Tag: FYI

FYI January 03, 2019

On This Day

1959 – Alaska is admitted as the 49th U.S. state.
Alaska (/əˈlæskə/ (About this soundlisten); Aleut: Alax̂sxax̂; Inupiaq: Alaskaq; Russian: Аляска, translit. Alyaska) is a U.S. state in the northwest extremity of North America. The Canadian administrative divisions of British Columbia and Yukon border the state to the east, its most extreme western part is Attu Island, and it has a maritime border with Russia (Chukotka Autonomous Okrug) to the west across the Bering Strait. To the north are the Chukchi and Beaufort seas—the southern parts of the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean lies to the south and southwest. It is the largest state in the United States by area and the seventh largest subnational division in the world. In addition, it is the 3rd least populous and the most sparsely populated of the 50 United States; nevertheless, it is by far the most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel in North America: its population—estimated at 738,432 by the United States Census Bureau in 2015[5]— is more than quadruple the combined populations of Northern Canada and Greenland. Approximately half of Alaska’s residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. Alaska’s economy is dominated by the fishing, natural gas, and oil industries, resources which it has in abundance. Military bases and tourism are also a significant part of the economy.

The United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire on March 30, 1867, for 7.2 million U.S. dollars at approximately two cents per acre ($4.74/km2). The area went through several administrative changes before becoming organized as a territory on May 11, 1912. It was admitted as the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959.[6]


Born On This Day

1793 – Lucretia Mott, American activist (d. 1880)
Lucretia Mott (née Coffin; January 3, 1793 – November 11, 1880) was a U.S. Quaker, abolitionist, women’s rights activist, and social reformer. She had formed the idea of reforming the position of women in society when she was amongst the women excluded from the World Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840. In 1848 she was invited by Jane Hunt to a meeting that led to the first meeting about women’s rights. Mott helped write the Declaration of Sentiments during the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention.

Her speaking abilities made her an important abolitionist, feminist, and reformer. When slavery was outlawed in 1865, she advocated giving former slaves who had been bound to slavery laws within the boundaries of the United States, whether male or female, the right to vote. She remained a central figure in the abolition and suffrage movement until her death in 1880.

Mott was a Quaker preacher early in her adulthood.



By Peter Sblendorio: Pegi Young, singer and ex-wife of Neil Young, dead at 66 after cancer battle

Margaret “Pegi” Young[1] (née Morton; December 1, 1952 – January 1, 2019)[2] was an American singer-songwriter, environmentalist, educator and philanthropist.

Her debut as a singer came in 1983 when she was a member of The Pinkettes, the backing vocalists of Neil Young’s Rock-a Billy Shocking Pinks tour. In 1994 she made her first nationwide TV appearance at the Academy Awards, singing backup on the song “Philadelphia”, composed by her husband.[3]



By HILLEL ITALIE: Daryl Dragon, Captain of Captain & Tennille, dead at 76

Daryl Frank Dragon (August 27, 1942 – January 2, 2019)[2] was an American musician and songwriter, known as Captain from the pop musical duo Captain & Tennille with his then wife, Toni Tennille.[3]





By Erik Pedersen: Bob Einstein Dies: ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Actor Who Also Played Super Dave Osborne Was 76

Stewart Robert Einstein (November 20, 1942 – January 2, 2019) was an American actor, comedy writer and producer. He was known for creating and performing the satirical stuntman character Super Dave Osborne. Einstein was also known for his roles as Marty Funkhouser in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Larry Middleman on Arrested Development.

Einstein got his start as a writer on several television variety shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. Einstein won two Emmy Awards as a writer and was nominated four other times. He also won a CableACE Award for acting as Super Dave, along with five other nominations.

Einstein was the older brother of fellow actor and comedian Albert Brooks.

By Brian Kahn: I Dug a Green Grave and Learned the Truth About the Dirty Death Industry
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By Dan Neilan: Finally, a tool allows you to create endless hypothetical 2020 elections
By Clio Chang: Would You Give Up Internet to Make $130,000 Living Like a Haunted Lighthouse Keeper?
The successful candidates will be a couple, one of whom must possess a Coast Guard commercial boat operator’s license,” the not-for-profit which operates the location wrote in a press release. “They will operate the five-room inn, serving both dinner and breakfast, as well as providing ferry service for guests and all other tasks from chef to maid. High quality culinary experience and capability will be a critical qualification. The inn is open four days a week, and the island is also available for day use and special events. The new keepers will start in mid-April 2019, allowing two weeks for training.
By Brian Merchant: The Biggest Sign Yet That Automation Is Taking Over at Amazon
By Kristen Lee: Shooting a Car with a Polarizer Changed My Life
Seems like a lot of effort for small payout–maybe this is the “trial run” for something larger?
By David Tracy: Highway Thieves in Italy Block Police With Burning Trucks, Peel Open Van With Backhoe, Get Away With $2.6 Million
Muck Rack: Funny and sharp and sad all at once
It’s that time again! Muck Rack is looking for guest contributors to write for the Muck Rack Blog. In 2018, we published nearly 200 posts, many from guest contributors. Interested in writing for us in 2019? Find out what we’re looking for and how to pitch us here: Write for Muck Rack in 2019: We’re looking for guest contributors!
By Deborah Byrd: China’s Chang’e-4 lands on moon’s far side
By Anne Burke: Calif. couple has turned their land into a living museum
By John E. Dunn: SOPHOS: US newspapers battle ransomware
By Heather Chapman: How 5G networks could help rural America
By heather Chapman: ‘The good, the bad and the ugly’ of the 2018 Farm Bill
By Heather Chapman: Fight over recreational cannabis heats up in New Hampshire
“House Speaker Steve Shurtleff, a Democrat, said the chamber would have the votes to override a Sununu veto, and he predicted the Senate would, too. He said the governor should quit fighting and spend the next few months working with lawmakers on how best to regulate the drug,” Martin reports.
Open Culture Josh Jones: An Illustrated and Interactive Dante’s Inferno: Explore a New Digital Companion to the Great 14th-Century Epic Poem
Open Culture DC: Safety Last, the 1923 Movie Featuring the Most Iconic Scene from Silent Film Era, Just Went Into the Public Domain


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By Hometalk Highlights: 10 Things Pro Organizers Keep In Their Pantry All Year Long
By JackmanWorks: Building a Life-Size Nutcracker (that Can Crack Coconuts!)







FYI January 02, 2019

On This Day

366 – The Alemanni cross the frozen Rhine in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.[2]
The Alemanni (also Alamanni;[1] Suebi “Swabians”[2]) were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, and later expanded into present-day Alsace, and northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German language in those regions, by the eighth century named Alamannia.[3]

In 496, the Alemanni were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis and incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were gradually Christianized during the seventh century. The Lex Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the eighth century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. After an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, though, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes. During the later and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire, the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance. The chief family in Alamannia was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, and one of whom, Burchard II, established the Duchy of Swabia, which was recognized by Henry the Fowler in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire.

