The World Almanac E-Newsletter

Volume 06, Number 06 — June 2006

What's in this issue?

June Events
June — National and International
This Day In History — June
June Birthdays
Travel - Dublin, Ireland
Obituaries - May 2006
Special Feature: The Miranda Decision
Chronology - May 2006
Sports Feature
Science in the News: Batty for Bone Growth
Offbeat News Stories
Links of the Month
Quote of the Month
How to reach us


June Events

June 2-4 - Buffalo Days Celebration & Buffalo Chip Throwing (Luverne, MN)
June 3 - Do-Dah Parade (Kalamazoo, MI)
June 8-10 - International Old-Time Fiddlers Contest (Dunseith, ND)
June 8-11 - Youth Cowboy Poetry Gathering (Boys Ranch, TX)
June 9-July 9 - World Cup Soccer (Germany)
June 10 - Belmont Stakes (Elmont, NY)
June 14-17 - Spring Suwannee River Gospel Jubilee (Live Oak, FL)
June 15-18 - U.S. Open Golf Tournament (Mamaronek, NY)
June 16 - Bloomsday
June 16-18 - Huck Finn’s Jubilee (Victorville, FL)
June 17-18 - Midnight Sun Festival (Nome, AK)
June 20-25 - Swedish Days: A Midsommar Festival (Geneva, IL)
June 21 - First Day of Summer (Northern Hemisphere)
June 22-25 - Watermelon Thump and World Champion Seed-Spitting Contest (Luling TX)
June 23 - Take Your Dog to Work Day
June 24-25 - Celtic Fling (Manheim, PA)
June 24-July 4 - Gettysburg Civil War Heritage Days (Gettysburg, PA)
June 26-July 9 - Wimbledon Tennis Tournament (London)
June 29-July 9 - Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI)


June Holidays — National and International

June 4 - Pentecost
June 7 - Boone Day (Kentucky)
June 14 - Flag Day
June 18 - Father’s Day
June 19 - Juneteenth
June 20 - United Nation World Refugee Day
June 24 - St. Jean-Baptiste Day (Canada)


A World Almanac Book of Records Fact

47 AD: TOOTHPASTE FORMULA

The earliest known written toothpaste formula is found in Compositiones Medicamentorum, the work of the Roman physician Scribonius Largus from around 47 AD. A doctor at the court of Roman emperor Claudius, Largas devised three different "toothpaste" mixtures containing such ingredients as vinegar, honey, salt, and very finely ground glass.

This Day In History — June

Day Year Event
Day Year Event
01 2001 Nepal's Crown Prince Dipendra kills 9 members of the royal family, including his parents, the king and queen, over an apparent dispute about marital arrangements.
02 1953 Queen Elizabeth II is crowned in London's Westminster Abbey.
03 1989 Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini dies.
04 1944 Rome is liberated by the U.S. 5th Army under Gen. Mark Clark.
05 1900 In the Boer War, the British capture Pretoria.
06 1944 D-Day: U.S. and Allied forces invade Europe at Normandy on the north coast of France, in the greatest amphibious landing in history.
07 1776 Speaking to the Continental Congress, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia moves "that these united colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states."
08 1967 In an apparent accident, Israel torpedoes the USS Liberty, an intelligence ship, in the Mediterranean, killing 34.
09 1993 In Japan, Crown Prince Naruhito marries Masako Owada, a commoner and former diplomat.
10 2000 Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad dies in office.
11 1994 Russian troops depart from Berlin, Germany, where they have been for 49 years.
12 1935 Senator Huey Long makes the longest speech on Senate record, talking for over 15 hours and speaking some 150,000 words.
13 2000 The leaders of North and South Korea meet for the first time ever, beginning a 3-day summit meant to foster an eventual rapprochement.
14 1985 A TWA jet is seized by terrorists shortly after taking off from Athens; the terrorists will hold the 153 passengers and crew for 17 days.
15 1752 Benjamin Franklin, flying a kite in a thunderstorm, proves that lightning is electricity.
16 1884 The first U.S. roller coaster begins operation at Coney Island, New York.
17 1928 Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly the Atlantic.
18 1983 Sally Ride, aboard the space shuttle Challenger, becomes the first American woman in space.
19 1953 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are executed for committing wartime espionage.
20 1892 Lizzie Borden is found not guilty of the hacking death of her father and stepmother in Fall River, MA.
21 2004 For the first time, a privately owned craft carries a human being into space.
22 1940 France is forced to sign an armistice with Nazi Germany.
23 1894 The International Olympic Committee is founded in Paris.
24 1901 The first exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s work opens.
25 1876 Col. George Armstrong Custer and 264 soldiers of the 7th Calvalry are killed by the Sioux in the Battle of Little Big Horn, MT.
26 1917 The first U.S. troops arrive in Europe to fight World War I.
27 1893 The NY stock market crashes, leading to financial panic and a 4-year depression.
28 1914 Archduke Francis Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife are murdered in Sarajevo, touching off a conflict that escalates into World War I.
29 1966 U.S. planes begin bombing the Hanoi area of North Vietnam.
30 1906 The Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act are both passed.

June Birthdays

Day Year  
Day Year  
01 1926 Andy Griffith, actor (Mount Airy, NC)
02 1926 Milo O'Shea, actor (Dublin, Ireland)
03 1987 Lalaine (Varaga-Paras), actress (Burbank, CA)
04 1966 Cecilia Bartoli, opera singer (Rome, Italy)
05 1949 Ken Follett, novelist (Wales)
06 1956 Bjorn Borg, tennis champion (Sodertalje, Sweden)
07 1958 Prince (The Artist), musician/singer (Minneapolis, MN)
08 1966 Julianna Margulies, actress (Spring Valley, NY)
09 1916 Robert S. McNamara, World Bank head, defense secretary, and author (San Francisco, CA)
10 1965 Linda Evangelista, model (St. Catharines, Canada)
11 1913 Rise Stevens, singer (Bronx, NY)
12 1924 George H.W. Bush, 41st president of the United States (Milton, MA)
13 1986 Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen, actresses (Los Angeles, CA)
14 1946 Donald Trump, real estate executive (New York, NY)
15 1964 Courtney Cox, actress (Birmingham, AL)
16 1938 Joyce Carol Oates, novelist/short-story writer/critic (Lockport, NY)
17 1946 Barry Manilow, singer/songwriter (New York, NY)
18 1952 Isabella Rossellini, model/actress (Rome, Italy)
19 1962 Paula Abdul, dancer/choreographer (San Fernando, CA)
20 1946 Andre Watts, pianist (Nuremberg, Germany)
21 1953 Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani political leader (Karachi, Pakistan)
22 1971 Kurt Warner, football player (Burlington, IA)
23 1943 James Levine, conductor/pianist (Cincinnati, OH)
24 1982 Anna Paquin, actress (Wellington, New Zealand)
25 1945 Carly Simon, singer/songwriter (New York, NY)
26 1974 Derek Jeter, baseball player (Pequannock, NJ)
27 1945 Norma Kamali, fashion designer (New York, NY)
28 1926 Mel Brooks, actor/director (New York, NY)
29 1947 Richard Lewis, comedian/actor (New York, NY)
30 1966 Mike Tyson, champion boxer (Brooklyn, NY)

