Wednesday, December 31, 2008

UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, sold its stake in Bank of China Ltd. to raise cash as a three-year lockup period ended. Zurich-based UBS said in a statement that it sold 3.4 billion H-shares to professional investors. UBS earned a profit of approximately $400 million from the sale today, said a person familiar with the terms, who declined to be identified. The bank “remains committed to its business relationship with Bank of China and to its business in China as a whole,” it said in the statement. “It’s a normal action” by UBS after the lock-up period expired, said Wang Zhaowen, Bank of China’s Beijing-based spokesman. The sale “shouldn’t affect the bank’s share price since all its operations are doing well.” UBS, which was handed a $59.2 billion aid package by the Swiss government and central bank this year. It agreed to sell its agricultural and Canadian energy- commodities units to JPMorgan Chase & Co. this month.

New on Deep Web Research 2009
Deep Web Research 2009: Marcus P. Zillman's guide includes links to: articles, papers, forums, audios and videos, cross database articles, search services and search tools, peer to peer, file sharing, grid/matrix search engines, presentations, resources on deep web research, semantic web research, and hot research resources and sites.

Information technology research and advisory company Gartner says 2008 should be the last Christmas for retail CDs
News release: "The music industry must move away from the retail CD as its primary revenue generator before Christmas 2009, according to Gartner. Gartner said that reliance on revenue from the sale of prerecorded CDs is hindering the music industry from fully embracing online distribution opportunities...Enabling the transition away from retail music CDs toward online distribution is now in sight, given that 77 percent of U.S. households (a total of 96 million connections) will have broadband connections by 2012. Beyond these consumers, the alternative distribution afforded by Wi-Fi-enabled notebooks and rapidly improving media-enabled mobile phones pose opportunities that provide multiple paths for marketing, promotion and distribution outside the consumer’s home."

New on Neurolaw and Criminal Justice
Neurolaw and Criminal Justice: Ken Strutin's article highlights selected recent publications, news sources and other online materials concerning the applications of cognitive research to criminal law as well as basic information on the science and technology involved.

NASA's Top Science, Exploration and Discovery Stories of 2008
NASA Year in Review 2008: "NASA landed on Mars, photographed distant worlds, added to the International Space Station, took part in a lunar science mission with India and made major progress toward returning astronauts to the moon as the agency celebrated its 50th birthday in 2008. Here on Earth, NASA researchers recorded the continued decline of Arctic sea ice, won awards for aviation breakthroughs, discovered the cause of storms that brighten the Northern Lights and helped create state-of-the-art swimsuits worn by Olympic gold medalists. Here are ten of the top accomplishments of America's space agency in its golden anniversary year."

Census Bureau Projects U.S. Population of 305.5 Million on New Year's Day
News release: "As our nation prepares to ring in the new year, the U.S. Census Bureau today projected the Jan. 1, 2009, total U.S. population will be 305,529,237—up 2,743,429, or 0.9 percent, from New Year’s Day 2008. In January 2009, one birth is expected to occur every eight seconds in the United States and one death every 12 seconds. Meanwhile, net international migration is expected to add one person every 36 seconds to the U.S. population in January 2009, resulting in an increase in the total U.S. population of one person every 14 seconds."

The criminal justice system is reeling due to the Madoff scandal. Earlier this month, the JEHT Foundation a major financial supporter of the Innocence Project in Texas, among others announced it would shut its doors in January because its prime donors invested with Madoff. JEHT, according to this Business Week article, is a six-year-old New York City-based philanthropy focused on juvenile and criminal justice, human rights, and election reform.
JEHT provides $125,000 of the Innocence Project’s $200,000 annual budget, the project Chief Counsel Jeff Blackburn recently told the Austin American-Statesman. JEHT also was to provide a grant to help pay for DNA testing in hundreds of cases in Dallas County, where District Attorney Craig Watkins has announced an initiative to use science to find out if inmates have been wrongfully convicted. (See this WSJ profile on Watkins, whom the Dallas Morning News recently named 2008 Texan of the Year.) The Dallas County office got the bulk of that grant—about $400,000—before JEHT closed its doors, so most of the DNA testing can go forward. WSJ Law Blog December 30, 2008

The New York Times ran a front-page story about recession-hit retailers continuing to sweeten their discounts in an effort to off-load inventory. Clearly, these are tough times for shoppers and stores alike. Will certain sale tactics risk consumer lawsuits? One has. Two women, Jennifer Jones and Alicia Sgro, have sued Wal-Mart and others for alleged injuries—including punches to the face from an unknown assailant—that took place during the stampede that preceded Wal-Mart’s Black Friday ‘Blitz’ sale. (Black Friday is that day after Thanksgiving when the holiday shopping season officially kicks off.) Here’s the complaint, via Courthouse News. WSJ Law Blog December 29, 2008

Collective noun supplied by one of our New York readers: a blizzard of tourists
That is what has descended on NYC to take in the holiday sights and celebrate the New Year. One can hardly move down the sidewalk in midtown without tripping over someone who has stopped to take a photo!

In Mexico, people eat one grape with each of the 12 clock chimes at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and make a wish for the coming year. In Venezuela, they wear yellow underwear for a year of good luck. In Japan, people eat soba because long thin noodles symbolize longevity, and at midnight, temple bells ring 108 times, matching the 108 attachments in the mind that need to be purified before the New Year. At midnight in Greece, families cut a cake called a vasilopita, which has a coin baked inside; whoever gets the coin will have a lucky year. The Writer’s Almanac

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. Click on national nodes on the right side to find information on United States activities.

Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II said the Catholic Church erred when it condemned the 17th-century astronomer Galileo Galilei, the Vatican secretary of state said the astronomer was "a man of faith" who recognised God as creator of the cosmos. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of state, spoke briefly on November 26, 2008 at the opening of a Rome conference titled, Science 400 years after Galileo Galilei.

In May, several Vatican officials will participate in an international conference to re-examine the Galileo affair, and top Vatican officials are now saying Galileo should be named the ``patron'' of the dialogue between faith and reason. It's quite a reversal of fortune for Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who made the first complete astronomical telescope and used it to gather evidence that the Earth revolved around the sun. Church teaching at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe. The church denounced Galileo's theory as dangerous to the faith, but Galileo defied its warnings. Tried as a heretic in 1633 and forced to recant, he was sentenced to life imprisonment, later changed to house arrest. The Church has for years been striving to shed its reputation for being hostile to science, in part by producing top-notch research out of its own telescope.

Welcome to the District of Columbia’s 2009 Presidential Inauguration website. This site will assist you in finding valuable information about the events surrounding the 56th Presidential Inauguration on January 20, including lodging information, transportation, security measures and closures.
Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
Armed Forces Inaugural Committee
US Secret Service
Presidential Inaugural Committee
Click and Park

Edgar Allen Poe was born in Boston on January 19, 1809. His bicentennial will be marked with a year-long birthday party. He was raised largely in Richmond, Virginia, and Virginia events are listed here:
Baltimore, the city where Edgar Allan Poe died, will celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth with a year's worth of exhibits and events, including a funeral re-enactment. A list of selected events in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Richmond is here:
Find biography and poems here:

From: John Campbell (johnppj
Subject: Re: A.Word.A.Day--minnow
Def: Someone or something considered insignificant
You probably know that the ship on the TV series Gilligan's Island was named the S.S. Minnow, but did you know that the ship was so named by the show's producer to make fun of Newton Minow, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who in 1961 used the words "a vast wasteland" to describe the state of television programming. AWAD Mail issue 339

Q. Who wrote “Saturday night in Toledo Ohio.” “Holy Toledo (On A Sunday Morning, Everyone’s In Church Or On The Way”, and “I Want My Maumee (I Wanna Go Back To Toledo).”
A. Randy Sparks. He also gave Henry John Deutschendorf his start in the music business and named him John Denver.

Monday, December 29, 2008

YouTube Now Comprises 25 Percent Of All Google Searches
TechCrunch: "Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore. Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on December 18, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More searches are done through YouTube than through Yahoo, which has been the case for the past few months."

4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... 1 ... Happy New Year!
On New Year’s Eve, the international authorities charged with keeping precise time will add a single second to our lives. It will be the 24th “leap second” since 1972, and the first since 2005.

Venus leads a planetary parade that ushers in a new year. Find Venus high above the southwestern horizon at nightfall now, the brightest beacon in the heavens

New York City Travel Guide

Informatics encompasses the study of systems that represent, process, and communicate information, including all computational, cognitive and social aspects. The central notion is the transformation of information—whether by computation or communication, whether by organisms or artifacts. The first example of a degree level qualification in Informatics occurred in 1982 when Plymouth Polytechnic (now the University of Plymouth) offered a four year BSc(Honours) degree in Computing and Informatics with an initial intake of only 35 students. The course still runs today making it the longest available qualification in the subject.

Composer John Morton’s new album, Solo Traveler: Music for Music Boxes (Innova), reveals some of the sonic possibilities he has discovered buried inside these simple machines. "I really love experimenting and going as far as it can go in terms of sound quality. If there's that innocent sound, I want to go to the opposite extreme which is a loud, distorted, sort of numbing sound. And everything in between attracts me as well."
In addition to altering the music boxes physically, he also works with electronics and Max/MSP when composing a new piece. The resulting sounds often do conjure a certain childhood innocence, but they can also rattle the ear as if a gamelan ensemble were leveraging a full-on sonic assault. For his part, Morton serves as more of a music box shaman than a dictator.

