Friday, June 22, 2018

Tomfoolery often turns up in print as Tom foolery or tom-foolery or Tom-foolery.  It is sometimes claimed that the original Tom Fool was Thomas Skelton.  He was a jester, a fool, for the Pennington family at Muncaster Castle in Cumbria.  This was probably about 1600—he is said to be the model for the jester in Shakespeare’s King Lear of 1606.  He starts appearing in the historical record early in the 1300s in the Latinate form Thomas fatuus.  The first part served even then as a generic term for any ordinary person, as it still does in phrases like Tom, Dick or Harry.  The second word means stupid or foolish in Latin and has bequeathed us fatuous and infatuate, among other words.  By 1356 Thomas fatuus had become Tom Fool.  Around the seventeenth century, the character of Tom Fool shifted somewhat from the epitome of a stupid or half-witted person to that of a fool or buffoon.  He became a character who accompanied morris-dancers or formed part of the cast of various British mummers’ plays performed at Christmas, Easter or All Souls’ Day.  tom-fool was more emphatically foolish than an unadorned fool.  Tomfoolery was similarly worse than foolery, the state of acting foolishly, which had been in English since the sixteenth century.  Perhaps oddly, it took until about 1800 for tomfoolery to appear.  It had been preceded by the verb to tom-fool, to play the fool.

The praline (originally "prasline", pronounced "prah-leen") is believed to have been named after the French diplomat and sugar industrialist "Marèchal du Plessis-Praslin (1598-1675), whose cook, Clement Lassagne reportedly invented pralines at the Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte.  The cook, after retiring, established the "Maison de la Praline", a confectioner's shop that still exists today in Montargis, France, approximately 110 km south of Paris.  Pralines are confections made chiefly from nuts and sugar.  In France, almonds are individually coated in delicately caramelized sugar.  The French pralines found their way to New Orleans in the 1800's.

The rules of 7-on-7 football are simple:  Games are 20 minutes, with seven players on each side of the ball, starting at each team’s 40-yard line.  There is no tackling, there are no linemen, and players dress in skintight shirts and shorts with soft-shell headgear.  Quarterbacks have only four seconds to throw to a receiver, while defenders match up with pass-catchers in coverage, putting each athlete to the test in one-on-one scenarios.  The varying opinions on 7-on-7, however, are more complicated, with critics—often while making the AAU comparison—primarily pointing to two factors as being problematic:  a “me-first” culture that promotes individual players far more than high school football’s traditional team-first approach, and an increased influence of some 7-on-7 coaches in the college recruitment of top players.  Another factor that raises eyebrows is the involvement of apparel companies.  Adidas, Under Armour and Battle provide equipment to select teams, while Adidas runs some of its own events, such as the Adidas 7-on-7 National Championships.  But many say the comparison of apparel companies’ role in 7-on-7 to that in AAU basketball, which has been scrutinized amid the FBI’s investigation, is unfair.  Samantha Pell  Read much more and see pictures at  See also OFFICIAL USA FOOTBALL 7ON7 RULES at

Escape of the invasives:  Top six invasive plant species in the United States by Emily Grebenstein   Non-native plant species pose a significant threat to the natural ecosystems of the United States.  Many of these invasive plants are escapees from gardens and landscapes where they were originally planted.  Purchased at local nurseries, wholesale suppliers and elsewhere, these plants have the potential of taking over large areas, affecting native plants and animals and negatively changing the ecosystem.  In recent years an increase in travel and international trade has rapidly introduced many new non-native species to the United States.  “While not all non-native plants are bad, some imported species are bullies that crowd out native plants and damage the diverse ecosystems that many living things depend on,” said James Gagliardi, a horticulturist with Smithsonian Gardens.  Plants with the highest invasive potential are prolific seeders and vigorous growers which have the ability to adapt well to a variety of conditions.  Native species have not evolved alongside these plants and have trouble competing.  With few predators and little competition for resources, these new plants can displace native flora, reducing plant diversity until a landscape is no longer able  to support longstanding native plant, animal, and insect communities.  Here is James Gagliardi’s top six list of the most prolific plant invaders in the U.S.  1.  Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)  2.  Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)  3.  Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)  4.  Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)  5.  English Ivy (Hedera helix)  6.  Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)  See article at to find suggestions for native stand-ins to plant in your garden.  See also

