Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Wizard of Oz rolls off the tongue a lot easier than the man behind the curtain's full name, Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs.  From Frank Baum's Dorothy And the Wizard in Oz:  "It was a dreadfully long name to weigh down a poor innocent child, and one of the hardest lessons I ever learned was to remember my own name.  When I grew up I just called myself O.Z., because the other initials were P-I-N-H-E-A-D; and that spelled 'pinhead,' which was a reflection on my intelligence."  http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/wayoflife/06/13/mf.real.names.fictional.characters/index.html

List of Oz books with brief descriptions, plus additional books by Frank Baum:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Oz_books

Zardoz is a 1973 science fiction/fantasy film written, produced, and directed by John Boorman.  It stars Sean Connery, Charlotte Rampling, and Sara Kestelman.  In the year AD 2293, a post-apocalyptic Earth is inhabited mostly by the "Brutals", who are ruled by the "Eternals" who use other "Brutals", called "Exterminators", as, "the Chosen", warrior class.  The Exterminators worship the god Zardoz, a huge, flying, hollow stone head.   Zed, an Exterminator played by Sean Connery  is less brutal than the Eternals think him.  Genetic analysis reveals Zed is the ultimate result of long-running eugenics experiments devised by Arthur Frayn — the Zardoz god — who controlled the outlands with the Exterminators, thus coercing the Brutals to supply the Vortices with grain; yet Zardoz's aim was breeding a superman who would penetrate the Vortex and save mankind from its perpetual status quo.  Earlier, the women's analysis of Zed's mind reveals that in the ruins of the old world, Arthur Frayn led Zed to the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, from which Zed understands the origin of the name Zardoz — Wizard of Oz — bringing him to a true awareness of Zardoz as a skillful manipulator rather than an actual deity.   http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Zardoz.html

April 25, 2013  When you see the word "Amazon", what's the first thing that springs to mind – the world's biggest forest, the longest river or the largest internetretailer – and which do you consider most important?  These questions have risen to the fore in an arcane, but hugely important, debate about how to redraw the boundaries of the internet.Brazil and Peru have lodged objections to a bid made by the US e-commerce giant for a prime new piece of cyberspace: ".amazon".  The Seattle-based company has applied for its brand to be a top-level domain name (currently .com), but the South American governments argue this would prevent the use of this internet address for environmental protection, the promotion of indigenous rights and other public interest uses.  Along with dozens of other disputed claims to names including ".patagonia" and ".shangrila", the issue cuts to the heart of debates about the purpose and governance of the internet.  Until now, the differences between commercial, governmental and other types of identity were easily distinguished in every internet address by .com, .gov and 20 other categories.  But these categories – or generic top-level domains (gTLDs) as they are technically known – are about to undergo the biggest expansion since the start of the worldwide web more than 30 years ago.  The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) – a US-based non-profit organisation that plays a key role in cyberspace governance – has received bids (each reportedly worth almost $200,000 [£129,000]) for hundreds of new gTLDs to add to the existing 22.  Amazon has applied for dozens of new domains, including ".shop", ".song", ".book" and ".kindle".  But it's most contentious application is for its own brand.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/25/amazon-domain-name-battle-brazil?CMP=twt_fd&CMP=SOCxx2I2 

QUOTE  Books paint pictures in your head. The Last Bookshop, a 20:15 film 
The Last Bookshop imagines a future where physical books have died out.  One day, a small boy’s holographic entertainment fails, so he heads out to explore the streets of abandoned shops outside. Down a forgotten alley he discovers the last ever bookshop.

Legal publisher Fastcase on April 25, 2013 released an algorithmic enhancement to identify overturned or reversed cases in its Authority Check system – Bad Law Bot.  Bad Law Bot uses algorithms to identify court cases that are cited with negative treatment and to alert researchers of a case’s negative citation history.  The Bluebook manual for legal citation requires that, when courts cite a case that has been overturned or reversed, they say so right in the citation.  Judicial opinions, and particularly their citations, are full of this kind of “big data” about which cases are still good law.  Bad Law Bot scours all of the citations in judicial opinions.  When the opinions cite a case as being overturned, Bad Law Bot flags the case for Fastcase users, identifying negative history as reported by the courts.  “Fastcase’s Authority Check feature is already a very powerful tool for identifying whether your case is still good law,” said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters.  “Authority Check includes data visualization tools to see the later history of cases, citation analytics and filterable lists of later-citing cases.  The addition of Bad Law Bot, to help identify negative history, is a major step forward.  This is the first of many additions to Authority Check that we’ll roll out over the next year.”  The new Bad Law Bot feature helps users identify negative treatment of the cases judicial opinions.  However, because it only reports what cases say in citations, researchers should rely on Bad Law Bot as an aid to identifying negative history, not as a comprehensive guide.  In 2010, Fastcase was the first company to launch an app for legal research, and later, the first company to launch an app for iPad.  The American Association of Law Libraries named Fastcase for iPhone the 2010 New Product of the Year.  In 2011, Rocket Matter named Fastcase’s apps for iPhone and iPad the Legal Productivity App of the Year and the company furthered its mobile market presence by debuting the Fastcase for Android app in 2012.  Fastcase has introduced new opinion summaries, Fastcase Cloud Printing, and has been named to the prestigious EContent 100 list of leading digital publishing and media companies alongside Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook for two years in a row.  For more information on the Bad Law Bot feature, visit the Fastcase Legal Research Blog at www.fastcase.com/blog and watch this video:  http://youtu.be/ZsKu7FoO2Ns
Thanks, Julie.

