Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Easy dinner recipes:  Three great pasta dishes that come together in only 25 minutes by Noelle Carter,0,1232349.story#axzz30IkNB8zM

A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information.  A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added.  Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches.  Categories can represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.  Although the term "mind map" was first popularized by British popular psychology author and television personality Tony Buzan, the use of diagrams that visually "map" information using branching and radial maps traces back centuries.  These pictorial methods record knowledge and model systems, and have a long history in learning, brainstorming, memory, visual thinking, and problem solving by educators, engineers, psychologists, and others.  Some of the earliest examples of such graphical records were developed by Porphyry of Tyros, a noted thinker of the 3rd century, as he graphically visualized the concept categories of Aristotle.  Philosopher Ramon Llull (1235–1315) also used such techniques.  The phrase "mind map" is trademarked by Buzan's company for the specific use of self-improvement educational courses in Great Britain and the United States.  See graphics at

Adansonia is a genus of nine species of tree, including six native to Madagascar, two native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and one native to Australia.  One of the mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island, and was introduced in ancient times to south Asia and during the colonial era to the Caribbean.  The ninth species was described in 2012, incorporating upland populations of southern and eastern Africa.  A typical common name is baobab.  The generic name honours Michel Adanson, the French naturalist and explorer who described Adansonia digitata.

The baobab tree is found in the savannas of African and India, mostly around the equator. It can grow up to 25 meters tall and can live for several thousand years.  The baobab's bark, leaves, fruit, and trunk are all used.  The bark of the baobab is used for cloth and rope, the leaves for condiments and medicines, while the fruit, called "monkey bread", is eaten.  Sometimes people live inside of the huge trunks, and bush-babies live in the crown.  See picture at 

The term couch potato was coined by a friend of underground comics artist Robert Armstrong in the 1970s; Armstrong featured a group of couch potatoes in a series of comics featuring sedentary characters and with Jack Mingo and Allan Dodge created a satirical organization that purported to watch television as a form of meditation.  With two books and endless promotion through the 1980s, the Couch Potatoes appeared in hundreds of newspapers, magazines and broadcasts, spreading its "turn on, tune in, veg out" message, garnering 7,000 members, and popularizing the term.  The condition, which predates the term, is characterized by sitting or remaining inactive for most of the day with little or no exercise.

Mouse potato:  a person who spends a lot of time on their computer and does not have an active style of life

Mickey Mouse in Potatoland  7:20 video

Charles Perrault (1628-1703) was a member of the Académie Française and a leading intellectual of his time.  Perrault could have not predicted that his reputation for future generations would rest almost entirely on a slender book published in 1697 containing eight simple stories with the unassuming title:  Stories or Tales from Times Past, with Morals, with the added title in the frontispiece, Tales of Mother GooseCharles Perrault, in a symbolically significant gesture, did not publish the book in question under his own name but rather under the name of his son Pierre.  Link to the eight tales and find a list of the titles along with their Aarne-Thompson-Uther type numbers at

May 1 is Mother Goose DayPurpose:  To re-appreciate the old nursery rhymes.
Motto:  "Either alone or in sharing, read childhood nursery favorites and feel the warmth of Mother Goose's embrace."  Mother Goose Day was founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar in tandem with the publication of her book, Mother Goose; From Nursery to Literature (MFarland Pub.).  The day is now listed in many calendars of events and celebrated throughout the United States.  Tips for celebrating include  (1) getting several editions of Mother Goose Rhymes and compare how different illustrators have depicted the same characters  (2) act our rhymes using pantomime or as Charades (3) make a simple recipe associated with a rhyme  (4) read rhymes aloud

The tunnel at the end of the light is a one-liner used to describe the Tax Reform Act of 1986, a confusing and complicated law that was supposed to "simplify" the tax code.,1702383

One week ago, I received Where'd You Go, Bernadette, a zany novel by Maria Semple as part of World Book Night U.S. 2014.  Yesterday I finished it, and shortly before the end it mentioned a book about an ill-fated attempt to reach the South Pole called The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Gerrard.  I thought it might be a made-up title but it's real.  Read at  Issue 1142  April 30, 2014  On this date in 1789, on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.  In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.  In 1812, the Territory of Orleans became the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.