Travel - Dublin, Ireland

Ireland's capital enjoys renown on multiple counts. Dublin is the vibrant centerpiece of the economic boom that gained Ireland the sobriquet "Celtic Tiger." Dublin is also the fabled home of a thousand pubs. Furthermore it boasts a long and rich history. Once the Vikings' largest settlement outside their homelands, it experienced 18th-century prosperity whose legacy of fine Georgian architecture remains one of the city's greatest charms, and it later played a pivotal role in the revolution that created the Irish Free State. Dublin is also a hotbed of literature. Several of the greatest writers in the English language were born or lived there. Visitors in 2006 have an opportunity to share not only in the usual annual celebration of Bloomsday - June 16, the day in James Joyce's epochal novel Ulysses that the character Leopold Bloom spends rambling about the town - but also in commemorations of milestone anniversaries of two of the greatest writers (besides Joyce) to emerge from Ireland: the Nobel laureates Samuel Beckett and George Bernard Shaw.

en00072.jpg

LOC P&P Rep# LC-USZ62-115887

James Joyce

Another benefit afforded visitors in 2006 was an upgrade to what many already regarded as Ireland's top attraction. The Guinness Storehouse - a sort of museum celebrating the stout that is one of Ireland's most famous products - unveiled in January an expanded multimedia look at the dark potion's history and production process. It turns out that brewing the elixir correctly takes ten days, while drawing a perfect pint requires 119.5 seconds. Visitors who make their way up to the top of the seven-story Storehouse are rewarded with a complementary pint and the opportunity to drink it in the glass-encased Gravity Bar, which offers a 360° view of the city. The Storehouse is a pleasant 15-minute stroll from the city's heart, where visitors with a yen for further indulgence in the finer pleasures of life will find trendy Temple Bar. This 28-acre (11-ha) cobblestoned district in the more upscale area south of the River Liffey is chockablock with pubs, restaurants, galleries, and shops.

Right in the very same vicinity are some of the city's most striking attractions. One is the Dublin Castle. Originating in the 13th century and substantially refashioned in later centuries, the huge, ornately decorated complex was the seat of British rule and these days provides the venue for the inauguration of the Ireland's president. Remains of a Viking fortress can be seen in the "Undercroft." Located in the Castle gardens is the Chester Beatty Library, which despite its name is also an art museum. Some consider it the finest museum in the country. Its collections include stunning holdings in oriental art and sacred texts of Christianity, Islam, and other religions.

The most famous sacred manuscript in Dublin is not at the Beatty Library, however, but at the library of nearby Trinity College (the University of Dublin). There, in one of the city's most beautiful spaces, the vaulted Long Room, you can view one of the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts in the world, the ninth-century Book of Kells containing the four gospels of the New Testament.

en00071.jpg

LOC P&P Rep# LC-DIG-ppmsc-009877

St. Stephen's Green Park. Dublin. Co. Dublin, Ireland, circa, 1890

The precincts just south of the university feature some of Dublin's finest Georgian blocks, marked by characteristic red-brick town houses, garden spaces, and a focus on balance and proportion in design. Exemplary in this regard are the areas around Fitzwilliam and Merrion squares and St. Stephen's Green. Located conveniently between Merrion Square and St. Stephen's Green are several of Dublin's leading cultural institutions, among them the National Gallery of Art, the National Library, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Museum of Archaeology and History, known especially for its gold ornaments from the Bronze Age and early Irish Christian artifacts, as well as Viking and medieval holdings.

For the literarily inclined, Dublin's offers both the general and the specific. By way of the general, there's the Dublin Writers Museum. Located north of the Liffey, it features an extensive collection of artifacts, documents, portraits, and busts of noted Irish literary figures.

By way of the specific, there are a number of museums and centers devoted to individual writers. The James Joyce Center, housed in an 18th-century Georgian town house near the Writers Museum, mounts exhibitions and sponsors lectures, films, walking tours, and workshops. You can see Joyce memorabilia at the James Joyce Museum housed in the tower at Sandycove in South Dublin where the opening of Ulysses takes place. Back in Dublin you can tour the house, 15 Usher's Island, where Joyce's story "The Dead" was set (as was the film version by director John Huston). The house now accommodates an art gallery. Right in front, incidentally, is a striking bridge across the Liffey designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. Its name: the James Joyce Bridge.

In the works, expected to be completed by 2008, is a major Calatrava span across the river in the port area. To be called the Samuel Beckett Bridge, it will resemble a harp lying on its side. The year 2006 marks the 100th anniversary of Beckett's birth. Centenary events included an exhibition of Beckett manuscripts at the Trinity College Library, running from April through July; a summer show devoted to Beckett's favorite paintings at the National Gallery; and a presentation of Beckett photographs running until late May at the National Photographic Archive.

A focal point for commemorations of the 150th anniversary of Shaw's birth was the now restored two-story house at 33 Synge Street where he was born and lived until 1876. A series of readings, performances and other events were scheduled for July 22 through 28.

Website: http://www.visitdublin.com/.


A World Almanac Book of Records Fact

LEAVE IT TO THE BEAVERS

In the 1940s, around 50 beavers were introduced to Tierra del Fuego, an island across the Strait of Magellan, in hopes that they would reproduce and boost the Argentine fur industry. Now, with no native predators and beaver fur out of fashion, over 250,000 of the voracious, rapidly reproducing rodents wreak ecological havoc, damming streams, creating lakes, and destroying roads. Argentine authorities, fearing the beavers will swim across the Strait and colonize the mainland, are exploring population management options.

