Wednesday, March 13, 2013

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki MurakamiNorwegian Wood

Today is Ear Muff Day. According to, “Big-eared Chester Greenwood is the father of the Earmuff. Greenwood patented the “Champion Ear Protector” on March 13, 1877. It later became known as “ear mufflers”, and was eventually shortened to “earmuffs”.”
Today is also Jewel Day. A perfect excuse to give or receive Jewelry.

Today is Good Samaritan Day. This day is used to emphasize the importance of unselfish aid to those who need it. The date was picked as recognition of the anniversary of the killing of Catherine (Kitty) Genovese in New York.

Today is also National Open An Umbrella Indoors day. A wacky holiday, and a good day to test that theory of whether or not it is bad luck to open your umbrella inside.

Some of the writers born March 13th include:

Charles Bonnet (1720), Sir Hugh Walpole (1884), Paul Morand (1888), Janet Flanner (1892), Yeghishe Charents (1897), Jan Lechoń (1899), Giorgos Seferis (1900), Mircea Eliade (1907), L. Ron Hubbard (1911), Sergey Mikhalkov (1913), W. O. Mitchell (1914), Grigory Pomerants (1918), Ellen Raskin (1928), Mike Stoller (1933), Barry Hughart (1934), Neil Sedaka (1939), Mahmoud Darwish (1941), Donella Meadows (1941), André Téchiné (1943), Ridley Pearson (1953), Davor Slamnig (1956), Yuri Andrukhovych (1960), Fito Páez (1963), David Draiman (1973), and Glenn Lewis (1975).

The Battle of Badr, a key battle between Muhammad‘s army – the new followers of Islam and the Quraish of Mecca was fought March 13, 624. The Muslims won this battle, known as the turning point of Islam, which took place in the Hejaz region of western Arabia.

On March 13, 1639, Harvard College was named for clergyman John Harvard.

Uranus was discovered on this day in 1781 by William Herschel.

As part of the American Civil War, on March 13, 1862, the U.S. federal government forbid all Union army officers to return fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation. Three years to the day later the Confederate States of America agreed to the use of African American troops.

San Diego State University was founded on this day in 1897.

As part of the Second Boer War, on March 13, 1900, British forces occupied Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.

Mongolia, under Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg, declared its independence from China on March 13, 1921.

The news of the discovery of Pluto was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory for the first time on the thirteenth of March in 1930.

Banks in the U.S. began to re-open on this day in 1933 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt had mandated a “bank holiday”.

Seventy-five years ago today the World News Roundup was broadcast for the first time on CBS Radio in the United States.

As part of World War II, in Bougainville, Japanese troops ended their assault on American forces at Hill 700 on March 13, 1943. On that same day German forces liquidated the Jewish ghetto in Kraków as part of the Holocaust.

Cuban student revolutionaries stormed the presidential palace in Havana on March 13, 1957 in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.

Lyman Lemnitzer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, delivered a proposal on March 13, 1962 called Operation Northwoods, regarding performing terrorist attacks upon Guantánamo Bay Naval Base, to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The proposal was scraped and President John F. Kennedy removed Lemnitzer from his position.

On March 13, 1964, the American Kitty Genovese was murdered, reportedly in view of neighbors who did nothing to help her. This prompted research into the bystander effect. The bystander effect or Genovese syndrome is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases where individuals do not offer any means of help in an emergency situation to the victim when other people are present. The probability of help has often appeared to be inversely related to the number of bystanders; in other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. The mere presence of other bystanders greatly decreases intervention. In general, this is believed to happen because as the number of bystanders increases, any given bystander is less likely to notice the situation, interpret the incident as a problem, and less likely to assume responsibility for taking action.

Apollo 9 returned safely to earth on March 13, 1969 after testing the Lunar Module.

The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousted Prime Minister Eric Gairy on March 13, 1979 in a nearly bloodless coup d’etat in Grenada.

The Kenilworth Road riot took place at an association football match on tis day in 1985 at Kenilworth Road in Luton, England with disturbances before, during and after an F.A. Cup 6th Round tie between Luton Town F.C. And Millwall F.C..

The Seikan Tunnel opened between Aomori and Hakodate, Japan on March 13, 1988. This is the longest undersea tunnel in the world.

The United States Department of Justice announced on March 13, 1991 that Exxon had agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

On March 13, 1992, an earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale killed over 500 people in Erzincan, eastern Turkey.

The Dunblane massacre occurred March 13, 1996. In Dunblane, Scotland, 16 Primary School children and one teacher were shot dead by a spree killer named Thomas Watt Hamilton who then committed suicide.

India‘s Missionaries of Charity chose Sister Nirmala on March 13, 1997 to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.

The Phoenix lights were seen over Phoenix, Arizona on this day in 1997 by hundreds of people, and by millions on television. The Phoenix Lights were a series of widely sighted unidentified flying objects observed in the skies over Arizona and Neveda in the United States, and Sonora, Mexico on March 13, 1997. Lights of varying descriptions were seen by thousands of people between 19:30 and 22:30 MST, in a space of about 300 miles. There were allegedly two distinct events involved in the incident: a triangular formation of lights seen to pass over the state, and a series of stationary lights seen in the Phoenix area. The United States Air Force identified the second group of lights as flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft that were on training exercises at the Barry Goldwater Range in southwest Arizona. Witnesses claim to have observed a huge carpenter’s square-shaped UFO, containing five spherical lights or possibly light-emitting engines. The lights were reported to have reappeared in 2007 and 2008, but these events were quickly attributed to (respectively) military flares dropped by fighter aircraft at Luke Air Force Base and flares attached to helium balloons released by a civilian.

One decade ago the journal Nature reported that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human had been found in Italy.

On March 13, 2008, Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.

black mirror

Today’s highlighted title is Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin. We have new copies of this mass market paperback available. Amazon has the Publisher’s Weekly review which is as follows:

The snowy prep school setting is the perfect backdrop for Werlin’s (The Killer’s Cousin) chilling and well-constructed mystery. Her narrator is a unique creation, a girl who begins to discover herself as she unravels a huge conspiracy. Frances Leventhal, half Jewish and half Japanese and confused about her identity, comes from a dysfunctional family: her father writes unpublishable science fiction and her mother has entered a Buddhist monastery in Osaka. Attending the elite Pettengill School only because of a scholarship, she has trouble connecting with anyone except a retarded groundskeeper and her art teacher. However, when her brother dies of a heroin overdose, Frances feels compelled to join the charitable organization that he was obsessed with. But something’s not right about Unity Service nor with one of its student leaders, her brother’s girlfriend Saskia, who’s determined to keep her out. Frances’s aptitude for art feels familiar, and her relationship with the groundskeeper, Andy, who’s slow but true and calls her by her full name, is a bit too precious, but readers will empathize with Frances and her sense of alienation and longing. Even as Frances and Andy start to put the pieces together, Werlin continues to take readers through unexpected and exciting turns. Ages 12-up.Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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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