Monday, March 31, 2014

American Library Association prize winners for 2014
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature:  “Flora & Ulysses:  The Illuminated Adventures,” written by Kate DiCamillo  Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:  “Locomotive,” illustrated by Brian Floca  Find more information plus other award winners at

How many times have you seen New York City destroyed onscreen?  Los Angeles?  Kansas?  For nearly as long as there have been movies, there have been disaster movies.   See list and maps by Reuben Fischer-Baum and Samer Kalaf at

"In the state of Louisiana we have the Napoleonic code according to which what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband and vice versa." A Streetcar Named Desire Scene 2, pg. 163-64

Early French and Spanish settlers influenced the legal system in Louisiana.  Despite popular belief, it is incorrect to say that the Louisiana Civil Code is, or stems from, the Napoleonic Code.  Although the developing Napoleonic Code influenced Louisiana law, the Napoleonic Code was not enacted until 1804, one year after the Louisiana Purchase.  A main source of Louisiana jurisprudence may in fact be Spanish.  The resulting system of "civil law" in the Louisiana does differ from the "common-law" systems in the other 49 states.

What do you get when you combine a rare books librarian with an avid crafter?  "BiblioCraft," out now from Abrams Books.  It's the first book from Jessica Pigza, who blogs as the Handmade Librarian and cohosts crafting salons at the New York Public Library that use its resources for unique embroidery, knitting, beading, sewing projects and more.  The books themselves are safe; they serve only as inspiration.,0,1620463.photogallery#axzz2wWBPrshP

Adder, apron and umpire all used to start with an "n".  Linguists call this kind of change  reanalysis or rebracketingWasp used to be waps; bird used to be brid and horse used to be hros.  This change is called metathesis.  In Wednesday, "Woden's day" (named after the Norse god), the "d" isn't just for decoration, and was pronounced up until relatively recently.  This is called syncope.  Find also examples of epenthesis, velarisation, and affrication at

Culinary nuts are dry, edible fruits or seeds that usually, but not always, have a high fat content.  Nuts are used in a wide variety of edible roles, including in baking, as snacks (either roasted or raw), and as flavoring.  In addition to botanical nuts, fruits and seeds that have a similar appearance and culinary role are considered to be culinary nuts.  Culinary nuts are divided into fruits or seeds in one of four categories:  True, or botanical nuts: dry, hard-shelled, uncompartmented fruit that do not split on maturity to release seeds;  Drupes: fleshy fruit surrounding a stone, or pit, containing a seed (almonds);  Gymnosperm seeds: naked seeds, with no enclosure (pine nuts); Angiosperm seeds: unenclosed seeds within a larger fruit (peanuts).  Find pictures and a list of "true nuts" (both culinary and botanical) at

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet.  It was devised by the International Phonetic Association as a standardized representation of the sounds of oral language.  The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech-language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators, and translators

Turn your text into fənɛ́tɪks at

The Andaman Islands form an archipelago in the Bay of Bengal between India, to the west, and Burma, to the north and east.  Most are part of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Union Territory of India, while a small number in the north of the archipelago, including the Coco Islands, belong to Burma.  The Andaman islands have been inhabited for several thousand years, at the very least.  The earliest archaeological evidence yet documented goes back some 2,200 years; however, the indications from genetic, cultural and isolation studies suggests that the islands may have been inhabited as early as the Middle Paleolithic.  The indigenous Andamanese people appear to have lived on the islands in substantial isolation from that time until the 18th century CE.  The Andamans are theorized to be a key stepping stone in a great coastal migration of humans from Africa via the Arabian peninsula, along the coastal regions of the Indian mainland and towards Southeast Asia, Japan and Oceania.  The Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal were said to be inhabited by wolf-headed people, who were depicted in a “book of wonders” produced in Paris in the early 15th century.  The name of the Andaman Islands is ancient.  A theory that became prevalent since the late 19th century is that it derives from Andoman, the Malay form of Hanuman, the Sanskrit name of the Indian monkey-god.

