Friday, July 30, 2010

Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions by Federal Reserve District
Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and based on information collected on or before July 19, 2010. This document summarizes comments received from business and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials.

Abacá (English pronunciation: /ɑːbəˈkɑː/ ah-bə-KAH, from Spanish "abacá" for Musa textilis) is a species of banana native to the Philippines, grown widely as well in Borneo and Sumatra. It is sometimes referred to as "BacBac". The plant is of great economic importance, being harvested for its fibre, once generally called Manila hemp, extracted from the leaf sheath around the trunk. On average, the plant grows about 20 feet (6 metres) tall. The fibre was originally used for making twines and ropes as well as the Manila envelope; now most abacá is pulped and used in a variety of paper-like products including filter paper and banknotes. It is classified as a hard fibre, along with coir, henequin and sisal. The plant's name is sometimes spelled Abaká.
Note: A story about cast paper sculptures mentions "raw stock, cotton and abica"--abica is another way to spell abaca.

The Red Hat Society (RHS) is a social organization founded in 1998 for women approaching the age of 50 and beyond. As of July 2009, there are over 70,000 registered members and almost 24,000 chapters in the United States and 25 other countries. The Red Hat Society is the largest women’s social group in the world. The founder of the Society is artist Sue Ellen Cooper, who lives in Fullerton, California. In 1997, Cooper gave a friend a 55th birthday gift consisting of a red fedora purchased a year earlier at a thrift store along with a copy of Jenny Joseph's poem "Warning." The opening lines of the poem read:
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat that doesn't go and doesn't suit me.
The Red Hat Society’s primary purpose is social interaction among women, and to encourage fun, friendship, freedom and fulfillment. The goal is for members to bond as they travel through life together. The Society is not a sorority or a voluntary service club.

A list of New Jersey trivia stated that the first public art museum in the US, the Montclair Art Museum, was opened in NJ in 1914 However, the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT is the oldest public museum of art in the United States. It was founded in 1842, opening two years later. Read more: Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA was founded in 1885; Cincinnati Art Museum in 1881, Portland Art Museum in 1892, and Toledo Museum of Art in 1901.

Nymonyms are words about words. All words defined end in onym, a Greek root meaning "word" or "name".

Words substituted or left out
uniforms for police
unmarked for unmarked police car
suits for attorneys
public for public library

Most vegetables can be cooked on a grill, with the general rule of thumb being to grill them quickly and over direct medium to medium-high heat. Toss vegetables with seasonings and oil just before cooking to boost flavor and prevent sticking to the grill grate, but don't marinate vegetables ahead of time as some will throw off water and become soggy before they ever touch the grill. The Splendid Table July 28, 2020

Thursday, July 29, 2010


The days are like spokes in a wheel,
Weeks fly by like wheels with seven spokes;
Time is running away with itself,
Faster, faster--wait for me, life!

Time is a thief that steals my youth,
Time is a witch with a broom, sweeping, sweeping;
A candle burning to the socket,
The sands are running out.

Oh! never kill time; it is too precious,
Hard to hold, like a drop of quicksilver,
A bird's brief song, a butterfly's bright life,
Only a moment of eternity.

Theo D. Parker 1956

The first brewery in the US was in Hoboken, 1642
The first log cabins in the US were built in southern NJ, by the Swedes
The first glass company in the US was in Millville in 1739
The first Indian reservation in the US was in Burlington County in 1758
NJ was the first state to ratify the "Bill of Rights" in 1789
The first balloon flight in America took place in Deptford NJ in 1793, carrying a message from George Washington
America's first planned suburb was Llewellyn Park in West Orange, in the 1850's
The first condensed soup was made in Camden, NJ in 1897 by Joseph Campbell.
The first ferris wheel in America was built in Atlantic City in 1891, by William Somers
The first public art museum in the US, the Montclair Art Museum, was opened in NJ 1914
Blueberries were first cultivated for commercial use in Whitesbog, in 1916
The 1st traffic circle in the US was at Airport Circle in 1925 in Camden County. At their peak in the 1970's there were 67 in the state. Now there are 40
Woodbridge was the first town in the US to have a cloverleaf intersection in 1929
The first National Historic Park was in Morristown in 1933
The Pine Barrens is America's 1st National Reserve
The first American flag to be woven from a loom was created in Paterson
NJ has the oldest seaside resort: Cape May, a national historic landmark
The oldest log cabin in the US is C. A. Nothnagle Log House in Gibbstown, built between 1638 and 1643 by Swedish immigrants
Sandy Hook Lighthouse is the oldest operating lighthouse in the nation
Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn is the oldest continuously operating non-profit theater in the US
The oldest continuously operating winery in the US is Renault Wineries in Egg Harbor (1870's)

