Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Think you know Irn-Bru?  Here are some things you (probably) didn't know by Sean Murphy   As iconic as whisky and as famous as haggis, Scotland’s other national drink is widely enjoyed not just in the land of its birth but also across the globe.  Synonymous with Scottish culture, most Scots claim they couldn’t live without it while others claim it is the best hangover cure around.  The original firm was founded in Falkirk by Robert Barr in 1875, and initially sold ‘aerated waters’, as soft drinks were then called.  Robert’s son Andrew launched the soft drink in 1901 under the name Strachan’s Brew.  The name was originally supposed to be Iron Brew but proposed branding laws forced Barr’s in July 1946 to alter the name as the drink is not actually brewed.  The new ‘Irn-Bru’ trademark was first registered on Thursday 18th July 1946.  Irn-Bru is manufactured in five factories in Russia alone, and has been produced under licence in Canada, the USA and Norway since 2008.  http://foodanddrink.scotsman.com/drink/10-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-irn-bru/

There’s a tiny “flying saucer” orbiting deep within Saturn’s rings, and a NASA probe has just gotten its most impressive look yet at the strange object.  The saucer is actually a little moon called Pan, and NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured its distinctive shape on March 7, 2017  in a stunningly detailed series of images.  When she first saw the new pictures of Pan, Cassini scientist Carolyn Porco thought they might be an artist’s representation.  “They are real!  Science is better than fiction,” she later commented.  Named for the flute-playing Greek god of wild places, 21-mile-wide Pan is what’s called a shepherd moon.  It lives within a gap in Saturn’s A ring, which is the farthest loop of icy particles from the planet.  Pan isn’t alone in its bizarre appearance:  Another small moon, Atlas, bears a similar shape for similar reasons.  Nadia Drake  Read more and see pictures at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/03/saturn-ufo-moon-pan-nasa-cassini-space-science/

Lichens are a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga.  The dominant partner is the fungus, which gives the lichen the majority of its characteristics, from its thallus shape to its fruiting bodies. The alga can be either a green alga or a blue-green alga, otherwise known as cyanobacteria.  Many lichens will have both types of algae.  Read more at https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/beauty/lichens/whatare.shtml

Litmus is a water-soluble mixture of different dyes extracted from lichens.  It is often absorbed onto filter paper to produce one of the oldest forms of pH indicator, used to test materials for acidity.  Litmus was used for the first time about 1300 AD by Spanish alchemist Arnaldus de Villa Nova.  From the 16th century on, the blue dye was extracted from some lichens, especially in the Netherlands.  The main use of litmus is to test whether a solution is acidic or basic.  Wet litmus paper can also be used to test for water-soluble gases that affect acidity or alkalinity; the gas dissolves in the water and the resulting solution colors the litmus paper.  For instance, ammonia gas, which is alkaline, colors the red litmus paper blue.   Read more and see graphics at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litmus

The late New Zealand archaeologist Professor Mike Morwood helped discover skeletal remains of the metre-tall species, known as Hobbit or Flores Hobbit, in a cave on the remote Indonesian island of Flores in 2003.  Since then, researchers have been trying to piece together the story of the intriguing creatures, investigating what it was that brought them to the island--and what caused them to vanish tens of thousands of years ago.  A new study by Australian and US researchers, just published in the Journal of Human Evolution, has now suggested the hobbits were most likely a sister species of Homo habilis, one of the earliest-known species of human found in Africa 1.75 million years ago.   
The most comprehensive study yet on the bones of Homo floresiensis has found that they most likely evolved from an ancestor in Africa and not from Homo erectus, as has been widely believed.  It follows another study http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11653043 published last year by international scientists, including the University of Auckland's Associate Professor Brent Alloway, that used 700,000-year-old remains of what appeared to be the Hobbit's ancestor to confirm them as an entirely separate species, and not simply a deformed forebear of our race today.  Data from the new study concluded there was no evidence for the popular theory that Homo floresiensis evolved from the much larger Homo erectus, the only other early hominid known to have lived in the region with fossils discovered on the Indonesian mainland of Java.  Study leader Dr Debbie Argue, of the Australian National University, said the results should help put to rest a debate that has been hotly contested ever since Homo floresiensis was discovered.  Homo floresiensis is known to have lived on Flores until as recently as 54,000 years ago.  Where previous research had focused mostly on the skull and lower jaw, this study used 133 data points ranging across the skull, jaws, teeth, arms, legs and shoulders.  Jamie Morton  Read more and see graphics at  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11844795