Obituaries in May 2006

Bentsen Jr., Lloyd, 85, long-serving U.S. senator from Texas (1971-93) who was the vice presidential candidate on the losing Democratic ticket in the 1988 U.S. presidential election and who closed out his political career by serving (1993-94) as U.S. Treasury secretary; Houston TX, May 23, 2006.

Dunham, Katherine, 96, dancer and choreographer who introduced audiences around the world to the rich variety of dance forms associated with Africa and the Caribbean; New York, NY, May 21, 2006.

El Din, Hamza, 76, Egyptian composer and musician who adapted the traditional music of Nubia for the oud, the stringed instrument central to Arab classical music, and became a familiar figure on the world music circuit from the 1960s on; Berkeley, CA, May 22, 2006.

Feuer, Cy, 95, Broadway producer who with his longtime partner, Ernest H. Martin, produced such classic musicals as Guys and Dolls (1950), Can-Can (1953) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961); New York, NY, May 17, 2006.

Kunitz, Stanley, 100, poet who wrote memorable love poems in his 80s and 90s and who was appointed U.S. poet laureate at age 95; New York, NY, May 14, 2006.

Montgomery, Sonny, 85, Mississippi Democrat who during three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives (1967-97) became known as a champion of veterans’ rights; Meridian, MS, May 12, 2006.

Merrifield, R. Bruce, 84, Nobel Prize-winning chemist (1984), honored for discovering how to synthesize proteins quickly and efficiently; Creskill, NJ, May 14, 2006.

Patterson, Floyd, 71, two-time world boxing champion (1956-59, 1960-62); he won his first title at age 21, making him the youngest heavyweight champion up to that point, and was also the first fighter to regain the heavyweight title (from Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson) after losing it (to Johansson); New Paltz, NY, May 11, 2006.

Rimitti, Cheikha, 83, Algerian singer and songwriter known as the mother or queen of rai music, which blended traditional Arabic forms with Western pop; Paris, France, May 15, 2006.

Rosenthal, A. M., 84, top editor of The New York Times for 17 years (1969-86) and later a columnist for the Times as well as for the New York Daily News; New York, NY, May 10, 2006.

Rukeyser, Louis, 73, financial commentator who hosted U.S. public television’s “Wall Street Week” for 32 years (1970-2002); Greenwich, CT, May 2, 2006.


Special Feature: The Miranda Decision

Joe Gustaitis

Forty years ago--on June 13, 1966--the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in one of its most memorable cases of the last half of the 20th century. Abhorred by conservatives as a measure that "coddled" criminals and welcomed by liberals as a safeguard for the rights of people in police custody, the ruling was made in the case of Miranda v. Arizona, now known as the "Miranda" decision.

In brief, the ruling, written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, stated that before being questioned by police, suspects had to be told that they have the right to remain silent, the right to consult an attorney, and that anything they say might be used against them in court. Ever since, anyone who watches Hollywood crime dramas has become thoroughly familiar with these phrases. The decision also stated that the court must provide defense counsel if the suspect wanted, but could not afford, an attorney; that the prosecution must prove that a suspect knowingly waived his or her rights if a confession was made without counsel present; and that if a suspect indicated "in any manner" a wish to remain silent, even after starting to talk, questioning must end.

en00075.jpg

LOC P&P Rep# LC-USZ62-41653

Miranda v. Arizona was one of Chief Justice Earl Warren's most famous cases.

The decision was intended to inform people of their rights under the Constitution's Fifth Amendment, which protects people from being forced to incriminate themselves, and the Sixth Amendment, which guarantees the right of counsel during criminal proceedings. Before Miranda, protections against self-incrimination were not thought to apply to police interrogations, but to legal proceedings only. States also decided on a case-by-case basis if a confession was voluntary or had been forced from the defendant. Usually, if a confession was deemed voluntary it was admitted as evidence in the trial. In 1964, the Supreme Court ruled that in case of Escobedo v. Illinois, confessions could not be used in court unless the suspect had been allowed to consult a lawyer or without warning the suspect that his answers may be used against him. The case would prove to be an important precursor to Miranda v. Arizona.

The Miranda decision led to the reversal of the convictions of four prisoners who had confessed to various crimes under police interrogation. The first was Ernesto A. Miranda, who was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1963 for the theft of $8.00 in cash from a bank employee. During two hours of interrogation, Miranda, who was never offered a lawyer, confessed not only to the robbery but also to the kidnapping and raping of 18-year-old Patty McGee 11 days previously. Miranda's confession led to his being convicted and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison on both charges. The others released by the Supreme Court's decision were Michael Vignera, convicted of robbery in New York City; Roy Allen Stewart, convicted of murder in Los Angeles; and Carl Calvin Westover, convicted of robbery in Sacramento, California.

A Controversial Decision

Throughout the last 40 years, the Miranda decision has been one of the most intensely debated issues in the U.S. Many observers were understandably distressed to see that the Supreme Court was returning individuals like Miranda, Vignera, Allen, and Westover to the streets, but, beyond that, critics charged that the Miranda ruling placed an unduly weighty burden upon law enforcement authorities, prevented the police from obtaining confessions and key information from suspects, and allowed obviously guilty criminals to be freed on technicalities. Detractors contended that many criminals who would have otherwise confessed instead refused to talk after being read the Miranda warning; they also claimed that perhaps hundreds of thousands of criminals were released, without charge, because of Miranda. It is important to recall that in the mid-1960s the U.S. was witnessing the onset of an upward trend in the crime rate that would climb steadily--and frighteningly--until peaking in 1991.

However, supporters of the Miranda decision pointed out that law enforcement officials did not complain that Miranda had a negative effect on their work. And even more, advocates claimed, Miranda provided critical safeguards for suspects who might be coerced into making false confessions--especially individuals at special risk, such as the poor, the uneducated, and recent immigrants.

Public anger at the Miranda decision eventually resulted in an amendment, Section 3501, being added to the 1968 Omnibus Crime Bill. Section 3501 called for the reestablishment of the pre-Miranda system by restoring a case-by-case procedure that had permitted judges to consider the "totality of circumstances" when determining the voluntary nature of a confession. In other words, suspects' confessions could be used in court even if they had not been read the Miranda warning as long as the confession was determined to have been made voluntarily. Although the bill stood in direct conflict to the Miranda ruling, prosecutors have rarely used it and subsequent administrations have discouraged its application.

