Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
overmorrow   (oh-vuhr-MOR-oh)  noun:  The day after tomorrow.
adjective:  Of or relating to the day after tomorrow.
From over (above) + morrow (tomorrow), from Old English morgen (morning).  Earliest documented use: 1535.  Also see hodiernal (relating to today), hesternal (relating to yesterday), and nudiustertian (relating to the day before yesterday).
paresthesia or paraesthesia  (par-uhs-THEE-zhuh, -zhee-)  noun
A sensation of pricking, tingling, burning, etc. on the skin.
From Greek para- (at, beyond) + aisthesis (sensation or perception).  Ultimately from the Indo-European root au- (to perceive) that also gave us audio, audience, audit, auditorium, anesthesia, aesthetic, anesthetic, esthesia, synesthesia, and obey.  Earliest documented use:  1848.

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From:  Claudine Voelcker  Henry Shrapnel and William Congreve are responsible for the now infamous description "... and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air..."  The red glare was provided by Congreve rockets, designed by Sir William Congreve in 1804 but whose inaccuracy and tendency to explode prematurely led them to be discontinued by the 1850s.
From:  Craig Good   Dinosaurs address the apple pie quote of Carl Sagan at:

John C. Campbell Folk School, also referred to as "The Folk School" is located in Brasstown, North Carolina.  The School was founded to nurture and preserve the folk arts of the Appalachian Mountains, it is an non-profit adult educational organization based on non-competitive learning.  Founded in 1925, the Folk School’s motto is “I sing behind the plow”.  The Folk School has week-long and weekend classes year-round in traditional and contemporary arts, including blacksmithing, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography, storytelling and writing.  The school is listed on the National Register of Historic Places,  The school campus includes a history museum, craft shop, nature trails, lodging, campground and cafeteria.  The school also holds a regular concert series and community dances.  The School hosts Morris Dance, Garland Dance and Clogging Teams.  After spending eighteen months traveling between Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, visiting local schools along the way, Olive Dame Campbell and her colleague Marguerite Butler, began forming the John C. Campbell Folk School in 1925 in Brasstown, North Carolina.  This folk high school or folkehøjskole, was dedicated to her late husband, John C. Campbell and was based on the Danish Folk School style of non competitive education, where no grades were given.

Calico Joe is John Grisham's first baseball novel.  It was released on April 10, 2012.   Author Grisham once dreamed of a career as a professional baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals.  This novel is about a beanball that ends the career of a promising prospect.  The novel is inspired by the real life story of Ray Chapman, the only professional baseball player killed by a pitch.  Grisham's novel involves a nearly fatal pitch thrown in August 24, 1973 and its implications 30 years later on both the batter, "Calico Joe" Castle, and the pitcher as narrated by Paul Tracey, the 11-year-old son of New York Mets pitcher Warren Tracey.

We now use 'derring-do' as a rather curious and archaic sounding two-part noun to describe 'ye olde' swordplay and the like.  Use of the phrase was almost obligatory in any review of films starring the late Errol Flynn, who was surely the most audacious actor ever to swash a buckle.  The fact that we come to have the word at all is actually due to a series of mistakes by a group of very eminent writers.  The earliest form of 'derring-do' in print is found in Geoffrey Chaucer's Troylus And Criseyde, circa 1374:  "In durring don that longeth to a knight."  Chaucer was using the two words 'durring' and 'don' with their usual 14th century meanings of 'daring' and 'do'.  This line in his work translates into 20th century language as 'in daring to do what is proper for a knight'.  The poet John Lydgate, paraphrased Chaucer in The Chronicle of Troy, 1430, and his 'dorryng do' was misprinted in later versions of the work as 'derrynge do'.   Incidentally, Flynn and his flamboyant colleagues weren't described as swashbuckling for no reason.  'Swash' was a 16th century term that referred to the noise braggarts made to simulate the sound of swishing weapons when pretending to swordfight.  A buckler was a small round shield, usually fixed to the forearm.  So, a 'swashbuckler' was a swaggering ruffian; someone very likely to swash his buckle.

derived adjective  noun  an adjective derived from a noun or verb, for example dreamy from dream, sterilized from sterilize

