Monday, March 4, 2013

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

Welcome to the first Monday of the new month. Today is National Pound cake day. Will you be having some for dessert? Today is also National Grammar Day.

Some of the writers born on March 4th include:

Lauritz de Thurah (1706), Owen Wynne Jones (1828), Alexandros Papadiamantis (1851), Toru Dutt (1856), Thomas Sturge Moore (1870), Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873), Enrique Larreta (1875), Léon-Paul Fargue (1876), Egbert van Alstyne (1878), Arishima Takeo (1878), Josip Murn Aleksandrov (1879), Bernhard Kellermann (1879), Channing Pollock (1880), Thomas Sigismund Stribling (1881), Emilio Prados (1899), Herbert Biberman (1900), Charles Goren (1901), Jean Joseph Rabearivelo (1901), Russell Reeder (1902), Carrie Best (1903), Meindert DeJong (1906), Fionn MacColla (1906), Christer Boucht (1911), Taos Amrouche (1913), Barbara Newhall Follett (1914), William Alland (1916), Giorgio Bassani (1916), Kurt Dahlmann (1918), Russell Freeburg (1923), Francis King (1923), Samuel Poyntz (1926), Prince Dimitri Romanov (1926), Jacques Dupin (1927), Alan Sillitoe (1928), Wally Bruner (1931), Ryszard Kapuściński (1932), Edward Dębicki (1935), Eric Allendale (1936), William Deverell (1937), Richard B. Wright (1937), David Plante (1940), James Zagel (1941), Gloria Gaither (1942), Lynn Sherr (1942), Lucio Dalla (1943), Ulrich Roski (1944), Tony Allen (1945), Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (1946), David Franzoni (1947), Lindy Chamberlain (1948), Veljko Despot (1948), James Ellroy (1948), Carroll Baker (1949), Cookie Mueller (1949), Barrie Cassidy (1950), Ofelia Medina (1950), Safet Plakalo (1950), Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951), Serge Fiori (1952), Rose Laurens (1953), Geoff Nicholson (1953), Peggy Rathmann (1953), Daniel Woodrell (1953), Mark Chorvinsky (1954), Boris Moiseev (1954), Irina Ratushinskaya (1954), Jim Dwyer (1957), Pius Njawé (1957), Mikko Kuustonen (1960), Stephan Reimertz (1962), Scott Baker (1964), Paolo Virzì (1964), Andrew Collins (1965), Khaled Hosseini (1965), Dav Pilkey (1966), Andrew Osmond (1967), Annie Yi (1969), Katherine Center (1972), Linus of Hollywood (1973), Hawksley Workman (1975), Sam Mraovich (1976), Ron Horsley (1977), Laura Jansen (1977), Rachel Alexandra Mercaldo (1977), Dan Wells (1977), Arash Markazi (1980), Cate Edwards (1982), Raven Quinn (1984), Kimberly Michelle Pate (1986), and Tamzin Merchant (1987).

Theodore Hardeen was born March 4, 1876, known simply as Hardeen, was a Hungarian magician and escape artist, best known as Harry Houdini‘s brother. Hardeen usually introduced himself as the “brother of Houdini.” He was the founder of the Magician’s Guild. It was Hardeen who first conceived of escaping from a straitjacket in full view of the audience—a concept fully used by Houdini and generations of performers since.

Also born on March fourth was Garrett Augustus Morgan, Sr. in 1877. He was an American inventor. His most notable inventions included a type of protective respiratory hood (or gas mask), a traffic signal, and a hair-straightening preparation. He is renowned for a heroic rescue in 1917 at Lake Erie in which he used his hood to save workers trapped in a tunnel system filled with fumes, after other rescue attempts had failed. He is credited as the first African American in Cleveland, Ohio, to own an automobile.

Wilbur Rounding Franks was born March 4, 1901. He was a Canadian scientist, notable as the inventor of the anti-gravity suit or G-suit, and for his work in cancer research. As a cancer researcher at the Banting and Best Medical Research Institute at University of Toronto, Franks developed an idea that resulted in the world’s first anti-gravity suit or G-suit. Franks had noted that his test tubes often broke when subjected to severe centrifugal force. He had solved the problem by first inserting them into larger and stronger liquid-filled bottles. In 1940, the anti gravity suit was developed under the name Franks Flying Suit by Wilbur R. Franks and his colleagues at the Banting and Best Medical Research Institute at the University of Toronto. The suit was made with rubber and water-filled pads. It counteracted the effects of high G forces on aircraft pilots, which otherwise would cause them to black out. These suits were used during World War II and all G-Suits worn by air force pilots as well as astronauts and cosmonauts around the world are based on his original designs.

Ward Kimball was an animator for the Walt Disney Studios who was born on this day in 1914. He was one of Walt Disney’s team of animators known as Disney’s Nine Old Men. Another important figure in the Disney company was also born March fourth. Frank Wells was born in 1932 and was an American businessman who served as President of the Walt Disney Company from 1984 until his death in 1994. He was also a 1953 recipient of the esteemed Rhodes Scholarship, through which he obtained his BA at Oxford University.

On this day in 1493 the explorer Christopher Columbus arrived back in Lisbon, Portugal, aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now The Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.

Hernan Cortes arrived in Mexico on March 4, 1519 in search of the Aztec civilization and their wealth.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of North America (Massachusetts Bay) in the 17th century, in New England, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston. The territory administered by the colony included much of present-day central New England, including portions of the U.S. states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Territory claimed but never administered by the colonial government extended as far west as the Pacific Ocean. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was granted a Royal Charter on March 4, 1628.