Robert Pirsig, author of the influential 1970s philosophical novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, has died at the age of 88 at his home in Maine.  Published in 1974 after being rejected by more than 100 other publishers, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, was the father-son story of a motorcycle trip across the western United States.  Loosely autobiographical, it also contained flashbacks to a period in which the author was diagnosed as schizophrenic.  The book quickly became a best-seller.  Pirsig said its protagonist “set out to resolve the conflict between classic values that create machinery, such as a motorcycle, and romantic values, such as experiencing the beauty of a country road”.  Born in Minneapolis, Pirsig had a high IQ and graduated high school at the age of 15.  He earned a degree in philosophy and also worked as a technical writer and instructor of English before being hospitalised for mental illness in the early 1960s.  His philosophical thinking and personal experiences during these years, including a 1968 motorcycle trip across the US West with his eldest son, Christopher, formed the core of the narrative of the novel.  Pirsig worked on the sequel, Lila:  An Inquiry into Morals for 17 years before its publication in 1991.  The story traced a sailboat journey taken by two fictitious characters along America’s eastern coast.   https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/25/robert-pirsig-zen-and-the-art-of-motorcycle-maintenance-author-dies-aged-88

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, is launching a new online publication which will aim to fight fake news by pairing professional journalists with an army of volunteer community contributors.  Wikitribune plans to pay for the reporters by raising money from a crowdfunding campaign.  Wales intends to cover general issues, such as US and UK politics, through to specialist science and technology.  Those who donate will become supporters, who in turn will have a say in which subjects and story threads the site focuses on.  And Wales intends that the community of readers will fact-check and subedit published articles.  Like Wikipedia, Wales’s new project will be free to access.  The publication is launching on Tuesday 25 April with a crowdfunding campaign pre-selling monthly “support packages” to fund the initial journalists.  The first issue will follow soon after.  Wales, who sits on the board of Guardian Media Group, the Guardian’s parent company, founded Wikipedia with Larry Sanger in 2001, before donating the entire project to a non-profit organisation, the Wikimedia Foundation, that he set up in 2003.  He remains a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation, and is the president of Wikia, a Wikipedia spin-off that allows communities to make their own collaboratively-edited encyclopaedias on topics ranging from Top Gear to Harry Potter.  Alex Hern   https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/25/wikipedia-founder-jimmy-wales-to-fight-fake-news-with-new-wikitribune-site

http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com  Issue 1698  April 25, 2017  On this date in 1954, the first practical solar cell was publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.  On this date in 1959, the Saint Lawrence Seaway, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opened to shipping.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Author Interview:  Carrie Smith   Q:  What book is a “transformational read” for you?  The one you read (maybe when you were 5 or 10 or 15) that has always stayed with you?  A:  In terms of transformational reads, the first titles that come to my mind are Pride and Prejudice and Great Expectations.  Those probably don’t sound like the titles a crime writer would name, but there it is.  In my “formative” years, I imagined myself becoming a literary writer, not a genre writer (my first novel Forget Harry was definitely in the literary camp).  What I have come to understand is that the best genre writers are literary writers as well.  They bring a depth to the genre that allows them to develop memorable three-dimensional characters.  In the crime genre, P.D. James is the writer who has most influenced me.  I think that her books elevate the mystery genre because her writing is superb and her observations on human behavior are so insightful.  Read the rest of the interview at http://auntagathas.com/aa/2016/01/25/author-interview-carrie-smith/

Calico flower (Aristolochia littoralis) is an evergreen perennial native to Brazil.  Also known as pipevine or Dutchman's pipe because of the shape of the flowers, this vining plant is great for butterfly gardens.  Calico vine climbs and covers chain link and wire structures well, transforming plain structures into a lovely green screen.  Calico flower is a larval host plant for two butterflies, the pipevine swallowtail and polydamus, or tailless, swallowtail.  This plant is also attractive to bees and birds.  The slender, twining stems of this plant grow up to 10-15 feet long and are well-suited to grow up a support structure like a trellis or fence.  This vine sports bright green, heart-shaped leaves that grow up to 3 to 4 inches long.  They grow close together, creating a dense mass of foliage, making this vine ideal for turning an open structure into a green, flowering wall.  Calico flower is quite striking with its bizarre-looking purple and white blossoms.  Nearly 3 inches long and appearing in large numbers along the vines, the tubular flowers are flared at the mouth like a smoking pipe. white veined with purple outside, rich purple-brown marked with white inside, and feature a mottled pattern that resembles calico fabric.  See pictures and read about planting and care at http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/calico.html