The area settled by the Alemanni corresponds roughly to the area where Alemannic German dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austrian Vorarlberg.

The French language name of Germany, Allemagne, is derived from their name, from Old French aleman(t),[4] from French loaned into a number of other languages.

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Born On This Day

1898 – Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander, American economist and lawyer (d. 1989)
Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (January 2, 1898 – November 1, 1989), was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in economics in the United States (1921), and the first woman to receive a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She was the first African-American woman to practice law in Pennsylvania.[1] She was the first national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, serving from 1919 to 1923.[2][3]

In 1946 she was appointed to the President’s Committee on Civil Rights established by Harry Truman. She was the first African-American woman appointed as Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia. She and her husband were both active in civil rights. In 1952 she was appointed to the city’s Commission on Human Relations, serving through 1968. She was President of John F. Kennedy Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (1963).



CBS Boston: WBZ Radio Traffic Reporter, Actor Joe Stapleton Dies
By Randall Colburn: R.I.P. WWE personality and legendary interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund

Eugene Arthur Okerlund (December 19, 1942 – January 2, 2019)[3] also known by his ring name “Mean” Gene Okerlund, was an American professional wrestling interviewer, announcer and wrestler. He was best known for his work in the World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling. Gene was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by Hulk Hogan. He was signed to a lifetime contract with WWE and worked for promotional programs, mostly WWE Network programming and occasionally TV.

By Jake Buehler: The Scientists Who Brave Angry Hawk Parents, Wasps and 80-Foot-Falls to Save Endangered Chicks
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If the towed vehicle is in “P” (park) with the parking/emergency brake engaged will the wheels still spin this easily?~
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Today’s email was written by Natasha Frost, edited by Jessanne Collins, and produced by Luiz Romero. Quartz Obsession: Sumo Wrestlilng
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By Rita Liao: FCC greenlights Google’s radar-based gesture tech ‘Soli’
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By David K. Li: Boy, 14, faces a murder charge after egg-throwing prank in Houston ends in fatal crash
A 14-year-old boy was arrested and faces a murder charge in Houston after an alleged egg-throwing prank sparked a chase that ended in the death of a motorist, authorities said Wednesday.

The incident began with the suspect —allegedly behind the wheel of a GMC Acadia SUV, with two other juvenile passengers inside — throwing eggs at passing cars on Tuesday afternoon, authorities said.

A driver in one of the egged cars allegedly flashed a semi-automatic handgun at the boys and chased them, officials said.

The fleeing teens drove through a red light and slammed into a Ford pickup truck, killing its female driver, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted.
By Heather Chapman: Camp Fire clean-up stalls amid local disagreements over where to dump rubble from demolished town of Paradise
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By MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXXXIV): An artist’s interpretation of how iconic faces would look if they fit 2018’s beauty standards, Bass Reeves (1838 – 1910), the first black deputy Marshall west of the Mississippi River, The game that randomly drops you (via Google Streetview) anywhere in the world and challenges you to guess where it is and more ->


By Hometalk Highlights: 30 Reasons Why You Should Be Buying Extra Rolls Of Foil







FYI January 01, 2019

On This Day

1772 – The first traveler’s cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, were issued by the London Credit Exchange Company.[16]
A traveler’s cheque[a] is a medium of exchange that can be used in place of hard currency. They can be denominated in one of a number of major world currencies and are preprinted, fixed-amount cheques designed to allow the person signing it to make an unconditional payment to someone else as a result of having paid the issuer for that privilege.

They were generally used by people on vacation in foreign countries instead of cash, as many businesses used to accept traveler’s cheques as currency. The incentive for merchants and other parties to accept them lay in the fact that as long as the original signature (which the buyer is supposed to place on the cheque in ink as soon as they receive the cheque) and the signature made at the time the cheque is used are the same, the cheque’s issuer will unconditionally guarantee payment of the face amount even if the cheque was fraudulently issued, stolen, or lost. This means that a traveler’s cheque can never ‘bounce’ unless the issuer goes bankrupt and out of business. If a traveler’s cheque were lost or stolen, it can be replaced by the issuing financial institution.

The financial institutions issuing traveler’s cheques earn income in a number of ways. Firstly, they would charge a fee on sale of such cheques. In addition, they can earn interest for the period that the cheques are uncashed, while not paying any interest to the cheque holder, making them effectively interest-free loans. Also, the foreign exchange rate commonly used on traveler’s cheques (generally based on rates applicable at the time of purchase) is less favourable compared to other forms of obtaining foreign currency, especially those on credit card transactions (which use a rate applicable at the statement date). On the other hand, the set up cost and the cost of issuing and processing traveler’s cheques is much higher than for credit card transactions. The cheque issuer carries the exchange rate risk, and would normally pay a fee to hedge against the risk.

Their use has been in decline since the 1990s, when a variety of more convenient alternatives, such as credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid currency cards and automated teller machines, became more widely available and were easier for travelers to use. Traveler’s cheques are no longer widely accepted and cannot easily be cashed, even at the banks that issued them. The alternatives to traveler’s cheques were generally cheaper and more flexible. Travel money cards offer similar features to traveler’s cheques, including prepurchase of foreign currency at rates applicable at date of purchase, but offer greater ease and flexibility, such as use like a regular credit card, no need to get change in a local currency, besides other features.

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1773 – The hymn that became known as “Amazing Grace”, then titled “1 Chronicles 17:16–17” is first used to accompany a sermon led by John Newton in the town of Olney, Buckinghamshire, England.[17]
“Amazing Grace” is a Christian hymn published in 1779, with words written by the English poet and Anglican clergyman John Newton (1725–1807).

Newton wrote the words from personal experience. He grew up without any particular religious conviction, but his life’s path was formed by a variety of twists and coincidences that were often put into motion by others’ reactions to what they took as his recalcitrant insubordination. He was pressed (conscripted) into service in the Royal Navy, and after leaving the service, he became involved in the Atlantic slave trade. In 1748, a violent storm battered his vessel off the coast of County Donegal, Ireland, so severely that he called out to God for mercy, a moment that marked his spiritual conversion. He continued his slave trading career until 1754 or 1755, when he ended his seafaring altogether and began studying Christian theology.

Ordained in the Church of England in 1764, Newton became curate of Olney, Buckinghamshire, where he began to write hymns with poet William Cowper. “Amazing Grace” was written to illustrate a sermon on New Year’s Day of 1773. It is unknown if there was any music accompanying the verses; it may have simply been chanted by the congregation. It debuted in print in 1779 in Newton and Cowper’s Olney Hymns but settled into relative obscurity in England. In the United States, however, “Amazing Grace” was used extensively during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century. It has been associated with more than 20 melodies, but in 1835 it was joined to a tune named “New Britain” to which it is most frequently sung today.

