 1959 and was granted political asylum.

The Soviet Union launched Luna 10 on March 31, 1966 which later became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.

Nine terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351 at Tokyo International Airport on this day in 1970, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb. That same day Explorer 1 re-entered the Earth‘s atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad operated its final train March 31, 1980, after being ordered to liquidate its assets because of bankruptcy and debts owed to creditors.

The first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWE (then the WWF), took place in Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985 in New York.

The USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, was decommissioned in Long Beach, California on this day in 1992.

The journal Nature reported on March 31, 1994 the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.

On March 31, 1995, the singer known as Selena was murdered by her friend and employee of her boutiquesYolanda Saldívar who was embezzling money from the establishments. The event was named “Black Friday” by Hispanics. The reaction to Selena’s murder was compared to those following the deaths of John Lennon and Elvis Presley. Her funeral drew 60,000 mourners, while numerous tributes and memorials were held throughout the United States and Spanish-speaking countries. Selena’s story had been documented on biographical shows, series and talk shows worldwide, and her murder boosted her popularity. She became a household name in the United States, more popular in death than in life. The posthumous album Dreaming of You (1995), a crossover attempt, helped Selena become that year’s second-fastest selling female artist (behind Janet Jackson). She was honored by two life-sized statues: one in Corpus Christi, Texas (Mirador de la Flor) and the other in Apodaca, Nuevo León. In 1997 Warner Bros. produced Selena, an eponymous biographical film which elevated Jennifer Lopez to fame. Two years later, the story of Selena inspired a Broadway musical starring Veronica Vasquez. In 2005 Selena ¡VIVE!, a tribute concert, was held a week after the 10th anniversary of her murder. The concert was aired live on Univision, and was the most-watched Spanishlanguage show in the history of American television.

On this day in 2004, as part of the Iraq War in Anbar Province, 4 American private military contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, working for Blackwater USA were killed after being ambushed.

the night the white deer died

Today we bring you The Night the White Deer Died by Gary Paulsen. We have Like New copies in stock. Amazon gives the following book description:

An Indian brave stands poised to shoot a white deer drinking from a pool of water in the moonlight. It is only a dream—a recurring nightmare that haunts 15-year-old Janet Carson—but it is a dream that will change her life forever.
Janet, one of the few Anglo teens in the New Mexico art colony where she lives with her mother, feels isolated and alone. For some reason, she is drawn to Billy Honcho, an old, alcoholic Indian who begs for money from her. As they get to know each other, the meaning of Janet’s nightmare grows clear, and Billy becomes the brave in her dream.

wrecked these eyes reading

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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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” 
― Mark Twain

Happy National Doctors’ Day. This day was created to show appreciation to your doctors. Doctors perform vital diagnosis, treatment and care for you and your family. Observances of Doctors‘ Day date back to March 30, 1933. Eudora Brown Almond of Winder, Georgia started it. The day marks the anniversary of the first use of general anesthesia in surgery. The first National Doctor’s Day was celebrated in 1991.

March 30th is I am in Control Day. President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt on March 30, 1981. During the confusion that prevailed, Secretary of State Alexander Haig was taken a little out of context in the White House when he said “I am in control here.” Instead of focusing upon the entire statement, people and the press focused upon these few words. Political uproar eventually led to his resignation. Thought Alexander Haig’s statement has been all but forgotten, this day continued on and evolved. People started to personalize it into a day to get their life in control. This is a good chance to get things in order and under control in your own life. Take a deep breath, relax, and assess the situation. Then get things under control.

Today is Take a Walk in the Park Day. It is an opportunity for exercise and relaxation. A walk in the park will likely be the most enjoyable part of you day. Keep your eyes open and your mind clear. Take in the beauty of nature‘s wonders all around you. Bring one of your favorite people to enjoy with you the flowers, trees, birds, wildlife and fresh air.

It is also Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day. This holiday was created to honor the people who never left their old life just because they thought the “grass was greener on the other side” and to inspire people to be happy with what they have, rather than selfish and greedy and envious of other people. The holiday celebrates anyone who has not been fooled by seemingly greener pastures.

Today is Turkey Neck Soup Day. For most people this does not sound all that appealing of a meal. The stock is made by slow simmering the tough, flavorful meat on actual turkey necks. But once it’s strained of bones and cooked with vegetables and rice, your family will regard it simply as a delicious dinner of turkey soup.

Pencil Day is a holiday on March 30 in celebration of the first patent on the modern pencil. Hymen Lipman was issued a patent on March 30, 1858 for a pencil with an eraser. Many participating libraries and businesses distribute free pencils in honor of this significant achievement. Pencils are usually made of wood with a graphite or charcoal center, though modern inventions have also created plastic mechanical pencils that can be replenished and use almost indefinitely. Did you know that a single wooden pencil can write 45,000 words or draw a line that is 35 miles long? A pencil can also write under water, upside down, or in zero gravity. Manufacturers painted the first pencils yellow because the color was associated with royalty and honor. People quickly began assuming that yellow pencils were the best type. To celebrate Pencil Day, set aside your laptop and use a pencil and paper to write today!
NanoDays 2013 is from March thirtieth through April seventh. NanoDays is a nationwide festival of educational programs about nanoscale science and engineering and its potential impact on the future. NanoDays events are organized by participants in the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE NET) and take place at over 200 science museums, research centers, and universities across the country from Puerto Rico to Hawaii. NanoDays engages people of all ages in learning about this emerging field of science, which holds the promise of developing revolutionary materials and technologies. A list of the this years participants can be found on the website.

Some of the writers born March 30th include:

Maimonides (1135), Anna Sewell (1820), Mihály Zsupánek (1830), Paul Verlaine (1844), Mary Whiton Calkins (1863), Franz Oppenheimer (1864), Sean O’Casey (1880), Jean Giono (1895), Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay (1899), Brooke Astor (1902), Countee Cullen (1903), Frankie Laine (1913), Milton Acorn (1923), Alan Davidson (1924), Tom Sharpe (1928), Rolf Harris (1930), Graeme Edge (1941), Ryszard Kotla (1947), Naomi Sims (1949), Tina Monzon-Palma (1951), Randy VanWarmer (1955), Shahla Sherkat (1956), Tracy Chapman (1964), Piers Morgan (1965), Efstratios Grivas (1966), Norah Jones (1979), Yalın (1980), Anna Nalick (1984), Beni (1986), and Sarah Solovay (1994).

Today we remember Alistair Cooke, who was a British/American journalist, television personality, and broadcaster who passed away nine years ago today. Outside his journalistic output, which included Letter from America and Alistair Cooke’s America, he was well known in the United States as the host of the PBS Masterpiece Theater from 1971 to 1992. After holding the job for 22 years, and having worked in television for 42 years, Cooke retired in 1992, although he continued to present Letter from America until shortly before his death. He was the father of author and folk singer Jonn Bryne Cooke. He achieved his greatest popularity in the U.S. in this role, becoming the subject of many parodies, including “Alistair Cookie” in Sesame Street and No.39’s “Monsterpiece Theater”. On 2 March 2004, at the age of 95, following advice from his doctors, Cooke announced his retirement from Letter from America – after 58 years, the longest-running speech radio show in the world. Cooke died at midnight on 30 March 2004, at his home in New York City. He had been ill with heart disease, but died of lung cancer, which had spread to his bones. He was cremated, and his ashes were clandestinely scattered by his family in Central Park. After Alistair Cooke’s death the Fulbright Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism was established as a tribute to the man and his life and career achievements. The award supports students from the United Kingdom to undertake studies in the US and for Americans to study in the UK.


The Florida Territory was created in the United States on March 30, 1822.

Ether anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation by the American surgeon Dr. Crawford Long on this day in 1842.

Origins of the American Civil War include Bleeding Kansas – “Border Ruffians” from Missouri invaded Kansas and forced election of a pro-slavery legislature on March 30, 1855.

Alaska was purchased from Russia on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million by United States Secretatry of State William H. Seward. The price amounted to about 2 cents per acre ($4.19/km2).

Texas was readmitted to the Union March 30, 1870, following Reconstruction.

The Queensboro Bridge opened on this day in 1909, linking Manhattan and Queens.

The Mississippi Legislature founded The University of Southern Mississippi on March 30, 1910.

The first subway in Canada, the Yonge Street subway line, opened in Toronto on this day in 1954.

The Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was signed in New York City on March 30, 1961.

During the Vietnam War, a car bomb exploded on this day in 1965 in front of the US Embassy, Saigon. Twenty-two were killed and 183 were wounded.

As part of the Space Shuttle program, the STS-3 Mission was completed March 30, 1982 with the landing of Columbia at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.

haunted house dickens

Today’s highlighted title is Haunted House by Charles Dickens. We have new copies of this paperback in stock. Amazon gives the following short description:

The popularity of A Christmas Carol excited demand for more tales of ghostly visitation, and the great Victorian storyteller happily obliged. A Yuletide gathering in an eerie country retreat provides the backdrop for Dickens and his friends — including acclaimed authors Elizabeth Gaskell and Wilkie Collins — who take turns spinning supernatural yarns.
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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Friday, March 29, 2013


I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Today is Good Friday. Good Friday is a religious holiday observed by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. Based on the details of the Canonical gospels, the Crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (John 19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon.

Today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. Today celebrates small business owners. These individuals spend countless hours nurtering and growing their small enterprises. The workload demands, and lack of a hired staff, often translates into long and late hours as well as many missed family and personal events. But all in all, they love what they do. After all, they are their own boss. This blogger would like to point out that Deborah Gould has put in more hours over the years to the Village Book Shop than anyone realizes, and has done it with her heart full of love for not only her store but her community. The countless late nights and early mornings, time spent on the computer finding the exact book a customer wants, and the events planned and exeuted by the amazing owner of the now online-only Village Book Shop. Even with the brick-and-mortar store gone, Deborah still spends much of her time taking care of business related tasks. Be sure and thank not only Deborah Gould for her services to the community but also pay tribute to other indepent store owners today and every day by making the choice to shop at these businesses.

March 29th is also Smoke and Mirrors Day, a day of illusions. The term “smoke and mirrors” means something is not really as it appears to be. People often put up smoke and mirrors to hide something. This day is sometimes referred to as the Festival of Smoke and Mirrors.

The first Knights of Columbus charter was granted on this day in 1882 by the state of Connecticut. The Knights of Columbus are a Catholic and family fraternal service organization which has grown into a volunteer force totally nearly six million who annually donate tens of millions of dollars and volunteer hours to countless charitable projects. They are named after Christopher Columbus. An Irish-Catholic American priest named Father Michael J. McGivney founded the organization. It was his dream to provide insurance to assist widows and orphans. While collectively logging over 60 million volunteer hours for the organization, a knight’s highest duty still remains as caretaker of a widow or orphan of a fallen brother knight.

