July Days to Celebrate

julius ceasurJuly is the seventh month of the year (between June and August) in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars and the fourth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. It was named by the Roman Senate in honor of Roman general Julius Caesar, it being the month of his birth. Prior to that, it was called Quintilis, being the fifth month of the 10-month calendar.

It is on average the warmest month in most of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of summer, and the coldest month in much of the Southern Hemisphere, where it is the second month of winter. The second half of the year commences in July. In the Southern Hemisphere, July is the seasonal equivalent of January in the Northern hemisphere.

July is National Ant-Boredom Month. With COVID-19 shutdowns, re-imposed shutdowns, and many diversions like swimming pools or summer camps closed, boredom is an everyday problem for many of us. How will you combat boredom?Sleeping dog and cat

July was selected, according to the founder Alan Caruba, because after July 4th, there’s not much going on and it’s the hotter part of the summer break from school. That’s no excuse to experience boredom during July, though.

 

Dog Days of  Summer  “Dog days” are considered to begin in early July in the Northern Hemisphere, when the hot sultry weather of summer usually starts.     They were historically the period following the heligacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.

 

July 4th is American Independence Day.

From https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th:  American Flag on the PentagonOn July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of Lee’s resolution for independence in a near-unanimous vote (the New York delegation abstained, but later voted affirmatively). On that day, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that July 2 “will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival” and that the celebration should include “Pomp and Parade…Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other.”

On July 4th, the Continental Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence, which had been written largely by Jefferson. Though the vote for actual independence took place on July 2nd, from then on the 4th became the day that was celebrated as the birth of American independence.

July 8 is Video Game Day.

NATIONALTODAY NATIONAL VIDEO GAME DAY SURVEY

video gamerInfo gained from a top Portland PR Firm (Survey of 1,000 Americans)

What’s the best gaming console?
#1: Playstation (38%)
#2: Xbox (38%)
#3: Nintendo (21%)

What’s the best video game franchise?
#1: Super Mario (47%)
#2: Call of Duty (21%)
#3: Donkey Kong (19%)
#4: Grand Theft Auto (19%)
#5: Pokemon (16%)
#6: Zelda (13%)
#7: Sonic the Hedgehog (13%)
#8: Final Fantasy (9%)
#9: Halo (9%)
#10: Crash Bandicoot (7%)

How often do you play video games?
#1: Everyday (31%)
#2: Rarely (31%)
#3: 2-3x a week (23%)

When do mobile gamers like to play games on their phones?
#1: Whenever I’m bored (66%)
#2: When I’m watching TV (41%)
#3: Before I go to sleep (39%)
#4: When I’m on the toilet (34%)
#5: During my breaks at work (21%)
#6: Whenever I’m eating (20%)
#7: Before I leave for work (12%)
#8: On my commute to work (8%)

National Kitten Day is July 10.

According to the American Humane Society, 95.6 million cats were owned, while 83.3 million households owned a dog. There is certainly nothing wrong with dogs, but a tiny kitten is irresistible!

Bastille Day is July 14.

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national bastille dayday of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale (pronounced [fɛt nasjɔnal]; “National Celebration”) and commonly and legally le 14 juillet (French pronunciation: ​[lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; “the 14th of July”).

The French National Day is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europeneeded] is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests

National Moon Day is July 20.  It celebrates the 51st anniversary of man’s first step on the moon.

apollo11

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 carried the first humans to the moon. , Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, stepped foot on the moon. Six hours after landing, Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. The astronaut spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft. Soon to follow, Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface. After joining Armstrong, the two collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material.

After joining Armstrong, the two collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material. Their specimens would be placed onto Apollo 11 and brought back to Earth to be analyzed.

In the command module, a third astronaut waited. Pilot, Michael Collins, remained alone in orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned.

July 31 is Harry Potter’s Birthday.  Harry will be 40 this year.

For more information about the Wizarding World click here.

