Friday, May 28, 2010

In the city of Hermosa Beach, California and other upscale oceanfront communities, tattooing is effectively banned for what city officials say is a risk to the public's health, safety and welfare. Johnny Anderson 's request to open a parlor there was denied on grounds that zoning laws don't allow tattooing anywhere in the city. He sued in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging suppression of his 1st Amendment right to impart artistic expression on customers' bodies. The tattoo artist lost the first round of his legal challenge in 2008, when a federal judge deemed tattooing "not sufficiently imbued with elements of communication" to qualify as constitutionally protected speech. Anderson took his case to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this month, and some constitutional law scholars predict the outcome could be different in what would be the firs—and potentially precedent-setting—federal appellate decision on whether the tattoo artist is engaged in 1st Amendment-protected activity when designing and applying custom tattoos.,0,2921523.story

The False Claims Act, originally passed during the Civil War, was amended in 1986 to give prosecutors and plaintiffs a powerful tool to punish those who defraud the U.S.—and to recover money illicitly taken from the government. To a large degree, the incentives have worked: plaintiffs who help the government recover money typically recover a big percentage of the recovery. In recent years, the government has gotten much of its money back—and many plaintiffs have gotten rich. But has the process worked too well? That’s the question asked in a lengthy American Lawyer article by Amy Kolz The article focuses largely on a New Jersey physician named Joseph Piacentile. Over the last 15 years, Piacentile has been a whistle-blower in suits that have returned more than $1 billion to the U.S. Treasury. Among the notches on Piacentile’s qui tam belt are a $155 million settlement with Medco Health Solutions, Inc., in 2006; a $515 million settlement with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in 2007; and a $425 million settlement with Cephalon, Inc., in 2008. “Dr. Joe,” as he is known in the qui tam plaintiffs bar, has earned at least $17 million in whistle-blower awards, according to public records and an estimate of his share of the $46.5 million relator’s award in Cephalon. There is a darker perspective on Joseph Piacentile. Unlike most qui tam relators, he doesn’t blow the whistle as an employee or business partner of the companies he has sued. Instead he relies on secondhand information collected through his own investigations.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were three dangerous bird-women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli. In some later, rationalized traditions the literal geography of the "flowery" island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa, is fixed: sometimes on Cape Pelorum and at others in the islands known as the Sirenuse, near Paestum, or in Capreae. All such locations were surrounded by cliffs and rocks.

THOUGHTS FROM LYNNE Cooking equipment I can't live without
Whenever I cook in a pan, I have a wooden spatula in my hand. The wide flat bottom is infinitely more efficient that the little tip of a spoon. I can't count how many pan sauces I've saved from burning because that wide base keeps ingredients moving and boiling down at the same time. At about $6.00, I can replace those spatulas as needed. My big stainless steel colander is constantly in the sink. With its 14-inch diameter, I can rinse pounds of produce and toss the water away from generous helpings of pasta and greens. Restaurant supply stores are great places to find bargains in colanders. All-Clad's 12-inch sauté pan is where I pan-grill, stew, flash-cook pasta sauces and roast everything, since the handle is heat proof so the pan goes into the oven without a concern. It saved me from investing in a roasting pan for years. The Splendid Table May 26, 2010

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard;
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything."
- William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 2.7

Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Scholars Work: Panning for Gold in Libraries Marianne Ryan, Editor
Judith M. Nixon, Guest Columnist
How do liberal arts scholars work? For example, where do they get their ideas? When beginning a research project, do they start with a Google search, or the library’s homepage? How and when do scholars use libraries and library resources—especially library-funded databases? How has research changed since the explosion of the Web? See article here:

Literary Resources: A Pathfinder Neal Wyatt, Editor Stefanie R. Bluemle, Guest Columnist
Librarians responsible for the collection development of their library’s literary criticism section know that it is a difficult task to select the right book. Is the Oxford World’s Classic or the Penguin the best imprint of Jane Eyre? Which translation of War and Peace best captures Tolstoy’s language? Does the collection need both the 1818 and 1831 editions of Frankenstein, and if not, which edition? See primary, secondary, and Web resources at:

At a warehouse in New Jersey, 6,000 used copy machines sit ready to be sold. CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports almost every one of them holds a secret. Nearly every digital copier built since 2002 contains a hard drive - like the one on your personal computer - storing an image of every document copied, scanned, or emailed by the machine. In the process, it's turned an office staple into a digital time-bomb packed with highly-personal or sensitive data. If you're in the identity theft business it seems this would be a pot of gold. "The type of information we see on these machines with the social security numbers, birth certificates, bank records, income tax forms," John Juntunen said, "that information would be very valuable." Juntunen's Sacramento-based company Digital Copier Security developed software called "INFOSWEEP" that can scrub all the data on hard drives. He's been trying to warn people about the potential risk - with no luck. See rest of the story at:

Nick Schenk's script for Gran Torino , centering on Walt Kowalski, a racist Korean War vet, and his Asian neighbors, won the National Board of Review's award for best original screenplay, just as Diablo Cody's "Juno" did in 2008. The movie's original setting was Minneapolis, but shifted to Detroit when Michigan offered Warner Bros. a 42 percent production rebate. "Gran Torino" retains some Minnesota flavor, however. Several Twin Cities actors play significant roles. The pivotal part of Thao, a Hmong teenager whom Walt protects from predatory gangs, went to Bee Vang, a 17-year-old junior at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth with no stage experience. When Bee won the part at a May casting call at a Hmong community center in St. Paul, his family and friends were incredulous.

A Nashville songwriter won a 2 1/2 year legal battle May 24 to regain control of his life and make all medical, legal and financial decisions for himself, in a case that drew wide attention to problems that can arise when a disabled person is put in the care of a guardian. The same judge who removed Danny Tate's legal rights in 2007restored them to the 54-year-old musician who has written a top 10 hit and composed tunes for several popular TV shows.

Gardens in Michigan Lists 11 links to gardens including Cranbrook House and Gardens and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Japan QR codes are found on everything from business cards to fresh lettuce. Now they are coming to the West and advertising and promotion will never be the same again. Walking with Dinosaurs, the arena spectacular at Madison Square Garden, has a 100ft tall tower banner complete with QR Code prominently displayed on the corner of 33rd Street and 7th Avenue. The QR Code resolves to which if you are using a mobile device redirects to a promotional mobile site. #

A QR Code is a matrix code (or two-dimensional bar code) created by Japanese corporation Denso-Wave in 1994. The "QR" is derived from "Quick Response", as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

The National Data Catalog is an open platform for government data sets and APIs. It makes it easy to find datasets by and about government, across all levels (federal, state, and local) and across all branches (executive, legislative, and judicial).

An Application Programming Interface (API) is an interface implemented by a software program which enables it to interact with other software. It is similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. An API is implemented by applications, libraries, and operating systems to determine their vocabularies and calling conventions, and is used to access their services. It may include specifications for routines, data structures, object classes, and protocols used to communicate between the consumer and the implementer of the API.

Quote "People here in Los Angeles are upset that the mayor's proposed plan to cut the budget of libraries. This could affect as many as nine people." Jay Leno

Feedback to A.Word.A.Day
From: Richard A. D. Freeman Morton's fork
Def: A situation involving choice between two equally undesirable outcomes.
Since most forks today have two or more prongs (tines) it would be good to point out to your readers that, in the 15th century, forks had only two prongs.
From: Stephen Phillips Hobson's choice
Def: An apparently free choice that offers no real alternative: take it or leave it.
Mr. Hobson also arranged supply of fresh water to Cambridge through a system of open channels by the roadside, part of which exists to this day.
From: Prof. Dr. Otto Steinmayer Hobson's choice
Hobson was loved enough at Cambridge to inspire a volume of commemorative poems upon his death. Among others, John Milton contributed. Hobson died aged 86, so he had a full life.
Dr. Johnson remarks that this is the only poem Milton wrote in the "metaphysical" style.
From: Clare Cross Diseases named after physicians
There is some controversy regarding the use of apostrophes for diseases named after the researchers who discovered them. There are a number of issues involved, but it is at least partially a political question: Who "owns" a disease? The National Down Syndrome Society specifically states a preference for "Down" over "Down's" "because an 'apostrophe s' connotes ownership or possession." The online Merriam-Webster dictionary, which reflects common usage, is inconsistent, using "Down syndrome", but "Parkinson's disease". I'm a copy editor for a medical journal, and our policy is to avoid apostrophes in these constructions (this would not include Lou Gehrig's disease [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis], since Gehrig actually had the disease). Our policy has occasionally led to complaints from authors, who are concerned that readers searching for, say "Parkinson's" rather than "Parkinson" in the US National Library of Medicine (PubMed) database will not be able to find their papers. It's a legitimate problem. I noted at one point four different versions in the PubMed database for what my journal would call "Graves disease", including "Grave's disease", "Graves' disease", and "Graves's disease". A researcher would have to use four separate searches to find all of the papers on this condition. Readers who wish to learn more about this issue should consult the American Medical Association style manual.