From Vernon M. Neppe
The term déjà vu refers informally to the “as if” experience—as if it’s happened before, yet it hasn’t.  It is also possibly the most commonly used French term in the English language and is a fertile source for neologisms. 
Déjà vu:
• derives from a foreign language (French),
• involves more neologisms than in any other study discipline, and
• has been a major source of personal interest and research for me, to the extent that I am curator and author of déjà Vu on
Find nine lesser known déjà terms all decades old as of the 1970s, and the author's suggested ten new terms at:

Beware is a so-called defective verb, which means it does not have the usual tenses, aspects and moods.  You cannot put beware in the past tense, or say 'I am bewaring'.  Beware is usually used in the imperative (Beware of the dog) and can also be used in the infinitive (You must beware of the dog, I reminded him to beware of the dog) and that's about it.  The reason for this goes back to Old English (ie before the Norman Conquest) when there was an adjective wær, which became ware in Middle English (after the Norman Conquest).  It meant 'cautious' or 'on one's guard' so the expression used would be 'be ware' (two words).  By 1300 it was often written as one word, and by 1600 endings were put on it by some erudite writers (bewares, bewared, bewaring).  These eventually dropped out of fashion.

The ragged or feathered edge of the paper as it comes from the papermaking machine is the deckle edge.  The edge gets its name from the frame — called a deckle — used in papermaking.  Handmade paper normally has 4 deckle edges while machinemade paper has two.  In most cases it is cleanly cut off during the papermaking process.  Left in place, the deckle edge becomes a decorative, textured edging.   Link to sites explaining how to create your own deckle edge at:

Monday, January 28, 2013

Craftsmanship--what happens when labor meets love (paraphrase) 
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane 

The Kitchen Cabinet was a term used by political opponents of President of the United States Andrew Jackson to describe the collection of unofficial advisers he consulted in parallel to the United States Cabinet (the "parlor cabinet") following his purge of the cabinet at the end of the Eaton affair and his break with Vice President John C. Calhoun in 1831.  In an unprecedented dismissal of five of the eight Cabinet officials in the middle of his first term, Jackson dismissed Calhoun's allies Samuel D. Ingham, John Branch, and John M. Berrien as well as his own supporters, Secretary of State Martin Van Buren and Secretary of War John Eaton.  However, Jackson retained Van Buren in Washington as the minister to Great Britain.  Jackson's Kitchen Cabinet included his longtime political allies Martin Van Buren, Francis Preston Blair, Amos Kendall, William B. Lewis, Andrew Jackson Donelson, John Overton, and his new Attorney General Roger B. Taney. The first known appearance of the term is in December 1831 correspondence by Bank of the United States head Nicholas Biddle, who wrote of the presidential advisors that "the kitchen . . . predominate[s] over the Parlor."  The first appearance in publication was March 13, 1832 by Mississippi Senator George Poindexter, in an article in the Calhounite Telegraph defending his vote against Van Buren as minister to Great Britain:  The President's press, edited under his own eye, by a 'pair of deserters from the Clay party' [Kendall and Blair] and a few others, familiarly known by the appellation of the 'Kitchen Cabinet,' is made the common reservoir of all the petty slanders which find a place in the most degraded prints of the Union.  In colloquial use, "kitchen cabinet" refers to any group of trusted friends and associates, particularly in reference to a President's or presidential candidate's closest unofficial advisers.  Clark Clifford was considered a member of the kitchen cabinet for John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson before he was appointed Secretary of Defense. Robert Kennedy was uniquely considered to be a kitchen cabinet member as well as a Cabinet member while he was his brother's Attorney General.  Ronald Reagan had a kitchen cabinet of allies and friends from California who advised him during his terms.  This group of ten to twelve businessmen were all strong proponents of the free enterprise system.  His conservative California backers included: Alfred Bloomingdale, Earl Brian, Justin Whitlock Dart, William French Smith, Charles Wick, William A. Wilson, auto dealer Holmes Tuttle, beer baron Joseph Coors, steel magnate and philanthropist Earle Jorgensen, and about four to six others.

