Zipper Day

Zipper Day

April 29 is Zipper Day. Believe it or not, zippers actually have an interesting history. The first invention similar to a modern zipper was patented by Elias Howe (sewing machine inventor) in 1851. He did nothing with it, however. Forty years later, the man often given credit as the inventor of the zipper, Whitcomb L. Judson, patented something he called a clasp locket. Gideon Sundback, a Swedish American electrical engineer, improved on it through the early 1900’s and the name zipper was bestowed by the B. F. Goodrich company in 1923 when they used the invention as a closer for rubber boots. It is meant to be onomatopoeia because of the sound a zipper makes when it closes (zip!).

As I looked up this information, I got to thinking about other inventions which have changed our lives. You may have heard the expression, “the best thing since sliced bread.” Did you know the bread slicing machine was invented in 1928 by Otto Fredrick Rohwoedder? Now you do.

There is a delightful Web page [http://www.edinformatics.com/inventions_inventors/] which gives a very long list of useful inventions. It’s fun to look at. They are listed alphabetically, so you find things like cash register, cat litter, and catalog, mail order following each other.

Here are a few I picked out. These are in date order.

  • The wheel, ca 3500 BCE by the Sumerians, possibly
  • Nails (for building), 3300 BCE, by the Sumerians
  • Glass, 2500 BCE, by the Egyptians
  • Soap, 600 BCE by the Phoenicians
  • Compass for navigation, 12th century by the Chinese
  • Printing press, (that is, movable type), 1450 by Johannes Gutenberg
  • Rubber band, 1845 by Stephen Perry
  • Safety pin, 1849 by Walter Hunt
  • Toilet tissue, 1857 by Joseph Gayetty
  • Stapler, 1866 by George W. McGill
  • Telephone, 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell
  • Light bulb, 1879 by Thomas A. Edison
  • Paper clip, 1899 by Johan Vaaler
  • Scotch tape, 1930 by Richard Drew
  • Post-it notes, 1970s by Arthur Fry

Think about what your life would be like without these, or what is probably the greatest invention of modern times, the World Wide Web.

zippers

Here are a list of quotations about inventors and inventions.

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.–Thomas A. Edison

I don’t think necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in my opinion, arises directly from idleness, possibly also from laziness – to save oneself trouble.–Agatha Christie (An Autobiography)

The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready-made knowledge.–Seymour Papert

Accident is the name of the greatest of all inventors.–Mark Twain

I am proud of the fact that I never invented weapons to kill.–Thomas A. Edison

I invented nothing new. I simply combined the inventions of others into a car. Had I worked fifty or ten or even five years before, I would have failed.–Henry Ford

I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.–Nikola Tesla

Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.–Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

An amazing invention – but who would ever want to use one?–Rutherford B. Hayes, referring to Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone

Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.–J. K. Rowling

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Advertisements

National Frog Month

National Frog Month

Frogs get a lot of bad press. Look up quotes about frogs, and you find things describing them as ugly or stupid or vulgar. I know many people who don’t like them at all. I am not one of them.

When I was young, we did not have frogs around our house, but we did have toads. Toads big enough they filled the hand of a small child. I loved the toads then, and I am still fond of toads and frogs. It’s appropriate that April should be National Frog Month, as right now where I live, the frogs are sending out their mating calls. Our frogs are tiny, only about an inch long, but their “Ribbit!” sounds like it is coming from a creature three times their size. The song of the frogs in the spring is very comforting, promising that warmer weather is coming.

True frogs have been around since the early Jurassic Era, somewhere around two hundred million years ago. They come in different shapes and sizes, from green to brown, to the wildly colored poison frogs in the rain forest. The ones around my house are brownish.

Sadly, frog populations have declined significantly since the 1950s. More than one third of species are considered to be threatened with extinction and over one hundred and twenty are believed to have become extinct since the 1980s. So get out and enjoy the frogs while you can!

Quotes about frogs fall into two distinct categories. Most anything written by adults for adults emphasizes frog’s ugliness. But children know better. I have left out the quotes disparaging frogs and will emphasize the good ones.

