Reblog: Why Do We Remember the Casualties of War?

Denzil Walton, of Discovering Belgium, has penned a thoughtful essay prior to Armistice/Remembrance Day (Veteran’s Day in the US) next month, on why do we remember the casualties of war.

Some of his points include:

  • Does it remind us of the horrors of war?
  • Does remembrance help avoid future conflicts?
  • Does it express our gratitude?
Old Guard Tomb Soldier at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery

Celebrating October 12 in Spain and Latin America

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue to “discover” America. Columbus has since fallen out of favor and the day now has other names. The Don Quixote blog shares how Columbus Day is celebrated in Spain (where Columbus sailed from, although Columbus was originally Italian) and Central and South America.

Spain: Spanish law establishes it as the Fiesta Nacional de España, or the national day of Spain, although many Spaniards continue referring to it as Día de la Hispanidad, which was the former name of the Spanish holiday.

Latin America: October 12 is still known as el Día de la Raza in some Latin American countries including Mexico. Other Latin American countries however, that once commemorated the day as el Día de la Raza have in recent years changed the name to honor diversity or to celebrate indigenous heritage.

See the blog for more information.

Somerset Steam and Gas Association, Somerset, VA

About three miles east of Route 20, Virginia’s Constitution Route, lies the small town of Somerset. Just beyond the town center, sits the Somerset Steam & Gas Engine Association. When we passed it last September, it was hosting a small event where the field was filled with steam tractors, trucks, engines that ground meal, popped corn, and baled hay. There were examples of mills, oil rigs, and other devices. It looked like a steampunk dream brought to life.

Purpose of the organization:

We are looking to bring together people of all ages to learn about the beauty behind the antique steam and gas engines.

To foster education and to promote interest and exchange information and provide the mutual assistance regarding such equipment. To own and display such equipment and to own and to operate any needed property, including but not limited to, a show-ground, workshops, museum and library.

Their main event is a pasture party (cancelled this year because of COVID.)

Hopefully they can have it next year.

October Holidays to Celebrate

October is the tenth month of the year in the and and the sixth of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The eighth month in the old calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC, October retained its name (from the Latin and Greek ôctō meaning “eight”) after January and February were inserted into the calendar that had originally been created by the Romans. In Ancient Rome, one of three Mundus patet would take place on October 5, Meditrinalia October 11, Augustalia on October 12, October Horse on October 15, and Armilustrium on October 19. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar. Among the Anglo-Saxons, it was known as Ƿinterfylleþ, because at this full moon (fylleþ) winter was supposed to begin.

October is also Health Literacy month. In this time of Covid, with so much conflicting information, we need 20/20 vision to understand what is myth and what is real. On October 1, Donald Trump tweeted that he and Melania both tested positive for COVID.

Health Literacy Month is a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of understandable health information. This annual, worldwide, awareness-raising event has been going strong ever since Helen Osborne founded it in 1999.

Greatest wealth is health

October is also Bullying Prevention Month. Anti-bullying activities include STOMP Out Bullying™’s signature campaign World Day of Bullying Prevention™ on the first Monday of every October.

Little Free Library in Norfolk, VA that is filled with anti-bullying books

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By working together, we can inspire hope and become a force for good “to get her” access to the care she needs.

Columbus or Indigenous People Day is October 12.

Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the Americas in 1492, and Columbus Day 2020 is on Monday, October 12. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a federal holiday until 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. But throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have proposed since the 1970s including Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Indigenous peoples first proposed the day during a 1977 United Nations conference on discrimination against them. But it wasn’t until 1989 that South Dakota became the first state to switch Columbus Day to Native Americans’ Day, celebrating it for the first time in 1990. It is observed in Maine, New Mexico and South Dakota.

A blue moon will occur on Halloween. It is called a Blue Moon because it is the second full moon in a month. The first full moon is October 1 and 2 and is called the Harvest Moon. There are also seasonal blue moons.