Tips from chef Joe DiGregorio  Mise en place (meeze on plass)  Have all utensils and ingredients in reach before beginning a recipe.  Stay sharp  A sharp knife is much safer than a dull knife.  Cut safe  Always keep fingers and thumb tucked in while slicing and dicing.  Use tips of fingers to steady the food.  Use the knuckles as a guide for the knife. 
GMOs and the Future of the American Diet  The American diet is composed almost entirely of processed foods that are made from two plants--corn and soybeans (and canola, if you want your food fried).  Fully 85 percent of feed given to cattle, hogs and chickens is grown from genetically modified crops.  Ways to reduce food you throw out  Rinse fresh greens, drain in colander, wrap in paper towels before returning to plastic bag and putting in refrigerator.  Put stems of fresh herbs in a cup of water.  Keep in refrigerator or on kitchen counter.  Store an apple with potatoes to keep them from sprouting, and keep in cool dry place.  Keep fresh berries dry and refrigerated.  Check often, removing those starting to mold.  For fresh vegetables nearing the end of their life, chop and freeze--or make vegetable stock--or make juice.  University of Delaware Messenger, v. 25,#1 2017

Two Harvard University researchers announced they had found a parchment copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, only the second parchment manuscript copy known to exist besides the one kept in the National Archives in Washington DC.  Professor Danielle Allen and researcher Emily Sneff presented their findings on the document, known as “The Sussex Declaration”, at a conference at Yale on April 21, 2017, and published initial research http://declaration.fas.harvard.edu/resources/sussex-dec online.  Sneff found her first clue of the manuscript in August 2015, while compiling records for a university database.  “I was just looking for copies of the Declaration of Independence in British archives,” Sneff told the Guardian.  But the listing, for the West Sussex record office, struck Sneff as odd because it mentioned parchment, a material suggesting a document made for a special occasion and not simply a broadside copy.  “I reached out to them a bit skeptically,” Sneff said.  “The description was a little vague but once we saw an image and talked to a conservator we started to get excited.”  Before Sneff asked, the British officials had never taken a close look at the manuscript.  They had received it in 1956 from a local man, who worked with a law firm that represented the dukes of Richmond. “The closer we looked at it there were just things that made it a clearly unique and mysterious document,” Sneff said.  Allen and Sneff first tried to deduce when and where the manuscript was made by analyzing handwriting, spelling errors and parchment styles and preparation.  They concluded it dated to the 1780s, and was produced in America, most likely in New York or Philadelphia.  Their next question proved more difficult:  who was the man behind the parchment?  Allen and Sneff believe the leading candidate was James Wilson, a Pennsylvania delegate to the continental congress, one of six men to sign both the declaration and constitution, and, later, one of the original supreme court justices.  The researchers argue that Wilson, who argued vociferously for a popularly-elected president and separation of powers, played a more influential role in American history than most historians have recognized.  The clue that led them to Wilson, Sneff said, was a stark anomaly on the manuscript compared to its counterpart in Washington DC and later copies:  “The names of the signers are all scrambled.”  Unlike previously known copies of the declaration, which have signatures grouped by states, the Sussex copy has its signatures in a patterned jumble.  Sneff and Allen hypothesize that the appearance of randomness was deliberate and symbolic, part of a nationalist argument that the United States was founded by citizens, each created equal, and not by a looser confederation of states.  Wilson drew the researchers’ attention, Sneff said, because of he repeatedly “invoked the declaration but with the understanding that the declaration was signed by one community, one group of individuals, that they were not enumerated by states.”  Alan Yuhas  Read more and see pictures at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/21/declaration-of-independence-sussex-england-rare  See also http://digitalhistory.hsp.org/pafrm/doc/united-states-constitution-second-manuscript-draft-james-wilson-august-1787 and https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/arts/a-new-parchment-declaration-of-independence-surfaces-head-scratching-ensues.html

The U.S. Postal Service on April 21, 2017 celebrated the influence of Central and South America, Mexican and Caribbean foods and flavors on American cuisine with the issuance of new Delicioso Forever stamps during a first-day-of-issue ceremony in conjunction with Salud y Sabor and the National Hispanic Cultural CenterThe Delicioso stamps feature bright and playful illustrations of tamales, flan, sancocho, empanadas, chile relleno, and ceviche. This booklet of 20 stamps includes four of the tamales and flan designs and three of each of the other designs. Though many adaptations of tamales exist throughout North and Central America, the dish typically consists of masa—a starchy dough made from hominy—and various meat or vegetable fillings.  Flan complements the bold flavors found in many of Latin America’s favorite foods.  Sancocho—a hearty, traditional stew—is a culturally significant dish for several Caribbean and Central American countries and their communities in the United States.  Whether sweet or savory, flaky or doughy, fried or baked, the crescent-shaped empanada is a favorite for many.  Chile relleno, meaning “stuffed pepper” in Spanish, is exactly that—a chile pepper filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, rice, beans, or any combination of these ingredients.  Ceviche (or cebiche) is created by adding acidic juices, typically from limes or oranges, to raw fish.  Artist John Parra created each illustration of the Delicioso stamps by applying multiple layers of acrylic paint to his illustration boards, using sandpaper to reveal the hidden layers and give the designs a worn, vintage look.  Through a specialized stencil process, he added the details for each dish to the textured backgrounds.  Parra designed the stamp artwork under the direction of Antonio Alcalá.  https://postalnews.com/blog/2017/04/21/usps-celebrates-latin-american-cuisine-on-forever-stamps/