On March 4, 1681 Charles II granted a land charter to William Penn for the area that would later become Pennsylvania.

As part of the American Revolutionary War, on March 4, 1776 the Continental Army fortified Dorchester Heights with cannon, leading the British troops to abandon the Siege of Boston.

In New York City, on this day in 1789, the first Congress of the United States met, putting the United States Constitution into effect.

France was divided into 83 départements on March 4, 1790, cutting across the former provinces in an attempt to dislodge regional loyalties based on ownership of land by the nobility.

Vermont was admitted to the U.S. on this day in 1791 as the fourteenth state.

The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress on March 4, 1794.

Americans defeated the British as the Battle of Longwoods on March 4, 1814. The battle was between London, Ontario and Thamesville, near present-day Wardsville, Ontario.

The city of Chicago was incorporated on this day in 1837.

The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the Stars and Bars”) was adopted on March 4, 1861. Exactly four years later the third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America was adopted by the Confederate Congress.

Britain‘s first electric trams began running March 4, 1882 in east London.

The longest bridge in Great Britain, the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland, measuring 1,710 feet long was opened by the Prince of Wales on March 4, 1890. He later became King Edward VII.

Cyclone Mahina swept in north of Cooktown, Queensland, with a 39 foot wave that reached up to 3.1 miles inland on March 4, 1899. It killed over 300 people.

The Collinwood school fire (also known as the Lake View School fire) of Ash Wednesday, March 4, 1908, was one of the deadliest disasters of its type in the United States. 172 students, two teachers and a rescuer were killed in the conflagration in Collinwood, Ohio, a community that has since been absorbed into the city of Cleveland. While the Lake View School was built with load-bearing masonry outer walls, much of the four story building’s floor structure system used wooden joists. It was one wooden joist that caught fire when it was overheated by a steam pipe. The building’s main staircase extended from the front doors of the building, up to the third floor; without benefit of fire doors. The stairwell acted like a chimney, helping to spread the fire quickly. Oiled wooden hall and classroom floors also fueled the fire. Following the fire, the remains of the Lake View School were demolished and a memorial garden planned for the site. A new school—Collinwood Memorial Elementary School—was built adjacent to the disaster site, and incorporated many features that had been lacking in the previous building.

U.S. President William Taft used what became known as a Saxbe fix on this day in 1909 to appoint Philander C. Knox as U.S. Secretary of State. The Saxbe fix, or salary rollback, is a mechanism by which the President of the United States, in appointing a current or former member of the United States Congress whose elected term has not yet expired, can avoid the restriction of the United States Constitution’s Ineligibility Clause. That clause prohibits the President from appointing a current or former member of Congress to a civil office position that was created, or to a civil office position for which the pay and/or benefits (collectively, “emoluments”) were increased, during the term for which that member was elected until the term has expired. The rollback, first implemented by an Act of Congress in 1909, reverts the emoluments of the office to the amount they were when that member began his or her elected term.

Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first female member of the United States House of Representatives on March 4, 1917.

The first case of Spanish flu occurred on this day in 1918 and was the start of a devastating worldwide pandemic.

Ninety-five years ago today the USS Cyclops (AC-4) departed from Barbados and was never seen again, presumably lost with all hands in the Bermuda Triangle.

Frances Perkins became United States Secretary of Labor on this day in 1933. She was the first female member of the United States Cabinet.

The S&P 500 stock market index was introduced on March 4, 1957. It replaced the S&P 90.

People magazine was published for the first time March 4, 1974.

The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention was formally dissolved in Northern Ireland on March 4, 1976. This resulted in direct rule of Northern Ireland from London by the British parliament.

On March 4, 1977, the ’77 Vrancea Earthquake in southern and eastern Europe killed more than 1,500, mostly in the seriously damaged Bucharest in Romania.

The Food and Drug Administration approved a blood test for AIDS on March 4, 1985. This test has been used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States.

On this day in 1986 the Soviet Vega 1 began returning images of Halley’s Comet and the first images of its nucleus.

A derailed train in Weyauwega, Wisconsin on March 4, 1996 caused the emergency evacuation of 2,300 people for sixteen days.

Gay rights were increased fifteen years ago today. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services that federal laws banning on-the-job sexual harrassment also applied when both parties are the same sex.

A massive car bomb exploded in front of the BBC Television Centre in London on March 4, 2001. One person was seriously injured. The attack was attributed to the Real IRA. Real IRA (RIRA), is an Irish republican paramilitary organisation which aims to bring about a united Ireland. It formed in 1997 following a split in the Provisional IRA, which had declared a ceasefire that year. The RIRA sees itself as the only rightful successor to the original Irish Republican Army and styles itself as simply “the Irish Republican Army” in English or Óglaigh na hÉireann (Volunteers of Ireland) in Irish. It is an illegal organisation in Ireland and designated as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and the United States.

In the Estonian parliament election of 2007 on March fourth, approximately 30,000 voters took advantage of electronic voting in Estonia. This was the world’s first nationwide voting where part of the votecasting was allowed in the form of remote electronic voting via the Internet.

On March 4, 2009, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. Al-Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC since its establishment in 2002.

what now ann patchet

Today we bring you What Now? by Ann Patchett. We have New Hardcover copies in stock. This would make a good gift for someone who is moving into a new phase of their life, such as graduating from college. It is around a hundred pages long. Amazon gives the following description:

Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question, What now?

From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett’s own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett writes, “‘What now?’ represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life.” She highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.

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

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