Archive for September, 2017

Happy Hobbit Day!

For those who have enjoyed JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit (This work celebrated its 80th anniversary of publication on September 21) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, September 22 marks the birthday of Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo Baggins. Of course they were born in different years  – 1290 for Bilbo; 1368 for Frodo.

I so remember receiving the boxed three-volume paperback set of LOTR for Christmas in either 1966 or 1967; I read the entire trilogy over that break. In fact, it is one of the few series I have re-read over the years, not counting the times I read the volumes to various girlfriends. (I did a very credible Oliphant roar.) Now my children have had the pleasure of discovering this fully-realized world. Maybe I’ll go back.

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Brian Aldiss, 1925-2017

He was one of the seminal writers (along with Michael Moorcock and J G Ballard) who ushered in the British “new wave” of science fiction. I eagerly looked forward to his work, remembering his challenging novels from the 1960s through the late 1990s. It must also be stated that he was an influential editor, anthologist, and non-fiction writer.

Biographical information about him can be found in this entry from the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. Obituaries can be found at The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Locus.

Remembrances are at Ansibleinterviews are on YouTube; here is a great interview from 2015 from The Telegraph.

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Day-by-Day Chronology of the Civil War

This site includes pre-war dates. Links to documents and biographies.

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What Harborside is Going To Look Like Soon

Mack-Cali, the developer of Harborside where NJCU has its business school, has announced an ambitious transformation of the site. To be included in this re-development is a ferry terminal with a direct connection to Manhattan.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: The Papers of General John J Pershing

The Library of Congress has made available online selected material from its collection of Pershing Papers. These include typewritten diaries covering his WWI experiences and well as his post-war activities as Army chief of staff. You might also want to read his Report of General John J. Pershing, U.S.A., Commander-in-Chief, American Expeditionary Forces. Cabled to the Secretary of War, November 20, 1918. Cor. January 16, 1919.

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Teens Growing Up More Slowly Than Their Parents Did

That is the main conclusion from this study – The Decline in Adult Activities Among U.S. Adolescents, 1976–2016 from the journal Child Development. Using seven time-lag surveys, the researchers found that “In recent years, fewer adolescents engaged in activities rarely performed by children and often performed by adults, such as working, driving, going out, dating, having sex, and drinking alcohol….” There are significant declines in these adult behaviors, especially beginning with 2000. Tables, figures, and references round out this important report.

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Who Are the Rohingya?

They are a minority-Muslim group inside the largely Buddhist country of Myanmar (once known as Burma). According to CIA data, Buddhists comprise 87.9% of the country while Muslims total 4.3% of the population. These people have been in the news largely because of the large mass emigrations into neighboring Bangladesh, supposedly in retaliation for attacks on government offices by a splinter Rohingya group.

Background information on this can be found in many places, especially:

The Rohingya Migrant Crisis (CFR Backgrounder); The Rakine State Danger to Myanmar’s Transition (International Crisis Group); Rohingya (Migration Policy Group); STATEMENT ON ROHINGYA REFUGEES FLEEING BURMA TO BANGLADESH (US State Department); Final Report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State (supplemental material here); Congressional bills, hearings, resolutions on Rohingya; Burma – February 2017 Update (UK House of Commons Library Research Briefing); U.S. Restrictions on Relations with Burma (CRS); There is no simple solution to the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar (Brookings); Myanmar’s Problem State (Chatham House); and United Nations reports, documents, and publications.

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