Monthly Archives: July 2018

Ghosts: Friday the 13th Ghost!

Happy Friday the 13th!

Book 'Em, Jan O

Readers, here’s a scary tale of visitations by the ghost of Frederick Douglass, appearing to right wrongs on Friday the 13th!  Really intriguing story!  Read on at patheos.com via http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/04/04/friday-the-13th-a-ghost-story/

Photo:By Engraved by J.C. Buttre from a daguerretotype. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To learn more about real ghosts, please see About Ghosts: A Useful Handbook.  For some great ghost stories, please see Death Be Not Loud, Rest In Fleece, and Sepia Seepage.  To learn about ghosts in modern fiction, please see Infectious Ghosts. And so much more, at my amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B071FK9L75
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Random Good Things About Friday the 13th

It’s safer

According to the Dutch Center for Insurance Statistics, Friday the 13th is actually statistically safer than other Fridays — there are fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft on these days. Is that only true in the Netherlands, though?

The first dinosaur eggs were found

Roy Chapman Andrews discovered the first dinosaur eggs at a dig in Mongolia, on July 13, 1923, a huge breakthrough in paleontology and a generally cool thing.

Gender discrimination became illegal in government

Although Title VII prevented private employers from discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin and sex, it wasn’t until Executive Order 11375 that gender discrimination became illegal for the federal government and federal contractors. President Johnson signed the order — officially titled Amending Executive Order No. 11246, Relating to Equal Employment Opportunity — on October 13, 1967.

Now we need a law prohibiting stupidity in government.

Water was found on the Moon

On November 13, 2009, NASA announced that they had found “significant” water on the Moon. How much? Approximately a dozen two-gallon bucketfuls. But still….

The first female flight instructor got her license

On October 13, 1939, Evelyn Pinckert Kilgore became the first female flight instructor. She then flew non-combat missions during World War II, and owned and operated her own private airport after the war.

Benjamin Franklin wrote one of his most famous quotes

“[B]ut in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, a fellow inventor, on Friday, November 13, 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote that the US Constitution had been completed: “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”

Heavy metal became a new music genre

Black Sabbath released their debut album on Friday, February 13th 1970.

Every Friday the 13th has been the beginning of a weekend

Duh! Have a good one!

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Addicted to Books

Our current move has involved putting approximately 1000 boxes of books weighing approximately 1,000,000 lbs into storage: Art. History. Art History. Theatre. Theatre History. Obscure Writings on Theatre History… you get the idea.

Which prompts me to wonder if my Dear Husband and others like him should form a chapter of Book Buyers Anonymous.

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In fairness, DH’s library is much better organized!

DH navigates a bookstore or library the way I peruse the designer floor at Neiman Marcus or almost any bakery: eyes glazed, slack-jawed and bent double so as to read the title/label. It’s nearly impossible to leave empty-handed.

Like chocolate and expensive perfume, scent is part of the experience: dusty, musty old books exude an irresistible pull, as does the cottony, slightly acrid crispness of a new volume.

I used to share DH’s addiction but, much as I love to read, I don’t collect books the way I collect, say, shoes and bags. Once done, I almost never return for a second round of the same story. The library would be a perfect solution, except that I prefer the pristine quality of a new book to one that’s been handled by someone else. Hence, regular purchases of paperbacks, which can easily be recycled to friends, family or Goodwill.

But as a kid the library was my safe haven, especially during the summers we spent on Cape Cod, when I had endless hours to curl up with a book.

My childhood library was founded in 1875 and moved to its present stone building in 1913. It felt both vast and cozy. Also deeply welcoming, despite the looming presence of librarians who’d shush you if you happened to be giggling with a friend.

I loved the dark, dusty stacks, the wooden files of Dewey Decimal System reference cards (named for the proprietary library classification system first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876), and most of all the sense of anticipation that you’d find something wonderful to bring home.

Dickens. Austen. Nancy Drew – I was voracious and indiscriminate. And I still have anxiety if I have fewer than 3 books at the ready. Kindles have their place but I want to hold my book. (Sounds like a Beatles song, no?)

Anyway. For the time being DH’s beloved boxes are safe and snug, though I have recurring nightmares of the second floor of our soon-to-be-built new home caving in under the weight of all those invaluable tomes.

Maybe I should go bake something.