World Arts Day, April 15

World Arts Day, April 15

Besides being tax day in the US, today is World Art Day. This day was chosen, because it is Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday. The World Art Webpage ( has this to say about it: We did not have any “ONE” special art day that would unite the whole world. On April 5-6, 2011, the 17th General Assembly of AIAP / IAA World … accepted that the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, April 15, becomes “World Art Day”. It goes without saying that the existence of such a united World Art Day will help tremendously the spreading of the “art awareness” throughout the globe.

Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday is quite appropriate for this. He was a painter, architect, inventor, and so much more. He painted two of the world’s best known paintings, Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, as well as creating notebooks filled with ideas for inventions. He has been called the epitome of a Renaissance man.

Though when we say art, we often think of what is known as fine art, or even just painting, art encompasses so many areas of human creativity, such as music, literature, drama, and crafts.

Just before the quotes, I want to post part of a commencement speech Neil Gaiman gave in 2012. “You have the ability to make art. And for me, and for so many of the people I have known, that’s been a lifesaver. The ultimate lifesaver. It gets you through good times and it gets you through the other ones. Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art.”

Make the kind of art you can do – painting, sculpting, music, crafts, cooking, drama – do something that brings out your creative side. For World Art Day, go out and make good art.


Some of my favorite quotes about art.

The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inner significance.—Aristotle

Any form of art is a form of power, it has impact, it can affect change–it can not only move us, it makes us move.–Ossie Davis

Art is a little subversive, very subversive; it gets underneath the surface and reveals what is there; it is a Geiger counter for truth.–Pat B. Allen

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.–Pablo Picasso

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.–Berthold Auerback

It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.–Anais Nin

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.–Danny Kaye

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.–Victor Hugo

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.–Leonardo da Vinci

Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.–Angela Monet

Whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.–Julia Cameron

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. He was a landowner (some 5000 acres inherited from his father) and a lawyer. During this time, he also began planning the building of his home, Monticello. The biography of him on, says this about him: “Freckled and sandy-haired, rather tall and awkward, Jefferson was eloquent as a correspondent, but he was no public speaker. In the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress, he contributed his pen rather than his voice to the patriot cause.” He was the primary writer of the Declaration of Independence. Before becoming president of the United States, he succeeded Benjamin Franklin as minister to France in 1785. He lost the presidential election of 1796, but became vice-president under John Adams. In 1800, he won the election, and became the third president of the young country. During his presidency, the US made the Louisiana Purchase, effectively doubling the size.

After leaving the presidency, he retired to Monticello, which is a beautiful home and I urge anyone who visits the Washington DC area to tour it. During this period, he sold his collection of books to the government to form the nucleus of the Library of Congress, so you see, this ties in nicely with National Library Week. At the age of 76, he spearheaded the founding of the University of Virginia, where he designed its buildings, created its curriculum, and served as its first rector.

He died July 4, 1826, at 83 years of age.

Of course, Jefferson was a prolific writer and left us a collection of brilliant quotes. Here are a sampling of them.


Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.

I cannot live without books. (which I have on a T-Shirt, bought at the Library of Congress)

I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.

What country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

I have ever deemed it more honorable and more profitable, too, to set a good example than to follow a bad one.

Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it.

Whenever people are well-informed they can be trusted with their own government.

Laws made by common consent must not be trampled on by individuals.

You can read the Declaration of Independence here:

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

National Library Week

National Library Week

As a degreed librarian, I couldn’t let National Library Week go by without a blog about it. Other than a short stint at Amazon, I spent my professional life working in libraries, both academic and public.

The sponsors of this special week have this to say about it: “First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.”

And about the history of this, they add: “In the mid-1950s, research showed that Americans were spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments. Concerned that Americans were reading less, the ALA and the American Book Publishers formed a nonprofit citizens organization called the National Book Committee in 1954. The committee’s goals were ambitious. They ranged from “encouraging people to read in their increasing leisure time” to “improving incomes and health” and “developing strong and happy family life.”

Of course, libraries are about much more than books. You can now check out all sorts of things such as music, movies, e- and audio books, and any number of other things depending on the library. Libraries hold story times for children, discussion groups for adults, and educational programs. They provide free Internet access, as well as reference materials of many other kinds, and librarians to help you find information of whatever kind you need. You will find access to great minds of the past, exciting new authors, old newspapers and modern periodicals. It is a treasure trove for the inquiring mind.

Neil Gaiman, a prolific writer and great champion of libraries has said, “Libraries are the thin red line between civilisation and barbarism,” and my own personal favorite of his quotes; “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers; a librarian can bring you back the right one.”

So value your local library, and pay it a visit, especially during this week. Thank a librarian while you are there. Here is my tribute to my own local library – Christy Davis, thank you and your staff for all you do to make my town a better place to live.