March twenty-ninth is Niagara FallsRunsDry Day. On this day in 1848 ice blockages caused rivers to run dry and reduced the flow of water to such an extent that Niagara Falls’ 3,160 tons of water per second flow came to a halt. Locals celebrate with Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day, and with deals on hotels to attract extra tourists. According to a resident at the time, a farmer named Jed Porter, he left home for a stroll along the river near the American Falls during the late evening of March 29th, 1848 and realized the thundering roar of the Falls was absent. A closer examination revealed the amount of the water flowing over the Falls had been greatly diminished. Locals awoke on the morning the March 30th to an eerie silence. They were drawn to the Falls and found that the water flow of the Niagara River had been reduced to a mere trickle. By the morning of March 31st, more than 5,000 people had gathered along the banks of the river. All the mills and factors who were dependent upon water power had become stilled. The river bed was quickly drying. Sea life such as fish and turtles were left on now dry land, floundering. Articles that had been hidden laying on the rivers bottom for hundreds of years were picked up as souvenirs including such items as bayonets, gun barrels, muskets, tomahawks and other artifacts of the War of 1812. This became a tourist and media event. People walked, rode horseback or crossed by horse and buggy the width of the Niagara River which just hours earlier had been a torrent of rapids that attemping to cross would have resulted in nearly certain death. This historical event had never occurred before and never been duplicated. Below the Falls, workers from the Maid of the Mist were able to venture out onto the river bed and blastawayrocks which had normally been a navigation hazard to the Maid of the Mist boat since its inception in 1846. On March 31st the wind shifted and the ice dam broke which had blocked the flow. The water returned.

Some of the writers born March 29th include:

Vitsentzos Kornaros (1553), Johann Karl August Musäus (1735), Costache Caragiale (1815), Ludwig Büchner (1824), Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826), Albert Von Tilzer (1878), Dezső Kosztolányi (1885), Yvan Goll (1891), Ernst Jünger (1895), Marcel Aymé (1902), R. S. Thomas (1913), Chapman Pincher (1914), Peter Geach (1916), Sam Walton (1918), Pierre Moinot (1920), Bob Haymes (1923), Lennart Meri (1929), Jacques Brault (1933), Judith Guest (1936), Eric Idle (1943), Terry Jacks (1944), John “Speedy” Keene (1945), Richard Holmes (1946), Stephen Cole (1956), Elizabeth Hand (1957), Pedro Bial (1958), Amy Sedaris (1961), Dominic Littlewood (1965), Michel Hazanavicius (1967), John Popper (1967), Lara Logan (1971), Sarah Walker (1974), and Jamie Woon (1983).

The tenth President of the United States, John Tyler, was born on this day in 1790. Tyler, a native of Virginia, served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President in 1840. He was the first to succeed to the office of President on the death of the incumbent, succeeding William Henry Harrison. Tyler’s opposition to federalism and emphatic support of states’ rights endeared him to his fellow Virginians but alienated him from most of the political allied that brought him to power in Washington. His presidency was crippled by opposition from both parties, and near the end of his life he would side with the South in its secession from the United States. Although some have praised Tyler’s political resolve, his presidency is generally held in low esteem by historians; today he is considered an obscure president, with little presence in the American cultural memory.

The city of Salvador da Bahia, the first capital of Brazil, was founded March 29, 1549.

Swedish colonists established the first European settlement in Delaware on this day in 1838. They named it New Sweden.

A fifteen year old Japanese girl named Yaoya Oshichi was burnt at the stake on March 29, 1683 for an act of arson committed due to unrequited love.

On March 29, 1806 construction was authorized of the Great National Pike, better known as Cumberland Road. This was the first United States federal highway.

During the Mexican-American War, on this day in 1847 United States forces led by General Winfield Scott took Veracruz after a siege.

On this day in 1865, as part of the American Civil War, Federal forces under Major General Philip Sheridan moved to flank Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee as the Appomattox Campaign began.

The Royal Albert Hall was opened on March 29, 1871 by Queen Victoria.

Dr. John Pemberton brewed the first batch of Coca-Cola in a backyard in Atlanta, Georgia on March 29, 1886 which makes today the 127th anniversary of the invention of Coca-Cola.

The M1911, a .45 ACP pistol, became the official U.S. Army side arm on March 29, 1911.

In Germany, on March 29, 1936, Adolf Hitler received 99% of the votes in a referendum to ratify Germany’s illegal reoccupation of the Rhineland, receiving 44.5 million votes out of 45.5 million registered voters.

The North American Radio Broadcasting Agreement went into effect at 0:300 local time on this day in 1941.

The New York, Ontario and Western Railway made its final run on March 29, 1957. This was the first major U.S. railroad to be abandoned in its entirety.

The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on this day in 1961, allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.

On March 29, 1971, a Los Angeles, California jury recommended the death penalty for Charles Manson and three female followers.

The last United States combat soldiers left South Vietnam on this day in 1973. Operation Barrel Roll ended that same day. It was a covert US bombing campaign in Laos to stop communist infiltration of South Vietnam.

NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first spaceprobe to fly by Mercury on March 29, 1974. On that same day local farmers in Lintong Districk, Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China, discovered the Terracotta Army that was buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, in the 3rd century BCE.

On March 29, 1999 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 10,000 mark for the first time, during the height of the internet boom.

Nine years ago today the Republic of Ireland became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all work places, including bars and restaurants.

miracle worker

Today’s highlighted title is The Miracle Worker: A Play by William Gibson. We have New copies in stock of this mass market paperback book. This is the unforgettable, inspiring story of Helen Keller-and the woman who set her free.


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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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” 
― Groucho MarxThe Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

Today is Something On a Stick Day. Today we celebrate things on a stick. Practically anything can come on stick. Popsicles, fudgecicles, lollipops, corndogs, shrimp, many chinese treats, and so much more. How many samples have you tried in Costco or the supermarket picked up with a small stick (toothpick)? Celebrate today by serving food for meals and snacks on a stick.

Today is also National Black Forest Cake Day. Can it be eaten on a stick? This day honors a delicious and elegant German dessert that consists of layered chocolate cake with whipped cream and cherries between layers and on top. Authentic recipes also use Kirschwasser, a cherry-flavored liqueur, to add zing to the taste. The origins of National Black Forest Cake Day are unknown, but black forest cake may have been around since the late sixteenth century. Black forest cake was created in the Black Forest region of southern Germany. The original cake was made with cooked cherries, some cream, kirsch and a biscuit in place of cake. Some believe that it was actually named for the traditional costume of the region, which is black, red and white like the cake.

Today is Barnum & Bailey Day but there is little information about what exactly this celebrates or how it originated. Perhaps it’s a good excuse to read a book about a circus.

Today is Weed Appreciation Day. Merriam-Webster defines a weed as “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth”. Many weeds, such as Dandelions, have many purposes, and are even completely edible. Wildlife depends on weeds. Dandelions attract beneficial ladybugs. Milkweed is food for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly. Cardinals feast on plantain seeds, quail love sea purslane, mourning doves enjoy lamb’s quarter seeds, finches delight in shepherd’s purse seeds. Bees make great honey from clover. Our society may treasure a highly manicured lawn, but what is the true cost? How many herbicides have polluted our ground water? How many birds have been poisoned? How many Monarch butterflies have died? Where have all the bees gone? Maybe it is time to embrace weeds. Maybe it is time for science to really focus on common weeds for answers to common problems. Maybe weeds were put here for such a time as this. Maybe cancer is caused in part by herbicides, yet perhaps some of the same plants that are destroyed are the actual cancer answer. Maybe beautiful green lawns perfectly mowed in lovely diagonal patterns are part of the problem. Yes, these yards are traditional but some traditions should be broken.

Today is Respect Your Cat Day, a “purrfect” holiday to give your cats some extra attention. Cats can make wonderful pets and companions. Perhaps read to your cat today. Or dance with your kitty cat for some exercise.

Today is Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday. This is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. The liturgy held on the evening of Maundy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ; this period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter. The mass or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to Jewish tradition, as the Last Supper was held on feast of Passover.

Some of the writers born on March 28th include:

Andrew Kippis (1725), Arsène Houssaye (1815), James Darmesteter (1849), Maxim Gorky (1868), Norrey Ford (1907), Nelson Algren (1909), A. Bertram Chandler (1912), Edward Anhalt (1914), Bohumil Hrabal (1914), Jay Livingston (1915), Walter Neugebauer (1921), Byrd Baylor (1924), Marianne Fredriksson (1927), Mario Vargas Llosa (1936), Liz Trotta (1937), Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (1941), Daniel Dennett (1942), Jayne Ann Krentz (1948), Dennis Unkovic (1948), Claudio Lolli (1950), Susan Ershler (1956), Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (1960), Iris Chang (1968), Rodney Atkins (1969), Jennifer Weiner (1970), Christianne Meneses Jacobs (1971), Eby J. Jose (1972), Matt Nathanson (1973), Kate Gosselin (1975), and Lauren Weisberger (1977).

Today we remember Virginia Woolf who died at the age of 59. The English writer was one of the more foremost modernist of the twentieth century. During the interwar period, Wolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. Her most famous works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay A Room of One’s Own (1929), with its famous dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” After completing the manuscript of her last (posthumously published) novel, Between the Acts, Woolf fell into a depression similar to that which she had earlier experienced. The onset of World War II, the destruction of her London home during the Blitz, and the cool reception given to her biography of her late friend Roger Fry all worsened her condition until she was unable to work. On March 28, 1941, Woolf put on her overcoat, filled its pockets with stones, and walked into the River Ouse near her home and drowned herself. Woolf’s body was not found until 18 April 1941. Her husband buried her cremated remains under an elm in the garden of Monk’s House, their home in Rodmell, Sussex.

Juan Bautista de Anza found the site for the Presidio of San Francisco on this day in 1776. The Presidio of San Francisco (orginally, El Presidio Real de San Francisco or The Royal Fortress of Saint Frances) is a park and former military base on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco, California, and is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

On March 28, 1802 Heinrich Wilhelm Matthäus Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid known to man.

The Paris Commune was formally established in Paris on March 28, 1871. The Paris Commune or Fourth French Revolution was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March of 1871 until May 18, 1871. In a formal sense, it acted as the local authority. The conditions in which it formed, its controversial decrees, and the indiscriminate violence with which it was brutally suppressed make its brief tenure one of the more important political episodes in the history of working class revolutions.

Henri Fabre became the first person to fly a seaplane, the Fabre Hydravaion, on March 28, 1910 after taking off from a water runway near Martigues, France.

On March 28, 1920, the Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1920 affected the Great Lakes region and Deep South states.

Eighty years ago today the Imperial Airways biplane City of Liverpool became what is believed the first airline lost to sabotage when a passenger set a fire on board.

As part of the Cold War, on March 28, 1946, the United States State Department released the Acheson-Lilienthal Report. It outlined a plan for the international control of nuclear power.

On March 28, 1969, the Greek poet and Nobel Prize laureate Giorgos Seferis made a famous statement on the BBC World Service opposing the junta in Greece.

The McGill français movement occurred on this day in 1969. This was the second largest protest in Montreal‘s history with 10,000 trade unionist, leftist activists, CEGEP students, and even some McGill students at McGill’s Roddick Gates. This led to the majority of the protesters getting arrested.

The Gediz earthquake, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck western Turkey at about 23:05 local time on March 28, 1970. It killed 1,086 and injured 1,260.