http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com  Issue 1697  April 24, 2017  On this date in 1792, the French national anthem was composed during the French Revolution by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle, a captain of the engineers and amateur musician.  After France declared war on Austria on April 20, 1792, P.F. Dietrich, the mayor of Strasbourg (where Rouget de Lisle was then quartered), expressed the need for a marching song for the French troops.  “La Marseillaise” was Rouget de Lisle’s response to this call.  Originally entitled “Chant de guerre de l’armée du Rhin” (“War Song of the Army of the Rhine”), the anthem came to be called “La Marseillaise” because of its popularity with volunteer army units from Marseille.  The Convention accepted it as the French national anthem in a decree passed on July 14, 1795.  “La Marseillaise” was banned by Napoleon during the empire and by Louis XVIII on the Second Restoration (1815) because of its Revolutionary associations.  Authorized after the July Revolution of 1830, it was again banned by Napoleon III and not reinstated until 1879.  The original text of “La Marseillaise” had six verses, and a seventh and last verse (not written by Rouget de Lisle) was later added.  Only the first and sixth verses of the anthem are customarily used at public occasions.  https://www.britannica.com/topic/La-Marseillaise  On this date in 1800,   the United States Library of Congress was established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress".

Friday, April 21, 2017

Susanna Salter didn't  put her name on the ballot during the 1887 mayoral election in Argonia, Kansas.  A group of men who wanted to humiliate both her and the causes she allied herself with did it for her.  At issue were two new things that happened in the Quaker town, writes Gil Troy for The Daily Beast:  women’s suffrage and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.  Women had been granted the right to vote in local elections in Kansas four years earlier, he writes.  Voters were shocked to see her name at the top of the ballot, Troy writes—including Salter’s husband Lewis Allison Salter.  Pro-temperance voters rushed to the Salter home, "interrupting Susanna Salter hanging the wash,” he writes.  They proposed turning the prank on itself, and with the help of WCTU members, she was elected with a two-thirds majority.  That made her the first female mayor of a U.S. city.  After winning the election, Salter banned hard cider from the town and served her one-year term (despite mail from across the country either decrying her election or celebrating it).  When she stepped down after her term, more mail accused her of giving up—even though she never intended to be mayor in the first place.  A few years later, the Salter family moved to Oklahoma.  America’s first woman mayor lived to see a lot more change:  she died in 1961 at the age of 101.  Kat Eschner  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/130-years-ago-men-against-womens-suffrage-put-susanna-salters-name-ballot-180962727/

Kilo, mega, giga, tera, peta, exa, zetta are among the list of prefixes used to denote the quantity of something, such as a byte or bit in computing and telecommunications.  Sometimes called prefix multipliers, these prefixes are also used in electronics and physics.  Each multiplier consists of a one-letter abbreviation and the prefix it stands for.  Find table of prefixes and multipliers at http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/definition/Kilo-mega-giga-tera-peta-and-all-that

Word Origin and History for meta-  word- forming element meaning:  1.  "after, behind," 2.  "changed, altered," 3.   "higher, beyond;" from Greek meta (prep.) "in the midst of, in common with, by means of, in pursuit or quest of.  Third sense, "higher than, transcending, overarching, dealing with the most fundamental matters of," is due to misinterpretation of metaphysics as science of that which transcends the physical."  http://www.dictionary.com/browse/meta-

Lessons for Leaders from a book review of The Accidental Admiral by James Stavridis   Speak and write with simplicity and precision, and don’t accept imprecision from those around you.  Casualness in speech and writing can lead to huge disconnects.  This is particularly true with e-mail, which--when you hit Send--becomes etched in stone . . .  Prepare thoroughly for key events.  Make sure you understand which events truly matter.  Don’t let the chaff floating around in the wind distract you from what is really important to your job . . .  Leaders need to look ahead several months or even a year or two at a time; pick out the events that really matter; and spend an enormous amount of time, energy, and resources ensuring that they are fully prepared.   Be your own spokesperson.  When things go wrong, it is much easier to find reasons why you should say nothing than to step up to your responsibilities . . .  Carve out time to think.  Write down your thoughts.  Share them with others whose opinions you respect.  Don’t lunge at the ball.  Too many decisions are made in haste, under pressure, based on emotional reaction, or with incomplete facts.  Take the time to gather the information you need.  Don’t be driven by anyone else’s timeline unless absolutely required (i.e., by law).  Details matter, but think big thoughts.  Balance the time spent on absorbing and understanding details and that spent sitting back from the thicket of the day to day and trying to think through new ideas, concepts, and necessities for your family, your organization, and the nation.  Look at the new law or regulation for yourself.  Don’t rely on summaries or a staff member’s or lawyer’s opinion as to what the law says.  Get it and read it yourself.  Organize yourself.   Don’t turn over personal organization to assistants, no matter how good they are.  Much of the value of getting organized . . .  Carve out time to read.  Take a balanced approach:  fiction, nonfiction, professional journals, and so on.  Make mentorship a priority.  Listen, learn, educate, and lead . . .  Walk around and listen to your team.  And show up early for meetings.  https://logosconsulting.net/leadership-lessons-accidental-admiral-2/

