Friday, March 8, 2013

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

Happy International (Working) Women’s Day!  Are any of our readers Working Women? Tell us about it.

Some of the writers who were born on March 8th include:

Ede Szigligeti (1814), Wilhelm Bleek (1827), João de Deus (1830), Kenneth Grahame (1859), Frederic Goudy (1865), Juana de Ibarbourou (1892), Jacques Baratier (1918), Douglass Wallop (1920), Warren Bennis (1925), John McPhee (1931), Bruno Pizzul (1938), Jim Bouton (1939), Micky Dolenz (1945), Michael S. Hart (1947), Vladimír Mišík (1947), Antonello Venditti (1949), Joellyn Auklandus (1955), Jeffrey Eugenides (1960), Thomas Bezucha (1964), and Shawn Mullins (1968).

Jan Józef Ignacy Łukasiewicz was born on this day in 1822. He was a Polish pharmacist and petroleum industry pioneer who in 1856 built the first oil refinery in the world. Among his other achievements were the discovery of how to distill keorsene from seep oil, the invention of the modern kerosene lamp, the introduction of the first modern street lamp in Europe, and the construction of the first oil well in Poland. Łukasiewicz became a wealthy man and one of the most prominent philanthropists in Galicia. Because of his support for the economical development of the region, a popular saying was coined attributing all paved roads to his guldens.

On this day in 1900 Howard Hathaway Aiken was born. He was a pioneer in computing, being the original conceptual designer behind IBM’s Harvard Mark I computer. Aiken was inspired by Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine. He passed away in 1973.

Richard H. Baer, known as “The Father of Video Games”, celebrates his ninety-first birthday today. He is a German-born American video game pioneer, inventor, and engineer who is noted for his many contributions to games and the video game industry. In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for inventing the home console for video games and spawning the video game industry.

Today we remember Sherwood Anderson who passed away on March 8, 1941 at the age of 64. He was an American novelist and short story writer. His most enduring work is the short story sequence Winesburg, Ohio. Writers he has influenced include Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Thomas Wolfe. It was Anderson’s influence which saw both Faulkner and Hemingway first published.

Ferdowsi completed his epic poem Shāhnāmeh on this day in 1010.

Three hundred and ninety-five years ago today Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion. In astronomy, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion are three scientific laws describing orbital motion, originally formulated to describe the motion of planets around the Sun. Kepler’s laws are:

  1. The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of the two foci.
  2. A line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of time.
  3. The square of the orbital period of a planet is directly proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis of its orbit.

On this day in 1655, John Casor became the first legally-recognized slave in England’s North American colonies. An anonymous writer, thought by some to be Thomas Paine, published “African Slavery in America” on this March 8, 1775. This was the first article in the American colonies calling for the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery.

Regiments from Ansbach and Bayreuth were sent to support Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War on this day in 1777 during a mutiny in the town of Ochsenfurt.

Ninety-six Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity were killed by Pennsylvania militiamen in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians in the Gnadenhütten massacre on March 8, 1782.

The New York Stock Exchange was founded on March 8, 1817.

The iron-clad CSS Virginia (formerly USS Merrimack) was launched March 8, 1862 at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

On this day in 1910 French aviatrix Raymonde de Laroche became the first women to receive a pilot‘s license.

International Women’s Day was launched in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 8, 1911 by Clara Zetkin. She was the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany.

A British force unsuccessfully attempted to relieve the siege of Kut (present-day Iraq) on March 8, 1916 in the Battle of Dujaila during World War I.

International Women’s Day protests in St. Petersburg on this day in 1917 marked the beginning of the February Revolution (so named because it was February on the Julian calendar).

The United States Senate voted on March 8, 1917 to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule.

The Arab Kingdom of Syria, the first modern Arab state to come into existence, was established March 8, 1920.

The Castle Gate mine disaster killed 172 coal miners near Castle Gate, Utah on March 8, 1924.

On this day in 1936 Daytona Beach Road Course held its first oval stock car race.

The Battle of Guadalajara began on March 8, 1937 as part of the Spanish Civil War.

During World War II, on this day in 1942, the Dutch surrendered to Japanese forces on Java.

Mildred Gillars, known as “Axis Sally”, was condemned to prison for treason on March 8, 1949.

Egypt re-opened the Suez Canal on this day in 1957 after the Suez Crisis.

The 1957 Georgia Memorial to Congress, which petitioned the U.S. Congress to declare the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution null and void, was adopted by the U.S. state of Gerogia on March 8, 1957. Also on this day in 1957, Ghana joined the United Nations.

The Ba’ath Party came to power in Syria in a coup d’état by a clique of quasi-leftist Syrian Army officers calling themselves the National Council of the Revolutionary Command fifty years ago today.

On March 8, 1966 a bomb planted by Irish Republicans destroyed Nelson’s Pillar in Dublin.

The Charles de Gaulle Airport opened in Paris, France on March 8, 1974.

The first radio episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, was transmitted on BBC Radio 4 for the first time thirty-five years ago today.

Phillips demonstrated the Compact Disc publicly for the first time on March 8, 1979.

President Ronald Regan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” on thirty years ago today.

On March 8, 1999 the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the murder convictions of Timothy McVeigh for the Oklahoma City bombing.

boy tales of childhood

Today’s highlighted title is Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl. We have New copies of this paperback in stock and ready to ship. This autobiographical book is described by Amazon with the following:

‘Throughout my young days at school and just afterwards a number of things happened to me that I have never forgotten’. “Boy” is a funny, insightful and at times grotesque glimpse into the early life of Roald Dahl, one of the world’s favourite authors. We discover his experiences of the English public school system, the idyllic paradise of summer holidays in Norway, the pleasures (and pains) of the sweetshop, and how it is that he avoided being a Boazer. This is the unadulterated childhood – sad and funny, macabre and delightful – that inspired our most-loved children’s writer.
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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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