What country is it? It borders the Bay of Bengal between Burma and India. It is slightly smaller than Iowa. About a third of this extremely poor country floods annually during the monsoon rainy season, hampering economic development. Find the answer here:

Keepers (books I would read again)
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Beakless Bluebirds & Featherless Penguins, Observations of a Naturalist by Sister Barbara Ann
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Good Omens, the Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

December 29 is the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee, which took place in South Dakota in 1891. Twenty-two years earlier, the local tribes had signed a treaty with the United States government that guaranteed them the rights to the land around the Black Hills, which was sacred land. But in the 1870s, gold was discovered in the Black Hills, and the treaty was broken. People from the Sioux tribe were forced onto a reservation, with a promise of more food and supplies, which never came. Then in 1889, a prophet named Wovoka, from the Paiute tribe in Nevada, had a vision of a ceremony that would renew the earth, return the buffalo, and cause the white men to disappear. This ceremony was called the Ghost Dance. The Ghost Dance scared the white Indian Agents, and they moved in to arrest Chief Sitting Bull, who was killed in the attempt. The next leader they focused on was Sitting Bull's half-brother, Chief Big Foot. He was leading his people to the Pine Ridge reservation, seeking safety there. But it was winter, 40 degrees below zero, and he contracted pneumonia.
Big Foot was sick, he was flying a white flag, and he was one of the leaders who had actually renounced the Ghost Dance. But the Army didn't make distinctions. They intercepted Big Foot's band and ordered them into the camp on the banks of the Wounded Knee Creek. The next morning, federal soldiers began confiscating their weapons, and a scuffle broke out between a soldier and an Indian. The federal soldiers opened fire, killing almost 300 men, women, and children, including Big Foot. One of the survivors was the famous medicine man Black Elk, who told his story to John Neihardt in Black Elk Speaks (1932). The Writer’s Almanac

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New way of distinguishing U.S. presidents with the same last name
Adams 2
Adams 6
Harrison 9
Harrison 23
Bush 41
Bush 43

EPA Designates Areas as Attainment and Nonattainment for the 24-Hour PM2.5 National Air Quality Standards
AP: "More than 100 million people living in 46 metro areas are breathing air that has gotten too full of soot on some days, and now those cities have to clean up their air, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday. The EPA added 15 cities to the sooty air list, mostly in states not usually thought of as pollution-prone, such as Alaska, Utah, Idaho and Wisconsin. That's probably because of the prevalence of wood stoves in western and northern regions, a top EPA official said."
December 22, 2008 - EPA has issued a final Federal Register notice designating areas throughout the US as "nonattainment" and "unclassifiable/attainment" for the 24-hour national air quality standards for fine particulate matter, also called PM2.5.
Federal Register Notice (PDF) (202 pp)
Fact Sheet
Map of 24-hour PM2.5 Nonattainment Areas
Table Showing Final Designations by State
Timeline for Implementing the 24-hour PM2.5 Standard

American Library Association Submits Report to Obama Transition Team
News release: "After the 2008 presidential election, the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) Advisory Committee and the Committee on Legislation (COL) held meetings with the ALA Washington Office to discuss the key issues and concerns the library community must communicate to the new Administration during this time of transition and throughout Obama’s presidency. Following these meetings, the ALA Washington Office compiled a report, Opening the “Window to a Larger World,” Libraries’ Role in Changing America, which was submitted to the Obama-Biden Transition Team on Wednesday, December 17. The Washington Office is communicating with the Transition Team and hopes to continue this open dialogue over the next four years."

Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Source
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: "The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers (35%). Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for national and international news, at 70%."

Treasury Provides TARP Funds to Local Banks
News release: The U.S. Treasury Department announced details of a $2.8 billion investment in 49 banks made on Friday, December 19 through its Capital Purchase Program. Treasury also closed $1.9 billion in transactions with 43 banks. Full details of The transactions will be released in accordance with the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act on Monday, December 29, two business days after their closing.

Alec Greven wrote “How to Talk to Girls” when he was 8 years old as part of creative writing in his 3rd grade class. His teacher and principal knew this story was something special. They suggested his book be "published" for the school and used during the book fair. His school is now hosting an annual writing contest and raising money to purchase a printing press. The principal hopes every student can share in the experience of becoming a published author. As for Alec, he has many more books in the planning stages. Up next, "How to Talk to Moms," which he says will address the tricks kids play on moms and the tricks moms play on kids.
Alec Greven’s book was sold for $3 at a school book fair. Ellen DeGeneres hooked Grevens up with a literary agent, and he has sold movie rights for How to Talk to Girls.
The Week magazine, Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 9, 2009

When I go into a library, I count the number of shelves per unit, check the light level and try to leave it at that. Sometimes, however, my hands reach out and remove books way out of order and put them on a table hoping they’ll end up where they should be. I try not to do this, but sometimes my hands will not obey me.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In 1939, historian and author Philip Van Doren Stern began imagining a tale about a small-town bank clerk who contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve, but pulls back when a guardian angel shows him how dark the world would be without him. Stern wrote a short story called “The Greatest Gift,” which he pitched to several magazines, without success. So in 1943, he printed 200 copies as 24-page pamphlets and sent them out as Christmas cards. One went to his agent, who immediately saw the movie potential and sold the film rights to RKO for $10,000. Screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett fleshed out Stern’s 4,000-word story into a movie. Critical reaction was generally positive, but It’s a Wonderful Life failed at the box office. It’s a Wonderful Life was forgotten, no one bothered to renew its 28-year copyright. So in 1974, it fell into the public domain, meaning that TV stations could show it for free—which they did, repeatedly. It quickly found an audience. Devotees began hosting parties to watch it, and video sales soared. In 1993, Republic Pictures, a company that took over distribution from the film’s producer, announced that it still held the rights to Stern’s original story. Fearful of being sued for copyright infringement, TV stations stopped showing the movie. Eventually NBC acquired exclusive broadcasting rights and now airs it twice a year, during prime time.

Follow-up on golconda from A. Word.A.Day
From: Pankaj Sethi (neelpank
The name Golconda itself is derived from "golla" (which means shepherd in the Telugu language spoken in these parts), and "konda" which means hill. So literally--shepherd's hill. The most famous of the diamonds mined at Golconda was the Koh-i-noor literally, "mountain of light", which travelled across the world from the Mughals to Persia (Nadir Shah), back to India (Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab) and is now part of the British Crown Jewels.
From: Suba Peddada (suba
It is believed that the Hope diamond, on display at the Smithsonian, was most likely from the Golconda region. It weighs approximately 45 carats.
From: Peter Ives (pives
Although your quotation referring to Golconda was recent, as a metaphor it flourished in the late 19th century and much of the 20th. A classic stock market history is "Once in Golconda: a True Drama of Wall Street, 1920-1938" (1969); another business history is "The Black Golconda: the Romance of Petroleum" (1924). Several hopeful mining companies in the USA have used the name and there are towns in Illinois and Nevada called Golconda.

Gregorian chant, named after Pope Gregory I (pope from A.D. 590-604), consists of a huge number of unaccompanied modal melodies which began to be written down in the 9th century, the oldest notated music and the earliest “early music” in the Western European tradition. In 1994, Angel released “Chant,” an album by the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo de Silos in Spain, which quickly rose to the top of the classical chart, and was followed by numerous chant albums in the 1990s. Topping the Billboard classical chart in the summer of 2008 is an album of Gregorian chant (“Chant: Music for the Soul”) recorded for Universal by the Cistercian Monks of Stift Heiligenkreuz, an Austrian monastery near Vienna.
I’m a northerner, I’m a northerner, I’m a northerner This is what I tell myself when I look at the beautiful snow and walk in the piercing air. And oh, how I love the changing of the seasons.

The Delicious mind in 2008
Delicious—“biggest collection of bookmarks in the universe”

GTC Roadshow AG announces the acquisition of the most expensive Tolkien book ever sold; a signed first edition of "The Lord of the Rings" dedicated to the "Queen of the Hobbits", for 104.000 USD. A further five lots were acquired in the same auction: the first translation of The Hobbit dedicated to E. Griffiths, a signed US first edition Lord of the Rings, P. Baynes' original art, a signed map of Middle-earth and a book dedicated to Tolkien's son Michael. The pieces will add to the largest Tolkien collection ever compiled and will be offered to the public in a unique exhibition.

The Evolution of Search: A look at the History, Vision, Innovators, and Future of Information Accessibility

Quote: The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened. Saki, (books by this author) born Hector Hugh Munro in Akyab, Burma (now known as Sittwe, Myanmar) (1870-1916)

Thumbs Race as Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular
The cellphone novel was born in 2000 after a home-page-making Web site, Maho no i-rando, realized that many users were writing novels on their blogs; it tinkered with its software to allow users to upload works in progress and readers to comment, creating the serialized cellphone novel. But the number of users uploading novels began booming only two to three years ago, and the number of novels listed on the site reached one million in late 2007, according to Maho no i-rando.

