A History Sunday

Most readers of IST know that I am a history buff and a foreign policy wonk….so I would like to pass on some historic stuff that I have been saving for a rainy day….

Today, 10 November, the Marine Corps is founded in 1775……Cavalry hero Maj. Reno is court martial for being a peeping tom in 1879…..1969 Sesame Street debuts…..the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald 1975…….

One of the most devastating weapons introduced in World War One was the machine gun…..his name was Hiram Maxim…..

HIRAM MAXIM WAS a prolific American inventor. During his lifetime, he devised mousetraps, curling irons, steam pumps, bronchitis inhalers, and even an amusement park ride. He also tinkered with powered flight, early radio technology and light bulbs.

It wasn’t until 1882 however that the 42-year-old inventor conceived his most famous creation.

“I was in Vienna, where I met an American whom I had known in the States,” Maxim told the Times of London. “He said: ‘Hang your chemistry and electricity! If you want to make a pile of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other’s throats with greater facility.’ ”

Over the course of the next three years, Maxim toiled in his London workshop and, lo, the Maxim machine gun was born.

Machine Gun — How Hiram Maxim’s Deadly Invention Changed History

LSMFT!  Old Gold……Chesterfield……war made these items popuar…I am talking about cigarettes….

On July 11, many thousands of people heard a fascinating story on NPR and WBUR’s Here and Now radio program, in which two esteemed historians asserted that Americans never would have been as dependent as they are on tobacco were it not for the considerable support of the U.S. government. To many, this was surely a surprising assertion, since Big Tobacco is often perceived to be at odds with big government, with its regulations and disclosure requirements and general aversion to its citizens getting sick and dying. There was only one problem: the two historians, both men, did not credit the source of the story—another historian, a woman named Sarah Milov, and her new book, The Cigarette: A Political History.


More history will have to wait for I still have a tangerine crop that needs picking….


But before that can happen I need to handle another situation…..I believe someone is telling me it is time for that walk I promised about 30 minutes ago……


Got to go…..TTFN

P.S. this is tangerines off of one tree……


And there is more waiting…….

Have a great Sunday and relax for next week will be a busy week…..chuq

It Is Destroying All Our Books

The weekend and I get to wax poetic…or intellectual….or comedic…..or…well you get the idea….

I have written before just how important books are to me and that I have at least a 1000 books in my library and not one is a book of fiction.

My love of books came from my childhood…..I was brought in a home with a absent father and a mother that had to work to make ends meet….so I was given toys but mostly books that expanded my mind….this lead me to question so much…..and in later life thank my Mom for her insistence that I read and ask questions……

I read something that distressed me….that my books may be suffering from what is know as the literary “slow fire”……

Sometimes you need to be brutal, eschewing sentimentality as you cut off a spine or replace a book’s old, water-stained cover. At other times, gentle, delicate—especially with the books from Special Collections, those unique, fragile (and expensive) texts. And sometimes you find books with yellowed, stiff pages. The old dog-eared folds break off in triangles, flutter to the floor. These books can’t be helped by simple repairs—they’re acidified, dying, and the opposite of unique. In fact, they’re examples of a large-scale catastrophe that’s been quietly building in libraries for decades.

It’s called a “slow fire,” this continuous acidification and subsequent embrittlement of paper that was created with the seeds of its own ruin in its very fibers. In a 1987 documentary on the subject, the deputy Librarian of Congress William Welsh takes an embrittled, acid-burned book and begins tearing pages out by the handful, crumbling them into shards with an ease reminiscent of stepping on a dried-up insect carcass.

The Little-Known ‘Slow Fire’ That’s Destroying All Our Books

I believe the slogan…”Reading Is Essential”……

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”