Harry Pottter's friends birthday

 

Taking Books to the People, Pt XIII , Something to Drone on About

Christiansburg to Roanoke

In the Christiansburg Montgomery County School District  Virginia (south of Roanoke and near Virginia Tech ), middle school librarian, Kelly Passek, had been filling book requests for her students via school bus as long as the busses continued to deliver school meals.  Once the Montgomery County Schools closed last March because of COVID-19, she knew that it was important for her students to continue to read

The school bus option ended when the school year was over.  Kelly thought about the drone delivery service that her family had been using: Wing, a drone service from Google’s parent company Alphabet, delivered essentials straight to their door.

Mark Mier, the School Superintendent thought it was a good idea.

“Montgomery County Public Schools will be the first public school system in the world to use Wing to deliver library books to our students,” Passek said. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to have a really unique way to deliver resources to our students and do it practically on demand.”

  • Students request library books using an online form.
  • Passek
    • fulfills the requests,
    • provides the GPS delivery coordinates,
    • packs the books up in special delivery boxes,
    • drops them off at Wing.
  • Wing handles the drone deliveries.

The first book, Erich Maria Remarque’s World War I classic All Quiet on the Western Front, was delivered by drone on Thursday, June 15.  Now, students in Montgomery County can choose from the library’s more than 150,000 titles, and have their books delivered right to their front yard.  Students will return the books when they come back to school in the fall.

The 10-pound Wing aircraft, which carries up to three pounds, is quieter than a car or truck.  Packages are lowered about 23 feet to a person’s yard via a rope. The drone can travel more than 70 mph.

2020 is Year of the Rooster

From the Chinese New Year Zodiac

  • The Rooster is the 10th sign of the Zodiac
  • associated with the Earthly Branch (地支—dì zhī) yǒu (酉), and the hours 5–7 in the afternoon. In terms of yin and yang (阴阳—yīn yáng), the Rooster is yin.
  • roosters are able to protect against evil spirits. In ancient times, sworn brothers must swear to the heavens, then drip rooster blood into wine and drink it all.
  • Roosters are complex people who seem strong but, deep down need validation from loved ones.Key West rooster

Ship’s Bells

Bells have a centuries-long tradition of varied use in the navies and merchant fleets of the world.

  • Signaling,
  • keeping time,
  • sounding alarms

are important in a ship’s routine and readiness. Their functional and ceremonial uses have made them a symbol of considerable significance to the United States Navy.

Carl Snow’s sea story:  I was on a ship (USS Lockwood, FF-1064) when we pulled into port and couldn’t find the quarterdeck bell. The watch was set and one of the cooks brought up the blade from the bread mixer, which was hung in the quarterdeck shack and a large serving spoon from the galley was used to strike the blade. It worked very well until the XO noticed that the “bell sounds different” and wanted to know why. In less than a half-hour, the bell was found and mounted in its proper place.

Carl Snow is the Scuttlebutt editor in chief for the USS Midway (CV-41)  Research Library and sea storyteller par excellence.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica

Ship’s bell, bell used as early as the 15th century to sound the time on board ship by striking each half hour of a watch. The mariner’s day is divided into six watches, each four hours long, except that the 4:00 to 8:00 pm watch may be “dogged”; that is, divided into the first and second dogwatches, each two hours long, to allow men on duty to have their evening meal. Through the 18th century, time was ordinarily measured on board ship by using a 30-minute sandglass. The quartermaster or ship’s boy turned the glass when the sand ran through, and it became customary for him to strike the bell as he did so. Eight times in each watch the glass was turned and the number of strokes on the bell indicated the number of half hours elapsed after the men came on deck. These strokes are sounded in pairs, with an interval following each pair.

Ship's bells chart

A series of rapid, successive strokes on the bell is used as a warning during fog, and, at other times, this is a fire signal.

In 1798, Paul Revere cast a bell weighing 242 pounds for the frigate Constitution.

ship's bell--USS Constitution
In 1798, Paul Revere cast a bell weighing 242 pounds for the frigate Constitution.