QUOTES by Willie Nelson  Happy Birthday, Willie April 30
Be here.  Be present.  Wherever you are, be there.
When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.
You'll never get ahead by blaming your problems on other people.
See biography at:  http://www.biography.com/people/willie-nelson-9421488

Twenty years ago today, April 30, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) published a statement that made the World Wide Web freely available to everyone.  To celebrate that moment in history, CERN is bringing the very first website back to life at its original URL.  If you’d like to see the very first webpage Tim Berners-Lee and the WWW team ever put online, point your browser to http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.  For years now that URL has simply redirected to the root info.cern.ch site. But, because we all know cool URIs don’t change, CERN has brought it back to life.  Well, sort of anyway.  The site has been reconstructed from an archive hosted on the W3C site, so what you’re seeing is a 1992 copy of the first website.  Sadly this is, thus far, the earliest copy anyone can find, though the team at CERN is hoping to turn up an older copy.  http://www.webmonkey.com/2013/04/the-very-first-website-returns-to-the-web/

Friday, April 26, 2013

Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816)  Of French and English descent, Morris was born at Morrisania estate, in Westchester (present Bronx) County, NY. His family was wealthy and enjoyed a long record of public service.  His elder half-brother, Lewis, signed the Declaration of Independence.  Gouverneur was educated by private tutors and at a Huguenot school in New Rochelle.  He attended King's College (later Columbia College and University) in New York City, graduating in 1768 at the age of 16.  Three years later, after reading law in the city, he gained admission to the bar.  In 1775, representing Westchester County, he took a seat in New York's Revolutionary provincial congress (1775-77). In 1776, when he also served in the militia, along with John Jay and Robert R. Livingston he drafted the first constitution of the state.  Subsequently he joined its council of safety (1777).  In 1777-78 Morris sat in the legislature and in 1778-79 in the Continental Congress, where he numbered among the youngest and most brilliant members.  During this period, he signed the Articles of Confederation and drafted instructions for Benjamin Franklin, in Paris, as well as those that provided a partial basis for the treaty ending the War for Independence.  Defeated in his bid for reelection to Congress in 1779 because of the opposition of Gov. George Clinton's faction, Morris relocated to Philadelphia and resumed the practice of law.  This temporarily removed him from the political scene, but in 1781 he resumed his public career when he became the principal assistant to Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finance for the United States, to whom he was unrelated. Gouverneur held this position for 4 years.  Morris emerged as one of the leading figures at the Constitutional Convention.  His speeches, more frequent than those by anyone else, numbered 173.  http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/biographies/gouverneur-morris/ 

Gouverneur Morris IV (1876-1953), a great grandson of American Founding Father Gouverneur Morris, was an author of pulp novels and short stories during the early-twentieth century.  Several of his works were adapted into films, including the famous Lon Chaney, Sr. film, The Penalty.  See a partial bibliography and link to more information at Project Gutenberg,  Internet Movie database and Internet Broadway Database at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouverneur_Morris_(author)  

Filippo Antonio Pasquale di Paoli (1725–1807), was a Corsican patriot and leader, the president of the Executive Council of the General Diet of the People of Corsica.  Paoli designed and wrote the Constitution of the state.  The Corsican Republic was a representative democracy asserting that the elected Diet of Corsican representatives had no master.  Paoli held his office by election and not by appointment.  It made him commander-in-chief of the armed forces as well as chief magistrate.  Paoli's government claimed the same jurisdiction as the Republic of Genoa.  In terms of de facto exercise of power, the Genoese held the coastal cities, which they could defend from their citadels, but the Corsican republic controlled the rest of the island from Corte, its capital.  Following the French conquest of Corsica in 1768, Paoli oversaw the Corsican resistance.  Following the defeat of Corsican forces at the Battle of Ponte Novu he was forced into exile in Britain where he was a celebrated figure.  He returned after the French Revolution which he was initially supportive of.  He later broke with the revolutionaries and helped to create the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom which lasted between 1794 and 1796.  After the island was re-occupied by France he again went into exile in Britain where he died in 1807.  Many places in the United States are named after him.  These include:  Paoli, Pennsylvania, which was named after "General Paoli's Tavern" a meeting-point of the Sons of Liberty and homage to the "General of the Corsicans", Paoli, Indiana, Paoli, Wisconsin,
Paoli, Oklahoma, and Paoli, Colorado.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasquale_Paoli