If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. 
Carl Sagan (1934-1996)  astronomer and writer
See many other Sagan quotes at:

Jam/jam session 
jam (v.)   "to press tightly," also "to become wedged," 1706, of unknown origin, perhaps a variant of champ (v.).  Of a malfunction in the moving parts of machinery, by 1851.  Sense of "cause interference in radio signals" is from 1914.  Related: Jammed; jamming.  The adverb is recorded from 1825, from the verb. 
jam (n.1)  "fruit preserve," 1730s, probably a special use of jam (v.) with a sense of "crush fruit into a preserve." 
jam (n.2)  "a tight pressing between two surfaces," 1806, from jam (v.).  Jazz meaning "short, free improvised passage performed by the whole band" dates from 1929, and yielded jam session (1933); but this is perhaps from jam (n.1) in sense of "something sweet, something excellent."  Sense of "machine blockage" is from 1890, which probably led to the colloquial meaning "predicament, tight spot," first recorded 1914.

Q:  What do the digits mean in a Social Security number?  Is the number of a deceased person reissued?
A:  Before June 25, 2011, the first three digits indicated the state in which the applicant lived.  The remaining had no significance.  The Social Security Administration now issues numbers randomly.  But, it does not issue numbers beginning with 000, 666, and 900-999; nor with 00 in the fourth and fifth positions; nor with 0000 in the last positions.  And the number is yours forever. -- Doug Nguyen, Social Security Administration.
Q:  At Christmastime, I was wondering:  We know about gold, but what happened to frankincense and myrrh?
A:  The popularity of frankincense and myrrh has faded through the centuries, but you can still buy them.  Myrrh is used in about 7 percent of perfumes.  Both resins are used in some Eastern cultures for fragrance and for medicine, treating everything from diarrhea to cancer.  They are also rubbed on wounds, which some studies support.  A few laboratories in Africa, Egypt and China contend they have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.  One study suggests they work best in combination. -- Slate.,2013,Jan,21&c=c_13

Q:  We hear about invasive animals/plants here in the USA.  I'm curious if any of our animals/plants have affected other countries.
A:  We've exported our share.  Some are:
• The western corn rootworm, a leaf beetle that attacks corn, was brought to Serbia in the early 1990s and is attacking European crops.
• The North American bullfrog, native to eastern North America, has been spread worldwide because it is edible.  But it, in turn, eats many native creatures.
• The Eastern gray squirrel was first a pet in Great Britain and Italy, but their offspring are hopping across Europe.  It especially threatens the smaller red squirrel.
• Leidy's comb jelly, a western Atlantic Ocean jellyfish, has stung the Black Sea's anchovy industry, and has invaded the Mediterranean and Caspian seas.
• The largemouth bass, a tough fighter with a good taste, has been taken around the world.  But it eats native fish, amphibians, insects, and even small animals in the water.
• The Southeast's rosy wolfsnail was taken to Pacific and Indian Ocean islands in the 1950s to combat the giant African snail, itself an invasive animal.  In French Polynesia, the rosy wolfsnail nearly eliminated partula tree snails, which survive only in zoos.  As for invasive plants, there appears to be little information about those originating in the United States.  The National Agricultural Library, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recently told The Courier it had no information on them. -- National Environmental Coalition on Invasive Species, Peter Mattiace,2013,Jan,28&c=c_13

From Jeff O'Neal at Book Riot  Jan. 23, 2013  When news broke last week that Dan Brown’s new novel will center on some sort of mystery surrounding Dante’s Inferno, I immediately began hoping that there is a nutty, fun scene of Robert Langdon racing around a library just like he raced around the Louvre in The Da Vinci Code.  And because I am who I am, it got me thinking about great movie library scenes that already exist.  At first, I thought the list would be pretty short, but you know what? Hollywood loves a library.  Some combination of ambiance, seclusion, hidden knowledge, and the sheer beauty of shelves upon shelves of books make libraries a fantastic film setting.  Find Jeff's 16 favorites filmed library scenes including the New York Public Library  covered in ice at: 