Coming to Shumaker charity sale in Toledo
Rage by Jonathan Kellerman hardbound 365 pages
Book 19 in the Alex Delaware series
The Cardinal in the Kremlin by Tom Clancy paperbound 626 pages
sequel to The Hunt for Red October
Hunting Badger by Tony Hillerman softbound 381 pages
Joe Leaphorn And Jim Chee novel
The Juror by George Dawes Green hardbound 420 pages
“ . . . with a villain so perfectly evil, he makes Hannibal the Cannibal look like a vegetarian.” Scott Turow
Nothing to Lose by Lee Child hardbound 407 pages
Book 12 in the Jack Reacher series
Cross Country by James Patterson hardbound 406 pages
14th Alex Cross thriller
Airframe by Michael Crichton hardbound 352 pages
Out of Sight by Elmore Leonard softbound 341 pages
1996 book (made into 1998 film with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bush Administration's Plan to Assist Automakers
Follow up to previous postings on auto industry, the December 19 White House press release: "...the only way to avoid a collapse of the U.S. auto industry is for the executive branch to step in. The American people want the auto companies to succeed, and so do I. So today, I'm announcing that the federal government will grant loans to auto companies under conditions similar to those Congress considered last week...These loans will provide help in two ways. First, they will give automakers three months to put in place plans to restructure into viable companies--which we believe they are capable of doing. Second, if restructuring cannot be accomplished outside of bankruptcy, the loans will provide time for companies to make the legal and financial preparations necessary for an orderly Chapter 11 process that offers a better prospect of long-term success--and gives consumers confidence that they can continue to buy American cars."
Treasury Releases Term Sheet for Automotive Plan: Washington - The U.S. Treasury Department has released the term sheet and appendices for the Administration's plan for stabilizing the automotive industry.
Chrysler Term Sheet and Appendix
General Motors Term Sheet and Appendix
New York Times: Bush Approves $17.4 Billion Auto Bailout

Bankruptcies Rose 30 Percent In Year Ending September 30
U.S. Courts: "Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts totaled 1,042,993 for the 12-month period ending September 30, 2008, up more than 30 percent when compared to the 801,269 filings in Fiscal Year 2007, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The September 2008 filings are the highest of any 12-month period since the 2006 implementation of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, when there were 1,112,542 filings in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2006."

Deterioration of the Nation’s Clean Water Act Enforcement Program
"Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar wrote to President-elect Obama regarding their investigation into the drastic deterioration of the Clean Water Act enforcement program. New internal documents obtained by the Committees show that hundreds of Clean Water Act violations have not been pursued with enforcement actions. Dozens of existing enforcement cases have become informal responses, have had civil penalties reduced, and have experienced significant delays. Many violations are not even being detected because of the substantial reduction in investigations. Violations involving oil spills make up nearly half of the Clean Water Act violations that have been detected but are not being addressed."
Letter to President-elect Obama
Memo: Decline of Clean Water Act Enforcement Program
Supporting Documents

In the summer of 1905, Mark Twain wrote a short essay titled "The Privilege of the Grave," and it has been printed for the first time in The New Yorker, December 22 & 29, 2008 at page 50.

There are at least four versions of Merry Little Christmas
Judy Garland sang the second version in Meet Me in St. Louis because she found the first too gloomy. In 1943, Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane were an already successful songwriting team hired to pen the songs for the movie musical, which would pair Judy Garland with her future husband, director Vincente Minnelli. Though Martin and Blane shared credit for the tune, Martin was actually the sole writer of ''Merry Little Christmas.”,,1569872,00.html
In 1957, Frank Sinatra asked Martin to revise the line "Until then we'll have to muddle through somehow". He told Martin, "The name of my album is A Jolly Christmas. Do you think you could jolly up that line for me?" Martin's new line, "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough," has since become more widely recognized and sung than the original. Martin made several other alterations, changing the song's focus to a celebration of present happiness, rather than anticipation of a better future. Although the 1957 rewrite is the most familiar to listeners today, some artists, such as James Taylor, have issued more recent recordings with the original lyrics of the Judy Garland version.

A broken clock is right twice a day . . .
from comic strip Get Fuzzy, December 19, 2008

Words from India
Mumbai was formerly known by its anglicized spelling, Bombay. The name of the city is derived from Mumba (name of a goddess) + ai (mother in the Marathi language). Each place has a story, and here are places in India that have become words in the English language.
golconda (gol-KON-duh) noun
source of great wealth
After Golconda, a ruined city in southern India, once known for its diamond mines in the nearby hills
jodhpurs (JOD-puhrz) noun
riding breeches loose above the knees but close-fitting from the knees to the ankles
After Jodhpur, a city in northwestern India, earlier a princely state
calico (KAL-i-co) noun
1. A brightly printed coarse cotton cloth.
2. (Mainly British) A plain white cotton cloth.
3. An animal having a spotted coat, especially with red and black patches.
1. Made from such a cloth.
2. Having a spotted pattern.
From Calicut, former name of Kozhikode, a city in southern India from where this cloth was exported. Other words for clothes with Indian origins are bandana, cashmere, chintz, dungarees, khakis, madras, pajamas, and seersucker A.Word.A.Day

Friday, December 19, 2008

A court in Australia has approved the use of Facebook to notify a couple that they lost their home after defaulting on a loan. The Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court last Friday approved lawyer Mark McCormack’s application to use Facebook to serve the legally binding documents after several failed attempts to contact the couple at the house and by e-mail. Here’s the AP story. WSJ Law Blog December 16, 2008

Class Action? Perdue Accused of Secreting Giblets in Chickens
One of this Law Blogger’s first summer jobs entailed operating an aluminum crusher at a can recycling center. Customers were paid by the pound—at the time, circa 1994, prices ranged from 31 to 34 cents. On occasion, you’d find that customers bulked up their bags with non-aluminum items, such as lawnmower engines and old clothes.
We were reminded of that scheming today when we read about what Courthouse News Service reports may be the first federal class action based on concealment of chicken giblets. In the complaint, Perdue Farms is accused of disposing of “an enormous quantity of extra giblet parts” by a “secret practice” of stuffing extra hearts, gizzards and necks into its whole chickens, thereby “dispos(ing) of its extra giblets” and tricking customers into paying the regular per-pound price for them. WSJ Law Blog December 18, 2008

U.S. Government Releases FY 2008 Financial Report
News release: The Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget has released the Fiscal Year 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government. The report details the U.S. government's current financial position, as well as its short-term and long-term financial outlook, complementing the President's Budget to be released in the spring of 2009...Revenue results in this year's Financial Report were $2.7 trillion, increasing slightly by $34 billion or just over 1 percent, compared to last year. Total costs were $3.6 trillion, an increase of $.7 trillion or 25 percent compared to last year. Net operating cost increased to $1 trillion, up from last year's net operating cost of $275.5 billion.
GAO: U.S. Government’s 2008 Financial Report Demonstrates Significant Problems, December 15, 2008
"The FY 2008 Financial Report of the United States Government (Financial Report) published by the Department of the Treasury includes GAO's report on the accompanying U.S. government's consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2008 and 2007, and the associated reports on internal control and compliance with significant laws and regulations." Related postings on financial system

Exceptionalism is the perception that a country, society, institution, movement, or time period is "exceptional" in some way and thus does not conform to normal rules or general principles. The uniqueness theme was introduced by the German romantic philosopher-historians, especially Johann Gottfried Herder and Johann Fichte in the late 18th century.

Emil von Reznicek (1860-1945) is remembered mainly for the overture to his opera Donna Diana, composed in 1894. The overture is a popular stand-alone piece at symphony concerts and also served as the theme for the American radio (1947-1955) series Challenge of the Yukon, which later migrated to the TV series (1955-1958) Sergeant Preston of the Yukon. It was also used in the 1950s on the BBC's Children's Hour by Stephen King-Hall for his talks on current affairs.

Old-Time Radio - Music Theme List

The Spell Checker poem, originally composed in 1991, made its first official appearance in The Journal of Irreproducible Results in 1994. Since then, it has made its way around the Internet under various titles, including "Spell Checker Blues," "Owed to a Spelling Checker," and "Spellbound." Almost always the poem is attributed to Anonymous or, more playfully, "Sauce unknown."

Recommended Web sites for book lovers from a muse reader:

My Own Book is an organization where teens visit disadvantaged K through 3rd graders, read a story aloud, tell about the public library, and then each child gets to choose their very own book from a selection of brand new books. Finally, a book plate is added to the book with the child's name on it. We are spreading the love of reading: one book at a time, one child at a time.