With the message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of sins committed and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God, “Amazing Grace” is one of the most recognisable songs in the English-speaking world. Author Gilbert Chase writes that it is “without a doubt the most famous of all the folk hymns”,[1] and Jonathan Aitken, a Newton biographer, estimates that it is performed about 10 million times annually.[2] It has had particular influence in folk music, and has become an emblematic African American spiritual. Its universal message has been a significant factor in its crossover into secular music. “Amazing Grace” saw a resurgence in popularity in the U.S. during the 1960s and has been recorded thousands of times during and since the 20th century, occasionally appearing on popular music charts.



Born On This Day

1859 – Michael Joseph Owens, American inventor (d. 1923)[121]

Michael Joseph Owens (January 1, 1859 – December 27, 1923) was an inventor of machines to automate the production of glass bottles.[1]

He was born in Mason County, West Virginia on January 1, 1859. He left school at the age of 10 to start a glassware apprenticeship at J. H. Hobbs, Brockunier and Company in Wheeling, West Virginia.
A ten-arm owens automatic bottle machine, ca. 1910, photo by Jacob Riis

In 1888 he moved to Toledo, Ohio and worked for the Toledo Glass Factory owned by Edward Drummond Libbey. He was later promoted to foreman and then to supervisor. He formed the Owens Bottle Machine Company in 1903. His machines could produce glass bottles at a rate of 240 per minute, and reduce labor costs by 80%.[2]

Owens and Libbey entered into a partnership and the company was renamed the Owens Bottle Company in 1919. In 1929 the company merged with the Illinois Glass Company to become the Owens-Illinois Glass Company.[3][4]

He died on December 27, 1923.[5]

U.S. Patent 534,840 Apparatus for blowing glass
U.S. Patent 548,587 Machine for blowing glass
U.S. Patent 548,588 Machine for blowing glass
U.S. Patent 766,768 Glass Shaping Machine
U.S. Patent 774,690 Glass Shaping Machine



By Anna Beahm: Alabama-born Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook dead at 81

Ray Sawyer (February 1, 1937 – December 31, 2018)[1] was an American singer and vocalist with the 1970s rock band, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show.[2] Though primarily a backing vocalist and occasional percussionist on congas or maracas, he sang lead on their hit song “The Cover of Rolling Stone” and was a recognisable presence in the band owing to the eyepatch and cowboy hat he wore. He was also the uncle of the vocalist of Wild Fire, Zack Sawyer.
Personal life

Sawyer lost his right eye in a 1967 automobile accident. He said the following about his life around the time of his accident: “I must have played all the clubs from Houston to Charleston until I decided I was going insane from too much beans and music, and I gave it up. I saw a John Wayne movie and proceeded to Portland, Oregon, to be a logger complete with plaid shirt, caulk boots, and pike pole. On the way my car slipped on the road and the accident left me with the eye patch I now wear. When I recovered I ran straight back to the beans and music and vowed, ‘here I’ll stay’.”[3] Dr. Hook had many hit singles such as “Sylvia’s Mother”, “The Cover of Rolling Stone”, “A Little Bit More”, “Only Sixteen”, “Walk Right In”, “Sharing the Night Together”, “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, “Better Love Next Time”, “Sexy Eyes”, “Girls Can Get It”, and “Baby Makes Her Bluejeans Talk”.

From 1988 to October 2015, Sawyer toured the nostalgia circuit as “Dr. Hook featuring Ray Sawyer,” under license from bandmate Dennis Locorriere, who tours separately and owns the Dr. Hook trademark.[4] Sawyer retired in 2015 and died after a short illness, aged 81 in December 2018.[5]
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FYI December 31, 2018

On This Day

1759 – Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.
Guinness (/ˈɡɪnɪs/) is an Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness at St. James’s Gate, Dublin, Ireland, in 1759. It is one of the most successful beer brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries and available in over 120. [1][2] Sales in 2011 amounted to 850 million litres (220,000,000 US gal).[1]

Guinness’ ‘burnt’ flavour derives from malted barley and roasted unmalted barley, a relatively modern development, not becoming part of the grist until the mid-20th century. For many years, a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly brewed beer to give a sharp lactic acid flavour. Although Guinness’s palate still features a characteristic “tang”, the company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending still occurs. The draught beer’s thick, creamy head comes from mixing the beer with nitrogen and carbon dioxide.[3] It is popular with the Irish, both in Ireland and abroad. In spite of declining consumption since 2001,[4] it is still the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland[5][6] where Guinness & Co. Brewery makes almost €2 billion worth of the beverage annually.

The company moved its headquarters to London at the beginning of the Anglo-Irish Trade War in 1932. In 1997, Guinness plc merged with Grand Metropolitan to form the multinational alcoholic drinks producer Diageo.


Born On This Day

1805 – Marie d’Agoult, German-French historian and author (d. 1876)
Marie Catherine Sophie, Comtesse d’Agoult (31 December 1805 – 5 March 1876), was a French romantic author, known also by her pen name, Daniel Stern.

Marie was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, as Marie Catherine Sophie de Flavigny, the daughter of Alexander Victor François, Vicomte de Flavigny (1770–1819), a footloose émigré French aristocrat, and his wife Maria Elisabeth Bethmann (1772–1847), a German banker’s daughter. The young Marie spent her early years in Germany and completed her education in a French convent after the Bourbon Restoration.

She entered into an early marriage of convenience with Charles Louis Constant d’Agoult, Comte d’Agoult (1790–1875) on 16 May 1827, thereby becoming the Comtesse d’Agoult. They had two daughters, Louise (1828–1834) and Claire (1830–1912). They were divorced on 19 August 1835.

From 1835 to 1839, she lived with virtuoso pianist and composer Franz Liszt, who was six years younger, and was then a rising concert star. She became close to Liszt’s circle of friends, including Frédéric Chopin, who dedicated his 12 Études, Op. 25 to her (his earlier set of 12 Études, Op. 10 had been dedicated to Liszt). Liszt’s “Die Lorelei”, one of his very first songs, based on text by Heinrich Heine, was also dedicated to her. D’Agoult had three children with Liszt; however, she and Liszt did not marry, maintaining their independent views and other differences while Liszt was busy composing and touring throughout Europe.

Their children were:

Blandine (1835–1862), who was the first wife of future French prime minister Émile Ollivier but died at the age of 26
Cosima (1837–1930), who first married pianist and conductor Hans von Bülow and then composer Richard Wagner, and
Daniel (1839–1859), who was already a promising pianist and gifted scholar when he died of tuberculosis.

In 1876, she died in Paris, aged 70, and was buried in Division 54 of Père Lachaise Cemetery.

She was portrayed by Geneviève Page in the 1960 film Song Without End, opposite Dirk Bogarde as Liszt, by Klara Luchko in the 1970 film Szerelmi álmok – Liszt, by Fiona Lewis in the 1975 Ken Russell film Lisztomania, opposite Roger Daltrey as Liszt, and by Bernadette Peters in the 1991 James Lapine film Impromptu, which last dramatized encounters between d’Agoult, Liszt (Julian Sands), Chopin (Hugh Grant), and George Sand (Judy Davis).