Seasonal Blue Moons first. It’s an older definition for Blue Moons, stemming from old skylore. A year has 12 months, of course. A month – or “moonth” – has a length more or less based on a single orbit of the moon around Earth. What we call a season – winter, spring, summer, fall – typically lasts three months, and typically has three full moons. So this would be a fourth full moon withing a season.

Holidays to Celebrate on Sunday, 27 September 2020

Gold Star Mother’s and Family Day is a day “for honoring families of those who have received The Gold Star – the military award no one wants. The award commemorates the tragic death of a military member who has perished while in the line of duty and hopes to provide a level of comfort to the parents and families that are left behind. Since World War 1, a “Gold Star Family” has signified a family that has lost one of its members in combat. The family can display a Gold Star Service Flag for any military family members who have died from any honorable cause – each gold star on the flag signifies a death. Though today only around 1% of the country is involved in military service, as compared to the 12% during other times of war, like World War 2, there are still a significant number of surviving Gold Star families – not to mention, a Gold Star lives on in a family’s legacy.”

Khzir Khan is the Gold Star father of Captain Humayun Khan, killed in 2004 at the age of 27. Mr. Khan became famous in 2016 after challenging Donald Trump over remarks about Muslims.

Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you, have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words “liberty” and “equal protection of law. Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing—and no one.

National Crush Day is a chance to remember the environment. Crush a can and put it into the recycling bin.

National No Excuses Day. Although it originated in Canada, it is a good day for all of us to do something fun, or that needs to be done. Make Memories, Not Excuses.

World Tourism Day is hard this year because of the Pandemic. But plan to do something next year!

Yom Kippur–from the Chabad.org website.

Begins sunset of  Sunday, September 27, 2020
Ends nightfall of  Monday, September 28, 2020

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the year—the day on which we are closest to G‑d and to the quintessence of our own souls. It is the Day of Atonement—“For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G‑d” (Leviticus 16:30).

POW/ MIA Day is 18 September

POW/MIA Recognition Day is commemorated on the third Friday of every September, a date that’s not associated with any particular war. In 1979, Congress and the president passed resolutions making it official after the families of the more than 2,500 Vietnam War POW/MIAs pushed for full accountability.

According to a Congressional Research Service report on POWs:

  • 130,201 World War II service members were imprisoned; 14,072 them died
  • 7,140 Korean War service members were imprisoned; 2,701 of them died
  • 725 Vietnam War service members were imprisoned; 64 of them died
  • 37 service members were imprisoned during conflicts since 1991, including both Gulf wars; none are still in captivity

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, 83,114 Americans who fought in those wars are still missing, including:

  • 73,515 from World War II (an approximate number due to limited or conflicting data)
  • 7,841 from the Korean War
  • 1,626 from Vietnam
  • 126 from the Cold War
  • 6 from conflicts since 1991

The DPAA said about 75 percent of those missing Americans are somewhere in the Asia-Pacific. More than 41,000 have been presumed lost at sea.

Efforts to find those men, identify them and bring them home are constant. For example, the DPAA said that in the past year it has accounted for 41 men missing during the Korean War: 10 had been previously buried as unknowns, 26 were from remains turned over by North Korea in the 1990s, one was from a recovery operation, and four were combinations of remains and recovery operations.

Missing Man Honors This table is set up in many military and veterans clubs to remember the Missing.

As you entered the room, you may have noticed a special table; it is reserved to honor our missing men.

Set for six, the empty chairs represent Americans who were or are missing from each of the services – Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard – and civilians, all with us in spirit.

Some here were very young, or not yet born, when the Vietnam War began; however, all Americans should never forget the brave men and women who answered our nation’s call and served the cause of freedom in a special way.

Let me explain the meaning of this table, and then join me for a moment of silent prayer.

The table is round – to show our everlasting concern.

The cloth is white – symbolizing the purity of their motives when answering the call to serve.

The single red rose reminds us of the lives of these Americans….and their loved ones and friends who keep the faith, while seeking answers.

The yellow ribbon symbolizes our continued uncertainty, hope for their return and determination to account for them.

