Archive for March, 2018

Pulling Together!

March 31, 2018

PullingTogether_largeTeamwork.  This is what crosses my mind when I hear the phrase “pulling together.”  But as this demotivator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com) accurately points out, to be successful in a teamwork frame of reference, you have to be pulling in the same direction.  “Pulling together” in opposite directions is known as a tug-of-war.  In sports-speak, a tug-of-war is “a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.”  The non-sports definition is “a situation in which two evenly matched people or factions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing.”  One interesting note of difference: the sports definition has no mention of “evenly matched” teams.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Nine!

March 30, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “geography.”  Do you know . .. what is the longest railroad tunnel?

Nope, it is not the Channel Tunnel (aka the Chunnel), which runs for more than 31 miles between England and France.  The Seikan Tunnel  (Japan) spans an impressive 33.46 miles between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido.  Now, when it comes to the longest underwater tunnel, yes, the Chunnel is it (24 miles underwater); the Seikan Tunnel is onlyb 14.5 miles underwater.

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Spring Hath Sprung!

March 29, 2018

We are more than a week into spring so here is a wonderful poem by the late Eliza Cook entitled “Spring.”

Welcome, all hail to thee!
Welcome, young Spring!
Thy sun-ray is bright
On the butterfly’s wing.
Beauty shines forth
In the blossom-robed trees;
Perfume floats by
On the soft southern breeze.

Music, sweet music,
Sounds over the earth;
One glad choral song
Greets the primrose’s birth;
The lark soars above,
With its shrill matin strain;
The shepherd boy tunes
His reed pipe on the plain.

Music, sweet music,
Cheers meadow and lea;—
In the song of the blackbird,
The hum of the bee;
The loud happy laughter
Of children at play
Proclaim how they worship
Spring’s beautiful day.

The eye of the hale one,
With joy in its gleam,
Looks up in the noontide,
And steals from the beam;
But the cheek of the pale one
Is mark’d with despair,
To feel itself fading,
When all is so fair.

The hedges, luxuriant
With flowers and balm,
Are purple with violets,
And shaded with palm;
The zephyr-kiss’d grass
Is beginning to wave;
Fresh verdure is decking
The garden and grave.

Welcome! all hail to thee,
Heart-stirring May!
Thou hast won from my wild harp
A rapturous lay.
And the last dying murmur
That sleeps on the string
Is welcome! All hail to thee,
Welcome, young Spring!

Source:  This work is in the public domain.

Let’s Eat!

March 28, 2018

Eating is a fundamental activity in life.  What we eat and how we eat can certainly affect our quality of life.  And, according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, there are several other synonyms or variants (see below) that could be used to represent the ways we eat (if you are so inclined for a little variety).  Enjoy!


\ eet \, verb;

1.  to take into the mouth and swallow for nourishment; chew and swallow (food).
2.  to consume by or as if by devouring gradually; wear away; corrode.
3.  to make (a hole, passage, etc.), as by gnawing or corrosion.
Other words you may consider using (depending on your context/usage, of course):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich. Definitions courtesy of

The First Corkscrew!

March 27, 2018

On this day in 1860, the patent was granted to Mr. M. L. Byrn of New York City for the corkscrew.  It was fashioned by creating a “T” handle to cover a gimlet screw.  Some other notable “firsts” for today include:

  • the first Congressional investigation (1792)
  • the first Mormon temple (1836)
  • the first fire engine with a steam boiler (1841)
  • the first percussion rock drill (1849)
  • the first patent for Kerosene (1855)
  • the first long-distance phone call (1884)
  • the first shuffleboard championship tournament (1931)
  • the first radio broadcast from a moving train (1932)
  • the first Jewish mobile synagogue (1955)
  • the first mobile computer center (1961)
  • the first medicine for erectile dysfunction (1998)

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Final Four, 2018!

March 26, 2018

Is the cream starting to rise to the top?  There are still a a couple of “blue blood” teams left in the tournament, but the lower seeds continue to win.  Loyola University-Chicago (#11) continued its Cinderella story by advanced to the elite eight and then on to the Final Four!  On Thursday, only one of the higher seeds advanced (Michigan [#3]); whereas on Friday, only one of the higher seeds did NOT advance (Purdue [#2]).  On Saturday and Sunday all of the higher seeds advanced except for #9 Kansas State who could not get past this year’s Cinderella, Loyola-Chicago.  On to San Antonio next weekend for the Final Four!

Sweet Sixteen games
Villanova (#1) defeated West Virginia (#5)
Kansas (#1) defeated Clemson (#5) by four (4) points.
Duke (#2) defeated Syracuse (#11) by four (4) points.
Michigan (#3) defeated Texas A&M (#7)
Texas Tech (#3) defeated Purdue (#2)
Florida State (#9) defeated Gonzaga (#4)
Kansas State (#9) defeated Kentucky (#5) by three (3) points.
Loyola-Chicago (#11) defeated Nevada (#7) by one (1) point.

In the regional finals, there was only one #1/#2 matchup (Kansas/Duke in the midwest); a #1/#3 matchup (Villanova/Texas Tech in the east), a #3/#9 matchup (Michigan/Florida State in the West), and a #9/#11 matchup (Kansas State/Loyola Chicago) in the south).