From the US Naval History and Command Center:

It is of interest to note that the use of a ship’s bell contributed to the richest single prize captured by the American Navy during the War of Independence. While a Continental Squadron under Commodore Whipple lay-to, wrapped in Newfoundland fog in a July morning in 1779, the sound of ships’ bells and an occasional signal gun could be heard a short distance off. When the fog lifted the Americans discovered that they had fallen in with the richly-laden enemy Jamaica Fleet. Ten ships were captured as prizes, which – together with their cargo – were valued at more than a million dollars.

Other uses for the bell:

Originating in the British Royal Navy, it is a custom to baptize a child under the ship’s bell; sometimes the bell is used as a christening bowl, filled with water for the ceremony. Once the baptism is completed, the child’s name may be inscribed inside the bell. The bell remains with the ship while in service and with the Department of the Navy after decommissioning. In this way, an invisible tie is created between the country, the ship and its citizens.

Reblog of an Oxford University Letter on Removing an Historical Statue–FAKE NEWS!

Oxford_AlfredSt_RhodesMonument
I was taken in by fake news and I’m embarressed.  As several of you have pointed out in your comments , the tone of the alleged letter is snide, whether you agree with what it said or not.

That’s some serious burn there. I did some digging. The first request was made in 2016. But newer requests were made after the death of George Floyd.
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-52975687

According to Snopes, which is a pretty reliable fact check source, the letter is not real.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/oxford-letter-to-students/

 