Cast paper sculpture has been around since the 1950's but should not be confused with papier-mache'. The two mediums are completely different. The artists first mix an acid free paper pulp in the studio hydro-pulper from two raw stocks, cotton and abica. Then the pulp is cast into molds which were made from original clay sculptures. The paper is then pressed under vacuum pressure or by hand in the mold where most of the water is extracted at the same time. The Eckmans of Rapid City, South Dakota are the inventors of this process and the Eckman Method® of Cast Paper Sculpture is a trade mark of theirs alone. Since 1988 Patty and Allen have developed and perfected the medium of cast paper far beyond any other artist in the world. Their work is considered to be the premier of the industry by many critics. Since the paper is acid free the sculptures are all museum quality. "We have really enjoyed the development of our fine art techniques over the years and have created a process that is worth sharing. There are many artists and sculptors who we believe will enjoy this medium as much as we have." See examples of their art at the bottom of the Web page:

Gardens I have enjoyed in Pennsylvania
Bartram's Garden in Philadelphia
The homestead of John Bartram (1699-1777), America's first botanist, co-founder of the American Philosophical Society, and a towering figure in colonial Philadelphia's scientific community, today is America's oldest living botanical garden. The 45-acre site on the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia features Bartram's 18th century home and farm buildings, historic botanical garden, wildflower meadow, water garden, freshwater wetland, parkland, river trail and a museum shop. The house was named a National Historic Landmark in 1963.
Personal note: I went to John Bartram High School near the garden.
Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, with 1,050 acres has 20 indoor and 20 outdoor gardens, conservatories, fountains, outdoor gardens, and historic house. Joshua Peirce, a Quaker farmer, built the section of the brick house with the covered porch in 1730 (the porch dates from 1824). Successive generations of the Peirce family enlarged the modest farmhouse during the nearly two centuries it remained in their possession. It was 1906 when Pierre S. du Pont purchased the property to save the amazing trees that were about to be harvested for timber. He expanded the dwelling in 1909, and again in 1914, to serve as his country home and first conservatory. The house was opened to the public in 1976

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

palinode (PAL-uh-noad) noun
A poem in which the author retracts something said in an earlier poem.
From Greek palinoidia, from palin (again) + oide (song). It's the same palin that shows up in the word palindrome. The illustrator and humorist Frank Gelett Burgess (1866-1951) once wrote a poem called The Purple Cow:
I never saw a purple cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one.
The poem became so popular and he became so closely linked with this single quatrain that he later wrote a palinode:
Confession: and a Portrait, Too,
Upon a Background that I Rue!
Oh, yes, I wrote 'The Purple Cow,'
I'm sorry now I wrote it!
But I can tell you anyhow,
I'll kill you if you quote it. A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
Burgess also coined the word "blurb."
See many uses of "purple cow" at:

The Greeks brought their culinary innovations to the regions into which their culture expanded: places we now call Italy, France, Spain, the Levant, North Africa, and India. Then, in 146 B.C., an envious power rising to their west, the Romans, subdued them. The Romans idolized and augmented Greek foods to further flamboyance: from them came the thin phyllo pastry dough used to make spanakopita and sweetened pies, as well as tiropita, a cheese turnover. Then came the Ottoman conquerors, who ushered in assorted Central Asian provender like rice pilaf and jellied rose water loukoum. In the 1800s, exotic fare began to arrive from the New World: tomatoes, squash, potatoes, and beans, each to be given a Greek inflection.

Immortal island--Crete This island in the Mediterranean Sea was first settled by the Minoans some 5,000 years ago. Crete has a mild climate well suited to the cultivation of olives, citrus, and grapevines.

The northern region of Macedonia, of which Thessaloniki is the capital city, remained under Ottoman rule until 1913, almost a century longer than the southern part of Greece, and today the region's food reflects a distinctive confluence of Middle Eastern and European traditions: butter and chiles (both hot and sweet) feature prominently in local dishes, and spices like cumin and cinnamon tend to be used more lavishly than in regions to the south.

