“How very civilized”

Recently, while sitting on my BOOKCYCLE at Lake Worth Pier, I heard “How very civilized…books at the beach!” in a proper British accent from behind me. When I turned around, there was a distinguished-looking gentleman perusing the book bin. I asked him where he lived, and he replied that he was from a small town just outside of London and had been visiting Lake Worth “for a fortnight” .

I asked him what sort of book he might be interested in reading, and he asked for my recommendation on a “short novel.” I pointed to a nice hardcover copy of Darwinia: A Novel of a Very Different Twentieth Century by Robert Charles Wilson, which I had recently read and enjoyed.  “What’s it about?” he asked. I replied that it’s an alternate history / fantasy novel in the same genre as Harry Turtledove’s books, in which Europe is cast back into the age of the dinosaurs while the rest of the world remains in the 20th century. “Many would say that has already happened!” he chuckled and took the book from the bin.

He then looked in his wallet for a dollar bill, couldn’t find one and then held out a hand full of coins.  “I haven’t figured out your American coinage yet,” he said. I took three quarters, two dimes and a nickel, and he took the book and walked back to the beach with a smile and a wave.

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Read Together Palm Beach County 2012

The Read Together Palm Beach County 2012 campaign hopes to involve 10,000 – 20,000 adults throughout Palm Beach County in reading the same book at the same time. This campaign is one of the many great efforts of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County:

 http://www.literacypbc.org/who-we-are/

This community reading campaign is targeted at adults who can read, but often don’t, to get into the habit of reading again. It will also promote community dialogue and engagement as readers gather together to discuss the book. Based upon the success of similar campaigns in Seattle and Chicago, Read Together Palm Beach County conducted similar campaigns in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Thousands of adults read and discussed with great enthusiasm the selected books for those years: Fahrenheit 451 (2002), Their Eyes Were Watching God (2004), To Kill a Mockingbird (2006), The Memory Keeper’s Daughter (2008) and The Book Thief (2010). Former Governor Jeb Bush wrote to every city in Florida and encouraged them to form “One Book, One Community” reading campaigns based on the Palm Beach County model. Read Together Palm Beach County produced a handbook on how to conduct a similar reading campaign and Former Governor Bush urged municipalities to use this book to guide them in their campaigns.

The five finalist books have been selected for Read Together Palm Beach County 2012. One of these books will be selected in January as the 2012 campaign’s community book:

 

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin

More than twenty years ago, loner Larry Ott took a pretty girl to the movies and came home alone. She was never found. Now another young woman is missing and suspicion has fallen on Larry again. The chief investigator is local constable Silas Jones, Larry’s unlikely boyhood friend in their small, racially divided Mississippi town. In this mystery novel, the only way to get to the truth is by uncovering the past…

Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Two families become intertwined when they both adopt baby girls from Korea. This gently humorous novel explores the notions of fitting in, what it is to be an “American,” and the adventure of finding love again in later years. An insightful tale of culture clash, with endearing characters working their unique ways through the bustle and flow of family life.

Last Train to Paradise by Les Standiford

The true story of a man of extraordinary vision and drive. Oil tycoon Henry Flagler spent the last years of his life building a railroad to span the length of Florida, including 157 miles of open ocean to Key West. The story captures the herculean efforts of the dedicated men who built this engineering marvel, plagued by mosquito and alligator infested swamplands and the fury of hurricanes. Travel through familiar Florida spots and explore early twentieth century attitudes towards working conditions, the environment, and the tourist industry.

Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton and Erin Torneo

A memoir of forgiveness and redemption. Ron Cotton is wrongly accused of committing a brutal rape. Based in part on the testimony of the victim, he is convicted and spends 11 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence. He not only forgives, but befriends his accuser and her family. The authors have been instrumental in current efforts to change the way eyewitness testimony is used by police and prosecutors.

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

What happens when civil rights collide with national security in the aftermath of a natural catastrophe? Dave Eggers explores this issue through the true story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, an ordinary man living through the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Zeitoun remains in New Orleans to protect his business after his family evacuates, but his future is threatened when he is arrested. A gripping and disturbing view of America’s response to natural and man-made disasters.

You can post comments on these five finalist books by going to:

 http://readtogether.palmbeachpost.com

Start reading now to be prepared to vote in January!