Beef Stew with Red Wine & Carrots (Daube de Boeuf aux Carottes) by Molly Stevens  Very simply, a daube (pronounced dohb) is a red-wine-based beef or lamb stew.  This type of dish has countless flavor permutations, of course, but the most famous (and my favorite) is the Provençal daube, seasoned with local herbs and a bit of orange zest.  The orange was originally the bitter Seville orange, but you can make a fine daube with a few strips of navel orange (add a strip of lemon, too, if you want to sharpen the flavor).  Find recipe serving six at

The American Solar Challenge is governed by the Innovators Educational Foundation.  Originally called Sunrayce USA, the first race was organized and sponsored by General Motors in 1990 in an effort to promote automotive engineering and solar energy among college students.  At the time, GM had just won the inaugural World Solar Challenge in Australia in 1987; rather than continue actively racing, it instead opted to sponsor collegiate events.  Subsequent races were held in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999 under the name Sunrayce [year] (e.g. Sunrayce 93).  In 2001, the race was renamed American Solar Challenge and was sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Beginning in 2005, its name changed again to North American Solar Challenge, in order to reflect the border crossing into Canada and the addition of co-sponsor Natural Resources Canada.  The name was changed back to ASC in 2010.  After the 2005 race, the U.S. Department of Energy discontinued its sponsorship, resulting in no scheduled race for 2007.  Sponsorship was taken over for NASC 2008 by Toyota.  The 2018 American Solar Challenge will be the first to include a Cruiser Class, featuring more practical multi-occupant Solar Vehicles.  The event will run 9 days from OmahaNebraska to BendOregon.

To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is.  Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there's more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. - Norman Mailer, author (31 Jan 1923-2007)

More than 900 new words, senses, and subentries have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in our latest update, including binge-watchimpostor syndrome, and silent generation.   Coinciding with the 90th anniversary of the publication of The House at Pooh Corner, several words from Winnie-the-Pooh have also been added to the OED in this update.  Read more about this here.  This update also sees the addition of a number of Manx English words, such as joughtholtan, and buggane.   Find out more about the Manx dialect in this article by Senior Assistant Editor Kelvin Corlett, and read more about the Manx English pronunciation model that has also been added.  View the full list of words added in this update.   The OED publishes four updates a year. The next update will be added to the dictionary in September 2018.  Issue 1907  June 22, 2018  Thought for Today  The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, writer (22 Jun 1906-2001)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Gen is ultimately from a Greek root (the same as in genesis, homogeneous, and oxygen).  The literal meaning is closer to “to be born” or “to become,” but modern usage shifts that slightly to “causing” or “giving birth to.”  It was first used in the context of chemistry in the late 1700s and has since spread to many scientific fields.  You’re probably familiar with at least a few other words that use a similar -gen form (often as -ogen or -agen).  carcinogen (1853) is a substance that causes cancer.  mutagen(1946) is something that causes mutations.  pathogen (1880) causes disease.  Counting obesogen (2006) / obesogenic (1983), two of these pairs evolved in one direction, one in the other, and one pair arrived together.  One of the characteristics that marks a language as a “living language” is that its users continually create new words.  English has no trouble qualifying by that criteria: the Oxford English Dictionary adds well over 1,000 words to its catalog every year, while some sources have estimated that more than 5,000 new words are created annually.  A great, short article on how new words come into existence can be found at  Christopher Daly