Land of Plenty (The Peloponnese) This 8,320-square-mile peninsula has a richly variegated landscape: a mountainous interior, broad valleys, a coastal plain, and 856 miles of coastline. That landscape supports an exceptional agricultural diversity. The plain teems with artichokes and eggplants; agiorgitiko grapes thrive in the northeast's Nemea Valley; and the mountains are abundant with olives, including kalamatas, which are named after the southwestern port city. The Peloponnese is known, too, for its unique animal products, including barrel-aged feta and olive oil–cured pork, which comes from the Mani, the peninsula's remote middle spur.

Far Side of the Mountains (Epirus) Simple dishes made with just a few ingredients characterize the cooking of this rugged, rural, and mountainous region in northwestern Greece. Fresh sheep's milk cheese and butter are cornerstones of Epirote cooking, as is corn, which was introduced from the New World in the 16th century and takes well to the region's comparatively cool, wet climate.

At the Water’s Edge (The Cyclades) This archipelago extends from just off the southeastern coast of the mainland, near Athens, nearly to the Sea of Crete. Stark, sun-bleached, and scoured by ocean winds, the islands are mostly arid, with small tracts of arable land that yield tomatoes, pulses, and grapes. One of the islands, Santorini, is home to celebrated wines. But the Cyclades' greatest bounty comes from the sea: fresh and cured fish play a central role in the regional cuisine.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Reader remarks on Biltmore at Asheville: The "grounds" (100,000+ acres) were planned by Frederick Law Olmstead, the famous landscape architect (Central Park, NYC). Among other features a river was rerouted. The woodlands spawned the first forestry school in the US and most of the acreage became a national park.

benison, malison*
benign, malign
benediction, malediction
benevolent, malevolent
* archaic

The word malapropos is an adjective or adverb meaning "inappropriate" or "inappropriately", derived from the French phrase mal à propos (literally "ill-suited"). The earliest English usage of the word cited in the Oxford English Dictionary is from 1630. Malaprop used in the linguistic sense was first used by Lord Byron in 1814 according to the OED. The terms malapropism and the earlier variant malaprop come from Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 play The Rivals, and in particular the character Mrs. Malaprop. Sheridan presumably named his character Mrs. Malaprop, who frequently misspoke (to great comic effect), in joking reference to the word malapropos. The alternative term "Dogberryism" comes from the 1598 Shakespearean play Much Ado About Nothing, in which the character Dogberry produces many malapropisms with humorous effect. See examples, including malapropisms in fiction and by real people at:

In the last year, low gas prices have caused ethanol to lose its cost advantage, pushing down demand for the fuel. The U.S. ethanol industry also has been hurt by high corn prices and the credit crunch. Major producers such as South Dakota-based VeraSun Energy Corp. went bankrupt. But experts predict ethanol use will increase once the economic downturn ends and gas prices rise. U.S. automakers also have pledged to make half their vehicles flex-fuel-capable by 2012 if enough fueling stations sell E85. There are already more than eight million flex-fuel vehicles on the road. -- Dee-Ann Durbin, AP, Detroit. Correction: Keith Houdeshell of Arlington notes that actor Harry Morgan played a detective in a remake of television's "Dragnet," and not in the original series as erroneously reported last Monday.,2010,Jul,26&c=c_13

A boat made from thousands of plastic bottles has sailed into Sydney Harbour, completing a four-month voyage that began in San Francisco. The Plastiki left the US city of San Francisco in March, crossing the Pacific and then travelling via Western Samoa and New Caledonia before arriving in Australia. It sailed via the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - a sea of waste about five times the size of the UK that sits just below the surface between California and Hawaii. The vessel is a catamaran, with the thousands of plastic bottles attached with organic glue to two pontoons. Other parts of the boat such as the sails and the mast are made from recycled materials. Mr de Rothschild said he and his crew had wanted to raise awareness of the damage caused to the ocean by the disposal of plastic waste.

Cottage cheese first made its début by accident, when heat turned curdled ordinary milk into soft, moist lumps that tasted good. Farmers in Europe during the middle ages made the cheese in their cottages.
"Proper English Cottage Pie is a delicious, very traditional mince pie (beef) topped with mashed potato. Serve with garden peas."
Vegetarian Sheperd's Pie (video)

Feedback to A.Word.A.Day
From: Susan Frank Subject: verbing a noun
The hostess at a Denny's informed us, "The waitress will be with you in a minute. She's beveraging the other table." A friend informed us that his boat developed a leak and they were "bucketing the boat".