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Oceanside Farmers Market

In Lake Worth, the place to see and be seen on Saturday mornings is the Oceanside Farmers Market located at A1A and Lake Ave (north side of the Lake Worth Bridge). You’ll probably see the BOOKCYCLE there too.

This outdoor market provides a broad selection of interesting food and merchandise from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM every Saturday through May. Parking is available across A1A at the Lake Worth Beach parking lot.

This past Saturday (November 19, 2011), there were 40 different vendors, selling everything from fresh fish to fine antiques:

  • Independent Seafoods Fish Market
  • Jah-Umbrella (fresh sugar cane juice)
  • Mama Jizza Pasta (pastas and food)
  • The Juice Bar (juice drinks and gifts)
  • Fresh Cut Flowers
  • Cocoanut Carvings (Jamaican carvings and woven Hats
  • Café-au-Lait (coffee shop)
  • Quiet Creek Gourmet Goat Cheese
  • Mi Buenos Aires Kitchen (Argentine food)
  • Cider Doughnuts
  • Joe’s Perfect Scents (soaps and oils)
  • The Palm Beach Post newspaper
  • Jah Glory (Jamaican butter and gifts)
  • Boutique To Go (jewelry)
  • Take A Stand Art (vintage plates and candlesticks)
  • Handbags and Ladies Dresses
  • Paige’s Pantry (liquor-infused cakes)
  • Pique Studio (engravings, prints and cards)
  • Buy The Sea (seashell creations)
  • Accessories For You (jewelry and handbags)
  • M’s Flowers (potted plants and hanging baskets)
  • No Common Scents (handmade soaps)
  • Bud’s Bromeliads (bromeliads and orchids)
  • Spice Up Your World (spices and seasonings)
  • Cathy’s Chocolate Pound Cake
  • Organic Kitchen (cookies, cakes and muffins)
  • Seed To Bloom (vegetables and cut flowers)
  • Patio Plants (potted plants)
  • Sherri’s Breads From The Heart (breads, pastries and fruit)
  • Cottage Garden Gourmet Teas
  • Voodoo Wicked (gourmet provisions and specialty foods)
  • Pickled Pink (pickles, olives and relishes)
  • Happy Dog Bakery (natural dog treats)
  • Anita’s Guacamole
  • Diane’s Originals (hand-painted market bags)
  • Pink Ladle Gardens (stained glass and mosaics)
  • Pamela’s Pies (handmade pies)
  • The Best Jamaican Bakery and Restaurant
  • Ecclective Design (feathered hair accessories)  
  • Martha Who? (antiques, art, clothing and jewelry)

For more information and vendor spaces call: 561-283-5856

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A Matter of Faith

As I ride my BOOKCYCLE around Lake Worth, the question that I am asked most often is: “Do you have any books on religion or spirituality?”

We hear anecdotally that Americans are very religious, but just how religious are we?

The Gallup Organization has been polling Americans on this very question since 1944.  The results of their polling may surprise you. Here is a June 3, 2011 article from the Gallup website (http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/americans-continue-believe-god.aspx):

 

More Than 9 in 10 Americans Continue to Believe in God

Professed belief is lower among younger Americans, Easterners, and liberals

by Frank Newport

PRINCETON, NJ — More than 9 in 10 Americans still say “Yes” when asked the basic question “Do you believe in God?”; this is down only slightly from the 1940s, when Gallup first asked this question.

 Despite the many changes that have rippled through American society over the last 6 ½ decades, belief in God as measured in this direct way has remained high and relatively stable. Gallup initially used this question wording in November 1944, when 96% said “Yes.” That percentage dropped to 94% in 1947, but increased to 98% in several Gallup surveys conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Gallup stopped using this question format in the 1960s, before including it again in Gallup’s May 5-8 survey this year.

In 1976, Gallup began using a slightly different question format to measure belief in a deity — “Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?” — and found that 94% of Americans agreed. That percentage stayed fairly steady through 1994, and is at 91% in the May 2011 survey.

 Young Americans, Liberals, Easterners Least Likely to Believe in God

Responses to the two slightly different question formats from Gallup’s May 5-8 survey can be combined to provide a larger sample for subgroup analysis. The results show that belief in God appears to be generally high across most subgroups of the American population.

Belief in God drops below 90% among younger Americans, liberals, those living in the East, those with postgraduate educations, and political independents. However, belief in God is nearly universal among Republicans and conservatives and, to a slightly lesser degree, in the South.

