Thursday, March 14, 2013

There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
Ernest Hemingway

Happy Pi day! Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 (or 3/14 in month/day date format), since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. There are many ways of observing Pi Day. These include eating pie and discussing the significance of the number π.

Today, being one month after Valentines day, is a holiday day designed to shower men with gifts they want, steak and an, uh, personal service from their signficant other that we will not be discussing in this family-friendly blog.

In Asian countries today is White Day. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is typically observed by girls and women presenting chocolate gifts (either store-bought or handmade), usually to boys or men, as an expression of love, courtesy, or social obligation. Handmade chocolate is usually preferred by the recipient because of the perception of sincerity, effort, and emotion  put into a home-made confection. On White Day, the reverse happens: men who received a honmei-choco (“chocolate of love”) or giri-choco (“courtesy chocolate”) on Valentine’s Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewellery, white chocolate, white lingerie, and marshmallows. Sometimes the term sanbai gaeshi (literally, “triple the return”) is used to describe the generally recited rule that the return gift should be two to three times the cost of the Valentine’s gift. There are slightly different White Day tradition in other Asian countries. For example, in South Korea, boys or men give candies to girls or women, however, this is mostly between couples and lovers. In China, the tradition is opposite from its Japanese one. On Valentine’s Day, boys or men give chocolate to girls or women and the opposite on the White Day. In Taiwan, the White Day tradition is not as big as in Japan.White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an “answer day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of food, it is Potato chip day and Popcorn Lover‘s day. So have steak for dinner and some popcorn or potato chips for your dessert tonight.

Today is also Learn about Butterflies Day.

Some of the writers born on March 14th include:

Kristjan Jaak Peterson (1801), Théodore de Banville (1823), Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835), Arthur William Edgar O’Shaughnessy (1844), Alexandru Macedonski (1854), Algernon Blackwood (1869), Raymond Aron (1904), Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908), Horton Foote (1916), Max Shulman (1919), Hank Ketcham (1920), Samuel Truett Cathy (1921), Ada Louise Huxtable (1921), Phil Phillips (1931), Bertrand Blier (1939), Yves Boisset (1939), Pam Ayres (1947), Jona Lewie (1947), Michael Stedman (1949), Andrew Robinson (1957), Jean van de Velde (1957), Tad Williams (1957), Kevin Williamson (1965), Jonas Elmer (1966), Kate Maberly (1982),

Charles Ammi Cutter was born on this day in 1837. He is an important figure in the history of American library science. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Cutter was an assistant librarian at Harvard Divinity School while still a student there. After graduation he worked as a librarian at Harvard College. While there he developed a new form of index catalog, using cars instead of published volumes, containing both an author index and a “classed catalog” or a rudimentary form of subject index. Cutter’s most significant contribution to the field of library science was the development of the Cutter Expansive Classification system. This system influenced the development of the Library of Congress. As part of his work on this system, he developed a system of alphabetic tables used to abbreviate authors‘ names and generate unique call numbers. This system of numbers (“Cutter numbers” or “Cutter codes”) is still used today in libraries. He was one of the 100 or so founding members, in 1876, of the American Library Association and is a member of the Library Hall of Fame.
Today is Albert Einstein‘s birthday. The German-born theoretical physicist developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. While best known for his mass—energy equivalence formula E=mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”), he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory. Einstein came to the United States in 1933 and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He became a U.S. citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, with the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell-Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955. He publlished more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intellectual achievements and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius.

Jerry Greenfield turns 62 today. He is an American businessman and philanthropist who co-founded Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc.. In 1978 Greenfield and his friend Ben Cohen opened Ben and Jerry’s Homemade ice cream scoop shop in an old gas station in downtown Burlington, Vermont. The company has since opened almost 200 franchised shops and reports earnings of $237 million annually.

Today we remember Goerge Eastman who passed away at the age of 77 in 1932. He was an American innovator and entrepreneur who founded the Eastman Kodak Company and popularized the use of roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream. Roll film was also the basis for the invention of motion picture film in 1888 by the world’s first film-makers Eadward Muybridge and Louis Le Prince, and a few years later by their followers Léon Bouly, Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers, and Georges Méliès. He was a major philanthropist, establishing the Eastman School of Music, and schools of dentistry and medicine at the University of Rochester and in London; contributing to RIT and the construction of MIT’s second campus on the Charles River; and donating to Tuskegee and Hampton universities. In addition, he provided funds for clinics in London and other European cities to serve low-income residents. In the last few years of his life Eastman suffered with chronic pain and reduced functionality due to a spine illness. On March 14, 1932 Eastman shot himself in the heart, leaving a note which read, “To my friends: my work is done. Why wait?” The George Eastman House, now operated as the International Museum of Photography and Film, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

On this day in 44 B.C. Casca, Cicero and Cassius decided, in the night before the Assassination of Julius Caesar, that Mark Antony should stay alive.