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out.  It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being.  We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. Albert Schweitzer, philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate (1875-1965)

Slow Art Day  One day each year – April 27 in 2013 – people all over the world visit local museums and galleries to look at art slowly.  Participants look at five works of art for 10 minutes each and then meet together over lunch to talk about their experience.  That’s it.  Simple by design, the goal is to focus on the art and the art of seeing.  Link to Slow Down You Look Too Fast, a 2010 article, and 2013 venues (including the Toledo Museum of Art) at:   http://www.slowartday.com/about/

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, April 27, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  In the five previous Take-Back events, the Drug Enforcement Administration  in conjunction with state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications.  Locate Collection Site Near You  Collection site locations are now available.  Check back often; sites are added daily.  Please contact the Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 if you require assistance.  http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

April 23, 2013  Eighty five percent of all financial advisers and financial planners are really just brokers or salesman.  Their incentive is to sell you a product that makes them a higher commission, not necessarily a product that maximizes your chances of saving more.  Only 15 percent of advisers are “fiduciaries” — advisers who by law must operate with your best interests in mind.  Last year, the Obama administration proposed a rule to mandate that all financial advisers, financial planners and other assorted financial wizards would have to adopt a fiduciary standard when it came to employee retirement accounts such as your 401(k) or IRA account.  The financial services industry, which today manages something upwards of $10 trillion of our retirement nest eggs, thought this was a bad idea and pushed back hard.  Scores of their protest letters poured into the U.S. Labor Department, the branch of our government responsible for regulating employee retirement accounts.  Congress, too, was hit with a furious lobbying campaign.  This would be way too expensive, the industry said; if we have to provide such a standard of service, we will either have to pack up and find another business line, or have to pass the increased costs on to our customers.  The Obama administration pulled their proposal last fall.  The Labor Department says they plan to reintroduce a new fiduciary rule this summer.  Martin Smith  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/business-economy-financial-crisis/retirement-gamble/the-retirement-gamble-facing-us-all/

Fiduciary  An individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money.  The relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another's benefit.  A fiduciary relationship encompasses the idea of faith and confidence and is generally established only when the confidence given by one person is actually accepted by the other person.  Mere respect for another individual's judgment or general trust in his or her character is ordinarily insufficient for the creation of a fiduciary relationship.  The duties of a fiduciary include loyalty and reasonable care of the assets within custody.  All of the fiduciary's actions are performed for the advantage of the beneficiary.  Courts have neither defined the particular circumstances of fiduciary relationships nor set any limitations on circumstances from which such an alliance may arise.  Certain relationships are, however, universally regarded as fiduciary.  The term embraces legal relationships such as those between attorney and client, Broker and principal, principal and agent, trustee and beneficiary, and executors or administrators and the heirs of a decedent's estate.  A fiduciary relationship extends to every possible case in which one side places confidence in the other and such confidence is accepted; this causes dependence by the one individual and influence by the other.  Blood relation alone does not automatically bring about a fiduciary relationship.  A fiduciary relationship does not necessarily arise between parents and children or brothers and sisters.  The courts stringently examine transactions between people involved in fiduciary relationships toward one another.  Particular scrutiny is placed upon any transaction by which a dominant individual obtains any advantage or profit at the expense of the party under his or her influence.  Such transaction, in which Undue Influence of the fiduciary can be established, is void. 
West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2.  Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.  http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fiduciary 

Arbor Day (from the Latin arbor, meaning tree) was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska.  By the 1920s, each state in the United States had passed public laws that stipulated a certain day to be Arbor Day or Arbor and Bird Day observance.  Each state celebrates its own state holiday.  The customary observance is to plant a tree.  On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted.  See Arbor Day dates around the world at:   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbor_Day 

National Arbor Day is the last Friday in April, but many states observe Arbor Day on different dates according to their best tree-planting times.  Check map to find out when your state or territory observes Arbor Day at:   http://www.arborday.org/arborday/arborDayDates.cfm