Elite Eight games
Villanova (#1) defeating Texas Tech (#3)
Kansas (#1) defeating Duke (#2) by four (4) points in overtime.
Michigan (#3) defeating Florida State (#9) by four (4) points.
Loyola-Chicago (#11) defeating Kansas State (#9).

The madness continues.  Congratulations to the four teams who survived the second weekend to arrive at the Final Four.

East Regional Champs
Villanova (#1)

will play . . . the

Midwest Regional Champs
Kansas (#1),

and, the

South Regional Champs
Loyola-Chicago (#11)

will play . .  the

West Regional Champs
Michigan (#3).

Movers & Shakers 2018!

March 25, 2018

Congratulations to this year’s class of Library Journal Movers & Shakers!  Here is the “cohort of about fifty top changemakers who are transforming what it means to be a librarian.”  These winners fall within several categories: advocates, change agents, community builders, digital developers, educators, and innovators.

Laurie Allen
Susan Barnum
Robin Bradford
April M. Hathcock
Roberta Koscielski
Chera Kowalski
Lisa Lindsey
Rebecca McCorkindale
Eva B. Raison
Rachael Rivera
Julie Syler

Change Agents
Heather Acerro
Andrea Blackman
Megan Godbey
Margo Gustina
Dayna Hart
Elizabeth Negrete Gaylor
Jeanne Marie Ryan
Kristen Simensen

Community Builders
Jennifer A. Ferretti
Emma Hernandez
Erin Hoopes
Jason Johnson
David Lopez
Allie Stevens
Kristen Treviño
Angel Jewel Tucker

Digital Developers
Twila Camp
Ellen Druda
Jay Moschella
Trevor Owens
Sandy Pon
Nathaniel Rasmussen
Kristina Spurgin
Rebecca Stavik

Annie Downey
Fran Glick
Kristina A. Holzweiss
Joe Márquez
Karen Parry
Jenny Ryan
Liesl Toates
Tracy Wong

Tom Bober
Jerica Copeny
Trina Evans
Marian Fragola
Kiara Garrett
Amy Mikel
Shannon O’Neill

Congratulations one and all!

Marriage and Loneliness!

March 24, 2018

I have been single my entire life (and I’m perfectly okay with this) and have dealt with the issue of loneliness from time to time.  And, while many people get married to “escape the pain of being single,” they invariable discover that marriage could be even more painful than solitude.  I found a few quotations about this in the book Oxymoronica.  Apparently some people have figured this out.

“If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.”  (Anton Chekhov)

“Marriage is lonelier than solitude.”  (Adrienne Rich)

“The surest way to be alone is to get married”  (Gloria Steinem)

“Marriage is the only thing that affords a woman the pleasure of company and the perfect sensation of solitude at the same time.”  (Helen Rowland)

So what is the better choice?  Get married?  Or remain single?  Here are some more quotations . . .  enjoy!

“One was never married, and that’s his hell; another is and that’s his plague.”  (Robert Burton)

“Matrimony and bachelorhood are both of them at once equally wise and equally foolish.”  (Samuel Butler)

“It doesn’t matter whether you decide to marry or stay single; either way you’ll be sorry.”  (Socrates)

Source: Oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Eight!

March 23, 2018

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about words.  Did you know that . . .

  • the longest one-syllable word is “screeched?” (Real Fact #68)
  • no word in the English language rhymes with month? (Real Fact #69)
  • the word “facetious” features all of the vowels in alphabetic order? (Real Fact #310)
  • the Japanese word “judo” means “the gentle way?”  (Real Fact #314)
  • the word “purple” does not rhyme with any other word in the English language? (Real Fact #321)
  • Thomas Edison coined the word “hello” and introduced it as a way to answer the phone? (Real Fact #374)
  • ferret comes from the Latin word for “little thief?” (Real Fact #776)
  • Shakespeare invented the word assassination and bump? (Real Fact #807)
  • there are more English words beginning with the letter “s” than any other letter? (Real Fact #1241)
  • the word “bride” come from an old Proto-Germanic word meaning “to cook?” (Real Fact #1243)
  • the word “utopia” — an ideal place — ironically comes from a Greek word meaning “no place?” (Real Fact #1244)
  • the average dog can understand over 150 words? (Real Fact #1284)
  • the word “cherry” comes from the Turkish town of Cerasus? (Real Fact #1300)
  • in Webster’s dictionary, the longest words without repeating letters are “uncopyrightable” and “dermatoglyphics?” (Real Fact #1372)
  • “unprosperousness” is the longest word in which no letter occurs only once? (Real Fact #1373)
  • “typewriter” and “perpetuity” are the longest words that can be typed on a single line of a QWERTY keyboard?  (Real Fact #1374)
  • the word “checkmate” come from the Persian phrase meaning “the king is dead?” (Real Fact #1377)
  • the word “aegilops” is the longest word in the English language to have all of its letters in alphabetic order? (Real Fact #1396)
  • Dr. Seuss wrote “Green Eggs and Ham” to win a bet with his publisher who thought he could not complete a book with only 50 words? (Real Fact #1408)


BAM (Bohemian And Movies)!

March 22, 2018

I just discovered a new video that combines one of my favorite songs (Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen) with references to movies . . . all voiced by Peter Hollens.  Simply wonderful!  Enjoy!