Monday, April 28, 2014

QUOTES by Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.  
Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.  No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.  Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Howard Fast (1914-2003) was one of the 20th century's busiest writers, turning out more than 80 books — plus short stories, journalism, screenplays and poetry — in a career that began in the early 1930's.  His output was slowed but not entirely interrupted by the blacklisting he endured in the 1950's after it became known that he had been a member of the Communist Party and then refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee.  He served three months in a federal prison in 1950 for contempt of Congress, a charge arising from his refusal to produce the records of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee.  Mr. Fast joined the party in 1943, a decision he often said was made at least in part because of the poverty he experienced as a child growing up in Upper Manhattan.  He left the party in 1956, disillusioned by the Soviet Union's own stunning revelations of Stalin's terror and the spread of anti-Semitism there.  During those years, Mr. Fast won the Stalin International Peace Prize and "Spartacus," about a slave revolt in ancient Rome, was published.  Because of the blacklist, the manuscript went from publisher to publisher without success.  Finally, a Doubleday executive said that Mr. Fast should publish it himself but that Doubleday would order 600 copies for its bookstores.  It became a best seller.  The stigma of the blacklist gradually faded after Mr. Fast's repudiation of Communism.  "Spartacus" was reprinted as a paperback and in 1960 was made into a successful movie starring Kirk Douglas.  Many other successful novels followed, including "April Morning" (1961) and a best-selling multigenerational saga of the Lavette family that began with "The Immigrants" (1977) and included "Second Generation" (1978), "The Establishment" (1979) and "The Legacy" (1981).  Mr. Fast also wrote a popular series of detective stories under the name E. V. Cunningham.  His hero was a nisei detective, Masao Masuto, a member of the Beverly Hills police force.  Masuto was a Zen Buddhist, and Mr. Fast himself was very much involved in Zen, "as a form of meditation and a very nice way of looking at the world," as he put it.  Mervyn Rothstein

Howard Fast's amnesia thriller Fallen Angel was originally published as by ‘Walter Ericson’ and later retitled Mirage as a tie-in to the 1965 film adaptation.
According to his memoir Being Red (1990), he decided to present Fallen Angel under a pseudonym because in those years of Red Menace paranoia he was afraid publishers would soon be boycotting all books by openly Marxist writers like himself.   J. Edgar Hoover himself called the CEO of Little Brown with the  message that it was okay for the book to appear under Fast’s own name but that the house would be in trouble if it came out under a pseudonym.  With the book already printed and bound, the dust jacket copy was hastily revised to announce that Ericson was Fast’s newly minted byline for mystery fiction.

The Louvre is preparing to reopen its 18th-century galleries on 6 June 2014, after nearly a decade of renovation work.  The old rooms did not meet with security standards and the installation, “stylish in the 1960s, was out-dated”, says Jannic Durand, the head of the museum’s decorative arts department.  The galleries closed in 2005 and renovation work began in late 2011 with a €26m budget, funded entirely by private groups including the Louvre Atlanta project, a collaboration with the High Museum of Art, and individual donors.  The museum created the “Cercle Cressent” (named after Charles Cressent, an 18th-century master cabinetmaker), specifically for the project, bringing together collectors and patrons, led by Maryvonne Pinault, the wife of the collector François.  Comprising 35 rooms that display more than 2,000 objects from the collection, the galleries are laid out on the first floor of the north wing of the Louvre’s Cour carrée (square courtyard).  The rooms are divided into three main chronological periods—the Regency style of Louis XIV’s reign (1660-1725), the height of the Rococo style (1725-55) and the return to Classicism under Louis XVI (1755-90).  Francine Guillou and Victoria Stapley-Brown

Q.  Which British football club is named after a Shakespeare character?  
A.  Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur is a London-based professional football club playing in the English Premier League.  Founded in 1882 by pupils from a local grammar school, the club plays its home games at White Hart Lane in north London.  It is believed the club was named after local hero Sir Henry Percy, known as Harry Hotspur in William Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I.  Nicknamed ‘Spurs,’ Tottenham are famous for their cavalier style of attacking football, based on the club’s Latin motto ‘audere est facere,’ or ‘to dare is to do.’  