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

“To beard the lion in his den” is a phrase dating back to the first Book of Samuel in the Bible, which tells the story of David, a shepherd who pursued a lion that had stolen one of his sheep.  Long story short, David bravely seized the lion “by his beard” (chin whiskers) and slew him.  The “in his den” detail most likely came from another Bible story, that of Daniel cast into a lions’ den and saved by an angel.  Put together, “to beard the lion in his den” was an established idiom by Roman times meaning “to confront a dangerous opponent directly; to defy or challenge an adversary on his own ground,” with at least some degree of success.  Today the phrase is often shortened to “beard someone in his own den” or just “to beard” with reference to a non-den locale.  (“Shall that English silkworm presume to beard me in my father’s house?”, Sir Walter Scott, 1820).  Although we usually encounter “beard” as a noun, it’s also been used as a verb since the 15th century, originally in the obvious, but now strangely obsolete, sense of “to grow a beard” (“Lewis, King of Hungary … was said … to have bearded at fifteen,” 1672).  “To beard” meaning “to resolutely defy or oppose” has been commonly used in English since the early 16th century, often with no reference to lions.  Part of this use of “to beard” reflects the use of the noun “beard” to mean “face” since the 14th century in such phrases as “to say something to an opponent’s beard,” meaning directly to his face.  http://www.word-detective.com/2010/07/beard-to/   

The Walls of Jericho in Jackson County, Alabama, is being called “The Grand Canyon of the South.”  More than 10,000 hikers, amateur photographers, birdwatchers and horseback riders have explored this natural marvel since it opened in August 2004. Alabama Gov. Bob Riley officially dedicated the area in April 2005.  In the late 1700s, Davy Crockett explored the area since his family owned land there.  A traveling minister came upon the Walls of Jericho in the late 1800s and was so captivated by the cathedral-like beauty that he declared it needed a biblical name and the name stuck.  Today, visitors continue to be drawn to the grandeur of the narrow gorge.  You can travel to the bottom of its 50-yard-wide limestone bowl and look up at 200-foot-tall cliffs on each side.  In a heavy rain, water shoots out of holes and cracks in the rock.  The gorge is just one piece of The Walls of Jericho tract, which was purchased by the State of Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust, with the help of The Nature Conservancy in 2004, as part of its mandate to acquire land for public use.  https://www.outdooralabama.com/news/release.cfm?ID=322

The Walls of Jericho site is designated as a Tennessee State Natural Area.  The entire 8,900-acre area is open for public access.  http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/tennessee/placesweprotect/walls-of-jericho.xml

Pyrenees, Spanish Pirineos, French Pyrénées, Catalan Pireneus  mountain chain of southwestern Europe that consists of flat-topped massifs and folded linear ranges.  It stretches from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea on the east to the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic Ocean on the west.  The Pyrenees form a high wall between France and Spain that has played a significant role in the history of both countries and of Europe as a whole.  The range is some 270 miles (430 kilometres) long; it is barely six miles wide at its eastern end, but at its centre it reaches some 80 miles in width.  At its western end it blends imperceptibly into the Cantabrian Mountains along the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.  Except in a few places, where Spanish territory juts northward or French southward, the crest of the chain marks the boundary between the two countries, though the tiny, autonomous principality of Andorra lies among its peaks.  The highest point is Aneto Peak, at 11,169 feet (3,404 metres), in the Maladeta (Spanish: “Accursed”) massif of the Central Pyrenees.  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/484820/Pyrenees

Films about chess  Find links to 24 pages on films, including Chess Fever, a 1925 Soviet silent comedy film directed by Vsevolod Pudovkin and Nikolai Shpikovsky.  Chess Fever is a comedy about the Moscow 1925 chess tournament, made by Pudovkin during the pause in the filming of Mechanics of the Brain.  The film combines acted parts with the actual footage from the tournament.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Films_about_chess  See also http://www.imdb.com/list/tzq2iuzS4Pc/ and http://chesscraft.blogspot.com/2011/10/movies-about-chess.html

Chess became a source of inspiration in the arts in literature soon after the spread of the game to the Arab World and Europe in the Middle Ages.  The earliest works of art centered around the game are miniatures in medieval manuscripts, as well as poems, which were often created with the purpose of describing the rules.  After chess gained popularity in the 15th and 16th centuries, many works of art related to the game were created.  One of the most well-known, Marco Girolamo Vida's Scaccia ludus, written in 1527, made such an impression on the readers, that it single handedly inspired other authors to create poems about chess.  In the 20th century, artists created many works related to the game, sometimes taking their inspiration from the life of famous players (Vladimir Nabokov in The Defense) or well-known games (Paul Anderson in Immortal Game, John Brunner in The Squares of the City).  Some authors invented new chess variants in their works, such as stealth chess in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series or Tri-Dimensional chess in the Star Trek series.  See lists and images at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_in_the_arts_and_literature 

