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Friday, June 28, 2013

What Were the Names of the Pair of Pianists Who Played the Song Exodus?

"I remember many years ago that there were a pair of pianists who played the song Exodus. Can you find me their names?"  Some of the more mature library staff also remembered the pair and that their initials were F & T, but nothing more.

The online search for the words "dual pianists played Exodus" brought immediate results. The Wikipedia article,  Ferrante & Teicher  gave us the names, as well as a link to their official website,  The site noted that their careers spanned five decades, they performed in over 5,400 concerts attended by over 18 million people, recorded 150 original record albums, received 22 gold and platinum record awards and sold more than 90 million recordings.  The biographical information given at, states that they met and began to perform together while students at Julliard (School of Music).

Also noted in the Wikipedia article was an interesting bit of trivia about the duo; in the 1950s the two students practiced in the home of Constance Neidhart Tallarico "pianist who studied at the Peabody Conservatory" and was grandmother of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler [Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith by Aerosmith with Stephen Davis, pp. 19-20.]  A copy of this book, as well as CDs of the pair's music are available through the Clevnet shared catalog.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Need a Chart of the Growing Periods of Tomatoes

“I need a chart of the growing periods of tomatoes. Can you help me?”  The Newton Falls Public Library staff understands the importance of this information to home gardeners, so they can determine the best selection of plants for our growing season.

We showed our patron Ortho's Complete Guide to Vegetables by Jacqueline Hériteau which has several pages of descriptions of various tomatoes with growing periods.  Our patron stated that he wanted a printed sheet, and would like us to look online for the information.

The website, Harvest to Table Plant Prepare Preserve has the article, How to Choose a Tomato for Your Garden by Steve Albert (February 28, 2009). The included chart has more than 100 tomatoes. The tomatoes are either early-harvest, main-crop, or late-season.  Albert also notes whether they are determinate (bushy) and indeterminate (vining) varieties, the days to maturity, and growing suggestions and use.  This was exactly the information our patron needed.

When his bumper crop of tomatoes comes in, the staff also recommended The Tomato Festival Cookbook: 150 recipes that make the most of your crop of lush, vine-ripened, sun-warmed, fat,juicy, ready-to-burst heirloom tomatoes by Lawrence Davis-Hollander and
Food in Jars: preserving in small batches year-round by Marisa McClellan. McClellan's book is excellent for beginners as it focuses on small batches that are easy projects for those unfamiliar with canning.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Why is Fido a Popular Name for a Dog?

"Why is Fido a popular name for a dog?  Where does it come from?"  Over the years, the Newton Falls Public Library staff has found that patrons are often interested in the origins of words.

We began our search with a selection of print materials including the Oxford English Dictionary and Cassell's Dictionary of Slang by John Green, and Pet Names by Jean E. Taggart.  In our shared Clevnet catalog we found the title Don't Call Me Rover!!: 5001 names to call your pet by Rita Blockton.  Since we do not currently have this book on our shelves and the patron did not wish to wait for it to come from another library, we continued our search online.  However, this title did intrigue our patron and he now wished to know about Rover as well.

The website is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. They posted that a "stereotypical name for a dog is Fido, from the Latin for faithful."  The etymology for Rover, states that "Rover was a common name for a hunting dog in 1718" and the Oxford English Dictionary says it is "an animal which ranges over a wide area." had the interesting article Old School Dog Names You Don’t Hear Anymore  by Jenna Rohrbacher (December 26, 2012), which examined the names Spot, Rover, Fido and Lady. Much of what Rohrbacher included was similar to other information that we found.  She did note that "Fido is possibly best known historically as President Abraham Lincoln’s trusty pet."

Are Residents of Puerto Rico Citizens of the United States of America?

"Are residents of Puerto Rico citizens of the United States of America?"  asked our caller.  The Newton Falls Public Library staff member was happy to begin the search for this patron's request.

Oxford Reference Online, one of the online databases available to library patrons through our shared Clevnet system, was one of the first places our staff member searched by using the words "Puerto Rico citizenship." One of the suggested links was for the online book The Oxford Companion to United States History  by Paul S. Boyer.  Boyer stated "the Jones Act (1917) . . . extended U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans . . . In 1950 the island won the right to draft and enact its own constitution. The constitution, which became law in 1952, established the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. . ."

Now informed that citizens of Puerto Rico are also citizens of the United States of America, our staff member was curious if there are other places outside of our fifty states where this also applied.  The website lists our territorial and associated state governments as America Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Midway Atoll, North Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands. It also states that the House of  "Representatives has five Delegates(representing the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa,and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), and one Resident Commissioner (representing Puerto Rico)."  "You are a U.S. citizen if you have a birth certificate issued by a U.S. state or territory."