Clay vessels have been used by humans to cook food for many thousands of years. Clay cooking pots have been found in every part of the world and some of the earliest dated by Archaeologists to be over 3000 years old have been found in China. It is believed that in these circular clay cooking vessels are the origins of the modern Kamado albeit the clay finally being superseded by ceramic materials. All over the globe this elementary cooking vessel has evolved in many different ways, the tandoor for example in India and in Japan, the mushikamado; a device designed to steam rice and used by Japanese families for ceremonial occasions. The mushikamado was a round clay pot with a removable domed clay lid and was typically found in Southern Japan. Innovations at this time included a damper and draft door for better heat control and it was found to be fuelled by charcoal rather than wood. The mushikamado first came to the attention of the Americans after the Second World War. The name "kamado" is, in fact, the Japanese word for “stove” or “cooking range." Modern Kamado style cookers are made from a variety of materials including high fire ceramics (Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, California Kamado, Primo, Grill Dome,Dragon Fire King), refractory materials (Komodo Kamado), traditional terra cotta (Imperial Kamado) and a mix of Portland cement and crushed lava rock (Kamado).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Rupert Murdoch instituted a paywall at the Times Online (London) web site on June 15th. He has also blocked search engines from listing stories from the Times. Anyone connecting to the site is referred to a sign-up page requiring a £1 subscription payment to proceed. Most analysts expected a drop in casual viewers, and the numbers don't disappoint the disappointers. GigaOm claims a drop in online readership by about 65%. The Guardian claims numbers of 90%, a bit more brutal. GigaOm suggests that the Times is comfortable with the drop as it is likely meant to shore up the print side of the business by making it easier for readers to get the news that way.

"Mad Men" is a show about feelings, and if you know that sensation you get on April Fools' Day when you visit a legitimate news website only to finish a story and realize is was all a scam, you may have experienced the same thing when you encountered a fake vintage comic strip called "Those Madison Avenue Men!" Meant to pass for the comic that originally inspired "Mad Men" from the early 1960s, the strips were instead put together by Bruce Handy and Frank Thorne (who incidentally did not create "Heathcliff") for Vanity Fair. Under the guise of a failed tale that ran for "a mere 43 weeks before being canceled," the "only surviving examples of 'Those Madison Avenue Men!'" are actually just a tribute to Season 4, which kicks off on AMC this Sunday, July 25.

English author P.D. James, who splits her time between London and Oxford, was a successful career woman working as a hospital administrator and later in various government jobs, including as a magistrate in London and Middlesex. But she had always wanted to write a novel. "I remember a moment in my 30s," James says, "when it suddenly dawned on me that if I went on delaying writing that I'd be a failed writer telling my children and grandchildren that I'd desperately wanted to be a writer. I thought that this would be appalling and that I'd really have to make time and get started." James, born in Oxford in 1920, grew up in Ludlow and then in Cambridge, where she attended the Cambridge High School for Girls. She left school at 16 and was married at 21 to Ernest Connor Bantry White. Their daughters, Clare and Jane (named for Jane Austen, James' favorite author), were born during World War II. White, who spent part of the war in India with the Royal Army Medical Corps, returned suffering from mental illness. He was hospitalized and finally institutionalized. He was 44 when he died in 1964. James never remarried. In a story that in some ways mirrors that of another celebrated British author, J.K. Rowling, James wrote her first novel, Cover Her Face, the first in the Dalgliesh series, in her late 30s on the train while commuting to and from work. Cover Her Face was published in 1962 and was critically praised. Despite its success and that of subsequent novels, James didn't retire to write full time until 1979. Phyllis Dorothy James—she chose P.D. James as her pen name because she decided it "would look best on the book spine," but she's Phyllis to her friends—has written 18 novels since 1962. Fourteen of them star Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard.

A minimal pair consists of two words that differ in only one sound. Examples: cat, hat; meet, greet; bus, buzz; ten, teen

The largest house in America has 250 rooms and 4 acres of floor space. Indoor bathrooms were considered a luxury in the 1880's, and the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina has 43 of them. Eleven million bricks would enclose 34 bedrooms, 65 fireplaces and an in house bowling alley. (An on site kiln would produce 32,000 bricks per day) Electricity, fire alarms, central heating, elevators and telephones were cutting edge technology of the day, and Biltmore House had them all. A swimming pool with underwater lights, a gym and private dressing rooms are all examples of the types of indoor recreation featured in this house. More than 1,000 workers would toil for 6 years on this mammoth project. An entire town had to be built to house the workforce and a 3 mile long railroad spur was built, just to deliver men and materials to the site.