The US Supreme Court handed down a 5-3 decision in Stump v. Sparkman thirty-five years ago today. This was a controversial case involving involuntary sterilization and judicial immunity.

The British House of Commons passed a vote of no confidence on March 28, 1979 against James Callaghan’s government, precipitating a general election.

President George H.W. Bush posthumously awarded Jesse Owens the Congressional Gold Medal on this day in 1990.

On March 28, 1994, BBC Radio 5 was closed and replaced with a new news and sport station called BBC Radio 5 Live.

Thirteen years ago today three children were killed when a CSX freight train his a Murray County, Georgia school bus.

Today is the tenth anniversary of when, in a friendly fire incident, two A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft from the United States Idaho Air National Guard’s 190th Firghter Squadron attacked British tanks participating in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. British soldier Matty Hull was killed.

The 2005 Sumatra earthquake rocked Indonesia on March 28th. It was the fourth strongest earthquake since 1965, measuring a magnitude 8.7.

At least 1 million union members, students, and unemployed took to the streets in France on March 28, 2006 in protest at the government’s proposed First Employment Contract law.

my brother sam is dead

Today we bring you the book My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier. We have New copies in stock. Amazon gives the following description:

The classic story of one family torn apart by the Revolutionary War — now with special After Words bonus features!

All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam. Sam’s smart and brave — and is now a part of the American Revolution. Not everyone in town wants to be a part of the rebellion. Most are supporters of the British — including Tim and Sam’s father.
With the war soon raging, Tim know he’ll have to make a choice — between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father.


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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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” 
― Mark Twain

Today is a full moon called “Worm Moon” by Native Americans of New England and the Great Lakes. The reason they call it this is because this is the time of year there are signs of earthworms as the ground thaws in preparation for Spring.

March 27th is National “Joe” Day. This is a chance to change your name, if only for a day. Many people do not like their given name and wish to change it. Few actually do. On National Joe Day, it is perfectly okay to have everyone call you “Joe”.

Today is National Exchange Day, celebrating Exchange‘s 102nd birthday. According to their website:

Founded March 27, 1911, in Detroit, Michigan, by businessmen who wanted to “exchange” ideas, Exchange had its beginnings as a luncheon gathering of businessmen known as the Boosters’ Club. Desiring to “exchange” ideas, the members shared stories, provided business advice to one another and began to dream about what they might accomplish with their collective talents and mutual interests.

For the past 100 years, the volunteer efforts of Exchange Club members have supported the needs of the country and of local communities. With 700 clubs and over 21,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, Exchange is the country’s oldest service organization operating exclusively in the United States.

Exchange sponsors activities designed to benefit, award and develop our nation’s youth, promote crime prevention, serve senior citizens and recognize military and public safety service providers. Exchange also promotes Americanism programs, and its national project is the prevention of child abuse.

Today is Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day. Johnny Cash has a song “Flushed From The Bathroom Of Your Heart”. Glen Campbell has “Everytime I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You”. Kenny Chesney has “Being Drunk’s a Lot Like Loving You and It’s Sending Me Straight to Rehab!”. Deana Carter has “Did I Shave My Legs For This?”. Cledus T Judd has “Did I Shave My Back For This!”. Tim McGraw has “Do You Want Fries With That?” Kenny Chesney has “She Thinks My Tractor‘s Sexy”. What other quirky country music titles can you think of? Share them with us.

Every year March 27 is celebrated as World Theatre Day. It was established in 1961 by the International Theatre Institute.

Some of the writers born March 27th include:

Francesco Antonio Zaccaria (1714), Thomas Tyrwhitt (1730), Michael Bruce (1746), Franz Xaver von Baader (1765), Alexander Csoma de Kőrös (1784), Alfred de Vigny (1797), William Hepworth Thompson (1810), Frank Frost Abbott (1860), Heinrich Mann (1871), Marie Under (1883), Karl Mannheim (1893), Roland Leighton (1895), Kenneth Slessor (1901), Xavier Villaurrutia (1904), Golo Mann (1909), Budd Schulberg (1914), Hélène Berr (1921), Barnaby Conrad (1922), Dick King-Smith (1922), Stefan Wul (1922), Endo Shusaku (1923), Louis Simpson (1923), Frank O’Hara (1926), Anthony Lewis (1927), Bob den Uyl (1930), Roberto Farias (1932), Robert Castel (1933), Abelardo Castillo (1935), Michael Jackson (1942), Michael Aris (1946), Andy Bown (1946), Oliver Friggieri (1947), Walt Mossberg (1947), Dubravka Ugrešić (1949), Richard Séguin (1952), Dana Stabenow (1952), Patrick McCabe (1955), Renato Russo (1960), Jann Arden (1962), John O’Farrell (1962), Bedabrata Pain (1963), Quentin Tarantino (1963), Pauley Perrette (1969), Lee Ji-hoon (1979), Cesare Cremonini (1980), Laura Critchley (1984), and Kimbra Johnson (1990).

William Flackton is said to have been born on March 27, 1709. He was an 18th century bookseller, publisher, amateur organist, viola player and composer. He is best known today for his compositions for the viola. He demonstrated a talent for music from an early age and at the age of nine was admitted as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral. He was apprenticed to the Canterbury bookseller Edward Burges until 1730 when he set up his own business as a stationer and bookseller specialising in second-hand and antiquarian book trade. He was in partnership with his brother John from 1738 and later traded in partnership with two of his former apprentices, first as Flackton and Marrable from 1774 and as Flackton, Marrable and Claris from 1784. The English Short Title Catalogue Database records over 60 books published by the firm.

Patty Smith Hill was born March 27, 1868. She is best known for co-writing, with her sister Mildred Hill, the tune which later became popular as “Happy Birthday to You“. She was an American nursery school, kindergarten teacher, and key founder of the National Association Nursery Education (NANE) which now exists as the National Association For the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Today we remember Paul Zindel Jr. on the tenth anniversary of his passing.  He was an American playwight, novelist, and educator. Through his teen years he wrote plays. He trained as a chemist at Wagner College and spent six months working at Allied Chemical as a chemical writer after graduating. Zindel took a creative writing course with the playwright Edward Albee while he was an undergraduate. He later worked as a high school science teacher on Staten Island. In 1964, he wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, his first and most successful play. The play ran off-Broadway in 1970, and on Broadway in 1971, and he received the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work. It was also made into a 1972 move by 20th Century Fox. Soon thereafter, Charlotte Zolotow, a vice-president at Harper & Row, contacted him about writing for her book label. Zindel wrote a total of 39 books, all of them aimed at children or young adults. They tended to be semi-autobiographical, focusing on teenage misfits with abusive or neglectful parents. Despite the often dark subject matter of his books, which deal with loneliness, loss, and the effects of abuse, they are also filled with humor. Many of his novels have wacky titles. The Pigman first published in 1968, is widely taught in American schools, and also made it on to the list of most frequently banned books in America in the 1990s, because of what some deem offensive language.

We also remember Adrienne Rich who left this world one year ago today.

On March 27, 1329, Pope John XXII issued his In Agro Dominico which condemned some writings of Meister Eckhard as heretical.

The United States Government established a permanent navy and authorized the building of six frigates on March 27, 1794.

On March 27, 1812, Hugh McGary Jr. established what is now Evansville, Indiana on a bend in the Ohio River.

Rioting took place on this day in 1881 in Basingstoke in protest against the daily vociferous promotion of Teetotalism by the Salvation Army. Teetotalism refers to either the practice of or the promotion of complete abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler (also spelled teetotaller; plural teetotalers or teetotallers) or is simply said to be teetotal. The teetotalism movement was first started in Preston, England in the early 19th century.

A mob in Cincinnati, Ohio attacked members of a jury on this day in 1884 who had returned a verdict of manslaughter in a clear case of murder, and then over the next few days rioted and destroyed the courthouse.

On March 27, 1886 the famous Apache warrior, Geronimo, surrendered to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

Mary Mallon, more commonly known as Typhoid Mary, was put into quarantine on March 27, 1915 where she would remain for the rest of her life. She was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected some 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was forcibly isolated twice by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.

The Good Friday Earthquake hit South Central Alaska on March 27, 1964. This was the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2. It killed 125 paeople and inflicted massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opened on this day in 1976. Since opening in 1976, the network has grown to include five lines, 86 stations, and 106.3 miles (171.1 km) of track. Metro is the second-busiest rapid transit system in the United States in number of passenger trips, after the New York City Subway.

The worst aviation accident in history was the Tenerife airport disaster which occurred on March 27, 1977. Two Boeing 747 airliners collided on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. All 248 on KLM and 335 of those on Pan Am were killled. Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight.

March 27, 1980 is referred to as Silver Thursday because a steep fall in silver prices resulted from the Hunt Brothers attempt to corner the market in silver. This led to panic on commodity and futures exchanges.

The Solidarity movement in Poland staged a warning strike, in which at least 12 million Poles walked off their jobs for four hours.

The United States began broadcasting TV Martí on March 27, 1990 to Cuba. This was an anti-Castro propaganda network.

Fifteen years ago today the Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra for use as a treatment for male impotence. This was the first pill to be approved for that condition in the United States.
On March 27, 2000 a Phillips Petroleum plant explosion in Pasadena, Texas killed one person and left 71 others injured.

An artificial lake in Indonesia called Situ Gintung failed on March 27, 2009. At least 99 people were killed.

short change

Today’s highlighted title is Short Change by Patricia Smiley. He have new hardcover copies in stock. Amazon gives the following description:

L.A.-based Tucker Sinclair has her hands full trying to get her consulting business off the ground. But it won’t be easy: with her clients’ businesses threatened-and then their lives-the stakes are deadly high.
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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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen

March 26th is Make Your Own Holiday Day. The objective of today is to allow one day for any topic or event that has otherwise escaped recognition until now. Declare your special day on Make Your Own Holiday Day.

Today is also Legal Assistants Day. Also known as paralegals, legal assistants assist lawyers. They are not able to practice law, but are trained to perform certain legal tasks.

The fourth Tuesday of March is American Diabetes Association Alert Day. This one-day “wake-up call” asks the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The Diabetes Risk Test asks users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risk factors for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider. Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round. Boar’s Head® – a leading provider of premium delicatessen products – will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 26 through April 9, 2013, up to $50,000 for every Diabetes Risk Test taken.

Some of the writers born on March 26th include:

Benjamin Thompson (1753), Alfred Edward Housman (1859), Robert Frost (1874), Joseph Campbell (1904), Tennessee Williams (1911), Jacqueline de Romilly (1913), Hwang Sunwon (1915), Gregory Corso (1930), Acharya Kuber Nath Rai (1933), Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933), Erica Jong (1942), Bob Woodward (1943), Patrick Süskind (1949), Martin Short (1950), T. A. Barron (1952), Paul Morley (1957), Chris Hansen (1959), Natsuhiko Kyogoku (1963), Roch Voisine (1963), Hai Zi (1964), Martin McDonagh (1970), Jonny Craig (1986), YUI (1987), and Josiah Leming (1989).