I have "First World Hunger"--I would like a doughnut.  
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live host, March 29, 2014.  Issue 1129  March 31, 2014  On this date in 1899, the Eiffel Tower was officially opened.  In 1909, construction of the ill fated RMS Titanic began.  In 1918, Daylight saving time went into effect in the United States for the first time.  In 1933, the Civilian Conservation Corps was established with the mission of relieving rampant unemployment in the United States.

Friday, March 28, 2014

In September 1959, physicists Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison published an article in the journal Nature with the provocative title "Searching for Interstellar Communications."  Cocconi and Morrison argued that radio telescopes had become sensitive enough to pick up transmissions that might be broadcast into space by civilizations orbiting other stars.  Such messages, they suggested, might be transmitted at a wavelength of 21 centimeters (1,420.4 megahertz).  This is the wavelength of radio emission by neutral hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, and they reasoned that other intelligences might see this as a logical landmark in the radio spectrum.  Seven months later, radio astronomer Frank Drake became the first person to start a systematic search for intelligent signals from the cosmos.  Using the 25 meter dish of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia.  Drake listened in on two nearby Sun-like stars: Epsilon Eridani and Tau Ceti.  In this project, that he called Project Ozma, he slowly scanned frequencies close to the 21 cm wavelength for six hours per day from April to July 1960.  The project was well designed, cheap, simple by today's standards, and unsuccessful.  Soon thereafter, Drake hosted a "search for extraterrestrial intelligence" meeting on detecting their radio signals.  The meeting was held at the Green Bank facility in 1961. The equation that bears Drake's name arose out of his preparations for the meeting.  Read much more and learn about the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox at

Vinton Cerf, widely recognized as one of the “Fathers of the Internet” for his work on the design of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet, has served as Vice President and Chief Internet evangelist for Google since October 2005.  He was chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007.  He is currently also President of the Association for Computing Machinery.  Mr. Cerf is also the former Senior Vice President of Technology Strategy and Architecture and Technology for MCI.  While working with MCI, Mr. Cerf led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet.  He currently serves on several boards and has received numerous awards for his continuously pioneering work including the U.S. National Medal of Technology, the ACM Alan M. Turing award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Japan Prize and the Queen Elizabeth II Prize for Engineering.  David Brin is a scientist, inventor, and New York Times bestselling author.  With books translated into 25 languages, he has won multiple Hugo, Nebula, and other awards.  A film directed by Kevin Costner was based on David’s novel The Postman.  Other works have been optioned by Paramount and Warner Bros.  David’s science-fictional Uplift Saga explores genetic engineering of higher animals, like dolphins, to speak.  His new novel from Tor Books is Existence.  As a scientist/futurist, David is seen frequently on television shows such as The ArchiTechs, Universe, and Life After People (most popular show ever on the History Channel) – with many appearances on PBS, BBC and NPR.  
In the March 2014 issue of Communications of the ACM, Vinton Cerf discusses David Brin's speech at a January 2014 conference organized by the Internet Society's chapter on Interplanetary Communication.  Brin said:  What if we are the ones who are supposed to light the galaxy?  What if our species is destined to spread outward from Earth to populate the galaxy?  Some of the questions raised by the speaker in Cerf's mind:  What technologies do we need to expand beyond our planet and our solar system?  How should we prepare ourselves for such an ultimate goal?  If we encounter a similarly inclined species, how would we communicate?  What Rosetta stone should we prepare?

Power of the Pen is an interscholastic writing league founded by Lorraine B. Merrill in 1986. It is a non-profit creative writing program for students in grades seven and eight in Ohio.   Power of the Pen is exclusive to the state of Ohio, having no competition at a national level.  Over 80 school districts compete, each starting off with teams of twelve students, six from each grade.
Power of the Pen is also the name of a Public Relations and Communications agency founded in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1997.

