Friday, December 6, 2013

Library Hours for Dead Week and Finals Week

Monday, Dec. 9th - Thursday,  Dec. 12th:  7:30 am - 2:00 am
Friday, Dec. 13th: 7:30 am - 9:00 pm
Saturday, Dec 14th:  10:00 am - 10:00 pm
Sunday, Dec. 15th:  10:00 am - 2:00 am
Monday, Dec. 16th- Thursday Dec. 19th:  7:30 am - 2:00 am
Friday, Dec. 20th:  7:30 am - 4:30 pm
Saturday, Dec. 21st  2013 - Wednesday, Jan. 1st, 2014:   Closed
Open Thurs. and Fri. Jan. 2nd and 3rd 2014:   8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Food or Feet for Fines

Food or Feet for Fines
Fact Sheet
Join Heterick Memorial Library in the giving spirit of the season and donate new kid’s shoes and socks or canned goods to pay off your library fines.

December 2-13th, 2013

The process is simple:
1.   Bring your items to the circulation desk at Heterick Memorial Library
One pair of kid’s socks pays up to $3.00 worth of fines
One pair of kid’s shoes pays up to $15.00 worth of fines.
One canned good item pays up to $1.00 worth of fines.
Items will not be accepted for replacement cost of lost or damaged items.
2. Fill out a form and fines will be waived within 3 business days.
3. An email confirmation of fines waived will be sent.
Please avoid bringing canned vegetables, but all other non-perishable food items are needed. 

All items collected will be distributed to children throughout Hardin County to charities supported by ONU Women.   Canned goods will go to the Ada Food Pantry.

For more information, please contact the circulation desk at ext. 2181 or Jenny Donley at

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Break Hours

Friday, November 22    7:30AM - 4:30PM
Saturday and Sunday, November 23 and 24     Closed
Monday, November 25   Closed from 8AM - 12PM for ALICE training, open 12PM - 4:30PM
Tuesday, November 26   8AM - 4:30PM
Wednesday, November 27   8AM - 4:30PM
Thursday, November 28 - Saturday, November 30   Closed
Sunday, December 1  4PM - 12AM

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cultural Conversation Hour - November 12, 2013

Join the Office of Multicultural Development in room 301 in the library for a discussion on the use of Native American cultural identifiers among sports teams and the role of social media.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Movie Quotes Answers

Haunted @ Heterick

Following the page break are the answers to the Halloween Movie Quote Matching from Haunted @ Heterick.

(If you missed the event, you can get a copy of the Halloween Movie Quote Matching here).

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

1-2-1 Research Consultations

121 Research Consultations
The librarians of Heterick Memorial Library are pleased to announce the latest addition to our treasure chest of services, 121 Research Consultations.  While the reference desk is still manned each weekday from 8-12, 1-4:30 and 6-9pm Monday-Thursday, we’ve seen an uptick in the numbers of times groups or individuals asked to meet exclusively with a librarian about a specific research or reference question. The librarians wanted to better meet these needs and so the        121 Research Consultation service was born.
This in-depth research consultation is open to all students, faculty and staff. Sessions may run 30 or 60 minutes and are designed to assist with everything from capstone projects to database instruction to resource management or to tracking down an elusive citation or paper.

It is easy to register, just email or the Librarian of your choice with days and times you are available and the topic you are researching. The librarians will get back with you shortly to schedule an appointment. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Green Paws Certification

On October 18th, the hard work of the Heterick Library staff was recognized by Mr. Bill Kent, head of the ONU Recycling Program.  
The Green Paw Certification aims at recognizing offices, departments and faculty who incorporate sustainability into their actions. In order, to become certified, 75 percent of the actions on the application must be completed by 75 percent of the office’s colleagues.
The staff of the Heterick Memorial Library has been
awarded the gold-level Green Paw Certification
for their work on energy conservation and

Bill Kent (L) and library staff

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hill Building Fire Display

Do you recognize this campus structure? If not, check out the display in
the case near the front door and find out how it became…….

Or read more at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chronicle of Higher Education

Did you know that Heterick Memorial Library subscribes to the online version of the Chronicle of Higher Education?  

Get all the latest news about what is happening in higher education right in your office.  On campus, you can browse the Chronicle simply by going to the Chronicle's website (; all articles are available through our on-campus IP access.  At home, go to the library's homepage and then the Databases tab and look up the Chronicle to connect via the off-campus link.  All you need is your name and ONU ID number to connect!

Friday, September 27, 2013

William L. Robinson Display

Please visit Heterick Memorial Library to see the display created by our archivist, 
Paul Logsdon in honor of William L. Robinson and his many years of service to ONU.  
Ohio Northern University will dedicate Dial-Roberson Stadium’s newly installed artificial turf as “Bill Robinson Field” during the halftime of ONU’s football game against Mount Union on Saturday,Oct 5 at 1:30PM.  
For more information go to:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Search tool at HML!

Heterick Memorial Library introduces Search, a new way to explore the library’s resources for the campus community.  Search provides a seamless, easy tool for simultaneously searching the library’s catalog, the OhioLINK catalog and many of the library’s databases including the Web of Science, JSTOR and all of the EBSCO databases.  Search results will include articles, books, e-books and other materials.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

April 26...Arbor Day

April 26—Today is Arbor Day. What is your favorite kind of bird?

Here are some fun facts about birds:

The most yolks ever found in a single chicken’s egg is nine.

An ostrich egg needs to be boiled for 2 hours to get a hard-boiled egg.

The egg of the hummingbird is the world’s smallest bird’s egg; the egg of the ostrich is the world’s largest.

A bird’s normal body temperature is usually 7-8 degrees hotter than a human’s.

A bird’s heart beats 400 times per minute while resting and up to 1000 beats per minute while flying.

The kiwi of New Zealand is the only wingless bird.

Falcons can swoop at over 200 mph.

Penguins, ostriches, and dodo birds are all birds that do not fly.

Hummingbirds eat about every ten minutes, slurping down twice their body weight in nectar every day.

The only know poisonous bird in the world is the hooded pitohui of Papua, New Guinea.  The poison is found in its skin and feathers.

