Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Things You Only Learn From Reading by Karla Stover




https://bwlauthors.blogspot.com karla stover


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In ancient Rome, Cloacina was the patron goddess of the Cloaca Maxima (the main drain of the City) and the city’s overall sewer system. In recognition of her importance, the poet, Lord Byron, wrote the  following ditty:

 "O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
 Look on thy supplicant with a smiling face.                           
Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow,                           
 Not rashly swift nor insolently slow." 

I found the poem in my history of toilets book. Granted, it's available on the web, but how can you look up something if you haven't learned about it, first?

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Here's another goodie I just read about. Recently, Salt Lake County's Canyons School District built a new high school and allowed the students to vote for a mascot. They overwhelmingly chose the cougar.  Brigham Young University's mascot was the cougar, a tract of 10,409 acres of the state's backcountry was called Cougar Canyon Wilderness. However, the school board rejected the vote because----"It might be offensive to older women."  
 And how would someone ever know to google the Cadets' Protective Association unless they'd stumbled on it somewhere in a book about Chicago. At the turn of the last century, Chicago's Levee District was between Clark Street and Wabash Avenue, and 18th Street to 22nd. Street gangs, pickpockets, and brothels flourished in the Levee, so much so that pimps actually unionized, forming the Cadets' Protective Association.
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Daylight saving time (which ends on November 5, 2017) was first proposed in 1784 by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. In 1907, an Englishman named William published a pamphlet, "The Waste of Daylight," in which he "proposed that the clocks should be advanced by 80 minutes in four incremental steps during April and reversed the same way during September." Jump ahead to April 10, 2010 when an article ion the Chicago Times claimed that "There was indeed double daylight saving time during World War II, but in Britain, not in the U.S. Except that Vashon Island, Washington  resident Betty MacDonald wrote that her war-worker husband was coping with double daylight savings.

Image result for the linger nots and the mystery houseMy family didn't buy a lot of books when I was young for the simple reason that we didn't have a lot of money. However, I inherited a treasure-trove of my mother's books, one of which was The Linger- Nots and the Mystery House by Agnes Miller. In it, the mystery of the house was revealed by the flowers stitched into an old sampler. This is known as floriography, or the language of flowers. It's a way to communicate through the use or arrangement of specific flowers. I wrote a short murder mystery called Flower Power in which the victim manages to tell the protagonist "who dun it" through the use of flowers. It was actually accepted for publication.

One terrific thing a college education gave me was the ability to read and enjoy a broad spectrum of genres which  has proved to be a great gift because I  am a rather lonely person. With a book, I always have a friend.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Dr. Seuss