A slice of lemon reminds us of their bitter fate, captured or missing in a foreign land.

A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears of our missing and their families.

The lighted candle reflects our hope for their return.

The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.

The glass is inverted – to symbolize their inability to share a toast.

The chairs are/chair is empty – they are missing…………….. (moment of silence)

Let us now raise our water glasses in a toast to honor America’s POW/MIAs, to the success of our efforts to account for them, and to the safety of all now serving our nation!

September 17-Constitution Day

Constitution Day commemorates the day in September 17, 1787, that “the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history, the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.”

<a href="<p style="font-size: 0.9rem;font-style: italic;"><img style="display: block;" src="https://live.staticflickr.com/191/498309798_8c38532db8_b.jpg&quot; alt="US Constitution"><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/69356033@N00/498309798">"US Constitution"</a><span> by <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/69356033@N00">Jonathan Thorne CC</a></span> is licensed under <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/?ref=ccsearch&atype=html&quot; style="margin-right: 5px;">CC BY-NC 2.0</a><a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/?ref=ccsearch&atype=html&quot; target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" style="display: inline-block;white-space: none;margin-top: 2px;margin-left: 3px;height: 22px !important;"><img style="height: inherit;margin-right: 3px;display: inline-block;" src="https://search.creativecommons.org/static/img/cc_icon.svg&quot; /><img style="height: inherit;margin-right: 3px;display: inline-block;" src="https://search.creativecommons.org/static/img/cc-by_icon.svg&quot; /><img style="height: inherit;margin-right: 3px;display: inline-block;" src="https://search.creativecommons.org/static/img/cc-nc_icon.svg&quot; /></a>

Many of us believe that today the Constitution is under assault. Use today to reflect that all of our elected leaders, military, and civil servants take an oath to uphold the Constitution. We do not promise loyalty to any person or political party.

I took that oath in November 1981 when I first became a civil servant. My husband and father both took that oath when they joined the military. My husband took it again when he became a civil servant following retirement. Our president took that oath on January 20, 2017.

From Ben’s Guide

According to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, a President’s term of office begins at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on January 20th of the year following an election. In order to assume his or her duties, the President-elect must recite the Oath of Office. The Oath is administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The President-elect places the left hand on the Bible, raises the right hand, and takes the Oath as directed by the Chief Justice. The Oath, as stated in Article II, Section I, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution, is as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Do you think he has kept that promise?

Test your knowledge of the US Constitution with this relatively easy 10 question quiz.

I got 9 out of 10 and over thought the question I missed.

Pentagon Memorial to 9-11

From the website for the Pentagon Memorial

The Pentagon Memorial design was developed by Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman. Their vision for the memorial was selected from more than 1,100 submissions by a panel of architects, family members and public figures in the Washington, D.C. area, including two former secretaries of defense.

The Pentagon Memorial captures a specific moment in time – 9:37 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, when 184 souls were lost. The $22 million memorial sits on two acres of land right outside where the jetliner struck the building.

There are 184 memorial benches dedicated to each of the victims, and they’re organized in a timeline of their ages, from the youngest victim, 3-year-old Dana Falkenberg, to the oldest, 71-year-old John Yamnicky.

The site includes the pictures and a brief biography of the people who were killed that day. Merian Serva, who was mentioned in Ann Parham’s Escape from the Pentagon, has this information.

Marian was a congressional affairs contact officer for the Army. She had worked at the Pentagon for 15 years. She met her high school sweetheart in Greenville, North Carolina, and later eloped. He enlisted in the Army, and they traveled the world, raising their daughter. She indulged her love of all things outdoors, including growing tomatoes, flowers and exotic shrubs at their Stafford County home.