Follow-up on Jackson Twenty-One:  a Dream Village  At the urging of an accountant, Mitch  Leigh started buying land; he chose Jackson Township.  Over the years, he added to that Jackson parcel, bit by bit, as nearby land came up for sale, and today he owns nearly 1,000 acres, making him one of the largest landowners in the area.  He has been working on plans to develop parts of the land for more than 20 years.  Sitting in his Manhattan office last week, in front of large picture windows on the 27th floor, Mr. Leigh said he did not expect to see Jackson Twenty-One finished in his lifetime — he will celebrate his 85th birthday at the end of the month with a big party put on by his wife, the artist Abby Leigh — but he does hope to see it started.  Much of the infrastructure is in place, and Mr. Leigh says he hopes to break ground on some of the housing in the spring or summer.  According to Jackson Township, Mr. Leigh has so far been approved to develop 150 acres of his land, which may include retail, restaurants, housing and a hotel.  But most of the plans remain far from solid.  What the Web site displays are not formal offerings but architectural concepts and ideas under consideration, said Tom Bovino, manager of Mr. Leigh’s real estate company, Leigh Realty.  They have yet to contract with builders.  And even the ever-optimistic Mr. Leigh estimates it will take 25 years to complete the project.

Friday, January 25, 2013

While scholars may not know the exact etymology of the term "juke," what is known is that the term "jukebox" comes directly from the early 1900s establishments known as jukehouses or jookhouses.  A jukehouse was simply a place where people listened to music and drank the night away, dancing with friends, and the term jukebox is in reference to the record player that would have been a staple in these places.  Find theories of the word's origin at:   

Bees, both commercially managed honey bees and wild bees, play an important role in global
food production.  In the United States, the value of honey bees only as commercial pollinators in
U.S. food production is estimated at about $15 billion to $20 billion annually.  The estimated
value of other types of insect pollinators, including wild bees, to U.S. food production is not
available.  Given their importance to food production, many have expressed concern about
whether a “pollinator crisis” has been occurring in recent decades.  In the United States,
commercial migratory beekeepers along the East Coast of the United States began reporting sharp declines in 2006 in their honey bee colonies.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that overwinter colony losses from 2006 to 2011 averaged more than 32% annually.  This issue remained legislatively active in the 110th Congress and resulted in increased funding for pollinator research, among other types of farm program support, as part of the 2008 farm bill (P.L. 110-246).  Congressional interest in the health of honey bees and other pollinators has continued in the 112th Congress (e.g., H.R. 2381, H.R. 6083, and S. 3240) and may extend into the 113th Congress. 
Read 26-page report 7-5700 from Congressional Research Service at:

British philologist Robert Nares (1753–1829) defined the word hoax as meaning "to cheat", dating from Thomas Ady's 1656 book A candle in the dark, or a treatise on the nature of witches and witchcraft.  The term hoax is occasionally used in reference to urban legends and rumors, but the folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand argues that most of them lack evidence of deliberate creations of falsehood and are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes, so the term should be used for only those with a probable conscious attempt to deceive.  As for the closely related terms practical joke and prank, Brunvand states that although there are instances where they overlap, hoax tends to indicate "relatively complex and large-scale fabrications" and includes deceptions that go beyond the merely playful and "cause material loss or harm to the victim".  According to Professor Lynda Walsh of the University of Nevada, Reno, some hoaxes—such as the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814, labeled as a hoax by contemporary commentators—are financial in nature, and successful hoaxers—such as P. T. Barnum, whose Fiji mermaid contributed to his wealth—often acquire monetary gain or fame through their fabrications, so the distinction between hoax and fraud is not necessarily clear.  Alex Boese, the creator of the Museum of Hoaxes, states that the only distinction between them is the reaction of the public, because a fraud can be classified as a hoax when its method of acquiring financial gain creates a broad public impact or captures the imagination of the masses.  One of the earliest recorded media hoaxes is a fake almanac published by Jonathan Swift under the pseudonym of Isaac Bickerstaff in 1708.  Swift predicted the death of John Partridge, one of the leading astrologers in England at that time, in the almanac and later issued an elegy on the day Partridge was supposed to have died.  Partridge's reputation was damaged as a result and his astrological almanac was not published for the next six years.  It is possible to perpetrate a hoax by making only true statements using unfamiliar wording or context, such as in the Dihydrogen monoxide hoax.  Political hoaxes are sometimes motivated by the desire to ridicule or besmirch opposing politicians or political institutions, often before elections.  A hoax differs from a magic trick or from fiction (books, movies, theatre, radio, television, etc.) in that the audience is unaware of being deceived, whereas in watching a magician perform an illusion the audience expects to be tricked.  A hoax is often intended as a practical joke or to cause embarrassment, or to provoke social or political change by raising people's awareness of something.  It can also emerge from a marketing or advertising purpose. 