Les Deux Magots (lay du Mahgo) is a famous café in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area of Paris, France.  It once had a reputation as the rendezvous of the literary and intellectual élite of the city.  It is now a popular tourist destination.  Its historical reputation is derived from the patronage of Surrealist artists, intellectuals such as Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, and young writers, such as Ernest Hemingway.  Other patrons included Albert Camus and Pablo Picasso.  The Deux Magots literary prize has been awarded to a French novel every year since 1933.  The name originally belonged to a fabric and novelty shop at nearby 23 Rue de Buci.  The shop sold silk lingerie and took its name from a popular play of the moment (1800s) entitled Les Deux Magots de la Chine (Two Figurines from China.)   In 1873 the business transferred to its current location in the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés.  In 1884 the business changed to a café and liquoriste, keeping the name.  See more with pictures at:  Find a list of winners for The Prix des Deux Magots is a major French literary prize, presented to new works, and generally awarded to works that are more off-beat and less conventional than those that receive the more mainstream Prix Goncourt.

The Café Procope, in rue de l'Ancienne Comédie6th arrondissement, is called the oldest restaurant of Paris in continuous operation.  It was opened in 1686  by the Sicilian chef Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli, with a slyly subversive name adopted from the historian Procopius, whose Secret History, the Anekdota, long known of, had been discovered in the Vatican Library and published for the first time ever in 1623:  it told the scandals of Emperor Justinian, his consort and his court.  The Café Procope, in the street then known as rue des Fossés-Saint-Germain-des-Prés, started as a café where gentlemen of fashion might drink coffee, the exotic beverage that had previously been served in taverns, or eat a sorbet, served up in porcelain cups by waiters in exotic "Armenian" garb.  Throughout the 18th century, the brasserie Procope was the meeting place of the intellectual establishment, and of the nouvellistes of the scandal-gossip trade, whose remarks at Procope were repeated in the police reports.  Not all the Encyclopédistes drank forty cups of coffee a day like Voltaire, who mixed his with chocolate, but they all met at Procope, as did Benjamin FranklinJohn Paul Jones and Thomas Jefferson.  Read more and see pictures at  Thank you, Muse reader!

Toledo native, UT graduate and retired Sylvania School teacher Alan Thompson completed a 12,000 mile bicycle journey along the perimeter of the United States for charity.  Come to the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and hear his story.  An avid cyclist and humanitarian, Alan Thompson raised more than $32,000 for Habitat for Humanity and Save the Children on his journey.  He'll bring his bike as well as the trailer he pulled on the trip.  Whether you're a cyclist, interested in travel, health and wellness, or humanitarianism, this presentation has something for you.  A question and answer session will follow.  Biking Around the U.S. Perimeter – My Adventure  Oregon Library  Wednesday, June 27 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  Holland Library  Saturday, June 30 | 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Waterville Library  Wednesday, July 11 | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.    Sanger Library  Monday, July 23 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.  Registration available, but not required.  For more information, visit and scroll to the "event spotlight" section or call 419.259.5200

Books are the windows through which the soul looks out.  A home without books is like a room without windows.” ― Henry Ward Beecher  Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) was a 19th-century minister, preacher, and social reformer who supported abolition and women’s suffrage.  He was the brother of author Harriet Beecher Stowe.

A house without books is like a room without windows.” ― Horace Mann  Horace Mann (1796-1859) was an American politician and education reformer, best known for promoting universal public education and teacher training in "normal schools."

On June 21, 2018, the northern hemisphere will experience its longest day of the year, the day when the north pole is leaning most toward the sun.  (This year that takes place at 6:07 a.m. ET.)   The Arctic Circle is a moving area whose parameters are dictated by the solstices. Scientists define this expanse as "the latitude above which the sun does not set on the summer solstice and does not rise on the winter solstice."  So, during the June solstice, the entire circle goes through twenty-four straight hours of sunlight.  Conversely, it has to endure a full day of darkness when the December solstice comes around.  Tourists in the far north flock to watch the sun blazing at midnight on every June solstice.  (The Alaska Goldpanners, a baseball team in Fairbanks, marks the occasion by throwing an annual "Midnight Sun Game" every year.)  Mark Mancini