Belief in God Lower When Other Alternatives Offered

Gallup has asked about belief in God using different question wordings in past surveys, all of which give respondents expanded response alternatives. One such question includes the explicit choice of belief in a universal spirit or higher power, while another allows respondents to express doubts about belief in God. Using these questions, the percentages of Americans who say they believe in God without doubts or as separate from a universal spirit have ranged from 73% to 86%.

The percentages who more definitively say there is no God are generally 6% or 7% across these questions, similar to the 7% or 8% who do not believe in God in the questions asked this year. This suggests that most Americans do believe in God, but when given the opportunity to express some uncertainty, a modest percentage opt to do so.

None of these expanded question formats was used by Gallup before the late 1990s, leaving open the question of how Americans would have responded to these wordings in the 1940s or 1950s.

Survey Methods: Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 5-8, 2011, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.


Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

An extensive new survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details statistics on religion in America and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid. (http://religions.pewforum.org/reports):

More than one-quarter of American adults (28%) have left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion – or no religion at all. If change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another is included, 44% of adults have either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether.

The survey finds that the number of people who say they are unaffiliated with any particular faith today (16.1%) is more than double the number who say they were not affiliated with any particular religion as children. Among Americans ages 18-29, one-in-four say they are not currently affiliated with any particular religion.

The Landscape Survey confirms that the United States is on the verge of becoming a minority Protestant country; the number of Americans who report that they are members of Protestant denominations now stands at barely 51%. Moreover, the Protestant population is characterized by significant internal diversity and fragmentation, encompassing hundreds of different denominations loosely grouped around three fairly distinct religious traditions – evangelical Protestant churches (26.3% of the overall adult population), mainline Protestant churches (18.1%) and historically black Protestant churches (6.9%).

While those Americans who are unaffiliated with any particular religion have seen the greatest growth in numbers as a result of changes in affiliation, Catholicism has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes. While nearly one-in-three Americans (31%) were raised in the Catholic faith, today fewer than one-in-four (24%) describe themselves as Catholic. These losses would have been even more pronounced were it not for the offsetting impact of immigration. The Landscape Survey finds that among the foreign-born adult population, Catholics outnumber Protestants by nearly a two-to-one margin (46% Catholic vs. 24% Protestant); among native-born Americans, on the other hand, the statistics show that Protestants outnumber Catholics by an even larger margin (55% Protestant vs. 21% Catholic). Immigrants are also disproportionately represented among several world religions in the U.S., including Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Although there are about half as many Catholics in the U.S. as Protestants, the number of Catholics nearly rivals the number of members of evangelical Protestant churches and far exceeds the number of members of both mainline Protestant churches and historically black Protestant churches. The U.S. also includes a significant number of members of the third major branch of global Christianity – Orthodoxy – whose adherents now account for 0.6% of the U.S. adult population. American Christianity also includes sizeable numbers of Mormons (1.7% of the adult population), Jehovah’s Witnesses (0.7%) and other Christian groups (0.3%).

 Like the other major groups, people who are unaffiliated with any particular religion (16.1%) also exhibit remarkable internal diversity. Although one-quarter of this group consists of those who describe themselves as either atheist or agnostic (1.6% and 2.4% of the adult population overall, respectively), the majority of the unaffiliated population (12.1% of the adult population overall) is made up of people who simply describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” This group, in turn, is fairly evenly divided between the “secular unaffiliated,” that is, those who say that religion is not important in their lives (6.3% of the adult population), and the “religious unaffiliated,” that is, those who say that religion is either somewhat important or very important in their lives (5.8% of the overall adult population).

Even smaller religions in the U.S. reflect considerable internal diversity. For instance, most Jews (1.7% of the overall adult population) identify with one of three major groups: Reform, Conservative or Orthodox Judaism. Similarly, more than half of Buddhists (0.7% of the overall adult population) belong to one of three major groups within Buddhism: Zen, Theravada or Tibetan Buddhism. Muslims (0.6% of the overall adult population) divide primarily into two major groups: Sunni and Shia.