William Valentine "Bill" Shakespeare (1912–1974) was an American football player.  He played at the halfback position, and also handled punting, for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football teams from 1933 to 1935.  He gained his greatest acclaim for throwing the winning touchdown pass as time ran off the clock in Notre Dame's 1935 victory over Ohio State, a game that was voted the best game in the first 100 years of college football.  Shakespeare was selected as a consensus first-team All-American in 1935 and was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983.  Sharing the same name as "The Bard of Avon", Shakespeare earned nicknames including "The Bard of Staten Island", "The Bard of South Bend", and "The Merchant of Menace."

Ten works of fiction indebted to the Bard by Sarah Gilmartin

The new National Museum of the Great Lakes opened to visitors for the first time on April 26, 2014.  The museum, at 1701 Front St. in Toledo, offers information on the Great Lakes that spans hundreds of years and includes tales of fur traders, rum runners and operators of the Underground Railroad, which helped escaped slaves reach freedom in Canada.  Museum visitors also can learn about the U.S. victory in the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 and the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald freighter in Lake Superior in 1975.  The museum includes hundreds of artifacts and more than 40 interactive displays.  The Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship also is docked at the museum.  Issue 1141  April 28, 2014  On this date in 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.  On this date in 1789,  Mutiny on the Bounty:  Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 sailors were set adrift.  On this date in 1792, France invaded the Austrian Netherlands (present day Belgium), beginning the French Revolutionary War.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Bookbinder’s was a Philadelphia restaurant with excellent food and an impressive history over a hundred years in the making.  Bookbinder’s was established in 1865 by Samuel Bookbinder.  He choose red brick building near the docks of the Delaware River, not because of the historic neighborhood in which the building stood, but for the location near the docks where he could purchase the foods, spices, teas, and liquors from all over the word.  A wealth of marvelous seafood – lobsters, shad, clams, oysters – was all brought to market near Bookbinder’s door.  Bookbinder’s has many stories in its past; one of the more charming tales is about a pair of Austrian boys that landed on the docks near the restaurant around a hundred years ago.  They knew very little English but were seeking to make a living in their stock and trade; binding books.  As they began to head into the city the spied the sign boldly proclaiming ‘Bookbinder’s.” so they headed for it and asked for jobs. They were offered jobs as dish washers until they finally made it clear that they were quite literally book binders.  They were sent up the street to the National Publishing Company were they remained well into the late 1970s and had a hand in publishing several well known cookbooks including the one produced by Vincent Price and his wife Mary.  Bookbinder’s received rave revues for many of their custom dishes, but their most famous dish by far was the Snapper Soup which was made from five pound snapping turtles.  These creatures are not the most commonplace to find, but if you search fresh markets with a little persistence you can find what you need; even if you don’t you can make a “mock” version using red snapper.  Whether you are serving real or mock Snapper Soup, you should serve it with a beaker of sherry so that each person can lace their own portion with the wine according to their tastes.  Bookbinder’s closed their doors in 2009 due to financial difficulties.  Find recipe for Bookbinder's snapper soup at

The African Great Lakes are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift.  They include Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world, and Lake Tanganyika, the world's second largest in volume as well as the second deepest.  The term Greater Lakes is also used, less commonly, for some of them. Countries in the African Great Lakes region include Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.  NOTE that besides the Great Lakes in the United States, we have:  Great Lake (Britain), a lake on the River Poulter in Nottinghamshire, England; Great Lake, Tasmania, a lake in Australia; and The Great Lakes District, another named for the Perth Wetlands in Perth, Western Australia.

