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Apparently the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit shelves today, giving purpose to the lives of people who have enough free time to sleep outside an Apple store. I love Apple products, like I would die for my still-functioning 6-year-old iMac, but when it comes to phones I’m more of a “wait until [insert your favourite provider of mobile telephones] offers it for 99 cents with a 2-year contract” type of purchaser. Speaking of technology, are you aware of the Antikythera Mechanism? It is sometimes called the world’s first analog computer with the oldest known complex gear mechanism ever found. It’s more ancient than the iPhone 5. It was on a Roman ship that sank near the remote island of Antikythera around 60 BC. The wreck was found in April 1900, when a group of Greek sponge divers retrieved a number of artifacts, including bronze and marble statues, pottery, unique glassware, jewelry, coins, and 82 fragments of the mechanism itself. The items were transferred to the National Museum of Archaeology in Athens for storage and analysis. The mechanism itself went unnoticed for two years until an archaeologist recognised its significance. Designed around 100-150 BC, the complexity of the mechanism’s technology did not appear again until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks began to be built in Western Europe. Today a reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism is on display at the museum.

(Image Source)

First computing mechanism is from year 50. BC!

Welcome to the Pura Belpré Award home page!


The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth

Great list for parents, librarians, and educators.

Pura Belpré was born in Puetro Rico around the turn of the century.  In 1921, she joined the staff of the New York Public Library where she pioneered library outreach to the Latino community.  She was the first Puetro Rican employed by the New York City Public Library.  Working at the 110th Street and 115th Street branches, Pura instituted bilingual story hours and made the local library a cultural resource for the Latino community in Spanish Harlem.  She also wrote stories for children.

First Latina librarian honor ode and remembered.

very-quietly asked:

Any advice on how to properly shape and care for nails? Maybe this is a stupid question??? But mine have been a wreck lately and need some tlc


Not stupid at all. I love reading nail blogs and asking my manicurists what they like. Here are my recommendations in regards to nails:

  • Nail Strengthener! Sally Hansen makes a lovely one.
  • Cuticle Eraser - once again, Sally Hansen. It’s not necessary slash amazing, i think the ORLY Cuticle Remover is better in terms of removal. 
  • My favorite top coat is Seche Vite
  • A filling base coat will fill in nail bumps etc. 
  • For actual shaping — a crystal file is so important and way worth biting the bullet in terms of price (I mean they aren’t like $1332894234….just a few bucks more than your cheapo paper ones). They will last for ever, too. 
  • I finish all my manicures with Quick Dry Drops, too. 
  • Occasionally, I smother my fingers with cuticle oil. This will help a lot! Once a week, just on the cuticles. This is ideal TLC. 


Obit of the Day (Historical): Ellen Church (1965)

It was Ellen Church’s dream to fly, so in 1930 she applied for a job as a pilot with United Airlines. The president of the fledgling passenger company, Steve Stimson, however, would not hire a woman pilot. Instead the two decided to give Ms. Church the position of stewardess - the first-ever in aviation history*.

Ms. Church, who was a registered nurse, had convinced Mr. Stimson that having female nurses on airplanes would alleviate many of the concerns passengers and their families had about flying. At this point, the planes flew at 5,000 feet, which created for some very bumpy rides. In addition, the planes were unpressurized, unheated, and stopped numerous times for fuel and other necessities on long flights.

With the support of Mr. Stimson, Ms. Church recruited the first staff of stewardesses, or “sky girls,” finding seven other women to join her. According to sources, the women selected had to be 115 pounds or less in order to make sure that the then-fragile planes were not too heavy. The low ceilings also forced all the new hires to be shorter than 5’4”. The original group of Boeing stewardesses were Ms. Church, Jessie Carter, Cornelia Peterman, Church, Inez Keller, Alva Johnson, Margaret Arnott, Ellis Crawford and Harriet Fry.

Ms. Church was on the first flight, from Oakland to Chicago, and was responsible not only for passenger health and safety, but also distributed box lunchs and helped to re-fuel the plane - all while wearing a traditional nurse’s uniform to give added reassurance. The first flight took 13 stops and 20 hours. (You can now fly non-stop between the two cities in 4 hours.)

Ms. Church only worked for United for 18 months before a car accident ended her career.

However more than a decade later her nursing skills were once again in demand with the outbreak of World War II. She spent the duration of the war in southern Europe and North Africa helping evacuate military casualties by air. Prior to D-Day, she was assigned the task of training all the evacuation nurses for the invasion of Normandy. For her service she earned the Air Medal (given “to anyone who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Armed Forces of the United States, distinguishes himself or herself by meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight.”) as well as several campaign medals including the European-African-Middle Eastern medal with seven bronze stars denoting sevice in seven different military actions.

Ellen Church, who also designed the stewardess uniforms seen in the photo accompanying this post, died on August 22, 1965 at the age of 60. She succumbed to injuries from a horsebackriding accident. To honor her contributions the citizens in her hometown of Cresco, Iowa named the local airport for her.

Sources: Iowa Pathways,, and Wikipedia

(Image of Ellen Church, circa 1930, is courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum, A-45935-C, part of their America by Air online exhibit.)

* The role of air steward was created decades earlier by a German airline in 1912. Heinrich Kubis is the first person, male or female, to serve in that position.


Ellen Church. My hero.

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