No Wizards, no wands  In the 1990s, Duncan Scott, then the New Mexico Senator, became so fed up with psychological expert witnesses he proposed this amendment to a State Bill:  “When a psychologist or psychiatrist testifies during a defendant’s competency hearing, the psychologist or psychiatrist shall wear a cone-shaped hat that is not less than two feet tall.  The surface of the hat shall be imprinted with stars and lightning bolts.  Additionally, a psychologist or psychiatrist shall be required to don a white beard that is not less than 18 inches in length, and shall punctuate crucial elements of his testimony by stabbing the air with a wand.”  Turns out the story is true. Mr. Scott tacked this amendment onto a Bill in 1995 and, despite its clearly satirical nature, it passed with a unanimous Senate vote.   The amendment was then removed from the Bill prior to receiving House approval so it never did become law.

In 2013, the cost of making pennies and nickels exceeded their face value for the eighth year in a row.  The cost of minting a penny stood at 1.8 cents, nearly twice its face value.  Nickels cost twice as much as dimes – 9.4 cents vs. 4.6 cents – despite being worth only half as much.  All told, the Mint (and ultimately, U.S. taxpayers) lost $105 million on the production of pennies and nickels last year.  The least controversial approach would be to simply change the metal composition of the coins to make them less expensive.  Canadian nickels, for example, are 95% steel, which makes them cheaper to produce than their American cousins.  As of last year, Canadian nickels still cost less than their face value.  The other option would be to discontinue pennies and nickels entirely – Canada ditched its pennies when their production cost approached 1.6 cents, well below what U.S. pennies cost now.  To be fair, the penny has plenty of supporters in the general public.  A 2012 survey by penny lobbying firm ‘Americans for Common Cents’ – funded, not surprisingly, by the zinc industry – found that 2/3rds of Americans favored keeping the penny. While any poll conducted by a lobbying outfit should be treated with skepticism, it’s probably safe to say that the penny and nickel hold special places in many Americans’ hearts – see, for starters, the remarkable number of penny-centric phrases and idioms in English.  Past attempts to discontinue penny production have been thwarted by the zinc industry (pennies are 97.5% zinc), and Coinstar, which operates the change-redeeming kiosks that are ubiquitous in U.S. grocery stores, as David Owen reported in The New Yorker in 2008.  Christopher Ingraham

Texas State Representative Tom Moore, Jr. introduced legislation on April 1, 1971 commending Albert de Salvo—more commonly known as the Boston Strangler—including this wording:  This compassionate gentleman's dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future.  He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional techniques involving population control and applied psychology.   
After it was passed unanimously by the House, Moore later withdrew the legislation, explaining he had only offered it to prove an important point that his fellow legislators didn't read much of the legislation they voted on.,_Jr.

Bookish, acquired by Zola Books in January, is an independent book recommendation engine, except it was never entirely independent.  Bookish was founded by three major publishers with a big announcement and then a fizzling, much-delayed launch.  It claimed editorial independence from its funders but never found a clear foothold online, struggling to reach readers.  Since being acquired by Zola, an independent book discovery site and online store, Bookish has been employed as the recommendation engine for the New York Public Library, as announced March 24, 2014.  Bookish's recommendations have been added to a service called BiblioCommons, which is or will be implemented by public libraries that include Seattle, Santa Monica, Chicago, Omaha, Boston and more.  Does it work?  Visitors to this section of the New York Public Library's website see book covers go by in a scroll that looks not unlike Amazon's more static "people who bought this also bought" row.  Clicking through to any single title pulls up "Bookish Recommends" along the right-hand side.   Zola says it has 780,000 titles in its database and it has figured out how to classify them so the connections make sense.  But Zola is in the business of selling books.  So why provide tools to library borrowers?  In a model not being employed by the NYPL, Radosevich explained, "clicks on recommended books point back to book pages on Zola's and partners earn a revenue share for any sales."  Carolyn Kellogg,0,101462.story#axzz2x5NR3rur  Issue 1128  March 28, 2014  On this date in 1920, at least 31 tornados crossed the Midwest, and portions of Alabama and Georgia.   It ranks among the deadliest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history, killing more than 150 and injuring more than 900.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tangier Island Virginia is located 12 miles west of the historical waterfront community of Onancock Virginia on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  A different way of life; absolutely.   Tangier Island residents have no vehicles to travel about on the Island.  Transportation on the Island consists of Golf Carts and Bikes.  Visitors can rent  bikes and Gold Carts at Four Brothers Crab House & Ice Cream Deck upon arriving on the Island. 

