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Saturday, March 31, 2007

April Fools Day

The origins of April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day appear to be lost in time. Humor is a part of life and most people enjoy a good laugh. Of course life has its serious side as well and if no one took life seriously, not much would get done. So, as with other things that are needed to keep society running smoothly, customs and unwritten codes of behavior were developed. For serious things, laws were established with punishment, however, societies tend to operate in a more informal manner with rules enforced through social stigma rather than punishment. Since, as the old saying goes all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (and the same for Jill), societies throughout history have made exceptions by having certain days or times when the normal rules are relaxed or suspended.

April Fools' Day appears to be one of these days when...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Vacationing in Outer Space

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company plans to begin testing its SS2 space craft which he expects to begin offering tourist flights to space in 2009. Current cost is $200,000 which expected to fall as more competition enters the field.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is the sixth Sunday in Lent and the Sunday before Easter. It is celebrated in all major Christian churches - Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox. In popular parlance it is called Palm Sunday because it commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The Gospels describe how the crowds lined the route, spread palm branches on the road and waved palm leaves in their hands enthusiastically... read more

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Lady in Blue

Between myths behind which are verifiable facts and those that are so removed from the truth that they are just stories we occasionally find one that can be easily verified up to a point but, at its core is a mystery that cannot be explained. This is the case with the American Southwest's mysterious Lady in Blue.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Why the Date of Easter Changes Each Year

Why Easter Sunday varies between late March and late April.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Help rewrite the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is the per-eminent dictionary of the English language. But as the language continues to grow so does the need to keep updating the OED. The OED in cooperation with the BBC TV is having a contest for people to try to find the earliest verifiable use of words on their list of words being researched.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Death of Computer Pioneer John Backus

John Backus, who developed the first high level computer language, FORTRAN, in 1954 died on March 17, 2007 at age 82.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Pack Rats

There are two legged and four legged varieties of pack rat. One clutters your home, the other ruins your car.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Citizen of Both Ireland and America

Brief account about how dual citizenship works.

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St Patrick's Day

Brief history of this popular American holiday (when everyone becomes Irish for the day) and the saint it honors.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Albert Einstein 1879 - 1955

Today, March 28, 2007 is the 128th anniversary of the birth of Albert Einstein one of the greatest astrophysicists of all time and a dominent figure of the 20th Century.

Born in Germany on March 14, 1879 to a Jewish family, Einstein grew up in Gremany but went to college in Switzerland where he remained after college. He later returned to Germany and taught college in Berlin. The rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party was not good for Einstein as he was both Jewish and openly critical of Nazi policies. Prudently, accepting a visiting teaching postion at Princeton University in the United States in 1932 removed him from the Nazi threat but he was considered a threat to the U.S. by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Fortunately, the FBI left him alone and he was available as a key figure in the Manhattan Project which built the atomic bomb that helped end World War II in the Pacific.

Einstein died on April 18, 1955, but his contributions to scientific knowledge live on.

Read the entry below about how Einstein's birthday, March 14th, coincides the the math holiday, Pi Day.

Pi Day - A Holiday for Math Geeks

A description of Pi Day - A holiday for Math lovers.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Family Arts Festival in Tucson

Photo essay on Tucson, Arizona's annual Family Arts Festival.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

All Things Irish - Eamon de Valera

Brief biography of Irish revolutionary leader, Eamon de Valera.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spice up Your Oatmeal

Quick and tasty ideas for a hearty oatmeal breakfast.

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Quick and Easy Cinnamon Flavored Coffee

Rather than paying extra for cinnamon flavored ground coffee, here is an easy way to make it yourself.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Oddities of English

Twenty funny sentences incorporating words with double meanings.

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