On December 19, 1843 Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, whom Dickens described as "a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner. Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire."
On December 19, 1941 the Office of Censorship was created. It was a special emergency wartime agency ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He appointed Byron Price to head the agency. Price was a veteran journalist, the general manager of the Associated Press. Price advocated a system of voluntary censorship for the presses, and it was successful during World War II because the war had popular support.
The Writer’s Almanac

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On December 15, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it has turned down another case relating to President-elect Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve as president. The suit, filed by Cort Wrontowski of Connecticut, argued that Mr. Obama could not serve because he held dual citizenship at birth, due to his father’s Kenyan citizenship. The suit tested uncharted legal waters, asserting that dual citizenship at birth cannot be construed as “natural-born” citizenship, as is required by the Constitution for the office of the president. Mr. Wrontowski’s case, dismissed without comment from the court, closely resembled a similar case filed by a New Jersey man. The Supreme Court also dismissed that case. Several other court cases surrounding the controversy over Mr. Obama’s eligibility to serve as president are still progressing. Berg v. Obama, filed by a Pennsylvania deputy attorney general, argues that Mr. Obama was not born in the U.S., but in Kenya.

Just about everyone seems to have been victimized by Bernie Madoff’s alleged massive Ponzi scheme. Now add a law school to the list. New York Law School filed an investor lawsuit on December 16 against J. Ezra Merkin, chairman of lender GMAC Financial Services, one of his funds—Ascot Partners—and its auditor over investments made through Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Here’s a story from DJ Newswires, and here’s the suit. WSJ Law Blog December 17, 2008

Pew Internet Survey: The Future of the Internet III
News release: "Some 578 leading Internet activists, builders, and commentators responded in this survey to scenarios about the effect of the Internet on social, political, and economic life in the year 2020. An additional 618 stakeholders also participated in the study, for a total of 1,196 participants who shared their views..."
The Future of the Internet III - "A survey of experts shows they expect major tech advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, and the structure of the Internet itself improves. They disagree about whether this will lead to more social tolerance, more forgiving human relations, or better home lives. December 14, 2008"

New on E-Discovery Update - My E-Discovery Holiday Wish List
E-Discovery Update: My E-Discovery Holiday Wish List - Conrad J. Jacoby's holiday wish is for the legal community to finally develop one or more judicially accepted standards that can be used to craft consistent ways of requesting and producing information. With baseline procedures in place, both producing and requesting parties, as well as judges, will be able to make more informed decisions about the need for discovery and the way in which such discovery should be conducted.

Google Foresakes Algorithm Based Search Engine Results
UK Register: "Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement--and nobody has yet grasped its significance. Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm."
CNET: Does it matter if Google's search results are fixed?: "Google wants its search results to become more pragmatic, not for any political, social or even intellectual reason. The company simply thinks it's better for business. Advertising business. Most of us won't notice or care and will continue to depend on Google because it's so dominant, so fast, so very much our rolling dictionary of the world."

What do xero (dry) and penta (five) have in common? Both are Greek prefixes found in a dictionary of prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms at the following Web link:

A British archeologist has dug up a 2,000-year-old human skull with a well-preserved but shrunken brain in a muddy pit at the University of York in northern England. The oldest preserved brains were found in a peat bog in a Florida farm in 1986. The brains were 8,000 years old.

U.S. News Profiles Best Careers and Ahead-of-the-Curve Careers
Best Careers, 2009: "U.S. News profiles 30 careers that offer strong outlooks and high job satisfaction. Here's what's new in well as a look at 13 cutting-edge careers, viable now and poised for future growth. They stem from megatrends like globalization, digitization, and the wave of environmentalism sweeping the world."

To your health Blueberries revive memory—eat them. A study by British scientists indicates that they activate the part of the brain which controls learning and memory.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

pleach (pleech, playch)
To interlace branches or vines to make a hedge, decorative shape, arbor, etc.
From Old French plechier, from Latin plectere (to plait). Ultimately from the Indo-European root plek- (to plait) that is also the source of plait, pleat, pliant, ply, apply, deploy, display, exploit, replicate, and perplex A.Word.A.Day

Online library of literature
On this site you will find the full and unabridged texts of classic works of English literature. Fiction from authors like Lewis Carroll, the Bronte sisters (Anne, Charlotte and Emily), Jack London, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and many others, and classic scientific works from Charles Darwin and Rene Descartes. More books will be added soon, however as this site is maintained by enthusiasts rather than professional librarians this may be a very slow process. Our sponsor, the people behind the™ directory, is currently working on new technology that will make this updating easier and quicker in the near future. Please let us know what you think, and what new books you want added. For those who may not be familiar with Copyright law, we are unable to make works available that are not in the public domain. This means, basically, nothing where the author has not been dead for at least 75 to 90 years.
Authors Index Frequently Asked Questions

The traditional five senses are sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste: a classification attributed to Aristotle. Humans also have at least six additional senses (a total of eleven including interoceptive senses) that include: nociception (pain), equilibrioception (balance), proprioception & kinesthesia (joint motion and acceleration), sense of time, thermoception (temperature differences), and in some a weak magnetoception (direction). Depictions of the five senses was a popular subject for seventeenth-century artists.

The man who coined the term “sci-fi” Forrest James Ackerman (he used his middle initial, but without the period) was born in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, 1916. He saw his first science-fiction film in 1922: “One Glorious Day,” the story of a disembodied spirit that takes over the soul of a tired professor, played by Will Rogers. Four years later he discovered science-fiction magazines, starting with Amazing Stories, and began collecting them and science-fiction memorabilia. His collection eventually included more than 40,000 books and 100,000 film stills. His wife, Wendayne, a teacher who translated many science-fiction novels from French and German into English, put up with the collection but restricted it to the lower floors of the house, which in the science-fiction world was known as the Ackermansion, in Horrorwood, Karloffornia. (After her death in 1990, the collection began creeping up the stairs.)
After serving in the Army during World War II, he started a literary agency that eventually represented, by his count, 200 writers, including, at different times, Ray Bradbury, H. P. Lovecraft and L. Ron Hubbard, who later founded Scientology.
Mr. Ackerman said he came up with “sci-fi” in 1954. He was driving in a car with his wife when he heard a radio announcer say “hi-fi.” The term sci-fi just came reflexively and unbidden out of his mouth, he said.

Locus (magazine of science fiction and fantasy) index to science fiction is under Resources at: See also interviews and reviews.

Q. What do Helma Zukas, Sherlock Holmes, and Nicki Styx have in common?
A. They are fictional characters in series.

Famous poets, their poems, books, biographies and quotes, poet of the month

Shanghai is sinking
Shanghai, China's most populous city and an aspiring global financial center, is also one of the world's urban areas most vulnerable to a rise in sea levels as global warming melts polar ice. Its location on a low-lying alluvial plain near the mouth of Asia's longest river, the Yangtze, already leaves it prone, and researchers further warn that the forests of skyscrapers sprouting across the metropolis could compound the threat by causing its marshy ground to sink. There are about 10,000 buildings with more than 10 floors in Shanghai, of which 80 percent have been built in the past 10 years, according to Emporis, one of the world's leading providers of building information.

December 16 is the birthday of Jane Austen, (books by this author) born in Hampshire, England (1775). Jane Austen published her books anonymously; the byline stated that the book was by "a Lady." Not many people read her books while she was alive, though she had a small, devoted readership. She died in 1817. Five decades later, her nephew published A Memoir of Jane Austen (1869), which generated widespread interest in his aunt and led to the reprinting of her novels. It touched off a sort of mania for Jane Austen in the 1880s, known as "Austenolatry." Today there are numerous groups devoted to her work, and thousands of self-proclaimed "Janeites." The Janeites in the U.S. are likely members of JASNA, the Jane Austen Society of North America, "dedicated to the enjoyment and appreciation of Jane Austen and her writing." The Jane Austen Society of North America has more than 4,000 members and 60 regional groups. JASNA organizes tours to England to visit Austen-themed sites. It publishes an annual online journal, Persuasions On-Line. And it holds an annual fall meeting in a North American city, and over the course of three days, there are lectures by Austen scholars, English country dancing, and picnics like the one described at Box Hill in Emma, where each picnicker brings a dish to share and carries it in a wicker basket. There's also an annual Jane Austen essay contest. The Writer’s Almanac

Monday, December 15, 2008

Electoral College votes on December 15
Big states, whether red or blue, get shortchanged--thanks to the political deal hatched by the Founders to boost rural clout. For instance, Wyoming, with 515,000 people, gets three electors (equal to two senators and one House member), while Pennsylvania, with 12.4 million people, gets 21 electors (equal to two senators and 19 House members). That's 172,000 people for each Wyoming elector, and 592,000 people for each Pennsylvania elector. This disparity violates the Supreme Court-endorsed principle of one person, one vote. Democrats who live in states such as Texas and Alabama, and Republicans who live in states such as New York and California, are essentially doomed to cast meaningless votes, because the odds are overwhelming that their candidates will never win statewide. Only the "swing state" citizens get to feel important at election time--which explains why candidates typically lavish far more attention on Florida than on Massachusetts.

It's Time to Junk the Electoral College --we don't need an amendment to do it
The Electoral College was created in 1787 by a constitutional convention whose delegates were unconvinced that the election of the president could be entrusted to an unfiltered vote of the people, and were concerned about the division of power among the 13 states. Under the proposed National Popular Vote compact, already enacted by four states--Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois and Hawaii--and introduced in 41 others, state legislatures would agree to choose electors who promise to support the winner of the nationwide popular vote.