The odd accent of Tangier Virginia (from AMERICAN TONGUES)  2:17 video

33 reasons you're addicted to books by Isaac Fitzgerald  The pictures at these two sites are amazing. 

Don't find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.
Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress.  Working together is success.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) American industrialist and pioneer of the assembly-line production method

The Elephant Listening Project is focused on acoustic communication because forest elephants are very difficult to observe visually everywhere except during their brief visits to forest clearings.  However, all three species of elephant (Asian, African savannah and African forest) make calls with fundamental frequencies below the lower limit of human hearing (20 Hz), in the range called infrasound.  These infrasonic calls can travel far through the environment.  Each rumble appears as a stack of crescent-shaped lines in the spectrogram.  These are called 'harmonics' and they are exact multiples of the frequency at which the vocal folds ('cords') vibrate.  At several places in this vocal exchange, the voices of the two elephants overlap.

African elephants have the ability to distinguish between human languages, researchers have determined.  A team of researchers found that elephants in the Amboseli National Park region of Kenya have learned to differentiate between the dialect of the Maasai tribe, whose members have a history of killing elephants, and the languages of other tribes that present less of a danger to them, National Geographic magazine reported on March 10, 2014.  The researchers' findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contribute to "our growing knowledge of the discriminatory abilities of the elephant mind, and how elephants make decisions and see their world," Joyce Poole, an elephant expert with ElephantVoices in Masai Mara, Kenya, told National Geographic.  Earlier research found elephants can tell the difference between the Maasai and members of the neighboring Kamba tribe, by scent and color of their clothing, National Geographic said.  The researchers determined the elephants' language recognition ability by playing audio recordings to 47 elephant families over a two-year period and observing the animals' reactions.  They found when the matriarch of an elephant family hears a Maasai man, speak, "she instantly retreats," said Graeme Shannon, a behavioral ecologist at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

Once you get past the drama of all the hand wringing and political scorecards about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it comes down to this:  having access to health care coverage can save lives and money.  Health insurance is an important protection for the financial and health security of America’s families.  You may visit or call the toll-free ACA consumer helpline at 1-800-318-2596 to get your marketplace questions answered.  Or you can call United Way’s 211 Line to find out about enrollment assistance near you.  Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Americans can compare and shop for health insurance.  You cannot be turned down, and you may even be able to get help paying for your new insurance.  If you or someone you know does not have health insurance, or if you are losing your coverage, or you are not eligible to be covered under an affordable, quality employer plan, you have until March 31, 2014  to sign up.  U.S. Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Ohio’s 9th Congressional District 

Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist epic science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang.  The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge.  A silent film, it was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by UFA.  Metropolis is regarded as a pioneer work of science fiction movies, being the first feature length movie of the genre.  Made in Germany during the Weimar Period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city's ruler, and Maria, whose background is not fully explained in the film, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classes of their city.  Metropolis was filmed in 1925, at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks.  Thus, it was the most expensive film ever released up to that point.  The film was met with a mixed response upon its initial release, with many critics praising its technical achievements and social metaphors while others derided its "simplistic and naïve" presentation.  Because of its long running-time and the inclusion of footage which censors found questionable, Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere: large portions of the film were lost over the subsequent decades.  Numerous attempts have been made to restore the film since the 1970s-80s. Giorgio Moroder, a music producer, released a version with a soundtrack by rock artists such as Freddie Mercury, Loverboy and Adam Ant in 1984.  A new reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2001, and the film was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in the same year, the first film thus distinguished.  In 2008, a damaged print of Lang’s original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina.  After a long restoration process, the film was 95% restored and shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt simultaneously on 12 February 2010.