A participle is a verb that acts like an adjective.  The present participle form of a verb usually ends with "ing."  For example, "dream" is a verb, and "dreaming" is its present participle.  
Participial phrases are just phrases that contain a participle and modify the subject of the sentence.
Dangling participles means your participial phrase is hanging there in your sentence with no proper subject in sight.  Wishing I could sing, the high notes seemed to taunt me.  Problem:  The high notes are the only subject in the sentence.  That makes a sentence that says the high notes wish I could sing.  Solution:  Wishing I could sing, I feel taunted by the high notes.

The Library of Congress on Jan. 23, 2013 added the Congressional Record, published by the Government Printing Office (GPO), and cost-estimate reports from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to its beta website, a public site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information.  The additions will supplement bills, bill summaries, Member profiles and legislative history information already available on the site.  Launched in September 2012, features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation. eventually will replace the public THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System (LIS).

It’s news whenever a large piece of real estate in densely populated New Jersey becomes available for residential development and construction.  That was the case last summer, when Jackson Township, after decades of contentious disagreements with the landowner, gave its final okay for the first phase of what could eventually become a 935-acre mixed-use community with 1,002 rental apartments and 539 rental and for-sale townhouses in six distinct villages.  The first phase of Jackson Woods, the 610.5-acre residential part of this community, will include 510 rental apartments in 44 buildings.  Seventy-two of those units will be earmarked as “affordable” for lower-income renters.  The second and third phases, to which the township has given preliminary approval, would have 539 units in 135 buildings and 492 units in 123 buildings, respectively.  One-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments and townhomes will be available.  The township waived its open space requirement for Jackson Woods because 60% of the land on which these homes will be built includes wetlands or buffer areas.  Still, more than 300 acres of Jackson Woods will be left “undisturbed,” according to the township’s approval resolution, which was signed on August 6.  Across the street from Jackson Woods are 324.9 acres on which the land’s owner, Brick, N.J.-based Leigh Realty, wants to develop a light-commercial town center called Jackson Common, which according to the resolution has received preliminary approval for 38 buildings that would include offices, retail, restaurants, a museum and library, and a 32,560-square-foot, five-floor hotel.  The website for this project states that Jackson Common would also include sports facilities and an “experimental” theater and IMAX, surrounded by studios “for all of the arts.”  Those last components aren’t surprising, as this project reflects the long-gestating “dream” of Mitch Leigh, the land’s owner.  The Brooklyn, N.Y-born and Yale University educated Leigh, who will be 85 on January 30, came to real estate development by way of Broadway, where he won a Tony Award in 1965 for the music he composed for Man of La Mancha.  In 1985, Leigh produced and directed a revival of the musical The King and I.  Over the past several weeks, Leigh, with his nimbus of white hair and raffish smile, has become a ubiquitous presence on local TV through commercials aired several times a day on New York stations.  Those ads have been touting “Jackson Twenty-One:  A Dream Village,” which Leigh describes as “a green village where you breathe clean air, and the tap water is purer than rain.” Leigh says Jackson Twenty-One (the exit number on Interstate 195, where this project is located) “is designed for really nice people of all ages” and he ends his commercial jokingly “if you’re not a nice person, please don’t call.”  Corniness aside, fine print on screen reveals the ad’s true purpose:  “data compilation.”  Leigh is attempting to gauge demand for the project’s residential and commercial components, explains a spokesperson for Leigh Realty, who asked not to be named.  John Caulfield

