Daily Archives: April 4, 2014

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: FEAST OF SAN ISIDRO OF SEVILLE


Feast of San Isidro of Seville

St. Isidro, or Isidore, (c. 560-636) was born in Cartagena, Spain, and eventually became bishop of Seville. In Río Frío, Colombia, April occurs in autumn and is typically very dry. On San Isidro’s feast day, April 4, townspeople process the saint’s image around the streets in the hope that he will help bring rain. The procession takes two steps forward, then one step backward, and so on, with the idea that if it drags out long enough, some rain may fall before the festivities end. If no rain falls, those who had been singing praises to St. Isidro may begin to insult and swear at him. More… Discuss

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QUOTATION: Aesop


Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear.

Aesop (620 BC-560 BC) Discuss

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: MAYA ANGELOU (1928)


Maya Angelou (1928)

Angelou is an African-American writer and performer and the author of several volumes of poetry. Her seven autobiographical volumes, including I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, recount her traumatic youth and explore themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression. In 1993, she was given the honor of reciting her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration. Angelou was not always so vocal; she endured several years of mutism in childhood. What triggered it? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON DIES OF PNEUMONIA (1841)


William Henry Harrison Dies of Pneumonia (1841)

When at age 68 Harrison became the 9th president of the US, he was the oldest man yet to step into that role. Despite his age, he paid little heed to the cold, wet weather on the day of his inauguration and proceeded to deliver the longest inaugural speech in US history—without hat or overcoat. Pneumonia claimed his life a month later, making him the first American president to die in office and making his presidency the briefest ever. According to legend, he was the first victim of what curse? More… Discuss

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NEWS: WORLD WAR II STILL CLAIMING LIVES


World War II Still Claiming Lives

At least seven people were killed and 19 others injured when a World War II-era bomb detonated in a scrap metal warehouse in Bangkok, Thailand. The 500-lb (227-kg) bomb had been found by construction workers, who assumed it was inactive and sold it for scrap. When warehouse workers attempted to disassemble the bomb using a blowtorch, it exploded with devastating effect. This incident serves as a tragic reminder of the dangers posed by unexploded munitions and the need to call in experts any time such a device is found. More… Discuss

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ARTICLE: PYRITE: “FOOL’S GOLD”


Pyrite: “Fool’s Gold”

Widely known in the English-speaking world as “fool’s gold” because it has often been mistaken for the precious metal but is vastly less valuable, pyrite is a gold-colored mineral made of iron and sulfur. Despite its nickname and reputation, it does sometimes contain small amounts of real gold. Pyrite is useful in electronics because of its semiconducting properties, but its chief use is as a source of sulfur in the manufacture of sulfuric acid. What are the hazards of mining pyrite? More…Discuss

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