Found at

April 25...the beginning of the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee, WA

April 25—Today is the beginning of the Washington State Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee, WA. What is your favorite kind of apple?

Here are some fun facts about apples:

The science of apple cultivation is called Pomology.

The average person eats 65 apples every year.

Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California produce the most apples in the US.

Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith apples are the most popular varieties in the US.

The only variety to originate in North America is the Crabapple.

Apple trees only bear fruit after they reach the age of 5, but most trees can live to be over 100.

The tiniest apples are about the size of a pea, and the largest apples can be the size of a small pumpkin.

It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.

There are more than 8,000 varieties of apples.

The fear of apples is called Malusdomesticaphobia.


April 24...Barbra Streisand’s birthday

April 24—Today is Barbra Streisand’s birthday. What is your favorite Barbra Streisand song or movie?

Barbra Streisand, an actress, singer, director, composer, producer, designer, author, photographer, and activist, is the only artist ever to receive Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Directors Guild of America, Golden Globe, National Medal of Arts, and Peabody Awards and France’s Legion d’honneur as well as the American Film Institue’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  She is also the first female film director to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.

Streisand won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress in “Funny Girl,” the first motion picture she starred in.

Streisand is the only performer to have number one albums in five consecutive decades.  Of her 51 gold albums, she has had 30 go platinum and 18 go multi-platinum.

Along with these talents, Streisand is the founder of The Streisand Foundation, which has given millions of dollars to non-profit organizations, and she often raises money through her performances.

April 23...William Shakespeare's Birth and Death Anniversary

April 23—Today is William Shakespeare’s Birth and Death Anniversary (1564-1616). Write a poem.

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1590 and died on April 23, 1613.  During his lifetime, Shakespeare wrote 38 plays and various sonnets and poetry.  Shakespeare’s plays are the most widely read English text behind the Bible.

Even though Shakespeare only went to school until he was 13, his vocabulary included 21,000 words!  During his time, the average vocabulary for his village was less than 500.  Even today, most authors’ vocabulary does not exceed 7,500, and the average person with a University degree has only 3,000 to 4,000.

Shakespeare made up many of the words he used in his writing.  He invented over 1,700 of the words now commonly used in English.  These include words such as dwindle, fashionable, negotiate, cold-blooded, and rant

Not all of Shakespeare’s vocabulary is still used today.  Words such as incarnadine (to make red with blood), bodikins (little bodies), and to fishify (to turn into fish) are no longer used in everyday conversation.  Other words, such as overview (supervision) and  revolting (rebellious) have changed meaning since Shakespeare’s time.

April 22...Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day. What is your favorite place on Earth?

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970.  It was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin.  The first Earth Day was a day of rallies and demonstrations calling for a healthy, sustainable environment.  It also led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act.

Earth Day 2000 focused on global warming and clean energy.  5,000 environmental groups from 184 countries turned out for the campaign.  Hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and was the first time that the internet was used to build awareness.

Today, over one billion people in 192 countries are participating in Earth Day events.  In Columbus, Ohio, the group Green Columbus is utilizing volunteers to pull invasive plants, clean up neighborhoods, and plant trees.

In Santa Barbara, California, thousands of people attend the local Earth Day Festival, where they have live music, speakers, and a Green Car Show.

In Seoul, South Korea, they are organizing an “Eco-style” Earth Day Flash Mob and hosting an Earth Day Walkathon and Earth Day exhibition in collaboration with the Earth Day Network.

What will you do to celebrate Earth Day?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 17...National Haiku Poetry Day

Today is National Haiku Poetry Day. Write a Haiku.

Sometimes I feel fine
Others, I feel sort of off
So I eat ice cream

The woman stood still
Looking out over the sea
The waves bring the fish

Sometimes Haikus work
Some of them don't make much sense

Regardless of time
A dog is glad to see you
Their memories suck

Birthday cake is good
Cupcakes are even better
Ice cream is the best

Once upon a time
Starts many a good story
Some even end well

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16...National Library Workers Day

Today is National Library Workers Day. What can the staff do to help you today?

Check out the history of the Heterick Memorial Library. Complete with a slideshow! Compiled by Paul Logsdon, Library Director.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 5th...National Deep Dish Pizza Day. What is your favorite pizza topping?

Today is National Deep Dish Pizza Day.  What is your favorite pizza topping?

National Deep Dish Pizza Day was established in 2009 to commemorate this style of pizza crust, created in Chicago, and the 65th anniversary of its original creator, UNO.

The Boston based company, ONU Restaurant Holdings Corporation, owns 165 full service UNO Chicago Grill restaurants in 26 states (but unfortunately none in Ada).

ONU sells 4.4 million deep dish pizzas every year, which is enough to feed the population of Ireland.

The most popular pizza topping is cheese, followed by pepperoni and Italian sausage.  Nearly 35% of all the pizzas ordered have pepperoni on them.

The least popular pizza topping is anchovies.  Anchovies are small fish that taste very salty, and most pizza restaurants do not even carry them.

Today is a good day to make a trip to any of the local pizza places in town, or simply call them up and place an order.

Written by Gayle Riedel, Heterick Memorial Library Intern

April 4th...National D.A.R.E. Day. What do you think is the best reason to be drug free?

Today is National D.A.R.E. Day.  What do you think is the best reason to be drug free?

D.A.R.E., or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is an international education program founded in 1983 that seeks to prevent use of drugs, bullying, and violent behavior.

Here are 16 things to do instead of taking drugs:
1. Play sports.
2. Spend time doing a hobby or learn a new hobby.
3. Talk on the phone with your friends.
4. Play a video game.
5. Finish a quiz or learn something new.
6. Spend time with your parents and grandparents.
7. Study or do your homework.
8. Listen to music.
9. Do work for your community or help someone in need.
10. Play a board game.
11. Watch TV.
12. Draw.
13. See a movie.
14. Play on the computer.
15. Talk to your friends on the Internet.
16. Read a good book.

Found at:

Written by Gayle Riedel, Heterick Memorial Library Intern

April 2nd...International Children’s Book Day. What is your favorite children’s book?

