JavaScript disabled or chat unavailable.

Have a question?

We have answers!
Chat Monday-Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM (except MS state holidays)
Phone: 601-432-4492 or Toll free: 1-877-KWIK-REF (1-877-594-5733)
Text: 601-208-0868

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Pac-Man was released by Namco today in history on May 22,1980. The goal of this arcade game was to gobble up white dots and fruits in a maze-like setting while dodging four dangerous, brightly colored ghosts. Here are a few other fun facts on all things Pac-Man:
  • The novelty music single "Pac-Man Fever", created by Atlanta-based duo Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia, debuted on January 30, 1982. It spent fourteen weeks in the top 40, and its highest charted position was number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1982.
  • Pac-Man was originally developed in Japan.
  • The name Pac-Man comes from the Japanese word pahu, which means "to eat".
  • Billy Mitchell was the first person to get a perfect score of 3,333,360 points on July 3, 1999 at the Funspot Family Fun Center in New Hampshire.

"Pac-Man Fever." Time 119.14 (1982): 64. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 May 2013.
Bearman, Joshuah. "The Perfect Game." Harper's Magazine 317.1898 (2008): 65-73. Academic Search Premier. Web. 22 May 2013.
Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. New York, NY: Billboard Publications, Inc., 1996. Print 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Boy with Baby Carriage

Boy with Baby Carriage by Norman Rockwell, Oil on Canvas, 1916

On this day in history, Norman Rockwell's painting Boy with Baby Carriage was his first cover for the Saturday Evening Post which was published on May 20, 1916. Norman Rockwell was twenty-two years old at the time, and went on to have his paintings represented on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post for nearly fifty years.

Lifson, Amy. "Norman Rockwell Museum." Humanities 30.1 (2009): 47. Academic Search Premier. Web. 20 May 2013.
Picture: Norman Rockwell Museum,2421.html

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jackson Burning

One-hundred and fifty years ago today, May 14, 1863, the city of Jackson, MS was captured in the First Battle of Jackson. Upon learning that Union soldiers were advancing on the capital city, the Confederate leader General Johnston evacuated the city while Brigadier General Gregg held off the enemy.

On May 14, 1863, General Sherman began the bombardment of the city of Jackson... I recall the terror-stricken flight of thousands of women and children as we streamed along the roads that hot day, with everything we could carry. I had two suits of clothes on, and mother was wearing her furs-for we did not know whether we would ever come back to the house or whether the house would escape the fire. We camped in tents on the Pearl River for several weeks.
--Thomas Frank Gailor, six-year-old child, future Episcopal Bishop of Tennessee

Over 1,000 soldiers died, the majority of them Confederates. Majors General U.S. Grant, William Sherman, and James McPherson held a celebration in the Bowman House, the only hotel in town. The town was looted and burned and the Union troops continued on toward Vicksburg.

Jackson was a beautiful town before we visited it but now it is a desolate looking place. I was very much apposed to burning when we first came in the service but I don't care now if everything in the Southern Confederacy is burnt.
--Sergeant Asahel Mann, Co. A, 4th Regiment, Iowa Cavalry, letter home dated May 31, 1863
House, furniture, and fine library of three thousand volumes,
were committed to the flames. -Benson J. Lossing, The Civil War in America

Jackson was occupied by Union forces four times during The War Between the States. It was burned three times and eventually earned the nickname of Chimneyville. Why? The only things left standing after the town was torched were the chimneys of once majestic homes and businesses. Check out Grady Howell's book Chimneyville for more information about Jackson before, during, and after the Civil War.

Howell, Jr., H. Grady. Chimneyville: "Likenesses" of Early Days in Jackson, Mississippi. Chickasaw Bayou Press, 2007.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Let's Study Like It's 1899

I received a large shipment of books from someone who was cleaning house and have slowly been going through them. At least one little gem is marked for donation to the Mississippi Library Commission: The Official Syllabus for County Institutes for the Summer of 1899 for the State of Mississippi.

It was a temptation to keep--tiny green books look awfully nice on my bookshelves at home--but I hope more people will be able to enjoy it in the library. The book contains a run-down on what was taught in Mississippi schools, with additional thoughts on why education in each subject matter was considered important. Here are my favorite selections from the section devoted to literature:
  1. Literature is the record of thought emotion in all ages. To read is to know what has been said and done. It is more, it is to know the real, the better, and sometime the higher life. - C.D. Warner
  2. The reading habit is the most valuable thing the teacher can secure to the child.
  3. It follows, that no effort should be spared to establish this habit.
  4. It has been thought and said that the teacher hasn't time to teach Literature. The child can pick that up himself. The fact is, the teacher hasn't time not to teach it.
  5. Let no teacher treat it as a sort of side issue; it is the main issue.
  6. Drilling into the memory of a pupil the facts as to some author's birth, place of education, wife's name, list of works with the date at which he wrote them, and finally the time and place of his death is not teaching Literature.
  7.  The study of masterpieces relieves the monotony of school-life, cultivates the imagination, broadens the sympathies, and tends to the culture of the whole man.
  8. Pay especial attention to poetry. It is the natural language of the emotions, the vehicle by which one great soul speaks to a kindred soul the beauty and harmony of its conceptions.
  9. Seek to cultivate a love for reading. The reading habit should take the place of the idling time-killing habit.
  10. If necessary, devote less time to the usual school duties and give some time to Literature.
 As a reading fanatic, I wholeheartedly endorse this teaching method. Up next week? Math. I'm willing to wager that my approval will not be as easily forthcoming.

Official Syllabus County Institutes, Summer 1899. State of Mississippi.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Lice Aren't Nice

We have the most interesting books here at MLC. No, really! Today I found something called Insects, Hygiene, and History by J.R. Busvine. Seriously, check out the cover art:

A Tit-bit for the Bugs
from the book Rowlandson the Caricaturist by Joseph Grego (1880)
The author delves into the lives of all sorts of gross bugs and icky insects. Lice, ticks, mites, bed bugs -- you name it. After briefly discussing entymology, he delves into people's views of vermin over the years. He has a rare touch of grotesque humor; perhaps such a thing is needed when studying the creepy-crawlies of the world. This quote from The Noble Lyfe and Nature of Man is included and it tickles me no end:

A louse is a worm with many fete and it cometh out of the filthi and onclene skynne... To Withdryue them, the best is to washe oftentymes and to change oftentymes clene lynen.
A plus to no longer living in the Middle Ages? Now we know that lice don't just pop out of our skin if we skip a bath. This wonderful line about fleas caught my eye:

On hearing the first cuckoo in spring, one should take earth from the ground where one's right foot is standing; this will have the property of driving all fleas from a house.
(If that doesn't work on your flea infestation, talk to Pliny.)

 As did this fascinating entry on lice:

The nature of the louse is that, on red hair they are red, on black hair, black, on white, white; and if one changes the hair, they will change colour.
 Chameleon lice!

I'll leave you with this charming depiction of a wife cleaning the lice from her husband's head...

from the Hortus Sanitatis (1491)

...apparently with a feather duster.

Busvine, J.R. Insects, Hygiene, and History The Athlone Press of the University of London, 1976.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...