Her first stories (Hervé, Julien, and Valentia) were published in 1841-1845. Her best-known work (written as “Daniel Stern”) is the Histoire de la révolution de 1848 (appearing from 1850–53, in 3 volumes). D’Agoult’s other works include the novel Nélida (1846), Lettres Républicaines in Esquisses morales et politiques (1849, collected articles), Trois journées de la vie de Marie Stuart (1856), Florence et Turin (1862), Histoire des commencements de la république aux Pays-Bas (1872), “A Catholic Mother Speaks to Her Children” (1906, posthumously), and Mes souvenirs (1877, posthumously).

See also
List of works by Henri Chapu

Further reading
Cronin, Vincent. Four Women in Pursuit of an Ideal. London: Collins, 1965; also published as The Romantic Way. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1966.
Stock-Morton, Phyllis. The life of Marie d’Agoult, alias Daniel Stern. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. ISBN 0-8018-6313-9.


Open Culture Ayun Halliday: 10 Rules for Appreciating Art by Sister Wendy Beckett (RIP), the Nun Who Unexpectedly Popularized Art History on TV

Wendy Beckett (25 February 1930 – 26 December 2018), better known as Sister Wendy, was a British religious sister,[1] hermit, consecrated virgin and art historian[2] who became well known internationally during the 1990s when she presented a series of BBC television documentaries on the history of art.[3] Her programmes, such as Sister Wendy’s Odyssey and Sister Wendy’s Grand Tour, often drew a 25 percent share of the British viewing audience.[4] In 1997, Sister Wendy made her US debut on public television and that same year The New York Times described her as “a sometime hermit who is fast on her way to becoming the most unlikely and famous art critic in the history of television.”[1]


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Maybe GM could build something like this for a reasonable price for consumers?
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FYI December 30, 2018

On This Day

1853 – Gadsden Purchase: The United States buys land from Mexico to facilitate railroad building in the Southwest.
The Gadsden Purchase (known in Mexico as Spanish: Venta de La Mesilla, “Sale of La Mesilla”[2]) is a 29,670-square-mile (76,800 km2) region of present-day southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that the United States purchased via a treaty that took effect on June 8, 1854. The first draft was signed on December 30, 1853, by James Gadsden, U.S. ambassador to Mexico, and by Antonio López de Santa Anna, president of Mexico.[1] The U.S. Senate voted in favor of ratifying it with amendments on April 25, 1854, and then transmitted it to President Franklin Pierce. Mexico’s government and its General Congress or Congress of the Union took final approval action on June 8, 1854, when the treaty took effect. The purchase was the last substantial territorial acquisition in the contiguous United States. The U.S. sought the land as a better route for the construction of the southern transcontinental railway line, and the financially-strapped government of Santa Anna agreed to the sale, which netted Mexico $10 million (equivalent to $270 million in 2017[3]). After the devastating loss of Mexican territory to the U.S. in the Mexican–American War (1846–48) and the continued filibustering by U.S. citizens, Santa Anna may have calculated it was better to yield territory by treaty and receive payment rather than have the territory simply seized by the U.S.[4]

The purchase included lands south of the Gila River and west of the Rio Grande which the U.S. needed to build a transcontinental railroad along a deep southern route, which the Southern Pacific Railroad later completed in 1881–1883. The purchase also aimed to resolve border issues.


Born On This Day

1924 – Yvonne Brill, Canadian-American propulsion engineer (d. 2013)
Yvonne Madelaine Brill (née Claeys; December 30, 1924 – March 27, 2013) was a Canadian-American rocket and jet propulsion engineer.[1] During her career she was involved in a broad range of national space programs in the United States, including NASA and the International Maritime Satellite Organization.[2][3]

Early life
Brill was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her parents were immigrants from Belgium.[1] She attended the University of Manitoba, but was barred from studying engineering because of her gender, so she studied chemistry and mathematics.[4]

Brill’s work in satellite propulsion systems resulted in a number of significant developments. She developed the concept for a new rocket engine, the hydrazine resistojet, and she proposed the use of a single propellant because of the value and simplicity that it would provide. Her invention resulted in not only higher engine performance but also increased reliability of the propulsion system. The reduction in propellant weight requirements enabled either increased payload capability or extended mission life.[5]

Brill invented the hydrazine resistojet propulsion system in 1967 for which she holds U.S. Patent No. 3,807,657.[6] Her invention became a standard in the industry, and has translated into millions of dollars of increased revenue for commercial communications satellite owners.[5]

Brill contributed to the propulsion systems of TIROS, the first weather satellite; Nova, a series of rocket designs that were used in American moon missions; Explorer 32, the first upper-atmosphere satellite; and the Mars Observer, which in 1992 almost entered a Mars orbit before losing communication with Earth.[7]

Awards and honors

Brill was awarded the AIAA Wyld Propulsion Award (2002)[8] and the American Association of Engineering Societies John Fritz Medal (2009).[2][9] In 1980, Harper’s Bazaar and the DeBeers Corporation gave her their Diamond Superwoman award for returning to a successful career after starting a family. In 2001 she was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal.[7] In 2011 President Barack Obama presented her with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.[2]

She was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1987.[10] She was named fellow of The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in 1985 and received its highest honor, the Achievement Award, the following year.[11]

The Yvonne C. Brill Lectureship of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is named in her honor and presented annually.[12]

A longtime resident of the Skillman section of Montgomery Township, New Jersey, United States, Brill died of complications of breast cancer in Princeton, New Jersey.[7]

An obituary of Brill published in the March 30, 2013 issue of the New York Times originally began: “She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children”.[13] The obituary was heavily criticized for leading with and overemphasizing Brill’s gender and family life, rather than her scientific and career accomplishments[14] and was cited as an example of an article that failed the Finkbeiner test.[13] The Times later dropped the reference to her cooking and changed the lead of the article.[15][16]

The Finkbeiner test is a checklist proposed to help journalists avoid gender bias in media articles about women in science.

Read more->



By Catie Keck: NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman, Known as the ‘Mother of Hubble,’ Dies at 93

Nancy Grace Roman (May 16, 1925 – December 25, 2018[1]) was an American astronomer who was one of the first female executives at NASA. She is known to many as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. Throughout her career, Roman was also an active public speaker and educator, and an advocate for women in the sciences.


By CNN: Dame June Whitfield, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ actress, dies at 93

Dame June Rosemary Whitfield DBE (11 November 1925 – 28 December 2018) was an English actress.

Her breakthrough role was a lead in the radio comedy Take It from Here from 1953. Television soon followed, including appearances with Tony Hancock throughout his television career. In 1966, Whitfield played the leading role in the television sitcom Beggar My Neighbour which ran for three series. She also appeared in four Carry On films: Nurse (1959), Abroad (1972), Girls (1973) and Columbus (1992).

In 1968 June Whitfield and Terry Scott began their long television partnership, which peaked with roles as husband and wife in Happy Ever After (1974–78) and Terry and June (1979–87). From 1992 Whitfield appeared in Jennifer Saunders’s sitcom Absolutely Fabulous playing Edina Monsoon’s mother. She played a regular character in Last of the Summer Wine as well as a recurring character in The Green Green Grass. She also played Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple on BBC Radio 4 between 1993 and 2001.