Today is International Children’s Book Day.  What is your favorite children’s book?

Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, wrote and illustrated 46 children’s books, including popular titles such as Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who!, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!.

The Cat in the Hat has been translated into more than 12 different languages, and 11 million copies have been printed. 

The film version of The Cat in the Hat, starring Mike Myers as the Cat in the Hat and Dakota Fanning as Sally, was the second feature-length adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ books.

The first movie adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ works was How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or The Grinch, which came out in 2000.  The lead character, the Grinch, is played by Jim Carrey.

The Grinch is the second highest-grossing holiday film of all time behind Home Alone.

Written by Gayle Riedel, Heterick Memorial Library Intern

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Books and Media for March

Check out all the new books and media the library purchased in March!

Go to the New Books and Media link from the library homepage or click here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Today is...Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. What is your holiday?

My personal holiday would be Fun Facts Day!

The record for the highest seasonal total snowfall was measured at Mount Baker Ski Area outside Bellingham, Washington during the 1998-1999 winter season, with 95 feet of snow.

Bellingham, Washington has the Bellingham Theatre Guild, a non-profit community theater that Hilary Swank performed at before moving to LA to pursue acting as a career.

Swank made her acting debut in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie.

Though both written by Joss Whedon, the movie and tv versions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer do not have continuity. Whedon wrote the pilot of the show as a sequel to his original screenplay, which changed dramatically in filming.

Joss Whedon has been nominated for one Academy Award: Best Original Screenplay for Toy Story.

Toy Story was the first feature-length computer-animated film. It was also the first film produced by Pixar.

Pixar started as a division of Lucasfilm in 1979 before its spin-out as a corporation in 1986, funded by Steve Jobs. When The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006, Jobs became Disney's largest shareholder.

Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4.05 billion. Around the same time, Disney and Lucasfilm announced the future release of new Star Wars films, starting with Episode VII in 2015.

J.J. Abrams, who previously directed Star Trek, will be the director of Star Wars Episode VII.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Today is...Tolkien Reading Day

Today is Tolkien Reading Day. What is your favorite fantasy novel?

Fantasy literature has been around since the 1400s, but it wasn't until the advent of high fantasy and the popularity of Tolkein that allowed fantasy to enter the mainstream, in the 1930s and 40s.

Only five authors have had fantasy novels debut at number one on the New York Times Best Seller list: Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Terry Goodkind, and Patrick Rothfuss.

Fantasy novels are part of a genre of fiction known as Speculative fiction, which also includes Alternate history, Horror fiction, and Science fiction.

The Hugo Awards are a set of awards given annually for the best sci-fi or fantasy works.

Robert A. Heinlein has received the most Hugos for Best Novel, with 5 along with 11 nominations. Other notable Hugo Best Novel winners include  Philip K. Dick,  J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Robert J. Sawyer, and Orson Scott Card.

Harlan Ellison has received the most Hugos for Best Short Story with 4. Connie Willis has received teh most Hugos for Best Novella also with 4.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Today is...the birth anniversary of animator/producer Joe Barbera

Today is the birth anniversary of animator/producer Joe Barbera. What is your favorite cartoon?

Joe Barbera and William Hanna co-founded Hanna-Barbera, which became the most successful television animation studio, in 1957.

Together, they won 7 Academy Awards and 8 Emmy Awards.

The first Hanna-Barbera show produced was The Ruff & Reddy Show, an animated series starring a smart cat and a stupid dog. It began in December of 1957. Other shows from the 50s included The Huckleberry Hound Show, and The Quick Draw McGraw Show.

The 1960s were big for Hanna-Barbera with shows such as The Flintstones, The Yogi Bear Show, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Wacky Races.

One of the most popular Hanna-Barbera series was The Smurfs, which began airing in 1981 and ran for 9 seasons.

Don Messick was a voice actor who worked most notably with Hanna-Barbera, giving voice to characters such as Scooby-Doo, Bam Bam Rubble, Astro the dog, Dr. Benton Quest, and Papa Smurf.

The last shows that Hanna-Barbera produced were co-produced by Cartoon Network. The last three shows were Dexter's Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and the Powerpuff Girls.

Hanna-Barbera ceased to be beginning in 2001 when William Hanna died of throat cancer. Barbera continued to work for Warner Brothers until his dead in 2006.

Hanna-Barbera is now an in-name-only unit of Warner Bros. Animation.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Today is...National Puppy Day

Today is National Puppy Day. What is your favorite kind of puppy?

All puppies are cute, but Golden Retriever puppies are the cutest.

                                                 (Photo from The American Kennel Club)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Today is...As Young as You Feel Day

Today is As Young as You Feel Day. How young do you feel?

Ideas for feeling young:

Play outside in the snow/dirt/mud

Splash in a puddle

Spin in a circle until you get so dizzy you fall down

Read a picture book

Eat ridiculously sugary cereal

Lay on the floor and throw a temper-tantrum

Play with dolls/action figures

Color with crayons

Eat ice cream and get it all over your face

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today is...Memory Day

Today is Memory Day. What is your favorite memory of ONU?

Short-term memory, the recall of information for a period of several seconds to a minute without rehearsal, has a limited capacity. According to George A. Miller at a study at Bell Laboratories, it was shown that the short-term memory storage was 7 +/- 2 items.

Long-term memory can store large quantities of information for a potentially unlimited duration. The capacity for long-term memory is immeasurable.

In 2007, German researchers found they could use odor to re-activate new memories in people while they slept, causing volunteers to remember things better.

Though it is a generally held idea that goldfish have a three second memory, they can actually be trained. Dr. Phil Gee of the University of Plymouth trained goldfish to push levers. The levers only gave food for an hour of the day and the goldfish knew when to push the levers and remembered where they were.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today is...Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day

Today is the birth anniversary of Fred Rogers, also known as Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day. What is your favorite children’s program?

Fred McFeely Rogers was born on March 20, 1928 in Latrobe Pennsylvania.

Before creating Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Rogers was a Presbyterian minister.

Rogers created Mister Rogers' Neighborhood because he hated kids tv. He wanted a show that nurtured those who watched.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began airing in 1969 and ran for 895 episodes.

