FYI February 02, 2018


 
 

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On This Day

1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.
Groundhog Day or Ground-Hog Day, ground-hog’s day, etc., (Pennsylvania German: Grund’sau dåk, Grundsaudaag, Grundsow Dawg, Murmeltiertag; Nova Scotia: Daks Day) is a popular tradition celebrated in the United States and Canada on February 2.

It derives from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog (Deitsch: Grundsau, Grunddax, Dax) emerging from its burrow on this day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks, and if he does not, due to cloudiness, spring season will arrive early.

The weather lore was brought from German-speaking areas where the badger (German: dachs) is the forecasting animal. This appears to be an enhanced version of the lore that clear weather on Candlemas forebodes a prolonged winter.

The Groundhog Day ceremony held at Punxsutawney in central Pennsylvania has become the most attended. Grundsow Lodges in Pennsylvania Dutch Country in the southeast part of the state celebrate them as well. Other cities in the United States and Canada have also adopted the event.

The 1993 movie (Groundhog Day) helped boost recognition of the custom, and the celebration has spread even further afield. In 2009, Quebec began to mark the day (Canadian French: Jour de la Marmotte) with its own groundhog.


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Born On This Day

1897 – Gertrude Blanch, Russian-American mathematician (d. 1996)
Gertrude Blanch (born 2 February 1897 in Kolno, Russian Empire (now Poland); died 1 January 1996) was an American mathematician who did pioneering work in numerical analysis and computation. She was a leader of the Mathematical Tables Project in New York from its beginning. She worked later as the assistant director and leader of the Numerical Analysis at UCLA computing division and was head of mathematical research for the Aerospace Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

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FYI

By Matt Novak: Nigel the Bird Found Dead Next to the Concrete Partner He Tried to Woo For Years
 
 
 
 
By Megan Reynolds: Teen ‘Slender Man’ Stabbing Suspect Sentenced to 40 Years in a Psychiatric Hospital
Morgan Geyser, one of the two teens accused of stabbing classmate Payton Leutner at the behest of “Slender Man,” a fictional phenomenon created by the internet, has been sentenced to 40 years in a mental institution in lieu of jail time.
 
 
 
 
By Sidney Fussell: Kentucky’s Biggest City Wants to Send Surveillance Drones Into Neighborhoods After Shootings
 
 
 
 
By Andrew Liszewski: Watching These Daredevils Leap Across Rooftops in Hong Kong Gave Me a Fear of Heights

 
 
 
 
By Jason Torchinsky: Radio Station Records Play-By-Play Of Idiot Trying To Break Into Employee’s Car With A Mop
 
 
 
 
By David Tracy: How Jalopnik Readers Helped A Man Stranded In His Toyota Land Cruiser Get Back On His Feet
 
 
 
 
By Harry McCracken: Owl Comes Out Of Stealth With a Dropcam For Your Car, Inside And Out
 
 
 
 
By Gary Price: A Prototype of the Digital Library of the Middle East Now Live Online
 
 
 
 
By Danielle Paquette: Humane Society keeps CEO after sexual harassment complaints, prompting seven board members to resign
The Humane Society of the United States voted Thursday to keep chief executive Wayne Pacelle in his job after an internal investigation identified three complaints of sexual harassment against him. Seven board members resigned in protest immediately after the decision.
 
 
 
 
By Jami Attenberg: Letter of Recommendation: Hysterectomies
 
 
 
 
By Heather Chapman: Defining ‘rural’ in Wyoming, the least populous state
Gale Gunzenhauser, who lives in the 3,000 person town of Bar Nunn, has a more practical definition: “It’s not crowded. I know my neighbors and my neighbors know me, but nobody bothers nobody.” He moved there to escape the sound of beer bottles breaking on the sidewalk outside his apartment in Casper. “In Bar Nunn, Gunzenhauser said, you couldn’t hear the bottles breaking: the sidewalks were made of dirt,” Rosenfeld reports.
 
 
 
 
By Heather Chapman: A liberal entrepreneur set out to help W.Va. and got a lesson in humility
Rural areas are fighting uphill battles on multiple fronts: job creation, opioids, infrastructure, health care, and more, and there are no easy solutions. A wealthy urban entrepreneur found that out the hard way after he decided to try to “fix” a small town in West Virginia. Though Joe Kapp has become a staunch–and seasoned–advocate for the area’s blue collar population, he got off to a rocky start with locals who felt his efforts were condescending and ham-fisted. It’s a long story but well worth the read. Check it out here.
 
 
 
 
By Colin Marshall: Behold the Beautiful Pages from a Medieval Monk’s Sketchbook: A Window Into How Illuminated Manuscripts Were Made (1494)
 
 
 
 
By Josh Jones: George Orwell Creates a List of the Four Essential Reasons Writers Write
 
 
 
 


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