February 28, 2015

Miscellany 6

What would Ken Burns produce about the 2015 Boston Snow Storms?
 Boston Snow + Sad Fiddle MusicYouTube link

The girl who gets gifts from birds
Lots of people love the birds in their garden, but it's rare for that affection to be reciprocated. Eight-year-old Gabi Mann in Seattle is luckier than most. She feeds the crows in her garden - and they bring her gifts in return.  She sets a bead storage container on the dining room table, and clicks the lid open. This is her most precious collection….
Inside the box are rows of small objects in clear plastic bags. One label reads: "Black table by feeder. 2:30 p.m. 09 Nov 2014." Inside is a broken light bulb. Another bag contains small pieces of brown glass worn smooth by the sea. "Beer colored glass," as Gabi describes it.


Most writers love words. This one loves letters. Review of "Alphabetical: How Every Letter Tells a Story" by Michael Rosen
Michael Rosen knows his ABCs. A poet, novelist and host of the BBC radio show “Word of Mouth,” he has spent a lifetime pondering and deciphering this “cunning code,” as he calls it. In “Alphabetical,” he doesn’t just explore the creation, evolution, pronunciation and uses of each letter throughout the centuries, but digresses into delightful tales of the personalities who shaped the English alphabet into what it has finally become. Though I shouldn’t say “finally.” In Rosen’s telling, letters are born, grow, fight, change or die. Don’t count on these 26 letters being the last word.

“Alphabetical” is organized into 26 chapters (surprise), each devoted to one letter….In “J is for Jokes,” he explains why the alphabet has only 25 letters at Christmastime (“No-el, no-el, no-el, no-e-e-el”). And in “U is for Umlaut,” he destroys my faith in ice cream by explaining that the corporate name Häagen-Dazs “doesn’t mean anything to anyone anywhere in any language.”

Lost Sherlock Holmes Story Discovered in Attic
In 1902, a flood destroyed a wooden bridge in the town of Selkirk, Scotland. Residents tried to raise money to build another one. One proposal was to print and sell a collection of short stories called The Book o’ the Brig. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author who created the famous detective character Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed visiting the town. So he contributed an original story called “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, by deduction, the Brig Bazaar.”The project was a success and Selkirk got a new bridge. Doyle’s story helped. But it was never published anywhere else. Walter Elliot, a historian, received a copy of The Book o’ the Brig about 50 years ago. He placed it in his attic and forgot about it.  It was only recently that Elliot found the book and Doyle’s story in it. The world now has fresh, original Sherlock Holmes. You can read the entire story here.

Five guys built “Icehenge” on a lake and it is beautiful!


Comparing genomes: Killer whales are more Cow, Walruses more in common with dogs and wolves, Manatees more closely related to elephants.

Medieval Cathedrals Used to Be Full of Brilliant Colors


"For the most part, the portable computer is a dream machine for the few" said the New York Times in 1995
On the whole, people don't want to lug a computer with them to the beach or on a train to while away hours they would rather spend reading the sports or business section of the newspaper. Somehow, the microcomputer industry has assumed that everyone would love to have a keyboard grafted on as an extension of their fingers. It just is not so….But the real future of the laptop computer will remain in the specialized niche markets.  Because no matter how inexpensive the machines become, and no matter how sophisticated their software, I still can't imagine the average user taking one along when going fishing.

Astonishing childhood pictures of celebrities
 George Clooney Today, he's considered a hunk.

Ten Reasons People Still Need Cursive
While some argue cursive writing belongs in the archives and Common Core ushers it out of schools, the evidence shows we need it as much as ever.

School lunches around the world

 Schoollunch Spain

Posted by Jill Fallon at February 28, 2015 10:49 AM | Permalink