Medal Math

Have you been parked in front of the TV gorging on Olympic coverage? Here is a new, statistical way of enjoying this sporting spectacle. With 195 countries on planet Earth (CIA World Factbook) and 205 of them competing in the Summer Olympics (BBC) what country is the most successful? There are over 10,000 athletes competing in over 300 events, so it depends on how you define success. As of this writing China and the USA are tied for total medals at 17 each. But leading with 9, China has 2 more gold medals…continue reading →

The Last King

The year is 1648 and England is wilting under Civil War. King Charles I is beheaded and Oliver Cromwell runs the country. Cromwell’s legacy of ruling without a royal lineage does not last and Charles’ son, Charles II returns to be crowned in 1660. Through political and social upheaval, plague and the fire of London The Last King chronicles the 25-year reign of this Stuart ruler. Sometimes known as the Merry Monarch, Charles II (Rufus Sewell) was as noted for his licentious lifestyle as his restoration of the monarchy.  His mistresses are legend,…continue reading →

Olympic Fever

With the 2012 Summer Olympics just days away are you pumped for hours of watching athletic competition and dreaming of being in London yourself? If you can’t make it to the games the John Tyler Community College libraries can help you ratchet up the enthusiasm by offering these books about the Olympics: The complete book of the Olympics The atlas of sports :  who plays what, where, and why Chronicle of the Olympics And these books about London: A traveller’s history of London The Times London history atlas Top 10 London (an e-book)continue reading →

Woody Guthrie at 100

From California to the New York Island and beyond music lovers are noting the 100th anniversary of the birth of American singer and songwriter Woody Guthrie. From his beginnings in Oklahoma until his death from the incurable degenerative neurological disorder Huntington’s Disease in 1967 Guthrie was noted for not only his prolific songwriting but also his support of laborers and farm workers in particular. Like his contemporary John Steinbeck, Guthrie bore witness to the Dustbowl migration of Oklahoma farmers (Okies) to the fertile fields of California and to the prejudice the Okies suffered.…continue reading →

Old Newspapers

Want to travel to the past? You can by reading a century-old issue of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Without leaving your home you can view issues from 1903-1913 through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America project. The database includes papers published between 1836 and 1922 throughout the U.S. And just to illustrate how history sometimes repeats itself, check out the July 11, 1912 edition of the TD. It includes a story of the bitter resignation of a university president who clashes with the Board of Visitors. This time the conflict was at Virginia Tech.…continue reading →