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue.  In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, mime (US:  pantomime) and title cards.  The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the perfection of the Audion amplifier tube and the introduction of the Vitaphone system.  After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, "talkies" became more and more commonplace.  Within a decade, popular widespread production of silent films had ceased.  Until the standardization of the projection speed of 24 frames per second (fps) for sound films between 1926 and 1930, silent films were shot at variable speeds (or "frame rates") anywhere from 12 to 26 fps, depending on the year and studio.   "Standard silent film speed" is often said to be 16 fps as a result of the Lumière brothers' Cinématographe, but industry practice varied considerably; there was no actual standard.  Cameramen of the era insisted that their cranking technique was exactly 16 fps, but modern examination of the films shows this to be in error, that they often cranked faster.  Unless carefully shown at their intended speeds silent films can appear unnaturally fast or slow.  However, some scenes were intentionally undercranked during shooting to accelerate the action—particularly for comedies and action films.  The following are the silent films from the Unites States that earned the highest gross income in film history. The dollar amounts are not adjusted for inflation.
The Birth of a Nation (1915) - $10,000,000
The Big Parade (1925) - $6,400,000
Ben-Hur (1925) - $5,500,000
Way Down East (1920) - $5,000,000
The Gold Rush (1925) - $4,250,000
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) - $4,000,000
The Circus (1928) - $3,800,000
The Covered Wagon (1923) - $3,800,000
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) - $3,500,000
The Ten Commandments (1923) - $3,400,000
Orphans of the Storm (1921) - $3,000,000
For Heaven's Sake (1926) - $2,600,000
Seventh Heaven (1926) - $2,400,000
Abie's Irish Rose (1928) - $1,500,000
The early studios were located in the New York City area.  In December 1908, Edison led the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company in an attempt to control the industry and shut out smaller producers.  The "Edison Trust", as it was nicknamed, was made up of Edison, Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Productions, Lubin Studios, Georges Méliès, Pathé, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph Studios, and dominated distribution through the General Film Company.  The Motion Picture Patents Co. and the General Film Co. were found guilty of antitrust violation in October 1915, and were dissolved.  Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892), they were moved to the Bronx, New York (1907).  Fox (1909) and Biograph (1906) started in Manhattan, with studios in St George Staten Island.  Others films were shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  The Thanhouser film studio was founded in New Rochelle, New York in 1909 by American theatrical impresario Edwin Thanhouser.  The company produced and released 1,086 films between 1910 and 1917, including the first film serial ever, The Million Dollar Mystery, released in 1914.  The first westerns were filmed at Scott's Movie Ranch.  Cowboys and Indians galloped across Fred Scott's movie ranch in South Beach, Staten Island, which had a frontier main street, a wide selection of stagecoaches and a 56-foot stockade.  The island provided a serviceable stand-in for locations as varied as the Sahara desert and a British cricket pitch.  War scenes were shot on the plains of Grasmere, Staten Island.  The Perils of Pauline and its even more popular sequel The Exploits of Elaine were filmed largely on the island.  So was the 1906 blockbuster Life of a Cowboy, by Edwin S. Porter. Companies and filming moved to the west coast around 1911.

'One Today' by Richard Blanco, extract from the inaugural poem
One sky:  since the Appalachians and Sierras claimed
their majesty, and the Mississippi and Colorado worked
their way to the sea.  Thank the work of our hands:
weaving steel into bridges, finishing one more report
for the boss on time, stitching another wound
or uniform, the first brush stroke on a portrait,
or the last floor on the Freedom Tower
jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience. 

One sky, toward which we sometimes lift our eyes
tired from work:  some days guessing at the weather
of our lives, some days giving thanks for a love
that loves you back, sometimes praising a mother
who knew how to give, or forgiving a father
who couldn't give what you wanted.

We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always—home,
always under one sky, our sky.  And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country—all of us—
facing the stars
hope—a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it—together.