On my Website (address at the bottom of this blog entry) I have dozens of quotes about libraries. Here are a few of my favorites.

Be a little careful about your library. Do you foresee what you will do with it? Very little to be sure. But the real question is, What it will do with you? You will come here and get books that will open your eyes, and your ears, and your curiosity, and turn you inside out or outside in.–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Civilized nations build libraries; lands that have lost their soul close them down.–Toby Forward

The health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.–Carl Sagan

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.–Jorge Luis Borges

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.–Marcus Tullius Cicero

Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably very underestimated and largely underemployed.–Charles Medawar

The library houses thousands of imaginations, thoughts of the living and the dead. A good day in the library means you see the world differently when you depart.–Robin Ince

The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.–Albert Einstein

To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads.–Jon Bing

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The season for that great American pastime, baseball, is well underway for the year. The reason I chose this day, April 9 to talk about baseball and post quotes about it, is that it is the anniversary of the Colorado Rockies first home game and first victory, 11-4 over the Montreal Expos. I have a sister who lived in Denver for a while and was a huge Rockies fan. So, Elaine, this is for you.

According to Wikipedia, the history of baseball in the United States can be traced to the 18th century, when amateurs played a baseball-like game by their own informal rules using improvised equipment. The popularity of the sport inspired the semipro national baseball clubs in the 1860s. The first team to play baseball under modern rules were the New York Knickerbockers. The first game under the new rules was played in 1846. The old story of Abner Doubleday inventing the game is, alas, likely no more than a myth.

Today baseball is a multimillion dollar sport, will millions of rabid fans. According to statistics from a year ago, the team with the lowest net worth was the Tampa Bay Rays, worth 625 million dollars. The average player’s salary was 4.25 million dollars. The average spending for a family of four at a major league game was $212. As someone not that into sports, I find these figures astounding.

I did enjoy minor league baseball in my youth, rooting for the Rochester Red Wings, my home town team. It was a way to spend quality time with my Dad, and to wheedle popcorn or peanuts or occasionally a hot dog from him. If I recall, we paid less than $3 for general seating at that time, and probably a buck extra for the hot dog. It was cheap family entertainment back then!


Anyway, here are some quotes about baseball.

Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona. Not all holes, or games, are created equal.–George Will

Some say our national pastime is baseball. Not me. It’s gossip.–Erma Bombeck

Every day is a new opportunity. You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again. That’s the way life is, with a new game every day, and that’s the way baseball is.–Bob Feller

There are only two seasons – winter and Baseball.–Bill Veeck

Baseball is a game of race, creed, and color. The race is to first base. The creed is the rules of the game. The color? Well, the home team wears white uniforms, and the visiting team wears gray.–Joe Garagiola

In baseball you have individual responsibility, and if you fail it, you get an error. But at the same time, your focus is on the common goal of the team to win. This is part of what resonates with people about baseball. This is how they would like society to work.–Jed S. Rakoff

Ninety percent of this game is half mental.–Yogi Berra

A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz.–Humphrey Bogart

No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.–Tommy Lasorda

Baseball is an allegorical play about America, a poetic, complex, and subtle play of courage, fear, good luck, mistakes, patience about fate, and sober self-esteem.–Saul Steinberg

Play ball!

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

Happy Birthday, Internet!

Happy Birthday, Internet!

April 7, 1969 is considered to be the symbolic birth of the Internet. It is the day the first Request for Comments about the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network), was published, outlining just how computers would talk to each other over a host to host network. The system originally consisted of only four IMPs (Interface Message Processors) the University of California at Los Angeles, the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute (which would later become NIC, the Network Information Center), the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah’s Computer Science Department.

From this small beginning the Internet grew and developed until it’s hard for many of us to remember how we ever got along without it. It’s hard to imagine any business nowadays without a Web page, or communicating with distant friends or family without email or Skype or texting. We do research, keep in touch, do shopping, follow the news, create blogs – the Internet is pervasive in our lives.

For some reading this, you will not be able to remember a time without the Internet. For other older folks like me, you can remember not only before it existed, but the excitement of being able to access distant databases over a 300 baud modem. How far we have come! Without the Internet it would be much harder for me to keep in contact with my family across the country, or my friends who live all over the US and Europe and beyond – or to do this blog!


Here are a few quotes about the Internet.