Rogers felt that it was important to be his honest self on his show and acted exactly the same off screen as on screen.

The only time Rogers appeared on television not as himself was when he played a preacher on an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

Eddie Murphy did a parody on Saturday Night Live called Mister Robinson's Neighborhood, which Rogers found amusing and affectionate.

Michael Keaton, famous for Beetlejuice and Batman & Batman Returns, got his first major acting break as a "Neighborhood of Make-Believe" character.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Today is...the start of National Wildlife Week

Today is the start of National Wildlife Week. What is your favorite wildlife creature?

To celebrate National Wildlife Week, please enjoy these animal fun facts!

The male Anglerfish is much smaller than the female. To mate, he latches onto her with teeth and starts to disappear, leaving only the testes, which the female uses to impregnate herself.

In 1760, the College of Physicians and Faculty of Divinity in Paris classified the beaver as a fish because of its scaly tail. As a result, beaver can be eaten during Lent.

Catfish have more taste buds than any other creature.

Genertically speaking, every cheetah living today is as close as an identical twin to every other cheetah.

Pigeons process visual information three times faster than humans. If a pigeon watched a 24 frame per second film (the normal frame rate), it would look like a slide show to them. They would need at least 75 frames per second to create the illusion of movement on the screen.

A rat can swim for 72 hours non-stop.

The average spider will spin more than four miles of silk in a lifetime.

The kiwi bird has the shortest bill of all the birds since bills are measured from the tip to the nostril and the kiwi has nostrils at the end of its beak.

Camels originated on the continent of America 20 million years ago. After spreading to other continents by the Bering Strait when it was land. They then became extinct in North America during the last Ice Age.

Giant Pandas have the biggest teeth of all mammals.

A group of baboons is called a congress.

The longest animal in the world is the Bootlace worm, which can be up to 180 feet long. Its mucus is toxic.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Today is...Ides of March

Today is Ides of March. What is your favorite Shakespeare work?

The Roman calendar did not number days sequentially from first until last day; instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month: the Nones (5th or 7th), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st).

The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, which put it midpoint of the month. This was on the 13th except for March, May, July, and October when it fell on the 15th.

The Ides each month were sacred to Jupiter and involved a sacrifice each month.

In the Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year. The Romans celebrated the new year from the first until the Ides.

The Ides of March was the Feast of Anna Perenna, a goddess of the year.

In 44 BCE, Julius Caesar was assassinated by stabbing at a meeting of the senate.

Brutus and Cassius lead as many as 60 conspirators.

According to Plutarch, a Greek historian who lived from AD 46 to AD 120, Caesar was warned by a seer that harm would come to him no later than the Ides of March.

On the 4th anniversary of Caesar's death in 40 BCE, Augustus executed 300 senators and knights who fought against him under Lucius Antonios. The executions were one of many actions taken by August to avenge Caesar's death.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Today is...Pi Day

Today is Pi Day: a day to celebrate pi—the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (3:14). What is your favorite pie?

Pie first appeared around 9500 BC in the Egyptian Neolithic period. They started out as freeform, flat, pastry wrapped around honey, called a gallette.

The first reference to "pyes" appeared in the 12th century in England.

King Henry VI had Peacock pie at his coronation in 1429.

Though apple pie became a symbol of American prosperity and national pride in the 19th and 20th centuries, it has its history in England, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Some pies are pies in name only, like the Boston cream pie, which is actually a cake.

Through pie at someone can be either a slapstick act or a political statement, depending on the target and intention.

The first "pie to the face" gag was in the silent film Mr. Flip, starring Ben Turpin in 1909, where a pie was pushed into his face for taking liberties with a woman.

The first political pieing was in 1970 when the founder of High Times magazine, Thomas King Forcade pied Otto N. Larsen, the Chairman of the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today is...the anniversary of the introduction of the Ken doll

On this day in 1961, Mattel introduced the Ken Carson doll—a boyfriend for Barbie. What is your favorite childhood toy?

Ken's full name is Ken Sean Carson. He was created in 1961 as a boyfriend for Barbie. Ken and Barbie met on the set of a TV commercial.

Ken got underwear permanently molded onto his body in 1977, along with a more muscular physique, his dimpled smile, and arms that bent.

Ken's best friend is Allan Sherwood, who is Midge's boyfriend and later her husband.

In February 2004, Ken and Barbie broke up, though they remain friends. The separation was rumored to be partially due to Ken's reluctance to getting married.

Ken and Barbie may have rekindled their relationship in 2006, though there is no solid evidence to that fact.

In the 53 years that Ken has been dating Barbie, he has held at least 40 different jobs.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Today is...the Anniversary of the founding of the Girls Scouts

On this day in 1912, the Girl Scouts of the USA was founded. What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

Girl Scouts have sold cookies since 1917.

There are up to 28 varieties of Girl Scout cookies offered.

Thin Mints comprise 25% of the sales.

The current flavors include:

Thin Mints
Caramel deLites (Samoas)
Peanut Butter Patties (Tagalongs)
Peanut Butter Sandwiches (Do-sidos)
Shortbreads (Trefoils)
Mango Cremes
Savannah Smiles
Dulce de Leche
Thank You Berry Munch

Monday, March 11, 2013

Today is...Bobby McFerrin’s birthday

Today is Bobby McFerrin’s birthday. McFerrin is best known for his 1988 hit “Don’t worry, be Happy.” What makes you happy?

Bobby McFerrin was born on March 11, 1950 in Manhattan, NYC.

"Don't Worry, Be Happy" was released in September 1988. It became the first a cappella song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men spent the most weeks at #1 with 16 weeks.

Nicki Minaj's Starships spent 21 weeks in the top 10, the most consecutive weeks in the top ten ever.

The song with the most total weeks on the Hot 100 is "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz, staying there for 76 weeks.

Elvis Presley has the most top 40 singles, with 80. Madonna has the most top 10 singles with 38. The Beatles hold the record for most #1 singles with 20.

Cher became the oldest female to hit #1 for "Believe" when she was 52.