The discontent that followed the Miranda decision has never receded. Twenty years after the Supreme Court's ruling, President Ronald Reagan's attorney general, Edwin Meese, articulated his criticism of the decision when in 1985 he complained that the ruling was "wrong" and that it did not protect innocent people. "If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect," Meese said, "Miranda only helps guilty defendants. Most innocent people are glad to speak to the police. They want to establish their innocence so that they're no longer a suspect." Two years later, an internal study conducted in the Department of Justice urged the department to make an effort to overturn Miranda, criticizing it as "the epitome of Warren Court activism in the criminal law area."

Refining the Rules

It was to be expected that the Miranda ruling, as controversial as it was, would be revisited many times by the Supreme Court. One of the first such cases was in 1971, when the high court weakened the Miranda decision by ruling that a prosecutor could use illegally obtained evidence, that was generally inadmissible in a criminal trial, to contradict a suspect's testimony if the suspect chose to take the stand in his or her own defense. Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, writing for the majority, supported the ruling because of its benefits in exposing perjury.

In 1974 the court interpreted the Miranda ruling somewhat narrowly by ruling that police could use evidence obtained during questioning that violated the Miranda rules if the questioning had occurred before the Miranda rules were enunciated. However, at the same time, the justices declined some states' suggestions that the Miranda rules be dispensed with as unnecessary obstacles to law enforcement. The court appeared to weaken the Miranda ruling again in 1975, when it decided that after a suspect exercised the right to remain silent about one crime, police could still question the suspect about another. In that case, Robert Bert Mosley, a suspect who was questioned by police about a series of robberies and had exercised his right to remain silent, was questioned two hours later about a murder. During his second interrogation, Mosley made self-incriminating statements. The Supreme Court's 1975 ruling allowed those statements to be admitted as evidence in his trial.

In 1977 the high court examined an interesting situation--whether a criminal suspect who voluntarily entered a police station and was not under arrest could be interrogated without being informed of his Miranda rights. In this case, a parolee named Carl R. Mathiason had been asked to appear at an Oregon State Police station "to discuss something"--he had not been placed under arrest. When he arrived, he was questioned about a recent burglary and, without being read his rights, was told that the police had incriminating evidence against him. He confessed to the crime, was placed under arrest, and only then informed of his rights. Mathiason protested that his interrogation had violated his constitutional protection against self-incrimination and the Oregon Supreme Court concurred, saying that the questioning had taken place in a "coercive atmosphere," in particular because the defendant was a parolee and the interrogation was in a police station. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, in a 6-3 decision, ruled otherwise, saying that the police had not been required to advise Mathiason of his Miranda rights because he had not been "in custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way."

Four years later, in May 1981, the Supreme Court ruled in several cases that leaned in the favor of Miranda and expanded its interpretation of the ruling. Ruling unanimously in two decisions, the court stated in the case of Estelle v. Smith that a defendant suspected of a capital crime had the right to refuse to submit to a psychiatric examination if the testimony of the examining psychiatrist could be used against him in the sentencing phase of his trial. In the case of Edwards v. Arizona the court stated that once a defendant asked for a lawyer, his subsequent statements to police could not be taken as a waiver of that request. Two 1984 cases further defined the Miranda ruling. The New York v. Quarles case, in which the high court said that police did not have to advise a criminal suspect of his constitutional rights if, by doing so, public safety would be compromised, was the first to introduce a "public safety exception" to Miranda, while the case of Berkemer v. McCarty, in which the court ruled that police had to give a Miranda warning to anyone in custody, no matter how minor the offense, also ruled that the Miranda rights did not have to be read when detaining a driver in a routine traffic stop.

The Supreme Court again refined its interpretation of Miranda in 1990 in the case of Minnick v. Mississippi when it forbade questioning, once the suspect had asked to speak with a lawyer, unless the lawyer was present and in 1991, when, in the case of McNeil v. Wisconsin, it ruled that a suspect who was represented by a lawyer in one criminal case could, under certain circumstances, be questioned by police about a second, separate crime without having the lawyer present. In that case, Paul McNeil, who was represented by a public defender during a bail hearing on a robbery charge, was questioned by police after the hearing about his involvement in an unrelated murder and burglary. McNeil was read and waived his Miranda rights before confessing to the murder. During his murder trial, he claimed that his confession was not admissible because he had invoked his Miranda rights at the robbery bail hearing. However, both the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court disagreed and upheld his murder conviction. Three years later, the court examined the case of a sailor who was a suspect in a murder case and who had at first waived his right to counsel. However, after an hour and a half of questioning, he said, "Maybe I should talk to a lawyer." The police asked him to explain what he meant, whereupon the sailor said that he did not want a lawyer. He was ultimately found guilty of the crime. The Supreme Court ruled that police were not required to halt their interrogation if the suspect made such an ambiguous request for a lawyer.

Dickerson v. U.S.

en00076.jpg

University of Utah

In 1996, Paul Cassell published a review of 11 studies, which stated that the Miranda ruling had prevented the convictions of 28,000 violent felons every year.

In the 1990s, Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah, emerged as one of the leading opponents of the Miranda ruling, arguing that it was not based on the Constitution and thus Congress could overturn it. In 1996, Cassell published a review of 11 studies conducted in the late 1960s that compared criminal confessions before and after Miranda. He deduced that the ruling had caused a 16% drop in confessions by criminals, which led to a 3.8% drop in convictions. In other words, Cassell calculated, Miranda prevented the convictions of 28,000 violent felons every year (although critics challenged his findings). As a result, he eagerly anticipated a Supreme Court ruling in the case of Dickerson v. U.S., which was ruled upon in June 2000. The decision was a significant one because the high court was reviewing the 1968 law that permitted confessions to be used in court, even if suspects had not been given the Miranda warning, provided the confession was made voluntarily.

Dickerson v. U.S. concerned an accused bank robber named Charles Dickerson. Although Dickerson had made incriminating statements without being read his Miranda rights, prosecutors asked that a federal court admit the statements as evidence under Section 3501 of the 1968 law. In a 7-2 ruling--a margin greater than most observers anticipated--the Supreme Court said that the incriminating statements could not be admitted in court, thus striking down the 1968 law. The ruling was widely regarded as a definitive reaffirmation of the Miranda decision. As Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote, the Miranda decision had "announced a constitutional rule" and Congress's effort to nullify it was unconstitutional. However, not everyone agreed with the ruling. Justice Antonin Scalia, in a scathing dissent, wrote that the majority was illegitimately expanding the Constitution by "imposing what it regards as useful prophylactic restrictions upon Congress and the states." Cassell, who had been arguing in favor of the 1968 law, said that because of the ruling "thousands of confessed, dangerous criminals will go free merely because some police officers have made a mistake in following the highly technical Miranda rules."