Lawrence “Larry” Page is celebrating his 40th birthday today. He is an American computer scientist and Internet entrepreneur who, with Sergey Brin, is best known as the co-founder of Google. On April 4, 2001, he took on the role of CEO of Google, replacing Eric Schmidt. He is the inventor of PageRank, which became the foundation of Google’s search ranking algorithm. Together, Brin and Page own about 16 percent of the company’s stock. His father, Carl Page, earned a Ph.D. in computer science in 1965 when the field was in its infancy, and is considered a “pioneer in computer science and artificial intelligence.” Both he and Page’s mother, Gloria, were computer science professors at Michigan State University. Larry Page holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Michigan with honors and a Master of Science in computer science from Stanford University. While at the University of Michigan, Page created “an inkjet printer made of LEGO bricks” (actually a line plotter), served as the president of the Beta Epsilon chapter of Eta Kappa Nu, and was a member of the 1993 “Maize & Blue” University of Michigan Solar Car team. His attraction to computers started when he was six years old when he got to “play with the stuff lying around”. He became the “first kid in his elementary school to turn in an assignment from a word processor.” His older brother also taught him to take things apart and before long he was taking “everything in his house apart to see how it worked”. He said that “from a very early age, I also realized I wanted to invent things. So I became really interested in technology and business. Probably from when I was 12, I knew I was going to start a company eventually”. After enrolling in a computer science Ph.D. program at Stanford University, Page was in search of a dissertation theme and considered exploring the mathematical properties of the World Wide Web, understanding its link structure as a huge graph. His supervisor Terry Winograd encouraged him to pursue this idea, which Page later recalled as “the best advice I ever got”. Page then focused on the problem of finding out which web pages link to a given page, considering the number and nature of such backlinks to be valuable information about that page, with the role of citations in academic publishing in mind. In his research project, nicknamed “BackRub”, he was soon joined by Sergey Brin, a fellow Stanford Ph.D. student. Brin and Page originally met in March 1995 during a spring orientation of new Ph.D. candidates. Brin, who had already been in the program for two years, was assigned to show some students, including Page, around campus, and they later became friends.To convert the backlink data gathered by BackRub’s web crawler into a measure of importance for a given web page, Brin and Page developed the PageRank algorithm, and realized that it could be used to build a search engine far superior to existing ones. It relied on a new kind of technology that analyzed the relevance of the back links that connected one Web page to another. In August 1996, the initial version of Google was made available, still on the Stanford University Web site. In 1998, Brin and Page founded Google, Inc. Page ran Google as co-president along with Brin until 2001 when they hired Eric Schmidt as Chairman and CEO of Google. In January 2011 Google announced that Page would replace Schmidt as CEO in April the same year. Both Page and Brin earn an annual compensation of one dollar. On April 4, 2011, Page officially became the chief executive of Google, while Schmidt stepped down to become executive chairman of Google. Page also sits on the Board of Directors of Google. Page is an active investor in alternative energy companies, such as Tesla Motors, which developed the Tesla Roadster, a 244-mile (393 km) range battery electric vehicle. He continues to be committed to renewable energy technology, and with the help of, Google’s philanthropic arm, promotes the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric cars and other alternative energy investments. PC Magazine has praised Google as among the Top 100 Web Sites and Search Engines (1998) and awarded Google the Technical Excellence Award for Innovation in Web Application Development in 1999. In 2000, Google earned a Webby Award, a People’s Voice Award for technical achievement, and in 2001, was awarded Outstanding Search Service, Best Image Search Engine, Best Design, Most Webmaster Friendly Search Engine, and Best Search Feature at the Search Engine Watch Awards.” In 2002, Page was named a World Economic Forum Global Leader for Tomorrow and along with Sergey Brin, was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100, as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35. In 2003, Page, along with Brin, received an honorary MBA from IE Businesses School “for embodying the entrepreneurial spirit and lending momentum to the creation of new businesses.” In 2004, they received the Marconi Foundation Prize and were elected Fellows of the Marconi Foundation at Columbia University. In announcing their selection, John Jay Iselin, the Foundation’s president, congratulated the two men for “their invention that has fundamentally changed the way information is retrieved today.” Page is a trustee on the board of the X PRIZE and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2004. Also that year, Page and Brin were named “Persons of the Week” by ABC World News Tonight. In 2005, Brin and Page were elected Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2002 the World Economic Forum named Page a Global Leader for Tomorrow and in 2004 the X PRIZE chose Page as a trustee for their board. Page received an honorary doctorate from the University of Michigan in 2009 during graduation commencement ceremonies.As of October 2012, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index lists Page as the 27th richest man in the world with an estimated net worth of 21.1 billion.

Today we remember Walt Whitman who passed away on this day in 1872 at the age of 72. He was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his work. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse. His work was very controversial in its time, particularly his poetry collection Leaves of Grass, which was described as obscene for its overt sexuality. Early in his career, he also produced a temperance novel, Franklin Evans (1842). Whitman’s major work, Leaves of Grass, was first published in 1855 with his own money. The work was an attempt at reaching out to the common person with an American epic. He continued expanding and revising it until his death in 1892. After a stroke towards the end of his life, he moved to New Jersey, where his health further declined. He died at age 72 and his funeral became a public spectacle. Whitman’s sexuality is often discussed alongside his poetry. Though biographers continue to debate his sexuality, he is usually described as either homosexual or bisexual in his feelings and attractions. However, there is disagreement among biographers as to whether Whitman had actual sexual experiences with men. Whitman was concerned with politics throughout his life. He supported the Wilmot Proviso and opposed the extension of slavery generally. His poetry presented an egalitarian view of the races, and at one point he called for the abolition of slavery, but later he saw the abolitionist movement as a threat to democracy. Walt Whitman has been claimed as America’s first “poet of democracy”, a title meant to reflect his ability to write in a singularly American character. Whitman’s vagabond lifestyle was adopted by the Beat movement and its leaders such as Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac in the 1950s and 1960s as well as anti-war poets like Adrienne Rich and Gary Snyder. Lawrence Ferlinghetti numbered himself among Whitman’s “wild children”, and the title of his 1961 collection Starting from San Francisco is a deliberate reference to Whitman’s Starting from Paumanok. Whitman also influenced Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, and was the model for the character. Stoker said in his notes that Dracula represented the quintessential male which, to Stoker, was Whitman, with whom he corresponded until Whitman’s death. Other admirers included the Eagle Street College, an informal group established in 1885 at the home of James William Wallace in Eagle Street, Bolton, to read and discuss the poetry of Whitman. The group subsequently became known as the Bolton Whitman Fellowship or Whitmanites. Its members held an annual ‘Whitman Day’ celebration around the poet’s birthday. Whitman’s poetry has been set to music by a large number of composers; indeed it has been suggested his poetry has been set to music more than any other American poet except for Emily Dickinson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Those who have set his poems to music have included Kurt Weill, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frederick Delius, Paul Hindemith, Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Benjamin Britten, Leonard Bernstein, Ned Rorem, Ronald Corp, George Crumb, Roger Sessions and John Adams. Whitman is a 2009 inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The Walt Whitman Bridge crosses the Delaware River near his home in Camden.

We also remember Raymond Chandler today. The American novelest and screenwriter passed away on March 26, 1959. In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, “Blackmailers Don’t Shoot”, was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published just seven full novels during his lifetime (though an eighth in progress at his death was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been realized in motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His protagonist, Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett’s Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with “private detective,” both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe. Some of Chandler’s novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as “arguably the first book since Hammett’s The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery”.

William Caxton printed his translation of Aesop’s Fables on this day in 1484.

On March 26, 1636 Utrecht University was founded in the Netherlands. It is one of the oldest universities in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. The university is rated as the best university in the Netherlands by both the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2011 and the Shanghai Ranking of World Universities 2012, and ranked as the 12th best European university and the 68th best university of the world by the former ranking and 12th best European university and 53th best of the world by the latter. The university’s motto is “Sol Iustitiae Illustra Nos,” which means “Sun of Justice, shine upon us.” This motto was gleaned from a literal Latin Bible translation of Malachi 4:2.

An earthquake destroyed Caracas, Venezuela on March 26, 1812. That same day a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term “gerrymander” to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

The Book of Mormon was published in Palmyra, New York on March 26, 1830.

SwissAir was founded on March 26, 1931 as the national airline of Switzerland.

The driving test was introduced in the United Kingom on March 26, 1934.

During World War II, the first female prisoners arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland on March 26, 1942.

Explorer 3 (international designation 1958 Gamma) was an artificial satellite of the Earth, nearly identical to the first United States artificial satellite Explorer 1 in its design and mission. It was the second successful launch in the Explorer program. The United States Army launched Explorer 3 on March 26 1958.

Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter signed the IsraelEgypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 1979.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memoria was held in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 1982.

Five South Korean boys, nicknamed the Frog Boys, disappeared on March 26, 1991 while hunting for frogs and were murdered in a case that remains unsolved.

Heaven’s Gate was an American UFO religion doomsday cult based in San Diego, California, founded in the early 1970s and led by Marshall Applewhite (1931–1997) and Bonnie Nettles (1927–1985). On March 26, 1997, police discovered the bodies of 39 members of the group who had committed mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Comet Hale–Bopp, which was at its brightest.
Fourteen years ago today a jury in Michigan found Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man. Also on this day in 1999, the “Melissa worm” infected Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world.

Thanks to you wisdom from

Today we bring you the hardcover book Thanks to You: Wisdom from Mother & Child (Julie Andrews Collection). This book is by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton. Amazon gives the following description:

Thanks to you . . . a cloud becomes a castle for a king

Thanks to you . . . I notice wonder in the smallest thing

Children learn much about the world from their mothers. But what about the unexpected wisdom mothers gain while parenting?

Julie Andrews Edwards and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton share their mutual discoveries and delight in the growth experiences of childhood and motherhood. Accompanied by photographs from the authors’ extended family collection, these personal exchanges between mother and child celebrate a special bond while reflecting a universal truth.


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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Monday, March 25, 2013

Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Today’s food holidays are: Pecan Day, International Waffle Day, Pancake day and Lobster Newburg Day.

Lobster Newburg is an American seafood dish made with lobster, butter, cream, cognac, sherry, eggs and cayenne pepper. It is an elegant and special dish enjoyed by many since the late 1800′s. Debuting in 1876 at a fine New York restaurant, Delmonico’s, this dish was invented by sea captain Ben Wenburg. He demonstrated the dish to restaurant manager, Charles Delmonico and refinements were made by chef, Charles Ranhofer. The creation was then added to the restaurant’s menu as Lobster a la Wenburg. The dish grew fast in popularity. There was an argument between Wenburg and manager Charles Delmonica which caused the dish to be removed from the menu but after many requests from patrons, it was returned with the name Lobster Newburg as we know it today.

There are actually two Pecan Days. Today and then April 14th is National Pecan Day. This is a rather nutty day to celebrate and enjoy popular, tasty pecans. Pecan trees is the only type of nut tree which is native to North America.

