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Mar 13
2014

Federal Fun

Posted by Valerie in Untagged 

Valerie

Guest blogger and GPO Supervisory Librarian Valerie Furino

There’s snow on the ground.  AGAIN.  It just melted the other day, and now it’s back.  I need a break – if you need one too, join me in taking a look at some of the fun and educational activities the Federal Government has planned for 2014.

An upcoming metro-D.C. event is the EPA-sponsored National Sustainable Design Expo. From April 25 through the 27th, you can go to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and view innovative sustainability ideas crafted by teams of students.  It’s indoors, free, next to a Metro stop, and provides an educational experience to my family – sounds good to me.  

Dec 17
2013

Wie treu sind deine Blätter! Christmas Tree Resources in the Federal Government

Posted by jdavis in Untagged 

jdavis

 

If you’re wondering about this story’s title, which means “how faithful are your branches”, it’s a line from the song “O Tannenbaum”. “O Tannenbaum” (Oh Christmas Tree)* is a really popular Christmas carol, originally a folk song from Germany, that’s been translated to English and sung here in the States for years—Nat King Cole sings a classic version in German if you’re ever interested in hearing the original version. Just like they got us hooked on the song about evergreens, Germany was instrumental in getting us hooked on the Christmas tree.

Dec 09
2013

Freedom of Expression: Bill of Rights Day, December 15

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jdavis

 

The founding fathers drafted the United States Constitution during the First Constitutional Convention, held from May through September 1787 in Philadelphia. The completed draft constitution, sent to the States for ratification in September 1787, did not include any mention of individual rights. The framers’ focus was largely on structuring a strong government, and getting that structure put into place. Without such a structure the founding fathers feared the country’s collapse into chaos, or new attacks from outsiders. They left the issue of individual rights without adding it to the Constitution during that meeting.

Nov 27
2013

Talking Turkey: the American Thanksgiving and Turkey

Posted by jdavis in Untagged 

jdavis

The unique American holiday, Thanksgiving, brings everyone together—it’s no coincidence it’s the biggest travel day of the year in the United States. People gather for a number of reasons beyond thankfulness-- reconnecting with family and friends, to watch and play football, to relax for a day and get ready for the Christmas holidays, and for a lot of people, to celebrate our lucky abundance by eating a feast.

So many Americans refer to Thanksgiving as “Turkey Day”, since the turkey is traditionally the centerpiece of that big feast. Weeks before the holiday arrives, fliers for turkey sales are everywhere; recipes pop up in your email inbox; cooking shows run hour-long specials the turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and news outlets start talking about turkey shortages. There are so many decisions to make when choosing a turkey. Do you buy a frozen or fresh bird? Do you choose a heritage breed or factory-raised? Do you buy a breast or do you need a whole turkey? How many pounds to feed everyone? You need to get answers for all of those questions before you even get to the cooking. The cooking raises an even larger round of questions, and if you’re like me, a round of obsessive research. Cooking poultry requires smart handling. Not only do you want your bird to be delicious, you want it to be contamination- and germ-free. 

Nov 20
2013

Celebrating Native Heritage By Adopting a Healthy Diet: Native American Heritage Month

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jdavis

It’s Native American Heritage Month! Let’s celebrate! Let’s have some pumpkin seeds and some corn silk tea!

This month is a month to honor Indian heritage*, and many powwows** and festivals are being held to honor Indian culture, so you definitely want to do something festive. There are few Indian celebrations that do not include luscious frybread, with its accompaniment of Indian taco meat, honey or colored syrup. The temptations of frybread aside, a better way to for you to celebrate would be with a healthy food, like an apple or a carrot stick. Maybe you’d even be interested in going hardcore by adopting a native foodways diet, like the foods eaten in the Decolonizing Diet Project.

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