Marian Serva

Escape from the Pentagon

This posting originally appeared three years ago. It’s now been 19 years since 11 September 2001.

e-Quips

Ann-2016On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, Ann Parham arrived early at the Pentagon, like she always did.   As Chief of the Army Library Program, she was responsible for establishing policy for Army Libraries around the world.  She had been stationed in Korea, Germany and the United States.   At fifty-eight, she was at the apex of her 35-year career.  Her beige linen dress, purple silk jacket, and low-heeled beige pumps were professional and practical, well suited to her trim athletic build.

pentagon layoutAnn’s office was in a newly renovated wedge of the Pentagon, iconic home of the Department of Defense. The five-sided Pentagon was made up of five concentric, separated rings and five floors.  The center courtyard was a park-like setting, providing a short cut from one side of the building to the other.  Ten corridors intersected the five rings like spokes on a bicycle wheel.  From the air, the…

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Reblog: Vote For Belgium’s Tree of the Year, 2020

Denzil Walton has written a wonderful post on voting for Belgium’s Tree of the Year. He includes pictures and a brief history of why each tree is worthy of consideration. The winner will compete in a European Tree Contest.

An example:

DE VIERSTAMMIGE KASTANJE: THE CHESTNUT WITH FOUR TRUNKS

Representing West Flanders is this Ypres survivor of two world wars. This imposing chestnut tree was planted around 1860, when the military fortress in Ypres was transformed into a public park. Along with the rest of Ypres, the chestnut suffered heavily during the First World War. Yet amazingly the stump remained alive. From the stump, four new trunks spontaneously arose.

This Brew’s for You: National Beer Lover’s Day: September 7

How many times have you gotten through a long trip singing “One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall?” It was a standard on almost any school field trip. It usually petered out sometime in the Eighties, Seventies or Sixty bottles of beer on the wall.

In honor of National Beer Lover’s Day, let’s raise a bottle, stein, or pilsener glass to the school bus drivers that got us there safely despite our best bad-singing efforts.

Beer and the process of brewing beer goes back to ancient times in cultures the world over. The crafting of beer carries rich traditions, often requiring years of training and experience in the trade while the methods, grains, and flavors continue to change and evolve over time. Becoming a brewmaster can take years of fine-tuning the skills to make an exemplary beer or even an ale. One sure requirement is a love of beer and the craft. Today, fill your glass with an ice-cold, frothy beer and savor every gulp!

September Days to Celebrate

September (from Latin septem, “seven”) was originally the seventh of ten months in the oldest known Roman calendar, the calendar of Romulus c. 750 BC, with March (Latin Martius) the first month of the year until perhaps as late as 451 BC.[2] After the calendar reform that added January and February to the beginning of the year, September became the ninth month but retained its name. It had 29 days until the Julian reform, which added a day.

Fall--Multi-colored leavesSeptember was called “harvest month” in Charlemagne’s calendar. September corresponds partly to the Fructidor and partly to the Vendémiaire of the first French republic.[3] On Usenet, it is said that September 1993 (Eternal September) never ended. September is called Herbstmonat, harvest month, in Switzerland.[3] The Anglo-Saxons

It is the start of meteorological autumn. The astronomical seasons are based on the position of Earth in relation to the sun, whereas the meteorological seasons are based on the annual temperature cycle.

Library card Sign up MonthSeptember is Library Card Sign-up Month.  From ALA

Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year. During the month, the American Library Association and libraries unite in a national effort to ensure every child signs-up for their own library card.

Throughout the school year, public librarians and library staff will assist parents and caregivers with saving hundreds of dollars on educational resources and services for students. From free access to STEAM programs/activities, educational apps, in-person and virtual homework help, technology workshops to the expertise of librarians, a library card is one of the most cost effective back to school supplies available.

Read a Book Dayis September 6.

National Read a Book Day

NATIONAL READ A BOOK DAY

National Read A Book Day is observed annually on September 6th.  On August 9th, we all celebrated National Book Lovers Day.  While these bookish days may seem similar, National Read a Book Day invites us ALL to grab a book we might enjoy and spend the day reading.

What book will you read?

Teddy Bear Day is September 9.