Waffle Day is a day that you can waffle on issues and decisions, and eat waffles. Waffle day also has two days. Today is International Waffle Day. National Waffle Day is August 24th. International Waffle Day originated in Sweden. It is called Våffeldagen. The holiday coincides with the Feast of the Annunciation. This day was also considered the start of spring in Sweden and Europe. It became a custom for Swedish families to celebrate the two events by making waffles on this day. The waffle dates back to the 1300s in Greece. Greeks cooked flat cakes between two metal pans. At the time, they topped it with cheeses and herbs. Pancake syrup wasn’t around back then. Waffles are commonly eaten as breakfast or a snack. They are also an occasional dinner meal for some people. Pancakes were first made in New York City on this day in 1882.

Today is International Day of Rememberance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic. This day serves as an opportunity to honor and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system, and to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today. “Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation” is this year’s theme and it pays tribute to the emancipation of slaves in nations across the world. 2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in the U.S.

March 25th is National Day of Celebration of Greek & American Democracy. In 1821, Greeks rose up against the oppresive Ottoman Empire which had occupied Greece for neary four centuries. This was the start of the war of independence that ultimately was a success. Bishop Germanos of Patras boldly raised the Greek flag at the monastery of Agia Lavras. This incited the Peloponnese to rise against the oppressors. The exact date might not be March 25th, but it is known to have occurred in late March and it was gradually associated with the religious feast of the Annunciation. On this day in the Greek Orthodox calendar, the archangel Gabriel appeared to the maiden Mary and announced the news: she was pregnant with the divine child. Bishop Germanos chose this day to deliver a different but not unrelated message: a new spirit was about to be born in Greece.

The United States Congress has designated March 25th of each year as National Medal of Honor Day. This day is dedicated to those who have received a Medal of Honor. It was March 25, 1863 when the first Medals of Honor were presented. Six members of Andrews’ Raiders received these. National Medal of Honor day is celebrated in some communities, however for the most part the occasion comes and goes with little notice. To commemorate this day you can fly your flag. To remember our heroes a nice gesture of your appreciation would be to mail a “Thank you” card to one of our living Medal of Honor recipients. Most media outlets are unaware of this holiday so a way to honor the recipients would be to tip the local media off to the occasion.

National Tolkien Reading Day is celebrated annually on March 25th. This day was started in 2003 by the Tolkien Society to encourage the readings of J.R.R. Tolkien. March 25th was chosen as the date to honor the fall of Sauron in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The day was originally suggested by columnist Sean Kirst, of the Syracuse, NY Post-Standard newspaper. He has organized Tolkien Reading Days every year since 2008.

March 25th through 29th is Termite Awareness Week. This annual observance by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) promotes public vigilance against termites and educates homeowners about ways to ensure their properties don’t fall victim to this voracious pest. Termites feed 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the cellulose found in wood and paper products. They can silently chew through structures undetected and cause more than $5 billion in property damage every year, an expense that isn’t typically covered under homeowners’ insurance policies.

Passover begins today at sundown. Passover is an eight day festival celebrated in the early spring. It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. By following the rituals of Passover, Jewish people have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that their ancestors gained. The Story of Passover, from

After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to backbreaking labor and unbearable horrors, G d saw the people’s distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: “Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me.” But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed G d’s command. G d then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops. At the stroke of midnight of 15 Nissan in the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), G d visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, killing all their firstborn. While doing so, G d spared the Children of Israel, “passing over” their homes—hence the name of the holiday. Pharaoh’s resistance was broken, and he virtually chased his former slaves out of the land. The Israelites left in such a hurry, in fact, that the bread they baked as provisions for the way did not have time to rise. Six hundred thousand adult males, plus many more women and children, left Egypt on that day, and began the trek to Mount Sinai and their birth as G d’s chosen people.

Passover is divided into two parts. The first two days and last two days are full-fledged holidays. Holiday candles are lit at night and kiddush and sumptuous holiday meals are enjoyed on both nights and days. Traditionally, Jews don’t go to work, drive, write or switch on or off electric devices. Jews are permitted to cook and to carry outdoors. The middle four days are called chol hamoed, semi-festive “intermediate days,” when most forms of work are permitted. To commemorate the unleavened bread that the Israelites ate when they left Egypt, Jews do not eat or even keep any chametz in their possession from midday of the day before Passover until the conclusion of the holiday. Chametz is leavened grain, which means any food or drink that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt or their derivatives, and which was not guarded from leavening or fermentation. Bread, cake, cookies, cereal, pasta and most alcoholic beverages are included in this. Almost any proccessed food or drink can be assumed to be chametz unless certified otherwise. Matzah is eaten instead of chametz. Matzah is flat unleavened bread. During most of the holiday it is optional to partake of matzah but on the two Seder nights it is a mitzvah (a commandment of Jewish law). The highlight of Passover is the Seder, observed on each of the first two nights of the holiday. The Seder is a fifteen-step family-oriented tradition and ritual-packed feast. Eating matzah and bitter herbs, drinking four cups of wine or grape juice, and the recitation of the Haggadah are the focal points of the Seder.*

Some of the writers born on March 25th include:

Louis Moréri (1643), Paul de Rapin (1661), Jose de Espronceda (1808), Mary Gladys Webb (1881), A.J.P. Taylor (1906), Benzion Netanyahu (1910), Howard Cosell (1918), Flannery O’Connor (1925), Anthony Quinton (1925), Jaime Sabines (1926), Penelope Gilliatt (1932), Hoyt Axton (1938), Toni Cade Bambara (1939), Daniel Bensaid (1946), Stephen Hunter (1946), Elton John (1947), Elli Stai (1954), Thom Loverro (1954), Jim Uhls (1957), Susie Bright (1958), Linda Sue Park (1960), Fred Goss (1961), Kate DiCamillo (1964), and Cathy Dennis (1969).

According to legend, Venice was founded at twelve o’clock noon on March 25, 421.

The Council of Pisa opened March 25, 1409 and was an unrecognized ecumenical council of the Catholic Church held in 1409 that attempted to end the Western Schism by deposing Benedict XIII and Gregory XII. Instead of ending the Western Schism, the Council elected a third papal claimant, Alexander V, who would be succeeded by John XXIII.

On March 25, 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh was granted a patent to colonize Virginia.

The first settlers arrived in Maryland on this day in 1634.

Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, was discovered by Christiaan Huygens on March 25, 1655.

The Treaty of Amiens was signed as a “Definitive Treaty of Peace” between France and the United Kingdom on this day in 1802.

On March 25, 1807, the Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire. That same day, the Swansea and Mumbles Railway, then known as the Oystermouth Railway, became the first passenger carrying railway in the world.

On March 25, 1811, Percy Bysshe Shelley was expelled from the University of Oxford for publishing the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism.

Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, departed on March 25, 1894 from Massillon, Ohio for Washington, D.C..

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers in New York on this day in 1911.

On March 25, 1931, the Scottsboro Boys were arrested in Alabama and charged wth rape. The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenage boys. The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial. The case included a frameup, an all-white jury, rushed trials, an attempted lynching, an angry mob, and is an example of an overall miscarriage of justice. On March 25, 1931, several people were hoboing on a freight train traveling between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee. Several white boys jumped off the train and reported to the sheriff they had been attacked by a group of black boys. The sheriff deputized a posse, stopped and searched the train at Paint Rock, Alabama, arrested the black boys, and found two white girls who accused the boys of rape. The case was first heard in Scottsboro, Alabama in three rushed trials, where the defendants received poor legal representation. All but the thirteen-year-old Roy Wright were convicted of rape and sentenced to death, the common sentence in Alabama at the time for black men convicted of raping white women. But with the help from the American Communist Party, the case was appealed. The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed seven of the eight convictions, and granted thirteen-year-old Eugene Williams a new trial because he was a juvenile. Chief Justice John C. Anderson dissented however, ruling that the defendants had been denied an impartial jury, fair trial, fair sentencing, and effective counsel. Upon waiting for their trials, eight of the nine defendants stayed in Kilby Prison. The case was returned to the lower court and the judge allowed a change of venue, moving the retrials to Decatur, Alabama. Judge Horton was appointed. During the retrials, one of the alleged victims admitted fabricating the rape story and asserted that none of the Scottsboro Boys touched either of the white women. The jury found the defendants guilty, but the judge set aside the verdict and granted a new trial. After a new series of trials, the verdict was the same: guilty. The cases were ultimately tried three times. For the third time a jury—now with one black member—returned a third guilty verdict. Charges were finally dropped for four of the nine defendants. Sentences for the rest ranged from 75 years to death. All but two served prison sentences. One was shot in prison by a guard. Two escaped, were charged with crimes, and were sent back to prison. Clarence Norris, the oldest defendant and the only one sentenced to death, escaped parole and went into hiding in 1946. He was pardoned by George Wallace in 1976 after he was found, and wrote a book about his experiences. The last surviving defendant died in 1989. The Scottsboro Boys, as they became known, at the time were defended by many in the North and attacked by many in the South. The case is now widely considered a miscarriage of justice that led to the end of all-white juries in the South. The case has inspired and has been examined in literature, music, theatre, film and television.

On March 25, 1947, an explosion in a coal mine in Centralia, Illinois killed 111.

The first successful tornado forecast predicts that a tornado would strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma was given March 25, 1948.

The extensive deportation campaign known as March deportation was conducted in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on this day in 1949 to force collectivisation by way of terror. The Soviet authorities deported more than 92,000 people from the Baltics to remote areas of the Soviet Union.

On March 25, 1957 United States Customs seized copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poemHowl” on the grounds of obscenity. On that same day the European Economic Community was established (West Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).

Canada‘s Avro Arrow made its first flight on this day in 1958. The Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow was a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, designed and built by Avro Canada as the culmination of a design study that began in 1953. Considered to be both an advanced technical and aerodynamic achievement for the Canadian aviation industry, the CF-105 (Mark 2) held the promise of near Mach 3 speeds at altitudes likely exceeding 60,000 ft. (18,000 m), and was intended to serve as the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) primary interceptor in the 1960s and beyond. Not long after the 1958 start of its flight test program, the development of the Arrow (including its Orenda Iroquois jet engines) was abruptly and controversially halted before the project review had taken place, sparking a long and bitter political debate. The controversy engendered by the cancellation and subsequent destruction of the aircraft in production remains a topic for debate among historians, political observers and industry pundits. “This action effectively put Avro out of business and its highly skilled engineering and production personnel scattered….”

Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King, Jr. successfully completed their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama on March 25, 1965.

The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, was delivered on this day in 1979 to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.

The Candle demonstration on March 25, 1988 in Bratislava was the first mass demonstration of the 1980s against the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.

The Happy Land fire was an arson fire on March 25, 1990 that killed 87 people trapped inside an illegal nightclub in the New York City borough of The Bronx.

On March 25, 1992, the Pakistan national cricket team won the 1992 Cricket World Cup when for the first time in the history of cricket the Final was played at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returned to Earth on March 25, 1992 after a 10-month stay aboard the Mir space station.

WikiWikiWeb, the world’s first wiki, and part of the Portland Pattern Repository, was made public by Ward Cunningham on March 25, 1995.

