Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” 
― Neil GaimanCoraline

Happy Easter! Hope you have enjoyed your holiday with your family so far. Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. This is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a 40 day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it is not fixed in relation to the civil calendar. The First Council of Nicaea established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the the full moon following the March equinox. Easter is linked to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar. Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting, clipping the church and decorating Easter eggs, a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs. Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades, which are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians. To Christians, it is the most special day of the year. The resurrection offers the hope of everlasting life to everyone.

Today is Bunsen Burner Day which celebrates the birthday of its creator. German chemist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard von Bunson was born March 31, 1811. You probably used one of these in science class. The Bunsen Burner is a long, hollow tube. Gas and air are combined to create a hot flame. The burner is used in a wide range of scientific and laboratory projects.

March 31st is “She’s Funny That Way” Day. How do the women in your life make you laugh? It is suggested that you pay tribute to the female funny bone today by making a list of the top five things your favorite funny ladies do to make you laugh.

Today is Clam on the Half Shell Day. The objective of the day is, of course, to enjoy clams on the half shell. Don’t hide in your shell today. Don’t clam up. Get out and celebrate this special day!

Cesar Chavez Day is an official state holiday in the U.S. states of California, Colorado and Texas. The day is commemorated to promote service to the community in honor of Cesar Chavez’s life and work. Many, but not all, state government offices, community colleges, and libraries are closed. Many public schools in the state are also closed. Texas also recognizes the day, and it is an optional holiday in Arizona and Colorado. Although it is not a federal holiday, President Barack Obama proclaims March 31 as Cesar Chavez Day in the United States, with Americans being urged to “observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez’s enduring legacy.”  In addition, there are celebrations in his honor in Arizona, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Mexico and has been observed in California since 1995, in Texas since 2000 and in Colorado since 2003 as state holidays (optional in Texas and Colorado).

Some of the writer’s born March 31st includes:

René Descartes (1596), Andrew Marvell (1621), Edward FitzGerald (1809), Nikolai Gogol (1809), Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823), Borisav Stanković (1876), Herbert Meinhard Mühlpfordt (1893), Vardis Fisher (1895), William Lederer (1912), Octavio Paz (1914), Albert Hourani (1915), Leo Buscaglia (1924), John Fowles (1926), Lefty Frizzell (1928), John Jakes (1932), Nichita Stănescu (1933), John D. Loudermilk (1934), Judith Rossner (1935), Marge Piercy (1936), Israel Horovitz (1939), Pascal Danel (1944), Valerie Curtin (1945), Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1947), David Eisenhower (1948), Al Gore (1948), Markus Hediger (1959), Brad Slaight (1964), Steven T. Seagle (1965), Kate Micucci (1980), Ryan Bingham (1981), Lennon Murphy (1982), and Jack Antonoff (1984).

Today we remember Charlotte Brontë who passed away March 31, 1855. The English novelest and poet was the eldest of the three Brontë sisters who survived into adulthood, whose novels are English literature standards. In May 1846 Charlotte, Emily and Anne self-financed the publication of a joint collection of poetry under their assumed names Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. The pseudonyms veiled the sisters’ gender whilst preserving their initials, thus Charlotte was “Currer Bell”. “Bell” was the middle name of Haworth’s curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, whom Charlotte married. In view of her novels’ success, particularly Jane Eyre, Charlotte was persuaded by her publisher to visit London occasionally, where she revealed her true identity and began to move in more exalted social circles, becoming friends with Harriet Martineau and Elizabeth Gaskell, and acquainted with William Makepeace Thackeray and G. H. Lewes.

The Eiffel Tower officially opened March 31, 1889.

One hundred ten years ago today Richard Pearse allegedly made a powered flight in an early aircraft. It is claimed Pearse flew and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on this day in 1904, some nine months before the Wright brothers flew their aircraft. The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, and Pearse did not develop his aircraft to the same degree as the Wright brothers, who achieved sustained controlled flight. Pearse himself never made such claims, and in an interview he gave to the Timaru Post in 1909 only claimed he did not “attempt anything practical…until 1904”. Pearse himself was not a publicity-seeker and also occasionally made contradictory statements, which for many years led some of the few who knew of his feats to offer 1904 as the date of his first flight. The lack of any chance of industrial development, such as spurred the Wrights to develop their machine, seems to have suppressed any recognition of Pearse’s achievements.