The Great Lakes islands in North America consist of about 35,000 islands (scattered throughout Great Lakes) created by uneven glacial activity in the Great Lakes Basin.  The largest of these is Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron in Canada's province of Ontario.  At 1,068 square miles (2,766 km²), it is the largest lake island in the world.  See a list of notable Great Lakes islands and archipelagos at   Find a list of populated islands (with a specified year-round population of over 50 residents) of the Great Lakes and connecting rivers at

On January 8. 2014, Delaware's governor Jack A. Markell nominated Leo E. Strine, Jr as the next chief justice of the state's supreme court, in a widely expected promotion for one of corporate law's biggest personalities.  Mr. Strine is about the closest thing to a celebrity in the buttoned-up world of corporate law.  His courtroom demeanor—sometimes charming, sometimes caustic, often unpredictable— has earned him both fans and detractors.  Mr. Strine has a tendency to opine on legal issues not technically before him, a habit that has earned him unusual public rebukes from the state's supreme court.  A fast riser in the legal world, he spent just two years as an associate at corporate-law powerhouse Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom LLP before coming the top legal counselor to then-Gov. Tom Carper.  In 1998 he was named the youngest judge in the history of the Chancery Court, and was promoted to its chief in 2011.  Liz Hoffman

A few weeks after Delaware Governor Markell nominated Leo E. Strine, Jr. as chief justice of the Delaware Supreme Court in early January 2014, Strine  was confirmed unanimously and without debate by the state Senate.  “Delaware’s judiciary is widely recognized as the finest in the nation,” Markell said.  “With his superior intellect, incredible work ethic and substantial judicial experience, Leo Strine is well-positioned to build upon our courts’ deserved reputation for excellence.”  The state supreme court 's five justices serve 12-year terms.  The court settles many major corporate disputes because so many U.S. corporations—more than half—have their legal headquarters in Delaware.  Strine majored in political science at the University of Delaware and then earned his law degree at the University of Pennsylvania.

Coffee buyer Timothy Hill has reinvented the wheel, and it is causing quite a stir.  The 31-year-old purchaser for Durham, N.C., roaster Counter Culture Coffee has rolled out a new version of a tool long used by coffee tasters to elicit the adjectives that may be on the tip of the tongue: a flavor wheel.  Flavor wheels are colorful reference tools that aid food and beverage tasters of all stripes.  Mr. Hill's pastel-hued downloadable disc includes 140 terms, each representing a food or flavor that may be used to describe a cup of coffee, from snow peas to black currant, from clementine to "meat-like."  The terms are ones the wheel's defenders say are accessible to most coffee drinkers.  His new wheel is gaining traction, challenging the industry standard: the nearly 20-year-old flavor wheel of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, a trade group whose members include Mr. Hill's employer.  Leslie Josephs

Caution on fava beans:  Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency ( G6PD) deficiency is closely linked to favism, a disorder characterized by a hemolytic reaction to consumption of fava or broad beans, with a name derived from the Italian name of the broad bean (fava).  Thank you, muse reader. 

World Book Night U.S.  I was in the right place at the right time on April 23, 2014 when an enthusiastic reader offered free books (Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple) to restaurant patrons.  World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person.  Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give away half a million free World Book Night paperbacks.  Successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011, World Book Night was first celebrated in the U.S. in 2012.  Who wouldn't want a free book?  Find a list of all the 2014 books at

The Andy Warhol Museum announced April 24, 2014 the discovery of new works by the pop artist, works which had been trapped on floppy disks for close to 30 years.  They were made on an Amiga computer in 1985 and were unlocked by the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club and its Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, according to a statement from the museum.  The works were commissioned by the now-defunct Commodore International to showcase the computer's capabilities.  They include doodles and experiments with Warhol's iconic images, like the Campbell's soup can.  The works might have been lost forever if it had not been for Cory Arcangel, an artist who watched a YouTube clip showing Warhol promoting the release of the Amiga 1000 in 1985.  He started to poke around, eventually approaching the museum's chief archivist to talk about the possibility of searching for the files amid The Warhol's archives collection.   The works have since been extracted and backed up so they can be saved, even if the floppy disks fail.  See images at  Issue 1140  April 25, 2014  
On this date in 1846, open conflict began over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican–American War.  In 1898, the United States declared war on Spain beginning the Spanish-American War.  In 1901, New York became the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