Bad by Michael Jackson and Teenage Dream both hold the record for most #1 singles from an album with 5 each.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Today is...the anniversary of the transition of the first telephone message

On this day in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first telephone message. What is your favorite cell phone feature?

The first transmitted message was "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you".

Bell's suggestion for how to answer the phone was with "Ahoy!" instead of "Hello!"

Bell was not actually the first person to invent the telephone, he was just the first person to patent the idea. Most notably upset by this was Antonio Meucci who was unable to pay a $10 fee that would have stopped a patent being given to Bell.

The German phrase for cellphone is "mein handy".

The use of "hello" as a telephone greeting was suggested by Thomas Edison to the president of the Central District and Printing Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh.

The first mobile phone call was made from a car in 1946.

The first text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone in 1992 in the UK. The first phone-to-phone text message was sent in Finland in 1993.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Today is...the Birth Anniversary of Dr. Seuss

Today is the birth anniversary of Theodor Giesel (Dr. Seuss). What is your favorite Dr. Seuss Book?

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Geisel went to Dartmouth, where he was in Sigma Phi Epsilon and the editor-in-chief of the humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern.

Geisel was caught drinking gin with friends in his room, resulting in him being forced to resign all extracurricular activities, including the magazine.

To continue writing for the magazine without the administrations knowledge, he started signing work with the pen name Seuss.

The correct pronunciation of Seuss actually rhymes it with voice. His collaborator on the Jack-O-Lantern wrote a poem to teach people how to pronounce it:

You're wrong as the deuce
And you shouldn't rejoice
If you're calling his Seuss.
He pronounces it Soice
     --Alexander Liang,

He eventually switched the pronuncation because it associated him with Mother Goose.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Today is...the Anniversary of Ohio being admitted as the 17th State

On this day in 1803, Ohio was admitted as the 17 U.S. State. What is your favorite thing about Ohio?

Here are some Ohio fun facts to celebrate!

Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the United States. California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania are the only states with more people.

Ohio was the 17th state admitted to the Union and was the first under the Northwest Ordinance, the ordinance that established the Northwest Territory.

The Northwest Ordinance banned slavery in the new territory thereby making the Ohio river the boundary between free and slave territories between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River.

Though President Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution on February 19, 1803, Congress never formally passed the resolution making Ohio a state. Though not technically required, this was an oversight, which was rectified on August 7, 1953 when President Eisenhower signed an act that officially declared Ohio a state as of March 1, 1803.

in 1853 Ohio and Michigan "fought" in the Toledo War, which was a mostly bloodless war for the Toledo Strip. Michigan lost the Toledo Strip when Congress intervened to say that the original boundaries of Ohio would stick, but gave Michigan the Upper Peninsula as a consolation  The UP proved to be extremely profitable to Michigan due to copper and iron deposits along with timber.

During the Civil War, Ohio provided more soldiers per-capita than any other state in the Union.

Ohio is known as the birthplace of aviation. This was made official in June 2003 by a U.S. House vote, ending the argument between Ohio (the Wright Brothers are from Dayton, Ohio) and North Carolina (the first flight from the Wright Brothers was in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina).

Ohio has produced 24 astronauts, more than any other state, the most famous being John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Today is...National Tooth Fairy Day

Today is National Tooth Fairy Day. Who/what is your favorite make-believe character?

The Tooth Fairy has very few details as to its origin. The myth seems to come from Europe with the tradition to bury baby teeth that fell out. On the 6th tooth, the parents would leave a gift or money.

In northern Europe, there was a tooth fee that was paid when a child lost their first tooth.

The current average amount children receive in the US is $2.60 per tooth (When I was a kid, I got $.50).

In a 1984 study, 74% of people thought that the tooth fairy was female, while 7% thought the tooth fairy could be male or female.

There is a related myth in Spanish and Hispanic American cultures, originating in Madrid in 1894, that when a child looses a tooth, the Ratoncito Perez (Perez Mouse) will exchange it for a gift.

There is a tradition in Asian countries to through teeth onto the roof if the tooth came from the lower jaw, or beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw. While doing so, it is traditional to give a prayer  for the tooth to be replaced with a mouse.

Relatedly, Finland has a tooth troll, Hammaspeikko, which is used to explain tooth decay to children.

Today is...Inconvenience Yourself Day

Today is Inconvenience Yourself Day. What will you go out of your way to do today?

A smattering of random fun facts for your day!

The Immortal jellyfish lives forever. After having sex, it can turn back into a child, regenerating its cells. Immortal Jellyfish can only die by being eaten or by disease.

6% of Americans and 25% of Britons do not believe the moon landing actually happened. Buzz Aldrin once punched someone for saying that. 12 people have walked on the moon.

As a commodity, the whole human body is worth approximately $635,000, including all the organs and trace metals.

The brain is 80% water.

A hagfish can turn 20 liters of water into slime in one minute. It can also tie itself into a knot.

Tomatoes eat insects. Tomato plants trap insects in the furry layer of their stems until they die and fall off. As the insect dissolves into the soil, the plant will absorb the nutrients.

A vampire bat is most likely to bite your big toe.

Termites create the most methane in the world.

The first animals to be herded for food were snails in the year 10,700 BC.

Mercury was once used to cure syphilis, though if it is used, it turns your teeth green (and poisons you).

A Blue Whale cannot swallow anything bigger than a grapefruit.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Today is...National Personal Chef Day

Today is National Personal Chef Day. What are you hungry for?

The word "chef" is from the term "chef de cuisine" meaning director or head of a kitchen. The French word comes from the Latin caput, which is chief in English.

A personal chef is a chef who is hired by different clients and prepares meals in the clients' home kitchen.

This is different than a private chef, which refers to a chef who is employed exclusively by one client.

The idea of a "chef" in England came about with Haute cuisine, in the 19th century. Haute cuisine refers to gourmet restaurants and meticulously prepared and presented food.

The first cookbook to go beyond medieval recipes and the first to present haute cuisine was written by Lancelot de Casteau.

Medieval cuisine was relatively unchanged from the 5th to the 16th century, focusing on the staple of cereal.