Other highlights in the report include:

  • Men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation. Nearly one-in-five men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly 13% of women.
  • Among people who are married, nearly four-in-ten (37%) are married to a spouse with a different religious affiliation. (This figure includes Protestants who are married to another Protestant from a different denominational family, such as a Baptist who is married to a Methodist.) Hindus and Mormons are the most likely to be married (78% and 71%, respectively) and to be married to someone of the same religion (90% and 83%, respectively).
  • Mormons and Muslims are the groups with the largest families; more than one-in-five Mormon adults and 15% of Muslim adults in the U.S. have three or more children living at home.
  • The Midwest most closely resembles the religious makeup of the overall population. The South, by a wide margin, has the heaviest concentration of members of evangelical Protestant churches. The Northeast has the greatest concentration of Catholics, and the West has the largest proportion of unaffiliated people, including the largest proportion of atheists and agnostics.
  • Of all the major racial and ethnic groups in the United States, black Americans are the most likely to report a formal religious affiliation. Even among those blacks who are unaffiliated, three-in-four belong to the “religious unaffiliated” category (that is, they say that religion is either somewhat or very important in their lives), compared with slightly more than one-third of the unaffiliated population overall.
  • Nearly half of Hindus in the U.S., one-third of Jews and a quarter of Buddhists have obtained post-graduate education, compared with only about one-in-ten of the adult population overall. Hindus and Jews are also much more likely than other groups to report high income levels.
  • People not affiliated with any particular religion stand out for their relative youth compared with other religious traditions. Among the unaffiliated, 31% are under age 30 and 71% are under age 50. Comparable numbers for the overall adult population are 20% and 59%, respectively.
  • By contrast, members of mainline Protestant churches and Jews are older, on average, than members of other groups. Roughly half of Jews and members of mainline churches are age 50 and older, compared with approximately four-in-ten American adults overall.
  • In sharp contrast to Islam and Hinduism, Buddhism in the U.S. is primarily made up of native-born adherents, whites and converts. Only one-in-three American Buddhists describe their race as Asian, while nearly three-in-four Buddhists say they are converts to Buddhism.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses have the lowest retention rate of any religious tradition. Only 37% of all those who say they were raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses still identify themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Members of Baptist churches account for one-third of all Protestants and close to one-fifth of the total U.S. adult population. Baptists also account for nearly two-thirds of members of historically black Protestant churches.

 

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Street Logic

Recently, at Kreusler Park, I had the pleasure of meeting Steve Sundberg, the author of Street Logic, a novel about the real-life challenges of the homeless on the streets of Boston: “Axel Hazzard’s beat is the street. He works with the outcasts, who stake out their spots on sidewalks, in alleys, under bridges, for reasons only they know. As they hold on to what little dignity remains for them, Hazzard struggles to accept their free will, the daily risks they take, and his own limitations. Closely observed, emotionally charged, Street Logic tells a story of homelessness in America, through the eyes of a traveled and street-smart outreach worker.”

Steve Sundberg grew up in Newark, Ohio. He graduated from Emory University in 1982. He has been a psychiatric ward attendant, a counselor with emotionally disturbed children and teenagers, and the manager of a crisis stabilization center for mentally ill adults. He worked at the Pine Street Inn Homeless Shelter in Boston as a counselor from 1986-1990, and as a street outreach worker from 2000-2005. Street Logic is based on those experiences.

You can order copies of Street Logic on-line at: http://www.bookstandpublishing.com/book_details/STREET_LOGIC

Visit Steve’s Street Logic website at: http://www.streetlogic.org

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It’s a disgrace !

I was at Kreusler Park on Sunday, November 13, 2011.

The beach was completely covered with stinking seaweed and debris.

The beach areas north and south of Kreusler Park were clean.

Why is this small stretch of County-owned beach not being maintained?

This park is a favorite of tourists, senior citizens, and seasonal residents.

In this economy, we can ill-afford to neglect our greatest economic assets, the beaches.

I sent a complaint about the condition of Kreusler Park to the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department, and received the following, unbelievable and frankly absurd reply:

“Hi Tim,

Due to budget cuts, Palm Beach County will no longer be able to rake and remove seaweed from public beaches. The Parks Maintenance Division will continue litter and hazardous debris removal and trash collection on our beaches, in addition to regular refuse pick-up from beach trash receptacles.

The environmental benefits of leaving seaweed on the sand in the natural state include:

    •  seaweed helps to prevent beach erosion by stabilizing windblown sand in dune areas
    •  seaweed provides nutrients for dune plants , invertebrates and shore birds
    •  seaweed creates an environmentally friendly habitat for migrating shorebirds
    •  not removing seaweed is effective as a cost saving measure, and by diminishing beach erosion, thereby increases the effectiveness of re-nourishment projects

Thanks,

Peggy Hawks

Public Information

www.pbcparks.com

On, November 15th, I sent a copy of this correspondence to the Palm Beach Post and to each of the County Commissioners. So far, I haven’t heard from any Commissioner or the Post, and the beach is still filthy.