Monday, May 24, 2010

New Report Shows Recovery Act Cobra Subsidy Helping Middle Class Families Maintain Health Insurance The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released a new report showing that the COBRA health insurance subsidy provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) has been especially important for middle class families by helping them maintain health insurance coverage during the recession. The analysis, conducted by the Treasury Department’s Office of Economic Policy, provides the first summary of the profile of unemployed individuals who obtained continuing health insurance coverage with the help of the Recovery Act COBRA subsidy.+ Full Report (PDF)

IRS Offers Details on New Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
The Internal Revenue Service has issued new guidance to make it easier for small businesses to determine whether they are eligible for the new health care tax credit under the Affordable Care Act and how large a credit they will receive. The guidance makes clear that small businesses receiving state health care tax credits may still qualify for the full federal tax credit. Additionally, the guidance allows small businesses to receive the credit not only for regular health insurance but also for add-on dental and vision coverage. Notice 2010-44 provides detailed guidelines, illustrated by more than a dozen examples, to help small employers determine whether they qualify for the credit and estimate the amount of the credit. The notice also requests public comment on issues that should be addressed in future guidance. In general, the credit is available to small employers that pay at least half the cost of single coverage for their employees in 2010. The credit is specifically targeted to help small businesses and tax-exempt organizations that primarily employ moderate- and lower-income workers. + Full Document (PDF)

The Toronto Reference Library is a branch of the Toronto Public Library, the world’s largest urban public library system. In 2009, the TPL had more than 31 million books, DVD’s and other items borrowed. More 2009 numbers and other Toronto Public Library facts here.
One of the library's 99 branches is the Toronto Reference Library and a article from The Torontoist offers a look at places normally not seen by the public and along the way meets several Toronto Reference Library employees. The article also has several pictures.

A few overzealous martin house manufacturers have become extremely wealthy by fostering the myth that Purple Martins can eat 2000 mosquitoes per day. Their packaging and sales literature are plastered with this slogan. Such assertions, however, are blatantly untrue. Unfortunately, their propaganda campaigns have been so successful that most martin landlords embrace this falsehood with religious fervor. And because this fabrication has received such wide circulation for so many years, nearly every American knows the Purple Martin as the "mosquito-eating bird." Such inaccurate claims are nothing more than sales hype designed to sell more martin houses. And it works - many people put up housing because they've been misled into thinking martins will control the mosquitoes in their neighborhood. In reality, the martin eats few, if any mosquitoes. The numerous studies that have been conducted on martin diet reveal that it prefers larger, more energetically-rewarding, insects such as dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, katydids, mayflies, cicadas, beetles, flies, wasps, midges, and flying ants. In most of these diet studies, not even a single mosquito was found in the martins' stomachs. But when they were found, they comprised less than 3% of the martin's diet, by volume, and these studies involved the much larger, day-flying salt marsh mosquito, found only in a narrow band of habitat along coastal estuaries. Find many facts about the Purple Martin, including that it is the largest North American swallow at:

What is the difference between sparrows and swallows? Sparrows are seed eaters, members of the fringillidae. They are somewhat smaller than swallows, and most species are a brown or brown streaked in color. The swallow family are insect eaters, and swift acrobatic flyers. They are very colorful birds, with the cliff and barn swallows being among our most beautiful birds.

Stories heard from tour guides
(1) Sparrows, not swallows, return to San Juan Capistrano each year.
(2) Christians were not forced to fight lions in the Coliseum.
(3) Christians did not hide in catacombs (underground tunnels used as burial places).

Q: How many Ohioans have won the Congressional Medal of Honor?
A: Men with Ohio connections account for 319, or 9.3 percent, of 3,447 Medal of Honor recipients. They include William Bensinger and John Reed Porter of McComb, who were among the medal's first recipients for their part in a Union raid on a Confederate train near Chattanooga, Tenn., on April 12, 1862. Bensinger died in 1918 and Porter died in 1923, and both are buried in McComb Cemetery. More than 1,500 Medals of Honor were awarded during the Civil War. The most recent Ohio recipient was Air Force Airman 1st Class William Pitsenbarger of Piqua. On April 11, 1966, in Vietnam, Pitsenbarger helped care for and remove many wounded soldiers before he was killed in action. He received the award posthumously in December 2000. By the way, there is no Congressional Medal of Honor. And the Medal of Honor is not "won," but "received," according to "The Associated Press Stylebook." -- Ohio Historical Society, McComb Public Library, AP, Peter Mattiace.,2010,May,24&c=c_13

Friday, May 21, 2010

A TANK AWAY FROM TOLEDO Traverse City, Michigan May 16-18, 2010
We relaxed on an Old Mission Peninsula beach looking at the location where the film A Year in Mooring (due to be released in 2011) was shot. The peninsula is an 18-mile-long, 2-mile-wide finger of land that divides Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. Grand Traverse Bay at its deepest point is 612 feet.. The trench, at the bottom of East Bay, is known especially by local fishermen as "The Cut", and provided a perfect winter storage system for canoes. When for many centuries in autumn, local Native Americans migrated to the Traverse City area for winter hunting, they stored their canoes by submerging them in the cut and floating them again in the spring.
Downtown, using advice from locals, we pressed a button on the parking meter to get 30 minutes free parking, We ate at The Cooks' House "local sustainable cuisine" and Phil's on Front Restaurant and Chocolate Bar (they make their own chocolates and the artwork on the walls depicts chocolate) and we shopped at Fogarelli's City Market & Wine Shop Our special treat was to see West Bay Cottage Furnishings, a shop recently opened in Old Town where stores end and residences begin. The store, owned by ex-Toledoan Amy Eaton, features "carefully selected, artfully renewed" furniture. We returned home with Michigan bounty: dark sweet cherry preserves, raspberry preserves and morel mushrooms.

EPA Adds More Than 6,300 Chemicals and 3,800 Chemical Facilities to Public Database
News release: "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has added more than 6,300 chemicals and 3,800 chemical facilities regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to a public database called Envirofacts...The Envirofacts database is EPA’s single point of access on the Internet for information about environmental activities that may affect air, water and land in the U.S and provides tools for analyzing the data. It includes facility name and address information, aerial image of the facility and surrounding area, map location of the facility, and links to other EPA information on the facility, such as EPA’s inspection and compliance reports that are available through the Enforcement Compliance History Online (ECHO) database. EPA is also adding historic facility information for another 2,500 facilities."

An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods
Follow up to previous postings on Bisphenol A , this News release: "Senator Dianne Feinstein stood with environmental health advocates today on Capitol Hill to release a new report that demonstrates alarming levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in common canned foods. BPA is a synthetic sex hormone and exposure to low doses has been linked to abnormal behavior, diabetes and heart disease, infertility, developmental and reproductive harm, and obesity, which raises the risk of early puberty, a known risk factor for breast cancer. Senator Feinstein has introduced legislation that would ban BPA in cans, in addition to other food and beverage containers. The Senator is hopeful that the Food Safety Act will include language that protects consumers from BPA exposure. “We found in our analysis that if someone is eating just one meal with at least one canned food product, their levels of BPA are as much as those that have been shown to cause health effects in laboratory animal studies,” says Bobbi Chase Wilding of Clean New York, co-author, of No Silver Lining, An Investigation Into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods, by The National Workgroup for Safe Markets, a coalition of U.S. public health- and environmental health-focused organizations. “Six states have taken crucial first steps this year to get this hormone mimicking chemical out of our children’s food, but this report shows that there is much more to be done. Senator Feinstein’s bill will protect much more of our food from this toxic contamination,” said U.S. Public Interest Research Group Public Health Advocate Elizabeth Hitchcock..."Eating common canned foods is exposing consumers to levels of bisphenol A (BPA) equal to levels shown to cause health problems in laboratory animals, according to a new study released today by The National Work Group for Safe Markets, a coalition of public health and environmental health groups. The study, No Silver Lining, tested food from 50 cans from 19 US states and one Canadian province for BPA contamination. Over 90% of the cans tested had detectable levels of BPA, some at higher levels than have been detected in previous studies. The canned foods tested were brand name fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, soups, tomato products, sodas, and milks, which together represent “real-life” meal options for a wide range of North American consumers. The cans were purchased from retail stores and were chosen from report participants’ pantry shelves, and sent to an independent laboratory for testing. One can of DelMonte green beans had the highest levels of BPA ever found in canned food, at 1,140 parts per billion."