By Kara Dennison: Digimon and Dragon Quest Voice Actress Toshiko Fujita Passes Away

Toshiko Fujita (藤田 淑子 Fujita Toshiko, April 5, 1950 – December 28, 2018) was a Japanese actress, voice actress, singer and narrator. She worked at Aoni Production.

By William Hughes: R.I.P. veteran Hong Kong director Ringo Lam

Ringo Lam Ling-Tung (simplified Chinese: 林岭东; traditional Chinese: 林嶺東; pinyin: Lín Lǐngdōng, Cantonese: Lam Ling-tung) was a Hong Kong film director, producer, and screenwriter. Born in Hong Kong in 1955, Lam initially went to an acting school. After finding he preferred making films to acting, he went to Canada to study film. In 1983, he returned and began filming comedy films. After the commercial success of his film Aces Go Places IV, he was allowed to develop his own film. Lam directed City on Fire in 1987, which led him to winning his first Hong Kong Film Award, and has been extensively referenced as the fundamental inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s first film, Reservoir Dogs.[1]

Lam followed up City on Fire with other similar films that shared a dark view of Hong Kong society. Many of these films starred Chow Yun Fat. In 1996, Lam made his first American film, Maximum Risk starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Lam would continue working on film productions in both Hong Kong and two more American productions with Jean-Claude Van Damme until 2003. Lam’s final directorial effort was directing one third of the portmanteau film Triangle along with Tsui Hark and Johnnie To. In 2014, it was announced that Lam was working on a new feature film. Lam died at his home on December 29, 2018.

Read more->
Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Ursula K. Le Guin on creativity and integrity in a market society, John Muir on the transcendent interconnectedness of nature, and more
Open Culture Josh Jones: Public Domain Day Is Coming: On January 1st, 2019, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain for the First Time in 21 Years
Open Culture Colin Marshall: NASA Creates Movie Parody Posters for Its Expedition Flights: Download Parodies of Metropolis, The Matrix, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and More





By Bean_MD: The Back Pocket Soldering Kit
By bennelson: DIY Solar Garage







FYI December 29, 2018

On This Day

1860 – The launch of HMS Warrior, with her combination of screw propeller, iron hull and iron armour, renders all previous warships obsolete.
HMS Warrior is a 40-gun steam-powered armoured frigate[Note 1] built for the Royal Navy in 1859–1861. She was the name ship of the Warrior-class ironclads. Warrior and her sister ship HMS Black Prince were the first armour-plated, iron-hulled warships, and were built in response to France’s launching in 1859 of the first ocean-going ironclad warship, the wooden-hulled Gloire. Warrior conducted a publicity tour of Great Britain in 1863 and spent her active career with the Channel Squadron. Obsolescent following the 1871 launching of the mastless and more capable HMS Devastation, she was placed in reserve in 1875, and was “paid off” – decommissioned – in 1883.

She subsequently served as a storeship and depot ship, and in 1904 was assigned to the Royal Navy’s torpedo training school. The ship was converted into an oil jetty in 1927 and remained in that role until 1979, at which point she was donated by the Navy to the Maritime Trust for restoration. The restoration process took eight years, during which many of her features and fittings were either restored or recreated. When this was finished she returned to Portsmouth as a museum ship. Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet, Warrior has been based in Portsmouth since 1987.


Born On This Day

1923 – Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat, French mathematician and physicist
Yvonne Choquet-Bruhat (French: [bʁy.a]; born 29 December 1923 in Lille) is a French mathematician and physicist. Her work lies in the intersection of mathematics and physics, notably in Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. She is one of the pioneers of the study of General relativity, and she is particularly known as the first to prove the well Posedness of the Einstein equations. Her works were applied in the detection of the gravitational waves.

She was the first woman to be elected to the Académie des Sciences Française (“French Academy of Sciences”) and is a Grand Officier of the Légion d’honneur.[1]





By Margalit Fox: Larry Eisenberg, 99, Dead; His Limericks Were Very Well Read
Lawrence Eisenberg (December 21, 1919[1] – December 25, 2018) was an American biomedical engineer and science fiction writer. He is best known for his short story “What Happened to Auguste Clarot?”, published in Harlan Ellison’s anthology Dangerous Visions. Eisenberg’s stories have also been printed in a number of leading science fiction magazines, including The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Galaxy Science Fiction, and Asimov’s Science Fiction. His stories have been reprinted in anthologies such as Great Science Fiction of the 20th Century, The 10th Annual of the Year’s Best S-F, and Great Science Fiction By the World’s Great Scientists. He is also known for the limericks he posted in the comments sections of various articles in The New York Times.[2]

BBC News: Norman Gimbel, award-winning lyricist, dies aged 91
By William Hughes: R.I.P. Norman Gimbel, Oscar-winning lyricist of everything from “The Girl From Ipanema” to the Happy Days theme
By Elizabeth Werth: Britain’s Most Accomplished Female Racer is The Name Behind Hillclimb’s “Burt Strut”

Patricia Mary “Patsy” Burt (10 July 1928, Chelsea, London – 4 October 2001) was a British motor racing driver.

During a long and varied career, Patsy Burt won many British national-level competitions, and was the first female driver ever to win the Brighton Speed Trials and the RAC National Sprint Championship. Her run at Brighton in 1968 set a new outright course record, which went unbeaten until 1975. She was also, in 1961, the first British driver of either sex to participate in a full season of the European Mountain Championship. For nearly three decades, Patsy Burt’s powder-blue racing cars were a familiar sight, usually placed well up the leader board, at most British hillclimb and sprint races.

Her 42 outright victories and nearly 100 national, international, and ladies’ records make Patsy Burt one of the most successful British female racing drivers of all time. Her achievements earned her membership of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, an institution few women are ever invited to join.

By Elizabeth Werth: Collision Warning Systems Originated in the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone

Harley J. Earl (November 22, 1893 – April 10, 1969) was an American automotive designer and business executive. He was the initial designated head of design at General Motors, later becoming vice president, the first top executive ever appointed in design of a major corporation in American history. He was an industrial designer and a pioneer of modern transportation design. A coachbuilder by trade, Earl pioneered the use of freeform sketching and hand sculpted clay models as automotive design techniques. He subsequently introduced the “concept car” as both a tool for the design process and a clever marketing device.

Earl’s Buick Y-Job was the first concept car. He started “Project Opel”, which eventually became the Chevrolet Corvette, and he authorized the introduction of the tailfin to automotive styling. During World War II, he was an active contributor to the Allies’ research and development program in advancing the effectiveness of camouflage.