June 20, 2018  The curvy, reflective sculpture Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) has become Chicago’s most recognizable icon since it was installed in 2006.  But that doesn’t mean its creator, Anish Kapoor, ignores how it’s being photographed.  Because Kapoor has filed a federal lawsuit against the National Rifle Association, alleging that the organization violated his copyright by using an image of Cloud Gate in a 2017 ad titled “The Clenched Fist of Truth.”  Mark Wilson  See picture of The Bean and link to NRA video at

June 20, 2018  A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of California-Riverside discovered two ancient sea creatures in a well-preserved fossil bed in a mountain range in southern Australia.  Obamus coronatus, the discovery of which was published on the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, was a tiny disc-shaped animal that measured about half of an inch long, with raised spiral grooves on the surface. It is believed that have spent its whole life embedded in the ocean floor and not moving.  According to scientists, Obamus coronatus was named after Obama simply because of the former president's passion for science.  Coronatus, meanwhile, stands for "crowned."  Attenborites janeae, meanwhile, had the shape of an egg and looked like a raisin.  Janeae is in honor of Jane Fargher, who is the co-owner of the property where the ancient sea creature fossils were discovered.  The researchers, however, did not stop giving names with the two ancient animals, which were among the earliest creatures on Earth.  "I've been working in this region for 30 years, and I've never seen such a beautifully preserved bed with so many high quality and rare specimens, including Obamus and Attenborites," said Mary Droser, a paleontologist from the University of California-Riverside and the lead author of the studies on the discoveries.  The fossil bed was named Alice's Restaurant Bed, which is a tribute to the song by Arlo Guthrie and the lyrics "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant."  Obamus coronatus, however, is not the first animal to be associated with Barack Obama.  There are at least nine creatures that have been named after the former U.S. president.  Aaron Mamiit  Issue 1906  June 21, 2018  Thought for Today  I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live. - Francoise Sagan, playwright and novelist (21 Jun 1935-2004)  Word of the Day  melomaniac  noun  One with an abnormal fondness of music; a person who loves music.  The Fête de la Musique (also known as World Music Day), which originated in France in 1982 and is now celebrated around the world, takes place today on the June solstice.  Wiktionary

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus LOZMAN v. CITY OF RIVIERA BEACH, FLORIDA CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT No. 17–21.  Argued February 27, 2018—Decided June 18, 2018  After petitioner Lozman towed his floating home into a slip in a marina owned by the city of Riviera Beach, he became an outspoken critic of the City’s plan to use its eminent domain power to seize waterfront homes for private development and often made critical comments about officials during the public-comment period of city council meetings.  He also filed a lawsuit alleging that the City Council’s approval of an agreement with developers violated Florida’s open-meetings laws.  In June 2006 the Council held a closed-door session, in part to discuss Lozman’s lawsuit.  He alleges that the meeting’s transcript shows that councilmembers devised an official plan to intimidate him, and that many of his subsequent disputes with city officials and employees were part of the City’s retaliation plan.  Five months after the closed-door meeting, the Council held a public meeting.  During the public-comment session, Lozman began to speak about the arrests of officials from other jurisdictions.  When he refused a councilmember’s request to stop making his remarks, the councilmember told the police officer in attendance to “carry him out.”  The officer handcuffed Lozman and ushered him out of the meeting.  The City contends that he was arrested for violating the City Council’s rules of procedure by discussing issues unrelated to the City and then refusing to leave the podium.  Lozman claims that his arrest was to retaliate for his lawsuit and his prior public criticisms of city officials.  The State’s attorney determined that there was probable cause for his arrest, but decided to dismiss the charges.  Lozman then filed suit under 42 U. S. C. §1983, alleging a number of  alleging a number of incidents that, under his theory, showed the City’s purpose was to harass him, including by initiating an admiralty lawsuit against his floating home, see Lozman v. Riviera Beach, 568 U. S. 115.  The jury 2 LOZMAN v. RIVIERA BEACH Syllabus returned a verdict for the City on all of the claims.  The District Court instructed the jury that, for Lozman to prevail on his claim of a retaliatory arrest at the city council meeting, he had to prove that the arresting officer was motivated by impermissible animus against Lozman’s protected speech and that the officer lacked probable cause to make the arrest.  The Eleventh Circuit affirmed, concluding that any error the District Court made when it instructed the jury to consider the officer’s retaliatory animus was harmless because the jury necessarily determined that the arrest was supported by probable cause when it found for the City on Lozman’s other claims.  The existence of probable cause, the court ruled, defeated a First Amendment claim for retaliatory arrest.  Held:  The existence of probable cause does not bar Lozman’s First Amendment retaliation claim under the circumstances of this case. Pp. 5–13.  Read 23-page slip opinion at