Jonesborough Tennessee’s tale begins over two centuries before the National Storytelling Festival began in 1973. Storytelling was not the only first for Jonesborough--its historic district was among the first from Tennessee to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the county was the first district to be named in honor of George Washington, the first publisher of a periodical devoted exclusively to abolishing slavery was located here, and Jonesborough is the first and only home of the National Storytelling Festival. Click on following link, reduce print size to 100% for ease in reading:

From muse reader: Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library markets itself with an adaptation of the Old Spice Guy gimmick. "I know I always do what "8 out of 5 dentists recommend." "Anything's possible when you're in the library." See at: Thanks, David.

It's become the library promo heard (and seen) 'round the world. The viral success of the "New Spice" ad for Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library has the folks at the library's Multimedia Production Unit--who produced the ad and now have made a behind-the-scenes short--beside themselves. The promo spoof of the popular Old Spice ad has been mentioned on CNN, CBS and The Huffington Post. Libraries at Baylor and other schools have touted the ad, displaying a mix of admiration and rank jealousy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Decline in smoking means decline in state revenue, by Ali Eaves, Special to Stateline "Americans are smoking less and less. That’s good news for public health, but it creates an ironically nasty side effect for many state budgets. They have grown dependent on an annual stream of money from tobacco companies, and that money is itself dependent on the number of people who consume cigarettes. The payments to states come each year as dictated by the Master Settlement Agreement, a 1998 settlement between 46 states and most of the big tobacco companies, in exchange for states’ promises not to sue the cigarette manufacturers over health claims. States have received $73 billion to date from participating tobacco companies. The payments are calculated each year by a formula that partly relies on the smoking rates in each state. Predicting the payments is never an exact science, but this year’s unwelcome 16 percent drop in funds is thought by many experts as the beginning of a long-term downward trend."

China overtakes the United States to become world’s largest energy consumer
IEA [International Energy Agency] calculations based on preliminary data show that China has now overtaken the United States to become the world's largest energy user. China's rise to the top ranking was faster than expected as it was much less affected by the global financial crisis than the United States.. Since 2000, China’s energy demand has doubled, yet on a per capita basis it is still only around one-third of the OECD average. Prospects for further growth are very strong considering the country’s low per-capita consumption level and the fact that China is the most populous nation on the planet, with more than 1.3 billion people. China’s demand today would be even higher still if the government had not made such progress in reducing the energy intensity (the energy input per dollar of output) of its economy. It has also very quickly become one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy, particularly wind power and solar energy, and paved the way for a big expansion of nuclear power.

From muse reader: Minimal pairs are letters that are similar sounding in spoken English. Like D and T, Z and S, DG and CH, V and F, G and K, B and P—it’s less specified w vowels. But sounds that are specified in English, not necessarily in other languages. (L and R fare biggies for Chinese speakers).

"Did you receive my invite?" If the noun use of the word "invite" grates on you, you are not alone. Perhaps you could simply respond with, "Yes, didn't you get my accept?" Or you could go to such great lengths as to create a website about it: The truth is that the nouning of verbs (and verbing of nouns) is nothing new. The OED shows the word "invite" used as a noun going as far back as 1659 (the verb sense is from 1553). There are numerous words in the English language that do double duty as nouns and verbs (permit, look, commute, transport, address, to name a few). These noun senses usually follow a short while after the verb sense. Most such nouns become an everyday part of the language, while some continue to carry a stigma, as does the noun invite. A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg

The largest single hoard of Roman coins ever found in Britain has been unearthed on a farm near Frome in Somerset. A total of 52,500 bronze and silver coins dating from the 3rd century AD – including the largest ever found set of coins minted by the self proclaimed emperor Carausius, who lasted seven years before he was murdered by his finance minister – were found by Dave Crisp, a hobby metal detectorist from Devizes, Wiltshire. Crisp first dug up a fingernail-sized bronze coin only 30cm below the surface. Even though he had never found a hoard before, when he had turned up a dozen coins he stopped digging and called in the experts, who uncovered a pot bellied pottery jar stuffed with the extraordinary collection, all dating from 253 to 293 AD – the year of Carausius's death. How they got into the field remains a mystery, but archaeologists believe they must represent the life savings of an entire community – possibly a votive offering to the gods. Roman road runs nearby, but no trace of a villa, settlement or cemetery has been found. Read the story and see a picture of some of the coins at:

The word “literati” was coined back in 1621 as a label for scholarly or literary people (it comes from the same Latin source word that gives us “literature” and “literate.”) Then in 1956 Time Magazine turned “literati” into “glitterati” as a collective label for writers, artists and performers who are celebrities. People who have the glitter of glamour about them are the “glitterati”... the nerds who are well-versed in computers and technology are the “digerati”

A team of astronomers says a huge ball of burning gas drifting in a neighboring galaxy may be the heaviest star ever discovered, burning itself off at 10 million times the luminosity of the sun, the Royal Astronomical Society reports. Astrophysicist Paul Crowther says the star, called R136a1, is twice as heavy as any previously discovered and may once have weighed as much as 320 solar masses. The team found several stars with surface temperatures over 40,000 degrees, more than seven times hotter than the sun, according to the Royal Astronomical Society.
Crowther, an astrophysicist at the University of Sheffield in northern England, says the huge star was identified at the center of a star cluster in the Tarantula Nebula, a sprawling cloud of gas and dust in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a galaxy about 165,000 light-years away from our own Milky Way.

August 15 is Ferragosto in Italy, "the most important date in the summer calendar" and "a national holiday that traditionally involves a large meal with family and friends, such as a picnic in the country side or at the beach." The menus, often cold buffets, are "carefully composed to present a tempting array of light, often cold, dishes, in which fresh, local and seasonal ingredients are artfully combined to create a meal that is both flavorful and colorful."
Find more of the story, including recipes at:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Arizona, the first state to adopt automated cameras to catch speeders on its highways in October 2008, has become the first to pull the plug, bowing to the wishes of a vocal band of conservative activists who complained that photo enforcement intruded on privacy and was mainly designed to raise money. The cameras, which included 76 units either mounted near the shoulder or operated from vans, were adept at snapping speeders as they whizzed past sensors, but getting offenders to pay after the tickets were mailed to them was another matter. Less than a third of the 1.2 million tickets issued were paid, and the state collected $78 million, far below the projected $120 million annual revenue.

Stieg Larsson's legacy Interview by Abby Plesser
Knopf publisher and editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta, who introduced the works of Stieg Larsson to American readers, talks about the phenomenal success of the series.
How did you first hear about the Millennium trilogy?
I heard about the books at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2007. At that time, they were already creating quite a stir in Europe. I bought American rights soon after returning to New York.
Were you involved with re-titling the books for an English-speaking audience? (The first book’s original title was Men Who Hate Women.)
The British editor, Christopher MacLehose, from whom we bought the books, and who commissioned the English translation, came up with the title. I wasn’t involved in that process, but I knew we wanted the American edition to use this title rather than Men Who Hate Women. There was some concern that the original title might, in English, sound like a self-help book. Also, the title The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo emphasizes the character of “the girl,” Salander, who in my opinion is one of the main strengths of the trilogy. Read entire interview at:

The earliest known use of "in like Flynn" in print is in the December 1946 issue of American Speech. Penn State prof Ed Miller reported that students of his who had served in the army air force during World War II used the expression to mean, "'Everything is OK.' In other words, the pilot is having no more trouble than Errol Flynn has in his cinematic feats." An alternative interpretation comes from A Dictionary of Catch Phrases (Eric Partridge, 1986). Edward J. Flynn (1892-1953) was a New York City political boss who became a campaign manager for the Democratic party during FDR's presidency. Boss Flynn's "Democratic Party machine exercised absolute political control over the Bronx.... The candidates he backed were almost automatically 'in,' and he himself permanently so," Partridge comments. Now we have the beginnings of a theory. "In like Flynn" starts as rhyming slang in New York, helped along by the prominence of Boss Flynn. NYC draftees spread it among the troops nationwide with the start of World War II. The phrase gets a boost when the well-publicized travails of Errol Flynn in 1942 give it a double meaning. We have no evidence that "in like Flynn" was used anywhere prior to November 1942.