By David Tracy: The Aftermarket Is Fixing Mazda’s Mistake of Not Including Vent Windows on Old Miatas

The Life of a Conflicted Teacher: Friday Thoughts: The World Needs More…..
By Fred Lambert: Watch Tesla Model 3 being assembled from start to finish
By John W. Schoen, Lauren Thomas: Here’s a map of the 80 Sears and Kmart stores closing in March
Your car caught fire, we’re giving you the exact same model?
By Keith Eldridge | KOMO News: New dad gets surprise after driving burning car out of hospital
Trent’s car was a BMW 528. The owner of Sunset Auto Wholesale in Tacoma, Nathan Craig, heard about what happened from Trent’s brother Tony Gordon, one of his salesmen. They happened to have the same model on the lot so Craig decided to donate it to Trent.
By Joe Douglass, KATU News: Kent man kicked out of Portland hotel to file racial discrimination suit
BBC News Florida school shooting: New video shows ‘blunders’
Webneel: 15 Beautiful Macro Photographs by famous Indonesian photographer Abdul Gapur Dayak
Long Shot: My Life As a Sniper in the Fight Against ISIS Hardcover – 14 Feb 2019
by Azad Cudi (Author)

The incredible inside story of a Kurdish sniper in the battle against ISIS

As Syria imploded in civil war in 2011, Kurdish volunteers in the north rose up to free their homeland from centuries of repression and create a progressive sanctuary of tolerance and democracy. To the medievalists of ISIS, this was an affront, so they amassed 10,000 men, heavy artillery, tanks, mortars and ranks of suicide bombers to crush the uprising. Against them stood 2,500 volunteer fighters armed with 40-year-old rifles. There was only one way for the Kurds to survive. They would have to kill the invaders one by one.

A decade earlier, as a 19-year-old Iranian army conscript, Azad had been forced to fight his own people. Instead he deserted and sought asylum in Britain. Now, as he returned to his homeland to help build a new Kurdistan, he found he would have to pick up a gun once more. In September 2014, Azad became one of 17 snipers deployed when ISIS besieged the northern city of Kobani.

In LONG SHOT, Azad tells the inside story of how a group of activists and intellectuals built their own army and team of snipers, and then fought off a ferocious assault in nine months of bitter and bloody street battles. By turns searing, stirring, inspiring and poetic, this is an unique account of modern war and of how, against all odds, a few thousand men and women achieved the impossible and kept their dream of freedom alive.
Gastro Obscura: The centuries-old tradition of toasting with actual toast, 2019 Food Festivals and more ->
By Paris Martineau and Louise Matsakis: Why It’s Hard to Escape Amazon’s Long Reach
By Bill Owens Out of the Ordinary: 1994 Cadillac De Ville Flower


By Hometalk Highlights: 14 Winter Planter Ideas for When You’re Missing Your Garden These planters will brighten up your day when you’re feeling those winter blues.
Lora Taylor Hyatt Hometalker Prattsville, AR: No More Coconut Liners for My Hanging Baskets!




Coleen’s Recipes: GREEN BEANS and BACON
My Recipe Treasures: Cranberry Guacamole
By Connie Vines: Perfect Cake for Holidays



FYI December 28, 2018

On This Day

169 BC – The menorah is lit to rededicate the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after two centuries of foreign rule and religious oppression and a seven-year revolt. The menorah burns for eight days without the sufficient fuel needed to do so, birthing the holiday Hanukkah.
anukkah (/ˈhɑːnəkə/ HAH-nə-kə; Hebrew: חֲנֻכָּה‬ ḥanuká, Tiberian: ḥanuká, usually spelled חֲנוּכָּה‎, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew, [ˈχanukə] or [ˈχanikə] in Yiddish; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or Ḥanukah) is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.It is also known as the Festival of Lights (Hebrew: חַג הַאוּרִים‬, ḥag ha’urim).

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called a menorah (or hanukkiah). One branch is typically placed above or below the others and its candle is used to light the other eight candles. This unique candle is called the shamash (Hebrew: שַׁמָּשׁ‎, “attendant”). Each night, one additional candle is lit by the shamash until all eight candles are lit together on the final night of the festival.[2] Other Hanukkah festivities include playing the game of dreidel and eating oil-based foods, such as latkes and sufganiyot, and dairy foods. Since the 1970s, the worldwide Chabad Hasidic movement has initiated public menorah lightings in open public places in many countries.[3]


Born On This Day

1789 – Catharine Maria Sedgwick, American novelist of “domestic fiction” (d. 1867)[1]
Catharine Maria Sedgwick (December 28, 1789 – July 31, 1867) was an American novelist of what is sometimes referred to as “domestic fiction”. With her work much in demand, from the 1820s to the 1850s, Sedgwick made a good living writing short stories for a variety of periodicals. She became one of the most notable female novelists of her time. She wrote work in American settings, and combined patriotism with protests against historic Puritan oppressiveness. Her topics contributed to the creation of a national literature, enhanced by her detailed descriptions of nature. Sedgwick created spirited heroines who did not conform to the stereotypical conduct of women at the time. She promoted Republican motherhood.



By David Tracy: The Most Fascinating Things Jalopnik Explained in 2018
By Erik Shilling: When OnStar Thinks You’ve Crashed As You’re Whipping a Corvette ZR1 Around the Track
By George Dvorsky: Dozens of Stranded Sea Turtles Rescued After Indonesian Tsunami
By George Dvorsky: Enormous 18th-Century Ice House Re-Discovered Under London Street

By Victoria Song: Widespread 911 Outage Sparks FCC Investigation Into CenturyLink
By Gary Price: Report/Video from UK: The 250-Year-Old Subscription Library Thriving in a Digital World (The Leeds Library), A New Issue of the “International Journal of Digital Curation” (Vol 13, No 1) is Now Available Online and more ->
The Spaces The best of 2018: A woodland cabin in the heart of New York’s Catskills, 2018’s top music videos for architecture lovers Casting buildings in a starring role and more ->
Michael Connelly: Coming Next – the Murder Book Podcast
Atlas Obscura: All the places we added to Atlas Obscura in 2018, on one map CORNWALL, ENGLAND Holy Well and more ->
Atlas Obscura: 4 vaguely historic anniversaries we forgot this year and more->
The Passive Voice: Amazon Digital Day The hours From the Case Files of She-lock Holmes, Female Private Detective and more->
Today’s email was written by Jackie Bischof, edited by Jessanne Collins, and produced by Luiz Romero. Quartz Obsession: Exclamation points
Open Culture Josh Jones: Where Did the Monk’s Haircut Come From? A New Vox Video Explains the Rich and Contentious History of the Tonsure




By Laura Adamcyzk: Here’s to staying in: A decadent yet simple New Year’s Eve menu



FYI December 27, 2018

On This Day

537 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is completed.
Hagia Sophia (/ˈhɑːɡiə soʊˈfiːə/; from the Greek Αγία Σοφία, pronounced [aˈʝia soˈfia], “Holy Wisdom”; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture[1] and is said to have “changed the history of architecture”.[2]

The Hagia Sophia construction consists of mostly masonry. The structure is composed of brick and mortar joint that are 1.5 times the width of the bricks. The mortar joints are composed of a combination of sand and minute ceramic pieces displaced very evenly throughout the mortar joints. This combination of sand and ceramic pieces could be considered to be the equivalent of modern concrete at the time.[3]