Since Dickerson v. U.S., the Supreme Court has ruled on a few other cases involving Miranda and, in general, the result has been that it remains the law of the land and police officers--both real and fictional--still recite the well-known list when slapping the cuffs on someone. Indeed, Rehnquist put it clearly in the Dickerson decision: Miranda "has become embedded in routine police practice to the point where the warnings have become part of our national culture," a statement that hardly makes it seem as if the decision will be overturned anytime in the near future.

As for Ernesto Miranda, he was allowed a second trial at which his original confession was not used. Nevertheless, he was again convicted of kidnapping and rape and sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison. He was paroled in 1972, having served 11 years; he then managed to make a small income by autographing and selling Miranda Warning cards for $1.50. In 1976, Miranda, now working as a delivery truck driver, was stabbed to death by an illegal Mexican immigrant in a tavern brawl that began as a dispute over some change lying on the bar. The suspect, of course, was read his Miranda rights.

A World Almanac Book of Records Fact

THE LAST TIME...

The last time humans walked on the Moon was Dec. 14, 1972. Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison "Jack" Schmitt landed on the lunar surface Dec. 11. They left a plaque that said: Here Man completed his first exploration of the Moon, Dec. 1972 A.D. May the spirit of peace in which we came be reflected in the lives of all mankind."


Chronology — Events of May 2006

National

     Demonstrators Stage a "Day Without Immigrants" - More than 1 million immigrants and their supporters left jobs and schools, boycotted merchants, and took to the streets on a "Day Without Immigrants" May 1 to show their importance to the economy. Chicago and Los Angeles each hosted about 400,000 demonstrators. The protests came as part of the ongoing debate on the problem of illegal immigration.

     Conspirator in U.S. Terror Attacks Gets Life in Prison - Zacarias Moussaoui, who had pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the U.S., was sentenced May 4 to life in prison without parole. Moussaoui, the only person tried in connection with the attacks, had testified that he was proud of his role and still wanted to destroy the U.S.

     CIA Director Resigns; Successor Is Confirmed - Porter Goss resigned May 5 as director of the Central Intelligence Agency less than 2 years after he had taken over the agency. Bush May 8 nominated U.S. Air Force Lt Gen Michael Hayden, the deputy national intelligence director, to succeed Goss. At confirmation hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee, May 18, Hayden said that despite his military career he would be independent of the Pentagon and that he had protested Pentagon control of much of the intelligence budget. Hayden also defended the secret eavesdropping program that he had run while director of the National Security Agency (NSA). Hayden was confirmed by the full Senate, 78-15, on May 26.

     Congress Approves $70 Bil in Tax Cuts - The House May 10 (244-185) and the Senate May 11 (54-44) gave their final approval to a $70 bil package of tax cuts. The bill extended the 15% rate on capital gains and dividends through 2010. It also exempted about 15 mil taxpayers from the alternative minimum tax for 2006 only. Many Democrats who were opposed to the bill argued that the cuts favored the wealthy. Pres. Bush signed the bill into law May 17.

     Paper Says U.S. Got Phone Records of Millions of Americans - USA Today reported May 11 that the NSA had obtained the records of phone calls made by millions of Americans since late 2001. According to the newspaper, four companies—AT&T, BellSouth, SBC (which had acquired AT&T in 2004 and adopted its name), and Verizon—responded to government requests for the data, but a 5th, Qwest, refused to divulge usage information without a court order, which the NSA did not provide. The 1934 Communications Act made it illegal for phone companies to divulge customer information or calling patterns. Many members of Congress objected, although the NSA said it did not actually listen in on conversations but merely studied patterns of phone calls to identify possible terrorist activity. Pres. Bush said May 11 that his administration was not “mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans.” BellSouth, May 15, and Verizon, May 16, denied handing over the records.

     FBI Finds $90,000 in Congressman’s Freezer - FBI agents, during the night of May 20-21, searched the Capitol Hill office suite of Rep. William Jefferson (D, LA) as part of an ongoing corruption investigation. Previously, Vernon Jackson, owner of iGate Inc., an Internet technology company, had pleaded guilty May 3 to paying Jefferson more than $400,000 in bribes via a company controlled by Jefferson’s family. The FBI May 21 accused Jefferson of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and claimed to have found $90,000 of it in his freezer during an August 2005 raid on his home.
     The unprecedented FBI search of Jefferson’s offices provoked an outcry by members of Congress who contended that the U.S. Constitution prohibited a search by the executive branch on Congressional property. On May 24, Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R, IL) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) demanded that the Justice Dept. return materials taken during the search. Pres. Bush, May 25, ordered that the seized files be sealed for 45 days. Hastert May 25 suggested that the Justice Dept. had tried to intimidate him by leaking a claim that he was under investigation. According to media reports May 26, Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and other Justice Dept. officials were prepared to resign if the White House told them to return evidence taken from Jefferson’s office.

     Former Top Enron Executives Convicted of Fraud, Conspiracy - Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, both former CEOs of the now-bankrupt Enron Corp., were convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud May 25 in U.S. District Court in Houston, TX, Enron’s home base. Lay was also found guilty of wire fraud and bank fraud and Skilling of insider trading and making false statements to auditors. Lay and Skilling denied wrongdoing and were expected to appeal. Judge Simeon T. Lake III scheduled sentencing for September. Jurors, at a press conference, said that the defendants had engaged in fraud by lying to investors and employees about Enron’s financial circumstances.

     Senate Backs Guest Worker Plan for Immigrants - After a long and intense debate, the Senate passed a bill May 25 (62-36) that would give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they had lived in the U.S. for more than 2 years. It also provided for a guest-worker program leading to legal permanent residence while requiring employers to verify the immigration status of their workers. In addition, the bill provided for the construction of 350 miles of fencing and 500 miles of vehicle barriers along the Mexican border. Most Democrats favored the bill and a majority of Republicans opposed it. A Senate-House conference committee would now seek to reconcile bills passed by the 2 bodies that differed greatly.
     In a televised address May 15, Bush had sought to push the Senate toward action, declaring, "We do not yet have full control of the border," and announcing a plan to deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to aid Border Patrol operations along the U.S.-Mexico border. He endorsed construction of more detention facilities, said deporting 12 mil illegal immigrants was not feasible, reaffirmed support for a guest-worker program, and backed a procedure by which long-term illegals could become citizens. Some Republican dissenters called this approach amnesty.