The Battle of Ivry occurred March 14, 1590. Henry of Navarre and the Huguenots defeated the forces of the Catholic League under the Duc de Mayenne during the French Wars of Religion.

Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden signed the Truce of Ulm on this day in 1647 as part of the Thirty Years’ War.

Admiral Sir John Byng was executed Mary 14, 1757 by firing squad aboard HMS Monarch for breach of the Articles of War.

On March 14, 1780, as part of the American Revolutionary War, Spanish forces captured Fort Charlotte in Mobile, Alabama, the last British frontier post capable of threatening New Orleans in Spanish Louisiana.

Emperor Teckle Giyorgis pacified a group of Oromo near Wuchale in the Battle of Wuchale on this day in 1782.

Eli Whitney was granted a patent for the cotton gin on March 14, 1794.

The Mikado, a light opera by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, had its first public performance in London on March 14, 1885.

The Gold Standard Act was ratified March 14, 1900. This placed United States currency on the gold standard. The gold standard is a monetary system where the standard economic unit of account is based on the fixed weight of gold.

The Hay-Herran Treaty was ratified on a hundred and ten years ago today b the United States Senate. The Colombian Senate would later reject the treaty. The treaty granted the United States the right to build the Panama Canal. Also on this day in 1903 the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was established by U.S. President Theordore Roosevelt.

On March 14, 1910, Lakeview Gusher, the largest U.S. oil well gusher near Bakersfield, California, vented to atmosphere. An estimated 9 million barrels (1.4×106 m3) escaped before the gusher was brought under control in September 1911.

During World War I, cornered off the coast of Chile by the Royal Navy after fleeing the Battle of the Falkland Islands, the German light cruiser SMS Dresden was abandoned and scuttled by her crew March 14, 1915.

The El Virilla train accident in Costa Rica occurred March 14, 1926. A train fell off a bridge over the Río Virilla between Heredia and Tibás, 248 were killed and 93 were wounded.

India‘s first talk film, Alam Ara, was released March 14, 1931.

Slovakia declared independence under German pressure on this day in 1939.

Orvan Hess and John Bumstead became the first in the United States to successfully treat a patient using penicillin. The patient’s name was Anne Miller.

The Kraków Ghetto was ‘liquidated’ during World War II on seventy years ago today. Two years later, on March 14, 1945 the R.A.F., as part of WWII, first operational use of the Grand Slam bombing occurred in Bielefeld, Germany.

During the Korean War, United Nations troops captured Seoul for a second time on March 14, 1951.

A jury in Dallas, Texas, found Jack Ruby guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, the assumed assassin of John. F. Kennedy on this day in 1964.

The body of President John F. Kennedy was moved to a permanent burial place at Arlington National Cemetery on March 14, 1967.

Italian publisher and former partisan Giangiacomo Feltrinelli was killed March 14, 1972 by an explosion near Segrate.

The Israeli Defense Force invaded and occupied southern Lebanon, in Operation Litani on March 14, 1978.

In China on this day in 1979 a Hawker Siddeley Triddent crashed into a factory near Beijing. At least 200 people died.

In Poland, a plane crashed on March 14, 1980 during final approach near Warsaw. Eighty seven people died, including a 14-man American boxing team.

On March 14, 1995, Astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American astronaut to ride to space on board a Russian launch vehicle.

The Left Front government of West Bengal sent at least 3,000 police to Nandigram on March 14, 2007 in an attempt to break Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee resistance there. The resulting clash left 14 dead.

On March 14, 2008 a series of riots, protests, and demonstrations erupted in Lhasa and elsewhere in Tibet.

A year ago today the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued its first verdict in the case of Prosecutor vs. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo. At issue was the military use of children. Unanimously, the Trial Chamber, led by Sir Adrian Fulford, found Lubanga guilty of the war crime of conscripting and enlisting children under the age of 15 and using them in his rebel army The Union of Congolese Patriots.

Romeo and Juliet

Today we highlight the much loved classic Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. We have a couple of versions in stock.  This is often a required reading assignment for many students. A brief synopsis of the story:

Tragic tale of star-crossed lovers, feuding families, and timeless passion contains some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful and lyrical love poetry. This inexpensive edition includes the complete, unabridged text with explanatory footnotes. Ideal for classroom use, it is a wonderful addition to the home library of anyone wanting to savor one of literature’s most sublime paeans to young love.

books lovers will understand me

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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One response to “Thursday, March 14, 2013

  1. Pingback: March 23, 2013 | Village Book Shop

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