Tony Packo's Cafe is a restaurant that started in the Hungarian neighborhood of Birmingham, on the east side of Toledo, Ohio at 1902 Front Street.  The restaurant became famous when it was mentioned in several M*A*S*H episodes and is noted for its signature sandwich and large collection of hot dog buns signed by celebrities.  During the depression in 1932, Tony Packo used a $100 loan to open his shop, which originally sold only sandwiches and ice cream.  In 1935, the Packo family purchased the current wedge-shaped building on the corner of Front and Consaul streets next to the Maumee River, which includes the former Consaul Tavern.  Tony's signature "sausage-and-sauce sandwich" on rye was first made when he decided to add a spicy chili sauce to his sandwiches for more flavor.  Eventually, his creation became known as the "Hungarian hot dog", even though no such thing had come from the Old Country.  The "hot dog" is really a Hungarian sausage called Kolbász, not unlike the Polish kielbasa, about twice the diameter of a conventional hot dog, and slicing the sausage in half yields about the same amount of meat.

May 26, 2018   A family squabble in 2011 put Tony Packo’s in receivership, then led to court-ordered sale of the famed eatery to fast-food operator Bob Bennett.  Barely a year after taking control, Mr. Bennett died unexpectedly in May, 2013.  His widow, Emily Bennett, is now chairman and president of her late husband’s Bennett Management Corp.  Research found that, despite long-time success at its original Front Street location on Toledo East Side and at the newer Packo’s at the Park downtown, confusion had developed over the company’s name and menu, especially among younger adults.  “You know the old Tony Packo’s logo with peppers?  People that don’t know Packo’s think we have Mexican food.  It’s one of the early-on things we learned,” CEO Jimmy Harmon said.  Packo’s recently won the 2018 Tourism Impact award from Destination Toledo, the area’s tourism and convention bureau, for having “a profound influence on the tourism industry in the greater Toledo region.”  The new logo adds “Eastern European Kitchen” after the Packo’s name.  Mr. Harmon said Eastern European could mean any dish from that region, and that would allow Packo’s to expand its menu, should it choose to do so.   Already, the CEO said, there’s an idea for a breaded chicken sandwich done in a Hungarian style.  Bennett Management hired Richardson Design LLC of Cleveland to rebrand Tony Packo’s and reinvigorate its concept.  But Mrs. Bennett also had a large role in designing the company’s next generation of stores.  “I think I’ve influenced the design and feel for the restaurants, combining the old with the new,” Mrs. Bennett said.  “With Jimmy’s help and Richardson Design’s help, and help from everyone on the team, I think we’ve got a very comfortable model going forward,” Mrs. Bennett said.