Love Fatigues is a New York-based clothing manufacturer of, among other things, Barack Obama t-shirts. Bambu, an iconic brand of rolling papers is suing the company for trademark infringement.
The complaint begins:
Bambu, one of the World’s 1000 Oldest Companies, opened its doors in 1764. Since that time, Bambu has led the rolling paper industry in standard and style.
The complaint essentially alleges that Love Fatigue’s Barack Obama-related designs rip off Bambu’s trademark. “Significantly,” the complaint goes on, “Defendants are facilitating consumer confusion by describing their shirts as ‘Obambu.’ . . . Moreover, Defendants’ unlawful conduct is likely to subject Bambu to criticism and scorn insofar as Defendants are depicting President-elect Barack Obama smoking marijuana, and such depiction is likely to confuse the consuming public into believing that the offensive advertising emanated from Bambu.” Click here for the suit, which was filed yesterday in the Southern District of New York.
WSJ Law Blog December 12, 2008

List of oldest companies, 578-1851 according to Wikipedia

On December 13, a car turned on a major street in Toledo going through a red light—we nearly collided—he was mad and I was confused. He had no headlights on and I didn’t understand he was in a line of cars going to a cemetery. Ohio law defines a funeral procession as two or more vehicles accompanying a dead person in the daytime and operating with headlights lit and displaying a purple and white pennant. Pedestrians and other vehicles, except emergency vehicles or vehicles directed by a police officer, must yield right-of-way to the procession. The other vehicles in the procession can follow the lead vehicle that lawfully entered the intersection regardless of the traffic signal, provided they exercise due care (Ohio Code § 4511. 451). You may find your own state at the following link: Please note the information is from 2004, and should be checked to see if still valid.

Management of one million feral camels in Australia People are asked to eat camel meat to help save the continent's water resources being consumed by the roaming animals in the desert.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Senate on December 11 abandoned efforts to fashion a government rescue of the American automobile industry, as Senate Republicans refused to support a bill endorsed by the White House and Congressional Democrats.

December 11, 2008 was the 100th birthday of composer Elliott Carter Carter's early musical ambitions were fostered in the 1930s and '40s by his friend and mentor Charles Ives, who sold insurance to Carter's parents. Carter emerged as part of a milieu that brought forth choreographer George Balanchine, artist Alexander Calder, and the Wadsworth Athenaeum and Museum of Modern Art as centers of agitation for modernism in the arts in America. The Pulitzer Prize first went to Carter in 1960 in recognition of his works for string quartet. As America's senior composer, Carter has been exceptionally active in recent years, with 30 of his 130 works written in the last 10 years, and nine of them composed in 2007 alone.

Google has finally released the full version of Google Chrome browser and yanked the 'beta' label off it. Google Chrome 1.0 is available for download and installation on Windows. Meanwhile, Google is reportedly working for Chrome support on Mac OSX and Linux platform. Dell is reportedly in talks with Google for pre-installed components. According to Google UK's managing director Dennis Woodside, Chrome would definitely come pre-installed with a leading maker in early 2009, reports Financial Times.

Official Google Search Blog: We're announcing an initiative to help bring more magazine archives and current magazines online, partnering with publishers to begin digitizing millions of articles from titles as diverse as New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Ebony...You can search for magazines through Google Book'll find magazine articles alongside books results. Magazine articles are tagged with the keyword "Magazine" on the search snippet.

The Tiber, on whose banks Rome was founded, is expected to overflow its banks on December 11, officials said. The area around a historic pedestrian bridge across the river was sealed off, with evacuations of neighboring areas expected later. The river used to flood regularly until high stone embankments were built in the 19th century.

"The mission of Let's Say Thanks is to provide a way for individuals across the country to recognize U.S. troops stationed overseas. By submitting a message through this site you have the opportunity to send a free personalized postcard greeting to deployed servicemen and women. The postcards, depicting patriotic scenes and hometown images, were selected from a pool of entries from children across the country.
All you have to do is click on your favorite design and either select the message that best expresses your sentiment or draft a personal note. The postcards are then printed on the Xerox iGen3® Digital Production Press and mailed in care packages by military support organization Give2TheTroops®."

Toyland, Toyland,
Little girl and boy land
While you dwell within it
You are ever happy then.

Childhood's Joy land,
Mystic, merry Toyland,
Once you pass its borders
You can never return again.
Babes in Toyland
Book and lyrics by Glen MacDonough,
Music by Victor Herbert (1903)
a fantasy inspired by Frank L. Baum's popular The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Oz Series
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The Marvelous Land of Oz
Ozma of Oz
Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Road to Oz
The Emerald City of Oz
The Patchwork Girl of Oz

Little Wizard Stories of Oz
Tik-Tok of Oz
The Scarecrow of Oz
Rinkitink In Oz
The Lost Princess Of Oz
The Tin Woodman Of Oz
The Magic of Oz
Glinda Of Oz

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Delaware corporate law under siege
Only two publicly traded companies are incorporated in North Dakota, notes The Wall Street Journal, but last year North Dakota lawmakers —prodded by out-of-state activists including Carl Icahn—enacted the nation’s most shareholder-friendly corporate-governance law.

Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich (pronounced bluh-GOY-uh-vich) of Illinois was arrested by federal authorities on December 9 and charged with corruption, including an allegation that he conspired to profit from his authority to appoint President-elect Barack Obama’s successor in the United States Senate, prosecutors said. As Mr. Blagojevich, a Democrat, mulled the Senate appointment, prosecutors say, he discussed gaining “a substantial salary” at a nonprofit foundation or organization connected to labor unions, placing his wife on corporate boards where she might earn as much as $150,000 a year and trying to gain promises of campaign money, or even a cabinet post or ambassadorship, for himself.
As officials in Illinois struggle to cope with an unusual situation following the arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich in a federal political corruption case, the state's attorney general is suggesting that the Illinois Supreme Court could play a key role in determining whether he should continue in office. Lisa Madigan, who called yesterday for Blagojevich to resign, is now discussing possible options to pursue if he won't, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The $14 billion bailout bill currently making its way through the halls of Congress stands mostly to benefit the U.S. auto industry. But it also, oddly, stands to benefit federal district judges. Here’s why: The bill attaches an annual cost-of-living adjustment—or COLA—for federal judges, which, when implemented, will bring them in line with members of Congress, who get a $5,000 boost at the start of the year. District judges and members of Congress make $169,300. Here’s the AP story. Click here, here and here for other LB posts on the topic of judicial pay, which has been raging for years.
WSJ Law Blog December 10, 2008

The New York Times has a list of Notable Books from 2008 , and a list of list of Notable Books for Children from 2008.

The Neglected Books page. Here you'll find lists of thousands of books that have been neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste.

Hidden away in the tiny town of Ellisville, population 86, is one great big treasure: 3,500 books packed into 336 square feet, probably the smallest public library in the state of Illinois. The tiny library, however, has actually grown over the last five years.
In 1966, Ellisville native Helen Myers rented the town’s old telephone office, a space consisting of just 140 square feet, and started the library. For the next 37 years, Helen single-handedly maintained the library through donations and her own money. By 2002, with the telephone building falling apart and the owner of the building refusing to sell, Helen decided it was time to move. Using donations she had built up in a savings account and some of her own money, she spent $8,000 to have a new library constructed on a piece of land she already owned, just down the street from the telephone office.
Word of Helen’s work spread, and First Lady Laura Bush sent seven books and a letter, which is framed on the library’s back wall. Television celebrity Monty Hall sent her a check for $100, and the widow of author Louis L’Amour sent $300. Five years after the new library’s opening, Helen, now 82, still opens up the library from 9 to 11 a.m. every Saturday and hopes that people will come discover a great book.
One of the library’s missing books is Edgar Lee Masters’ ‘‘Spoon River Anthology,’’ which made the river that Ellisville sits next to famous.

Counties of the United States: county officials, courthouse addresses, county seats, cities within a county as well as various statistical and geographical information

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On December 8, the Supreme Court turned aside a New Jersey voter’s plea for the Court to determine if President-elect Barack Obama was qualified to run for the White House—that is whether he was a “natural born citizen.” The stay application came in the case of Donofrio v. Wells, Secretary of State of New Jersey (08A407). This marked the second time in recent weeks for the Court to turn aside such a challenge; the first came on November 3, in Berg v. Obama (08A391).
Donofrio contends that two other candidates, Republican John McCain and Socialist Workers candidate Roger Calero, also are not natural-born citizens and thus ineligible to be president.,0,7258812.story

"State Responses to Immigration: A Database of All State Legislation is a free, searchable data tool designed to generate information about all immigration-related bills and resolutions introduced in state legislatures. Classified by state, region, subject area, legislative type, and bill status, this is the only database that allows users to find out, for example, the status of enforcement initiatives introduced in their state, compare the number of bills regulating employment, or evaluate the passage rate of health-related bills across the nation. State Responses to Immigration is a joint project of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and a research team at the New York University School of Law (NYU).”