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who has used high-strength cardboard tubes to make temporary housing for victims of natural disasters and refugees fleeing conflicts, on March 24 was named the 2014 winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the field's highest honor.  Sponsored by Chicago's billionaire Pritzker family, the annual award recognizes "consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture."  Those words resonate for Ban because his simple but spirit-lifting buildings have lent shelter and dignity to people who have suffered from civil war, genocide, earthquakes and tsunamis.  He is the most socially-conscious architect ever to win the Pritzker Prize, first awarded in 1979, and the first to win largely on the basis of structures that are temporary, not permanent.  The award, which comes with $100,000 and a bronze medallion, will be presented June 13 in Amsterdam.  Ban is the seventh Japanese architect to win the prize. Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, two Japanese architects who work as partners, shared it in 2010.  Blair Kamin  Issue 1127  March 26, 2014  On this date in 1812, a political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Superman, one of the all-time greatest good-guy superheroes actually began life as a big, bad bald guy bent on world domination.  Comic creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first drew him as a villain in a January 1933 story called "The Reign of the Super-Man," which appeared in an issue of their comic fanzine Science Fiction.  See pictures at

For a long time, the exact location of Metropolis in the United States was not established.  In the Golden Age era, Superman was first based out of Cleveland, Ohio and worked for a Cleveland newspaper.  In subsequent appearances, this locale was retroactively established as Metropolis.  During the Silver Age era, Metropolis was depicted as a coastal city on the Eastern seaboard, though sometimes it was shown to be further inland.  On January 21, 1972, DC Comics declared Metropolis, Illinois as the "Hometown of Superman".  The Illinois State Legislature passed Resolution 572 declaring Metropolis as the Hometown of Superman on June 9th, but this was cited as an honorarium and was not intended to reflect Metropolis' location within DC continuity.  In the Atlas of the DC Universe, writer Paul Kupperberg chose the state of Delaware, but this book was part of Mayfair Games' role playing games, and not necessarily in continuity.  In Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Metropolis was listed as in New York, but the exact location has not been established.  In the WB/CW television series Smallville, Metropolis is located in or near the state of Kansas, within driving distance of Smallville.  This was likely established so that characters from the show could travel back and forth between the two cities in a timely manner and with little difficulty.  Superman co-creator Joe Shuster modeled the look of Metropolis after his home town of Toronto, Ontario, Canada  See also

In December 1801, the "Schedule of the Whole Number of Persons in the Territory North West of the Ohio" was transmitted to Congress accompanying a presidential message.  The schedule shows that the population of the territory northwest of the Ohio River had expanded to 45,000 inhabitants.  Although this number was less than the population requirement of the Northwest Ordinance, statehood supporters argued the population would soon reach 60,000.  The House referred the census schedule to a select committee, "with instructions to report whether any, and what, measures ought, at this time, to be taken for enabling the People of the said territory to form a State Government for themselves, to be admitted into the Union upon the same terms with the original States."   The House Committee reported a bill enabling Ohio to form a constitution and state government and on April 9, 1802 the bill passed the House.  After some changes in conference committee, the bill passed the Senate and was signed into law on April 30, 1802.  In November 1802, the people in the eastern division of the Northwest Territory met to form a constitution and state government.  The Ohio constitution was adopted on November 29, 1802, and it, along with a letter from Agent Thomas Worthington and the Address of the Convention, was sent to Congress as qualification for statehood.  On February 19, 1803, Congress passed an act stating that the citizens of Ohio had adopted a constitution in accordance with the 1802 enabling act and the said state had become one of the United States of America. Although legally Ohio became the 17th state with the February 19, 1803 act of Congress, Ohio statehood is celebrated on March 1.  The date of March 1, 1803 was when the Ohio legislature met for the first time.  This was retroactively made the statehood date by a 1953 Resolution of the United States Congress.

bar none:  with no exceptions. (Follows an assertion.) This is the best of all, bar none.

