The Bullies Pulpit

From Politico: More than 100 years ago a Republican president worried that America wasn’t doing enough to protect its most treasured wild and sacred places from over-development, mining and drilling. So Congress passed and President Teddy Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act of 1906, giving presidents the authority to preserve imperiled mountains, forests, cultural treasures and… Read more The Bullies Pulpit

Ötzi-quel

This ongoing saga of Ötzi the Iceman fascinates me. I first learned of him from Radiolab a few years ago, but turns out we keep learning more about this mythic Italian mummy: The more scientists learn, the more recognizable the Iceman becomes. He was 5 feet 5 inches tall (about average height for his time),… Read more Ötzi-quel

So Far Advanced

Here’s a funny bit in an otherwise unfunny but fascinating book called A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940. After Finland refused Stalin’s ultimatum, Russia initiated war and installed a puppet Finnish government that signed the “treaty” Stalin had wanted: Never change, Finland.

Tom, John, Abby & George

The fourth episode of the John Adams miniseries (“Reunion”) contains two of the best scenes in the show. The first is John hanging with Abigail and Thomas Jefferson in Paris. It’s fun to consider now how these titans of American history would have interacted in their time, before they achieved titan status: The second is when John Adams… Read more Tom, John, Abby & George

Refer Madness: A Name that Named Names

Refer Madness spotlights strange, intriguing, or otherwise noteworthy questions I encounter at the library reference desk. A patron who calls regularly — usually looking for the value of an old book or baseball card — had a pretty direct question for me today: “Was Lee J. Cobb blacklisted?” Nope, but just barely. Born Leo Jacoby (get it? Lee J. Cobb[y]?), Cobb… Read more Refer Madness: A Name that Named Names

Guns Kill People

It is right and good that the New York Times chose, for the first time since 1920, to publish an editorial on Page 1. “End the Gun Epidemic in America” captures the zeitgeist well, at least that of reasonable human beings without a vested, monied interest in seeing the NRA-sponsored carnage continue. “It is not necessary… Read more Guns Kill People