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May, 12 2017
Hurricanes Finally Get Named for Men, As Well
It was on this day in 1978 that hurricanes also were named for men. Previously named only for women, this seems like justice, however late. What’s in a name? My sister has something to say about that, named as she is, for a racehorse. I told this story on NPR’s All Things Considered. Have a look.
May, 16 2017
It’s Fiddlehead time. Fiddlehead ferns that is, sold and eaten while they are still rolled up. Fiddleheads are the unfurled fronds of a young fern harvested for food consumption. Called a fiddlehead because it resembles the curled ornamentation (called a scroll) on the end of a stringed instrument, such as a fiddle, it is It is also called a crozier since it also resembles the curved staff used by bishops, which has its origins in the shepherd’s crook. Got some food memoir? I lap it up, and write it down here.
May, 23 2017
The Father of Taxomony is Born
On this day in 1707 was the birth of Carl Linneaus, the man who created order out of chaos by creating a classification system for naming and identifying plants. I created one of those, though mine divides by people, asking if you are either a burger or a burrito. Check it out.
May, 27 2017
Rachel Carson’s Birthday
On this day in 1907 was the birth of Rachel Carson, one of the greatest advocates the earth will ever know. The New Yorker magazine took a chance on her, first publishing her in 1951 and in 1962 serializing Silent Spring, in which she took on the subject of the ravaging effects of pesticides. The book is still regarded as the cornerstone of the new environmentalism. She inspires me, and I might write a piece of memoir about reading that book or what she has meant to me. You? What creative inspiration does she provoke in you?
May, 28 2017
The Sierra Club is Founded
On this day in 1892, the Sierra Club was founded, making it America’s oldest environmental organization. Today, the Sierra Club has chapters throughout the United States and Canada that offer opportunities for local involvement, activism and outings. Begun in San Francisco by John Muir, America’s most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, today the Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members across the country and is affiliated with the Sierra Club of Canada. Their mission: To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives. Today they are not only the oldest, but also America’s largest, most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, they are 1.3 million of your friends and neighbors, working together to protect our communities and the planet. Check them out at http://www.sierraclub.org/
May, 29 2017
Wisconsin Becomes the 30th State
On this day in 1848, Wisconsin became the thirtieth state admitted to the Union. The “Badger State” was the last state formed in its entirety from the Northwest Territory. Live in Wisconsin? Have you visited and have a story you want to tell? Plan it, write it and send it along to your local public radio station or newspaper.
May, 31 2017
The Man Whose Name Went on a Dish is Born
On this day in 1852 was the birth of someone whose name you learned in 8th grade biology but whose life you may know little about. It’s Richard Julius Petri, German physician and bacteriologist, remembered for his name given to the Petri dish. This is a shallow, cylindrical dish made of plastic or glass with a cover, used for tissue cultures and to hold solid media for culturing and sub-culturing bacteria. In his later days he got a little full of himself, and had put on just enough weight so you’d notice it, and took to dressing in the uniform of chief army doctor whenever the opportunity presented itself. This prompted one observer to remark – and take note if you are dressing to impress – that the sash around his protuberant abdomen reminded him of the equator around the globe.