     Treasury Secretary Resigns - Pres. Bush announced May 30 the resignation of Sec. of the Treasury John Snow. Bush nominated Henry Paulson, CEO of Goldman Sachs, to succeed him.

International

     U.S., European Nations Continue to Pressure Iran - In a draft UN resolution introduced May 3, Britain, France, Germany, and the U.S. asked Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program and to cease construction of a heavy-water reactor. In response, Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote a letter (made public May 8) to Pres. George W. Bush that criticized U.S. foreign policy but left many observers guessing as to its true purpose. On May 24, the Bush administration said it would not enter direct negotiations with Iran over the latter’s nuclear program. Condoleezza Rice said May 31 that the U.S. would enter direct negotiations if Iran suspends its enrichment program.

     Sudanese Government and Rebel Group Sign Agreement - The government of Sudan and the rebel Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) signed an agreement in Abuja, Nigeria May 5 that may put an end to the 3-year civil war in Sudan’s Darfur region. However, 2 other rebel groups, a smaller SLA faction and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), refused to sign the agreement, possibly threatening the prospects for peace in the region. The agreement provided for the disarming of the Janjaweed rebel faction by October and the entry of 5,000 rebels into the armed forces. The rebels also received seats in the National Assembly and in 3 state legislatures in Darfur. The people of Darfur would elect their leaders, and those who fled their homes would be compensated. The government May 6 agreed to let a UN peacekeeping force into Darfur. As of May 31, an estimated 200,000 people had been killed in the conflict and 2 million more had become refugees.

     10 U.S. Soldiers Die in Afghanistan Copter Crash - A Chinook helicopter crashed May 5 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, killing all 10 U.S. soldiers on board. The crash occurred amid growing evidence of an attempted Taliban military offensive in southeastern Afghanistan. American planes bombed a village in southern Afghanistan May 21-22, killing 20 to 80 Taliban fighters according to the U.S. military. The local governor and villagers said at least 16 civilians had been killed and 15 wounded. Fighting on May 24 cost the lives of 5 Afghan soldiers and 24 suspected Taliban militants. On May 29, a cargo truck in a U.S. military convoy crashed into automobiles in Kabul and killed several civilians. Afghans then rioted and attacked U.S. vehicles; soon the death toll stood at 20 with more than 160 injured as strife spread across the capital.

     U.S., Libya Restore Diplomatic Relations - Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice said May 15 that the U.S. would resume diplomatic relations with Libya and drop Libya from its list of states that sponsor terrorism.

     Prodi Becomes Italian Prime Minister After a Delay - Romano Prodi, whose coalition had won a narrow victory in Italy’s national election in April, was sworn in May 17 along with his cabinet ministers. Initially, then-Prime Min. Silvio Berlusconi refused to concede. Finally, on May 2, he resigned, allowing Prodi to form a new government. However, Prodi had to wait until members of parliament and regional representatives elected a new president, Giorgio Napolitano, on May 10.

     Iraqi Factions Agree on a New Government - An Iraqi parliament divided along sectarian lines finally agreed on a new government on May 20 in Baghdad. The 275-member body, elected in December, approved a 36-member cabinet headed by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. However, 3 ministries—Defense, Interior, and National Security—remained unfilled.
     Despite this progress, violence across Iraq continued throughout the month. More than 50 Iraqis were found dead or killed May 3, including 16 men at a police recruiting station. 51 murder victims were found in Baghdad May 6 and 7, and car bombs killed 14 in Baghdad and Karbala May 7. A suicide bomber killed 17 in Tal Afar May 9. Gunmen killed 12 employees of an Iraqi electrical manufacturing firm on a bus near Baqubah May 10; 4 more were killed when a bomb planted on the bus exploded later. Two Iraqi army units, one principally Kurd and the other Shiite, clashed May 12 in Balad. Bombings in Baghdad May 14 killed at least 14 people. The U.S. military said it killed 25 insurgents south of Baghdad May 14. Bombs and gunfire killed more than 30 in Baghdad May 16. A roadside bomb northwest of Baghdad killed 4 U.S. soldiers May 18. Pres. Bush and Prime Min. Tony Blair of Great Britain at a joint press conference in Washington May 25 both acknowledged misjudgments in the conduct of the war, but refused to discuss a timetable for withdrawing troops. A roadside explosion May 29 killed two British members of a CBS news crew and critically wounded CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier. Car bombs and mortars killed more than 40 people on May 30 in and near Baghdad and Hilla, and Prime Minister Al-Maliki called for a state of emergency in Basra May 31.

     Montenegro Votes for Independence from Serbia - Citizens of Montenegro voted May 21 in favor of seceding from Serbia and becoming an independent nation. In all, 55.4% of the voters in Montenegro chose to become independent from Serbia. The government and the European Union had agreed that a vote of 55.0% would be required for the referendum to pass. Montenegro had been the smallest of 6 republics in what was once called Yugoslavia. Four other republics had already broken away, often with great bloodshed.

General

     Winner of Kentucky Derby Is Injured in Preakness - Barbaro, a thoroughbred horse who entered the Kentucky Derby unbeaten in 5 starts, captured that prize on May 6. Ridden by Edgar Prado and trained by Michael Matz, Barbaro finished first by 6.5 lengths in 2 minutes, 1.36 seconds. However, Barbaro’s good fortune came to an end on May 21, at the Preakness in Baltimore, when the horse suffered fractures above and below his right hind ankle about 100 yards from the starting gate. Bernardini, ridden by Javier Castellano and owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of the royal family of Dubai, won the Preakness by 5.25 lengths.

     Defendant Gets 4 Years in Fire that Killed 100 - Daniel Biechele was sentenced to 4 years in prison May 10 in connection with the fire at the Station nightclub in West Warwick, RI, in 2003. Beichele had ignited the fireworks that caused the disaster. In passing the sentence, Judge Francis Darigan Jr. said he concluded that the defendant’s actions were "totally devoid of any criminal intent."

     Explosion in Kentucky Coal Mine Kills 5 - Five miners were killed May 20 by an explosion in the Darby Mine No. 1 in Harlan County, Kentucky. A 6th miner escaped.