U.S. Senator Thomas Witherell Palmer donated 140-acre (57 ha) for a Detroit city park in 1893, on the condition that the virgin forest be preserved.  Palmer had inherited 80 acres from his grandfather, Michigan politician and Judge, James Witherell and, in his lifetime, expanded his holdings to 640 acres.  Palmer continued to donate land throughout his life, and following his death, and that of his wife, Lizzie Pitts Merrill Palmer, his benefactors subdivided what became known as the Palmer Park Apartment Building Historic District, which is now a part of the National Register of Historic Places.  A total of 296-acre (120 ha) was allocated to Palmer Park.  The name that Palmer gave it, Log Cabin Park, did not stick and in 1897, the Detroit Common Council unanimously approved an ordinance to officially rename it Palmer Park.  The park had a large white wooden casino, which burned down in May 1945.  The city planned to close Palmer Park in 2010 due to budget constraints, but relented after a public rally.  Palmer Park Golf Course is an 18-hole regulation length golf course within the park that hosts golf outings and tournaments through the Palmer Park Golf club.  Since 1927, Palmer Park Golf Course has been home turf for many notable Detroit residents including Motown performers Marvin GayeThe TemptationsFour Tops, and boxer Joe Louis.  The course has a short layout that is mostly flat.  A man-made lake dotted with small islands and anchored by a miniature red-and-white lighthouse that was once lit with an oil lamp.  It was created at Senator Palmer's behest and named for his mother-in-law.  The Recreation Department created a second lake west of the current site of the Splash Park, to use as a fish breeding pond.  Beyond it to the west, was Lake Harold with an island called Inselruh and a waterfall called Pontiac Cascade.  In the 1950s, Lake Harold was filled with earth excavated during the construction of the Lodge Freeway.  The Merrill Fountain was designed by the architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings and originally stood in front of the old Detroit Opera House in Campus Martius Park.  Built in 1904 at a cost of US$1,000,000 (equivalent to $27,237,037 in 2017), it was named for Charles Merrill and dedicated by his daughter, Elizabeth Palmer.  As automobile traffic increased in downtown Detroit, the city’s elders decided to move the fountain to the Merrill Plaissance, at the far southern boundary of Palmer Park, in 1926.  The fountain functioned for one season in the park and then pipes broke.  It has been dry for over 50 years and suffered from theft of pieces and destruction by vandals.  People for Palmer Park is a nonprofit organization created in 2010 that, with the Detroit government's blessing, supports renovation and revitalization work in the park.  On June 24, 2012, the group partnered with the City of Detroit to open the Palmer Log Cabin to the public as part of a fundraiser to restore the structure.  Near the western entrance to the Log Cabin is a large bell hanging—originally in a rustic wooden frame.  This bell was designed and cast by Paula Gomez in Spain in 1793 and was taken to Mexico over 200 years ago.  William A. Moore, Senator James McMillan and other friends of Senator Palmer raised funds to purchase the 1,015 pounds (460 kg) bell, as a gift, who in turn, presented it to the city.  The Palmer Park Splash Park, the second splash park in Detroit, opened August 18, 2013 through a donation by Lear Corporation.  The park is located just west of Woodward between Six and Seven Mile Roads, on what was once the grounds of an Olympic-size community swimming pool.  It features colorful spouts that spray water from several directions.  Read more and see pictures at

Former President Barack Obama shared his summer reading list on June 16, 2018, touting the array of "good writing" and "variety of thought out there these days."  “There’s so much good writing and art and variety of thought out there these days that this is by no means comprehensive,” he wrote on Facebook.  “Like many of you, I’ll miss ‘The Americans.’”  One of the books, written by Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich of the global policy think tank the RAND Corporation, details the authors’ research into “the diminishing role of facts” in American life.  “The title is self-explanatory, but the findings are very interesting,” Obama wrote of “Truth Decay:  An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life.”  Also on the list:  “Futureface:  A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging,” by Alex Wagner; “The New Geography of Jobs,” by Enrico Moretti; “The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy,” by Matthew Stewart of The Atlantic; and “In the Shadow of Statues:  A White Southerner Confronts History” by former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.  AVERY ANAPOL

June 18, 2018  This is not normal art … it is all about beauty,” said the artist Christo as a 600-tonne, 20-metre high floating sculpture made from more than 7,000 colourful oil barrels was unveiled on London’s Serpentine, gently bobbing amid ducks, swans and early morning swimmers.  The artist is known for spectacularly ambitious and slightly mad projects, which have included wrapping the German Reichstag in fabric and stretching a vast curtain over a valley between two mountains in Colorado.  The new work is his first outdoor public installation in the UK and takes the shape of a mastaba, a trapezoid shape which originated in Mesopotamia 6,000 to 7,000 years ago.  It is the Arabic word for bench.  The work has been constructed over the last two months on the banks of the Serpentine, the red, blue and mauve coloured barrels individually put in place using a crane.  Over the weekend it was floated out into the centre of the lake, tethered by 32 6-tonne anchors.  In three months time, it will be gone.  Mark Brown  Read more and see pictures at

