Saturday, July 18, 2020

Masks in America, a century ago

The Arizona Republican, November 28, 1919

San Francisco Chronicle (front page), October 25, 1918

The Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, October 4, 1918

Santa Cruz Evening News, December 12, 1918

Both from same page of Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Semi-Weekly Intelligencer, October 16, 1918

The Coffeyville Daily Journal, Coffeyville, Kansas, December 13, 1918

Some news headlines today here in 2020

  • Deaths rise and rise
  • Patients swamp ERs
  • Young people increasingly driving spread
  • South Florida relock?
  • With antibodies fading fast, vaccine hopes fade, too
  • Mistrust Could Imperil Widespread Immunity
  • Scientists identify 6 types of coronavirus with increasing severity levels
  • Underground parties continue to dismiss social distancing rules
  • Nation divided over mask wearing and schools reopening
  • Rancor between scientists and Trump allies threatens response
  • GOP senators sound alarm as cases surge in home states
  • Republicans eye sweeping shield from liability
  • Administration opposes new funds for testing, tracing, and CDC in virus relief bill
  • White anti-mask protesters jeered a black pastor demanding Tulsa race massacre reparations
  • A med-school staffer dived into online groups to debunk coronavirus conspiracy theories. Would anyone listen?
  • For parents who can afford it, a solution for fall: Bring the teachers to them

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Book cover: "Monsters and Such"

  • Title: Monsters and Such
  • Additional cover text: "Seven startling stories of the inhuman and nonhuman by the unrivaled master of the impossible"
  • Author: Murray Leinster (pen name of William Fitzgerald Jenkins, 1896-1975)
  • A little about Jenkins: According to Encyclopedia Virginia, in a 1937 short story (with a racist title I won't repeat), Jenkins describes the perspective of a Black man who observes a violently drunken white man verbally abuse his wife and cause a scene at a wharf before passing out. The story implies that the Black man, named Pete, kills the abusive drunk by rolling him into the water, saving the wife from a potentially fatal marriage. The encyclopedia adds this: "Jenkins's life in Virginia led to other stories touching on racial prejudice. 'The Castaway' (Argosy, September 1946) can be read in the context of southern racism and small-town prejudice combined with guilt over colonialism. An alien crash lands on Earth and flees from a lynch mob that wants to kill him. The mob members are particularly enraged when they think he has abducted a small girl, although he has actually saved her."
  • Cover artist: Victor Kalin (1919-1991), per signature at lower right
  • A little about Kalin: According to his website biography: "A life-long music lover, he traveled to concerts and festivals with a press pass and camera, capturing images that would later appear as illustrations on album covers, liner notes, concert programs and personal works of art. Some photos went as-is directly into jazz magazines and books. A natural photo-shopper before Photoshop, he processed all his own black and white film and experimented with double exposure, distortion, and recomposition."
  • Publisher: Avon (T-345)
  • Cover price: 35 cents
  • Year: 1959, per the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  • Pages: 174
  • Format: Paperback
  • Back cover excerpt (see full back cover below): "Things that creep, crawl and crouch in dark corners of space and time. Things that run, fly and chase through the endless night. And things that just sit and wait."
  • Story titles: The Lonely Planet, If You Was a Moklin, The Castaway, Proxima Centauri, Nobody Saw the Ship, The Trans-Human, De Profundis.
  • First sentence: Alyx was very lonely before men came to it.
  • Last sentence: Given during the Peace Tides...
  • Random sentence from the middle: Rabbits, hardly hopping out of her reach, munched delightedly upon the unfamiliar but satisfactory leafed vegetation underfoot.
  • Footnote! This book contains a footnote on Page 33. It states: "Pure metallic tin, at low temperatures, sometimes changes spontaneously to a gray, amorphous powder, the change beginning at one spot and spreading through the rest of the material. — M.L."
  • Rating on Goodreads: 3.83 stars (out of 5)
  • Some final trivia and such: Leinster apparently coined the phrase "First Contact" in his 1945 novelette of the same title. That story might also be the first to feature the idea of a universal translator.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Artsy mystery photo of a cat

