Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse

Today, Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. The eclipse’s path will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse. NASA will cover the eclipse live from coast to coast, beginning at noon EDT. Get more details on NASA’s Eclipse Site.

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Today is National Vinyl Record Day

Today is National Vinyl Record Day

The vintage vinyl is almost as much of a classic as the bands themselves. Vinyl used to be the main means for commercial distribution of pop music from the 1950s through the early 1990s when the compact disk started to take over (which since has been replaced by digital downloads or streaming music). A vinyl record is also known as gramophone record, phonograph record or simply a record – an analog sound storage medium consisting of a flat disc which has an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. While vinyl left mainstream production in the early 1990s, it experienced a strong revival with collectors and audiophiles in the past decade.

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Today in History: Lithography was invented in 1798

Today in History: Lithography was invented in 1798

219 years ago today, German author Alois Senefelder invented the lithographic printing method (from the Greek, “stone printing”). Looking for an inexpensive method for copying his manuscripts, Senefelder was experimenting with etching techniques using acid resisting inks on a flat stone surface. He soon discovered that his method allowed printing from the flat surface of the stone alone. Compared to conventional copper engraving, it enabled a much faster way of working. Lithography made printing much more affordable and available to more people (f.ex. in art and newspaper printing). By 1830, Senefelder’s process had become the dominant method of pictorial reproduction in the printing industry.

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Today is National Ice Cream Day

Today is National Ice Cream Day

National Ice Cream Day was established under President Ronald Reagan in 1984 and is observed each year on the 3rd Sunday in July as part of National Ice Cream Month. Could there be any better national day? Ice cream supposedly originated thousands of years ago in the Persian Empire when people would put snow in a bowl, pour the juices of grapes over it and eat it as a treat during the hot season. Dig in and enjoy your favorite flavor(s) !

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Today in History: The Pen

Today in History: The Pen

On June 10, 1943, Hungarian-born László Biró received the first patent for the pen. Biró was a journalist who was frustrated with the use of the fountain pen: it took too much time to refill the ink and there seemed to be no way to avoid ink smudges. Biró noticed newspaper inks seemed to dry more quickly, thus rendering the paper stain free, and so he set out to design a pen using the same type of ink. He filed a British patent in 1938 and continued to develop and improve the pen’s design together with his brother György and their friend Juan Jorge Meynin. A new patent for the improved pen was filed in 1943: it was the first real ballpoint pen as we know it today. The pen became an immediate bestseller in the United States after World War II where it was first introduced in the fall of 1945 at a New York department store. Despite its high price of $9, some 10,000 pens were sold within the first week

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Today in History: Josef Müller-Brockmann born in 1914

Today in History: Josef Müller-Brockmann born in 1914

Josef Müller-Brockmann studied architecture, design and history of art at the Kunstgewerbeschule and the University in Zurich. At the age of 22, he opened his own studio with a focus on graphic design, exhibition design and photography. His objective design practices led to the breakthrough of the “Swiss Style” during the 1950s. In 1958, Müller-Brockmann became the founder and co-editor (until 1965) of the journal Neue Grafik (New Graphic Design), spreading the principles of Swiss Design internationally. Müller-Brockmann never allowed his designs to be influenced by trends or styles but followed his own aesthetics and ethics. His posters provided numerous institutions and companies with a convincing graphic appearance and became a model in their quality. Müller-Brockmann passed away on August 30, 1996 in Zurich.

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