Library presents author visit Aug. 15
You are cordially invited to an author visit at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St. The library is delighted to present Delaware County resident Beverlee Jobrack, who will discuss her book, Tyranny of the Textbook: An Insider Exposes How Educational Materials Undermine Reforms, an engaging and fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how K-12 textbooks are developed, written and selected.
Jobrack, now retired, worked for more than 25 years in the educational publishing business. Her book reveals how the system works against attempts to improve student achievement and are selected because of design and superficial features, not because they are based on the latest research on how children learn and how well they promote student achievement. Perhaps more importantly, she clearly spells out how the system can change so that reforms and standards have a shot at finally being effective.
This educational, informative and eye-opening program should be attended by every teacher and parent who cares about the textbooks that their children are using. I hope you plan to attend. For more information, pick up flier at the library or log on to our website at delawarelibrary.org and click on “Adults.”
When was the first butter cow on display at the Ohio State Fair and who created it?
According to an article in the July 24, 2012, Columbus Dispatch, the butter cow made its first appearance at the fair in 1903 and took up residence in the Dairy Building when it was built in the 1920s. The idea of butter creations comes from the early 1900s, when Ohio State University and the Dairy Processors of Ohio sponsored butter-sculpting contests at the fair. I could not find any information as to the creator of the first butter cow. By the way, after the fair ended this year, the butter sculptures were melted down, and the butter was used to power utility vehicles at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
What is black and blue steak?
Larousse Gastronomique offers this definition: Red meat like beef grilled to the point of being almost charred on the outside, and “blue,” which is a term for very rare, on the inside. It is also called “Pittsburgh style.” The internal temperature on a black and blue steak should be around 110–125 degrees. According to local lore, Pittsburgh steelworkers would often bring hunks of meat for lunch, rather than sandwiches. When lunchtime came, they would slap the piece of steak against a slab of hot metal in the mill to sear a blackened exterior around a red, rare core — a cooking style now known as “Pittsburgh Rare.” Even the area bars got into the act, serving up Pittsburgh Rare steak, followed by a “boiler maker,” or shot of whiskey and a bottle of beer.
Who wrote “Happy Birthday?”
The birthday staple originated as another song, “Good Morning to All,” written and composed by sisters Patty and Mildred Hill in 1893. Patty was an early childhood educator who worked as a kindergarten teacher and principal in Kentucky. Her older sister, Mildred, was an accomplished pianist, organist and composer. And they collaborated on a number of songs for children, specifically ones tailored to the limited musical abilities of Patty’s young students. It’s not clear how the lyrics changed from “good morning” to “happy birthday.” Supposedly, the children in Patty’s school so enjoyed the song that they began singing it spontaneously and changing the lyrics to suit their needs, and a birthday version naturally followed. Neither Patty nor Mildred ever married or had children, so they established the Hill Foundation to receive income from royalties. By the 1990s, the song was generating more than $1 million per year. In the last few years, it has pulled in more than $2 million a year in royalties, and will continue to do so until the year 2030. See Music and Musicians in Early America for more information.
If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Mary Jane Santos, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call 740–362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting delawarelibrary.org or directly to Mary Jane at mjsantos@delaware library.org. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!