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans.  If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, the released ricin can cause injury.  Ricin can be made from the waste material left over from processing castor beans.  It can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid.  It is a stable substance under normal conditions, but can be inactivated by heat above 80 degrees centigrade (176 degrees Fahrenheit).  Castor beans are processed throughout the world to make castor oil.  Ricin is part of the waste “mash” produced when castor oil is made.  Ricin has been used experimentally in medicine to kill cancer cells.  Learn how to protect yourself and what to do if exposed to ricin at:  http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/ricin/facts.asp

Pseudonyms and fictional people
G. W. Peck, pseudonym used by several mathematicians since 1979  P. D. Q. Bach, a fictional composer invented by musical satirist "Professor" Peter Schickele  Piotr Zak, nonexistent Polish composer, created for a BBC programme by Hans Keller and others  Lemony Snicket, pseudonym of Daniel Handler and character in Handler/"Snicket"'s Series of Unfortunate Events 
Betty Crocker, fake spokesperson for The Washburn Crosby Company of Minneapolis and its successor company, General Mills  Silence Dogood, a false persona used by Benjamin Franklin to get his work published.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictitious_people

More Pseudonyms
El Greco (Dominikos Theotokópulos)  Man Ray (Emmanuel Radnitzky)  Marc Chagall (Moishe Shagal)  Anne Rice (Real name: Howard Allen O'Brien.  Other aliases: Anne Rampling and A.N. Roquelaure)  Ayn Rand (Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum)  Daniel Defoe (Daniel Foe)  Diedrich Knickerbocker (Washington Irving)  Douglas Spaulding (Ray Bradbury)   Doctor A (Isaac Asimov)  Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)  Ed McBain (Evan Hunter, born as Salvatore A. Lombino)  Harold Robbins (Harold Rubin)  George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)  George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)  George Sand (Amandine Dupin)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pseudonyms 

E.L. Konigsburg, who was one of the few children's authors to twice win the Newbery Medal, died April 19, 2013 in Falls Church, Va.  She was 83.  She won the Newbery Medal, one of the top honors for children's literature, in 1968 for the book "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" and again in 1997 for "The View from Saturday."  Her first book, "Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth" was also a Newbery honor book in 1968 but lost out to "Mrs. Frankweiler" — making her the only author to be a winner and runner-up in the same year.  "Mrs. Frankweiler" was adapted for the 1973 film "The Hideaways," which starred Ingrid Bergman in the story of an 11-year-old who hides out with her brother after hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Lauren Bacall also played Mrs. Frankweiler in a 1995 TV movie.  Konigsburg wrote 16 children's novels and illustrated three picture books, according to her family.  http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-el-konigsburg-20130423,0,3926544.story  See also:  http://jacksonville.com/entertainment/literature/2013-04-21/story/newbery-medal-winning-writer-artist-el-konigsburg-dies-83

Monday, April 22, 2013

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) holds the records of the United States Federal Government . For NARA, a “record” is any type of document (textual, electronic, or audiovisual) created or received by the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial branches of government.  These records capture information about how the government interacts with itself and its citizens.  Some records are very personal, like census schedules that describe where people lived and worked, while others illustrate how the government works, like a memo to the President discussing a policy decision.  Latest figures estimate that NARA currently holds 21.5 million cubic feet of textual records.  Unfortunately, NARA cannot keep all of its records at one location (and, because the government generates such huge quantities of records, they are not able to keep all of them either).  NARA has facilities across the country that store governmental records: two large facilities in Washington, DC; Regional Archives; Federal Records Centers; and Presidential Libraries.  Each facility holds a unique body of records, but they are all part of the NARA network.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed that the papers, books, and memorabilia from his Administration were part of the heritage of the United States and as such should be preserved and made available to the public.  In December 1938, President Roosevelt announced plans to build a new facility – a Presidential Library – on his estate in Hyde Park, New York.  Roosevelt raised the money to build the Library, and then donated the building to NARA.  Following Roosevelt’s example, twelve other Presidents have established Libraries to hold and make their Presidential records and artifacts publicly available.  Because Presidents build their Libraries themselves, they can choose the location of their facility – and Presidents have chosen sites all across the country.  The process for providing a Presidential Library to NARA was formalized through the Presidential Libraries Act of 1955, which was amended in 1986.  Not all Presidential records, however, are immediately available for research.  Each Library follows laws and regulations that govern specifically when and how certain records are made available.  The Herbert Hoover through Jimmy Carter Presidential Libraries follow a deed of gift model, where the former President determines access to certain records.  Prior to the passage of the 1978 Presidential Records Act (PRA), Presidential materials were seen as the property of the President, so NARA gained possession only through a deed from the President that contained guidance on access.  From the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library forward, the PRA changed the fundamental disposition of Presidential materials, stating that any records created or received by the President as part of his constitutional, statutory, or ceremonial duties belong to the people, and therefore automatically come to NARA at the end of the administration.  Under this law, however, the former President still retains privileges, including special access, the right to review materials slated for opening, and the ability to restrict access to certain categories of information for up to twelve years after he has left office.  The PRA stipulates that records are closed for five years after the end of an administration, but after that time, are accessible through the Freedom of Information Act.  During that initial five years, the records can be accessed only by the current President, the former President, the Congress, and the courts, under the special access terms of the PRA.  For the archivists, the PRA provides guidance on restrictions that must be applied to the materials to protect matters, such as personal privacy and national security.  It should be noted that Libraries covered by the PRA still have materials that are deeded.  The President may deed over to NARA personal materials, such as pre and post-Presidential papers and political materials.  Therefore, materials at Presidential Libraries are covered either by a deed of gift or by the PRA.  The Richard Nixon Presidential Library is an exception, as it is governed by the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974. 