Interesting read……………….
The lesson here is that one cannot change history.
Letter from the Chancellor of Oxford University England.
This letter is a response from Oxford to Black Students, attending as Rhodes Scholars, to remove the statue of Oxford Benefactor, Cecil Rhodes.
OXFORD – THE FIGHTBACK HAS BEGUN
Interestingly, Chris Patten (Lord Patten of Barnes), The Chancellor of Oxford University, was on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 yesterday on precisely the same topic. The Daily Telegraph headline yesterday was “Oxford will not rewrite history”.
Patten commented “Education is not indoctrination. Our history is not a blank page on which we can write our own version of what it should have been according to our contemporary views and prejudice”  Rhodes must fall ????
“Dear Scrotty Students, Cecil Rhodes’s generous bequest has contributed greatly to the comfort and well being of many generations of Oxford students – a good many ofthem, dare we say it, better, brighter and more deserving than you.
This does not necessarily mean we approve of everything Rhodes did in his lifetime – but then we don’t have to. Cecil Rhodes died over a century ago. Autres temps, autres moeurs. If you don’t understand what this means – and it would not remotely surprise us if that were the case – then we really think you should ask yourself the question: “Why am I at Oxford?”
Oxford, let us remind you, is the world’s second oldest extant university. Scholars have been studying here since at least the 11th century. We’ve played a major part in the invention of Western civilisation, from the 12th century intellectual renaissance through the Enlightenment and beyond. Our alumni include William of Ockham,Roger Bacon, William Tyndale, John Donne, Sir Walter Raleigh, Erasmus, Sir Christopher Wren, William Penn, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Emily Davison, Cardinal Newman, Julie Cocks. We’re a big deal. And most of the people privileged to come and study here are conscious of what a big deal we are. Oxford is their alma mater – their dear mother – and they respectand revere her accordingly.
And what were your ancestors doing in that period? Living in mud huts, mainly. Sure we’ll concede you the short lived Southern African civilisation of Great Zimbabwe. But let’s be brutally honest here. The contribution of the Bantu tribes to modern civilisation has been as near as damn it to zilch.
You’ll probably say that’s “racist”. But it’s what we here at Oxford prefer to call “true.” Perhaps the rules are different at other universities. In fact, we know things are different at other universities. We’ve watched with horror at what has been happening across the pond from the University of Missouri to the University of Virginia and even to revered institutions like Harvard and Yale: the “safe spaces”; the? #?blacklivesmatter; the creeping cultural relativism; the stifling political correctness; what Allan Bloom rightly called “the closing of the American mind”.
At Oxford however, we will always prefer facts and free, open debate to petty grievance-mongering, identity politics and empty sloganeering. The day we cease to do so is the day we lose the right to call ourselves the world’s greatest university.
Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to squander your time at Oxford on silly, vexatious, single-issue political campaigns. (Though it does make us wonder how stringent the vetting procedure is these days for Rhodes scholarships and even more so, for Mandela Rhodes scholarships)
We are well used to seeing undergraduates – or, in your case – postgraduates, making idiots of themselves. Just don’t expect us to indulge your idiocy, let alone genuflect before it. You may be black – “BME” as the grisly modern terminology has it – but we are colour blind. We have been educating gifted undergraduates from our former colonies, our Empire, our Commonwealth and beyond for many generations. We do not discriminate over sex, race, colour or creed. We do, however, discriminate according to intellect. That means, inter alia, that when our undergrads or postgrads come up with fatuous ideas, we don’t pat them on the back, give them a red rosette and say: “Ooh, you’re black and you come from South Africa.
What a clever chap you are!”  No. We prefer to see the quality of those ideas tested in the crucible of public debate. That’s another key part of the Oxford intellectual tradition you see: you can argue any damn thing you like but you need to be able to justify it with facts and logic – otherwise your idea is worthless.
This ludicrous notion you have that a bronze statue of Cecil Rhodes should be removed from Oriel College, because it’s symbolic of “institutional racism” and “white slavery”. Well even if it is – which we dispute – so bloody what? Any undergraduate so feeble-minded that they can’t pass a bronze statue without having their “safe space” violated really does not deserve to be here. And besides, if we were to remove Rhodes’s statue on the premise that his life wasn’t blemish-free, where would we stop? As one of our alumni Dan Hannan has pointed out, Oriel’s other benefactors include two kings so awful – Edward II and Charles I – that their subjects had them killed.
The college opposite – Christ Church – was built by a murderous, thieving bully who bumped off two of his wives. Thomas Jefferson kept slaves: does that invalidate the US Constitution?* Winston Churchill had unenlightened views about Muslims and India: was he then the wrong man to lead Britain in the war?”
Actually, we’ll go further than that. Your Rhodes Must Fall campaign is not merely fatuous but ugly, vandalistic and dangerous. We agree with Oxford historian RW Johnson that what you are trying to do here is no different from what ISIS and the Al-Qaeda have been doing to artefacts in places like Mali and Syria. You are murdering history.
And who are you, anyway, to be lecturing Oxford University on how it should order its affairs? Your ?#?rhodesmustfall campaign, we understand, originates in South Africa and was initiated by a black activist who told one of his lecturers “whites have to be killed”. One of you – Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh – is the privileged son of a rich politician and a member of a party whose slogan is “Kill the Boer; Kill the Farmer”; another of you, Ntokozo Qwabe, who is only in Oxford as a beneficiary of a Rhodes scholarship, has boasted about the need for “socially conscious black students” to “dominate white universities, and do so ruthlessly and decisively!
Great. That’s just what Oxford University needs. Some cultural enrichment from the land of Winnie Mandela, burning tyre necklaces, an AIDS epidemic almost entirely the result of government indifference and ignorance, one of the world’s highest per capita murder rates, institutionalised corruption, tribal politics, anti-white racism and a collapsing economy.
Please name which of the above items you think will enhance the lives of the 22,000 students studying here at Oxford. And then please explain what it is that makes your attention grabbing campaign to remove a listed statue from an Oxford college more urgent, more deserving than the desire of probably at least 20,000 of those 22,000 students to enjoy their time here unencumbered by the irritation of spoilt, ungrateful little tossers on scholarships they clearly don’t merit using racial politics and cheap guilt-tripping to ruin the life and fabric of our beloved university.
Understand us and understand this clearly: you have everything to learn from us; we have nothing to learn from you.
Yours, Oriel College, Oxford
*Jefferson was the author of the U.S. Declaration, not  the Constitution

Musings

Monkey scratching his head
Say What?

