Monthly archives: July, 2017

The most dangerous woman in America

Today is the birthday of the woman Teddy Roosevelt once called “the most dangerous woman in America” when she was 87 years old. Mary Harris Jones, or “Mother Jones” (books by this author), was born to a tenant farmer in Cork, Ireland, in 1837. Her family fled the potato famine when she was just 10, resettling in Toronto….



Brave New World is coming!

Rewriting Life First Human Embryos Edited in U.S. Researchers have demonstrated they can efficiently improve the DNA of human embryos. by Steve Connor July 26, 2017 A video shows the injection of gene-editing chemicals into a human egg near the moment of fertilization. The technique is designed to correct a genetic disorder from the father….



How hard can it be to become a writer?

It was on this day in 1897 that 21-year-old novelist Jack London (books by this author) sailed from San Francisco, on his way to the Klondike to search for gold. He was on board the SS Umatilla with his brother-in-law, James Shepard, who was close to 70 years old. Shepard and his wife, Eliza, who…



It’s the birthday of writer Ernest Hemingway

Born in Oak Park, Illinois (1899). In July of 1925, he visited Pamplona, Spain, for the Festival of San Fermín, a weeklong celebration that included bullfighting and the famous Running of the Bulls. Hemingway and his wife arrived a few days early to get tickets, and he needed a way to spend the time; so…



A good extinction???

It was on this day in 1875 that the largest recorded swarm of locusts in American history descended upon the Great Plains. It was a swarm about 1,800 miles long, 110 miles wide, from Canada down to Texas. North America was home to the most numerous species of locust on earth, the Rocky Mountain locust….



For writers who say they don’t have time to write.

It’s the birthday of detective novelist Erle Stanley Gardner (books by this author), born in Malden, Massachusetts (1889). He earned money through high school by participating in illegal boxing matches. He went on to Valparaiso University to study law, but after only a month, he got kicked out for boxing. So he studied law on…



J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye was published on this date in 1951

It is Salinger’s only novel. It’s one of the most banned books in American history. It’s also one of the most frequently taught in high schools, even though Salinger didn’t intend the book for teenage readers. Holden Caulfield, the book’s protagonist, is a prep school boy from New York City, and he addresses the reader…



It was on this day in 1863 that the New York City Draft Riots began

The bloodiest riot in American history. The rioters were working-class white men, mostly Irish-Americans. They were rioting against a new draft law put into place by President Lincoln, but they were angry about much more than that, and the draft law was just the final straw. It was a terrible summer, hot and muggy, during…



Darknet 101: Your guide to the badlands of the internet

Buying drugs, guns or the hacked personal details of millions of unsuspecting people — welcome to the darknet, where everything is off the grid. Security • by Claire ReillyJuly 4, 2017 10:54 PM PDT @reillystyley Andrew Brookes/Getty Images Hacked login details. Cybersecurity exploits for hire. Drugs, guns and ammo. If there’s something shady going on…



Today is the birthday of writer Franz Kafka (1883

He wrote the story The Metamorphosis, about a traveling salesman named Gregor Samsa who wakes up one day transformed into a hideous insect. Many consider it the finest short story ever written. All of Kafka’s most famous works were published after his death, and all contain surrealistic elements that led to the phrase “Kafkaesque,” as…