Presidential libraries serve as official cultural repositories for the legacies of their namesake commanders in chief.  More than 200 years after his death, it's hard to believe that the country's first president, George Washington, still lacks a library devoted to his remarkable life.   Mount Vernon, the Virginia home of Washington, has spent the last several years raising $100 million to construct an official library on its scenic grounds. Organizers announced an opening date of Sept. 27, 2013.  The library's website states that it will be the only presidential library built and maintained without government funding.  The 45,000-square-foot building will provide access to books, manuscripts and other archival material from Mount Vernon.  Visiting scholars will have the option of staying at a 6,000-square-foot residence next to the library.  The full title of the library will be the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.  The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is set to open its doors May 1, 2013 at its location at Southern Methodist University in Texas.  http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-george-washington-mount-vernon-20130217,0,3712109.story

Seventy-one murals were installed in post offices throughout Ohio, nineteen of which were done in the Cleveland vicinity.  Art created for Post Offices in Girard, Medina, and Willoughby are either destroyed or missing.  See list of Works of Art for Post Offices in the Cleveland Area
Commissioned by New Deal Art Programs at: 

Throughout the United States—on post office walls large and small—are scenes reflecting America's history and way of life.  Post offices built in the 1930s during Roosevelt's New Deal were decorated with enduring images of the "American scene."  In the 1930s, as America continued to struggle with the effects of the depression, the federal government searched for solutions to provide work for all Americans, including artists.  During this time government-created agencies supported the arts in unprecedented ways.  As Harry Hopkins, Roosevelt's relief administrator said in response to criticism of federal support for the arts, "[artists] have got to eat just like other people."  Often mistaken for WPA art, post office murals were actually executed by artists working for the Section of Fine Arts.  Commonly known as "the Section," it was established in 1934 and administered by the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department.  http://www.postalmuseum.si.edu/resources/6a2q_postalmurals.html

The National Postal Museum Library is one of twenty specialized libraries in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries system.  The National Philatelic Collection was the basis of the Library when it was established in 1993.  Now, with more than 40,000 books, journals, catalogues and archival documents, the National Postal Museum Library is among the world's largest postal history and philatelic research facilities. 
See description of collection at:  http://library.si.edu/libraries/postal-museum

The Other Side, an alcohol-free bar in Crystal Lake, Illinois to open April 27, 2013 
New Directions Addiction Recovery Services and The Other Side is a nonprofit organization, registered as a 501(c)3, dedicated to helping people in the McHenry County and Chicagoland area. The Other Side is the first step in establishing a series of programs to address the needs of young people in these areas.  At The Other Side, there are several forms of entertainment available throughout the week, including events that are hosted on a monthly basis.  There are also several lounge areas used for casual gatherings on the weekends.  Games include a pool table, ping-pong table, bag toss set, darts, and video games that are available during operating hours. 

In an epic clash between old and new media, Google Inc.'s video website YouTube has scored another huge victory in the long-running skirmish over copyright infringement brought by television giant Viacom Inc.  A federal judge in New York on April 18, 2013 ruled that YouTube had not violated Viacom's copyright even though users of the popular online site were allowed to post unauthorized video clips from some of Viacom's most popular shows, including Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants."  Viacom filed the copyright infringement suit in 2007 and demanded that YouTube pay $1 billion in damages.  The dispute erupted as established media titans, including Viacom, were struggling to cope with the disruption of digital media and trying to figure out how to rein in the unauthorized distribution of their content.  This is the second time that arguments of Viacom, which is controlled by media mogul Sumner Redstone, have been rejected.   In 2010, Stanton ruled against Viacom in favor of YouTube in the case, and Viacom appealed. A year ago, an appeals court panel revived the case. That group of judges said the safe-harbor provision protected Internet services companies from liability if they lacked specific knowledge that a piece of infringing material existed -- or if they acted quickly to remove the material once notified.  The case was sent back to Stanton. Viacom argued that it was impossible to prove that YouTube had specific knowledge that certain clips were protected.  But Stanton determined that the sheer volume of content uploaded onto YouTube made it impractical for the video site to know when an infringing clip appeared.  The burden, the judge said, fell to Viacom to alert YouTube when unauthorized uses of its copyrighted material popped up on the site.  On April 18, Viacom vowed to appeal once again.  Meg James   http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-youtube-prevails-copyright-suit-viacom-20130418,0,5832848.story

