Saturday, June 22, 2013

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
― 
J.D. SalingerThe Catcher in the Rye

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Being the fourth Saturday of June, today is the Great American Campout. Thousands of people across the nation will gather in their backyards, neighborhoods, communities and parks to take part in a one-night FREE event that will provide an experience for all generations to connect with nature. The positive effects of daily, unstructured time outdoors on kids’ health are well-documented and wide-ranging. Families and friends are encouraged to Be Out There™ in order to give back to American children what they don’t even know they’ve lost—their connection to the natural world. Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, an environmental organization founded in 1935, this event aims to reconnect kids with nature so as to instill a lifetime appreciation for the outdoors. “Why camp?”, you may ask. Plainly stated, camping is fun! As kids, we have fond memories of sleepovers at our friends’ houses. But some of us also remember great nights spent under the stars, roasting marshmallows and telling stories around a campfire – cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Camping is an American tradition dating as far back as 1861, at the beginning of the Civil War, when Gunnery Camp was first established in Connecticut. Like the modern-day Great American Campout, it sought to encourage hiking, spending time outdoors and exploration of the natural world. And since then, camping has become a familiar part of the American landscape. The camping experience can also nurture and strengthen bonds between families or friends. The purpose of the Great American Backyard Campout, is simply encourage folks to turn off the TV, shut down the computer and put aside the cell phone. Instead, set up that tent and pull out those sleeping bags along with fellow family members or friends. Gain hands-on experience by challenging yourself to learn some outdoor skills, such as basic first aid or how to start a campfire, which will prove useful for future trips. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and build confidence each time you learn a new task. It is especially important for kids now because, for the first time in our country’s history, we have an entire generation that is growing up disconnected from nature. Spending time outdoors, like Campout, makes kids happier and healthier. The National Wildlife Federation provides everything you need to head out into the great outdoors. The Campout website has packing lists, recipes, nocturnal wildlifeguides, exploration activities, nature games, fundraising prizes, directory of Campouts by state to search for large groups to join, and more. Collecting donations for the Great American Backyard Campout is encouraged but not required; donations support programs to make outdoor time a priority for today’s youth.

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Today is the Polar Bear Swim, an annual tradition. In Alaska, since 1975, on the red sand beaches, more than 100 intrepid swimmers have plunged into the frigid Bering Sea on this day. The swim may be rescheduled if the ocean ice hasn’t sufficiently broken up.

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Ok ladies, listen up. Chances are pretty good you’ll be able to relate to this unusual “holiday.” June 22nd is Stupid Guy Thing Day! While the origins of this annual “holiday” are unknown, one can only wonder who “invented” it and why! But let’s be honest. We’ve all done stupid things in our lives regardless of age, race or gender. Really embarrassing, humiliating and downright stupid things, right? But no matter how hard we try, many of us gals just can’t figure out why some guys do the things they do. It’s almost like men and women really are from two entirely different planets! One way to celebrate would be to read the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. After you’ve gone through it with a fine-tooth comb, highlight all the important things he should know, wrap it up and give it to him as a gift. Despite the silly things he may have done in the past, just remember all the good things he’s brought to your life and why it is you love him. And, as far as I know, there isn’t a ‘Stupid Girl Thing Day’ or anything of the sort. You don’t have to celebrate per se, but you can take the satisfaction, that the world recognises that guys do some pretty dumb stuff, so much so, that we take a day out of the year, to sit back and think “Guys really can be stupid, can’t they?” Please don’t blame the messenger. The folks at Wellcat, a rich source of off-beat holidays has declared June 22 as Stupid Guy Thing Day. “Women are always talking about [it], so here’s a day to commemorate it,” according to Wellcat. Apparently aren’t aware of a guy’s ability to celebrate his own stupid moves.

It’s National Chocolate Eclair Day! Chocolate Eclair is a sugary, sweet way to start your day. It’s a sweet, tasty way to end your day, too. Eclairs are a light, crisp pastry filled with a pastry cream. They are most often eaten as a dessert. They can be eaten at every meal, or as a snack. The eclair is a choux pastry, which creates a hollow center when baked. The interior is filled with a vanilla pudding-like substance and a thick layer of chocolate coats the top of the top. Eclairs originated in France. Did you know that “éclair” is the French word for lightning? It may have gotten its name from the “flash” of frosting that glistens across its top, though the direct connection between lightning and this delicious French pastry is unclear. The eclair has been a favorite treat since its creation in the 1860s, and it will undoubtedly continue to be a bakery shop staple for a long time. With its flaky dough and sweet, creamy filling, this dessert has become a global favorite. When baking the perfect chocolate éclair, sufficient steam is essential to the construction of the inner cavern that will be filled with vanilla cream. Pate a choux- the dough that becomes the outside of the éclair- is the ideal medium for generating that steam. No one knows who invented the éclair although gastronomic researchers suspect royal pastry chef Antonin Careme who lived from 1784 to 1833 may have had a hand in developing them. By 1884, chocolate éclairs had found their way into an American cookbook, their first identifiable appearance in this country.

