One fine morning, the old wooden dam went up in clouds of smoke and broken timber. It was a huge thing—ancient and strong, built to tame the Rappahannock River. Once the power of the water pushing against it had provided electricity for the town. But that was years ago. The dam was falling apart, but so slowly that it was becoming dangerous. So the Army Corps of Engineers blew it up one morning.
At dawn on December 7, 1941, America was at peace, although it was clear a war was coming. Nazi Germany had overrun most of Europe and was literally at the gates of Moscow. Britain was slowly starving as Nazi submarines sank the ships carrying food and medicine the British needed. Although the United States sent huge amounts of war supplies to Britain and Russia and had greatly expanded its own Army and Navy, Americans were unwilling to go to war against enemies who had never attacked us.
Face it. Cartoons and video games are boring. You can only sit in front of the tee-vee for so long before your eyes glaze over. Between the ads for the latest plastic gizmos and excitingly-shaped wads of sugar (a piece of super sweet hard candy shaped like a pacifier? Puh-leese!), you may realize that the stuff between the ads isn't that interesting either.
It's true: most people would do just about anything to get out of having to speak in public, whether it's the standard "everyone in this class will give an oral report" situation or an acceptance speech for some nifty award you've just received. The knees knock, the heart pounds, and the words you've practiced and practiced and practiced fly right out of your mind. You find yourself resorting to reading from the index cards with your eyes down, your voice a droning monotone, and the sweat beading on your forehead. Yuck. Not a good situation. It's painful for you as the presenter and even more painful for your audience to watch. Here's a bit of advice for beginning public speakers.
May is the perfect time to visit a zoo. It's not too hot or crowded, and the animals are at their springtime best. If your kids are begging for pandas, then the National Zoo in Washington is the place to go, but there are some places about an hour's drive from our area where kids can get a different kind of beastly experience.
I don't want to brag, but our library has some fantastic databases that you need to examine if you haven't already at librarypoint.org/articles_databases. One of the most useful of these databases is the Testing and Education Reference Center, the ultimate resource for standardized test preparation and career advancement. Whether you're a high school student going to college, a college student advancing to graduate school, or preparing for a professional exam in careers such as firefighting, nursing, or law enforcement, chances are you'll find what you need at the Testing and Education Reference Center.
What's the best thing about a snow day? Is it the thought of building the biggest, best snowman ever, taking a run down a sledding hill, or just spending a day away from school? Some people just enjoy how quiet nature seems to be under a blanket of winter white. Others can't wait to get out and get moving, even if it means shoveling the walk first!
This month, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring October 20th to be the National Day on Writing. The National Writing Day Project is sponsored by NCTE--National Council of Teachers of English. Check out their site for the National Gallery of Writing where you can submit stories, poems, recipes, emails, blogs, audio, video, and artwork. The gallery will open to the world on October 20 so now is the time to get going. The site features an online tutorial to aid you when making your submissions.
It's time to stand in line and complain about the high cost of school supplies. Parents groan, whip out their pieces of plastic, gnash their teeth, and pay up. It's what we do every year. Even after checking for the best sales and rebates, the total is still hard to take. But this is what we have to do. And yet, have you ever considered that you are lucky to be able to do it at all?
Read on for ways you can help less fortunate kids get the supplies they need.
If it's December, it's time for that familiar topic for reports: Christmas Customs Around the World. Fortunately, the library has a number of resources to help you.