     Six in Indonesia Die of Avian Influenza - Health officials in May investigated the deaths of 6 members of a family in N. Sumatra, in Indonesia, who had died of avian influenza, or bird flu. Indonesian officials May 29 confirmed 3 more deaths from the disease.

     Barry Bonds Passes Babe Ruth in Home Runs - Barry Bonds, 41-year-old outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, moved into second place among Major League Baseball’s career home run leaders May 28, when he hit his 715th 4-bagger against the Colorado Rockies in San Francisco. Bonds passed Babe Ruth, who had hit 714, but Hank Aaron still holds the career record with 755. Bonds continued to be dogged by allegations of steroid use.

     5,000 Dead in Indonesian Earthquake - An earthquake in central Java, 250 mi east of Jakarta, Indonesia, May 27 killed up to 5,141 people. The quake, of 6.3 magnitude, increased activity in a volcano, Mount Merapi, causing volcanic rocks and clouds of gas to pour down its slopes.

     Sam Hornish, Jr., Wins the Indy 500 in Close Race - Sam Hornish, Jr., who had never finished the 500-mile race in 6 attempts, won the 90th Indianapolis automobile classic May 29 by one car length, or 0.0635 second. Hornish, who had started from the pole position as the fastest qualifier, came from behind in the home stretch of the last lap to pass 19-year-old Indy rookie, Marco Andretti. Marco’s father, Michael Andretti, who had never won the race, finished third, a few seconds later. Michael’s father, Mario Andretti, had won the race in 1969. Danica Patrick, the only woman in the race, who had come close to winning in 2005, finished 8th.


Sports Feature — Vincent G. Spadafora

On April 30, the Boston Red Sox traded backup catcher Josh Bard, a minor league pitcher, and $100,000 to San Diego for backup catcher Doug Mirabelli in return. The next day, Mirabelli was on a plane bound for Boston. What came next was almost too fantastic for fiction. Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield was due to pitch against the New York Yankees in Boston that night (May 1), and the Red Sox brass wanted Mirabelli available for the start. After he arrived at Logan Airport in Boston, Mirabelli was met by police and taken directly to Fenway Park in a police cruiser with sirens blaring. Mirabelli changed into his playing clothes en route while in the back of the cruiser and arrived at Fenway just minutes before the start. Why was Mirabelli so important considering the Red Sox have a healthy Jason Varitek, one of the best catchers in baseball, on their team? It was all because of the knuckeball.

Tim Wakefield is currently the only pitcher in Major League Baseball who specializes in throwing the knuckleball (at the beginning of the season, R.A. Dickey of the Texas Rangers was another, but he has since been sent down to the minors). Also known as the "floater," the knuckleball is a relatively slowly pitched ball (rarely going above 70 mph, which is very slow by MLB standards) with little or no rotation or backspin. This lack of spin makes the ball dance, flutter, and dip on its way to the plate, almost like a butterfly. There’s no predicting where it will go and that’s what makes it so hard to hit or catch. A very rare pitch to encounter, many young upstarts find themselves swinging at air and sometimes falling down in the process when facing Wakefield for the first time. For veteran hitters it can ruin their timing and throw their swing off for days.

Doug Mirabelli had spent the 2002-05 seasons in Boston before being traded to San Diego in December of ’05. While with Boston, Mirabelli had made a name for himself as Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher because he was the only person who could catch Wakefield without allowing too many balls to pass by him. His replacement, Josh Bard, despite being a very capable catcher, wasn’t able to master the art of catching the knuckleball soon enough and the Red Sox were losing games because of it. So the Sox did all the could to get Mirabelli back. It just goes to show that it takes as much talent to catch a knuckleball as it does to hit it.

A fitting end to Mirabelli’s return-to-Boston odyssey came in the first inning of his return game on May 1 against the Yankees. The first batter up was Yankees center fielder Johnny Damon, who had also left the Red Sox during the offseason. Damon walked up to the plate to take his at-bat, looked back, saw his former teammate Mirabelli behind the plate, and said, "Welcome back." The Red Sox won 7-3 and Wakefield has been much more effective since.

Some Famous Knuckleball Pitchers:
Phil Neikro - active 1964-85, Hall of Famer; played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Toronto Blue Jays.
Charlie Hough - active 1970-1994; played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox, and the Florida Marlins.
Tim Wakefield - active 1992-present; played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox.

Here’s a great link for more on the knuckleball: http://www.oddball-mall.com/knuckleball/


Science in the News: Batty for Bone Growth - Sarah Taber

Though perhaps best known for their connection to a certain superhero, bats are fascinating creatures in their own right. The 1,100 bat species worldwide account for about 20% of all mammals - making them one of the most successful creatures ever to evolve. They are also the only mammals capable of self-powered flight - an ability that has both fascinated and baffled evolutionary biologists. Now, a team of researchers at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center think they’ve pinpointed the genetic change that let bats take wing. Karen Sears, Lee Niswander and their team analyzed bat and mouse embryos to see how the animals, which start off looking similar, develop so differently. They determined that increased expression of a single gene causes bat forelimbs to grow extra-long, providing the scaffolding for wings. In addition to solving a long-standing riddle, the work sheds new light on mammalian evolution in general. Sears and Niswander published their results in the April 17, 2006 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In order to determine just what those changes were, Niswander and Sears examined the developing forelimbs of bat and mouse embryos. Though the forelimbs looked the same in the early-stage embryos, the bat’s third, fourth and fifth digits began to grow much longer about halfway through gestation. The extra growth took place in a region called the hypertrophic zone, where special cartilage cells called chondrocytes (which divide to form bone) mature. The researchers traced this difference back to a gene called bone morphogenic protein 2 (Bmp2), which is expressed far more in bat embryo forelimbs than in bat hind limbs (which are not elongated) or mouse limbs. Niswander and Sears also found that bat forelimbs cultured in a Bmp2 protein solution grew even longer than normal, while forelimbs grown in a solution that blocked the Bmp2 protein from forming were unusually short and stunted.

According to the researchers, this single genetic difference may be the mechanism that allowed bats to abruptly develop wings - and subsequently evolve into one of the most successful orders of mammals on the planet. This discovery not only solves the mystery of bat flight, but also has implications for evolution in general. According to Sears, "What we seem to see is punctuated changes in morphology over evolutionary time. Species will be in stasis for millions of years, and then very quickly we get brand new species. That hints at just a few changes in key developmental genes." And as Sears and Niswander have shown, these small changes can send a species flying.