Food Network was founded on April 19, 1993 and launched on November 23, 1993. Emeril Lagasse was one of the original line-up, with Mario Batali and Bobby Flay joining the network in 1995.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Today is...The Snow Moon

Today is the Snow Moon: February Full Moon. When do you think it will start to get warm again?

A Snow Moon is the traditional name for a full moon that occurs in February.

The other names for the full moon in February are Storm moon, Hunger moon, Little Famine moon, and Full Bony moon.

The other months are as follows:

January - Wolf moon
March - Sap moon
April - Growing moon
May - Flower moon
June - Strawberry moon
July - Hay moon
August - Corn moon
September - Harvest moon
October - Hunter's moon
November - Beaver moon
December - Winter moon

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Today is...the 85th Academy Awards Ceremony

Today is the 85th Academy Awards ceremony. What film do you think deserves to win best picture this year?

To celebrate, here are some Academy Award firsts/records:

First non-Caucasian to win a directing award - Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain in 2005
First woman to win Best Director - Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2008
First animated film to be nominated for Best Picture - Beauty and the Beast in 1991
First X-rated film to win (and to be nominated) for Best Picture - Midnight Cowboy in 1969

Youngest winner for acting - Tatum O'Neal, age 10 for Paper Moon in 1973
Youngest winner for Best Director - Norman Taurog, age 32 for Skippy in 1931
Oldest winner for Best Director - Clint Eastwood, age 74 for Million Dollar Baby in 2004
Oldest winner for an acting award - Christopher Plummer, age 82 for Beginners in 2011

Most Oscars won without winning Best Picture - Cabaret with 8 in 1972
Most nominations without a Best Picture nomination - They Shoot Horses, Don't They with 9 in 1969
Most nominations without any wins - The Turning Point in 1977 and The Color Purple in 1985, both with 11
Highest "perfect score" - Mark Berger, nominated and won 4 Oscars for sound editing
Lowest grossing film to win Best Picture - The Hurt Locker
Longest film to win Best Picture - Gone with the Wind

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Today is...World Sword Swallowers Day

Today is World Sword Swallowers Day. What daring or dangerous thing would you like to learn to do?

Sword swallowing originated at some point before 2000 BC in India. It isn't swallowing as much as repressing swallowing to put a sword through the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach.

Sword swallowing was sometimes used as a demonstration of divine power. But then was transformed into a theatre act.

In the 1900s, sword swallowing was most often seen as part of circus sideshow acts, which also included fire eating, knife throwing, body piercing, and lying on a bed of nails.

Rasputin's daughter Maria worked as a dancer and tiger and lion trainer for the Ringling Brothers Circus. She was mauled by a bear in Peru, Indiana, but stayed with the circus.

Peru, Indiana is the Circus Capital of the World due to being the winter headquarters for several famous circuses, including Ringling Brothers, Hagenbeck-Wallace, and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Today is the anniversary of the release of It Happened One Night

On this day in 1934, It Happened One Night, starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, was released. The romantic comedy was the first film to sweep all major Academy Awards. What is your favorite Academy Award winning movie for Best Picture?

It Happened One Night won Best Picture, Best Director for Frank Capra, Best Actor for Clark Gable, Best Actress for Claudette Colbert, and Best Screenplay for Robert Riskin.

The other two pictures that have swept the main categories are One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 1975 and Silence of the Lambs in 1991.

No actor has won Best Lead Actor more than twice. If Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor are combined both Walter Brennan and Jack Nicholson have won 3 times (Nicholson 2 Best Actor, 1 Best Supporting Actor; Brennan, 3 Best Support Actor).

Spencer Tracy and Laurence Olivier were both nominated for 9 Best Actor Oscars; Jack Nicholson was nominated for 12 Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor Oscars.

Adrien Brody is the youngest Best Lead Actor winner, winning at 29.

Katharine Hepburn won the most Best Lead Actress Oscars with 4.

Meryl Streep has been nominated for 14 separate Best Lead Actress awards and 3 Best Supporting Actress Oscars.

Marlee Matlin is the youngest Best Lead Actress winner, winning at 21.

John Ford has won the most Best Director Oscars with 4; William Wyler was nominated the most number of times, at 12, with 3 wins.

Ben-Hur, Titanic, and The Return of the King have all won 11 Academy Awards, the most of any movie.

The Return of the King is the only film to win in every category it was nominated for.

Walt Disney won 22 Oscars, the most of any man; Disney also won the most in one year, with 4.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Today is...the anniversary of the publication of the New Yorker magazine

Today is the anniversary of the publication of the New Yorker magazine. What is your favorite magazine?

The New Yorker's first issue was released on February 21, 1925.

It was founded by Harold Ross, who wanted to create a sophisticated humor magazine.

Though continuing on its path of humor, The New Yorker also started establishing itself as a forum for serious fiction literature and journalism. Some of the respected writers that have been published include Roald Dahl, Haruki Murakami, J.D. Salinger, John Updike, E.B. White, and Shirley Jackson.

Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" drew more mail than any other story in the magazine's history.

"The Lottery" was published on June 26, 1948 and is today ranked as one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature.

Response to the story was extremely negative, causing readers to cancel subscriptions and send hate mail. It was banned in South Africa.

The most reprinted cartoon for The New Yorker was by Peter Steiner's 1993 cartoon of "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog".

The total circulation of The New Yorker as of 2012 was 1,043, 792.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Today is...the anniversary of the closest a comet as approached Earth

On this day in 1491, an unnamed comet made the closest ever approach to Earth, coming within 860,000 miles. If given the chance what would you have named the comet?

In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven's Gate cult committed suicide in order to reach what they believed was an alien space craft following the Hale-Bopp comet.

The Heaven's Gate members believed that the Earth was about to be "recycled" and that they needed to leave it immediately if they wanted to survive.

They believed the human body was just a vehicle to help them on their journey.

The leaders, Applewhite and Nettles, adopted the idea of ancient astronauts who populated current humanity. Supposedly the aliens had come to reap the harvest of their work, choosing people to join the ranks of flying saucer crews.