Kermit

First a few adult quotes:

I’d rather be ignored as a frog than eaten as a human.–E. D. Baker (Dragon’s Breath)

You can’t make a frog richer who already have a great sun and have a pretty lake with green leaves, insects and flowers! He is already the richest of the richest!–Mehmet Murat Ildan

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.–Bianca Frazie

Here are two Haiku. The Japanese seems to be fonder of frogs than us in the west.

Old dark sleepy pool…
Quick unexpected frog
Goes plop! Water splash!
–Matsuo Basho

Come come! Come Out!
From bogs old frogs command the dark
and look … the stars
Kikaku

They even write limericks about frogs.
There once was a polly named Wog
Who wanted to change to a frog,
So he dropped off his tail
Grew legs without fail
And croaked all day on a log.

Emily Dickenson mentioned frogs in a poem:
How dreary to be somebody!
How public like a frog
To tell one’s name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
–Emily Dickenson (“I’m Nobody! Who Are You?”)

Here are a couple of children’s poems about frogs:
I’m fond of frogs, and every day
I treat them with affection.
I join them at the FROG CAFÉ –
We love the Croaking Section.
–Jack Prelutsky (“I’m Fond of Frogs”)

Said the Toad to the Kangaroo,
“I can hop and so can you,
So if we marry we’ll have a child
Who can jump a mountain or hop a mile
And we can call it a Toadaroo,”
Said the hopeful Toad to the Kangaroo.
Shel Silverstein (“The Toad and the Kangeroo”)

Let me finish by mentioning the delightful children’s series of books about Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel, and by hightlighting two songs. The links to find them on You Tube follow each.

Frog Trouble written by Sandra Boynton, sung by Mark Lanegan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9KnlFShYGQ)

It’s Not Easy Bein’ Green sung written by Joe Raposo and sung by Kermit the Frog (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpiIWMWWVco)

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

World Penguin Day

World Penguin Day

I have a particular fondness for penguins, since I had a good friend who collected them. Even though she has been gone for fourteen years, I still find myself looking for penguins that she might like. April 25 is World Penguin Day, so get ready to celebrate these adorable black and white birds.

There are 17 different kinds of penguins. They range in size from the Fairy Penguins (aka Little or Blue Penguins) at only thirteen inches to the Emperor Penguin, which grows to about four feet tall. All of the species live in the Southern hemisphere. Many live at the South Pole or Antarctica. Others are found on the coasts of South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the Galapagos Islands. Alphabetically, the species are: Adelie Penguin, African Penguin, Chinstrap Penguin, Emperor Penguin, Erect-Crested Penguin, Fiordland Penguin, Galapagos Penguin, Gentoo Penguin, Humboldt Penguin, King Penguin, Fairy (or Little or Blue) Penguin, Macaroni Penguin, Magellanic Penguin, Rockhopper Penguin, Royal Penguin, Snares Penguin, Yellow-eyed Penguin.

Penguins are, of course, very popular. Did you know that Amazon lists over 12,000 books about penguins in their children’s section? They range from factual books from places like National Geographic and Smithsonian to classics like Mr. Popper’s Penguins, to a Golden Book called How Do Penguins Play? Many classic books for adults are published by a company called Penguin Random House.

Sandra Boynton wrote a book and a song entitled “Your Personal Penguin,” recorded by Davy Jones of Monkees fame. If you have never heard it, stop reading right now and go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6DzceERhDU and watch the video. I guarantee you will fall in love with the song.

We have movies about penguins, such as March of the Penguins, and Happy Feet, and other less factual ones such as Penguins of Madagascar. And don’t forget the Muppet penguins.

A hockey team in Pittsburgh is named the Penguins.

There is the famous Linux penguin. I have included a quote below by Linus Torvalds the creator of the computer operating system.

Penguins can also be found in comics, such as Opus in Bloom County, or Sparky as part of the cast of Tom Tomorrow’s political comics. Those who are Doctor Who fans may remember Frobisher who traveled with the Sixth Doctor in the comic strip in Doctor Who Magazine. They can even be scary as the Penguin in Batman.

So why are penguins so popular? Bottom line – they are cute. I also admire them thriving in such harsh conditions to raise their young. Long may they continue to delight us.

hq_penguins-wide

There are surprisingly few quotes about penguins, though. The following are about all I could find. The first is definitely my favorite.