Constitution of the U.S. 2008 Supplement: Cases Decided to June 26, 2008. Senate Document No. 110-17. NOTE: Certain documents from the 2002 Edition have been supplemented in the 2008 Supplement. Constitution of the United States: Main Page

Use forums, resources or blog at this American Library Association Web site (provided by a new reader)

Greenwash noun or verb
A false or misleading picture of environmental friendliness used to conceal or obscure damaging activities
bloxicon noun
lexicon or glossary of words or phrases used in a blog

Eli Whitney hadn't intended on the widespread sale of his cotton gin (he and his partner had planned on making money by cleaning cotton for a share of the profits), but the drum's simplicity and utility helped breed infringement issues, legal wrangling, and near bankruptcy for its inventor and manufacturer. Eli Whitney's cotton gin took its name from the gin that is short for engine; since 1796 (two years after Whitney's patent was granted), cotton gin has been used to name the machine that separates the seeds, hull, and foreign material from cotton. That's not the only gin noun in our lexicon. The other gin, however, has a different derivation. The colorless alcoholic gin is a shortening and alteration of geneva, the term for a highly aromatic bitter gin originally made in the Netherlands. Geneva is itself a modification of the Dutch version of juniper, the berry which flavors gin. M-W Word for the Wise

To your health A Spanish study of over 1,000 older adults comparing low fat versus two types of Mediterranean diet found that a Mediterranean diet enriched with nuts could be helpful in managing metabolic syndrome, a collection of risk factors for heart disease such as belly fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.

The study was the work of Dr Jordi Salas-Salvadó, of the University of Rovira i Virgili in Spain, and colleagues from many other research centres throughout Spain, and is published in the December 8/22 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

December 9 is the birthday of cartoonist, humorist, and poet Ashleigh Brilliant, (books by this author) born in London (1933). He's best known for his "Pot-Shots," sayings and one-liners that are never more than 17 words. He illustrates them with pen-and-ink drawings. One of his Pot-Shots is: "All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power." Pot-Shots have appeared on mugs, tote bags, and T-shirts, and in several book collections. The Writer’s Almanac

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bouncing pickles
According to Connecticut law, for a pickle to be qualified as a pickle it must bounce when held one foot above an oak table. Martin Elementary School media specialist Lisa Plavin (Manchester, CT) knew that, plus nine other fascinating facts about her state. As a result, she has won for her school a 52-volume set of children’s books about the United States from Scholastic Library Publishing. Other interesting tidbits can be found in this Journal Inquirer article.

Independent bookstores are the sober equivalent of your local bar: Not only does everyone know your name, they know what you like. Furthermore, they benefit the publishing business: “Independent stores are where innovation lies,” says Kent Carroll of Europa Editions. “They can still make best sellers. The chains didn’t come onboard until after the fact.” Here is New York Magazine's listing of fourteen great NYC bookstores.

Created in 1950 by Venetian restaurateur Giuseppe Cipriani, carpaccio is named after Vittore Carpaccio, the Renaissance painter. Cipriani created the dish for the Countess Amalia Nani Mocenigo, who had been under doctor’s orders to avoid cooked meats. According to Cipriani’s memoir, he chose to name the dish after Carpaccio because the red in the beef matched the colors found in Carpaccio’s paintings. Recently, some restaurants have begun using the term for similarly prepared non-meat dishes (such as pear carpaccio). M-W Word of the Day

On December 6, 1877 Thomas Alva Edison recited "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into his new phonograph device. It was the world's first recording of the human voice. Edison had invented a method to inscribe telegraph messages through indentations on paper tape, and then store them to send later. So he wondered if the same could be done for sound. He figured that he could use a metal cylinder wrapped in tin foil, and when he spoke into a mouthpiece, the sound vibrations would be indented onto the cylinder in a specific pattern by a recording needle. So he made a sketch, and gave it to John Kruesi, a Swiss machinist who worked with him. In less than a week, Kruesi presented Edison with a model. Edison wrapped the cylinder in tinfoil, turned the handle, and shouted a verse of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" into the mouthpiece. To everyone's shock, the machine repeated it back.
December 7 is known as "Delaware Day" in that state, because it was on this day in 1787 that Delaware became the first state of the United States, when 30 delegates met in Battell's Tavern in Dover and ratified the U.S. Constitution.
December 7 is the birthday of the sculptor Bernini, born Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini in Naples in 1598. He sculpted many fountains around Rome, and he's most famous for his work as an architect and artist on St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
December 7 is the birthday of novelist Willa Cather, (books by this author) born in Back Creek Valley, Virginia (1873). Her family moved to Nebraska where Cather spent most of her free time talking to the immigrant farmers and listening to their stories about their homelands. She was amazed that they had come to America to be farmers, even though most of them had been tailors, locksmiths, joiners, and cigar-makers, and had never farmed in their lives. She went to college, then moved to New York City and became a successful magazine editor for McClure's. After 10 years, she quit her job and took a trip back to Nebraska, where she was inspired to begin work on O Pioneers! (1913). The Writer’s Almanac

In Toledo: The Lyric Photoplay Society of the Collingwood Arts Center presents a gala Christmas theatre pipe organ concert followed by a classic movie:
"Angel on My Shoulder" (1946) starring Claude Rains, Paul Muni and Anne Baxter
2413 Collingwood Avenue
Attended parking as well as our concession counter for your convenience. Theatre Organ Concert begins 2:15 p.m. and movie at 3p.m. Admission $5

Friday, December 5, 2008

Quips George Bernard Shaw had written a new play, and sent Winston Churchill two tickets to the opening night performance, along with a note reading, 'Here are two tickets to my new play. Bring a friend, if you have one.' Churchill replied immediately: 'Sorry, but I can't make it to the opening night performance. Please send me tickets to the second performance, if there is one.';f=101;t=000069;p=0

The story of The Saturday Evening Post begins with Benjamin Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette, first published in 1728, and became known as The Saturday Evening Post in 1821. Initially it was four-page newspaper with no illustrations that daringly tackled political controversy. The modern era of The Saturday Evening Post began in 1897 when famed magazine publisher, Cyrus H. K. Curtis, purchased the magazine for one thousand dollars. Curtis, who also founded The Ladies Home Journal, was well aware of the distinguished legacy of the publication.. Under the leadership of editor George Horace Latimer, The Saturday Evening Post became the first magazine ever to reach 1,000,000 copies sold.

Who did magazine covers for one magazine from 1916-1963? See answer at following Web link:
What’s on your reading list? Recently we heard about a group of law profs at the University of Chicago who are sharing their reading recommendations, just in time for the holidays. And in the December issue of the ABA Journal, ABA President Tommy Wells shared a couple of books he likes to read and gift (no surprise that they're published by the ABA). Personally, we can't wait for the late January release of John Grisham's new book, The Associate.
Quote “It is one thing to look but quite another to see.”
Cartoonist Milton Caniff, who published his first cartoon in Dayton Journal at age 14

In Ohio, librarian Mary Ellen Armentrout researched the status of Ohio's 115 Carnegie libraries. She gathered photographs of each structure for a self-published book. Armentrout hopes to create an exhibition that would travel to each of the Carnegie buildings over a four-year period. "The Carnegie buildings were very well built, and even though they're approaching 100 years, they've weathered beautifully," Armentrout says. "Without the Carnegies, we wouldn't have the strong public library system we have today."

Indiana was the largest recipients of Carnegie grants with 156, followed by California with 121. The only states without Carnegie libraries are Alaska, Delaware and Rhode Island.

December 5 is the birthday of Rose Wilder Lane, (books by this author) born in 1887 in De Smet, Dakota Territory. She worked for the San Francisco Bulletin as a reporter, an editor, and the author of romance serials. She wrote biographies of Henry Ford, Charlie Chaplin, Jack London, and Herbert Hoover. She was a prolific and popular author, and one of the highest-paid female writers in America.
Rose Wilder Lane struggled with depression, and during one of her worst bouts, she went to stay with her parents on their farm in Missouri. Her mother, Laura Ingalls Wilder, was then in her 60s, and one day she showed Rose a manuscript she had been working on, the story of her childhood. No one is sure how much Rose and Laura collaborated, but Rose certainly helped her mother edit the manuscripts, and might have even helped write them. And they became the books in the Little House series, which include Little House in the Big Woods (1932), Farmer Boy (1933), Little House on the Prairie (1935), and On the Banks of Plum Creek (1937). The Writer’s Almanac

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A TANK AWAY continued: Lancaster and Columbus
Merchant, pioneer and soldier Colonel Ebenezer Zane founded New Lancaster on November 10, 1800. The name was suggested by one of the predominately German settlers from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The town’s name was shortened to Lancaster in 1805. Lancaster is the seat of Fairfield County, eighth county formed in the Northwest Territory. It was created December 10, 1800 and included present counties Delaware, Knox and Licking plus parts of Franklin, Perry, Pickaway and Hocking. Several museums in Lancaster are within a couple of blocks of each other: Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, Doll and Toy Museum (Mid-Ohio Historical Museum), Georgian Museum, Glass Museum and Sherman House Museum, birthplace and childhood home of William T. Sherman (Civil War general) and John Sherman (lawyer, member of U.S. House and Senate, Secretary of Treasury and State, chief author of the Sherman Antitrust Act.) We stopped briefly in Ohio’s state capital, Columbus, on the way home to visit the Ohio Historical Center (Rockwell’s America, Currier and Ives prints, Milton Caniff exhibits) and Franklin Park Conservatory.