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued U.S. patent number 10 million on June 19, 2018.  The first U.S. patent, signed 228 years ago by George Washington on July 31, 1790 was issued to Samuel Hopkins for a process of making potash, an ingredient used in fertilizer.  Patent 10 million for “Coherent Ladar Using Intra-Pixel Quadrature Detection” symbolizes the breadth of American invention, with applications in such varied fields as autonomous vehicles, medical imaging devices, military defense systems, and space and undersea exploration.  It was invented by Joseph Marron and is owned by Raytheon Company.  Additional information on patent 10 million can be found at:  Issue 1905  June 20, 2018  Word of the Day  barcarole  noun  Venetian folk song traditionally sung by gondoliers, often in 68 or 128 time with alternating strong and weakbeats imitating a rowing motion.  A piece of music composed in imitation of such a song.  German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach was born on this day in 1819.  His duet “Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour” (“Beautiful Night, O Night of Love”), known simply as the Barcarolle, from his last and unfinished opera The Tales of Hoffmann, is said to be the most famous barcarole ever written.

Monday, June 18, 2018

It's a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn't eat certain foods because they're "too sweet."  Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them if you have diabetes.  The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar.  One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates.  The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit.  The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion.  But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same.  M. Regina Castro

One of the main reasons people avoid eating dates is the belief that they will raise their blood sugar levels, but studies have shown that belief to be erroneous.  The May 28, 2011, issue of "Nutrition Journal" reports a study in which date consumption was tested on diabetics.  The study shows that while dates contain high amounts of natural sugars, they are actually a low-glycemic index food and did not significantly raise blood sugar levels after they were eaten.  If you are diabetic, speak to your doctor before adding dates to your diet so that you can monitor your blood sugar levels and determine how dates affect you personally.  Dates are loaded with fiber.  According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, just one pitted date contains 1.6 g of fiber, or 6 percent of the recommended daily intake.  Fiber is known for its ability to help lower cholesterol and fight and prevent obesity, heart disease and colorectal cancer.  The November 2008 issue of "Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition" reports that the fiber in dates is primarily insoluble fiber, which binds to fat and cholesterol and carries it out of the body.  Traci Joy

READER FEEDBACK  I've been reading lately Mary Catherine Bateson's book "Composing a Further Life:  The Age of Active Wisdom" which, I believe, speaks to all of us at this time in our lives, a time she calls "Adulthood II" and likens it to not so much as extending our years, but adding a room to a house.  You might find it good reading.  See library copy at,?SEARCH=b1941256  Thank you, Muse reader!

On June 15, 2018, thousands gathered to see the ashes of Stephen Hawking, who died in March at the age of 76, buried between those of Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Charles Darwin in an entirely earthly thanksgiving service at Westminster Abbey.  Some 3,500 light-years away, meanwhile, the nearest black hole from our planet, 1A 0620-00, was preparing to receive a special message.  Shortly after the noon service in London, scientists from the European Space Agency were to use the Cebreros antenna in central Spain to beam a recording of Hawking’s voice giving a message of “peace and hope” to the black hole, his family said in a statement.  The recording had been set to music by Greek composer Vangelis--famed for his Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner scores--and lasts six-and-a-half minutes.  Alongside the scientist’s family, friends and former colleagues from Cambridge University were actors, musicians, politicians, astronauts and Nobel prize winners.  There were also representatives from charities connected to Hawking, including sufferers of motor neurone disease, the affliction that gradually paralysed him over 55 years, hundreds of schoolchildren, and one thousand members of the public, from more than 100 countries, who were invited to attend after a ballot attracted around 25,000 applications.  Benedict Cumberbatch, who played a young Hawking in a 2004 BBC film, read a passage from Wisdom 7: 15-24, while astronaut Tim Peake read from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ‘Queen Mab’, ending with the lines, “In eloquent silence, through the depths of space / Pursued its wondrous way.”  Appropriately, Shelley and Hawking share the same alma mater, University College, Oxford, albeit 149 years apart.  Guy Kelly and Gareth Davies  Read more and link to 2:30 video of Hawking speaking on aliens, AI and the universe at  You may also see the Hawking video at