From the date of its construction in 537 until 1453, it served as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral and the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople,[4] except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted by the Fourth Crusaders to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Empire. The building was later converted into an Ottoman mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931. It was then secularized and opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.[5] It remained the world’s largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the prior one having been destroyed by rioters in the Nika Revolt. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles.[6] The church was dedicated to the Wisdom of God, the Logos, the second person of the Trinity,[7] its patronal feast taking place on 25 December, the commemoration of the birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ.[7] Although sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Sophia the Martyr), sophia being the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom, its full name in Greek is Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας, Naos tēs Hagias tou Theou Sophias, “Shrine of the Holy Wisdom of God”.[8][9] The church contained a large collection of relics and featured, among other things, a 15-metre (49 ft) silver iconostasis.[citation needed] The focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years, the building witnessed the excommunication of Patriarch Michael I Cerularius officially communicated by Humbert of Silva Candida, the papal envoy of Pope Leo IX in 1054, an act that is commonly considered the start of the East–West Schism.

In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Empire under Mehmed the Conqueror, who ordered this main church of Orthodox Christianity converted into a mosque. Although some parts of the city of Constantinople were falling into disrepair, the cathedral was maintained with an amount of money set aside for this purpose. Nevertheless, the Christian cathedral made a strong impression on the new Ottoman rulers and they decided to convert it into a mosque.[10][11] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and other relics were destroyed and the mosaics depicting Jesus, his Mother Mary, Christian saints, and angels were also destroyed or plastered over. Islamic features—such as the mihrab (a niche in the wall indicating the direction toward Mecca, for prayer), minbar (pulpit), and four minarets—were added. It remained a mosque until 1931 when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey. Hagia Sophia was, as of 2014, the second-most visited museum in Turkey, attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.[12] According to data released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, Hagia Sophia was Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction in 2015.[13]

From its initial conversion until the construction of the nearby Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul) in 1616, it was the principal mosque of Istanbul. The Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia served as inspiration for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the aforementioned mosque, the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Pasha Complex.


Born On This Day

1907 – Mary Howard, English author (d. 1991)
Mary Mussi, née Edgar (born 27 December 1907 in London, England – died 2 March 1991), was a British writer of over 50 romance novels as Mary Howard, who also wrote over 10 gothic romance as Josephine Edgar. She is one of the two novelists to win three times the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association.[1]

Personal life

Born Mary Edgar on 27 December 1907 in London, England, United Kingdom, daughter of Jenny (Howard) and George Edgar, an author. She was educated privately. On 6 March 1934, she married Rudolph F. Mussi, they had one son, Max, and one daughter, Susan Jane.[2] Mary Mussi died on 2 March 1991.[3]

Writing career
Mussi started writing contemporary romance novels as Mary Howard in 1930, later she used the penname of Josephine Edgar to sign her gothic historical romances. She received three times the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association for her novels More Than Friendship (1960), Countess (1979), and Mr Rodriguez (1980).[1] She also won the Elinor Glyn award in 1961. She was a past chairwoman of Society of Women Writers and Journalists.[3]




By Jason Torchinsky: A 71-Year-Old French Dude Is Going to Try to Cross the Atlantic in a Barrel
By Michael Ballaban: This Is How They Unload Coal Trains
By A.G. Gancarsk: ‘The kids aren’t alright’ warns Ron DeSantis public safety team
Sheriff Wayne Ivey of Brevard noted that “juvenile crime is the biggest issue we face.”

“This ‘give them a pick-me-up hug’ simply isn’t working,” Ivey said, noting that “we have to get back to saying we’re going to hold them accountable and there’s going to be consequences for their actions.”
If these institutions had protected children, they wouldn’t need to pay.
By Tom Corrigan: Catholic Church Used Bankruptcy for Sexual-Assault Cases. Now Others Are Following Suit. USA Gymnastics, Boy Scouts of America explore chapter 11 to handle victims’ claims
Pioneered by the Catholic Church, the legal strategy uses the law that protects companies from creditors to help preserve its mission and shield assets from claims made by victims of sexual abuse. Filing for chapter 11 freezes lawsuits and provides breathing room to work out a plan to compensate abuse victims. Victims get a collective voice and a guaranteed seat at the negotiating table, and at the end of a bankruptcy a diocese gets a fresh start, free from liabilities tied to past abuse. A federal judge oversees the proceeding and must sign off on the final payment plan.
By Rocky Parker From the Beyond Bylines Team: Our 2019 Blogging Resolutions

By Eric Levenson: American endurance athlete becomes the first person to cross Antarctica solo
By Janelle Griffith: Billie Lourd honors mom Carrie Fisher with song on 2nd anniversary of her death “I decided to do something a little vulnerable for me, but something we both loved to do together – sing,” Lourd said.
She added that she hoped her Instagram video encourages “anyone feeling a little low or lost” to keep on moving, and quoted her mother, “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”
The Passive Voice: Selika Mystery of the Belle Epoque Thomas Bernhard, Karl Kraus, and Other Vienna-Hating Viennese The Future of Crime-Fighting is Family Tree Forensics and more ->
Today’s email was written by Quincey Tickner and Whet Moser, and produced by Luiz Romero. Quartz Obsession: The Six-Pack


By Shana: 19 Command Centers to Get You Ready for the New Year
By briggs108: Teardrop Trailer Tiny Home







FYI December 26, 2018

On This Day

1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Native Americans died.
The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Uprising, the Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow’s War, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of Dakota (also known as the eastern ‘Sioux’). It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota, four years after its admission as a state. Throughout the late 1850s in the lead-up to the war, treaty violations by the United States and late or unfair annuity payments by Indian agents caused increasing hunger and hardship among the Dakota. During the war, the Dakota made extensive attacks on hundreds of settlers and immigrants, which resulted in settler deaths, and caused many to flee the area. Intense desire for immediate revenge ended with soldiers capturing hundreds of Dakota men and interning their families. A military tribunal quickly tried the men, sentencing 303 to death for their crimes. President Lincoln would later commute the sentence of 264 of them. The mass hanging of 38 Dakota men was conducted on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota; it was the largest mass execution in United States history.

Traders with the Dakota previously had demanded that the government give the annuity payments directly to them (introducing the possibility of unfair dealing between the agents and the traders to the exclusion of the Dakota). In mid-1862, the Dakota demanded the annuities directly from their agent, Thomas J. Galbraith. The traders refused to provide any more supplies on credit under those conditions, and negotiations reached an impasse.[3]

On August 17, 1862, one young Dakota with a hunting party of three others killed five settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, although in President Abraham Lincoln’s second annual address, he said that no fewer than 800 men, women, and children had died.

Over the next several months, continued battles of the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands.[4] By late December 1862, US soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, including women, children and elderly men in addition to warriors, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing by a military court, 38 Dakota men were hanged on December 26, 1862 in Mankato in the largest one-day mass execution in American history. In April 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations. Additionally, the Ho-Chunk people living on reservation lands near Mankato were expelled from Minnesota as a result of the war.