Bar Nunn is a town in Wyoming and the name is also used for Barr-Nunn Transportation and Bar-Nunn Hunting.
Before Hollywood, the film industry was centered in New Jersey and New York.  Thomas Edison invented many early film technologies, and then closely guarded them from his labs in Menlo Park, New Jersey.  In New York City, film companies such as American Mutoscope, Biograph, and Vitagraph helped the nascent film industry capture the public’s interest.  Some of the buildings and studios utilized by these companies can still be found in New York City.   Before the George Washington Bridge  connected it to New York City, northern New Jersey remained very rural.  This environment provided exactly what the film industry was missing in New York City.  In particular, Fort Lee was valued since it was easily accessible from the 125th Street ferry, it possessed the Palisades (cliffs), numerous estates, and an Anytown, USA Main Street.  Edison helped put Fort Lee on the map with his  1907 film, Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest, which was shot on location on the Fort Lee Palisades and featured D.W. Griffith in his first starring role as an actor.  From 1907 through the mid-1920s, Fort Lee was where the studios and stars could be found.  Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy Gish, Lillian Gish,  D.W. Griffith, the Marx Brothers, Theda Bara, and  Oscar Micheaux were all involved with movies filmed in Fort Lee.  The Marx Brothers’ first film, Humor Risk, was shot in Fort Lee and Fox and Universal Studios were founded in Fort Lee.

OSCAR NOMINEE FACTS:  MOST NOMINATIONS AND AWARDS  updated through 86th awards, March 2014  MOST NOMINATIONS:  62 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 59 Walt Disney, 49 John Williams, 43 Alfred Newman, 42 Warner Bros.  See much more at

The 1962 film The Days of Wine and Roses, based on J.P Miller’s “Playhouse 90” drama, received an Oscar for the song and four other Academy Award nominations:  Best Actor (Jack Lemmon), Best Actress (Lee Remick), Best Black-and-White Art Direction, Best Black-and-White Costumes.  It deals effectively and realistically with the problems of alcoholism and the difficulties faced in recovery.  Its title is derived from a 19th century poem by Ernest Dowson:
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:  Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for awhile, then closes Within a dream

The Johnny Mercer-Henry Mancini collaboration Days of Wine and Roses was featured among other Mercer songs in the 1997 movie Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil.  There are over 450 recordings of this tune.  Piano Stylings of the Great Standards, Vol. III.

The Weather Channel announced on March 21 that Toledo’s winter of 2013-14 has been the worst of any major city in the United States this year.  Toledo was “the winter misery champ” because of its record-breaking snowfall and significant cold throughout the season, the weather-focused channel pronounced in placing the city atop a list of the 10 U.S. cities with the nastiest weather during the season just ended.  David Patch  See the list of ten worst weather cities at  Issue 1126  March 24, 2014  On this date in 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated six concertos to Christian Ludwig, margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt, now commonly called the Brandenburg concertos, BWV 1046-1051.  In 1934, the U.S. Congress passed the Tydings–McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth.  In 1972, the United Kingdom imposed direct rule over Northern Ireland.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Who said"I do not like this kind of hope, and we won’t take it, nope, nope, nope."  Find out at,0,5564432.story#axzz2vlKzd3n5

Atropa belladonna or Atropa bella-donna, commonly known as Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the family Solanaceae, native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia.  The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing tropane alkaloids.  These toxins include scopolamine and hyoscyamine, which cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations, and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics.  The drug atropine is derived from the plant.  It has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison.  Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery; the ancient Romans used it as a poison (the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both were rumored to have used it for murder); and, predating this, it was used to make poison-tipped arrows.  The genus name Atropa comes from Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology, and the name "bella donna" is derived from Italian and means "beautiful woman" because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.

