|© The Pierpont Morgan Library/Art Resource|
The word "bunk," which is short for "bunkum," isn't used all that much anymore, but maybe it should be. A word like this deserves to be kept around, if just for its history (and to remind us that Congress has always had its ... moments ...). It seems that on February 25, 1820, Congress was all in a dither. The focus of their debate was actually quite a serious one, the Missouri Compromise. Well, during this agitation, the representative from North Carolina, one Felix Walker, stood up and began a long and rambling speech that had little, if anything, to do with the matter at hand. When his colleagues objected, he told them that he was speaking not to them but to his constituents in Buncombe County. Buncombe, bunkum, long-winded digressions ~ you see where this is headed (http://www.history.com/topics/missouri-compromise): http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/ncm/index.php/2004/02/01/this_month_feb_1820/
|the Peacock Mantis Shrimp Samuel van Eldik|
|Mobutu's palace Sean Smith for the Guardian|
Related information, on the origins of Islam, seems in some ways to differ considerably from the above. No wonder we're confused! from delanceyplace.com:
Today's selection -- from Fields of Blood by Karen Armstrong. The founding of Islam by Muhammad came at a time when the new-found wealth of Arabs in Mecca had led them to ignore the plight of the poor. Muhammad's message was a reminder to his fellow merchants to take responsibility for one
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) did not have a happy childhood. Apparently, he personally made sure that at least one of his three children didn't, either. from wisegeek.com:
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin really did hate his son Yakov. In fact, Stalin refused to surrender German soldiers in exchange for releasing his son from capture during World War II. In 1943, Yakov Stalin reportedly committed suicide while being held prisoner in a German concentration camp. Stalin is thought to have despised his first born son, which may be due to his beloved first wife dying when Yakov was just nine months old. At the funeral, he claimed that his wife had softened his hard heart and without her he would never be able to love anyone again. Although Stalin remarried and had another son and a daughter, his relationship with his oldest son was so contentious that Yakov attempted suicide as a result, leading the dictator to scoff about his son’s poor gun aim.
|Flammulated Owl Brad Wilson|
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) wrote his first poem when he was 6 and published two in his city's newspaper at the age of 16. His parents had been slaves in Kentucky before the Civil War, and his mother learned to read specifically so that she could help him in his studies. Dunbar wrote poems in both dialect and standard English. In all, he wrote a dozen books of poetry, four novels, four compilations of short stories, one play, and the lyrics for a musical. from Poem-a-Day:
Invitation to Love
Come when the nights are bright with stars
Or come when the moon is mellow;
Come when the sun his golden bars
Drops on the hay-field yellow.
Come in the twilight soft and gray,
Come in the night or come in the day,
Come, O love, whene'er you may,
And you are welcome, welcome.
You are sweet, O Love, dear Love,
You are soft as the nesting dove.
Come to my heart and bring it to rest
As the bird flies home to its welcome nest.
Come when my heart is full of grief
Or when my heart is merry;
Come with the falling of the leaf
Or with the redd'ning cherry.
Come when the year's first blossom blows,
Come when the summer gleams and glows,
Come with the winter's drifting snows,
And you are welcome, welcome.
|Glacier National Park Robert Zavadil|
|an Action Hero and his socks|
Last year's winners include a high-school student who founded a group of volunteers around his age to teach music to younger children, a seventh-grader who started Boxes of Love for children around the world impacted by disaster, and a preschooler who has collected 1,256 (at that point) new pairs of socks for various nonprofits. Who will this year's be? Volunteers between the ages of 8 and 15 who are doing something to make a difference in the world ~ either globally or locally ~ can become Hasbro Community Action Heroes and get a $1,000 educational scholarship and $500 donated to the charity of their choice (website): http://generationon.org/teens/awards/hasbro-community-action-hero-award/eligibility
|Tor House and Hawk Tower Hella Mitschke Rothwell|
The things that one grows tired of—O, be sure
They are only foolish artificial things!
Can a bird ever tire of having wings?
And I, so long as life and sense endure,
(Or brief be they!) shall nevermore inure
My heart to the recurrence of the springs,
Of gray dawns, the gracious evenings,
The infinite wheeling stars. A wonder pure
Must ever well within me to behold
Venus decline; or great Orion, whose belt
Is studded with three nails of burning gold,
Ascend the winter heaven. Who never felt
This wondering joy may yet be good or great:
But envy him not: he is not fortunate.
|Hopper at the UNIVAC, 1957 photo taken for Philadelphia Inquirer|
|Pete Muller/Prime for the Washington Post|
You're about to make a great pasta dinner and realize you used the last of the pasta a couple of weeks ago. You rush to the store, and there you are once again, staring at shelves of spaghetti ... and rigatoni and fusilli and farfalle and capellini and pappardelle and ... And now what? Which to choose? Does it matter? Turns out it's all about the sauce: http://www.kcet.org/living/food/the-nosh/infographic-learn-about-188-pasta-shapes-and-how-to-cook-them.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=kcet