On this day in 1996 an 81-day-long standoff between the anti-government group Montana Freeman and law enforcement near Jordan, Montana, began. On that same day the European Union’s Veterinarian Committee banned the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of mad cow disease.
On March 25, 2006, protesters demanding a new election in Belarus, following the rigged Belarusian presidential election of 2006 clashed with riot police. Opposition leader Aleksander Kozulin was among several protesters arrested. That same day the Capitol Hill massacre occurred. A gunman killed six people before taking his own life at a party in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

the manipulated

Today we bring you The Manipulated by Nathan Walpow.  We have Like New copies available of this hardcover book from the Joe Portugal Mysteries series. Amazon gives the following description:

Joe Portugal’s experienced killing before. He’s seen gunmen mow down a friend on little more than a whim. He’s known greed and ambition to drive his friends to murder. But now he’s face to face with a whole new degree of wickedness. A show business prodigy has been shot dead. Though no one — except perhaps the man’s father — will mourn him, his demise puts Joe in debt to a shadowy presence whose sway extends deep into Southern California industry, government, and law enforcement. And suddenly Joe begins to suspect that everyone he knows — his protégé, stunning television star Ronnie McKenzie; his new wife, Gina; and most disturbing of all, his prison vet father — is part of that clandestine coterie known as “the manipulated.” Nathan Walpow’s “snappy Chandleresque dialogue” (Los Angeles Times) adds punch to this intricate, darkly witty whodunit set in the trashier byways of Tinseltown.


*This blogger is not Jewish and has no first hand knowledge of the Jewish traditions. The information presented here has been gathered from websites such as and wikipedia. Any corrections or clarifications are more than welcome.

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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Sunday, March 24, 2013

“Only the very weak-minded refuse to be influenced by literature and poetry.”
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel

Today we have a longer than usual post for you.

In many European implementations of the Julian calendar, March 24th is the 365th and last day of the year.

Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day, a day to enjoy this tasty combination of chocolate and fruit. This isn’t great for the waist line but here’s this blogger’s “logic”: Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are a vegetable. Rains are from grapes, which are a fruit. Vegetables and fruits are good for us. Does this not make chocolate covered raisins good for us? Even if their not “healthy” they are good for the soul.

Robert Koch announced the discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis on this day in 1882. This is the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis. March 24, 2013 is World TB Day. This is an opportunity to raise awareness about the burden of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide and the status of TB prevention and control efforts. Worldwide TB mortality rate has fallen over 40% in the last twenty-three years. Incidence of the disease is declining thanks to new tools like rapid diagnostics. The global burden, however, is still huge. There were about 8.7 million new cases of TB in 2011, and 1.4 million deaths from it. Poor communities and vulnerable groups are most affected but this is an airborne disease that is a risk to everyone. For women in the 15-44 age group, this disease is among the top three causes of death. This year is the second year of a two-year campaign for World TB Day, with the slogan “Stop TB in My Lifetime.” The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Stop TB Partnership, hosted at WHO, are together promoting World TB Day. World TB Day provides the opportunity for affected persons and the communities in which they live, civil society organizations, health-care providers, and other partners to discuss and plan further collaboration to fulfill the promise of stopping TB in our lifetimes through advocacy and action.

Easter Sunday is one week away. That means today is Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus‘ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday is marked by the distribution of palm leaves (often tied into crosses) to the assembled worshipers. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day’s ceremonies in unfavorable climates for palms led to the substitution of boughs of box, yew, willow, olive, or other native trees. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday. The palm branch is a symbol of victory, triumph, peace and eternal life originating in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world.

March 24-30, 2013 is Tsunami Awareness Week. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

Schools, playgrounds, hospitals, factories and homes are often built in areas vulnerable to tsunamis. The TsunamiReady Program, developed by the National Weather Service, is designed to help cities, towns, counties, universities and other large sites in coastal areas reduce the potential for disastrous tsunami-related consequences.

Since June 20, 2001, TsunamiReady has helped community leaders and emergency managers strengthen their local operations. TsunamiReady communities are better prepared to save lives through better planning, education and awareness. Communities have fewer fatalities and property damage if they plan before a tsunami arrives. No community is tsunami proof, but TsunamiReady can help minimize loss to your community. Find out what’s involved in becoming TsunamiReady.


We are now at the last week of March, which means that it is National Cleaning Week. This observation serves as a great reminder for you to organize, clean and prep your home for the changing of the seasons.

Some of the writers born March 24th include:

Arai Hakuseki (1657), Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775), Mariano José de Larra (1809), Robert Hamerling (1830), William Morris (1834), Honoré Beaugrand (1848), Silas Hocking (1850), Olive Schreiner (1855), Émile Fabre (1869), Malcolm Muggeridge (1903), Pura Santillan-Castrence (1905), Donald Hamilton (1916), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1919), Michael Legat (1923), Vincent Cronin (1924), Dario Fo (1926), Martin Walser (1927), Peter Bichsel (1935), Tabitha Spruce (1949), and Star Jones (1962).

Harry Houdini was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest, Austria-Hungary, as Erik Weisz. He was an American stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He was one of seven children. Harry, his pregnant mother, and his four brothers arrived in the U.S, in 1878. The family changed the Hungarian spelling of their German surname to Weiss (the German spelling) and Erik’s name was changed to Ehrich. Friends called him “Ehrie” or “Harry”. They first lived in Wisconsin, where his father served as Rabbi of the Zion Reform Jewish Congregation. In 1897 Erich and his Rabbi father moved to New York City where they lived in a boarding house. They were joined by the rest of the family once Rabbi Weiss found permanent housing.

As a child, Ehrich Weiss took several jobs, making his public début as a 9-year-old trapeze artist, calling himself “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air”. Weiss became a professional magician and began calling himself “Harry Houdini” because he was heavily influenced by the French magician Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, and his friend Jack Hayman told him, erroneously, that in French, adding an “i” to Houdin would mean “like Houdin”, the great magician. In later life, Houdini would claim that the first part of his new name, Harry, was an homage to Harry Kellar, whom Houdini admired. Continue reading

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.” 
― Stéphane Mallarmé

Are you hungry? You might be in a minute. Today is Melba Toast Day, National Chip and Dip Day, and Corn Dog Day.

National Chip and Dip Day celebrates America’s favorite snack pair. This is a more generic chip day than the March 14th holiday, National Potato Chip Day. Today includes things such as tortilla chips and corn chips. And, the dip is any kind that goes well with your chip of choice.

Today marks the 21st annual celebration of America’s finest pairing of sporting and gastronomic achievement. America loves basketball and National Corndog Day. For basketball lovers, this particular day is significant because it is the one day a year that a quadruple-header of tournament action is broadcast live nationally. Why Corndogs are part of basketball is out of this blogger’s range of understanding, perhaps because this blogger has never seen an entire basketball game or know any of the traditions that come along with it, for she grew up in a “Dodger Fan Parking Only Zone”. Perhaps a basketball fan can explain the connection for us?

Today is National Melba Toast Day. According to lore, the tiny thin, crispy toasts were first prepared by famed chef Auguste Escoffier for opera singer Dame Nellie Melba, and were named by the eminent hotel manate Cesar Ritz. Melba toast is the brittle, crunchy little cracker-type bread commonly seen in bread bowls at old-time diners and is a popular diet food that dates back to the late nineteenth century but in today’s low-carb society it is not as prominent as it once was.

Near Miss Day is also March 23. Near Miss Day commemorates the day a huge Asteroid nearly missed hitting the earth in 1989. The asteroid was the size of a mountain and came within 500,000 miles of a collision with Earth. In interstellar terms, this is a near miss. Had it hit the planet a devastating crater the size of Washington, D.C. would have resulted. It would have had a catastrophic effect on the entire planet. There have been other near misses since then. Scientists believe that a large asteroid collided with the earth long ago, causing the extinction of dinosaurs. They also believe it is only a matter of time before another catastrophic collision occurs. This is not something to spend your time worrying about, as odds are it will not happen for a very long time. Other near misses include a 70 meter long rock that came within 288,000 miles in March of 2002 and a 10 meter diameter rock that came within 54,700 miles of earth in September of 2003.

Happy National Puppy Day! Each March 23rd is a day to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives and most importantly its a day to save orphaned puppies across the world and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills. National Puppy Day was founded in 2006 by Pet Lifestyle Expert, Animal Behaviorist and Author, Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Dog Day and National Cat Day. These are part of her Animal Miracle Foundation & Network, a non-profit organization which offers financial assistance and educational programs that range from pet cancer to fire safety and travel safety for kids and pets alike.

Happy OK Day. It was on this day in 1839 that the initials “O.K.” were first published in The Boston Morning Post. It was meant as an abbreviation for “oll correct,” a popular misspelling of “all correct” at that time. Steadily the short word made its way into the everyday speech of Americans. This was a slang term in the 1830s much like OMG, LOL, Kewl, are in today’s common venacular. Popular abbreviations in the 1830s included “KY” for “No use” (“know yuse”), “KG” for “No go” (“Know go”), and “OW” for all right (“ol wright”). OK was pushed into popularity when it was printed as part of a joke in the Boston Morning Post. When the contemporary politicians started using it the popularity exploded. When the incumbent president Martin Van Buren was up for reelection, his Democratic supporters organized a band of thugs to influence voters. This group was formally called the “O.K. Club,” which referred both to Van Buren’s nickname “Old Kinderhook” (based on his hometown of Kinderhook, New York), and to the term recently made popular in the papers. At the same time, the opposing Whig Party made use of “OK” to denigrate Van Buren’s political mentor Andrew Jackson. According to the Whigs, Jackson invented the abbreviation “OK” to cover up his own misspelling of “all correct.” The American linguist Allen Walker Read was responsible for unraveling the mystery behind “OK. He dispelled a host of erroneous theories on the word’s origins. Allan Metcalf wrote an entire book on this tiny word. Metcalf told NPR‘s Guy Raz in 2011″I’m creating ‘OK Day,’ and the nice thing is on OK Day I’d like everyone to go around saying OK, and I’m sure that they will because they say OK every day.”

March 23rd of each year is celebrated by the World Meteorological Organization, its 191 Members and the worldwide meteorological community as World Meteorological Day. Each year has a chosen theme. The day commemorates the date in 1950 when the WMO Convention created the Organization. WMO was designated in 1951 as a specialized agency of the United Nations System. The theme for 2013 is “Watching the weather to protect life and property”. Since its inception in 1963, the World Weather Watch – a hallmark of truly global cooperation at the UN level – has been a cornerstone for atmospheric science and meteorological services.

Some of the writer’s born on March 23rd include:

Eduard Schlagintweit (1831), Dietrich Eckart (1868), Roger Martin du Gard (1881), Josef Čapek (1887), Dane Rudhyar (1895), Erich Fromm (1900), H. Beam Piper (1904), Joan Crawford (1904), Lale Andersen (1905), Ugo Tognazzi (1922), Barry Cryer (1935), Jon Finlayson (1938), Irwin Levine (1938), Jim Trelease (1941), Michael Haneke (1942), Walter Rodney (1942), Nils-Aslak Valkeapää (1943), Franco Battiato (1945), David Olney (1948), Kim Stanley Robinson (1952), Michael Sorich (1958), Gary Whitehead (1965), Mitch Cullin (1968), Judith Godrèche (1972), Jayson Blair (1976), and Perez Hilton (1978).