Holly Hunt, the contemporary-design impresario who bought her first showroom in Chicago in 1983.  The biggest decorating challenge is dealing with poor interior architecture—furniture doesn't really help.  It's like putting on perfume when you need a shower. There's nothing
worse than drywall and carpet.  You need wood, stone, metal and plaster.  My design pet peeve is: overhead lighting.  It creates circles on the wall and on your head.  A great alternative is Jonathan Browning's bronze Pentagone Chandelier. And I love Alison Berger's lighting.  She's an architect, so the scale and proportions are rather perfect.  Too much color in a room is confusing—when there's a red sofa, green walls, a purple whatever. I don't mind purple used in a minimal way.  My favorite paint color is: something neutral, which gives a room an elegant, welcoming background.  I like two colors from Benjamin Moore: OC 51 Intense White, which has a stone cast, and AF 100 Pashmina, a taupe that looks dark when you first put it on, but, trust me, it's warm and beautiful.  The most versatile sofa is: the classic Jean-Michel Frank club design, the basis for all modern sofas.  People today are looking for curves, sectionals and more interesting shapes, but straight sofas with rectangular proportions, 3- to 5-inch-wide arms and three cushions on the seat and back will always work.  The best upholstery fabric is: low-pile like mohair or cotton velvet.  It's easy to sit on and keep clean.  A great bedroom needs tranquillity and a great mattress.  When traveling, I've been most inspired by: buildings by Tadao Ando in Japan.  I like the monumental-ness of stone. You don't understand when you look in a book how large his buildings are, how light transforms the space.  The world's most beautiful hotel is: the Como Shambhala in Bali.  It's by the Malaysian architect Cheong Yew Kuan and is absolutely fabulous—four individual buildings set under a roof, around a pool.  The quickest way to transform a room is: to take everything out and paint it.  Then don't put everything back in exactly the same place.  Even moving around the same furniture changes the room's energy.  Edited from an interview by David A. Keeps

Photos:  28 beautiful castles from around the world,0,2374012.photogallery

Marcus Tullius Cicero  (born 106 , Arpinum, Latiumdied Dec. 7, 43 , Formiae) Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer.  Born to a wealthy family, he quickly established a brilliant career in law and plunged into politics, then rife with factionalism and conspiracy. Cicero was elected consul in 63.  Of his speeches, perhaps the best known are those he made against Catiline, whose uprising he foiled.  He vainly tried to uphold republican principles in the civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic.  
QUOTES:   I criticize by creation - not by finding fault.   If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), or Dewey Decimal System, is a proprietary library classification system first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876.  It has been revised and expanded through 23 major editions, the latest issued in 2011, and has grown from a four-page pamphlet in 1876 with less than one thousand classes to a four volume set.  It is also available in an abridged version suitable for smaller libraries.  It is currently maintained by the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), a library research center. OCLC licenses access to an online version, WebDewey, for catalogers, and has an experimental linked data version on the Web with open access.  The Decimal Classification introduced the concepts of relative location and relative index which allow new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location based on subject.  The classification system is used in 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries.  One of the innovations of the Dewey Decimal system was that of positioning books on the shelves in relation to other books on similar topics.  When the system was first introduced, most libraries in the US used fixed positioning: each book was assigned a permanent shelf position based on the book's height and date of acquisition.  NOTE that in small private libraries, books are often placed by color, size, or format for a desired look.

Jan. 9, 2014  There are currently over 300 living resident library cats throughout the world today, 200+ of which are in the US according to the Library Cat Map.   Library cats have been welcomed as rodent-killers since the early 19th century in Europe and even dating back to ancient times in Egypt in the libraries of temples. Ellyssa Kroski   Read about six famous library cats, find a library cat job description and link to resources at  NOTE that OEDb (Open Education Database) is a comprehensive online education directory for both free and for-credit learning options.

March 18, 2014 — The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery — until now.  Researchers reported here today that certain bacteria in the stomach gobble the chocolate and ferment it into anti-inflammatory compounds that are good for the heart.  Their findings were unveiled at the 247th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society.  “We found that there are two kinds of microbes in the gut: the ‘good’ ones and the ‘bad’ ones,” explained Maria Moore, an undergraduate student and one of the study’s researchers.  “The good microbes, such as Bifidobacterium and lactic acid bacteria, feast on chocolate,” she said.  “When you eat dark chocolate, they grow and ferment it, producing compounds that are anti-inflammatory.”  Issue 1125  March 21, 2014  On this date in 1904, Code Napoléon was adopted as French civil law.  In 1970, the first Earth Day proclamation was issued by Mayor of San Francisco Joseph Alioto.  In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced a United States boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet war in Afghanistan.