The Mystery Donor's Tale: A Sister, A Brother And A New Library by Chris Jensen At the tale’s center were two people. One was Muriel Brown, who for more than three decades was the town’s beloved librarian. The other was her brother, Arthur Jobin, known to the family as “Bud.” After the war Jobin went to college, moved to California and went to work for United Airlines as a liaison with the FAA. Meanwhile, Muriel Brown was still in Bethlehem, immersed in civic activities, raising a family and working year after year in the three tiny rooms that made up the library. Bruce Brown, who still lives in Bethlehem, is Muriel’s son. He says his mother was amazed when Jobin told her he wanted to donate his life savings – which he figured would be at least $1 million - for a new library. But there was a big catch. The donation had to be secret and the money was not going to be available until Jobin died. More than a decade ago that demand for secrecy became a problem because the town was trying to raise money for a new library. That troubled Muriel Brown. She thought the town should know money was coming. Her brother agreed she could tell the town that $1 million or so would be donated but his identity had to be kept secret. Muriel died in 2007. Jobin died two years later, leaving a little more than $1.5 million. “It was just absolutely incredible because this was a vision people had for about twenty years of a new library,” said Doug Harman, the chairman of the library trustees. With the new building completed it was time – in mid-December 2013 - to move out of space occupied since 1913. http://nhpr.org/post/mystery-donors-tale-sister-brother-and-new-library
Ackee is considered a fruit but it is cooked and used as a vegetable. It forms one half of Jamaica's national dish of Ackee and Salt Fish. Grown and available throughout the year, more abundantly in Jamaica, the fruit is considered to be fully developed, matured, ripe and suitable for consumption when the pods become a bright red and split open to expose the edible fruit. The pod opens to expose three or four cream colored sections of flesh topped with glossy black seeds. See picture of ackee fruit and link to recipes at http://latinfood.about.com/od/cookingbasicstips/a/what-is-ackee.htm
Starbucks effect Margaret Donnellan Todd, directs the Los Angeles County Library system, which sprawls across 50 cities and unincorporated areas in the region. “Thirty years ago people primarily came in and checked books out and left,” she said. “Now we have a whole lot of people coming in who want a comfy chair and a place to do their reading.” Patrons today, she said, look at the physical library more like a “third place” outside of home or office, where they can do work, ask for assistance, use wi-fi or computers: “It’s the Starbucks effect.” Lisa Napoli http://blogs.kcrw.com/whichwayla/2014/01/the-starbucks-effect-and-the-changing-role-of-our-libraries
See the First Photographs Ever Taken of Jerusalem by Rose Eveleth These photos come from 1844 and were taken by French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey. See five blurry snaps at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/see-first-photographs-ever-taken-jerusalem-180949473/
Victor Hugo: Acclaimed Author, Unknown Furniture Designer by Jimmy Stamp During a recent trip to Paris, I visited the former apartment of Victor Hugo, poet, novelist, playwright, and, as it turns out, furniture designer. The apartment, located on the Place Des Vosges, was Hugo’s home from 1832 to 1848 and is now a museum dedicated to the author of Les Misérables and Notre-Dame de Paris. Throughout the house there are Hugo’s drawings, letters, first editions of his books, and his custom made furniture on display. Hugo would find various pieces of furniture he liked and would work with carpenters to combine them into single pieces. The results were stylistically eclectic and, as evidenced by his stand-up writers desk, which seems to be made from a standard desk and a coffee table, seemed to be uniquely suited to accommodate his own habits and eccentricities. See remarkable pictures at http://www.smithsonianmag.com/design/victor-hugos-paris-apartment-180949316/
Brad Morrison is chief executive officer of Maumee Bay Turf Center in Oregon, Ohio one of several companies that worked to install the synthetic turf playing field in MetLife Stadium. Maumee Bay Turf Center is one of 15 worldwide distributors for Georgia-based UBU Sports, a leading manufacturer of synthetic turf. The eight-year-old company was founded by Mr. Morrison and PJ Kapfhammer, who serves as the company’s chief financial officer. MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, is the regular-season home to the New York Jets and New York Giants. UBU Sports made the end-zone turf changeable so that whichever team is playing at the stadium can have its own logo displayed there. “We can go from Jets to Giants in 12 hours,” Mr. Morrison said. “There’s a third set of panels that are blank.” Those will be temporarily painted for the Super Bowl. Mr. Morrison said his company developed a scrubbing unit based off a zero-turn lawn mower that can remove the paint. Another interesting tidbit: UBU Sports has tinkered with the coloring of its turf so it looks better on high-definition televisions. Mr. Morrison said sometimes artificial turf will look flat or shiny on television. To fix that, the company designed a bicolored turf in which half of the fibers are lime green and half are field green. The turf isn’t the only local connection to Super Bowl XLVIII. Wilson Sporting Goods Co. makes all Super Bowl game balls at its football factory in Ada, 65 miles south of Toledo. Tyrel Linkhorn http://www.toledoblade.com/Retail/2014/01/28/Oregon-firm-has-home-turf-edge-in-game.html
Super Bowl statistics from the NFL http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/history
Happy Chinese New Year January 31, 2014. Chinese New Year celebrations, also known as the Spring Festival, in China start on the 23rd day of the 12th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The festival lasts for about 23 days, ending on the 15th day of the first lunar month in the following year in the Chinese calendar. http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/china/spring-festival Although China has adopted the Gregorian calendar in common with most other countries in the world for official and business purposes, the traditional Chinese calendar continues to define the dates of festivals and is used for horoscopes. The calendar has a very long history going back to the Xia (21st century BC - 16th century BC) and Shang Dynasty (16th century BC - 11th century BC). It is based on a unique combination of astronomy and geography through observation and exploration. It is also referred to as the Lunar, Yin, Xia or the old Chinese calendar. Following its creation in the Xia Dynasty, succeeding reigns continued to use the calendar but modified it from time to time. The Han Dynasty rulers instituted the Taichu calendar, while during Tang Dynasty the Huangji calendar was introduced and it was adopted by Japan, Korea and Vietnam. With the founding of the Republic of China in 1912, the Gregorian calendar was brought into use. Although ethnic groups such as Tibet and Dai have their own calendars, in essence they resemble that of the Han people. The calendar has links with natural sciences such as agriculture and astronomy, solar terms, the four seasons and traditional festivals such as the Spring Festival. There are links also with the 'Five Elements' of which the ancient Chinese believed the physical universe to be composed namely, metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Finally, of course, is Chinese Zodiac - the symbolic animals associated with each year on a 12-year cycle. Find the rules for calculating the Chinese calendar and link to a 60-year cycle including animal names at http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/focus/calendar.htm
To eat humble pie, in common usage, is to apologize and face humiliation for a serious error. The expression derives from umble pie, which was a pie filled with the chopped or minced parts of a beast's 'pluck' - the heart, liver, lungs or 'lights' and kidneys, especially of deer but often other meats. Umble evolved from numble, (after the French nomble) meaning 'deer's innards'.
Although "umbles" and the modern word "humble" are etymologically unrelated, each word has appeared both with and without the initial "h" after the Middle Ages until the 19th century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humble_pie Similar idioms are eating crow and eating one's words.
Other uses of Humble Pie: rock band from England, pizza restaurant chain, pie and coffee shop in Denver
Issue 1104 January 31, 2014 On this day in 1797, Austrian composer Franz Schubert was born.