A World Almanac Book of Records Fact

MOST TRANSPLANTED ORGANS

The most organs received in one transplant procedure is eight. Alessia Di Matteo, a six-month-old Italian baby, received a liver, stomach, pancreas, small and large intestine, spleen, and two kidneys in surgery performed at the University of Miami on Jan. 31, 2004. She survived for about a year, dying on Jan. 12, 2005. Alessia had a disorder that prevents normal functioning of the stomach, intestines, and kidneys and is generally fatal.


Offbeat News Stories — Sarah Janssen

Waste Not, Want Not

Most people associate "dumpster diving" - the practice of searching garbage bins for salvageable food and other items - primarily with those that are down on their luck. Of course, most people haven’t met the Freegans - a loose-knit group of idealists that try to live entirely on food that others have thrown out. Freegans (a mash-up of ‘free’ and ‘vegan’) pick their food out selectively from dumpsters outside of restaurants and grocery stores, in an effort to effect "a total boycott of an economic system where profit motive has eclipsed ethical considerations."

"I haven’t bought food since I was 17," said 28-year-old Aaron Weissman, who runs the website http://freegan.info . Weissman’s website offers a venue for Freegans to share philosophies and tips. The site also has a "Dumpster Directory" with reviews of reliable places to scavenge sorted by metropolitan areas. A review of a Brooklyn bakery warned, "Baker is on site all night long; move fast. Also, vegetarians beware the sausage bread."

There certainly isn’t a shortage of wasted food to choose from - the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about one-third of the nation’s food - 96 billion pounds - ends up in trash bins untouched. But what about the stomach-churning, food safety factor? "I guess you could hurt yourself falling headfirst into an empty dumpster," said Dr. Ruth Kava of the American Council of Science and Health. "But strange as it sounds, most food that’s thrown out by stores is still safe to eat if you clean it and cook it properly."

en00074.jpg

Photos.com

Top Frog
"Smiley said all a frog wanted was education, and he could do most anything - and I believe him," wrote Mark Twain in "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County." Smiley’s theory was being tested again over a century later on May 21, 2006, at the Calaveras County Fair and Frog Jump Jubilee. Dozens of "frog jockeys" went head-to-head for the $750 grand prize - and bragging rights, of course. Mike Nash’s California bull frog, Claussen’s Cruiser, leapt 19 feet, 7¾ inches for the right to claim to be top frog. The top three spots in the annual competition were all won by locals, many of whom had worried about a ‘ringer’ element in this year’s competition. South Carolinian champion frog wrangler Chandler Nettles posed a threat until his frog jumped a mere 16-feet, 1 inch. "He had done got cold," Nettles said about his champion’s loss.

None of the competitors came close to the 1986 world record of 21 feet, 5¾ inches, set in 1986 by Rosie the Ribiter.


Links of the Month — Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

Just around the time you are getting this newsletter, I'll be on a train to Venice and then setting course for the Dolomites, a mountain range in north eastern Italy, which were named after the French geologist Déodat Dolomieu (1750-1801), who made the first scientific study of the region and its geology. During World War I Italians and Austrians fought bitter battles in the mountains. You can learn more about the mountains at http://www.dolomiti.org/. The mountains were the backdrop for a disaster which struck on October 9, 1963, when a landslide from Mount Toc forced 50 million cubic metres of water over the top of the Vajont Dam. The villages in the path of the wave of mud and water were swept away, including Longarone, where my grandparents were born. More than 1900 people lost their lives. Learn more about this disaster at http://www.wineathomeit.com/vajont2003/eNGLISH/indexArticles.html.

Here are some helpful hints for international travel. If you need to find relatives or friends in a different country, visit Infobel http://www.infobel.com/world/ for phone listings and addresses. If you are heading to Europe, check out EuroCheapo's Guide to Cheap Hotels in Europe at http://www.eurocheapo.com/ to check out no-nonsense reviews of budget accomodations. Get driving tips and car rental information at AutoEurope http://www.autoeurope.com/. If you plan on driving while traveling, it's helpful to get an International Drivers Permit. A list of resources for these permits can be found at http://www.drivers.com/article/207/. The U.S. Department of State has some tips for traveling abroad at http://travel.state.gov/.

Although the first standardized rules for bowling were created in September 1895, the same year the American Bowling Congress was formed, historians have found forms of bowling dating back to Egypt in 3200 BC. The basic rules are that you use a ball to knock down pins. Learn more about the sport at: http://www.bowlingmuseum.com/history.asp.

en00073.jpg

Athanasius Kircher pictured in his book Mundus Subterraneus, 1664

I was searching online last month for something (who can remember what), and I found a great resource site which reprints free articles (they charge a premuim for others) from over 900 publications. LookSmart FindArticles http://www.findarticles.com/ allows you to save articles, e-mail them to others, and link to them. Check it out.

I eat a salad practically every day of the week and it often contains grape tomatoes. Now I have no memory of grape tomatoes being part of my growing up years, and I did a little snooping around, and discoverd that they hit the U.S. marketplace in 1998. I found this information at Food Timeline, a chronology of food history and recipes from pre-history to the present, which provides links to product histories. Visit it at: http://www.foodtimeline.org/.

Co-worker of the Month Website - Alan: I’ll give my shout-out to The Athanasius Kircher Society http://www.kirchersociety.org, named for a 17th-century German Jesuit scholar, prolific author, and inventor - a guy who was incredibly well-versed in a wide variety of scientific and cultural fields of study, and is sometimes described as one of the last true Renaissance men. On the negative side, he was also the inventor of the Cat Piano http://www.kirchersociety.org/blog/?p=116. Anyway, the folks behind the website say their mission is to perpetuate Kircher’s "sensibilities and pursuits. . . the wondrous, the singular, the esoteric, the obsessive, the arcane, and the sometimes hazy frontier between the plausible and the implausible." So expect lots of daily links to articles and online collections of fascinating oddities throughout history and from the present day.


Quote of the Month

People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.
     - Anne Sullivan (1866–1936), U.S. educator of the deaf and blind.


© World Almanac Education Group

World Almanac E-Newsletter
Edward A. Thomas, Editor in Chief

Newsletter Contributors:
Louise Bloomfield, Jane Hogan, C. Alan Joyce, and Walter Kronenberg.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to: editorinchief@waegroup.com

If you have enjoyed this newsletter, and would like your family and friends to subscribe for free, have them send an e-mail to:  newsletter@waegroup.com with the subject line reading "SUBSCRIBE."