Friday, April 19, 2013

Roald Dahl’s children’s novel Matilda was first published in 1988 with illustrations by Quentin Blake.  It is the story of a very bright and rebellious little girl, with special powers.  Matilda’s parents, Mr and Mrs Wormwood, have no time for her and treat her as a nuisance.  She spends most of her time reading books from the library astonishingly quickly, whilst they watch the telly and Mr Wormwood sells dodgy used cars.  At school things are no better as despite the care and support of her teacher, the lovely Miss Honey, Matilda has to contend with the terrifying headmistress Miss Trunchbull who rules the school with cruelty and fear.  Matilda fights against the injustices at home and at school.  Eventually she decides the grown-ups should be taught a lesson and in the process discovers her supernatural powers.  In December 2008, director Matthew Warchus approached Tim Minchin about writing the music and lyrics for a stage musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous book, to be produced by The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Tim had little hesitation: not only was the chance to write for the RSC impossible to resist, but as a life long fan of Dahl, he had – coincidentally – attempted to secure the stage rights to Matilda ten years earlier, when he was writing for theatre in Perth, WA.  Working from Kelly’s script adaptation, Tim wrote his first draft in the middle of 2009, with the first workshop production taking place in London in September.  Matilda, the Musical opened in the West End at the Cambridge Theatre on Thursday 24th November, 2011.  See list of awards at:  http://www.timminchin.com/matilda/ 

Though James Madison has been given the title “Father of the Constitution,” Gouverneur Morris could be considered second in importance in shaping the final version.  Morris spoke more often (173 times) than any other delegate at the Constitutional Convention of 1787.  Though he was often on the losing side of issues and was not a political theorist on the level of Madison, Morris was a leader of the nationalist bloc at the Convention that ultimately carried the day.  In addition, it was the native New Yorker who actually crafted much of the language of the United States Constitution.  Assigned to the Committee of Style as debate at the Philadelphia Convention drew to a close, Morris was given the task of wording the Constitution by the committee’s members.  Through thoughtful word choice, Morris attempted to enhance the power of the federal government.  Most significantly, Morris’s choice of the words, “We the people,” for the beginning of the famous Preamble helped to define the American nation as a single entity, created by the people, not the states.  This argument would later be used by John Marshall and Abraham Lincoln to assert the supremacy of the federal government over the states.  Link to America's founders, founding documents and sign up for newsletter at:  http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/founders/gouverneur-morris/

Works of Aboriginal Australian artists on view at museum
Visitors to the Crossing Cultures exhibition at the Toledo Museum of Art will be struck immediately by a sense of movement.  The Aboriginal Australian artists who created these vibrant, uniquely contemporary works conveyed the undulations of a desert landscape that is often in flux.  There are shimmering and pulsating effects within the art and hidden stories that tell of a past, present, and future that are simultaneous and called the “everywhen.”  “It’s a deliberate strategy on the parts of those artists to evoke that energy and make you feel like you’re in the presence of something that is grand and spiritual,” said Will Owen, a University of North Carolina librarian, who along with his art-collecting partner Harvey Wagner collected the paintings that are featured in the free exhibition that runs until July 14 at TMA.  Some of the works, which range from acrylic on canvas to bark paintings, sculptures, and photography, have a three-dimensional aspect.  The artists live in remote regions and the art is part of their family stories, said TMA Director Brian Kennedy.  He said that some of the paintings reverse the foreground and background so that “secret sacred knowledge” is embedded in the art but hidden behind the “shimmer” effect, almost as if it is underwater.  Texture and earth tones convey a sense of the rough-hewn environment in which the Aboriginal people live, but there is nothing old-fashioned about these works, most of which were created after 2000.  The paintings, sculptures, and photographs are part of a collection that is housed at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.  The exhibition was curated by Stephen Gilchrist of the Hood.  Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art from the Hood Museum of Art will be on display at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St., until July 14.  Admission is free.  A number of gallery talks, films, and other activities will take place during the exhibition.  For details go to www.toledomuseum.org.  Rod Lockwood  http://www.toledoblade.com/Art/2013/04/14/Works-of-Aboriginal-Australian-artists-on-view-at-museum.html 