FAVA BEANS  How to choose:  Picking the best favas is all in the pod.  It should be firm and crisp without any soft spots or wilting.  Sometimes you’ll see black scarring on a fava pod -- that’s not a problem as long as the pod still feels firm.  Also, the pods should be well filled-out so you can feel the individual beans.  How to store:  Honestly, favas are pretty close to indestructible.  You really have to work to make them go bad.  Just keep them tightly wrapped in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer and they’ll last at least a week.  How to prepare:  There’s no fast way to prepare favas.  It’s not hard, but it is tedious.  It’s a great chore to do when you have other folks in the kitchen to help.  First, shuck the beans out of the pods and collect them in a work bowl.  Cover them with boiling water and let them sit until the water is cool enough to touch.  To remove that thick white skin, nick the bottom of the bean with your thumbnail and then give the bean a squeeze and the insides will pop right out.  Russ Parsons.  Link to six recipes at

When James Patterson's son, Jack, was 8 years old, he and the prolific author of more than 100 books struck a deal:  Jack could forgo chores for the summer if every day he used that time — about 45 minutes — to read from a book.  Jack, now 15 and a student at the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, was what the publishing world calls a "reluctant reader," an amorphous phrase that describes kids or teens who aren't jumping at the chance to read a book.  "By the end of that summer, he had read about a dozen books and his reading skills had really improved," Patterson said of Jack.  "There was a kid who just wasn't that interested in reading, and he became a very proficient reader."  Patterson's desire to turn kids into competent readers extends beyond the doors of his Palm Beach, Fla., home, and in recognition of his overwhelming support for children's literacy and contributions to literature for young people, he will be honored with the 2014 Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Award.  For a decade, he has been putting time, energy and money into causes that promote children's literacy.  He funds scholarships at 17 universities for students dedicated to a teaching career; awards more than $30,000 annually to college-bound high school seniors to pay for books; travels the country speaking at conferences in support of teachers and librarians; and hosts, a website that strives to give parents and educators the tools they need turn kids into lifelong readers.  And, since 2005, he's published 19 young adult novels (best for ages 10 and above) in four separate series, and nine middle-grade books (for ages 8-12) in three series.  Patterson will accept his award during the 30th edition of the annual Printers Row Lit Fest, which will play host to more than 200 authors and presenters on June 7 and 8 in the historic Printers Row neighborhood.

Usually when you hear about alum it is in reference to potassium alum, which is the hydrated form of potassium aluminum sulfate.  Sometimes alum is seen in its crystalline form, although it is most often sold as a powder.  Types of alum are:   potassium alum, soda alum, ammonium alum, chrome alum and selenate alum.  Anne Marie Helmenstein  Find descriptions of alum plus a list of its uses at

William Shakespeare turns 450 years old April 23, 2014.  Think Shakespeare doesn't go with football?  Think again.  There's a major club named after him, but which one is it?  Take a quiz to test your knowledge of the Bard's life and works at