In 1902, American President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a bear cub while hunting in Mississippi. The incident made national news. Clifford Berryman published a cartoon of the event in the Washington Post on November 16th, 1902, and the caricature became an instant classic.

This cartoon by Clifford Berryman's publish in a 1902 Wiashington Post inspired the Teddy bear.

Hispanic Heritage Month  is September 15 through October 15.

Hispanic Heritage MonthThis year’s theme – Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation – invites us to reflect on Hispanic Americans‘ service and contributions to the history of our Nation. The Hispanic Heritage observance began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

Many Hispanic Americans trace their roots to the cultures of the indigenous peoples of the Americas — including the Arawaks (Puerto Rico), the Aztecs (Mexico), the Incas (South America), the Maya (Central America), and the Tainos (in Cuba, Puerto Rico and other places).

Some trace their roots to the Spanish explorers — who in the 1400s set out to find an easier and less costly way to trade with the Indies. Other Latinos trace their roots to the Africans who were brought as slaves to the New World.

For purposes of the U.S. Census, Hispanic Americans today are identified according to the parts of the world that they or their ancestors came from, including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Spain, or the nations of Central or South America.

Autumnal equinox falls on Tuesday, September  22 at 9:30 EDT.

Fall-pumpkins from Blue Mountain

Banned Book Week is September 27- October 3.

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

Banned Book Week BookcartBanned books were showcased at the 1982 American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California. At the entrance to the convention center towered large, padlocked metal cages, with some 500 challenged books stacked inside and a large overhead sign cautioning that some people considered these books dangerous.

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019–How many have you read?

Find more shareable statistics on the Free Downloads webpage.

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 377 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2019. Of the 566 books that were targeted, here are the most challenged, along with the reasons cited for censoring the books:

  1. George by Alex Gino
    Reasons: challenged, banned, restricted, and hidden to avoid controversy; for LGBTQIA+ content and a transgender character; because schools and libraries should not “put books in a child’s hand that require discussion”; for sexual references; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint and “traditional family structure”
  2. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
    Reasons: challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, for “its effect on any young people who would read it,” and for concerns that it was sexually explicit and biased
  3. A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss, illustrated by EG Keller
    Reasons: Challenged and vandalized for LGBTQIA+ content and political viewpoints, for concerns that it is “designed to pollute the morals of its readers,” and for not including a content warning
  4. Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg, illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    Reasons: Challenged, banned, and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content; for discussing gender identity and sex education; and for concerns that the title and illustrations were “inappropriate”
  5. Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
    Reasons: Challenged and restricted for featuring a gay marriage and LGBTQIA+ content; for being “a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate young children” with the potential to cause confusion, curiosity, and gender dysphoria; and for conflicting with a religious viewpoint
  6. I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
    Reasons: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content, for a transgender character, and for confronting a topic that is “sensitive, controversial, and politically charged”
  7. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
    Reasons: Banned and challenged for profanity and for “vulgarity and sexual overtones”
  8. Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
    Reasons: Challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and for concerns that it goes against “family values/morals”
  9. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
    Reasons: Banned and forbidden from discussion for referring to magic and witchcraft, for containing actual curses and spells, and for characters that use “nefarious means” to attain goals
  10. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson illustrated by Henry Cole
    Reason: Challenged and relocated for LGBTQIA+ content

I’ve read the Handmaid’s Tale and the Harry Potter series.

Cool Springs in Bentonville, Virginia

As we were driving along Gooney Manor Loop near Bentonville, Virginia, we saw  an old well across from the Cool Spring Church of God.  It looked intriguing enough to stop.

Bentonville--Memorial Sign on Well at Cool Spring

This sign provides all of the information that I could find on the spring.

Bentonville--Well at Cool Spring

The well has gone dry.

Bentonville--Well for of leaves at Cool Spring

I love the romance of a well providing cool water to local residents and trekkers as they past by on a hot, humid day in Virginia like the day we visited the well.  Lucky for us, we were on our way to Glen Manor Winery where we slaked our thirst with wine and water.