HAPPY 150TH ANNIVERSARY  Since 1868, five generations of one family have been making Tabasco on Avery Island, at the southern end of Louisiana’s New Iberia parish.  The McIlhenny Company, owned by descendants of the original family that settled the island, still runs the factory, along with a museum, country store, and restaurant.  There are also daily tours of the greenhouse, barrel and blending processes, the island’s salt mine, and the factory’s bottling plant.  For most of Tabasco’s existence, the fields that surround the factory grew every pepper that ended up mashed into the vinegar-based sauce.  Today, in order to protect against weather and other threats to the crop, the seed peppers are all grown in the unique soil of the salt dome, then exported to international farmers to ensure steady growing seasons.  Still, even with peppers from Central and South America, they’ve been producing Tabasco with the same recipe, using the same techniques, for nearly 150 years.  Avery Island is also home to Jungle Gardens, a wildlife and garden preserve originally established by Edward McIlhenny, son of the creator of Tabasco sauce, back in 1895.  Avery Island is 140 miles west of New Orleans.  Avery Island is not an island, but a salt dome--an underground bed of salt pushing up.  The word tabasco is derived from an Aztec term meaning "humid land."

HAPPY 101ST ANNIVERSARY  In 1917 the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and three local artist collectives established the Toledo Federation of Art Societies (TFAS).  The following year, the first Toledo Area Artists (TAA) exhibition sponsored by TFAS was held at TMA.  Today TFAS is affiliated with more than 40 area art organizations—including artist clubs, galleries, college and university art departments—and hundreds of individual members within a 150-mile radius of the city of Toledo.  Decades in the Making:  Highlights from the Toledo Federation of Art Societies is on view in Gallery 6 from April 28 through June 24, 2018.  It will showcase more than 20 works of art in a wide variety of media from the approximately 270 works purchased by TFAS for its collection over the last 60 years of TAA exhibitions at TMA.  Among the featured artists will be Diana Attie (drawing), Edith Franklin (ceramics), Dominick Labino (glassblowing), and Kenneth Thompson (sculpture).  Admission to the exhibition is free. For more information about the Toledo Federation of Art Societies, please visit

HAPPY 40TH ANNIVERSARY  The classic movie musical “Grease” is 40 years old on June 16, 2018.  The colorful teens at Rydell High are still crooning about prom night, dropping out of beauty school and heating up the dance floor with “You’re the One That I Want.”  Expectations were miniscule when the John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John was released in 1978.  Based on a Broadway musical, the film about greaser Danny and goody-two-shoes Sandy went on to become the highest grossing musical of the 20th century, though it cost Paramount a measly $6 million to make.  Luaine Lee  Read more and see pictures at

Can Toledo be the center of a new culinary movement? bPhillip KaplanA select group of dinner guests and a stream of envious onlookers were treated to an art performance of glassblowing techniques used to prepare a meal.  The 12-course meal was served June 5, 2018 at The Heights rooftop bar of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Toledo through a collaboration of Executive Cheg Aaron Lawson and the Gathered Glassblowing Studio.  The little-city-that-could was being featured as part of a corporate “Global Day of Discovery” by the hotel chain—alongside three other respective franchises in Paris, Bali, and New York City’s Time’s Square.  The staff T-shirts read “Paris. Bali. New York City. Toledo.”  Read more and see pictures at  Issue 1904  June 18, 2018  Word of the Day  zongzi  noun  traditional Chinese dumpling of glutinous rice stuffed with a savoury or sweet fillingwrapped in large flat leaves, and cooked by steaming or boiling.  Duanwujie or the Dragon Boat Festival falls on this day in 2018, the fifth day of the fifth lunar month of the Chinese calendar.  It is traditional to enjoy zongzi on this day.  Wiktionary