Shanta Gyan and family joined more than 800,000 people on Capitol Hill and the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration.  Read the account at: 

A spokeswoman for the United States Marine Band said early on Tuesday, Jan. 22 that Beyoncé only pretended to sing, lip-syncing the words to a backing track.  What the listeners heard was a version she had recorded at a Marine Corps studio in Washington on Sunday night, said the spokeswoman, Master Sgt. Kristin duBois.  But by Tuesday afternoon, the Marine Corps had backed off Sergeant duBois’s statement, saying that while the band had not played live, neither Sergeant duBois nor anyone else in the Marine Band was in a position to know if Beyoncé had sung the anthem live or not.  Capt. Gregory A. Wolf, a Marine Corps spokesman, said the corps had determined that a live performance of the anthem was ill-advised because its members had little time to rehearse with the singer.  Earlier, Sergeant duBois had said that the weather was good and that the Marine Band had no trouble with intonation during most of the prelude and ceremony, nearly two and half hours of music.  Still, at the last minute, she said, the band received word that Beyoncé would use a recorded version of the national anthem.  Captain Wolf said it was standard operating procedure to record the music for the inauguration in advance, in case the weather is bad and it becomes impossible for musicians to keep their instruments in tune.  Four years ago, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and two colleagues used backing tracks during their performance at President Obama’s first inauguration because of the bitter cold.  

"Catfishing" is the act of posing online as another individual or hiding one's true identity and engaging in and perpetuating a relationship that's confined to social media such as Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and emailing.  J.A. Hitchcock, a Maine-based author and online safety advocate, explained the premise of catfishing.  "They're pretending to be someone and reeling in a victim," said Hitchcock, who founded the organization Working to Halt Online Abuse, which educates children and adults about online safety.  "It's literally fishing, the act of looking for someone to fall for them and keeping the relationship going online."  Nev Schulman's 2010 movie Catfish and the MTV series of the same name, which brokers face-to-face meetings between people in online-only relationships, brought the practice to light.  In the documentary, Schulman engaged in an online relationship with a woman named Megan Faccio and traveled to northern Michigan in an attempt to meet Faccio — who was, in fact, Angela Wesselman-Pierce, a mother who created online personas as a means to forge relationships.  At the end of the movie, Ms. Wesselman-Pierce's husband, Vince, explains to Mr. Schulman that cod would lose their firmness when they were initially shipped in vats from the United States to Asia.  That changed when handlers would place a catfish inside each vat before it was shipped, to keep the cod active while in transit.  The nature of deception is nothing new.  In the old testament of the Bible, Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau, instructs Jacob to disguise himself as Esau to receive a blessing from his blind father, Isaac — a blessing intended not for Jacob but for Esau.  In mythology, the Greeks gave the Trojans a gift — a large horse that was taken inside the walls of Troy and, unknown to the Trojans, was filled with Greek warriors.  Those warriors exited the horse and opened the city gates, allowing Greek forces to plunder Troy.  It's even become a part of pop culture.  In 2006, Geoffrey Knoop and Laura Albert admitted they had created the persona of JT Leroy, a male prostitute and drug addict who wrote three critically acclaimed novels. Knoop's half-sister had posed as Leroy at public events.  Rachel Lenzi 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Manti Te’o, Notre Dame's superstar linebacker, said in a statement that he was a victim of a “sick joke,” perpetrated by one or more Internet tricksters who lured him into an online relationship with a fake woman and convinced him she had succumbed to leukemia.  But as more pieces of this confounding puzzle come together, Law Blog spoke with Ben Brafman, a prominent criminal defense attorney, about the legal implications of a hoax.  Mr. Brafman says if the whole thing is a “practical joke gone wild,” it’s unlikely that the person or people responsible for concocting Lennay Kekua, the name of the made-up girlfriend, would face criminal prosecution.  “If we started to prosecute practical jokes, you would run into First Amendment issues, and we would overwhelm the scarce prosecutorial resources that could be put to better use,” said Mr. Brafman.  Probably the most important factor is whether anyone behind “Kekua” tried to profit from the ruse by soliciting money or gifts from Mr. Te’o or others.  “There doesn’t seem to be a financial benefit that anyone was trying to obtain,” said Mr. Brafman.  Notre Dame officials, who retained a private investigative firm after the linebacker alerted them that he had been duped, found nothing to suggest that “Kekua” was after cash, university officials said.  A hoax could become a criminal case if prosecutors suspect identity theft.  But in the Notre Dame situation, the ploy consisted of fabricating a character, as opposed to assuming the identity of someone real.  A similar situation unfolded last year in Colorado, where the tale of a cancer-stricken nine-year-old named Alex spread through a small town, generating an outpouring of sympathy that turned to grief when they thought the boy had died of leukemia.  The story turned out to be a hoax.  But local prosecutors declined to go after the real “Alex” after finding no evidence that the person had collected money from the trick.  The threshold of civil liability is lower.  Victims of a hoax could have standing to sue by claiming that it caused them to suffer financial losses, extreme emotional distress or other serious consequences, Mr. Brafman said. 
“There’s a huge difference between civil and criminal liability in a case like this,” he said.

