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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