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2/28/2013 1:56:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Tidbits, Feb. 28
The benefits of books

Taki Magazine published an article on its website Feb. 21 titled "The Book: An Elegy" by John Derbyshire - a lamentation of the declining intelligence of our society directly correlated to a lost love for reading books.

When was the last time you picked up an honest-to-goodness book - with pages made of paper - to read for fun? The argument is that technology, the very same that allows us to reach untold amounts of information with a few taps on a keyboard, proves to be too much of a distraction when one is reading on the Internet. Articles in many places now are peppered with links to other pages or websites, and as they pique your interest, you may lose focus and click away from what you were reading.

As more and more people become glued to their smartphones and tablets, how do real books compare? One commenter on the Taki article took a stab with the following, alluding to reading as the best drug.

"Some of the advantages of reading over other types of entertainment:

"Reading has no side effects, even bad books are beneficial.

"Addiction to reading causes no physical harm to your body.

"Reading keeps you company, preventing you from getting too dependent on other people, which is particularly helpful as you get older.

"Reading puts your life into perspective, when you learn that you have many things in common with others who lived in different ages and places, therefore making you less solipsistic.

"Reading makes the 'insolence of office' easier to bear because you realize you are not the only one who has suffered and has lost things

"Reading makes you speak better and write better, and as far as I know speaking and writing are skills which are still required at the workplace.

"Reading is a matter of public health, preventing illnesses like depression and dementia, but unfortunately forcing it upon people makes them only more averse to it.

"I pity those who do not allow themselves to benefit from such cheap and efficient drug."

Public libraries in the Quad Cities are still open to those who love the written word, and a Little Free Library sits at The Children's House in Brewster, 715 Bridge St.

Herald drop box

The black box we had placed at the Brewster-Bridgeport-Pateros Senior Center for readers submissions mysteriously went missing last week, but a new box is in its place by the front door courtesy of the seniors. This week we got a submission from The Children's House, letting us know that this Wednesday was their 35th "birthday." More on that next week.

If you have a submission, story idea or simply want to renew your subscription, you can do so via the drop box at the senior center, 109 S. Bridge St. in Brewster. It's open until 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The box is checked every Monday. Many thanks to the seniors for hosting the box for us!

Of course, the Herald's phone number has stayed the same, as have our e-mail addresses. Call 689-2507 or e-mail, or if you want to submit, check on your subscription or place a classified ad.

Unfortunately, we are short-staffed and therefore unable to attend the state games this week for Pateros and Brewster girls. If any proud parents or community members would like to share photos, we'd be more than happy to print them with credit. Best of luck, Nannies and Lady Bears!

This day in history

Feb. 28

1784: John Wesley issued the "Deed of Declaration" formally establishing the Methodist Church.

1827: The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad became the first railroad incorporated for commercial transportation of people and freight.

1849: The SS California landed in San Francisco, bringing the first East Coasters to the Gold Rush.

1854: The Republican Party was organized in Ripon, Wis. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group.

1861: The U.S. territory of Colorado was organized.

1953: Cambridge University scientists James D. Watson and Francis H.C. Crick discovered the double-helix structure of DNA.

1994: NATO made its first military strike when U.S. F-16 fighters shot down four Bosnian Serb warplanes in violation of a no-fly zone over central Bosnia.

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