Ockham's razor or Occam's razor (OK-ehmz RAY-zuhr) noun
The maxim that the simplest of explanations is more likely to be correct.
After William of Ockham (c. 1288-1348), a logician and theologian, who is credited with the idea.
Morton's fork (MOR-tuhns fork) noun
A situation involving choice between two equally undesirable outcomes.
After John Morton (c. 1420-1500), archbishop of Canterbury, who was tax collector for the English King Henry VII. To him is attributed Morton's fork, a neat argument for collecting taxes from everyone: those living in luxury obviously had money to spare and those living frugally must have accumulated savings to be able to pay.
Achilles' heel (uh-KIL-eez heel) noun
A seemingly small but critical weakness in an otherwise strong position.
After Achilles, a hero in the Greek mythology. When Achilles was a baby, his mother Thetis dipped him into the magical river Styx to make him immortal. She held him by the heel which remained untouched by the water and became his weak point. He was killed when the Trojan king Paris shot an arrow that pierced his one vulnerable spot: his heel. After him, the tendon in the lower back of the ankle is also known as the Achilles tendon.
Hobson's choice (HOB-sonz chois) noun
An apparently free choice that offers no real alternative: take it or leave it.
After Thomas Hobson (1544?-1630), English keeper of a livery stable, from his requirement that customers take either the horse nearest the stable door or none. Hobson had some 40 animals in his rent-a-horse business and a straightforward system: a returning horse goes to the end of the line, and the horse at the top of the line gets to serve next. He had good intentions -- rotating horses so his steeds received good rest and equal wear.
St. Elmo's fire (saynt EL-mohz fyr) noun
An electrical discharge visible at the surface of a conductor, as a ship's mast or an airplane's wing.
After St. Erasmus (mispronounced as Elmo by sailors) who is regarded as the patron saint of sailors and an electrical discharge on the mast of a ship is believed to be a sign of his protection. This phenomenon of corona discharge is also called St. Elmo's light. A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Research at the University of Liverpool has found how Saharan dust storms help sustain life over extensive regions of the North Atlantic Ocean. Working aboard research vessels in the Atlantic, scientists mapped the distribution of nutrients including phosphorous and nitrogen and investigated how organisms such as phytoplankton are sustained in areas with low nutrient levels. They found that plants are able to grow in these regions because they are able to take advantage of iron minerals in Saharan dust storms. This allows them to use organic or ‘recycled’ material from dead or decaying plants when nutrients such as phosphorous – an essential component of DNA – in the ocean are low. Professor George Wolff, from the University’s Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, explains: “We found that cyanobacteria – a type of ancient phytoplankton – are significant to the understanding of how ocean deserts can support plant growth. Cyanobacteria need nitrogen, phosphorous and iron in order to grow. They get nitrogen from the atmosphere, but phosphorous is a highly reactive chemical that is scarce in sea water and is not found in the Earth’s atmosphere.

An archipelago is a series of islands in a chain or scattered cluster, such as the 19 islands known as the Galapagos. See other definitions at:
There are many archipelagos; for instance, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Thousand Islands between United States and Canada

The word archipelago is directly derived from the Greek ἄρχι- - arkhi- ("chief") and πέλαγος - pelagos ("sea"). In Italian, possibly following a tradition of antiquity, the Archipelago (from medieval Greek *ἀρχιπέλαγος) was the proper name for the Aegean Sea and, later, usage shifted to refer to the Aegean Islands (since the sea is remarkable for its large number of islands). It is now used to generally refer to any island group or, sometimes, to a sea containing a large number of scattered islands like the Aegean Sea. The five largest modern countries that are mainly archipelagos are Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Indonesia. The largest archipelago in the world, by size, is Indonesia. The archipelago with the most islands is the Archipelago Sea in Finland, but these islands are generally small.

Feedback to A.Word.A.Day
From: Susan Campbell Subject: cockaigne
In the pays de cocagne, the triangle between Toulouse, Albi, and Carcassonne in France, it is claimed that the area became known as the land of plenty when the growing of the pastel plant (woad), a blue dye for colouring cloth, brought great wealth to the region in the golden age of pastel -- 1463-1560. After that indigo arrived in the West making pastel uncompetitive and its cultivation was eventually abandoned. The pastel plant's leaves were harvested, crushed, and shaped to form shells, or "cocagnes", from which the blue dye was obtained. The climate and soil of the Midi-Toulousain region were particularly suitable for its cultivation. The demand for pastel blue was so great that a Pastel Market was set up in Toulouse, trading posts were established all over the West and the shells were even transported on special roads. The rich merchants of Toulouse soon built magnificent mansions for themselves and these are still there today.
From: Victor Morano Subject: Etymology of Shangri-La
I suggest if you want to know the real origins of Shangri-la you read Charles Allen's book The Search for Shangri-la. Western culture may have gotten the name Shangri-La from James Hilton's novel but he didn't just make it up.
From: Barbara Sanders Subject: Land of Oz
Def: An unreal or magical place.
That's where I live. Australians refer to Australia as the Land of Oz. I actually live in the Emerald City ... Sydney.

Bagged lettuce may be convenient, but it is pricey. Have the convenience without the extra money with this salad trick. Here's what you do: Pick fresh lettuces you like by the head and buy enough for a week's worth of salads. Soak the fresh greens for about 20 minutes in a sink full of ice water. Get the greens as dry as possible in a salad spinner or by rolling up in cloth towels.
Stuff them into heavy zip-top freezer bags with a paper towel inside to wick away any excess moisture. Press all the air out and seal the bag. Refrigerate until needed. Salad greens will keep well for a week. The key is to cut off the air and moisture and the greens will hold.
The Splendid Table May 19, 2010

Quote The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
attributed to Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American author and humorist
sometimes attributed to Ellen Parr

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Timeline: the life of the blog
1967: The Internet is invented. Most people don't begin to take notice until 25 years later.
1979: The birth of USENET, a decentralized system of discussion boards, forming the basis of some of the Internet's oldest online communities.
December 1997: Jorn Barger starts a daily log of interesting Web links published in reverse chronological order, calling it Robot Wisdom WebLog. The term "Weblog" is soon generalized by other online publishers to include any page with frequent short posts in reverse chronological order.
Spring 1999: Online journal author Peter Merholz takes Jorn Barger's word "weblog" and splits it into the phrase "We blog." Blog soon becomes shorthand for weblog.
See much more at:

Hypertext is text displayed on a computer or other electronic device with references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access, usually by a mouse click or keypress sequence. Apart from running text, hypertext may contain tables, images and other presentational devices. Hypertext is the underlying concept defining the structure of the World Wide Web, making it an easy-to-use and flexible format to share information over the Internet. The prefix hyper- (comes from the Greek prefix "υπερ-" and means "over" or "beyond") signifies the overcoming of the old linear constraints of written text. The term "hypertext" is often used where the term "hypermedia" might seem appropriate. In 1992, author Ted Nelson – who coined both terms in 1965 – wrote: By now the word "hypertext" has become generally accepted for branching and responding text, but the corresponding word "hypermedia", meaning complexes of branching and responding graphics, movies and sound – as well as text – is much less used. Instead they use the strange term "interactive multimedia": this is four syllables longer,
and does not express the idea of extending hypertext. — Nelson, Literary Machines, 1992

The Urban Forest Project is a series of unprecedented outdoor exhibitions taking root in cities around the world. This unique environmental, public arts and educational initiative calls on artists, designers and students in each location to employ the idea or form of the tree to make a powerful visual statement on banners that are displayed throughout the community. The tree is a metaphor for sustainability and, in that spirit the banners at the close of each exhibition are recycled into totebags and auctioned off to raise money for a local environmental and urban forestry initiatives. The program can easily be adapted to address a number of green, educational and creative initiatives in a variety of ways to shape a project that is unique and expressive of the local community. The project – an initiative of Worldstudio – was originally executed in New York’s Times Square in the fall of 2006. See links to projects, including Toledo (banners on display until September 6, 2010), at:

New names
Bobby Jindal: Piyush Jindal was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Amar and Raj Jindal, who came to the United States as immigrants from India.
House of Windsor: created by George V from the British branch of the German House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Madonna: born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone
Lady Gaga: born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta

The Week magazine April 30, 2010 contest:
After G.E. made a $10.8 billion profit but managed not to pay a single cent in U.S. income taxes, it seemed time to give them a new slogan. Winners:
FIRST PRIZE: We Bring Good Things To Us!
SECOND PLACE: Imagination at Work (In Our Accounting Department)
THIRD PLACE: Illumination Without Taxation See honorable mentions at:

Pentecost Island, which gets its name from the day on which it was first sighted by Europeans, is a mountainous, tropical island in the South Pacific republic of Vanuatu. There are no towns on Pentecost - most of the islanders live in small villages and grow their own food in small gardens. Parts of Pentecost remain relatively untouched by Western influences, and local traditions are strong. The island is the home of the nanggol (land diving) - the original bungee jump - which is known throughout the world.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Legislative Approaches to Defining ‘Waters of the United States (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Secrecy News/Federation of American Scientists)
In the 111th Congress, legislation has been introduced that seeks to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the wake of Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 that interpreted the law’s jurisdiction more narrowly than prior case law. The Court’s narrow interpretation involved jurisdiction over some geographically isolated wetlands, intermittent streams, and other waters. The two cases are Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers (SWANCC) and Rapanos v. United States. Bills to nullify the Court’s rulings have been introduced repeatedly since the 107th Congress, but none had advanced until the 111th Congress. In June 2009, a Senate committee approved S. 787, the Clean Water Restoration Act. Companion legislation in the House, H.R. 5088 (America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act), was introduced in April 2010. Under current law, the key CWA phrase which sets the act’s reach is the phrase “navigable waters,” defined to mean “the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.”

From a Note on the PACER Service Center Web Site:
The PACER Service Center website, down for maintenance on Saturday May 15 from 7 to 9 a.m. CT, will then be re-launched with an improved look and feel. Visitors will find features from the former site – links to courts, account maintenance and registration services – presented in a more user-friendly manner. The new site helps novice users learn how to access federal court records online and provides all users with instant access to information.
Source: PACER Service Center

On May 13, the Missouri Legislature voted to eliminate the hard-bound version of the official state manual, known as the "blue book," and cull many old sections from the even heftier 20-volume set of state laws. State Rep. Cole McNary, R-Chesterfield, said cutting back on hard copy could save $1.7 million. His bill runs 267 pages, a heavy tome of its own by legislative standards. But that's because it must cite every one of the roughly 200 sections to be pulled from the statutes. Among them are regulations on cabooses, which railroads don't use any more. Also gone would be the old prohibition against putting yellow dye into margarine, which is white in its pure form. That was a nod long ago to the dairy industry, which didn't want margarine to look like butter.

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan law review articles and book reviews

The largest (nonpolar) desert in the world is the Sahara, in north Africa, which spans an area measured at roughly 3.5 million square miles. The United States' contiguous 48 states could easily fit in the desert.
Antarctica is larger than the Sahara, but being a cold desert, is not included in lists of hot deserts.

Rivers of the United States:
The United States has more than 250,000 rivers. That’s 3.5 million miles of rivers. The largest river is the Mississippi, which has a flow volume of 593,000 cubic feet per second at its mouth.
The longest river is the Missouri, which flows for approximately 2,500 miles.

The New River, a tributary of the Kanawha River, is approximately 320 mi (515 km) long, flowing through the states of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia in the United States. Much of the river's course through West Virginia is designated as the New River Gorge National River. The New River is one of the American Heritage Rivers of the United States. Despite its name, the river is considered by some geologists to be possibly one of the oldest rivers in the world, between 10 million and 360 million years old. According to local folklore, it is considered to be second in age only to the Nile River and thus the oldest in North America. However, there are several rivers in Australia (eg. the Finke River) that are known to be significantly older, and the ages of rivers are very difficult to establish with precision; as the wide range of possible ages for the New River demonstrates, there is no established ranking of the ages of major rivers.
Personal note: My mother grew up in Pulaski, Virginia in the New River valley.

Ohio gardens I have enjoyed
Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus
Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield
Toledo Botanical Garden

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 10-12, 2010
We traveled to Wagner's 1844 Inn, a bed & breakfast in Sandusky, Ohio. There was no sign in the yard, and no one was there. While we stood there bewildered, a man approached and said he would let us in. He later said he was the son of the proprietor and didn't know where she was. After a wonderful dinner at Zinc Brasserie, we returned to the inn and met the owner who had forgotten we were coming. When we mentioned no sign in the yard and just a miniscule plaque attached near the front door, she said she "didn't want to make a production" of the sign, but might get another one at some time. The next day we visited Lehman's hardware store in Kidron, Ohio where we explored a 32,000 square-foot complex containing three pre-Civil War era buildings. We had sausage sandwiches at their Cast Iron Cafe and then continued wandering the store. Lehman's was founded in 1955 to serve the local Amish. Museum-quality antiques line the walls, and they have an amazing array of stoves. Hollywood set designers have looked for historically accurate period pieces there. We drove to Vermilion, Ohio and before we ate dinner at Touché wine/martini bar/restaurant, we went to the lowest level of our motel twice because of tornado warnings.

Ten new works have been installed at The University of Toledo's 5th Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit. The artwork will remain in their current locations for the next year. A piece from last year's exhibit, "Balancing Act" by Calvin Babich was purchased by an anonymous donor of the College of Arts and Sciences and moved to the east side of University Hall.

University of Toledo graduate Judith Lanzinger, formerly an attorney with Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, was elected the 150th Ohio Supreme Court justice in 2004. At that time, she became the only person voted to all four levels of the state judiciary: Supreme Court, Sixth District Court of Appeals, Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, and the Toledo Municipal Court.

The Pennsylvania Dutch are the descendants of Germanic peoples who emigrated to the U.S. (primarily to Pennsylvania), from Germany, Switzerland and The Low Countries prior to 1800. The Dutch are generally regarded as one of several Germanic peoples, which explains the corruption of the German word Deutsch to Dutch; therefore, the so-called Pennsylvania Dutch are really Pennsylvania Germans.
The Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish.
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons (1496–1561), who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders.

Green buildings in the desert

The mission of Veggie U is to promote the well-being of children through a healthy lifestyle. This is accomplished through:
•Hands-on educational curricula targeting classrooms across the nation
•Development of seminars and outreach programs for food enthusiasts, food service groups and culinary professionals
The educational projects:
•Introduce the concept of sustainable agriculture
•Emphasize the need to grow vegetables safely
•Provide the connection between agriculture, good nutrition and the culinary arts.

During a recent growing-green lesson at Perrysburg's Woodland Elementary School, students were being careful not to squish the squash. Planting and tending to vegetables is just one of the many hands-on activities offered during Veggie U, a five-week science program designed to encourage students, as well as their families, to go green from earth to table.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

News release: "The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a three-year SDR 26.4 billion (€30 billion) Stand-By Arrangement for Greece in support of the authorities’ economic adjustment and transformation program. This front-loaded program makes SDR 4.8 billion (about €5.5 billion) immediately available to Greece from the IMF as part of joint financing with the European Union, for a combined €20.0 billion in immediate financial support. In 2010, total IMF financing will amount to about €10 billion and will be partnered with about €30.0 billion committed by the EU. The Stand-By Arrangement, which is part of a cooperative package of financing with the European Union amounting to €110 billion (about US$145 billion) over three years, entails exceptional access to IMF resources, amounting to more than 3,200 percent of Greece’s quota, and was approved under the Fund's fast-track Emergency Financing Mechanism procedures."
Greece fast facts
Agreement with Greece
IMF and Greece
Greece: key links
Greece Q&As
Council of the European Union, Economic and Financial Affairs, Brussels, 9/10 May 2010: ""The Council and the Member States have decided today on a comprehensive package of measures to preserve financial stability in Europe, including a European Financial Stabilisation mechanism with a total volume of up to € 500 billion. In the wake of the crisis in Greece, the situation in financial markets is fragile and there was a risk of contagion which we needed to address. We have therefore taken the final steps of the support package for Greece, the establishment of a European stabilisation mechanism and a strong commitment to accelerated fiscal consolidation, where warranted."
New York Times: E.U. Details $957 Billion Rescue Package