April 14, 2013  With coastal areas bracing for rising sea levels, new research indicates that cutting emissions of certain pollutants can greatly slow down sea level rise this century.  The research team found that reductions in four pollutants that cycle comparatively quickly through the atmosphere could slow the annual rate of sea level rise by roughly 25 to 50 percent.  “To avoid potentially dangerous sea level rise, we could cut emissions of short-lived pollutants even if we cannot immediately cut carbon dioxide emissions,” says Aixue Hu of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the first author of the study.  “This new research shows that society can significantly reduce the threat to coastal cities if it moves quickly on a handful of pollutants.”   “It is still not too late, by stabilizing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and reducing emissions of shorter-lived pollutants, to lower the rate of warming and reduce sea level rise by 30 percent,” says Veerabhadran Ramanathan of Scripps, who led the study.  The potential impact of rising oceans on populated areas is one of the most concerning effects of climate change.  Many of the world’s major cities, such as New York, Miami, Amsterdam, Mumbai, and Tokyo, are located in low-lying areas by the water.  As glaciers and ice sheets melt and warming oceans expand, sea levels have been rising by an average of about 3 millimeters annually in recent years (just more than one-tenth of an inch).  If temperatures continue to warm, sea levels are projected to rise between 18 and 200 centimeters (between 7 inches and 6 feet) this century, according to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. National Research Council.  Such an increase could submerge densely populated coastal communities, especially when storm surges hit.  Despite the risks, policy makers have been unable to agree on procedures for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, which is the main human-emitted greenhouse gas.  With this in mind, the research team focused on emissions of four other heat-trapping pollutants: methane, soot, refrigerants, and gases that lead to the formation of ground-level ozone.  These gases and particles last anywhere from a week to a decade in the atmosphere, and they can influence climate more quickly than carbon dioxide, which persists in the atmosphere for more than a century.  Previous research by Ramanathan and Yangyang Xu of Scripps, a co-author of the new paper, has shown that a sharp reduction in emissions of these shorter-lived pollutants beginning in 2015 could offset warming temperatures by up to 50 percent by 2050.  

Audrey Marie Munson (1891–1996) was an American artist's model and film actress, known variously as "Miss Manhattan," "the Exposition Girl," and "American Venus."  She was the model or inspiration for more than fifteen statues in New York City and appeared in four silent films.  In 1906, when Munson was 15 years old, she was spotted in the street by photographer Ralph Draper, who in turn introduced her to his friend, sculptor Isidore Konti.  Konti persuaded the young woman to model for him.  For the next decade, Munson became the model of choice for a host of sculptors and painters in New York City.  By 1915, she was so well established that she was chosen by Alexander Stirling Calder as the model of choice for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) held that year.  She posed for three quarters of the sculpture at that event as well as for numerous paintings and murals.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audrey_Munson

A tontine is an investment scheme through which shareholders derive some form of profit or benefit while they are living, but the value of each share devolves to the other participants and not the shareholder's heirs on the death of each shareholder.  The tontine is usually brought to an end through a dissolution and distribution of assets to the living shareholders when the number of shareholders reaches an agreed small number.  The word 'tontine' is derived from the name of Lorenzo de Tonti, an Italian political exile living in France.  He proposed the original tontine to Jules Cardinal Mazarin in the early 1650's as a means for French King Louis XIV to raise revenue. 
Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law  Volume 15, Issue 2 2009       

1.  a rectangle having all four sides of equal length.
2.  anything having this form or a form approximating it, as a city block, rectangular piece of candy, etc.
3.  an open area or plaza in a city or town, formed by the meeting or intersecting of two or more streets and often planted with grass, trees, etc., in the center. 
4.  a rectangularly shaped area on a game board, as in chess or checkers.
5.  a try square, T square, or the like.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/square  NOTE  that definition 3 fits St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

The Digital Public Library of America http://dp.la/ launched on April 18, 2013 
A Message from Executive Director Dan Cohen  From all of us at the Digital Public Library of America, our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible events in Boston . . .  The tragedy took place right in front of the Boston Public Library where we planned to have our gala launch on Thursday.  Unfortunately, I no longer think it is possible to hold those events this week.  The area around the BPL has been closed off, perhaps for several days, and it is not easy to relocate such a large-scale meeting.  But logistics are the least of my concerns.  People need time to mourn and to get resettled.   I do not have the exact details yet, but we have already begun to plan an even larger event for the fall, one that will highlight our continued growth and emergence from the beta phase, and that also can serve as our first annual DPLAfest.  The new DPLA site will still go live at noon ET on Thursday as planned, and we look forward to sharing the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums.  Although we have canceled all of the formal events, DPLA staff will be available all day online, and informally in person in the late afternoon in the Boston area (at a location to be determined), for those taking their first look.  I see the building of a new library as one of the greatest examples of what humans can do together to extend the light against the darkness.  In due time, we will let that light shine through.