Daniel Bovet was a Swiss-born Italian pharmacologist who was born March 23, 1907. He won the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of drugs that block the actions of specific neurotransmitters. He is best known for his 1937 discovery of antihistamines, which are used in allergy medication. His other research included work on chemotherapy, sulfa drugs, the sympathetic nervous sytem, the pharacology of curare, and other neuropharmacological interests. In 1965, Bovet led a study team which concluded that smoking of tobacco cigarettes increased users’ intelligence. Bovet was a native Esperanto speaker who graduated from the University of Geneva in 1927 and received his doctorate in 1929. From 1929-1947 he worked at Pasteur Institute in Paris before he moved in 1947 to the Instituto Superiore di Sanità (Superior Institute of Health) in Rome. In 1964, he became a professor in at the University of Sassari in Italy. From 1969 to 1971, he was the head of the National Research Council in Rome before stepping down to become a professor at the University of Rome La Sapienza. He retired in 1982. He passed away at the age of 85 on April 8, 1992.

Bette Claire Graham was born March 23, 1924. She was an American typist, commercial artist, and the inventor of Liquid Paper. She was also the mother of musician and producer, Michael Nesmith. She was raised in San Antonio and graduated from Alamo Heights High School. She married Warren Audrey Nesmith (1919–1984) before he left to fight in World War II. She had Robert Michael Nesmith while her husband was overseas. After Warren Nesmith returned home they divorced in 1946. Her father died in the early 1950s and left her some property in Dallas. She, her mother, Michael, and her sister Yvonne moved there. To support herself as a single mother, she worked as a secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. She eventually attained the position of the executive secretary, the highest position open at that time to women in the industry. It was difficult to erase mistakes made by early electric typewriters, which caused problems . In order to make extra money she used her talent painting holiday windows at the bank. She realized, as she said, “with lettering, an artist never corrects by erasing, but always paints over the error. So I decided to use what artists use. I put some tempera water-based paint in a bottle and took my watercolor brush to the office. I used that to correct my mistakes.” Graham secretly used her white correction paint for five years, making some improvements with help from her son’s chemistry teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas. Some bosses admonished her against using it, but coworkers frequently sought her “paint out.” She eventually began marketing her typewriter correction fluid as “Mistake Out” in 1956. The name was later changed to Liquid Paper when she began her own company. In 1962 Bette Nesmith married Robert Graham, who joined her in running the company. They were divorced in 1975. In 1979 she sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Corporation for USD $47.5 million. At the time, her company employed 200 people and made 25 million bottles of Liquid Paper per year. Bette Nesmith died 12 May 1980, at the age of 56, in Richardson, Texas. Her only son, Michael, inherited half of his mother’s $50+ million estate. A portion financed the Gihon Foundation which established the Council on Ideas, a think tank with a retreat center located north of Santa Fe, New Mexico active from 1990–2000 and devoted to exploring world problems.

The “Queen of Funk-Soul”, Chaka Khan, turns 60 years young today. She was born Yvette Marie Stevens and is a 10-time Grammy Award winning American singer-songwriter who gained fame in the 1970s as the front woman and focal point of the funk band Rufus whose career has spanned 4 decades. While still a member of the group in 1978, Khan embarked on a successful solo career. Her signature hits, both with Rufus and as a solo performer, include “Tell Me Something Good”, “Sweet Thing” which she wrote for her then husband Richard Holland, “Ain’t Nobody”, “I’m Every Woman”, “I Feel for You” and “Through the Fire“.

On March 23, 1708, James Francis Edward Stuart landed at the firth of Forth. The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe, Scots: Firth o Furth) is the estuary or firth of Scotland’s River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh and East Lothian to the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times. James Francis Edward was Prince of Wales and the son of the deposed James II of England. He claimed the English, Scottish and Irish thrones as James III of England and Ireland and James VIII of Scotland from the death of his father in 1701, whehn he was recognized as king of England, Scotland and Ireland by his cousin, Louis XIV of France.

During the American Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry delivered his speech – “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” – on March 23, 1775 at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.

Tsar Paul I of Russia was struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael’s Castle on this day in 1801.

After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their “Corps of Discovery” began their arduous journey home on March 23, 1806.

The ship John Wickliffe arrived at Port Chalmers carrying the first Scottish settlers for Dunedin, New Zealand on this day in 1848. Otago province was founded.

Elisha Otis’s first elevator was installed at 488 Broadway New York City on March 23, 1857.

The First Battle of Kernstown, Virginia took place on this day in 1862 and marked the start of Stonewall Jackson‘s Valley Campaign. Though a Confederate defeat, the engagement distracted Federal efforts to capture Richmond.

The University of California was founded in Oakland, California when the Organic Act was signed into law on March 23, 1868.

The Battle of Topáter, the first battle of the War of the Pacific, was fought between Chile and the joint forces of Bolivia and Peru on this day in 1879.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in Qadian India on March 23, 1889.

Ninety-five years ago today the American diplomat Durham Stevens was attacked by Korean assassins Jeon Myeong-un and Jang In-hwan, which led to his death in a hospital two days later.

Theodore Roosevelt left New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa on March 23, 1909. The trip was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society.

On the third day of the German Spring Offensive (March 23, 1918) of the First World War, the 10th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment was annihilated with many of the men becoming Prisoners of War.

On this day in 1919, Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy.

On March 23, 1931, Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar were hanged for murder during the Indian struggle for independence.

Eighty years ago today the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.

On this day in 1942, as part of World War II, Japanese forces captured the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Pakistan became the first Islamic republic in the world on March 23, 1956. That makes this Republic Day in Pakistan.

The first nuclear-powered cargo-passenger ship, known as NS Savannah, was launched on this day in 1962 as a showcase for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace initiative.

NASA launched Gemini 3 on March 23, 1965. This was the United States’ first two-man space flight. The crew was Gus Grissom and John Young.

The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for a peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line on this day in 1978.

Thirty years ago today President Ronald Reagan made his initial proposal to develop technology to intercept enemy missiles.

On March 23, 1989, Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced their discovery of cold fusion at the University of Utah.

On March 23, 1994, a United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collided with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashed, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This later became known as the Green Ramp disaster. On that same day Aeroflot Fight 593 had crashed in Siberia when the pilot’s fifteen-year old son accidentally disengaged the autopilot. All 75 people on board were killed. Also on March 23, 1994, at an election rally in Tijuana, Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio was assassinated by Mario Aburto Martinez.

Taiwan held its first direct elections on this day in 1996. They chose Lee Teng-hui as President.

On March 23, 2001 the Russian Mir space station was disposed of, breaking up in the atmosphere before falling into the southern Pacific Ocean near Fiji.

Today is the tenth anniversary of the Battle of Nasiriyah which was the first major conflict during the invasion of Iraq.

On this day in 2005 was the Texas City Refinery explosion. During a test on a distillation tower liquid waste built up and flowed out of a blowout tower. Waste fumes ignited and exploded. Fifteen workers were killed.

FedEx Express Flight 80 on March 23, 2009 was a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 flying from Guangzhou, China that crashed at Tokyo Narita International Airport, Japan. Both the captain and the co-pilot were killed.

their eyes were watching god

Today we bring you Their Eyes Were Watching God, a novel by Zora Neale Hurston. We have New copies of this paperback in stock.  Amazon gives the following description:

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature.


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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Friday, March 22, 2013

 “One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel

Happy National Goof Off Day. It is a day to do anything and everything…except what you’re supposed to be doing. Don’t get yourself in too much trouble at work or school but go head and play some games today, spend some extra time enjoying a good book or two, browse through our storefront, play around on Facebook, watch tv. Just set some time aside today for things you enjoy.

It is also As Young As You Feel Day. Now more than ever you are as young as you feel. Today is a good day to stop acting your chronological age and get out there and start feeling peppy. Do you feel like a teenager? Well act like one and Goof Off!

World Water Day is held annually on the twenty-second of March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly desigated March 22, 1993 as the first World Water Day. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater. In 2013, in reflection of the International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day is also dedicated to the theme of cooperation around water and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.

It is also National SingOut Day.

Some of the writer’s born on March 22nd include:

Antonio Francesco Grazzini (1503), Louis L’Amour (1908), Gabrielle Roy (1909), Nicholas Monsarrat (1910), Tom McCall (1913), John Stanley (1914), Georgiy Zhzhonov (1915), Derek Bok (1930), Stephen Sondheim (1930), William Shatner (1931), Larry Evans (1932), Haing S. Ngor (1940), Billy Collins (1941), Jorge Ben Jor (1942), Eric Roth (1945), Rudy Rucker (1946), James Patterson (1947), Wolf Blitzer (1948), Brian Hanrahan (1949), Jay Dee Daugherty (1952), James House (1955), Pete Wylie (1958), Carlton Cuse (1959), Avraham Fried (1959), Lauri Vahtre (1960), Kathryn Jean Lopez (1976), Chris Wallace (1985), David Choi (1986), and Lisa Mitchell (1990).

Leonard “Chico” Marx was born March 22, 1887. He was an American comedian and film star as part of the Marx Brothers. His persona in the act was that of a dim-witted albeit crafty con artist, seemingly of rural Italian origin, who wore shabby clothes, and sported a curly-haired wig and Tyrolean hat. Leonard was the oldest of the Marx Brothers, though he was not the first-born; he was preceded by Manfred Marx, who died in infancy. In addition to his work as a performer, he played an important role in the management and development of the act, at least in its early years. Marx used an Italian persona for his on-stage character; stereotyped ethnic characters were common with vaudevillians. The obvious fact that he was not really Italian was referenced three times on film. Chico was a talented pianist. As a young boy, he gained jobs playing piano to earn money for the Marx family. Sometimes Chico even worked playing in two places at the same time. He would acquire the first job with his piano-playing skills, work for a few nights, and then substitute Harpo on one of the jobs. (During their boyhood, Chico and Harpo looked so much alike that they were often mistaken for each other.) Chico became manager of the Marx Brothers after their mother, Minnie, died. As manager, he cut a deal to get the Marx Brothers a percentage of a film’s gross receipts— the first of its kind in Hollywood. Furthermore, it was Chico’s connection with Irving Thalberg of MGM that led to Thalberg’s signing the Brothers when they were in a career slump after Duck Soup (1933), the last of their films for Paramount Pictures. For a while in the 1930s and 1940s, Chico led a big band. Singer Mel Tormé began his professional career singing with the Chico Marx Orchestra. He was originally nicknamed Chicko. A typesetter accidentally dropped the “k” in his name and it became Chico. It was still pronounced “Chick-oh” although those who were unaware of its origin tended to pronounce it “Cheek-oh”. Radio recordings from the 1940s exist where announcers and fellow actors mispronounce the nickname, but Chico apparently felt it was unnecessary to correct them. Marx was a compulsive womanizer and had a lifelong gambling habit. His favorite gambling pursuits were card games as well as horse racing, dog racing, and various sports betting. His addiction cost him millions of dollars by his own account. Chico’s lifelong gambling addiction compelled him to continue in show business long after his brothers had retired in comfort from their Hollywood income, and in the early 1940s he found himself playing in the same small, cheap halls in which he had begun his career 30 years earlier. Because of his out-of-control gambling, the brothers finally took the money as he earned it and put him on an allowance, on which he stayed until his death. Chico’s last public appearance was in 1960, playing cards on the television show Celebrity Bridge. He and his partner lost the game. Chico Marx was married twice. His first marriage was to Betty Karp in 1917. Their union produced one daughter named Maxine (1918–2009). Chico’s second marriage was to Mary De Vithas. They married in 1958, three years before his death. Chico Marx died of arteriosclerosis on October 11, 1961 at his Hollywood home: he was the eldest brother and the first to pass away. During his lifetime, his year of birth had commonly been given as 1891 instead of the true year of 1887; as a result, obituaries reported his age at the time of his passing as 70 rather than 74. Marx is entombed in a crypt in the Freedom Mausoleum in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Chico’s younger brother Gummo is in a crypt across the hall from him.