The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (later called the National Collegiate Athletic Association) was established on March 31, 1906 to set rules for college sports in the United States.

Construction of the ill fated RMS Titanic began on this day in 1909.

The United States took possession of the Danish West Indies on March 31, 1917, after paying $25 million to Denmark. The territory was renamed as the United States Virgin Islands.

Daylight saving time went into effect in the United States for the first time ninety-five years ago today.

The Motion Pictures Production Code was instituted March 31, 1930. It imposed strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film, in the U.S., for the next thirty eight years.

TWA Flight 599 crashed on this day in 1931 near Bazaar, Kansas. Eight people were killed including Knute Rockne, head football coach at the University of Notre Dame.

The Civilian Conservation Corps were established eighty years ago today with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment in the United States.

Remington Rand delivered the first UNIVAC I computer to the United States Census Bureau on March 31, 1951.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the border into India on March 31, 1959 and was granted political asylum.

The Soviet Union launched Luna 10 on March 31, 1966 which later became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon.

Nine terrorists from the Japanese Red Army hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 351 at Tokyo International Airport on this day in 1970, wielding samurai swords and carrying a bomb. That same day Explorer 1 re-entered the Earth‘s atmosphere after 12 years in orbit.

The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad operated its final train March 31, 1980, after being ordered to liquidate its assets because of bankruptcy and debts owed to creditors.

The first WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event from the WWE (then the WWF), took place in Madison Square Garden on March 31, 1985 in New York.

The USS Missouri, the last active United States Navy battleship, was decommissioned in Long Beach, California on this day in 1992.

The journal Nature reported on March 31, 1994 the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.

On March 31, 1995, the singer known as Selena was murdered by her friend and employee of her boutiquesYolanda Saldívar who was embezzling money from the establishments. The event was named “Black Friday” by Hispanics. The reaction to Selena’s murder was compared to those following the deaths of John Lennon and Elvis Presley. Her funeral drew 60,000 mourners, while numerous tributes and memorials were held throughout the United States and Spanish-speaking countries. Selena’s story had been documented on biographical shows, series and talk shows worldwide, and her murder boosted her popularity. She became a household name in the United States, more popular in death than in life. The posthumous album Dreaming of You (1995), a crossover attempt, helped Selena become that year’s second-fastest selling female artist (behind Janet Jackson). She was honored by two life-sized statues: one in Corpus Christi, Texas (Mirador de la Flor) and the other in Apodaca, Nuevo León. In 1997 Warner Bros. produced Selena, an eponymous biographical film which elevated Jennifer Lopez to fame. Two years later, the story of Selena inspired a Broadway musical starring Veronica Vasquez. In 2005 Selena ¡VIVE!, a tribute concert, was held a week after the 10th anniversary of her murder. The concert was aired live on Univision, and was the most-watched Spanishlanguage show in the history of American television.

On this day in 2004, as part of the Iraq War in Anbar Province, 4 American private military contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, working for Blackwater USA were killed after being ambushed.

the night the white deer died

Today we bring you The Night the White Deer Died by Gary Paulsen. We have Like New copies in stock. Amazon gives the following book description:

An Indian brave stands poised to shoot a white deer drinking from a pool of water in the moonlight. It is only a dream—a recurring nightmare that haunts 15-year-old Janet Carson—but it is a dream that will change her life forever.
Janet, one of the few Anglo teens in the New Mexico art colony where she lives with her mother, feels isolated and alone. For some reason, she is drawn to Billy Honcho, an old, alcoholic Indian who begs for money from her. As they get to know each other, the meaning of Janet’s nightmare grows clear, and Billy becomes the brave in her dream.

wrecked these eyes reading

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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