It’s practically impossible to look at a penguin and feel angry.–Joe Moore

Who would have thought that a tap-dancing penguin would outpoint James Bond at the box office? And deserve to? Not that there’s anything wrong with ‘Casino Royale.’ But ‘Happy Feet’ – written and directed by George Miller – is a complete charmer…–Robert Gottlieb

The answer to every problem involved penguins–Rick Riordan (The Throne of Fire)

I’ve never been in love, but if a penguin can find a soul mate, I’m sure I can, too.–Rebekah Crane (Playing Nice)

Graham glared him into silence, his eyes cold enough to make a penguin wish it had stocked up on thermal underwear.–Ian Barker (Fallen Star)

There’s nothing cuter than a baby penguin.–Lynn Duncan

I highly recommend the penguin movie because they dress really nicely.–Paul Provenza

Some people have told me they don’t think a fat penguin really embodies the grace of Linux, which just tells me they have never seen a angry penguin charging at them in excess of 100 mph. They’d be a lot more careful about what they say if they had.–Linus Torvalds

Ford, you’re turning into a penguin. Stop it.–Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Talk Like Shakespeare Day

Talk Like Shakespeare Day

In 2016, April 23 is talk like Shakespeare day. I have used the Shakespeare translator at http://www.shmoop.com/shakespeare-translator/ to make this blog post sound more Shakespearian. It’s fun. Try it! Or as Shakespeare might put it: Tis excit’ment. Tryeth ‘t for thyself.

I’m a most wondrous fan of Shakespeare, particularly Hamlet. At which hour I wast in high school and for a few years afterward, I worked at a job which didst not require much mental exercise on mine part, so I opened mine well-used version of Hamlet and memorized great swathes of it. There wast a time at which hour I could recite about half an hour without stopping. Now I am lucky if I maketh it through the “To be or not to be” speech without forgetting part.

I urge thee if’t be true thou hast nev’r seen a live Shakespeare play, to seek one out, as listening to actors performing the parts is much more understandable then when thou just readeth the play.

So, for thy perusal, a few, a very few, quotations from the Bard of Avon.

shakespeare

Sonnet 18
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

To be or not to be – that is the question. (Hamlet)

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. (Hamlet)

All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts. (As You Like It)

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. (As You Like It)

So wise so young, they say, do never live long. (King Richard III)

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo and Juliet)

But love is blind, and lovers cannot see. (Merchant of Venice)

Why, then the world ‘s mine oyster. (Merry Wives of Windsor)

The better part of valour is discretion. (King Henry IV, Part 1)

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown. (King Henry IV, Part 2)

The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on. (King Henry IV, Part 3)

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. (Julius Caesar)

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. (Macbeth)

Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. (Macbeth)

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child! (King Lear)

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. (Twelfth Night)

We are such stuff as dreams are made on… (The Tempest)

Findeth thee nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte

Charlotte Bronte was born April 21, 1816 in the Yorkshire area of England. Best known for Jane Eyre, she and her sisters Anne and Emily wrote poetry and other literary works. Charlotte originally published her writings under the pseudonym Currier Bell, as a man was much more likely to get published back then.

Her first book The Professor, did not find a publisher, but her second, Jane Eyre did and became a classic work. It was very successful commercially and got favorable reviews until people realized it had been written by a woman, when they thought less highly of it. Later, Charlotte wrote Shirley, which never received the acclaim of her more popular book. Her last novel was called Villette and was published after her marriage to Arthur Bell Nicholls. She and her unborn child died soon afterwards from complications of pregnancy.

Her novels were some of the first, if not the first, to deal honestly with women’s feelings, and as such, can still speak to us today.

I love this picture of her. She looks like she doesn’t put up with any nonsense from anyone. I think she would have made a good friend.

CharlotteBronte

Some words from Charlotte Bronte.

But two miles more, and then we rest!
Well, there is still an hour of day,
And long the brightness of the West
Will light us on our devious way;
Sit then, awhile, here in this wood—
So total is the solitude,
We safely may delay. (The Wood)

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. (Jane Eyre)

Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex. (Jane Eyre)

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.  (Jane Eyre)

I describe imperfect characters. Every character in this book will be found to be more or less imperfect, my pen refusing to draw anything in the model line. (Shirley)

Liberty lends us her wings and Hope guides us by her star. (Vilette)

I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me. (Vilette)

Novelists should never allow themselves to weary of the study of real life. (The Professor)

Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones. (Jane Eyre)

A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow.