A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
In honor of  the 450th birthday of the Bard of Avon, here are words that have been coined after his characters.
Dogberry  (DOG-ber-ee, -buh-ree)  noun  A pompous, incompetent, self-important official.
After Dogberry, a constable in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, in which he goes about his blundering ways while mouthing malapropisms.  Earliest documented use:  1801.
Portia  (POR-shuh, -shee-uh)  noun  A female lawyer.   After Portia, the heroine of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Portia is a rich heiress who disguises herself as a lawyer to save Antonio's life.  Earliest documented use:  1869.
Prospero  (PROS-puh-roh)  noun  Someone who is capable of influencing others' behavior or perceptions without their being aware of it.  After Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan and a magician, in Shakespeare's The Tempest.  Earliest documented use:  1785.
Feedback to A.Word.A.Day
From: John Callagher  Subject:  Shakespeare
As a young English man, those many years ago, a Warwickshire lad... I and a very few, equally passionate followers of Shakespeare, never worked on The Bard's Birthday.  The mayor of Stratford stepped off a parade with measured tread, followed by motley assorted seniors.  Each one, resplendent with a variety of medals and ribbons worn with modest pride, paraded through the streets of the town. The parade ended at St John's for a bowing of the heads, a few well spoken words, punctuated with soft and loud Amens.  Many years later, sitting in the Globe Theatre, Stratford, Ontario, Canada... I had arrived early into the beautiful theater.  I sat and became aware, as the seats filled, the vast number of the audience were from all corners of the world.  The quietly hushed conversations near and far, bubbled and blended into a common sound of total understanding of the words of this Warwickshire man who lived, loved, and penned some 400 years before.  Now 450 years have passed and I still fill with wonder at the power of the creative word.  Happy Birthday William. I love you, man!

Kikunae Ikeda from the Tokyo Imperial University isolated glutamic acid as a new taste substance in 1908 from the seaweed Laminaria japonica, kombu, by aqueous extraction and crystallization, and named its taste "umami".  He noticed that dashi, the Japanese broth of katsuobushi and kombu, had a peculiar taste that had not been scientifically described at that time and differed from sweet, salty, sour and bitter.  To verify that ionized glutamate was responsible for the umami taste, Professor Ikeda studied the taste properties of many glutamate salts such as calcium, potassium, ammonium, and magnesium glutamate.  All salts elicited umami in addition to a certain metallic taste due to the other minerals.  Among those salts, sodium glutamate was the most soluble and palatable, and crystallized easily.  Professor Ikeda named this product monosodium glutamate and submitted a patent to produce MSG.  Suzuki brothers started the first commercial production of MSG in 1909 as Aji-no-moto, meaning "essence of taste" in English.  Read more at

The Democratic National Committee has asked 15 cities to submit bids to host the party’s 2016 presidential nominating convention, a committee official said April 22, 2014.  Democrats have asked for formal proposals from Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City.  The list of cities under consideration for the Democratic convention might not be final:  Other cities can ask to be sent a request for proposal.  But those seeking the spotlight a convention shines on a host city in 2016 will only have until close of business on June 6 to reply to the DNC.  Reid Wilson  Issue 1139  April 23, 2014  On this date in 1635, the first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, was founded in Boston, Massachusetts.  On this date in 1914, the first baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park in Chicago, was played.

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 14, 2014  Each day, thousands of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps national service members devote themselves to service that directly impacts the lives of children around the country.  Whether it is teaching kids how to make healthy food choices, working with them on educational skills, or helping families rebuild after a disaster, national service is there.  Recently, some of the good works that national service programs have been doing to make a difference were featured on national television.  As a part of NBC's Education Week, the Today Show joined Foster Grandparents (a Corporation for National and Community Service Senior Corps program) in Washington, D.C., as they mentored students and helped enforce academic concepts.  One Foster Grandparent, 104-year-old Virginia McLaurin, talked about the importance of helping kids learn both traditional topics like math and reading, but also social graces like respect.  Adriana Lopez  Link to toolkits to help you with service projects or events at

The infinity symbol \infty (sometimes called the lemniscate) is a mathematical symbol representing the concept of infinityIn mathematics, the infinity symbol is used more often to represent a potential infinity, rather than to represent an actually infinite quantity such as the ordinal numbers and cardinal numbers (which use other notations).  John Wallis is credited with introducing the infinity symbol as a sideways figure eight with its mathematical meaning in 1655.  In areas other than mathematics, the infinity symbol may take on other related meanings; for instance, it has been used in bookbinding to indicate that a book is printed on acid-free paper and will therefore be long-lasting.  See images at

USS Shangri-La (CV/CVA/CVS-38) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers completed during or shortly after World War II for the United States Navy.  It was launched in 1944, decommissioned for the second time in 1971, and scrapped in 1988.