The French writer Guillaume Apollinaire coined the word "surrealism" based on a 1917 ballet. Jean Cocteau’s ballet "Parade" had stage designs by Pablo Picasso and music by Erik Satie. Apollinaire wrote that the performance revealed "a truth beyond the real, a kind of sur-realism." Following Apollinaire, another French writer, André Breton, wrote about the same artistic style. Breton is considered to be the founding father of the Surrealist movement and the one most responsible for its promotion.

Feedback to A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
From: Larry Israel Subject: Comments in Your Column
You wrote "That reminds me of books, manuals, and annual reports with a "blank" page bearing the text: "This page intentionally left blank." Years ago, because of nasty comments from nit-pickers, IBM changed to "The rest of this page intentionally left blank."
From: Barry Hurwitz Subject: Page left blank
I always got a laugh out of the "This page intentionally left blank", which appeared regularly in IBM hardware and software manuals. But I became thoroughly confused when I received a document with this statement on front cover: "This copy contains missing pages."
From: Mit (via Wordsmith Talk bulletin board) Subject: This is a blank topic
I'm not sure how long this has been the case, but when I did my exams at the end of high school, the back of the cover page of the exam booklet always said "This is a blank page."

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Notable Books List evolved from an activity sponsored by the Lending Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA) in 1944. See the 2010 list "of 25 very good, very readable, and at times very important fiction, nonfiction, and poetry books for the adult reader" here:

"Hypercriticality" or harsh, even withering, criticism within a group is discussed in the July 2010 issue of Communications of the ACM. In the context of proposal reviewing, Ed Lazowska coined the phrase "circling the wagons and shooting inwards," and John L. King, in a recent CCC blog, referred to such verbal assaults as "Fratricide." Jeff Naughton, referring to conference paper reviewing, said in a recent invited talk that "bad reviewing" is "sucking the air out of our community."

WSJ: Historic Finance Bill Includes Major New Rules Affecting Nearly Every Corner of Investing World Follow up to Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act - HR 11-517 and Senate passage of the bill by a 60-39 vote on July 15, 2010, via WSJ: "Buried in the bill's 800-odd pages are the most sweeping regulatory changes for ordinary investors in decades, affecting everything from mutual funds and retirement plans to single-stock investments and other holdings. The legislation has the potential to make brokers more accountable to their clients, shine light on hedge funds and improve the transparency of the complex derivatives on which many mutual funds and pension plans rely to hedge their risks."

Ever wonder why no matter where you go in Atlanta, you always seem to be driving on Peachtree? There are more than 55 streets with the word Peachtree. Peachtree Street is not named for a peach tree of any sort. Many of Atlanta's corridors follow the paths created by the Creek and Cherokee Indian nations who inhabited the area until the early 19th Century A large Creek settlement was called Standing Pitch Tree after a tall lone tree. Over time, the "pitch tree" became "peach tree." The Eastern Continental Divide, a continental divide in the U.S. that separates the Gulf of Mexico drainage from the watersheds that flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean, runs right through downtown Atlanta and then east and through Decatur. Rainwater that falls on the south and east side of the divide runs eventually into the Atlantic Ocean while rainwater on the north and west side of the divide runs into the Gulf of Mexico.

1624: NEW YORK CITY is born. The town of New Amsterdam was established on lower
Manhattan. At this time, what is now Greenwich Village is an Indian village known to Native Americans as (var.) Sapponckanican-- "tobacco fields," or "land where the tobacco grows." (Var. spellings: "Sapokanikan," according to Stokes, "The Iconography of Manhattan Island 1498-1909," "Sopokanikan," according to a map in Homberger, "Historical Atlas of New York City.") The Dutch continued the tradition; in the 17th century, tobacco farms lined both sides of what is now Christopher Street.

Q: Remember when even a teardrop of oil spilled, or when seasonal gas formulas changed, the price of gasoline would rise? Now we have oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Why hasn't the price of gasoline gone up?
A: It's a matter of markets trumping the environment. Oil and gasoline supplies in the U.S. are well above normal and demand remains weak. The nationwide average retail gasoline price is lower than when the spill began. When the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sunk (in late April), oil prices were falling over worries that the European debt crisis was going to thwart demand. Those lower prices meant cheaper gasoline prices. Analysts had been saying for weeks that crude prices had moved too far too fast. Soon after the spill began, there were worries that it would keep tankers from bringing imported oil to Gulf ports and taking refined product out, but that did not happen. Typically, spills don't have an influence on retail gasoline prices, said Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. After the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989, prices did go up briefly on the mistaken assumption that the trans-Alaska pipeline would be shut down, he said. Seasonal increases in gasoline prices still occur, however. Refineries produce more expensive blends of gasoline in the spring and summer to reduce pollution in warmer weather. Also, gasoline prices tend to rise in the spring on presumption that demand will pick up. Prices then drop in the fall and winter. -- Mark Williams, AP, Columbus.
Q: Is the actor who played Col. Potter on the series "M*A*S*H" still alive?
A: Harry Morgan is 95 years old. His long acting career included movies and the original "Dragnet.",2010,Jul,19&c=c_13