Adm. James Stavridis and his co-author, R. Manning Ancell, have surveyed over two hundred active and retired four-star military officers about their reading habits and favorite books, asking each for a list of titles that strongly influenced their leadership skills and provided them with special insights that helped propel them to success in spite of the many demanding challenges they faced.  The Leader's Bookshelf synthesizes their responses to identify the top fifty books that can help virtually anyone become a better leader.  Each of the works--novels, memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, management publications--are summarized and the key leadership lessons extracted and presented.  Highlighting the value of reading in both a philosophical and a practical sense, The Leader's Bookshelf provides sound advice on how to build an extensive library, lists other books worth reading to improve leadership skills, and analyzes how leaders use what they read to achieve their goals.  Published March 15th 2017 by US Naval Institute Press  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31862791-the-leader-s-bookshelf        

A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is a company or organization that claims to be a higher education institution but which offers illegitimate academic degrees and diplomas for a fee.  These degrees may claim to give credit for relevant life experience, but should not be confused with legitimate prior learning assessment programs.  They may also claim to evaluate work history or require submission of a thesis or dissertation for evaluation to give an appearance of authenticity.  Diploma mills are frequently supported by accreditation mills, set up for the purpose of providing an appearance of authenticity.  The term may also be used pejoratively to describe an accredited institution with low academic admission standards and a low job placement rate.  An individual may or may not be aware that the degree they have obtained is not wholly legitimate.  In either case, legal issues can arise if the qualification is used in résuméshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diploma_mill  See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unaccredited_institutions_of_higher_education

There’s a plant called capparis spinosa.  When the plant creates a bud--this starts every year in the spring--this bud is going to be a flower.  However, if you pick the bud before it becomes a flower, that’s a caper.  In fact, properly we should call it a caper bud; the whole plant is a caper plant and it has various parts, but what we all call a caper is a caper bud.  If you leave the bud on the plant, then a couple of weeks later it opens up and has a flower--a beautiful purple and white flower.  If you let the flower fall off, it's replaced a little bit later in the season by a fruit.  That fruit is called the caper berry.  They usually come in three sizes:  small, medium and large.  The downside with the larger ones is these are closer to springing open and becoming flowers.  They are not quite as tight in texture, they're not quite as firm, they have a flower inside them waiting to break out.  However, they have developed to the most gorgeous flavor.  David Rosengarten   https://www.splendidtable.org/story/you-cook-with-capers-but-do-you-know-what-they-really-are

The University of Delaware’s Special Collections Library has received the largest and most valuable donation in its history.  The Mark Samuels Lasner collection of British literature and art, worth an estimated $10 million, was officially donated to the library in February 2017.  Samuels Lasner, legally blind and sometimes labeled the “foremost blind book collector in the world,” began collecting at a young age.  His collection, built over 40 years, focuses on British literature and art between 1850 and 1900, with a particular emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and writers and illustrators from the 1890s.  In total, the collection includes over 9,500 books, letters, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, and art.  Lasner has long been attracted to association copies.  Notable signatures on items in the collection include those of Oscar Wilde, George Eliot, Charles Darwin, Max Beerbohm, William Morris, Henry James, Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Aubrey Beardsley.  Nearly 1,000 items alone relate to Max Beerbohm.  Nate Pedersen  https://www.finebooksmagazine.com/fine_books_blog/2017/02/mark-samuels-lasner-donates-10m-collection-to-university-of-delaware.phtml

Harry Huskey, a pioneering computer scientist who worked on early computing systems and later helped universities around the world establish computer centers and computer science programs, died on April 9, 2017 at his home in Santa Cruz.  He was 101.  A professor emeritus of computer science at UC Santa Cruz, Huskey began his career teaching mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania.  There, he worked on the famed ENIAC project in the 1940s.  ENIAC was the first large-scale electronic computer, containing 18,000 vacuum tubes, and Huskey was among the last surviving members of the ENIAC team.  In 1947, Huskey spent a year in England, where he worked with Alan Turing on a prototype of Turing's Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) computer.  He joined the staff of the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in 1948 and was responsible for the design and construction of the National Bureau of Standards Western Automatic Computer (SWAC), the fastest computer of its time.  Huskey later served as a consultant to the Bendix Computer Division of Bendix Corporation, where he was primarily responsible for the design of the Bendix G15 computer.  Designed for use by a single person, the G15 has been called the first "personal computer," although it was the size of a refrigerator, with an equally large tape unit for additional storage.  Huskey had a G15 installed in his home in Berkeley in 1955 and later kept it in his Santa Cruz garage before donating it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1988.  Tim Stephens  http://news.ucsc.edu/2017/04/harry-huskey-in-memoriam.html