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The United States Department of Justice was created by the U.S. Congress on this day in 1870.

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U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 on June 22, 1944. This is commonly known as the G.I. Bill.

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The Cuyahoga River is located in Northeast Ohio. Outside of Ohio, the river is most famous for being “the river that caught fire”. It did so on this day in 1969. This helped to spur the environmental movement in the late 1960s. Native Americans called this winding water “Cuyahoga,” which means ‘crooked river’ in an Iroquoian language. The Cuyahoga River at one time was one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. The reach from Akron to Cleveland was devoid of fish. At least 13 fires have been reported on the Cuyahoga River, the first occurring in 1868. The largest river fire in 1952 caused over $1 million in damage to boats and a riverfront office building. Fires erupted on the river several times between the 1952 fire and June 22, 1969, but a river fire that day captured the attention of Time magazine, which described the Cuyahoga as the river that “oozes rather than flows” and in which a person “does not drown but decays”. The fire did eventually spark major changes as well as the article from TIME, but in the immediate aftermath very little attention was given to the incident. Furthermore, the conflagration that sparked TIME’s outrage was in June 1969, but the pictures they displayed on the cover and as part of the article were from the much more dangerous 1952 fire. No pictures from the 1969 fire are known to exist. The 1969 Cuyahoga River fire helped spur an avalanche of water pollution control activities, resulting in the Clean Water Act, Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and the creation of the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA). As a result, large point sources of pollution on the Cuyahoga have received significant attention from the OEPA in recent decades. These events are referred to in Randy Newman’s 1972 song “Burn On”, R.E.M.’s 1986 song “Cuyahoga”, and Adam Again’s 1992 song “River on Fire”.

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Some of the writers born June 22nd include:

Jacques Delille (1738), H. Rider Haggard (1856), William McDougall (1871), Edmund A. Chester (1897), Erich Maria Remarque (1898), Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906), Sándor Weöres (1913), Géza Vermes (1922), Abbas Kiarostami (1940), Esther Rantzen (1940), Ed Bradley (1941), Brit Hume (1943), Octavia Butler (1947), Elizabeth Warren (1949), Danny Baker (1957), Wayne Federman (1959), Dan Brown (1964), Kambri Crews (1971), and Jai Rodriquez (1978).

Hitting Secrets of the Pros

Today’s deal of the day is Hitting Secrets of the Pros : Big League Sluggers Reveal The Tricks of Their Trade by Wayne Stewart. We have one new copy of this paperback available. This is the first book of its kind to approach the art of hitting from an anecdotal prospective. It gives the reader a great insight and instruction through interviews and historical research. A long list of big-league batters share their know-how here.

 

From the Back Cover

Get inside the minds of baseball’s best, past and present, for a behind-the-scenes look at how hitters think–and what they do to stay great at the plate.

“The secret of hitting is physical relaxation, mental concentration–and don’t hit the fly ball to center.”
–Stan Musial

Hitting, according to the immortal Ted Williams, is a science. But few would call it an exact science, and many would say it’s an art. Indeed, each player’s swing is his own unique creation. Whether it’s Ty Cobb’s unconventional grip or Stan Musial’s peek-a-boo batting stance, Tony Batista’s open stance or Ichiro Suzuki’s versatile approach at the plate, the art of hitting is hard to master–and those who do it well wisely guard their secrets of success. Until now.

In Hitting Secrets of the Pros, longtime baseball writer Wayne Stewart takes you beyond the basics and into the creative minds of the artists themselves, including Nomar Garciaparra, Reggie Jackson, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, and many more. Through exclusive interviews, humorous anecdotes, and historical research, this unusual how-to book will provide you with keen insight and one-on-one instruction as big-leaguers reveal their secrets on:

  • Styles and stances

  • Preparations and routines

  • Attitudes and adjustments

  • Making the most out of practice

  • The latest enhancement technologies

  • The best batting equipment

  • And everything else you need to gain a competitive edge at the plate

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Disclaimer:

Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia, Amazon, and other sources such as holidayinsights.com, which are directly linked to within the text. Images have been taken from various sources found via Facebook, Goodsearch.com and Google.
Village Book Shop and the blogger claim no credit for the information above.

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