Found photo. Five inches wide. Cat (which appears to be real) on an ottoman. Unidentifiable books to the left. Stuff piled on a chair. Shadows and light. That's it. Nothing is written on the back. If I don't put my cats' names on the back of every photo in my shoebox, someday they might too end up as a sadly anonymous cat in a mystery photo on someone's blog in Botswana or on Mars.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Advertising card for Harry M. Herr's of Lancaster

This is an advertising card for Harry M. Herr's Book and Stationery Store, at 32 East King Street in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was located, long ago, just a short walk from where I now work, the LNP|LancasterOnline office building at 8 West King Street. (However, I've only physically been inside that West King office once since mid-March, and when we do return to working in an office, it will be in a different, nearby building — part of a move that had been planned long before COVID-19.)

The advertising card, which has the thickness and rigidity of an index card, is 4⅜ inches wide. The illustration shows three children engaged in some shenanigans that are seemingly related to neither books nor stationery. Perhaps they're supposed to be doing the wash? Is that item on the ground (to the right) a wringer that attaches to the washtub?

Herr is an extremely common name in Lancaster County. There was also an L.B. Herr's Book Store that I wrote about way back in 2011. I have no idea if there's a connection between the two.

On Flickr, I found another Harry M. Herr card. It indicates that the store's inventory included fine illustrated books, poems, standard works, writing desks, games, toys, gold pens and pencils, scrap books, photograph albums, autograph albums, stereoscopic views and glasses, cabinet card frames, family Bibles, reward books and cards, materials for wax flowers and oil piainting, and much more. So it was clearly a high-end store.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Snapshot & memories:
Me in a Star Trek shirt

Sunday morning ramblings and a snapshot...

I haven't been productive with my Papergreat posting routine lately. And it truly is all about routine. I'm either in a routine with these posts, or I'm not. My OCD doesn't have a middle ground in that regard. I was in a nice routine with the Shelfie 2020 series, and then things slowly petered out after that. These days, past the 120-day mark of essentially staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, my established routine involves newspaper work, chores, tending to the backyard wildlife (which now includes raccoons!), trying to walk 5-to-7 miles per day, and keeping up with postcards. Plus some movies mixed in. 1 There's a need now for an adjustment, heading into the middle of summer, so that I can post here more frequently. The backlog remains huge!

So here's a random family snapshot I plucked. It's 4½ inches wide, has rounded corners, and previously resided in one of those photo albums with the sticky backing on every page. That's me mugging for the camera, front and center. To the right is my cousin Steve. Behind me is Cyrano. There's nothing written on the back of the photo. I'm fairly certain that this is our house on Willow Street in Montoursville, circa 1982. If memory serves, this is the "formal" living room on the first floor, toward the front of house. Steve and I are sitting on rolled-up sleeping bags. Not sure if we were going to be "camping" in that room as part of the cousins' visit from Texas, or if it was a staging area for the equipment for an actual camping outing. (Dad and I did a lot of those in Montoursville, as part of Webelos and Boy Scouts.)

I'm wearing a faded Star Trek: The Motion Picture T-shirt. My hazy recollection is that I got this at a T-shirt shop somewhere at the Jersey Shore2, perhaps when we were vacationing there with Mom and Dad's college friends, Susie and George. But I could be totally off on that, and maybe it was a different T-shirt I got "down the Shore." I had love for both Star Trek and Star Wars as a kid; I've written about Star Trek in previous posts about record albums, unfortunate jackets, games and more.

More of "Snapshot & memories"

1. Ashar and I have been watching a variety of films this summer. From Ran to Annabelle. From Modern Times to Magnolia. Last night I watched Au Hasard Balthazar.
2. Not to be confused with Jersey Shore in Lycoming County, not far from Montoursville.