http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com  Issue 1696  April 21, 2017  On this date in 1960, Brasília, Brazil's capital, was officially inaugurated.  On this date in 1933, Easley Blackwood, Jr., American pianist, composer, and educator, was born.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The March for Science has been scheduled for Saturday, April 22 in Washington, D.C.  A growing constellation of marches are also scheduled for that day in cities across the U.S.  What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community.  The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970.  The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement.  The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy.  In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December.  Brian Kahn

The amaranth family (Amaranthaceae) includes the previously separate family of the beets and spinaches, the Chenopodiaceae.  Amaranth is not related to the Graminae, the real grains.  Compared to other grains amaranth seeds have a much higher content of the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron and of the amino acid Lysine.  Amaranth seeds are also high in potassium, zinc, Vitamin B and E and can contain over 20% protein (depending on the variety).  You can find amaranth grain in health food stores in the form of amaranth flour and the popped seeds as amaranth cereal.  http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/amaranth-plant.html  Find a list of vegetable families, including umbellifers, goosefoot/beetroot and poaceae/grasses at

A drumlin, from the Irish word droimnín ("littlest ridge"), first recorded in 1833, and in the classical sense is an elongated hill in the shape of an inverted spoon or half-buried egg formed by glacial ice acting on underlying unconsolidated till or ground moraine.  Read more and find examples of drumlins in Europe, North America, Asia, South American and Antarctica at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drumlin  See also http://www.landforms.eu/Lothian/drumlin.htm

Known as the world’s secondhand book capital, Hay-on-Wye is home to over 30 used and antiquarian bookshops as well as the internationally acclaimed Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts.  A medieval market town on the English-Welsh border, Hay-on-Wye lies just north of the Black Mountains on the east bank of the River Wye.  Its literary aspirations began in 1961, when eccentric bookseller Richard Booth opened his first secondhand bookshop in town.  Founded in 1987 and described by former US president Bill Clinton as “the Woodstock of the mind,” the Hay Festival is an annual 10-day literary event with workshops, readings, guest speakers, and book signings.  It’s held from late May to early June.  Read more and see wonderful pictures at http://europeupclose.com/article/browsing-hay-on-wye-wales/

paparazzo (pah-puh-RAHT-so) noun  A photographer who follows famous people to take their pictures for publication.  From Paparazzo, the name of a photographer in Federico Fellini’s 1959 film La Dolce Vita.  Fellini got the name via scriptwriter Ennio Flaiano who picked it from the 1901 travel book By the Ionian Sea.  The book mentions a hotel owner named Coriolano Paparazzo.  Fellini claimed at another time that the name Paparazzo suggested to him “a buzzing insect, hovering, darting, stinging”.  Earliest documented use:  1961.  A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

In the March 2017 edition of BookPage, I saw "Feed your TBR!"  Not knowing what that meant, I did a search on Google, and the featured definition was "To Be Real."  Later I found 56 definitions in an acronym finder, and it's probably the second meaning ("To Be Read") in the list.  Doesn't make much sense, however.  http://www.acronymfinder.com/TBR.html

Other paths to "It's raining cats and dogs"  Il pleut des cordes  Literally “It’s raining ropes,” this way of describing a heavy downpour in French evokes the image of rain pouring from rooftops when it literally forms long “ropes” of raindrops stretching to the ground.  The most common English equivalent is probably “It’s raining cats and dogs.”  Il pleut des hallebardes  This is another expression you’ll hear when it’s pouring rain outside.  The literal meaning is “It’s raining halberds” (a halberd being an ax-like weapon that dates back to the 14th century).  The English equivalent of this expression could be “It’s pouring buckets” or “It’s bucketing down” in UK English.  Also keep in mind that the s in des is silent, since hallebardes starts with an aspirated hhttp://www.fluentu.com/french/blog/french-weather-expressions/  Thank you, Muse reader!