How do you have a battle of wits with an unarmed person?

Can you influenza public opinion?

A mask–is it more effective at masking the man behind it or unmasking the man not wearing it?

What is the difference between a lie, a statistic, and an alt-fact?

What is the difference between a trumpet and a strumpet?  A trumpet is a brass instrument usually tuned to B flat.  A strumpet is a brassy woman who is instrumental in not having things B flat.

We now spring forward in winter but still fall back in autumn.

Did you hear about a yachtsman who crossed the ocean twice without taking a shower?  He was a dirty double-crosser.

If the accomplished, evil stepmother was from Massachusetts would she be wicked good?

A castrated male sheep is called a wether, whether ewes believe it or not.

 

 

Deadlines, Suspenses, and Dates Due

crime silhouette

From Rolig Loon:  “My 1889 Century Dictionary has only one definition for DEADLINE: “A line drawn around the inside or outside of a military prison, which no prisoner can cross without incurring the immediate penalty of being shot down. Used during the American Civil War with reference to open-air enclosures or stockades.” I remember learning the word, and that definition, as a child from my grandmother, whose own father had been imprisoned at Andersonville during the Civil War.”

How did a line drawn on the ground meaning that if you crossed it you’d be shot immediately, become much less lethal term meaning that something was due?  Merriam Webster traces the “Bloody History of Deadlines.”

For many years, I worked for the U.S.  Army as a librarian.   Deadlines were called suspenses and usually appeared at the top of a document highlighted in red or yellow.

S:  3 November 2020, at 2000

The term “Suspense Date” is one I heard frequently while I was in the Army. Any time someone wanted something to be DONE no later than a specific DAY and TIME, they would simply issue the order with a Suspense date.

In libraries,date dues are when your materials are due or need to be returned to the library.overdue-images

I Will Follow Him

I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go
There isn’t an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep me away
I must follow him (follow him), ever since he touched my hand I knew
That near him I always must be
And nothing can keep him from me
He is my destiny (destiny)
Lyrics from I Will Follow Him by Peggy March
Deadheads may be one of the largest groups of rock devotees in the last century.
deadheads

A Deadhead or Dead Head is a fan of the American rock band the Grateful Dead.[1][2][3][4][5] In the 1970s, a number of fans began travelling to see the band in as many shows or festival venues as they could. With large numbers of people thus attending strings of shows, a community developed. Deadheads developed their own idioms and slang.

Much Deadhead-related historical material received or collected by the band over the years is housed in the Grateful Dead Archive of UC-Santa Cruz. Archive founding curator Nicholas Meriwether, who has also written extensively about the culture and its impact on society, predicted, “The Grateful Dead archive is going to end up being a critical way for us to approach and understand the 1960s and the counterculture of the era… It’s also going to tell us a lot about the growth and development of modern rock theater, and it’s helping us understand fan culture.”[6]

michael is innocentI was first taken with the idea of someone giving up their life to follow a celebrity during the Michael Jackson in 2005. The “criminal trial held in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria, California, in which American singer Michael Jackson was charged with molesting Gavin Arvizo, a cancer patient in remission who was thirteen years old at the time of the alleged abuse.” Several ardent fans had given up their jobs and lives to camp out in front of the courthouse to show their support for Michael as he went in and out of court, flashing a victory sign from the sunroof of his SUV when he was acquitted.

 

This past week, one of the cable news channels interviewed a  Trump supporter who was camped in front of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  He said he was there to show support for Donald Trump.

Trump rally

TULSA –

President Trump’s arrival in Tulsa for a rally at the BOK Center is now just three days away.

People continue to camp out waiting for the president to arrive at the BOK Center.