Bob Costas turns 60 today. The American sportscaster has been on the air for NBC Sports television since the early 1980s. He has been prime-time host of a record 9 Olympic games. He also occasionally does play-by-play for MLB Network as well as hosting an interview show called Studio 42 with Bob Costas. His sportscasting career started while attending Syracuse University, as an announcer for the Syracuse Blazers minor-league hockey team playing in the Eastern Hockey League and North American Hockey League. Costas began his professional career at KMOX radio in St. Louis, Missouri, where he served as a play-by-play announcer for the Spirits of St. Louis of the American Basketball Association in 1974. He was a prominent contributor to the ABA book Loose Balls: The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association. He is extensively quoted on many topics, and the book includes his reflections of ABA life during his tenure as radio voice of the Spirits of St. Louis. Costas later did play-by-play for Chicago Bulls broadcasts on WGN-TV during the 1979–1980 NBA season. He was also employed by CBS Sports as a regional CBS NFL and CBS NBA announcer from 1976 to 1979, when he moved to NBC. When Costas was first hired by NBC, Don Ohlmeyer, who at the time ran the network’s sports division, told the then 28-year-old Costas that he looked like a 14-year-old. He has been an in-studio host for NBC’s National Football League coverage and a play-by-play man for National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball coverage. Since 2001, he has been the co-host of the Kentucky Derby. Since 1995, Costas has also hosted NBC’s coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament. With the introduction of the NBC Sports Network, Costas also became the host of the new monthly interview program Costas Tonight. He discusses his work on the Olympic telecasts extensively in a book by Andrew Billings entitled Olympic Media: Inside the Biggest Show on Television.

One of his most memorable broadcasts occurred on June 23, 1984 (in what would go down in baseball lore as “The Sandberg Game”). Costas, along with Tony Kubek, was calling the Saturday baseball Game of the Week from Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The game between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in particular was cited for putting Ryne Sandberg (as well as the 1984 Cubs in general, who would go on to make their first postseason appearance since 1945) “on the map.” In the ninth inning, the Cubs trailed 9–8, and faced the premier relief pitcher of the time, Bruce Sutter. Sandberg, then not known for his power, slugged a home run to left field against the Cardinals‘ ace closer. Despite this dramatic act, the Cardinals scored two runs in the top of the tenth. Sandberg came up again in the tenth inning, facing a determined Sutter with one man on base. Sandberg then shocked the national audience by hitting a second home run, even farther into the left field bleachers, to tie the game again. The Cubs went on to win in the 11th inning. Costas said when Sandberg hit that second home run,”Do you believe it?!” The Cardinals’ Willie McGee hit for the cycle in the same game.

While broadcasting Game 4 of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Athletics on NBC, Costas angered many members of the Dodgers (especially the team’s manager, Tommy Lasorda) by commenting before the start of the game that the Dodgers quite possibly were about to put up the weakest-hitting lineup in World Series history. That comment ironically fired up the competitive spirit of the Dodgers, and later (while being interviewed by NBC’s Marv Albert), after the Dodgers had won Game 4 (en route to a 4–1 series victory), Lasorda sarcastically suggested that the MVP of the 1988 World Series should be Bob Costas. Besides calling the 1989 American League Championship Series for NBC, Costas also filled-in for a suddenly ill Vin Scully, who had come down with laryngitis, for Game 2 of the 1989 National League Championship Series. NBC then decided to fly Costas from Toronto to Chicago to substitute for Scully on Thursday night. Afterwards, Costas flew back to Toronto, where he resumed work on the ALCS the next night.

Costas has won eight National Sportcaster of the Year awards from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in 2012. He has also won four Sportscaster of the Year awards from the American Sportscasters Association, and nearly twenty Sports Emmy Awards for outstanding sports announcing. In January 2013 he appeared as himself in Go On episode, “Win at All Costas” with ‘Matthew Perry’, where Ryan King auditions with him for a TV Show.

Today we remember William Denby “Bill” Hanna who passed away March 22, 2001. He was an American animator, director, producer, voice actor, and cartoon artist, whose film and television cartoon characters entertained millions of people for much of the 20th century. When he was a young child, Hanna’s family moved frequently, but they settled in Compton, California, by 1919. There, Hanna became an Eagle Scout. Hanna graduated from Compton High School in 1928. He briefly attended Compton City College but dropped out at the onset of the Great Depression. After working odd jobs in the first months of the Depression, Hanna joined the Harman and Ising animation studio in 1930. During the 1930s, Hanna steadily gained skill and prominence while working on cartoons such as Captain and the Kids. In 1937, while working at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Hanna met Joseph Barbera. The two men began a collaboration that was at first best known for producing Tom and Jerry and live action films. In 1957, they co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio in the business, producing programs such as The Flintstones, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, and Yogi Bear. In 1967, Hanna–Barbera was sold to Taft Broadcasting for $12 million, but Hanna and Barbera remained heads of the company until 1991. At that time, the studio was sold to Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn was merged with Time Warner, owners of Hanna’s first employer Warner Bros., in 1996; Hanna and Barbera stayed on as advisors. Hanna and Barbera won seven Academy Awards and eight Emmy Awards. Their cartoons have become cultural icons, and their cartoon characters have appeared in other media such as films, books, and toys. Hanna–Barbera’s shows had a worldwide audience of over 300 million people in their 1960s heyday, and have been translated into more than 28 languages. Most of the cartoons Hanna and Barbera created revolved around close friendship or partnership; this theme is evident with Tom and Jerry, Yogi Bear and Boo Boo, Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, Ruff and Reddy, The Jetsons family and the friends in Scooby-Doo. Professionally, they balanced each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well, but Hanna and Barbera traveled in completely different social circles. Hanna’s personal friends primarily included other animators; Barbera tended to socialize with Hollywood celebrities. Their division of work roles complemented each other but they rarely talked outside of work since Hanna was interested in the outdoors and Barbera liked beaches, good food and drink. Nevertheless, in their long partnership, in which they worked with over 2000 animated characters, Hanna and Barbera rarely exchanged a cross word. Hanna is considered one of the all-time great animators and on a par with Tex Avery. Hanna and Barbera were also among the first animators to realize the enormous potential of television and successfully adapted to the change it brought to the industry. Leonard Maltin says the Hanna–Barbera team “[may] hold a record for producing consistently superior cartoons using the same characters year after year—without a break or change in routine. Their characters are not only animated superstars, but also a very beloved part of American pop culture” They are often considered as Walt Disney‘s only rivals as cartoonists.

After his death of throat cancer on March 22, 2001, in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, Cartoon Network aired a 20-second segment with black dots tracing Hanna’s portrait with the words “We’ll miss you – Cartoon Network” fading in on the right-hand side.

The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty on March 22, 1621 with Massasoit of the Wampanoags.

The Jamestown massacre occurred March 22, 1622 when Algonquian Indians killed 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony‘s population.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables on March 22, 1630. Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent on March 22, 1638.

Nadir Shah occupied Delhi in India and sacked the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne on this day in 1739.

The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act on this day in 1765 that introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.

The Emerald Buddha was moved with great ceremony on March 22, 1784 to its current location in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

The three protecting powers (United Kingdom, France and Russia) established the borders of Greece on this day in 1829.

On March 22, 1849 the Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara.

On this day in 1871, in North Carolina, William Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.

A law was approved 140 years ago today by the Spanish National Assembly in Puerto Rico to abolish slavery.

The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started on March 22, 1894.

The first Anglo-French rugby union match was played on this day in 1906 at Parc des Princes in Paris.

The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicated the throne on March 22, 1916 and the Republic of China was restored.

The first radio broadcast of ice hockey was made by Foster Hewitt on this day in 1923.

On March 22, 1939, as part of WWII, Germany took Memel from Lithuania. Three years later, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Royal Navy confronts Italy’s Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte. Then in 1943, the entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces.

The Arab League was founded March 22, 1945, when a charter was adopted in Cairo, Egypt.

Closed since 1939, the London bullion market reopened on this day in 1954.

Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes received the first patent for a laser on March 22, 1960.

The United States Congress sent the Equal Rights Amendment to the states on this day in 1972 for ratification. That same day the Eisenstadt v. Baird decision by the United States Supreme Court allowed unmarried persons the right to contraceptives.

A fire at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plan on this day in 1975 in Decatur, Alabama caused a dangerous reduction in cooling water levels.

Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas died thirty-five years ago today after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia, was launched on this day in 1982 from the Kennedy Space Center on its third mission, STS-3.

Teachers at the McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, California were charged on March 22, 1984 with satanic ritual abuse of the children in the school. The charges are later dropped as completely unfounded.

On March 22, 1989, Clint Malarchuk of the Buffalo Sabres suffered a near-fatal injury when another player accidentally slit his throat.

USAir Flight 405 crashed March 22, 1992 shortly after liftoff from New York City’s LaGuaria Airport, leading to a number of studies into the effect that ice has an aircraft.

The Intel Corporation shipped the first Pentium chips twenty years ago today. These featured a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.

Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned to earth on March 22, 1995 after setting a record of 438 days in space.

On March 22, 1997, Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest champion women’s World Figure Skating Champion. That same day the Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to Earth.

Nine years ago, today Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.

On this day in 2006, ETA, the armed Basque separatist group, declared a permanent ceasefire. It was on that same day that three Christian Peacemaker Team hostages were freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days of captivity and the murder of their colleague, American Tom Fox.

raven hill mystery 6dead end

Today we bring you a young adult book.  Today’s highlighted title is #6 in the Raven Hill Mysteries Series, Dead End and is written by Emily Rodda. We have new copies of this paperback in stock.  Appropriate for ages 8 and up, this book is approximately 128 pages long. Amazon gives the following description of the story:

Could a sinister crime spree finally spell the end of the Help-for-Hire gang? Another unpredictable adventure from the internationally bestselling author of Deltora Quest!

Hide your valuables and don’t walk the streets alone. Six young troublemakers are on the loose in Raven Hill. Witnesses say the culprits look surprisingly familiar — just like the Help-for-Hire gang!
If the real Help-for-Hire gang doesn’t figure out who’s trying to set them up, it could mean the end of their friendship forever. And once the kids begin disappearing one by one, Nick discovers that it could mean the end of a whole lot more.


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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