The group asserted that a mass suicide was the only way to evacuate Earth, claiming that a space ship was trailing Hale-Bopp. A few months prior to the suicide, the group purchased alien abduction insurance to cover up to 50 members.

The members took phenobarbital, an anti-seizure medicine, mixed with pineapple, washed down with vodka. They also secured plastic bags around their heads to induce asphyxiation.

Each body had a five-dollar bill and three quarters in their pockets, which was for the interplanetary toll.

The brother of Nichelle Nichols, best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura in the original Star Trek series, was among the dead. Possibly related, the Heaven's Gate cult used numerous Star Trek references, including arm bands that read "Heaven's Gate Away Team".

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Today is...the birth anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus

Today is the birth anniversary of Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543). How do you want to leave your mark on the world?

Nicolaus Copernicus was born on February 19, 1473 in Torun in Royal Prussia, part of the Kingdom of Poland.

Copernicus is most remembered for his astronomical model, which put the Sun near the center of the Universe, with the planets rotating around it.

Though Copernicus is most well known for a heliocentric system, there were astronomical models with the Sun in the center from as far back as Philolaus in approximately 400 BCE.

Johannes Kepler proposed an alternative model to the Copernican one but making the planetary orbit ellipses instead of circles. 

The immediate response from the Catholic Church to Copernicus was mild controversy. Galileo was suspected of heresy and put on house arrest for the last decade of his life for following the position of Copernicus.

Part of why Copernicus probably did not stir as much controversy with the church is that he died prior to the publication of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). He was presented with an advance copy the day he died.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Today is...Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day. Who is your favorite president?

President's Day is a federal holiday that celebrates George Washington's birthday. It is celebrated the third Monday of February.

It started as a federal holiday honoring Washington in 1879 in the government offices and expanded to all federal offices in 1885.

The first attempt to change Washington's Birthday to Presidents Day was in 1951.

George Washington's date of birth is either February 22 or Feburary 11, depending on if you use the New Style or Old Style dates.

New Style dates use the Gregorian calendar that we currently use. Old Style dates use the Julian calendar start date, which many historical documents are dated as.

George Washington is the only president to receive 100 percent of the electoral votes. He won unanimously in 1789 and 1792.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Today is...Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Birthday

Today is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s birthday. He was born on February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California.

Some highlights from Joseph Gordon-Levitt's career include:

3rd Rock from the Sun
10 Things I Hate About You
Treasure Planet
(500) Days of Summer
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
The Dark Knight Rises

What is your favorite Joseph Gordon-Levitt film?

(My personal favorite JGL movie is 10 Things I Hate About You)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Today is...LeVar Burton's Birthday

Today is LeVar Burton’s birthday. Burton is best known for his roles in Roots and Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as hosting Reading Rainbow. What is your favorite educational program?

LeVar Burton was born on February 16, 1957 in Landstuhl, West Germany, but was raised in Sacramento, California.

Burton rose to fame by playing Kunta Kinte in the 1997 drama series Roots. He earned a Best Actor in a Drama Emmy nomination for it.

Starting in 1983, Burton was the host and executive producer for Reading Rainbow on PBS. It ran for 23 seasons, all of which Burton hosted.

Reading Rainbow has won a Peabody Award and 26 Emmy Awards.

LeVar Burton is on the board of directors for the Directors Guild of America. He has directed episode of shows such as Charmed, JAG, and Las Vegas, along with Disney Channel movie Smart House and indie film Blizzard, which earned Best of Fest at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Today is...The Simpson’s creator Matt Groening’s birthday

Today is The Simpson’s creator Matt Groening’s birthday. What is your favorite cartoon?

Matt Groening was born on February 15, 1954, in Portland, Oregon.

Groening's first professional cartoon was Life in Hell. It was launched in 1977 and ran until 2012.

In 1985, he was discovered by James L. Book, who was a producer on the Tracy Ullman show. He hired Groening to create shorts.

Marge, Homer, Lisa, and Maggie are named after Groening's family, but Bart is just an anagram of brat.

The Simpsons premiered as an individual show on December 17, 1989.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today is...Valentine's Day

Today is Saint Valentine’s Day. What will you do for your valentine today?

There are two Saint Valentines who are honored on February 14, Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni.

Saint Valentine's Day did not have any romantic connotations until Chaucer's poem about Valentines in the 14th century.

The earliest surviving valentine is a 15th century poem by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife.

The modern cliche of "Roses are red, violets are blue" can be tracked back to 1784 in a collection of nursey rhymes called Gammer Gurton's Garland.

The U.S. Greeting Card Association estimates that approximately 190 million valentines are sent each year.

Valentine's Day also marks the anniversary of the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre, the conflict in 1929 between Al Capone's South Side Italians and Bugs Moran's North Side Irish that resulted in the death of 7.

The massacre was meant to take out Moran, though Moran was not one of the victims. It is alleged that Albert Weinschenk, an occasional employee of Moran looked similar to Moran, which started the massacre before Moran arrived.

The massacre really took an even worse turn for Capone, in that the public outrage marked the beginning of the end of Capone's influence in Chicago.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Today is...the birth anniversary of Darwin and Lincoln

Today is the birth anniversaries of Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln. What historical figure do you most admire?

Charles Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 in Shropshire, England.

Charles was the grandson of Josiah Wedgwood, the creator of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons pottery.

Darwin married his first cousin, another of Wedgwood's grandchildren, Emma. Before deciding to marry her, Darwin made a pro/con list. Pros included companion in old age and better than a dog; Cons included terrible loss of time and less money for books.

Abraham Lincoln was also born on February 12, 1809. He was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Prior to marrying Lincoln, Mary Todd was courted by Stephen Douglass, the Democratic nominee to the 1860 Presidential election. The election Lincoln won.

Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, an actor who was also a Confederate sympathizer.

Booth was subsequently shot by Boston Corbett, a Union Army soldier and part of the New York Cavalry Regiment that was sent to apprehend Booth. Corbett was arrested for disobeying orders to take Booth alive, though the charges were later dropped.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Today is...Satisfied Staying Single Day

Today is Satisfied Staying Single Day. What are the perks of the single life?