According to President Trump’s campaign, there has been more than 1 million ticket requests.  https://www.newson6.com/story/5ee9ed1b9fd9c30ab0effb21/people-line-up-at-tulsas-bok-center-days-before-president-trumps-rally

Two thousand years ago, twelve men gave up their lives to follow a rabbi who taught a radical new theology. Several died for Him, one forsake Him, and the group changed history.

last supper

I am not equating any of these groups but I do wonder what would make someone give up friends, family, and a livelihood to follow someone they admire.

Live in the Time of Coronavirus: Pt 16, Quarantine Fatique

About four months ago most of the United States began some form of lockdown.  About a month ago, most of those states loosened-up some restrictions.  Some states require face masks in public, others strongly recommend it.  Many politicians refuse to wear a mask for a variety of reasons (vanity among them.)

Most states use a phased approach to re-open.  Many of those states are not adhering to guidelines finally released by the CDC.   There has been a spike in COVID-19 cases in many states that have reopened.

People argue:

  • increased numbers are caused by increased testing, not more cases
  • hospital bed use is a better reflection of the actual increase in number as opposed to testing results.

Two places to get COVID-19 statistics are

  1. CDC- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/index.htmlCDC COVID-19 Chart through 13 June 2020
  2. John Hopkins University-https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

John Hopkins Map 20200617

    1. Look at the Recovered sections if you want to feel a bit more hopeful.

John Hopkins recovered snapshot 20200617

Virginia is one of the states where the daily number of virus cases and deaths are going down.  We are in phase II of the state’s reopening.  People are weary of any limitations, despite an increase in what they can do and where they can go.

On June 17, the local news announced that 25 states had increased cases of COVID-19–three of them had increases greater than 100%

At the Distillery.

We visited it last Monday.  The young woman running the distillery that day, met us at the window before we entered the building.  She asked to see our ID cards (both of us are in our 60s) and said she would put her mask on if we wanted her to wear one.

Approximately eight guests were in the tasting room, including us.  Four of them left about five minutes after we got there.  Social distancing was left to the discretion of each couple.

The young woman made a feeble attempt at wiping the bar top down with a splash of hand sanitizer swirled around with not-quite-clean rag. (She never did put her mask on despite making several mixed beverages for the four customers.)

The bathroom was not as clean as it normally was with a dark ring around the toilet bowl at the waterline.

At the Hardware Store.

At a small, locally run hardware store, neither of the two store employees wore masks.  They came out from behind the wooden counter to help customer find items in the store.  My husband and I were the only two people in the store wearing masks when we went in to purchase a fan and a woodscrew.

At the Grocery Store.

Today at the local Kroegers, the store still had one door listed as the entrance and one door listed as the exit.  As I entered, a young man pushed his cart under the temporary belt line control indicating that people were not to go in that direction and out the entrance door.  As I exited, a woman was pushing her cart into the grocery store.

All the staff and customers I saw were still wearing masks.  Most people seemed to have abandoned wearing the rubber gloves I saw on earlier visits.  They also seemed less concerned with practicing social distancing.

At Protests.

I have not been to a protest march and can only observe what I’ve seen on television.  From Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Washington, DC,  Richmond, and Charlottesville, social distancing is a pipe dream.  I’ve seen more masks proportionally worn by the protesters than I have seen worn in the Senate.

Unlike COVID-19, protesting injustice is something that people can see and participate actively.  With COVID019, they can wash their hands and maintain six feet of separation.

 

 

 

Reblog: Alexandria Public Library 1939 Sit-in

National Library Week 2020Alexandria Library wins American Library Association’s
2020 ‘Excellence in Library Programming’ Award

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Alexandria Library has been named the 2020 winner of the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award for its program “We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In.”

The award, supported by ALA’s Cultural Communities Fund, recognizes a library that demonstrates excellence by providing programs that have community impact and respond to community needs.

“We Are the Alexandria Library Sit-In” was a year-long celebration of the 80th anniversary of a historic protest at the library.  This 1939 protest of the city’s whites-only public library was one of the first sit-ins of its kind in the nation.

