Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chinese Goldfish



Q: Which civilization began keeping fish as pets for the first time in history?

A: The earliest civilization that began keeping fish in captivity were the Chinese in 265 A.D. in China. The Chinese kept goldfish in ornate pots in their gardens to gain a higher status in their community.

Information gathered from The Everything Tropical Fish Book by Carlo DeVito and Gregory Skokal.

Click here to request it from our library catalog.

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

November 4, 2009

"To Kill a Mockingbird"


Q: Why has the book, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, sparked controversy recently?

A: The novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, has frequently been challenged as an inappropriate book for young adult readers. It has been a source of significant controversy since its being the subject of classroom study as early as 1963 and the controversy continues to this day. Criticisms of the novel are not limited to upsetting, racial insults, profanity, and the topic of rape in the novel.

Information gathered from the American Library Association website.

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

October 21, 2009

The U.S. Open

Q: Where is the U.S. Open held and who is the current top seeded player in the Men’s Singles draw at the U.S. Open this year?

A: The U.S. Open is held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, New York and Roger Federer is the top seeded player in the Open this year, followed by Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal.

Information gathered from the official U.S. Open website: http://www.usopen.org

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

September 9, 2009

The Maneless Lions of Tsavo

Q: Which maneless lions attacked and killed an estimated 135 railroad workers in Tsavo, Kenya between March and December of 1888?

A: The Tsavo lions are well-known for their unexpected and gruesome attacks on humans during the building of the Kenya-Uganda Railway in 1888. After repeated attempts to trap and injure the lions, the railroad manager, Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, finally killed the lions after shooting each of them five times.

Information gathered from the Ghosts of Tsavo: Stalking the Mystery Lions of East Africa by Philip Caputo.

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

September 23, 2009

The Maneless Lions of Tsavo


Q: Which maneless lions attacked and killed an estimated 135 railroad workers in Tsavo, Kenya between March and December of 1988?

A: The Tsavo lions are well-known for their unexpected and gruesome attacks on humans during the building of the Kenya-Uganda Railway in 1988. After repeated attempts to trap and injure the lions, the railroad manager, Lt. Col. John Henry Patterson, finally killed the lions after shooting each of them five times.

Information gathered from the Ghosts of Tsavo: Stalking the Mystery Lions of East Africa by Philip Caputo.

Click here to request this book from our library catalog.

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

September 23, 2009

The Legend of Mercy Brown



Q: Who was Mercy Brown and where is she buried?

A: Mercy Brown was a young girl when she died of tuberculosis in January, 1892. Her body was exhumed a few months later from its burial site in the Chestnut Hill Cemetery in Exeter, RI. Dr. Michael Bell from the Rhode Island Folklife Society writes, “they examined her organs. The newspaper said her heart and liver had blood in it. It was liquid blood, which they interpreted as fresh blood”. The evidence of liquid blood and the fact that Mercy’s body was so well-preserved after being buried for three months led to the theory that Mercy was a vampire.

Information gathered from Food for the Dead: on the Trail of New England's Vampires by Dr. Michael Bell.

Click here to request this book from our library catalog.

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

October 7, 2009

President Truman and Hiroshima

Q: Which President disagreed with President Truman’s decision to bomb Hiroshima before and after serving in the White House?

A: In addition to publicly disputing the bombing of Hiroshima, President Eisenhower criticized Truman’s actions in his 1948 memoir, Crusade in Europe.

Source: Hiroshima in America: Fifty Years of Denial by Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell

Click here to request this book from our library catalog.

Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant

August 26, 2009