Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Edna Lewis, Pioneering Chef and Author Dies

Edna Lewis, one of the first famed black chefs whose 1976 book "The Taste of Country Cooking" helped spark interest in Southern cuisine, died at the age of 89 last week.

Born in Freetown, Virginia, in 1916, the granddaughter of slaves moved to New York and started working at a time when female chefs were rare. She worked at restaurants including the former Gage & Tollner of Brooklyn. In 1999, Lewis was designated as Grande Dame by Les Dames d'Escoffier, a worldwide organization of female chefs. In her books, Lewis offered cooking shortcuts and shared childhood stories in giving her recipes.

To read the full article, click on the title above.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Presidents of the United States of America

This great new book from government documents (Sudoc number Y 3.H 62/4: 2 P 92) gives us an overview of the lives of all US Presidents - from George Wahington to George W. Bush. One page of this book outlines the history of each President with comments about important events in United States history. A lot of the leadership qualities and knowledge for each comes through along with major accomplishments or problems each faced during their presidency. A few of the Presidents made bad decisions (James Buchanan urged Congress to allow Kansas to be in the Union as a slave state); and 8 never lived to complete their 4 years in office.
Each President is deplicted during his presidency by a painting or photograph. All are shown in paintings except for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Just for fun, take a long look the portraits. On page 37, James Buchanan (above) looks astonishingly like Anthony Hopkins as he appeared in the movie "Hannibal". Some people may not really remember what all the Presidents looked like, except for those deplicted on currency. This book offers a quick glimpse into their personal and public lives. Click on the title above for Internet link.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day

Top Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day:

65%-greeting cards, 44%-date night, 38%-candy, 32%-flowers, 29%-gift cards, 12%-perfume/cologne and 11%-jewelry
  • 180 million Valentine's card exchanged annually
  • 24.7 lbs of candy are consumed by Americans annually
  • $422 million in domestically produced cut flowers
  • $43 million in domestically produced cut roses
  • $2.7 billion in jewelry are purchased during the month of February

For more information, click on the title above.

Monday, February 13, 2006

'Jaws' Author Peter Benchley Passes Away

Peter Benchley, whose novel "Jaws" made millions think twice about stepping into the water even as the author himself became an advocate for the conservation of sharks, has died at age 65. Thanks to Benchley's 1974 novel, and Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie of the same name, the simple pastime of ocean swimming became synonymous with fatal horror, of still water followed by ominous, pumping music, then teeth and blood and panic.

For the complete article, click on the title above.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Era Ends: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams

After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams.

On the company's web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible:
"Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative."

For the full article, click the title above.

For the actual message, click here.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Fujita Scale for Tornadoes Revised

The National Weather Service said it had changed the Fujita Scale, a three-decade-old system of ranking a tornado's strength, to align wind speeds more closely with actual damage. To read the full article, click the title above.

For the full Fujita Scale Enhancement Project report, follow this link:


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Carrie Underwood - Oklahoman of the Year - 2005

Carrie Underwood from Checotah, Oklahoma was named Oklahoman of the Year for 2005. Her accomplishment was documented in the January/February issue of "Oklahoma Today". This magazine from Oklahoma Documents in the Al Harris Library has a big article with lots of photos starting on page 38. (T 800.6 O41t Vol. 56, No. 1) Click on the title above for online info regarding Carrie.

Oklahoma Today is also celebrating it's 50th anniversary this year by reprinting every single cover from the last 50 years (in miniature) in this issue. Oklahoma Today is an amazing magazine with great stories and photos that even Simon Cowell would love.