Pictures of the Church of God across the street.  According to Manta: “Our records show it was established in 1997 and incorporated in Virginia.”

The Battle of Cool Springs is not connected to this well. According to Wikipedia

The Battle of Cool Spring, also known as Castleman’s Ferry, Island Ford, Parker’s Ford, and Snicker’s Ferry, was a battle in the American Civil War fought July 17–18, 1864, in Clarke County, Virginia, as part of the Valley Campaigns of 1864. The battle was a Confederate victory.

August 26–Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote in the United States

Many people celebrated the Centennial on August 18, when the amendment was ratified by Tennessee.

19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Womens Right to Vote (1920)

19th Ammendment

The 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. Achieving this milestone required a lengthy and difficult struggle; victory took decades of agitation and protest. Beginning in the mid-19th century, several generations of woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, and practiced civil disobedience to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change of the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see final victory in 1920.

Beginning in the 1800s, women organized, petitioned, and picketed to win the right to vote, but it took them decades to accomplish their purpose. Between 1878, when the amendment was first introduced in Congress, and August 18, 1920, when it was ratified, champions of voting rights for women worked tirelessly, but strategies for achieving their goal varied. Some pursued a strategy of passing suffrage acts in each state—nine western states adopted woman suffrage legislation by 1912. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Militant suffragists used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance. Opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them.

By 1916, almost all of the major suffrage organizations were united behind the goal of a constitutional amendment. When New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917 and President Wilson changed his position to support an amendment in 1918, the political balance began to shift.

On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment, and 2 weeks later, the Senate followed. When Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, the amendment passed its final hurdle of obtaining the agreement of three-fourths of the states. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification on August 26, 1920, changing the face of the American electorate forever.

National Book Lovers Day-August 9

August 9 is National Book Lovers Day.

I am a bibliophile and have been one since childhood.  In fact, Biblio is my avatar name. Books were my favorite birthday gifts.  A week before I got married I took the GRE  test so I could go to Library School the following year.  (I knew that I wanted to be a Librarian.  But no, we did not get to sit around and read books all day.) Unlike some of my fellow librarians, I never had the urge to catalog my Golden Books.

With so many books and so little time, I’ve turned more into a tsudonko. (Tsundoku is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku, (to pile things up ready for later and leave) and dokusho (reading books).

Step back in time
  • The very first books used parchment or vellum (calf-skin) for the book pages.
  • The book covers were made of wood and often covered with leather.
  • Clasps or straps kept the books closed.
  • Public libraries appeared in the Middle Ages.
  • Public libraries often chained the books to a shelf or a desk to prevent theft.
Moving forward

Along with several recent developments, book manufacturers use digital printing. Book pages are printed using toner rather than ink. As a result of digital printing, print-on-demand opens up a whole new realm of publishing. In this case, distributors don’t print the books until the customer places the order.

More and more, people read E-books. E-book (electronic book) refers to a book-length publication in digital form. They are usually available through the internet. However, they can also be found on CD-ROM and other systems. Read an E-book on a computer or via a portable book display device known as an e-book reader, such as a Reader, Nook or Kindle.

Contributed by my friend and shipmate Bonnie Brown, when neither of us could figure out how to put it the comments.
Knowing cat

How do you plan to celebrate National Book Lovers Day?

“New” Point Loma Lighthouse has been Rehabilitated

Old Pt Loma Light up on the hill, New Pt Loma Light surrounded by USCG housing

In honor of National Lighthouse Day:

The original Pt Loma Lighthouse was built to East Coast standards, which did not take into account the persistent marine layer that lies off the west coast of North America.

Point Loma Lighthouse was used for 36 years till it was replaced in 1891 by a skeletal tower built near sea level. Now Old Point Loma Lighthouse is the centerpiece of Cabrillo National Monument, with a spectacular view of San Diego Harbor. FACTS: Point Loma Lighthouse was in operation from 1855 to 1891.

The “new’ lighthouse has been a rusting deteriorating hazard for a few years. Now it has been rehabilitated.