Friday, July 16, 2010

Directions in Washington involve quadrants with the Capitol as the center: NW, SW, SE, NE. Many addresses are found repeated in more than one, so make note of the quadrant. Numbered streets run North-South; lettered streets run East-West; streets with state names run on a diagonal.

Pennsylvania Avenue is known for joining the White House and the United States Capitol. Called "America's Main Street", it is the location of official parades and processions, as well as protest marches. Pennsylvania Avenue is an important commuter route and is part of the National Highway System.

The White House is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and interestingly, a McDonald's is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

From a Pennsylvania cook who "fed us to the brim" on our recent trip: Italian wedding soup refers to the marriage between meat and vegetables, not to a marriage between individuals.

Food phrases from New York muse readers
newborn bagels: newly-baked bagels
aged bagels: stale bagels (one reader dips them in vinegar)
pre-owned food: someone else's leftovers

Candied chicken from a New York cook (tasted and approved by muse readers)
1 cut-up chicken, salt and pepper
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. ketchup
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1 crushed garlic clove
Bake at 375 degrees one hour or until done. Baste every 15 minutes.

Quotes from The Empty Copper Sea, a Travis McGee novel
Avarice is the longest lever in the world.
Those birthday years that end in a zero are loaded.
John D. MacDonald (1916-1986) Also wrote as John Wade Farrel, Robert Henry, John Lane, Scott O'Hara, Peter Reed, Henry Reiser

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We have returned from Washington, D.C. where "you can fry an egg on the sidewalk in the summer." We visited as many museums and monuments as time permitted, including Smithsonian Museum of American History with Julia Child's kitchen, musical instruments, Judy Garland's ruby slippers, and inaugural gowns of First Ladies. Tales from tour guides: The National Theatre is the oldest in the nation; the Naval Building has a fountain with water from all the oceans added each year; Supreme Court is the largest marble building in the world; Library of Congress is modeled after the Paris Opera House. Our favorite two restaurants were Dino (Italian---in Cleveland Park) and New Heights (contemporary--in Woodley Park) Both restaurants offered unusual food combinations, small portions, and reasonable prices. After leaving Washington, we visited family in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. delivering and picking up items to deliver to others.

The Northwest Ordinance, officially titled "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio," was adopted by the Confederation Congress on July 13, 1787. Also known as the Ordinance of 1787, the Northwest Ordinance established a government for the Northwest Territory, outlined the process for admitting a new state to the Union, and guaranteed that newly created states would be equal to the original thirteen states. delineated rules for governing the Old Northwest, the area lying north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi. Thomas Jefferson had written the first ordinance for the territory three years earlier, calling for a division of the region into states. Considered one of the most important legislative acts of the Confederation Congress, the Northwest Ordinance also protected civil liberties and outlawed slavery in the new territories. The ordinance was adopted in April 1784, but it had not been instituted because no settlers held legal title yet.

Northwest Ordinance Timeline

The courtroom in the Ohio Judicial Center at 65 S. Front Street in Columbus appears much as it did when the building opened in 1933. This grand space, originally designed for public meetings and hearings, today serves as the Supreme Court Courtroom and hosts reasoned debates of the most significant legal questions arising from Ohio law. The ornate ceiling is divided into five sections, representing five states—Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin—carved from the Northwest Territory.
Reduce the print to 100% for easy navigation. You will find the picture of Justice Judith Lanzinger, former Shumaker attorney, at top left on page 1. Murals of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio are depicted on p. 18, and Michigan and Wisconsin on p.19. Information on the artist, Rudolph Scheffler (1894-1973), is also on p. 19.

Full stop is a term in British English. Period is its equivalent in American English

Quotes Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy. Dining is not a fuel stop, it is recreation. Julia Child