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BOOKCYCLE is back!

After a very long and wonderful summer at my family’s home on the coast of Maine, I’m back in Lake Worth, riding my BOOKCYCLE and sharing good books. Over the summer, I read many interesting books, most of which will be in the BOOKCYCLE book bin. When you see me, shout “BOOKCYCLE” and I’ll stop to let you browse the large selection of good books in the bin.

One particular book that I read this summer is a thrilling and frightening novel set in one of my favorite places, Black Mountain, North Carolina.

ONE SECOND AFTER by William R. Forstchen (2009)

ONE SECOND AFTER is a riveting and chilling tale of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States. It is a thrilling page turner, but is also so much more. Author William R. Forstchen is accustomed to asking “what if” questions. In ONE SECOND AFTER, Forstchen asks not what could have been, but what will be the results of an EMP attack.

Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) result from natural phenomena such as solar storms and in much greater strength from nuclear blasts. EMPs fry unprotected electronics. A nuclear bomb set off at a high altitude could cause electronics over a large swathe of the planet to fail. Little has been done to protect the US from this threat. This novel depicts what life might be like in the case of an EMP attack.

With no electronics vehicles won’t run. How do we move necessities without modern transportation? Without electronics, we have no phones, computers, radios, or televisions. How do we communicate? How do we grow food or run our factories without vehicles or electricity? In ONE SECOND AFTER, a lack of food and medicine leads to mass death. Society crumbles. Cities turn against the countryside and friends and neighbors turn against each other in a desperate struggle to survive. Criminals take advantage. Forstchen humanizes it by giving a detailed look at how events unfold around Montreat College in North Carolina. He uses convincing detail to make the events real.

ONE SECOND AFTER is a masterpiece of distopian literature that ranks with 1984 and Brave New World. More important though than its role in our literature is what we do about the grave threat it portrays. Because one second after the attack, it’ll be too late. The danger ONE SECOND AFTER illustrates is so great and so real that leaders in our government are now reading this book. Let’s hope they take it seriously. To make sure they do, read this book today and get the word out.

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, talks with Greta van Susteren about the real threat of a nuclear EMP attack and ONE SECOND AFTER:

Read the Executive Summary of the Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack:

http://empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf

What the author William Forstchen says about his book ONE SECOND AFTER:

“I’ll have to say this is not just writing a book to write a book. I believe the threat of America being hit by an EMP weapon is the single greatest danger to the survival of America. I’ll not go into a polemic here on the subject of EMP.

“If I have ever written a single book which I pray is a service to my country and on a personal level my daughter and those whom I love, this is the one.”

“I urge you to read it because it is about US. You, me, my daughter, my friends, your friends. . .our country. EMP is a real threat, I believe the most underestimated threat in the history of our country. In the late 1930s we completely underestimated the Japanese and the potentials of a new technology. . .carrier based aviation. I’ve written two novels with Newt [Gingrich] on this subject. No one took the threat seriously and on December 7, 1941 close to three thousand Americans died. The war that ensued would claim close to half a million American lives. Pearl Harbor was a blow we could recover from and go on to eventual victory.”

“An EMP strike? I believe it would be the death of America, the death of our children. . .it would be the end of the America we cherish and love. . .and plunge the few who survive into a new dark age.”

Bill Forstchen – Black Mountain, NC – January, 2009

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My summer in Maine, a great book & an incident in Ireland that changed the 20th Century

Like many South Florida Irish-Americans, I spent the summer in Maine, enjoying its soft Ireland-like weather, searching for sea glass on the beach and spending many quiet evenings reading. One of the great books that I read this summer was The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman, originally publish in 1962 and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction that year. This amazing history of the politics and persons responsible for the outbreak of World War I, and of the first few weeks of the war, so impressed President John F. Kennedy that he gave copies of the book to his friends as Christmas gifts. 