Born On This Day

1526 – Rose Lok, businesswoman and Protestant exile(d. 1613)
Rose Lok (26 December 1526 – 21 November 1613) was an English businesswoman and Protestant exile during the Tudor period. At the age of eighty-four, she wrote an account covering the first part of her life.




By Jason Torchinsky: Bro-Truck Owners Are Deliberately Blocking Tesla Supercharger Spots
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Atlas Obscura: Animal Destinations, Coyote Commute, Underwater Graveyard and more->
By Austin Murphy: I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. There’s a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that’s winning big.
By MARI YAMAGUCHI: Japan to resume commercial whaling, but not in Antarctic
TOKYO (AP) — Japan announced Wednesday that it is leaving the International Whaling Commission to resume commercial hunts for the animals for the first time in 30 years, but said it would no longer go to the Antarctic for its much-criticized annual killings.
Today’s email was written by Gwynn Guilford, edited by Jessanne Collins, and produced by Luiz Romero. Quartz Obsession: The Potato
L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth 2018
By Gary Price: Podcast & Transcript: NYPL’s Chief Digital Officer Tony Ageh Says Public Is Better Off When Libraries Are ‘Risk Averse’ About Tech”, An Interesting and Useful Look at of Some of the Books, Films, and Music Entering the U.S. Public Domain on January 1, 2019 and more ->
Colossal: The Surprising Result of Crushing Non-Newtonian Fluids and Crayons in a Hydraulic Press, Underwater Choreography Performed in the World’s Deepest Pool by Julie Gautier, Photographer Jonathan Higbee Discovers a World of Coincidence on the Streets of New York and more ->
Open Culture Josh Jones: Jazz Musician Plays Acoustic Guitar While Undergoing Brain Surgery, Helping Doctors Monitor Their Progress







FYI December 25, 2018

On This Day

336 – First documentary sign of Christmas celebration in Rome.
Christmas is an annual festival, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,[8][9] observed primarily on December 25[4][10][11] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.[2][12][13] A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night;[14] in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave.[15] Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world’s nations,[16][17][18] is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians,[19] as well as culturally by many non-Christians,[1][20] and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

The traditional Christmas narrative, the Nativity of Jesus, delineated in the New Testament says that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, in accordance with messianic prophecies.[21] When Joseph and Mary arrived in the city, the inn had no room and so they were offered a stable where the Christ Child was soon born, with angels proclaiming this news to shepherds who then further disseminated the information.[22]

Although the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church had fixed the date of Christmas as December 25,[23] a date that was later adopted in the East.[24][25] Today, most Christians celebrate on December 25 in the Gregorian calendar, which has been adopted almost universally in the civil calendars used in countries throughout the world. However, some Eastern Christian Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which currently corresponds to January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. This is not a disagreement over the date of Christmas as such, but rather a preference of which calendar should be used to determine the day that is December 25. Moreover, for Christians, the belief that God came into the world in the form of man to atone for the sins of humanity, rather than the exact birth date, is considered to be the primary purpose in celebrating Christmas.[26][27][28][29]

The celebratory customs associated in various countries with Christmas have a mix of pre-Christian, Christian, and secular themes and origins.[30] Popular modern customs of the holiday include gift giving, completing an Advent calendar or Advent wreath, Christmas music and caroling, lighting a Christingle, viewing a Nativity play, an exchange of Christmas cards, church services, a special meal, pulling Christmas crackers and the display of various Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, Christmas lights, nativity scenes, garlands, wreaths, mistletoe, and holly. In addition, several closely related and often interchangeable figures, known as Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, and Christkind, are associated with bringing gifts to children during the Christmas season and have their own body of traditions and lore.[31] Because gift-giving and many other aspects of the Christmas festival involve heightened economic activity, the holiday has become a significant event and a key sales period for retailers and businesses. The economic impact of Christmas has grown steadily over the past few centuries in many regions of the world.


Born On This Day

1889 – Lila Bell Wallace, American publisher and philanthropist, co-founded Reader’s Digest (d. 1984)
Lila Bell Wallace (December 25, 1889 – May 8, 1984) was an American magazine publisher and philanthropist.

Wallace co-founded Reader’s Digest with her husband Dewitt Wallace, publishing the first issue in 1922.

Early life and education

Born as Lila Bell Acheson in Virden, Manitoba, Canada, her father was a Presbyterian minister who brought his family to the USA when she was a child, and she grew up in the Midwest.

In 1917, she graduated from the University of Oregon, located in Eugene, Oregon, taught at schools for two years, and then worked for the Young Women’s Christian Association. She also studied at Ward–Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee.[1]

Marriage and career
In 1921, she married DeWitt Wallace. The couple co-founded the Reader’s Digest magazine. For many years, Reader’s Digest was the best-selling consumer magazine in the United States.

In her lifetime, she made philanthropic contributions estimated at $60 million.

Legacy and honors

The Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Writers Award was given in her memory from 1990 to 2000.[2]

On January 28, 1972, she was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Richard Nixon.[3] In 1992, she was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Arts.[4]

She died from heart failure, age 94, in Mount Kisco, New York.[5]




Vector’s Wolrd: Merry Christmas and more ->
By Elizabeth Werth: Rallying’s Most Tenacious Driver Was A Woman
Michèle Mouton (born 23 June 1951) is a French former rally driver. Competing in the World Rally Championship for the Audi factory team, she took four victories and finished runner-up in the drivers’ world championship in 1982. She is still the last woman to compete in top-level rallying.

Mouton debuted in rallying as a co-driver but quickly moved to the driver’s seat, steering an Alpine-Renault A110 in national rallies. In 1975, she competed in circuit racing and won the two-litre prototype class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After being signed by Fiat France for 1977, Mouton finished runner-up to Bernard Darniche in the European Rally Championship. She went on to win the 1978 Tour de France Automobile and record consistent results in her home events in the WRC; the Tour de Corse and the Monte Carlo Rally. For 1981, Audi Sport signed Mouton to partner Hannu Mikkola. In her first year with the Audi Quattro, she took a surprise victory at the Rallye Sanremo.

In the 1982 World Rally season, Mouton finished a close second overall to Walter Röhrl, after wins in Portugal, Brazil and Greece, and helped Audi to its first manufacturers’ title. Her campaign the following year resulted in fifth place. With the team having four top drivers for 1984, Mouton’s participation on world championship level became part-time. In 1985, she won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the United States, setting a record time in the process. In 1986, she moved to Peugeot and won the German Rally Championship as the first female driver to win a major championship in rallying. Soon after securing the title, Mouton retired from rallying due to the ban of Group B supercars. In 1988, she co-founded the international motorsport event Race of Champions in memory of her former rival Henri Toivonen. Mouton became the first president of the FIA’s Women & Motor Sport Commission in 2010 and the FIA’s manager in the World Rally Championship in 2011.

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