Eponyms and toponyms:
Utopia, an imaginary ideal island in the book Utopia (1516) by Sir Thomas More, from Greek ou (not) + topos (place).
Shangri-la, Tibetan utopia in the novel Lost Horizon (1933) by James Hilton (1900-1954). From Shangri (a coined name) + Tibetan la (mountain pass).
A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

onym [Greek onoma, name] name
pseudonym, false name
eponym, a person (real or fictitious) believed to be the source of the name of a place or thing
paronyms, words derived from the same root
heteronyms, words spelled the same, but with different meanings and pronunciation:
row, row -- bow, bow
lead, lead -- sow, sow

Le Centre Pompidou (Pompidou center in English) is one of the most spectacular buildings of Paris. It was designed by architects Renzo Piano (from Italy) and Richard Rodgers (from the UK) to bring art and culture to the man in the street. Its 1977 factory style architecture violently contrasts with the surrounding houses of Paris' oldest district near Notre-Dame cathedral. You like Le Centre Pompidou or you don't, but you will not forget its glass facade, its external stairs and the red, blue and green pipes on the rear facade. See pictures at:

What is a sidebar?
(law) a courtroom conference between the lawyers and the judge that is held out of the jury's hearing
a short news story presenting sidelights on a major story
The sidebar is a term that is used for a GUI element that displays various forms of information to the side of an application or desktop user ...
The Windows Desktop Gadgets (called Windows Sidebar in Windows Vista) is a widget engine for Microsoft Gadgets. ...
In publishing, sidebar is a term for information placed adjacent to an article in a printed or Web publication, graphically separate but with contextual connection. See much more at:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Recognizing the critical role libraries play in preservation, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will sponsor the first national Preservation Week, May 9-15, 2010. Preservation Week intends to raise awareness of libraries’ role in connecting the general public to preservation information and expertise. Events sponsored by libraries will increase preservation awareness by emphasizing the close relationships among personal, family, community, and public collections and their preservation. Go to the Preservation Week site at for information and resources.

The Toledo preservation event, "Preserving Your Memories at Home," which is free and open to the public, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 15 in the McMaster Center at the main library downtown, 325 Michigan St. Irene Martin, leader of the event, says: "When you're preserving your memory, don't do anything you can't undo." Much of what she'll discuss is proper storage of photographs, letters, documents, and newspaper articles so they last for future generations. "Don't store them in the attic. It's too hot and too dry," Ms. Martin said. "Don't store them in the basement. It's too wet." She has examples of what works - albums made with acid-free paper or phase boxes that can hold and preserve fragile books - and what doesn't - magnetic photo pages, Scotch Tape, and glue, to name a few. "The main thing with preservation," she said, "is do no harm."

Richard Ovenden, the Keeper of Special Collections at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, stood beside a velvet rope at the Waldorf the other day, as a line of Oxford alumni, many of them holding cameras, snaked out the door, waiting to have a peek at the visiting celebrity he was shepherding. “The Customs people, you know, they didn’t care,” Ovenden said, sounding incredulous, as he glanced at the rare and celebrated object—a framed parchment—to his right. “ ‘Magna what?’ they asked. ‘Magna Carta! A pair of sturdy-looking men in dark suits enforced a no-flash policy as Ovenden began a long day of recounting his star attraction’s vital statistics and biography for each new wave of admirers. What they were seeing, he explained, was but one of seventeen Magna Cartas in existence, ranging in vintage from 1215 to 1297. The one on display at the Waldorf, which was transcribed in 1217, is one of four that belong to the Bodleian, but Ovenden deemed it “the most beautiful,” and unusual, on account of its “landscape” orientation: sixteen inches wide, twelve inches high. As it happens, the most recent, or youngest, copy, from 1297, has been in the United States for more than twenty-five years, ever since Ross Perot bought it and lent it to the National Archives, in Washington. (Perot sold it in 2007.)

The Boston Tea Party ship is not open to the public. She has no masts, no rigging, and hardly any decking. To clamber aboard, I had to climb down an iron ladder, cross two floating docks, crawl under a stretch of ropes, and walk a plank, barefoot. This ship is a replica; the original Beaver, whose cargo of tea was dumped overboard in 1773, is long gone. In 1972, three Boston businessmen got the idea of sailing a ship across the Atlantic in time for the tea party’s bicentennial. They bought an old Baltic schooner, built in Denmark, and had her re-rigged as an English brig, powered by an anachronistic engine that was, unfortunately, put in backward, and caught fire on the way over. Still, she made it to Boston in time for the hoopla. After that, anchored at the Congress Street Bridge, next to what’s now the Boston Children’s Museum, the Beaver became a popular tourist attraction. In 1994, the ship was bought by Historic Tours of America, “The Nation’s Storyteller,” a heritage-tourism outfit founded in the nineteen-seventies by entrepreneurial Floridians who also run, among other things, duck tours in D.C. In 2001, the site was struck by lightning, after which the Beaver was towed, by tugboat, twenty-eight miles to Gloucester, for renovation, where she has been ever since, all but forgotten.

The odyssey and mystery of Thomas Paine's missing remains
His grave was dug up by a William Cobbett with the intention of taking the remains to England for reburial thus saving it from daily abuse and vandalism. One theory claims it was lost on its journey. Another claims Cobbett kept the remains in an attic trunk and upon his death, his son began auctioning off the bones. People from around the world have come up with skeletal parts. A minister in England claims he has Paine's skull and right hand, an English woman insists she has his jawbone. Others claim to have buttons constructed from the bones. The Thomas Paine Museum states it has the brain stem buried in a secret location on the property. One true fact: Paine artifacts are on display at either the museum or the adjacent Thomas Paine cottage, which was his residence from 1803 to 1806 located and maintained by the Huguenot and New Rochelle Historical Association, New Rochelle, New York.

Anthony Wayne's remains
On December 15, 1796, at the age of 51, General Wayne died after a "severe fit of the gout." The General had requested that his burial take place two days after his death and that he be buried, wearing his uniform, in a plain wooden coffin at the foot of the flagstaff of the post's blockhouse. The top of the coffin was marked with his initials, his age and the year of his death in brass tacks. And thus his body remained for 12 years. In the fall of 1808, however, General Wayne's daughter, 38 year old Margaretta, while seriously ill, suggested that her brother, 37 year old Colonel Isaac Wayne, bring their father's remains back to the family burial plot in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The following spring, Colonel Wayne made his way, traveling by sulky, a light two wheeled cart, to Erie, Pennsylvania in the northwestern corner of the state. What happened next is a series of events that can only be described as bizarre. The General's coffin was opened and to the surprise of all it was discovered that his body had not decomposed. It was in an excellent state of preservation with the exception on one leg and foot that were partially gone. Clearly, the body could not be removed to Radnor, Pennsylvania in a sulky. Dr. J.C.Wallace's solution to the problem was to boil the body in water thus enabling him to separate the flesh from the bones, then they easily packed the bones in a trunk for their journey to the new burial location in Radnor. Much more at:

It is the job of literary executors to take charge of the work of a writer after their death. They must often decide what to do with incomplete work, using their own judgement if not given explicit instructions. In some cases this can lead to something happening to the work that was not originally intended, such as the release of Franz Kafka's unfinished writings by Max Brod when Kafka had wished for them to be destroyed. Novels can remain unfinished because the author continually rewrites the story. When enough material exists, someone else can compile and combine the work, creating a finished story out upon several different drafts. Mark Twain's The Mysterious Stranger was written in three different versions over a period of 20 years, none of which were completed. Twain biographer and literary executor Albert Paine combined the stories and published his version six years after Twain's death. Similarly, J. R. R. Tolkien continuously rewrote The Silmarillion throughout his lifetime; a definitive version was still uncompiled at the time of his death, with some sections very fragmented. His son, Christopher Tolkien, invited fantasy fiction writer Guy Gavriel Kay to reconstruct some parts of the book, and they eventually published a final version in 1977 The size of a project can be such that a piece of literature is never finished. Geoffrey Chaucer never completed The Canterbury Tales to the extensive length that he originally intended. Chaucer had, however, already written much of the work at the time of his death, and the Canterbury Tales are considered to be a seminal work despite the unfinished status. English poet Edmund Spenser originally intended The Faerie Queene to consist of 12 books; even at its unfinished state—six books were published before Spenser's death—it is the longest epic poem in the English language. Honoré de Balzac, the French novelist, completed nearly 100 pieces for his novel sequence La Comédie humaine, but a planned 48 more were never finished. Other famous unfinished works of literature include: Hero and Leander by Christopher Marlowe (a completion was provided by George Chapman); the second part of Dead Souls by Gogol; Bouvard et Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert; Weir of Hermiston by Robert Louis Stevenson; The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek; Suite française by Irène Némirovsky, Answered Prayers by Truman Capote, The Love of the Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Uncertain Times by Richard Yates, and Mount Analogue by René Daumal. See much more, including works of music, art, architecture, and film at:

Unfinished work is often covered by the copyright laws of the country of origin. The United States have taken the step of creating a law which specifically mentions ongoing work, whereby work which is in progress but will in the future be completed can be covered by copyright. On 27 April 2005 the "Artist's Rights and Theft Prevention Act", a subpart of the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, was signed into U.S. law. This act allows for organisations or individuals to apply for copyright protection on unfinished commercial products, such as software, films, and other visual or audible media. For example, a photographer can preregister a photograph by giving a written description of what the final piece (or collection thereof) will look like before the work is finished. In copyright law, an artistic creation that includes major, basic copyrighted aspects of an original, previously created first work is known as a 'derivative work'. This holds for all kinds of work, including those that have never officially been published. The rights of the first work's originator must be granted to the secondary work for it to be rightfully called a 'derivative work'. If no copyright permission is granted from the originator, it is instead called a 'copy'. Upon completion of the new piece both parties hold a joint copyright status, with both having to agree to any publications. When the copyright has lapsed for the original work the second artist fully owns the copyright for their work, but cannot stop distribution of the original piece or another artist from completing the work in their own way. However, such copyrights can only be granted if the work shows significant new creative content.

Re Niagara Falls feedback: I grew up 20 miles from the Falls in Buffalo. About ten years ago a member of my high school class, a Columbia MFA named Lauren Belfer wrote a book called City of Light (Doctorow-y-like historical fact-meets-fiction) in which she posits that because of the electrical power potential of NF, Buffalo was poised to be the Silicon Valley of its day, but then Wm. McKinley was killed visiting the 1901 Pan Am exhibition and Buffalo suffered from the same spooked/shunned effect as Dallas after Kennedy was assassinated there in 63. I don’t know if it’s true, but it sure makes sense.

Monday, May 10, 2010

When Jim Hyler was inaugurated as president of the U.S. Golf Association in February, he surprised many by speaking out more forcibly than USGA presidents are wont to do on a controversial subject: water usage and the misguided perception that golf courses need to be lush, green and perfect to be good. It is the issue, he said, "that is perhaps of greatest concern to golf's future." He called for a "reset" in the way golfers look at and think about courses, with "playability" replacing aesthetics as the primary consideration. Playability, he said, "should include concepts of firm, fast, and yes, even brown, and allow the running game to flourish. We need to understand how brown can become the new green."

Ernie Harwell, the neighborly Georgian who delivered Margaret Mitchell’s newspaper in the 1930s and then delivered the play-by-play of more than 8,500 major league baseball games over 55 years, died May 4 at his home in Novi, Mich. He was 92. Mr. Harwell started each season by reciting lines from the Song of Solomon, and in 1955, he composed an essay, “The Game for All America,” to celebrate baseball. “Baseball is Tradition in flannel knickerbockers,” he wrote. “And Chagrin in being picked off base. It is Dignity in the blue serge of an umpire running the game by rule of thumb. It is Humor, holding its sides when an errant puppy eludes two groundskeepers and the fastest outfielder. And Pathos, dragging itself off the field after being knocked from the box.” He also composed dozens of songs, including one for Hank Aaron after he passed Babe Ruth with his 715th home run and another for Detroit’s Denny McLain when he won 31 games in 1968.

Robin Roberts, the Hall of Fame right-hander who won 286 games and pitched the Philadelphia Phillies’ 1950 Whiz Kids team to the National League pennant, died May 6 at his home in Temple Terrace, Fla., near Tampa. He was 83. He won at least 20 games every season from 1950 to 1955 and led National League pitchers five times in complete games, five times in innings pitched, four times in victories and twice in strikeouts. He still has the record for most victories by a Phillies right-hander, 234 over 14 seasons, and he often pitched for mediocre teams. He was a seven-time All-Star and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976. “You don’t have to make a big study of batters beforehand,” he told Time magazine in 1956. “When I have good stuff I throw four fastballs out of five pitches. When you take up a hitter in a clubhouse meeting, no matter what his weakness is, it’s going to end up low and away or high and tight, and the curveball must be thrown below the belt. That’s the whole story of pitching. Keep your life and your pitching real simple and you’ll get along.”

Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on May 9 at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan. The only time I ever said a word to another actor who was white was Kathryn Grayson in a little segment of ‘Show Boat’ ” included in “Till the Clouds Roll By” (1946), a movie about the life of Jerome Kern, Ms. Horne said in an interview in 1990. In that sequence she played Julie, a mulatto forced to flee the showboat because she has married a white man.

Reader feedback to Niagara Falls story:
Pierre Berton's "Niagara: A History of the Falls" is an interesting assembly of stories and facts about the Falls. One of these is that only about 35% of the Great Lakes water actually flows over the Falls. The rest goes through underground hydroelectric tubes. It is commonly held that the glaciers formed the Great Lakes, but the western half of Lake Superior is a syncline that formed 900 million years ago when the Keweenawan lava flows (40,000 feet of them poured out about 1.4 billion years ago) faulted and sank in the middle forming the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan to the southeast and Isle Royale and the Canadian/Minnesota shore to the northwest. This is pretty old surface rock that John McPhee calls part of the great midcontinent craton.

Lebanon set a record for the largest plate of hummus May 8 in the continuing gastronomic war with Israel over the regional delicacy. The war has played out publicly for years with two sides outdoing each other for the title of world's best or world's largest hummus dish. On May 8, about 300 Lebanese chefs in the village of al-Fanar -- about 8 km (5 miles) east of Beirut -- lay claim to the latter title with a dish that weighed 11.5 tons. That's 23,042 pounds or 10,452 kg. The Lebanese chefs used 8 tons of boiled hummus, 2 tons of tahini, 2 tons of lemon juice and 154 lbs (70 kg) of olive oil for their dish, local media said.

Q: Does Ohio have a state song?
A: It not only has a state song, it is the only state with a state rock song.
The state rock song is, "Hang On, Sloopy," a hit for the Dayton band The McCoys in 1965.
The same year, The Ohio State University Marching Band first performed its "now-famous" arrangement of it at the Illinois-Ohio State football game. "Hang On, Sloopy" was adopted by the Legislature in 1985. The song is about Dorothy Sloop, a jazz musician from Steubenville whose stage name around New Orleans was often "Sloopy." She died in 1998 at the age of 84.
The state song is "Beautiful Ohio," written in 1918, and adopted by the Legislature in 1969.
It's hard to dance to, and that is being kind. "Classic" and "modern" versions of it can be heard at: -- Ohio Historical Society, Peter Mattiace.
Q. Were all interstate highways built since the '50s?
A: No. At least two important segments predate the interstate system. Part of the Grand Central Parkway in Queens, N.Y., which opened in July 1936 and later, is now included in Interstate 278. And the Pennsylvania Turnpike between Irwin, southeast of Pittsburgh, and Carlisle, west of Harrisburg, is designated Interstate 76 and Interstate 70. It opened in October 1940. -- Federal Highway Administration.,2010,May,10&c=c_13

Friday, May 7, 2010

Increasingly, North American wine producers are aiming to be as green as possible inside and out, constructing their new facilities to standards set by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, introduced in 1998 and since adapted by Canada, the voluntary LEED certification is an international benchmark for buildings that are environmentally friendly and healthful places in which to work or live. See information and pictures of certified projects at Sokol Blosser, Stratus Vineyards, Stoller Vineyards, Frog's Leap Winery, Southbrook Vineyards, Hall St. Helena, Murphy-Goode Winery Tasting Room, Torii Mor Winery, and Cade. At the end of the article see about projects waiting approval and soon-to-be-completed projects.

The Niagara River, as is the entire Great Lakes Basin of which the river is an integral part, is a legacy of the last Ice Age. 18,000 years ago southern Ontario was covered by ice sheets 2-3 kilometers thick. As they advanced southward the ice sheets gouged out the basins of the Great Lakes. Then as they melted northward for the last time they released vast quantities of meltwater into these basins. The Niagara Peninsula became free of the ice about 12,500 years ago. As the ice retreated northward, its meltwaters began to flow down through what became Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, down to the St. Lawrence River, and, finally, down to the sea. There were originally 5 spillways from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. One fifth of all the fresh water in the world lies in the four Upper Great Lakes-Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie. All the outflow empties into the Niagara River and eventually cascades over the falls. See more information and pictures at:

The Code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest known examples of human laws being defined and written down in an orderly way. Little is known about Hammurabi himself; he ruled Babylon nearly four millennia ago, from roughly 1792-1750 B.C. The code has 282 entries covering all sorts of civil interactions, from inheritance to theft to slave ownership. Some of the laws are general (anyone caught committing a robbery shall be put to death) and others quite specific ("If any one hire an ox-driver, he shall pay him six gur of corn per year"). The code's best-known dictum is "If a man put out the eye of another man, his eye shall be put out"--commonly quoted as "An eye for an eye."