Phrase definitions:  skin of/off my nose/skin/back/teeth; have a thick/thin skin; make someone's skin crawl/creep; under the skin; skin a cat 

The competition brief stated that the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet building in Oslo should be of high architectural quality and should be monumental in its expression. One idea stood out:  The concept of togetherness, joint ownership, easy and open access for all.  The marble clad roofscape forms a large public space in the landscape of the city and the fjord.  The opera’s landscape comprises the marble roof, additional marble clad areas, and the areas between the building and the surrounding streets.  Access to the plaza and the main entrance is over a marble clad footbridge over the opera canal.  Oak has been chosen as the dominating material for both the ‘wave wall’ and the main auditorium.  For the wave wall it has a light and varied surface.  Oak is used throughout for the floors, walls and ceilings.  Inside the auditorium oak has been chosen for a number of reasons:  It is dense, easily formed, stable and tactile.  The oak has been treated with ammonia to give a dark tone.  To achieve enough acoustic volume in the auditorium, the roof has been raised independently inside the line of the balustrades.  This has created a new viewing point from which the city and the fjord can be experienced.  The roofs are mostly too steep for wheelchair use but access to the near flat, upper areas is provided via a dedicated elevator.  The surface treatment of the stone, its pattern, cuts and lifts which create a shadow play, have been designed in close collaboration with the artists.  The white marble is ‘La Facciata’ from the Carrara quarries in Italy.  The north facade and all the stone cladding which is in contact with water is a Norwegian granite called ‘Ice Green’   Read more and see many pictures at: 

Highclere Castle is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and also features as Downton Abbey, the hugely successful drama series with over 11 million viewers in the UK and now shown in over 100 countries around the world.  From the pen of Oscar-winning ('Gosford Park') screenwriter, Julian Fellowes, now Lord Fellowes, it has an all star cast led by Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Elizabeth McGovern, Penelope Wilton and many other leading actors and actresses.  See images and link to visiting information for 2013 at:

A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
sang-froid   (san*-FRWA)  [* the first syllable is nasal]
noun:  Calmness, especially under stress.
From French sang-froid (cold blood).  Earliest documented use:  1750.  

Carl Sandburg poem discovered  Jan. 18, 2013  Except for the smudgy typewriter strokes, it reads like up-to-date social commentary: a poem on the fearsome power of a gun.  But the brief work was composed some nine decades ago by a literary giant, Carl Sandburg, and until days ago, scholars had no idea it existed.  For years Ernie Gullerud, a volunteer helping to create a digital archive of Sandburg’s voluminous output at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has pulled a poem from a folder, recorded its title and first and last lines, and then moved on to the next page.  But last week, a short poem, “The Revolver,” caught his attention. “I said, ‘Hey, this is as pertinent today as it was then,’ so I brought it to the librarians,” said Mr. Gullerud, 83.  After consulting with experts, the staff of the university’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library concluded that it was a genuine, unpublished and unknown work.  “The paper is his paper, and the typewriter is his typewriter,” Valerie Hotchkiss, the library’s director, said. Sandburg scholars think the poem dates to the 1920s, or perhaps earlier.  RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

January 21, 2013 will mark the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday.  This milestone is a perfect opportunity for Americans to honor Dr. King’s legacy through service.  The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.  Link to more information at: 

Inauguration quiz from the National Archives 

Inauguration quiz from National Public Radio