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Thomas Edison listening to a wax cylinder, 1888

About two months ago, I accidentally wandered into an antique shop in Fairfax, California. Inside there was a seemingly random arrangement of kipple which the shopkeeper clearly understood. It was as if I had discovered a surreptitious vault in an Indiana Jones movie filled with gleaming mounds of treasure, a glut of pearls and gold, a feast for the eyes*. I hesitated, unsure of where to start, slightly concerned that something would fall on me.

Happy Birthday to Aldous Huxley, born July 26, 1894!

“There are things known and there are things unknown and in between are the doors of perception.”
-Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley is widely known as the author of Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, and Island. Did you know he was also the grandson of scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice (1940), lectured on the “Human Potential” at The Esalen Institute in the 1960’s, and was once Eric Arthur Blair’s French teacher at Eton College before Eric went on to write 1984 and Animal Farm with the pen name George Orwell?

Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries has a sketchbook, which Huxley used when he was 17 years old. Dated March 7-July 6, 1912, it is possible that Huxley brought the sketchbook along with him during his travels through Marburg, Germany before attending Oxford University in the fall of 1913.

Steve Schneider [photographer unknown].

Dr. Steve Schneider was inspired to be involved in climate change and global warming in part because of Earth Day.

Like his eco-ally Carl Sagan, Schneider was a scientist able to Successfully get information to the public. Sagan had his television show Cosmos (recently revitalized by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan—check your local listings).

Schneider wrote popular science books, did radio interviews around the world and appeared in movies and on television.

Here he is with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show on July 19, 1977.  Clip courtesy of  UCAR/NCAR. 

Stephen Henry Schneider

Dr. Steve Schneider talks about how he became interested in earth systems and in atmospheric research in this excerpt from an interview done by Gray Thompson in 1992

“I was actually born in New York City. I didn’t live in it until I went back to Columbia University 17 years later. And I grew up in [Woodmere,] Long Island. And what I remember enjoying a lot about Long Island before the developers hacked down all the woods was getting dropped off in a square mile of woods which I used to call “the deep, dark forest…” and run around and just enjoy streams and nature.

Did you know there were 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence? You can read more about them and other Independence Day facts in this Fourth of July Facts for Features from the United States Census Bureau.

Abraham Tewolde

It is my pleasure to introduce Abraham Tewolde, a new intern at the Archive of Recorded Sound who is taking part in Stanford University Libraries 1st-generation summer intern program this summer.  During his time here Abraham will be learning how a sound archive functions and operates, including work on finding aids, digitization, inventory control, accessioning, and research skills.

Abraham will also be a guest blogger during his time here. Please enjoy below the first of a series of posts Abraham will be offering over the summer. 

On last Friday's show, Rachel Maddow admitted to being a "total dork" about the Oxford English Dictionary. She closed the show with a piece -- titled "Refer Madness" which made me chuckle :-) -- about a bibliographic mystery currently stumping OED staff. In checking their citations, they've come across 51 definitions -- including "Fringy," "Chapelled," "Scavage," and "Whinge" -- in which the first cited reference for those words is in a book entitled "Meanderings of Memory" by Nightlark. The problem is that nobody at OED can actually find the book. I looked quickly in our Searchworks catalog, and in Worldcat to no avail.

So they're appealing for help from the public in hunting down this book. Check out the comments to the OED story to see how far the public has gotten. There's much more to the story in this New Yorker article "Have you seen this book? an OED mystery" by Sasha Weiss. Can you help?

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International Women's Day is a worldwide celebration of "the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday." The official United Nations theme for International Women's Day 2013 is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women." Please check out our guide to Feminist Studies in Stanford University Libraries, with links to databases, journals, and more. The Program in Feminist Studies sponsors all sorts of events on campus. See also the Events page on Stanford's website.

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