"Link Rot" & Legal Resources on the Web: A 2010 Analysis
"The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive has completed its third annual analysis of link rot among the original URLs for law- and policy-related materials published to the Web and archived though the Chesapeake Project. The Chesapeake Project was launched in 2007 by the Georgetown University Law Library and the State Law Libraries of Maryland and Virginia as a collaborative digital archive for the preservation of important Web-published legal materials, which often disappear as Web site content is rearranged or deleted over time. More about the Chesapeake Project. In the three years since the archive was launched, the Chesapeake Project law libraries have built a collection comprising more than 5,700 digital items and 2,300 titles, all of which were originally posted to the Web. For this study, the term "link rot" is used to describe a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL and currently preserved in the Chesapeake Project’s digital archive. In some instances, a 404 or "not found" message indicates link rot at a URL; in others, the URL may direct to a site hosted by the original publishing organization or entity, but the specific resource has been removed or relocated from the original or previous URL. All of the Web resources described in this report that have disappeared from their original locations on the Web remain accessible via permanent archive URLs here at, thanks to the Chesapeake Project's efforts." [Sarah Rhodes, Digital Collections Librarian, Georgetown University Law Library]

imbricate (adj: IM-bri-kit, -kayt; verb: IM-bri-kayt)
adjective: Having overlapping edges, as tiles on a roof or scales on a fish.
verb tr., intr.: To overlap as roof tiles or fish scales.
From Latin imbricare (to cover with pantiles: semicylindrical tiles), from imbrex (pantile), from imber (rain).
batten (BAT-n)
1. verb: To fatten or to grow fat; to thrive and prosper at another's expense.
2. noun: A long strip of wood, metal, or plastic used for strengthening something.
3. verb: To fasten or secure using battens.
For 1: From Old Norse batna (to improve). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bhad- (good), which is also the source of the words better and best.
For 2, 3: From Old French batre (to beat), from Latin battuere (to beat).
The term is often heard in the idiom "to batten down the hatches" meaning to prepare for a difficult situation or an impending disaster. It is nautical in origin. Literally speaking, to batten down is to cover a ship's hatch (an opening in the deck) with a tarpaulin and strips of wood in preparation for an imminent storm. A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

Organic Pintos: rich and remind me of chicken
Anasazi: sweet, mild and creamy
Azuki: sweet and meaty
Black Beans: extra meaty with a little earthiness
Black-Eyed Peas: earthy, robust
Cannellini: creamy, lush, a Rolls Royce of a bean
Chickpeas: cook to nut-like and a little sweet. Their cooking water makes a fine broth to eat on its own or use in soups
Great Northern: neutral and pleasing
Kidney Beans: assertive, bean-like
Lentils: have all the proteins of meat with flavors ranging from earthy (brown), to meat-like and nutty (green) to nut-like and starchy (red)
Whole Wheat Berries: nut-like, toothy
Barley: sweet and good with almost any flavoring, especially tomato sauce or high spicing
Brown Rice: complex, resembles hazelnuts
Whole Wheat Couscous: wheaten and toasted tasting and so easy — just moisten and it's ready to eat
Buckwheat: can be mild and delicate
Bulgur: cooked whole wheat that's been dried and cracked. All this needs is 30 minutes in warm water. Very wheaty. The Splendid Table May 5, 2010

Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously.
Clint Eastwood (b.1930) American actor, director, producer, musician
Love and time, these are the only two things in all the world and all of life that cannot be bought, but only spent. Gary Jennings (1928-1999) American author Aztec 1980

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ten Greenest Buildings of 2010 from American Institute of Architects
There are 26 slides and the third is The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology by HOK. The project is Saudia Arabia's first LEED certified project, and the world's biggest LEED platinum building.

Basics for making non-toxic household cleaners
Baking Soda - Cleans and deodorizes. Softens water to increase sudsing and cleaning power of soap. Good scouring powder.
Borax - Cleans and deodorizes. Excellent disinfectant. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store.
Soap - Biodegrades safely and completely and is non-toxic. Available in grocery stores and health food stores. Sold as liquid, flakes, powder or in bars. Bars can be grated to dissolve more easily in hot water. Insist on soap without synthetic scents, colors or other additives.
Washing Soda - Cuts grease and removes stains. Disinfects. Softens water. Available in laundry section of grocery store or in pure form from chemical supply houses as "sodium carbonate."
White Vinegar or Lemon Juice - Cuts grease and freshens.
Find recipes for cleaners and spot removers at:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) is the earliest surviving film version of L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel, made by the Selig Polyscope Company without Baum's direct input. It was created to fulfill a contractual obligation associated with Baum's personal bankruptcy caused by The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays, from which it was once thought to have been derived. It was partly based on the 1902 stage musical, though much of the film deals with the Wicked Witch of the West, who does not appear in the musical.
L. Frank Baum made his debut as a novelist with Mother Goose in Prose (1897), based on stories told to his own children. Its last chapter introduced the farm-girl Dorothy. Over the next 19 years Baum produced 62 books, most of them for children. In 1899 appeared Father Goose: His Book, which quickly became a best-seller. Baum's next work was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a story of little Dorothy from Kansas, who is transported with her dog Toto by a "twister" to a magical realm. The book, illustrated and decorated by W.W. Denslow, was published at Baum's own expense and sold 90,000 copies in the first two years. Upon his success, Baum moved to California, where he produced sequels for the rest of his life.
Baum was determined to see his stories on the screen. Since its appearance, the tale has been filmed many times. The Patchwork Girl of Oz was made in 1914, and Baum himself participated in the project. In 1914-15 Baum was the founding director of Oz Film Manufacturing Company (later Dramatic Features Company), a well-equipped seven-acre studio on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. The venture failed, and produced only two more Oz stories, His Majesty the Scarecrow of Oz, and The Magic of Cloak of Oz. The most famous film version from 1939 was directed by Victor Fleming, starring the sixteen-year-old Judy Garland.
The story was made into a silent film in 1925, and 70 years later in 1995, Geoffrey Maguire published Wicked, the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, spinning a tale of a green-skinned girl named Elphaba who grows up to be infamous. The musical, Wicked, The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz, premiered in San Francisco in 2003. Its original stars were Idina Menzel as Elphaba, Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. Various other stage productions and readings have been given over the years.

Marea, on Central Park South, was named best new restaurant at the James Beard awards on May 3. Timothy Hollingsworth, chef de cuisine of the French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., won the Rising Star Chef of the Year honor at the James Beard Foundation’s ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall. Daniel, on the Upper East Side, was named outstanding restaurant. The best chef award winner was Tom Colicchio of Craft in the Flatiron district, and the outstanding restaurateur was Keith McNally, owner of downtown landmarks such as Minetta Tavern, Balthazar and Pastis. In other awards, the service at Alinea in Chicago was named best in the country. Nicole Plue, the pastry chef at Redd in Yountville, received the outstanding pastry chef award, and Jean Georges, on Columbus Circle, won the outstanding wine service award. Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park was named best chef in New York. The Wright, in the Guggenheim Museum, and Andre Kikoski, its architect, were cited for best restaurant design.

Quote We must try to take our task more seriously and ourselves more lightly.
Dorothy Height (1912-2010) American civil rights activist

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Issue Brief: The Funding of State and Local Pensions: 2009-2013, by Alicia H. Munnell, Jean-Pierre Aubry, and Laura Quinby, Center for State and Local Government Excellence
"The financial crisis reduced the value of equities in state and local defined benefit pensions and hurt the funding status of these plans. The impact will become evident only over time, however, because actuaries in the public sector tend to smooth both gains and losses, typically over a five-year period. The first year for which the crisis will have a meaningful impact on reported funding status is fiscal 2009, since in most cases the fiscal 2008 books were closed before the market collapsed. After 2009, the funding picture will continue to deteriorate to the extent that years of low equity values replace earlier years of high values. The current and future funding status of state and local pensions is crucially important, as state and local governments are facing a perfect storm: the decline in funding has occurred just as the recession has cut into state and local tax revenues and increased the demand for government services. Finding additional funds to make up for market losses will be extremely difficult."