Antitrust Suit Planned by DOJ Terminated Google-Yahoo Ad Agreement
AmLawDaily: "Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. called off their joint advertising agreement just three hours before the Department of Justice planned to file antitrust charges to block the pact, according to the lawyer who would have been lead counsel for the government."
Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7

2008 State New Economy Index: Benchmarking Economic Transformation in the States
"In a report sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, ITIF [Information Technology and Innovation Foundation] employs 29 indicators to assess the extent to which the 50 state economies are structured according to the tenets of the New Economy. The changing economic landscape requires state economies to be innovative, globally-linked, entrepreneurial and dynamic, with an educated workforce and all sectors embracing the use of information technology. The report, which updates and expands on the State New Economy Index reports from 2002 and 2007, ranks the states accordingly. The five states ranking the highest in 2008 are, in order of rank, Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. With these measures as a frame of reference, the report outlines the next generation of innovative state-level public policies needed to meet the challenges of the New Economy, improve state competitiveness and boost incomes of all Americans."
The 2008 State New Economy Index, Benchmarking Economic Transformation In the States, November 2008

FTC Consumer Information - Credit and Loans: "The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, has prepared a brochure, Your Access to Free Credit Reports, explaining your rights under the FCRA and how to order a free annual credit report."

With the clock ticking down on his administration it looks likely that President George W. Bush will use his clout to introduce a new rule that will make it easier for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers to refuse to participate in any medical procedure they view as morally "objectionable." If President Bush approves the new rule by Dec. 20, it will be final when the Obama administration takes office at noon Jan. 20 and require a new rule-making procedure to overturn it. Outgoing Health and Human Services Department Secretary Michael O. Leavitt, the former governor of Utah and a prominent conservative Mormon, has reportedly vowed to make sure the controversial rule becomes a final regulation before the Obama administration takes over. Health workers have already been able to refuse to participate in abortions, this new rule might mean they could also refuse to participate in such things as providing birth control for married couples, along with single women, and in assisting with artificial insemination for married couples with fertility problems who want a baby. The rule being contemplated by the Bush administration is very broad and would apply to any medical facility and health care workers that received federal funds. It would allow them to choose not to participate in any procedure that they found in any way objectionable to their personal morality or religious views. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has advised the president that the rule would overturn four decades of civil rights laws in the nation. They also say that current law protects people who have religious objections from performing duties that conflict with their religion.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

In Zanesville, a friendly librarian at John McIntire Library, Muskingum County Library System took us outside to point out the second floor of the Carnegie Library where the 1913 flood reached.
He then took us upstairs to see the stained glass ceilings in the Carnegie wing of the renovated and enlarged library. In 1796, Ebenezer Zane was granted a commission to open a land route through Ohio between Wheeling, Virginia (later West Virginia) to Limestown, (later Maysville) Kentucky, a distance of 266 miles. Zane’s Trace would later intermingle with the National Road.
Zanesville (“Clay City,” “Y Bridge City,”) seat of Muskingum County and second capital of Ohio (1810-1812) has had a series of five bridges built in the shape of Y. Amelia Earhart said the Zanesville was the most recognizable city in the country from the air because of the Y bridge. Read about National Road/Zane Grey Museum in Norwich 10 miles east of Zanesville and other attractions at
To be continued: Lancaster and Columbus

A dozen billboards around the state that urge Georgians to "Get Married, Stay Married" are sponsored not by a church or family-values group but by the Supreme Court of Georgia through its Commission on Children, Marriage and Family Law. Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears said that the 48-foot-wide, 14-foot-tall billboards are one of the few things a jurist can do to battle high crime rates, high divorce rates and low numbers of fathers raising their kids. Along with the "Get Married, Stay Married" slogan, each sign shows a happy-looking mother, father and child and one of two messages: "Children do better with parents together" or "For Children's Sake." "We paid $50,000 to get about $500,000 worth of billboard space to send this vital message," Sears said, noting that the costs of the billboards themselves were paid by the Georgia Bar Foundation and "not state money." The billboard space was donated by the Outdoor Advertising Association of Georgia, which donates unused billboard space to charitable, civic and governmental organizations.

Paul Newman took extra effort in crafting his will to make clear that he wanted his likeness controlled in the exacting way he protected his image during his lifetime.
In a will that largely reveals his wish to donate most of his wealth to charity, Newman urged his executors to prevent uses of his image that he "did not approve during my lifetime," the New York Times City Room blog reports. Newman also specified that he didn't want his image to be used to promote any foods of lesser quality than the ones currently being offered by Newman's Own.
Newman also made clear that he didn't want his image manipulated to create performances that never occurred, explicitly noting that his executors should prevent any "virtual performance or reanimation of any performance by me by the use of any technique, technology or medium now in existence or which may be known or created in the future anywhere in the universe."

What’s wrong with the phrase “home cooking at it’s very best”—see many examples of its use at link below. HINT: A clue is in previous sentence.

United States, December 2: Millions of people watched the sky last night to see the “smiley face” made by the planets Jupiter and Venus and the moon. Those who missed the amazing arrangement of the heavenly bodies need not fret, because tonight sky watchers will once again have the opportunity to see the planets making this unique arrangement. In the Southern Hemisphere, the heavenly bodies resembled a smiley face while it resembled a frowning face in the Northern Hemisphere.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Look up on Monday evening, December 1, and you will probably see a slender crescent moon, just 15 percent illuminated, in close proximity to the brightest planets in our sky, Venus and Jupiter.

CongressLine: Presidential Patronage - Paul Jenks's commentary addresses the background of the scramble for thousands of presidentially appointed offices within the government that accompanies a new administration. The selection process has evolved over the past couple of hundred years and every position outside of the new president’s personal staff requires Senate approval.

The Government Domain: Tracking the Transition - Peggy Garvin's thorough and concise guide to free online presidential transition trackers allows you to stay current with all the latest news, rumors and commentary about the incoming administration, via reliable websites, blogs and RSS feeds.

Before 1791, the federal government had no permanent site
The early Congresses met in eight different cities: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Lancaster, York, Princeton, Annapolis, Trenton, and New York City. The subject of a permanent capital for the government of the United States was first raised by Congress in 1783; it was ultimately addressed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution (1787), which gave the Congress legislative authority over "such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of Particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States. ..."

The most famous Thanksgiving celebration was in the fall of 1621, when the Plymouth colonists celebrated with the Wampanoag Indians. It was the colonists' first harvest, so it was a joyful occasion. The Pilgrims had barely survived the last winter and had lost about half their population. But since then, they had built seven houses, a meeting place, and three storehouses for food. They invited the Wampanoag Indians to feast with them. Unlike our modern Thanksgiving, this event wasn't just one day. Many of the Wampanoag had to walk two days to get to the Plymouth settlement. There were about 50 English people and 90 Wampanoag, and since there wasn't enough room in the seven houses for the guests, they went ahead and built themselves temporary shelters. In between eating, they played games and sports, danced and sang.
There were actually Thanksgiving ceremonies in the United States much earlier—in 1565, 600 Spanish settlers arrived in what is now St. Augustine, Florida, and had a Mass of Thanksgiving to celebrate their safe arrival, and followed it up with a feast. Other Thanksgiving celebrations occurred in El Paso, Texas, and in the Virginia Colony.
Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a national holiday on different dates, in different months, and one year it was even celebrated twice. It wasn't standardized until 1941, when President Roosevelt signed a bill declaring that the fourth Thursday in November would be Thanksgiving Day. The Writer’s Almanac

Toledo Metroparks celebrate 80th anniversary
W.W. Farnsworth was a fruit farmer and state senator when he helped found the park district in 1928. He served as a member of the board before resigning to become the first director. During his tenure, six parks were established with the help of federal work programs during the Great Depression. The second director, K. Max Shepherst, oversaw the park’s growth from 1,300 to 5,000 acres. Shepherst told The Blade that he had personally planted 13,000 acorns one autumn.
Metroparks Magazine Fall 2008/Winter 2009

December 1 is the birthday of writer John Crowley, (books by this author) born in 1942 in Presque Isle, Maine. His most famous novel is Little, Big (1981). It's a fantasy story, full of fairies and enchantment, but it's also an epic saga of a New England family, complete with historical details. The critic Harold Bloom chose Little, Big as one of the books that changed his life. He said, "I have read and reread Little, Big at least a dozen times, and always am startled and refreshed." The Writer’s Almanac

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

As President Bush readies to leave office, well-connected lawyers are being hired to press for pardons for their convicted clients. Among the lawyers are former solicitor general Ted Olson, hired to represent former junk-bond king Milchael Milken, the Washington Post reports. Milken pleaded guilty in 1990 to securities violations following an insider trading investigation, the Post says in a blog post at Washington Post Investigations. Another lawyer representing clemency clients is former White House lawyer H. Christopher Bartolomucci, now a partner at Hogan & Hartson in Washington, D.C. Bartolomucci worked on pardons in the White House from 2001 to 2003. The Post article does not name his clients. So far, President George W. Bush has granted only 157 pardons out of 2,064 requests, and six commutations out of 7,707 requests, the story says. Pardons at the end of a term can raise fairness concerns.