If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love friends for their sake rather than for our own.

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

World Bicycle Day

World Bicycle Day

Today, April 19 is Bicycle Day. I distinctly remember getting my first two-wheeler (with training wheels). I was six years old, and had been in the hospital getting my tonsils out. My bike was a present for being good in the hospital. I, however, was surprised because I knew I hadn’t really been good! Of course, the next big step was losing the training wheels. I remember that day too. My Dad had been running along beside me, and I was confident because I knew he was holding on. Then I looked back and there he was, half a block behind me – and I was riding on my own!

Rode all over the place when I was a kid. It’s one of the few activities I was actually good at. Can’t remember though, whether I passed that blue bike down to my younger siblings, or if I wore it out. As an adult, about, oh, twenty years ago or so, I used to ride my bicycle to work on the George Fox College (now University) campus. It could be challenging getting back from lunch when all the sprinklers were going at the same time. Sometimes I timed it right and arrived back to the library dry, and sometimes I didn’t and got a face full of water. Either way made me laugh.

I’ve graduated to stationary bikes now, and really more walking than riding, but I still remember those days fondly.

Did you know there are dozens and dozens of quotations about riding a bike? Here are a few of my favorites.

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

One of the most important days of my life, was when I learned to ride a bicycle.–Michael Palin

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.–Arthur Conan Doyle

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.–John F. Kennedy

Cycling is possibly the greatest and most pleasurable form of transport ever invented. It’s like walking only with one-tenth of the effort.–Daniel Pemberton

An engineer designing from scratch could hardly concoct a better device to unclog modern roads – cheap, nonpolluting, small and silent.–Rick Smith

I used to work in a bank when I was younger and to me it doesn’t matter whether it’s raining or the sun is shining or whatever: as long as I’m riding a bike I know I’m the luckiest guy in the world.– Mark Cavendish (pro racer)

Few articles ever used by man have created so great a revolution in social conditions as the bicycle. (US Census Report, 1900)

I’ll tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood.–Susan B. Anthony

The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart.–Iris Murdoch

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race.–H. G. Wells

The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.–Ann Strong

And my own personal favorite: A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.–Irina Dunn

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.

Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder

Like many reading this, I remember reading (and acting) Our Town in high school, and being too young to really appreciate it. Now that I’m older, I can see the truth of the play, of being aware of life as one lives it. Wilder, however, wrote many other things besides that one play.

Thornton Niven Wilder, born April 17, 1897, was an American playwright and novelist. He won three Pulitzer Prizes—for the novel The Bridge of San Luis Rey and for the two plays Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth – and a U.S. National Book Award for the novel The Eighth Day. He also wrote The Matchmaker upon which “Hello, Dolly” was based.

Some have described the major themes of his works as “the timeless human condition; history as progressive, cyclical, or entropic; literature, philosophy, and religion as the touchstones of civilization.” Basically, he looks at humanity and sees how our humanity doesn’t change with time, that we need love and companionship, and have the need to find significance in our lives.

He left us a treasure trove of great quotes from his works.

ThorntonWilder

Choose the least important day in your life. It will be important enough. (Our Town)

Does anybody realize what life is while they’re living it- every, every minute? (Our Town)

I’ve never forgotten for long at a time that living is struggle. I know that every good and excellent thing in the world stands moment by moment on the razor-edge of danger and must be fought for — whether it’s a field, or a home, or a country. (The Skin of Our Teeth)

Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow. (The Matchmaker)

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate — that’s my philosophy. (The Skin of Our Teeth)

Ninety-nine per cent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion. (The Matchmaker)

People are meant to go through life two by two. ’Tain’t natural to be lonesome. (Our Town)

On the stage it is always now; the personages are standing on that razor edge, between the past and the future, which is the essential character of conscious being; the words are rising to their lips in immediate spontaneity … The theater is supremely fitted to say: “Behold! These things are.” (Writers at Work interview, 1958)

The planting of trees is the least self-centered of all that we do. It is a purer act of faith than the procreation of children. (The Eighth Day)

Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.

There’s something way down deep that’s eternal about every human being. (Our Town)

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at http://www.quotelady.com.