Friday, December 28, 2007

(If you just looked at my video to the left, it talks about the day before yesterday’s posting here. I got a late start yesterday, the sun isn’t up yet! Guess I’ll change the welcoming video to date-neutral… after the sun comes up! John)

On this day in: 1869 - William E. Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio patents chewing gum. 1895 - The Lumière brothers have their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines marking the debut of the cinema. 1912 - The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco. 1973 – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago was published in Paris, France. 2000 - U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.

Today in 1973, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's history of the Soviet prison camp system, The Gulag Archipelago, was published in Paris, France. The book is based on Solzhenitsyn's experiences in the camps for eight years, as well as 227 other inmates he interviewed. When the book was released in the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was arrested and exiled, but he was also finally able to go to Sweden and collect the Nobel Prize in literature he had been awarded in 1970.

On this day in 1895, Auguste and Louis Lumiere demonstrated the first movie projector, the cinematographe, in Paris, France. It projected its images out onto a screen, unlike Thomas Edison's kinetograph, which was a peep show that the viewer looked into, and it weighed only 20 pounds compared to Edison's half-ton invention. The first film they showed was "Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory." The movie opened with a concierge unlocking the gates, showed people walking through, and ended with the concierge closing the gates again. They made more than 2,000 films like this, without plots or characters, and thought of them just as moving pictures, and despite the thousands of people who lined up at their viewings every night, the Lumieres thought that movies would be a passing fad and Auguste went off to school to become a medical scientist, and Louis went back to working on still photographs.

Immigrants are responsible for more than one-third of the nationwide USA population growth of 2.87 million over the past year. New residents, both international and American, continued to flock to the South and West and away from the Northeast and Midwest.

Colorado gained 95,267 residents between July 1, 2006, and July 1, 2007, making our estimated total population 4,861,515. Texas gained more people than any other state. Its 2006-2007 increase of almost 500,000 was ahead of runner-up California, which added slightly more than 300,000.

Denver is the 4th most literate city in the country -- going past San Francisco and Boston, according to a study released this week by Central Connecticut State University.

But the oft-talked about "Colorado paradox" -- meaning the state's higher-than-average education levels in the workforce reflect that the state has imported them, and K-12 and higher education systems are not keeping pace -- could hurt the city's ranking in the future.

Central Connecticut State President Jack Miller studied 69 cities' Internet usage, newspaper readership and library memberships, among other factors. Minneapolis held the top spot.

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