The Guns of August was a revelation to me, surprised me by revealing how little I knew about “the war to end all wars”, and provided me with a fresh perspective on events that shaped the history of the 20th century. If you haven’t read this book, I strongly recommend it:

The Guns of August [Mass Market Paperback]

The Guns of August [Hardcover]

The Guns of August [Kindle Edition]

Of particular interest to me was a now little-known incident relating to northern Ireland that paralyzed Britain’s military decision-makers in 1914, and which emboldened Germany to launch its invasion of Belgium and France in August of that year. The Guns of August briefly mentions the so-called “Curragh Mutiny” incident that rocked Britain’s military and political structure to its foundations in the months before the start of World War I, and left the mighty British Empire unprepared and indecisive on the precipice of impending war in Europe.

In January 1913, after over 700 years of England’s colonial oppression of Ireland, a Liberal Party-controlled British Parliament voted to grant “Home Rule” to Ireland, including its own independent Irish Parliament.  Conservative pro-British Unionists in the north of Ireland vehemently opposed “Home Rule” and the prospect of being governed by a liberal Irish Parliament in Dublin. The Ulster Unionists threatened armed rebellion to prevent Irish “Home Rule” in the north, formed their own provisional government at Belfast and established their own paramilitary force with an estimated 100,000 volunteers by 1914.  Faced with the threat of armed opposition to the enforcement of the Home Rule Act, the British Government ordered its military to ready weapons and troops to respond to any armed rebellion in Ulster. In March 1914, the largely pro-Unionist British officer corps in Ireland balked at the prospect of fighting against “its own people” in Ulster, in what became known as the “Curragh Mutiny”. Britain’s Parliament and Government were shaken by the resignation of a large number of its senior Army officers and by the threat that its military might not obey the civilian Government.

Meanwhile, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was contemplating the imminent invasion of France through Belgium. His decision would be based upon the likelihood of Britain’s not honoring its treaty obligation to defend neutral Belgium. The Kaiser’s close cousin was King George V of England and the mighty British Empire, and Kaiser Wilhelm was afraid of facing a British military response to any German invasion of Belgium. The political chaos and fractured military authority in England, created in large part by the “Curragh Mutiny”, lead the Kaiser to believe that England would either opt to stay out of any Continental war or, at the very least, delay any British military response long enough for Germany to launch a rapid and overwhelming invasion through Belgium and achieve a quick conquest of France.  Upon this wishful and faulty assumption, the Kaiser plunged the world into the greatest and costliest war in human history to that time. World War I killed much of an entire generation, wasted Western Europe and, in its festering ruin, spawned nearly a century of world conflict.  The “Curragh Mutiny” also resulted in nearly a century of unnecessary conflict and terror in northern Ireland. 

 

Read more about the “Curragh Mutiny”: http://www.examiner.com/irish-american-culture-in-fort-lauderdale/my-summer-maine-a-great-book-an-incident-ireland

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Preserving Printed Books

There was an interesting article by the Associated Press in today’s newspapers:

http://www.pressherald.com/news/nationworld/book-archive-saves-the-printed-word_2011-08-01.html?searchterm=books

Brewster Kahle, 50, founded the nonprofit Internet Archive in 1996 to save a copy of every Web page ever posted. Now the MIT-trained computer scientist and entrepreneur is expanding his effort to safeguard and share knowledge by trying to preserve a physical copy of every book ever published. ‘There is always going to be a role for books,’ Kahle said as he perched on the edge of a shipping container soon to become a climate-controlled storage unit. Each container can hold about 40,000 volumes, the size of a branch library. ‘We want to see books live forever.’ So far, Kahle has gathered about 500,000 books.”

This is a worthy effort that should be supported by every book lover around the world.

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BOOKCYCLE will be on summer break until November 10

BOOKCYCLE will be on summer vacation from July 8 until November 10, 2011. The rainy season here in Lake Worth prevents me from distributing books by bicycle.

No one wants wet books!

BOOKCYCLE will return on November 10, 2011 to bring good books directly to you in the 33460…

…at Lake Worth Beach & Pier, sidewalk cafes along Lake and Lucerne Avenues in downtown Lake Worth, the Tri-Rail station, Palm-Tran bus stops along Dixie Hwy and local fairs, festivals and outdoor events. I bicycle all over the eastern Lake Worth area at lunch-time and dinner-time.

When you see the BOOKCYCLE…

just shout out “BOOKCYLE”

and I’ll stop to let you browse a great selection of over 30 paperback and hard cover books…popular fiction, biographies, cookbooks, and more. All books are just $1.00 or, if you’re down on your luck and don’t have a dollar, you can take one for free! Let us know where you’d like me to be, or what books and authors you are interested in reading: bookcycle@live.com

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