A big day for the World Wide Web…

And, by extension, virtually everything else on the planet!

The WWW may have been invented at CERN by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, but that wouldn’t have meant much to the rest of us, not until April of 1993.

Today is the day. Twenty-four years ago, on April 30, 1993, CERN put the World Wide Web in the public domain. They gave the world the Internet, or at least the seeds that would become the Internet that we know today! Just gave it away! It is hard to imagine what our world would be like without the World Wide Web – simpler maybe, but probably not better (after all, you wouldn’t be reading this blog for starters… and that’s just a sad thought).

So, the next time you are surfing the web, researching what breed of dog is best suited for your lifestyle, finding a recipe for zucchini enchiladas or checking your library’s catalog to see if that book you have been waiting for is available, take a moment to realize how different life would be without the web and be grateful that CERN decided to share with the rest of us. Maybe high-five a Swiss scientist if you have one handy. Hugs are probably okay too, but you might want to ask first.

WWW

Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1994. An early version of World Wide Web software is running on the screen behind him (Image: CERN)

Author Birthdays – Welcome May flowers!

Larry Niven (b. April 30, 1938, Los Angeles, CA)

Niven“The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t have a space program.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Ringworld

For more information on Larry Niven, click here.

 

Joseph Heller (b. May 1, 1923, New York, NY; d. December 12, 1999, East Hampton, NY)

5.1.3“Some people are born mediocre, some people achieve mediocrity, and some people have mediocrity thrust upon them.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Catch-22

For more information on Joseph Heller, click here.

 

Benjamin Spock (b. May 2, 1903, New Haven, CT; d. March 15, 1998, La Jolla, CA)

Spock“Trust yourself, you know more than you think you do.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Baby and Child Care

For more information on Dr. Benjamin Spock, click here.

 

Niccolo Machiavelli (b. May 3, 1469, Florence, Italy; d. June 21, 1527, Florence, Italy)

Machiavelli“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Prince

For more information on Niccolo Machiavelli, click here.

 

Robin Cook (b. May 4, 1940, New York, NY)

Cook“There is a connection waiting to be made between the decline in democratic participation and the explosion in new ways of communicating. We need not accept the paradox that gives us more ways than ever to speak, and leaves the public with a wider feeling than ever before that their voices are not being heard.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Coma and/or Outbreak

For more information on Robin Cook, click here.

 

Karl Marx (b. May 5, 1818, Trier, Germany; d. March 14, 1883, London, UK)

Karl Marx Archive“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Communist Manifesto

For more information on Karl Marx, click here.

Genre Friday! Presents Historical Romance

It’s a romance set in the past. Well, sort of, it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.

Three MusketeersFirst, there are the different meanings of romance to consider. “Romance” in the days of yore was pretty much the same thing as what we would call a novel today – a story that someone made up and, to keep it interesting, filled with a bit more drama and action than most people would find typical to everyday life. Thus a historical romance can technically be most any novel written prior to the first half of the 20th century (although particularly in late medieval Europe). This gets even more confusing because some historical romances (read “novels”) focus on a love story, making it qualify as the modern definition of a romance as well.

Of course, this ambiguity is mostly avoided these days due to the simple fact that 99% of the people who go looking for historical romance are looking for books about romantic love that are set in the past. I may have been overstating how complicated it was to take advantage of a teachable moment… Librarian.

Still, even if you are looking for the modern definition of a historical romance, there are choices to be made; mostly involving which time period is you favorite. Most popular are the stories set in the late historical periods of Europe and Great Britain (there is a lot of attention paid to Scottish Highlanders). The American Civil War is also popular, but it doesn’t stop there; ancient Egyptians, Caribbean Pirates, Vikings, you name it, it’s out there somewhere – something for everyone.

Examples:

Traditional Definition:

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Rogue by Any Other NameModern Definition:

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

Author Birthdays – Still April somehow…

William Shakespeare (b. April 23, 1564, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK; d. April 23, 1616, Stratford-upon-Avon, UK)

Shakespeare“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: Any of them really…

For more information on William Shakespeare, click here.

 

Anthony Trollope (b. April 24, 1815, London, UK; d. December 6, 1882, London, UK)

Trollope“Never think that you’re not good enough. A man should never think that. People will take you very much at your own reckoning.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: The Way We Live Now

For more information on Anthony Trollope, click here.

 

Mary Wollstonecraft (b. April 27, 1759, Spitalfields, UK; d. September 10, 1797, London, UK)

Wollstonecraft“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

For more information on Mary Wollstonecraft, click here.

 

Harper Lee (b. April 28, 1926, Monroeville, AL; d. February 19, 2016, Monroeville, AL)

Lee“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” Find more quotes here.

What you should read: To Kill a Mockingbird

For more information on Harper Lee, click here.