Monday, November 28, 2016

7 Mark Twain Quotes for His Birthday

Samuel Clemons, AKA Mark Twain, was born on November 30, 1835. In honor of this great man's 181st birthday, here are a baker's half-dozen of his quotes on a variety of topics taken from Mark Twain : his words, wit, and wisdom.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Five Tips From How to Win Friends and Influence People

Today, November 24th, is the birthday of Dale Carnegie. Carnegie was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People, published in 1936 and arguably the first self-help book. The book contains many tips on how to live your life to be more popular. Here are six lessons you can take away from the book.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Truth About Black Friday May Shock You

While some of us will be sleeping away a turkey overdose, many Americans will be out in the world shopping this Friday. The unofficial holiday, also known as "Black Friday," is supposed to be the busiest shopping day of the year. While many legends have arisen as to how the day got its name, the truth is very much against the shoppers.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

5 Martin Scorses Films at the Library

Acclaimed film director Martin Scorses turns 74 on November 17 so we decided to look and see what of his we had in the library. A mix of narrative and nonfiction, Scorses's career covers many diverse and interesting topics. Here are a few, in no particular order:

Monday, November 14, 2016

5 Moby-Dick Facts

Moby-Dick: The Whale by Herman Melville was published 165 years ago in the United States on November 14, 1851. The book, about a sea captain obsessed with killing a white whale to the detriment of everything around him, is an American classic. Here are five facts about Moby-Dick (and yes, there is supposed to be a hyphen).

It was inspired by two whales

Much like Law & Order, Moby-Dick was ripped from the headlines. The first story was about a whale in the Pacific named Mocha-Dick that would come close to sailing vessels and at the slightest aggressive action would sink the ships. The second story came from 1820 when the ship Essex was sunk by a very aggressive and large whale, leaving the surviving crew stranded for months at sea.

It was written fairly fast

The novel was begun in 1850 and completed in 1851. Melville even rewrote the novel after talking with fellow author and friend Nathaniel Hawthorne. At over 200,000 words, that's a pretty quick pen Melville had.

The book is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne

Melville and the Scarlet Letter author lived close to each other as Moby Dick was being completed. Hawthorne advised Melville on the novel, causing the massive rewrite before publication. Both authors gave each other's books glowing reviews.

The book was not a best seller

Selling only 3,175 copies in Melville's lifetime (he lived another 40 years after its publication) the novel marked the beginning of the end of Melville's writing career. He had been a successful author previous to Moby-Dick, but the white whale seemed to sink his prose and poetry alike until his death. It did not become popular until its reprint in 1891.

Starbucks Coffee is named from the book.

The creators of Starbucks originally wanted to name the coffee chain "Pequod" after the Ahab's ship, but changed their mind and named it after the ship's first mate instead.


11 Things You Might Not Know About 'Moby-Dick' - Mental Floss

Thursday, November 10, 2016

4 Facts about the Marine Corps on It's Birthday

The United States Marine Corps celebrates its 241st birthday this year on November 10th, so here are four facts about one of the oldest branches of our military.

It has had two birthdays

Before 1921, the Marines celebrated their birthday on July 11th, as that was the date they were established formally for the new United States by John Adams in 1789. There was little celebration until 1925 when Major Edwin North McClellan the Corps historian sent Commandant John A. Lejeune a memo recommending changing the date to November 10th, the date the Continental Marines were established during the Revolution.

There was little pomp early

Between 1925 and 1952, celebrations varied from dances, mock battles, and small parties. The Marine Corps then moved to have a celebration that includes a ball and cake cutting. This tradition was formalized in 1952 by Commandant Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr., the procedure for which ended up in the Drill Manual in 1956.

There is a procedure for cutting the cake.

The cake cutting is a formal event that is meant to symbolize the age and tradition of the Corps. The first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present who then gives it to the youngest. This is to show the passing of knowledge and tradition between generations.

They went through a few mottoes

The official motto of the Marine Corps is "Semper Fidelius" which translates from Latin to "Always Faithful." This motto was established in 1883. Before that it had three:
The first, antedating the War of 1812, was “Fortitudine” (“With Fortitude”). The second, “By Sea and by Land,” was obviously a translation of the Royal Marine’s “Per Mare, Per Terram.” Until 1848, the third motto was “To the Shores of Tripoli,” in commemoration of O’Bannon’s capture of Derna in 1805. In 1848, after the return to Washington of the Marine battalion that took part in the capture of Mexico City, this motto was revised to: “From the Halls of the Montezumas to the Shores of Tripoli" – a line now familiar to all Americans. This revision of the Corps motto in Mexico has encouraged speculation that the first stanza of “The Marines’ Hymn” was composed by members of the Marine battalion who stormed Chapultepec Castle.


United States Marine Corps History Division (via 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Geaux Vote Election Information

Early last month we gave you information on non-partisan political organizations and candidate information. This entry is all about Geaux Vote Election Information.

If you’re trying to find out where to vote, what’s on the ballot, or even whether you are registered to vote, the state of Louisiana has a website called

Under the "Are you a voter?" heading, you can find the following links:

If you need additional help finding your voter information, stop by the Main Library across from the Civic Center or call the Reference Department at 876-5861, option 2.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

5 Behind the Scenes Facts about Doctor Strange

Marvel's Doctor Strange is due out this weekend and the comic fans at the library are excited. To get ready for the Sorcer Supreme's big movie debut, we looked him up in our collection and found a few tidbits on his creators.

Here are a few facts from behind the scenes of the Master of the Mystic Arts