On the shelf: from 1800s, of women, without prospects of marrying

Bachelor: an unmarried man of marriageable age

Bachelor woman: also bachelor-girl or bachelor-lady, an unmarried woman who has her own income and lives independently.

Spinster: originally to denote the occupation of one who spins yard, became the proper legal designation of one still unmarried; a woman still unmarried, especially if beyond the usual age for marriage.

Single: unmarried, celibate, bachelor, spinster, in some cases prostitute; used to denote unwedded persons in 1303.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Today is...Chinese New Year

Today is Chinese New Year: Year of the Snake. What is your Chinese Zodiac?

Chinese New Year is the first day of the year according to the Chinese calendar, a lunisolar calendar.

A Lunisolar calendar is a Lunar calendar that adds an extra month when needed to realign the months with the seasons.

Lunar calendars, with out the leap-month of the Lunisolar calendar, are based solely on the lunar phase cycle, causing the months to drift off season.

The calendar that is most commonly used is the solar calendar, which includes the Gregorian and Julian calendars.

The Gregorian calendar is the de facto international standard calendar.

Islamic calendars are lunar calendars that are used to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic holy days and festivals.

Likewise, the Hebrew calendar is used to Jews worldwide for religious and culture affairs.

The hardest holiday to figure out on the Gregorian calendar is Easter Sunday, as it is based on the full moon cycle and can be anywhere from March 22 to April 25 in Western culture.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Today is...Laugh and Get Rich Day

Today is Laugh and Get Rich Day. What makes you laugh?

The study of humor and laughter, and its psychological and physiological effects on the human body is called gelotology.

An average baby laughs 300 times a day; an average adult laughs 20 times a day.

Death by Laughter, usually from cardiac arrest or asphyxiation, has been recorded as far back as Ancient Greece.

Paradoxical laughter is an exaggerated expression of humor that is unwarranted by the events. It is associated with altered mental states or mental illness, such as mania, hypomania or schizophrenia.

The Han Dynasty of Chinese used tickle torture as a punishment for nobility because it left no marks and victims recovered quickly. Tickle Torture has also been used in Europe throughout the years, including in Flossenburg concentration camp.

Nitrous oxide is known as laughing gas due to the euphoric effects of inhaling it.

Nitrous oxide was first synthesized by English chemist Joseph Priestley in 1772.

Dentist Horace Wells was the first to use laughing gas as an anesthetic drug, in 1844.

Humphrey Davy hosted nitrous oxide parties where he and friends would inhale nitrous oxide for recreational purposes (not a recommended activity). He also wrote a book all about nitrous oxide, which includes personal accounts of what it feels like to inhale nitrous oxide, from the friends who attended the parties. It includes accounts from Davy, Peter Roget (of Roget's Thesaurus fame), Josiah Wedgwood (of Wedgwood pottery), poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and poet Robert Southey.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Today is...the Birth Anniversary of Charles Dickens

Today is the birth anniversary of Charles Dickens. What is your favorite Dickens work?

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England.

There have only been 4 years when snow was on the ground in London on Christmas in the 20th century, 1927, 1938, 1970, and 1981. However, everyone always thinks of London at Christmas to be snowy. Why is that?

As it happens, it is due to Charles Dickens. The first 8 years of his life, there was a White Christmas every year. As a result, in his books, he describes Christmases as snowy, even though it usually was not snowy at that time in London.

Between 1550 and 1850, Britain was in the grip of a "Little Ice Age", which included cold enough temperatures to freeze the River Thames. When the Thames froze, the people of London would have frost fairs on the frozen river. The last frost fair was held in the winter of 1813/1814.

The frost fairs included ice skating, food stands, bon fires, puppet plays, etc. (everything you would see at a fair) all on the ice. Yes, even the bon fires were on the ice.

While Dickens would not have remembered frost fairs, the Little Ice Age was still in effect enough to cause snow at Christmas.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Today is...National Girls and Women in Sports Day

Today is National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Who is your favorite female athlete?

The 1900 Olympics was the first to include female competitors.

Edith Cummings, a golfer, was the first woman athlete to appear on the cover of Time magazine.

In 1973 Billy Jean King played former number 1 male tennis player Bobby Riggs in a Battle of the Sexes tennis match after Riggs made states claiming that the women's game was inferior to the men's game. King beat Riggs 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Janet Gurthrie was the first woman to compete in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500.

Liz Heaston was the first female athlete to play and score in a college football game, in 1997.

Dara Torres is the first and only swimmer from the US to compete in five Olypmic Games. She is also the oldest swimmer ever to earn a place on the US Olympic team.

The 2012 Summer Olympics was the first time the American team has more female than male athletes.

Fanny Durack was the first Australian woman to win an Olympic gold metal in a swimming event, in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. She and Mina Wylie had to pay their own expenses to be allowed to go to the games.

Helene de Pourtales was the first female Olympic champion for sailing. She won as part of a team with her husband and nephew.

Charlotte Cooper was the first woman to win as an individual in the Olympics, winning tennis singles. She also won mixed doubles.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today is...the anniversary of the launch of Facebook

On this day in 2004, Facebook was launched. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about Facebook?

In honor of Facebook, let's play 6-degrees of separation from the movie Facebook.

For those who don't know, 6-degrees of Kevin Bacon is a game played where you have to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon in 6 moves of less. For example, Kevin Bacon was in Footloose with John Lithgow. John Lithgow was in 3rd Rock from the Sun with Jane Curtain. Jane Curtain is 2 degrees separated from Kevin Bacon.

Facebook was directed by David Fincher.

David Fincher directed Fight Club.

Fight Club stars Brad Pitt.

Brad Pitt stars in Inglorious Basterds.

Inglorious Basterds also stars Michael Fassbender.

Michael Fassbender is in X-Men First Class with Kevin Bacon.

Another option:

Facebook starred Rooney Mara, who was also in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo with Stellan Skarsgard.

Skarsgard was in Angels & Demons with Ewan McGregor.

McGregor starred in Trainspotting with Robert Carlyle, who was in Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, which also featured Marisa Tomei.

Tomei was in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Kevin Bacon.

The possibilities are endless!