U.S. presidential inaugurations took place in March or April until 1937

“Greening house by house is already catching on--the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) extended its Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) rating system to residences to meet the interest in more environmentally friendly homes. But the next steps will be tougher. The sprawl of the suburbs has ensured that much of the energy we consume--and carbon we emit--comes from our dependence on cars. Until we change the layout of our neighborhoods--reversing the suburban ideal of semi-isolated homes--living green won't be easy. 'Having a green neighborhood and a green home are two different things,' says Michelle Moore, a vice president at USGBC."

From: Grant Barrett (gbarrett
Subject: Word-of-the-Year Nominations Open
The American Dialect Society is now accepting nominations for the "word of the year" of 2008. What is the word or phrase which best characterizes the year 2008? What expression most reflects the ideas, events, and themes which have occupied the United States and its residents? Nominations should be sent to (woty at
They will be considered for the American Dialect Society's 19th annual word-of-the-year vote, the longest-running vote of its kind in the world and the word-of-the-year event up to which all others lead. It will be held in San Francisco on January 9, 2009.
The best "word of the year" candidates will be:
new or newly popular in 2008
widely or prominently used in 2008
indicative or reflective of the national discourse
Multi-word compounds or phrases that act as single lexical items are welcomed, as well.
Sub-categories for "word of the year" include most useful, most creative, most unnecessary, most outrageous, most euphemistic, most likely to succeed, and least likely to succeed. Past winners can be found on the society's website.

Capitol Hill, White House, National Politics:

City Council banishes the mayor's wife from City Hall in Kansas City, Missouri

Google search examples
For specific site, type
For search in government domain, type "congressional review act" and site:gov
For search in educational domain, type "congressional review act" and site:edu
For search within range of numbers, type "leather shoes" $100..$200
For currency conversion, type 1,000 U.S. dollars in euros

The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century as listed by National Public Radio
“You can also view a condensed list without descriptions or audio, the original NPR 300 -- the preliminary list of works, or you can find out in text form how we put it all together.”

November 25 is the birthday of the man who popularized the story of Paul Bunyan, a man named James Stevens, (books by this author) who was probably born on this day on a farm near Albia, Iowa, in 1892. He worked as a logger, and at night in the logging camps, he listened to stories about Paul Bunyan. He wrote an article about the strongman who was a legend in the timber industry, and people liked it. So he wrote a whole book of stories, which he published in 1925 as Paul Bunyan. The Writer’s Almanac

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rules issued by presidents in their final months in office, like most issued by federal agencies, need no congressional approval, and a phrase has been coined to describe them. They became known as “midnight regulations,” after the “midnight judges” appointed by John Adams in the final hours of his Presidency. Under an obscure law passed in 1996, Congress has the power to revoke recently imposed rules. That law has been used successfully only once.

Congressional Research Service Report: Midnight Rulemaking: Considerations for Congress and a New Administration, November 18, 2008
"Summary: At the end of every recent presidential administration involving a change in the party controlling the White House, the level of rulemaking activity by federal agencies tends to increase. On May 9, 2008, White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies stating that regulations to be finalized in this Administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than November 1, 2008.

Google has released a new feature, called SearchWiki, that allows users to vote search results up or down, remove them entirely, or leave notes with their thoughts. While the rankings appear to only affect the account of the user who made them for now, the notes are public and readable by anyone.

Fiction: Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library) - Interview
Nonfiction: Annette Gordon-Reed, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family (W.W. Norton & Company) -Interview
Young People's Literature: Judy Blundell, What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic) - Interview
Poetry: Mark Doty, Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems
(HarperCollins) - Interview

Phrase to remember in winter: “. . . below-zero air as bracing as champagne . . .”
Robert Service (1874-1958) Canadian writer (born in England) from Yukon Gold

Archives at University of Michigan
The Longone Center for American Culinary Research consists of the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive augmented by the rich Americana holdings of the Clements Library, catalogued for their culinary content. There are thousands of menus from restaurants, private dinners and banquets, especially from the Columbian Exposition in 1893.

mythologem (mi-THOL-uh-jem) noun
A basic theme of a myth, for example, revenge, honor, betrayal, etc.
From Greek mythologema (mythical narrative), from mythologein (to tell mythical tales), from mythos (myth) + -logos (word or speech) A.Word.A.Day

On November 23, 1783, Annapolis became the U.S. capital and remained so until June 1784.

On November 23, 1889 the Jukebox made its debut at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco. It was called a "nickel-in-the-slot player" and was built by the Pacific Phonograph Co. Later that year, jukeboxes were installed in other places around the city and on ferries that traveled back and forth across the bay between San Francisco and Oakland. The jukebox consisted of an electric phonograph inside a free-standing oak cabinet. The technology for amplifiers hadn't been perfected yet, so there were headphones, which looked like stethoscopes. Up to four people could listen to a song at any given time. In 1927, the Automatic Musical Instruments Company introduced the first jukebox with amplifiers. The Writer’s Almanac

Friday, November 21, 2008

Electronic Public Inspection Desk
News release "The Office of the Federal Register has created an Electronic Public Inspection Desk to provide free worldwide electronic access to public documents. For the first time in the 72-year existence of the daily Federal Register, the documents on file are available for viewing anytime, anywhere. Every Federal business day, anyone with access to a computer now can read critical documents governing Federal regulations relating to business, health, and safety as soon as the documents are placed on file. To view these documents, go to See "View Documents on Public Inspection" on the left hand side. This new desk grants the public access to documents that will be published in the next day's Federal Register as early at 8:45 a.m. EST. Previously, such documents could only be seen by viewing the documents physically located at the Office of the Federal Register in Washington, D.C."

NOAA Declares October Second Warmest for Global Temperatures
News release: "The combined global land and ocean surface average temperature for October 2008 was the second warmest since records began in 1880, according to a preliminary analysis by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center. NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources."
Climate of 2008 - October in Historical Perspective , National Climatic Data Center, 18 November 2008 Related postings on climate change

EPA Action Plan: Looking Toward a More Cost Effective, Energy Efficient Future
News release: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy are helping states lead the way in an effort to promote low cost energy efficiency. More than 60 energy, environmental and state policy leaders from across the country have come together to produce the updated National Action Plan Vision for 2025: A Framework for Change. The action plan outlines strategies to help lower the growth in energy demand across the country by more than 50 percent, and shows ways to save more than $500 billion in net savings over the next 20 years. These actions may help to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 90 million vehicles."

FTC Issues 2008 Report on U.S. Ethanol Market Concentration
News release: "The Commission has issued the report, 2008 Report on Ethanol Market Concentration. This is the Commission’s fourth annual report on the state of ethanol production in the United States, as required by the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The report concludes that the U.S. fuel ethanol market, measured on the basis of production or capacity, remains unconcentrated."

NASA Successfully Tests First Deep Space Internet
News release: "Working as part of a NASA-wide team, engineers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., used software called Disruption-Tolerant Networking, or DTN, to transmit dozens of space images to and from a NASA science spacecraft located about 20 million miles from Earth. "This is the first step in creating a totally new space communications capability, an interplanetary Internet," said Adrian Hooke, team lead and manager of space-networking architecture, technology and standards at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NASA and Vint Cerf, a vice president at Google Inc., in Mountain View, Calif., partnered 10 years ago to develop this software protocol. The DTN sends information using a method that differs from the normal Internet's Transmission-Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or TCP/IP, communication suite, which Cerf co-designed."

The National Republican National Glee Club was organized in 1872 in Columbus, Ohio, to participate in Ulysses S. Grant's presidential campaign
It subsequently took part in his inauguration and entertained at the White House. The organization carried the name of "Grant and Wilson Glee Club," names of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. The club marched in parades and sang at political affairs. In succeeding campaigns the club adopted the names of presidential candidates and continued to sing and march and was invited to inaugurals. On July 25, 1895, the club was incorporated and chartered as: “The National Republican Glee Club", Columbus, Ohio. Tod “spelled like God” B. Galloway, a Club president in the early days of the organization, was one of the writers of The Wiffenpoof Song. See various names of the club, lyrics and programs at:

Q. What author writes stories about people living on Earth (referred to as groundhogs or groundlubbers)—people who live on the Moon (referred to as colonials or loonies)—space lawyers, space music, and rolling roads?
A. Robert A. Heinlein
Selective bibliography: The Roads Must Roll, “It’s Great to be Back!”, The Green Hills of Earth, “If This Goes On—“, The Menace From Earth

On November 21, 1620 the pilgrims landed in what is now Provincetown, on Cape Cod. The 102 passengers had been onboard the Mayflower for 65 days.
November 21 is the birthday of Voltaire, (books by this author) the man who helped spark the Enlightenment in France, born François-Marie Arouet in Paris (1694). He was a well-known playwright and poet. He spent most of his late life in exile, and he wrote most of his work from England. In the last year of his life, 1778, he was allowed to return home to Paris. More than 300 people came to visit him his first day in the city, including Benjamin Franklin. Voltaire wrote "Let us read and let us dance ... two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." The Writer’s Almanac