Monthly archives: July, 2017

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…



In 1613, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre burned to the ground.

The thatched roof caught on fire after a theatrical cannon misfired during a production of Henry VIII. Only one man was hurt; his breeches caught on fire, but the quick-thinking fellow put them out with a bottle of ale. The Globe had been the home of Shakespeare’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, since 1599; previously,…