From 1897-1968, the Boston Marathon was held on Patriots' Day, April 19, a holiday commemorating the start of the Revolutionary War and recognized only in Massachusetts and Maine.  If the 19th fell on a Sunday, the race was held on the following day.  Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon in 1966.  She did not run with an official number from 1966-1968.  In 1967, Katherine Switzer, did not clearly identify herself as a female on the race application and was issued a bib number.  Marathon officials tried unsuccessfully to physically remove Switzer from the race.  When women were allowed entry in the fall of 1971, Nina Kuscsik's 1972 victory made her the first official female champion of the Boston Marathon.  http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/boston-marathon-history.aspx

April 18, 2017 – Patricia Spears Jones is the eleventh winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize.  Poets & Writers, the New York­­–based service organization for creative writers, annually awards the Jackson Poetry Prize to an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition.  The $50,000 prize is among the most substantial given to an American poet and is designed to provide what all poets need:  time and encouragement to write.  Patricia Spears Jones is a Brooklyn-based African American poet.  Her most recent collection of poems, A Lucent  Fire:  New and Selected Poems, published by White Pine Press in 2015, was a finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s 2016 William Carlos Williams Prize, as well as for the Paterson Poetry Prize.  Her earlier books include Painkiller (Tia Chucha Press, 2010), Femme du Monde (Tia Chucha Press, 2006), and The Weather That Kills (Coffee House Press, 1995).  Previous honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and awards from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Goethe-Institut, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the New York Community Trust.  The Jackson Poetry Prize is endowed by a gift from the Liana Foundation and is named for the John and Susan Jackson family.  There is no application process; poets are nominated by a panel of their peers who remain anonymous.  Previous recipients of the Jackson Poetry Prize are Will Alexander (2016), X. J. Kennedy (2015), Claudia Rankine (2014), Arthur Sze (2013), Henri Cole (2012), James Richardson (2011), Harryette Mullen (2010), Linda Gregg (2009), Tony Hoagland (2008), and Elizabeth Alexander (2007).  Read more at https://www.pw.org/about-us/news-releases/patricia_spears_jones_wins_50000_jackson_poetry_prize

http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com  Issue 1695  April 19, 2017  On this date in 1986, Zhou Mi, Chinese singer-songwriter and actor, was born.  On this date in 1986,  Candace Parker, American basketball player, was born.  Thought for Today  There is a beauty in discovery.  There is mathematics in music, a kinship of science and poetry in the description of nature, and exquisite form in a molecule. - Glenn T. Seaborg, scientist, Nobel laureate (19 Apr 1912-1999)  Word of the Day  syllabub noun  A drink dating back to the 16th century consisting primarily of milk curdled with an alcoholic beverage or some acid such as lemon juice, which is usually then sweetened and spiced.  Also everlasting syllabub or solid syllabub:  dessert pudding derived from the drink.  (figuratively) Something lacking substance; something frothy, insubstantial, or lightweight.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Q.  What is the origin of the phrase "it’s raining cats and dogs?"   A.  We don’t know.  The phrase might have its roots in Norse mythology, medieval superstitions, the obsolete word catadupe (waterfall), or dead animals in the streets of Britain being picked up by storm waters.  The first recorded use of a phrase similar to “raining cats and dogs” was in the 1651 collection of poems Olor Iscanus. British poet Henry Vaughan referred to a roof that was secure against “dogs and cats rained in shower.”  One year later, Richard Brome, an English playwright, wrote in his comedy City Witt, “It shall rain dogs and polecats.”  (Polecats are related to the weasel and were common in Great Britain through the end of the nineteenth century.)  In 1738, Jonathan Swift published his “Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation,” a satire on the conversations of the upper classes.  One of his characters fears that it will “rain cats and dogs.”   Whether Swift coined the phrase or was using a cliché, his satire was likely the beginning of the phrase’s popularity.   Other British writers have employed less popular phrases, such as “it’s raining pitchforks” or “it’s raining stair-rods,” to describe the shaft-like appearance of heavy rains.  Swift also wrote a poem, “City Shower” (1710), that described floods that occurred after heavy rains.  The floods left dead animals in the streets, and   may have led locals to describe the weather as “raining cats and dogs.”  Read more and see delightful pictures at https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/rainingcats.html

Tarmac (short for tarmacadam) is a type of road surfacing material patented by English inventor Edgar Purnell Hooley in 1902.  The term is also used, with varying degrees of correctness, for a variety of other materials, including tar-grouted macadam, bituminous surface treatments, and modern asphalt concrete.  The term is also often used to describe airport aprons (also referred to as "ramps"), taxiways, and runways regardless of the surface.  While the specific tarmac pavement is not common in some countries today, many people use the word to refer to generic paved areas at airports, especially the apron near airport terminals despite the fact that these areas are often made of concrete.  The Wick Airport at Wick in Caithness, Scotland, is one of the few airports that still have real tarmac runways.  Similarly in the UK the word "tarmac" is much more commonly used by the public when referring to asphalt concrete.  Tarmac is a registered trademark although it is frequently written with a lower-case initial letter.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarmac

CLIPPED WORDS  piano (pianoforte) deli (delicatessen) tux (tuxedo) pants (pantaloons) flu (influenza) exam (examination)  Find dozens of examples of shortened words and link to idioms and games at http://all-things-relevant.blogspot.com/2010/12/word-shorteningclipping.html

At Tree House Brewing, The Line For Beer Can Take Hours by Bob Oakes and Yasmin Amer   and Craft beer is big business in Massachusetts.  There are at least 143 brewers in the state right now, according to Beer Advocate’s Andy Crouch, who writes for the Boston-based magazine.  That number is up from around 80 five years ago.  There are two main factors behind the craft beer boom:  a growing passion for variety among beer consumers and a low cost-of-entry barrier for brewers.  Crouch says the long beer lines like the one in front of Tree House are a relatively new phenomenon that started at Midwest breweries, when crowds would show up to celebrate the release of a new beer.  The enthusiasm caught on across the country.  http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/03/29/craft-beer-tree-house

Jean Bellette (occasionally Jean Haefliger;1908–1991) was an Australian artist.  Born in Tasmania, she was educated in Hobart and at Julian Ashton's art school in Sydney, where her teachers included Thea Proctor.  In London she studied under painters Bernard Meninsky and Mark Gertler.  A modernist painter, Bellette was influential in mid-twentieth century Sydney art circles.  She frequently painted scenes influenced by the Greek tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles and the epics of Homer.  The only woman to have won the Sulman Prize more than once, Bellette claimed the accolade in 1942 with For Whom the Bell Tolls, and in 1944 with Iphigenia in Tauris.  She helped found the Blake Prize for Religious Art, and was its inaugural judge.  Read more and see pictures at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Bellette

Q.  Have you heard of the saying you might as well be tried for a lamb rather than a sheep or something like that?  A.  Something like is right.  The standard form is one might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, though you sometimes come across it as one might as well be hanged for a goat as a lamb.  Strictly, it’s a justification or excuse for going on to commit some greater offence once one has perpetrated a minor one.  These days it often suggests that once one has become involved in some affair or incident (not necessarily illegal), one may as well commit oneself entirely.  The origin lies in the brutal history of English law.  At one time, a great many crimes automatically attracted the death penalty: you could be hanged, for example, for stealing goods worth more than a shilling.  Sheep stealing was among these capital crimes.  So if you were going to steal a sheep, you might as well take a full-grown one rather than a lamb, because the penalty was going to be the same either way.  Since the law was reformed in the 1820s to end the death penalty for the crime, the proverb must be older; in fact the earliest example known is from John Ray’s English Proverbs of 1678:  “As good be hang’d for an old sheep as a young lamb”.  http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-one3.htm

Wiktionary:  in for a penny, in for a pound  Etymology:  Originally with reference to the fact that if one owed a penny, one might as well owe a pound, as the penalties for non-payment were virtually identical in severity.  "In for a dime, in for a dollar” is an American version of “in for a penny, in for a pound” (the British pound currency, in a saying that dates to the 1600s).  The saying means that once something has started—even a little—that party is stuck until the end.  The saying was used by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (1916-2009) to describe the Vietnam War.  “In for a dime, in for a dollar” is cited in print from at least 1956 and has been used in gambling (especially poker).  Read more at http://www.barrypopik.com/index.php/new_york_city/entry/in_for_a_dime_in_for_a_dollar

uptalk  verb  (linguistics, intransitive) To speak with a rising intonation at the end of a sentence, as if it were a question; to upspeak.  Wiktionary

The Toledo GROWs program is housed at the Robert J. Anderson Urban Agriculture Center, located at 900 Oneida Street, on a three acre farm in the heart of the city of Toledo.  The site serves as home base for services provided to 125+ community gardens throughout the city and surrounding area.  Services provided to community gardens in the Toledo GROWs network include:  technical expertise in assisting gardeners to plan, build, and maintain their community garden; free seeds and seedlings for each growing season; free loan of tools for large work days at gardens; assistance with recruiting volunteers for large work days; educational opportunities, including workshops and opportunities to learn from the growing efforts at the urban farm; networking with other community gardeners; materials, such as wood, rain barrels, and compost as they become available; and advocating in the community for urban gardening.  The commercial kitchen is steadily taking shape to train youth in preparation and packaging; instruction and certification in safe food handling; and classes for all ages on preparing healthy foods using fresh vegetables grown in the garden.  The kitchen needs $12,000 to get items necessary and get the project through final inspection.  To support these efforts, please contact  Yvonne Dubielak at 419.720.8714 or yvonne.dubielak@toledogarden. org.

Always do your best.  What you plant now, you will harvest later.  Og Mandino, American author (1923-1996)   https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/o/ogmandino164003.html

http://librariansmuse.blogspot.com  Issue 1694  April 18, 2017  On this date in 1906, An earthquake and fire destroyed much of San Francisco, California.  On this date in 1912, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brought 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.