The Internet is the world’s largest library. It’s just that all the books are on the floor. ~John Allen Paulos

Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks. ~Author Unknown

We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true. ~Robert Wilensky

The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had. ~Eric Schmidt

First we thought the PC was a calculator. Then we found out how to turn numbers into letters with ASCII — and we thought it was a typewriter. Then we discovered graphics, and we thought it was a television. With the World Wide Web, we’ve realized it’s a brochure. ~Douglas Adams

The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn’t excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws. The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists. ~Thomas Nolle

The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow. Bill Gates

I think that the Internet – and I do love the free flow of ideas on the ‘Net – is like the wild west of the information world. Vince McMahon

As a source of innovation, an engine of our economy, and a forum for our political discourse, the Internet can only work if it’s a truly level playing field. Small businesses should have the same ability to reach customers as powerful corporations. A blogger should have the same ability to find an audience as a media conglomerate. Al Franken

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

National Deep Dish Pizza Day

National Deep Dish Pizza Day

Today, April 5 is National Deep Dish Pizza Day. Deep dish pizza is sometimes also called Chicago style pizza, as it seems to have originated in that city. Here’s what Wikipedia says about it: “Deep-dish pizza is baked in a round, steel pan that is more similar to a cake or pie pan than a typical pizza pan. The pan is oiled in order to allow for easy removal as well as to create a fried effect on the outside of the crust. In addition to ordinary wheat flour, the pizza dough may contain corn meal semolina, or food coloring, giving the crust a distinctly yellowish tone. The dough is pressed up onto the sides of the pan, forming a bowl for a very thick layer of toppings.”

Personally, I have never had a deep dish pizza, but I do love regular pizza, especially thin crust. Being a transplanted easterner now living on the west coast, I am fussy about my pizza. It can be very difficult to find really good pizza in the Pacific Northwest. I think it has to do with the sauce, which is somehow never as good out here. I am also a very traditional pizza eater, preferring pepperoni to anything else. In fact, one of the ways you can tell someone born in the Pacific Northwest is that they eat Hawaiian Pizza, which is topped with Canadian bacon and pineapple. (If you could see me, I am currently making the sign to ward off evil.)  🙂

Perhaps you never thought there might be quotes about pizza, but here are a few.


I think of dieting, then I eat pizza.–Lara Stone

I’m an emotional eater. If something’s worth celebrating, we’re going to grab pizza. If it’s going bad, girl, pass me the chocolate. Gotta keep it in check!–Laurieann Gibson

Those pizzas I ate were for medicinal purposes.–Amy Neftzger

There’s no better feeling in the world than a warm pizza box on your lap.–Kevin James

And I don’t cook, either. Not as long as they still deliver pizza.–Tiger Woods

Pizza makes me think that anything is possible.–Henry Rollins

Ideas are like pizza dough, made to be tossed around.–Anna Quindlen

You can’t go wrong with pizza, unless it’s terrible pizza.–Andy Kindler

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at

Virgil “Gus” Grissom

Virgil “Gus” Grissom

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Virgil Ivan “Gus” Grissom, one of the original NASA Project Mercury astronauts. He was a United States Air Force pilot was the second American to fly in space, and the first member of the NASA Astronaut Corps to fly in space twice. He was born in Mitchel, Indiana in 1926, and fought in both World War II and the Korean War. In April of 1959 he was accepted as one of the original seven Mercury astronauts. His first flight in July of 1961 was a sub-orbital that lasted 15 minutes and 37 seconds. His second flight in 1964 was with John Young as a two person team in a Gemini capsule. This flight made three revolutions of the Earth and lasted for 4 hours, 52 minutes and 31 seconds.

Of course the reason we remember his name today is the tragedy that struck him, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. During a test of the command module for Apollo 1, there was a fire, killing all three astronauts. I am old enough to remember that day and how sad it was.

As a bit of trivia, for those of you who remember older British television, Gerry Anderson’s Thunderbirds characters were named after the original Mercury astronauts – Scott Carpenter, John Glenn, Virgil Grissom, Gordon Carpenter, and Alan Shepard.

Below are a couple of quotes by Grissom, and also by others about the wonders of space.


The entirety of a speech given by Grissom to the employees of General Dynamics, builders of the Atlas rocket. “Do good work.”

If we die we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us, it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life. Our God-given curiosity will force us to go there ourselves because in the final analysis, only man can fully evaluate the moon in terms understandable to other men.–Gus Grissom

There is a clarity, a brilliance to space that simply doesn’t exist on earth, even on a cloudless summer’s day in the Rockies, and nowhere else can you realize so fully the majesty of our Earth and be so awed at the thought that it’s only one of untold thousands of planets.– Gus Grissom

Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.–Plato

Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.–Paul Hawkens.

To be able to rise from the earth; to be able, from a station in outer space, to see the relationship of the planet earth to other planets; to be able to contemplate the billions of factors in precise and beautiful combination that make human existence possible; to be able to dwell on an encounter of the human brain and spirit with the universe – all this enlarges the human horizon…–Norman Cousins

Forget scientists. The next space launch we should send up painters, poets and musicians. I’d be more interested in what they discover than anything that takes place in a test tube.–James Razoff

When I first looked back at the Earth, standing on the Moon, I cried.–Alan Shepard

Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards.–Sir Fred Hoyle

Find nearly 9000 inspirational quotes and a link to the Quote of the Day list at