Monday, April 30, 2012

Book List - April 2012

Here is what I read in April:

14. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - I don't normally read fantasy (although the cover says this is a novel) but a friend recommended it so I decided to give it a read. The title is very straight forward - this book is about a very unusal circus that is open only at night and the people who run it (and no, they are not vampires as one friend asked). Of course there is an underlying mystery throughout the book so you'll need some patiences but it was enjoyable just the same.

15. Miss Darcy Falls in Love by Sharon Lathan - This is another continuation of Pride & Prejudice but you don't need to know the original story.  I always find it interesting how other authors tell what happen to the characters onces P&P is over and this one tells how Georginia Darcy falls in love.  It was okay and kept to the speech and manors of the time but it did get a little too Harlequin-y for me, especially at the end.

16. The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark - I don't read a lot of mysteries but I've been reading MHC since I was about 12.  She has written over 40 books and I've probably read most of them.  She seems to have a formula that she follows in her writing (all the books are written the same way and are somewhat dated) but I always end up reading whatever she puts out.  Most of her books involve a murder.  The man murdered in this story may have found a letter written by Christ.  This was easy to read and enjoyable.  If you like "who-dunnits" then you would probably enjoy this book.

I feels as if I've been slacking this year.  Only 16 books in the first four months.  There just doesn't seem to be as much time to read as their used to be.  I'm not really sure what has changed.  I don't think I need more hours in the day, I'd rather just spend less time on things that aren't as enjoyable, like work.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Things I've Learned

I was cleaning out my desk and found the following. I don't know who wrote it (I cleaned it up a little bit) but I really like. Hope you do too.

Things I Have Learned

I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.

I've learned that no matter how much I care, some people are just jerks.

I've learned that it takes years to build up a trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.

I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others - they are more screwed up than you think.

I've learned that you can keep throwing up long after you think you're finished.

I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.

I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take it's place.

I've leaarned that sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down will be the ones who do.

I've learned that we don't have to ditch bad friends, because their dysfunction makes us feel better about ourselves.

I've learned that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get arrested and end up in the local paper.

I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Much Do You Really Know?

Next week, on April 15, will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Thanks to Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, pretty much everyone knows the story of the Titanic but quess what? Not everyone knows that the movie is based on a true story!!!

The Huffington Post is reporting that it had tweets from real people who didn't know the sinking of the Titanic was a true story:

How does that happen? If you read through the tweets you can probably guess that these are young people, some may not have even been alive when the movie Titanic was first released in December 1997 (14 years ago for those who can't do the math). But come on, the sinking was such a huge story in 1912, aren't they teaching it in school? There have been documentaries, museum exhibits, books, etc. how can people not know it wasn't a true story?

This is really sad. It's like that segment on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno called Jaywalking where people can't answer basic questions everyone should know the answer to: Who was the first president of the United States? Who did the U.S. fight in the American Revoluation? What color is the White House? What country is the Panama Canel located in? I often wonder how many Americans would be about to pass a citizenship test.

See how many of these actual U.S. citizenship test questions you get correct (click on the question to see the answers):

1. What are the colors of our flag?
2. How many stars are there in our flag?
3. What color are the stars on our flag?
4. What do the stars on the flag mean?
5. How many stripes are there in the flag?
6. What color are the stripes?
7. What do the stripes on the flag mean?
8. How many states are there in the Union?
9. What is the 4th of July?
10. What is the date of Independence Day?
11. Independence from whom?
12. What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War?
13. Who was the first President of the United States?
14. Who is the President of the United States today?
15. Who is the vice-president of the United States today?
16. Who elects the President of the United States?
17. Who becomes President of the United States if the President should die?
18. For how long do we elect the President?
19. What is the Constitution?
20. Can the Constitution be changed?
21. What do we call a change to the Constitution?
22. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution?
23. How many branches are there in our government?
24. What are the three branches of our government?
25. What is the legislative branch of our government?
26. Who makes the laws in the United States?
27. What is the Congress?
28. What are the duties of Congress?
29. Who elects the Congress?
30. How many senators are there in Congress?
31. Can you name the two senators from your state?
32. For how long do we elect each senator?
33. How many representatives are there in Congress?
34. For how long do we elect the representatives?
35. What is the executive branch of our government?
36. What is the judiciary branch of our government?
37. What are the duties of the Supreme Court?
38. What is the supreme court law of the United States?
39. What is the Bill of Rights?
40. What is the capital of your state?
41. Who is the current governor of your state?
42. Who becomes President of the United States if the President and the vice-president should die?
43. Who is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
44. Can you name thirteen original states?
45. Who said, "Give me liberty or give me death."?
46. Which countries were our enemies during World War II?
47. What are the 49th and 50th states of the Union?
48. How many terms can the President serve?
49. Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
50. Who is the head of your local government?
51. According to the Constitution, a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become President. Name one of these requirements.
52. Why are there 100 Senators in the Senate?
53. Who selects the Supreme Court justice?
54. How many Supreme Court justice are there?
55. Why did the Pilgrims come to America?
56. What is the head executive of a state government called?
57. What is the head executive of a city government called?
58. What holiday was celebrated for the first time by the Americans colonists?
59. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence?
60. When was the Declaration of Independence adopted?
61. What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence?
62. What is the national anthem of the United States?
63. Who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner?
64. Where does freedom of speech come from?
65. What is a minimum voting age in the United States?
66. Who signs bills into law?
67. What is the highest court in the United States?
68. Who was the President during the Civil War?
69. What did the Emancipation Declaration do?
70. What special group advises the President?
71. Which President is called the "Father of our country"?
72. What Immigration and Naturalization Service form is used to apply to become a naturalized citizen?
73. Who helped the Pilgrims in America?
74. What is the name of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America?
75. What are the 13 original states of the U.S. called?
76. Name 3 rights of freedom guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
77. Who has the power to declare the war?
78. What kind of government does the United States have?
79. Which President freed the slaves?
80. In what year was the Constitution written?
81. What are the first 10 amendments to the Constitution called?
82. Name one purpose of the United Nations?
83. Where does Congress meet?
84. Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?
85. What is the introduction to the Constitution called?
86. Name one benefit of being citizen of the United States.
87. What is the most important right granted to U.S. citizens?
88. What is the United States Capitol?
89. What is the White House?
90. Where is the White House located?
91. What is the name of the President's official home?
92. Name the right guaranteed by the first amendment.
93. Who is the Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?
94. Which President was the first Commander in Chief of the U.S. military?
95. In what month do we vote for the President?
96. In what month is the new President inaugurated?
97. How many times may a Senator be re-elected?
98. How many times may a Congressman be re-elected?
99. What are the 2 major political parties in the U.S. today?
100. How many states are there in the United States today?