OSHA releases data detailing worker exposure to toxic chemicals
News release: "In keeping with the president's memorandum on open government, the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is releasing 15 years of data providing details of workplace exposure to toxic chemicals. The data is comprised of measurements taken by OSHA compliance officers during the course of inspections. It includes exposure levels to hazardous chemicals including asbestos, benzene, beryllium, cadmium, lead, nickel, silica, and others. The data offers insights into the levels of toxic chemicals commonly found in workplaces, as well as insights into how chemical exposure levels to specific chemicals are distributed across industries, geographical areas and time."

Caribbean Sea, named for the Carib, an American Indian people of the north coast of South America and the islands of the southern West Indies.
Geiger counter (Gieger-Müller counter), Gieger-Müller tube (GM tube) are named for Hans Geiger and Walther Müller.
Pasteurize, named for Louis Pasteur, one of the first to disprove spontaneous generation.

Gardens in Ohio I have enjoyed: Schedel (sheh-DELL) Arboretum & Gardens in Elmore
More than 17 acres bordering the Portage River, upland and lowland gardens, water features, stand of Dawn Redwoods started in the 1950s, descendents of seeds found in a remote valley in China, sculptures and exhibits in the Trellis Gallery
The University of Toledo's Stranahan Arboretum is a 47-acre site, about a 10 minute drive from the main campus, that consists of cultivated ornamental trees, rolling lawns, natural woods, ponds, wetlands and prairie.

Feng Shui (the Mandarin pronunciation is foong soyee, the Cantonese pronunciation is Fung Shwey) translates as "wind and water". "Feng" stands for wind, air, gas, clouds, storms, energy fields and radiation of energy. It can also be interpreted as the complementary set of structures directing the flow of the wind. These structures can be mountains or rocks, buildings or other man-made forms. "Shui" stands for water, lakes, rivers, brooks, waterfalls, swamps, rain, snow and ice, and also plants and other living organisms nourished by water, as well as so-called "dry water" ways, such as streets. For another clear view of the importance of wind and water, consider the name of that most beautiful archipelago, Hawai'i. "Ha" stands for breath, "wai" stands for water, and "i" stands for spirit.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Powel Crosley, Jr., never intended to be a broadcaster. Son Powel, III, in the very early twenties, pestered Dad for one of those wireless outfits. Instead of spending $100 for a wireless, they bought "The ABC's of Radio" for 25 cents. The next step involved parts for a crystal set. Then came a $200 receiver, and soon a 20-watt transmitter. The first Crosley radio receiver, the "Harko," was only $9.00. --Summer, 1921: Department of Commerce issues license for 8CR as a "special land station." Power is 20 watts, transmitter by the Standard Precision Instrument Company, of Cincinnati at 710 kc. --March, 1922: Call letters WLW assigned by the new Federal Radio Commission. WLW is 65th licensed radiotelephone station to go on the air. Letters are received from Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut. --June 1, 1927: WLW moves to 700 kc On April 17, 1934, the FCC granted Crosley Broadcasting authority to use 500 kW experimentally, during regular hours, with its regular WLW call. On May 2, 1934, a signal pair had been ordered to terminate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where a man whose fireside chats had made him well aware of the power of radio was prepared to assist. The golden key which Woodrow Wilson had used to open the Panama Canal was connected. That log shows a final high-power test from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. 9:02 p.m. Cut to remote line from Washington. President Roosevelt: "I have just pressed the key to formally open Station WLW. . ." From Broadcasting, March 1, 1939: WLW, Cincinnati, world's first station to operate with 500,000 watts power, returned to its regular output of 50,000 watts March 1 by FCC mandate, after one of the hardest fought legal battles in radio annals. Just a matter of hours before the FCC order reducing its power to 50,000 watts was to have become effective, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied the Crosley plea for a stay order to permit the station to continue regular operation during the pendency of its appeal.

Two Cincinnati-area properties associated with Powel Crosley, Jr. (1886-1961) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: VOA Relay Station and Pinecroft, the Crosley estate. See more information and pictures at:

What is the world's deepest canyon?
If you're scouting for the deepest scar on Earth, it might not be where you think. The deepest gorge on the planet is found where the Pacific Plate sinks underneath the Philippine Plate. Called the Mariana Trench, the underwater canyon descends 35,827 feet (10,920 meters) — the Grand Canyon only averages about 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) in depth. But if you're looking for the biggest known canyon in the solar system, that's Mars' Valles Marineris.

Arbor Day was begun by Nebraska journalist J. Sterling Moron to promote the planting of trees useful as wind breaks, fuel, and building material on the plains. Nebraskans planted 1 million trees on the first Arbor Day, held in April 1872. In 1885 it was named an official state holiday. Arbor Day generally is a state thing. Nineteen states observe it on the last Friday in April – and occasionally, US presidents have issued a proclamation naming a national Arbor Day at that same time. Some states hold it at other times of the year to coincide with better tree-planting weather. That means January or February in the far South and May in the far north. Oaks, our national tree, are native to 49 of the 50 US states (and you yourself can grow them from acorns). They’re strong, useful, and embedded in US history. Since Colonial days they’ve been sawed into ships, homes, and furniture. The Charter Oak in Connecticut is where they hid the state constitution during a political crisis in 1687. The “iron” sides of the US Navy’s Old Ironsides in fact were oak.

Q: Who is the woman pictured in the painting behind Judge Joseph H. Niemeyer's bench in common pleas court in Findlay? And why is the child naked?
A: The woman is "Lady Justice" and it's an unusual rendering because she is not blindfolded, Niemeyer said.
The naked child, who is holding the scales of justice, symbolizes a judge's ambition of a pure and unbiased view, he said.
Niemeyer believes the work by Italian-American artist Virgilio Tojetti is original to the courthouse, built in 1886.
The painting was refurbished in 2006. To see photos of it, go to -- Jordan Cravens.
Q: Who was artist Virgilio Tojetti?
A: Tojetti (1851-1901) was born in Rome and studied with his father, Domenico, and with Jean-Leon Gerome and William-Adolphe Bouguereau in Paris. His father restored several Vatican paintings for Pope Pius IX. The family immigrated to San Francisco in 1870, and the younger artist lived there and in New York. Tojetti specialized in idyllic or angelic scenes with young, rosy-cheeked women in flowing gowns, and long curly or braided brown hair, sometimes crowned in flowers. There is often a cherub or two nearby, as in the courthouse painting. Tojetti painted murals for the New York residence of financier Charles T. Yerkes, the Savoy Hotel in New York, and the former Ponce De Leon Hotel, now Flagler College, in St. Augustine, Fla. He exhibited in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The de Young Museum in San Francisco and others hold his work. He was prolific. Some works are sold as posters for $14.99. A watercolor was for sale on eBay for $687.50, but an oil entitled "Harem Dancer" sold last year for $5,355, according to Christie's in London. -- Peter Mattiace, various sources.
Q: What is the North Country National Scenic Trail?
A: The National Park Service says it is destined to be "the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States," through seven states from New York to North Dakota. It is being organized by linking existing trails. For example, the national trail uses much of Ohio's 1,444-mile Buckeye Trail, which winds widely around the state from Lake Erie near Cleveland to the Ohio River in Cincinnati, and back.
When hiking westbound, the North Country National Scenic Trail picks up the Buckeye Trail south of Canton and leaves it near Defiance for other trails in Michigan. The closest places to join the Buckeye Trail are in Delphos, Defiance or Pemberville. -- National Park Service and Buckeye Trail Association.,2010,May,03&c=c_13

Feedback to A.Word.A.Day
From: William J. Pease
Subject: Back-formation
My surname demonstrates a different sort of back-formation. "Pease" was originally the name of the vegetable (plural: "peasen") as in "pease porridge hot". To conform to common phonic usage the plural became "pease", the the final letter was dropped, and the singular evolved to become "pea".
From: Thomas Bookwalter
Subject: Back formation
The word Yankees as a reference to New Yorker comes from the nickname, Jan Kees, for the Dutch settlers. Jan Kees is a fairly common Dutch name still today. It was not a plural but a singular word, so Yankee as the singular of the plural Yankees is somewhat similar to the words of this week.
From: Greg Balding
Subject: back-formations
One my favourite back-formations, which is becoming quite common among Australian school-children (mine included), is the verb 'to verse', meaning 'to play against', a back-formation of 'versus'.