Camp David, known formally as the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, is the President’s country residence.  Located in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David has offered Presidents an opportunity for solitude and tranquility, as well as an ideal place to host foreign leaders.  Adapted from the federal employee retreat Hi-Catoctin, President Franklin Roosevelt established the residence as USS Shangri La, modeling the new main lodge after the Roosevelt winter vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia.  President Eisenhower subsequently renamed the institution in honor of his grandson David.

Like every aspect of the Detroit bankruptcy, the legal issues surrounding The Detroit Institute of Arts and its multibillion-dollar collection remain a landscape of uncharted territory and foggy complexities.  For example, the Michigan attorney general has issued an opinion that the art can’t be sold because it’s held in the public trust, but experts disagree whether this would hold up in court.  A key question is whether the arguments of creditors making a play for the art will be potent enough to convince U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes to deny emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s restructuring plan for the city — including its centerpiece $816-million rescue plan for art and pensions.  Mark Stryker  Read much more at

A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, island, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance.   The programme was founded with the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972.  Since then, 190 states parties have ratified the Convention, making it one of the most adhered to international instruments.  Only the Bahamas, Liechtenstein, Nauru, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Tuvalu are not Party to the Convention.  As of 2013, 981 sites are listed:  759 cultural, 193 natural, and 29 mixed properties, in 160 states parties.  By sites ranked by country, Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites with 49 sites, followed by China (45), Spain (44), France and Germany (both 38).  UNESCO references each World Heritage Site with an identification number; but new inscriptions often include previous sites now listed as part of larger descriptions.  As a result, the identification numbers exceed 1,200 even though there are fewer on the list.  While each World Heritage Site remains part of the legal territory of the state wherein the site is located, UNESCO considers it in the interest of the international community to preserve each site.

The Berlin State Library (German: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; colloquially Stabi) is a universal library in Berlin, Germany and a property of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.  It is one the largest libraries in Europe, and one of the most important academic research library in the German-speaking world.  It collects texts, media and cultural works from all fields in all languages, from all time periods and all countries of the world, which are of interest for academic and research purposes.  The library has an extensive collection of important music manuscripts, including 80% of all the autographs of Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the largest collection in the world.  Famous examples include Bach's Mass in B Minor, the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, and nearly all of Mozart's operas.  In addition to Ludwig van Beethoven's 4th, 5th, and 8th Symphonies, the Library also holds the autograph score, autograph leaves, and historic records of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, which was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2001. 

The Queen Elizabeth Islands (formerly the Parry Islands) are the northernmost in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.  They are split between the Canadian provinces of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.  Ellesmere, the largest island in the Queen Elizabeth archipelago, is actually the 10th largest island in the world.  It is covered by the Arctic Cordillera mountain range.

Sea smoke, frost smoke, or steam fog,  is fog which is formed when very cold air moves over warmer water.  Arctic sea smoke is sea smoke forming over small patches of open water in sea ice.

A wind that is created by air flowing downhill.  When this air is warm, it may be called a foehn wind, and regionally it may be known as a Chinook or Santa Ana.  When this air is cold or cool, it is called a drainage wind, and regionally it may be known as a mountain breeze or glacier wind.  The opposite of an anabatic wind

Peeps season  Find diorama 2014 contest winner and finalists, Peeps shows I through VII,  Peeple's choice, and A year in Peeps at  Issue 1138  April 21 2014  On this date in 1898, the United States Navy began a blockade of Cuban ports.  On this date in 1934, the "Surgeon's Photograph", the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, was published in the Daily Mail (in 1999, it was revealed to be a hoax).  In 1962, the Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opened.  It was the first World's Fair in the United States since World War II.