Library Executive Director, Rose T. Dawson, states “It is very important for the community in Alexandria to recognize the history of its Library system. During this yearlong celebration, the Library’s goal was to highlight the 1939 Sit-In that was led by Samuel W. Tucker and the five brave men that sparked major change in our community. If it wasn’t for the actions of these men, Sgt. Wilson, and others like them, the Library would not be the welcoming place that it is today – for people of all colors – and for that, I am very grateful.”

In the 1930’s, like most libraries in the Jim Crow South, African Americans were not allowed library access. In 1939, after an ongoing effort to convince officials to establish equal access to community resources, 26-year-old resident and attorney Samuel W. Tucker organized five other African American residents to participate in a sit-in protest.  On August 21, 1939, William “Buddy” Evans, Morris Murray, Edward Gaddis, Clarence Strange, and Otto Tucker each asked to register for a library card. After being turned down, each sat silently at a different table and began to read a library book. Police officers arrested the group and charged them with disorderly conduct.

The program series, “We are the Alexandria Library Sit-in,” involved family members of protest descendants in the planning for this anniversary event.  Library staff engaged the community through a variety of programs, including school visits, a yearlong film festival, anniversary week events, posters, commemorative library cards, pins and postcards. The events, which also involved Alexandria city leadership, drew standing room only crowds and truly served as a model for programming for other libraries across the nation.

More information about the ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award, including how to submit a nomination, is available on the ALA website (www.ala.org).

Rebog: Merriam-Webster Quiz: Where did that Word Come from?

Sometimes, if you stare at a word with your eyes squinted just enough, and spend a long time thinking about it, you can figure out where that word might have come from. Other times there is really no way to tell. The words in this quiz are a combination.

This one is difficult.  See how well you do.

Merriam Webster Word Origina Quiz
This was my results.  How well did you do?

Happy National Fudge Day, June 16

 

For years, I got invited to my cousin Carol’s house for Christmas dinner.  Her only request was that I bring my homemade fudge.  Although I used the Fantasy Fudge recipe on the back of the Kraft  Marshmallow Creme jar, she said that nobody could make it like I do.  (When I make fudge, I’m old-school and use the soft ball method of determining when the substance has cooked long enough to harden properly when cooled.)

National Fudge Day

Fudge lends itself to experimentation when it comes to flavors. Blending favorites or even a moment of inspiration will create a new delicious kind of fudge. Adding bits of candy, nuts or sprinkles can bring just the right celebratory burst of excitement to an old favorite.

In the late 19th century, some shops on Mackinac Island, Michigan, began to produce similar products as the Vassar College fudge and sold it to summer vacationers. Fudge is still made in some of the original shops located on the famous island.

Three other fudge holidays entice us to celebration, too. Check out May 12th to celebrate all those nutty fudges. July 22nd marks Penuche Fudge Day. Finally, on November 20th Peanut Butter Fudge Day is celebrated.

Fantasy Fudge Recipe

3 cups of sugar

3/4 cup of  butter

1-small can (5 oz)  of evaporated milk

Mix together in a pan, keep stirring so the mixture does not stick or burn. (I use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture).  Cook for at least 5 minutes after the mixture comes to a complete, rolling boil.

Soft-ball stage refers to a specific temperature range when cooking sugar syrups, occurring between 235 and 245 F. In addition to using a candy thermometer, this stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water.

After the mixture reaches the softball stage, add the following:

1 12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1-7 oz jar of marshmallow creme

1 tablespoon of vanilla

Stir in one 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels (you can use peanut butter morsels or butterscotch morsels is you prefer that flavor of fudge.)

Once the chocolate is thoroughly melted, add 1-7oz jar of marshmallow creme.  Continue stirring constantly because the marshmallow creme will take longer to blend into the easily melted chocolate.

Add the vanilla. (Sometimes instead of adding vanilla, I will add Gran Marnier to give the chocolate a lovely orange overtone.)

Add ground pecans or walnuts if desired.

When everything is thoroughly mixed, pour into a buttered pan and let sit until hard.

If your conscience permits, lick the bowl and spoon before washing them out.