Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's National Pi Day!!!!!!!

Today 3.14 is Pi day that magic ratio of a circle's circumference to it diameter.  It is usually celebrated at 1:59 PM as the number extended out is 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510 58209 74944 59230 78164 06286 20899 86280 34825 34211 70679........

In the House of Representatives House Resolution 224 was passed declaring March 14 Pi Day


Supporting the designation of Pi Day, and for other purposes.
Whereas the Greek letter (Pi) is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter;
Whereas the ratio Pi is an irrational number, which will continue infinitely without repeating, and has been calculated to over one trillion digits;
Whereas mathematics and science are a critical part of our children's education, and children who perform better in math and science have higher graduation and college attendance rates;
Whereas aptitude for mathematics, science, and engineering is essential for a knowledge-based society;
Whereas, according to the 2007 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) survey done by the National Center for Education Statistics, American children in the 4th and 8th grade were outperformed by students in other countries including Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, England, South Korea, Latvia, and Japan;
Whereas since 1995 the United States has shown only minimal improvement in math and science test scores;
Whereas by the 8th grade, American males outperform females on the science portion of the TIMSS survey, especially in Biology, Physics, and Earth Science, and the lowest American scores in math and science are found in minority and impoverished school districts;
Whereas America needs to reinforce mathematics and science education for all students in order to better prepare our children for the future and in order to compete in a 21st Century economy;
Whereas the National Science Foundation has been driving innovation in math and science education at all levels from elementary through graduate education since its creation 59 years ago;
Whereas mathematics and science can be a fun and interesting part of a child's education, and learning about Pi can be an engaging way to teach children about geometry and attract them to study science and mathematics; and
Whereas Pi can be approximated as 3.14, and thus March 14, 2009, is an appropriate day for "National Pi Day": Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) supports the designation of a "Pi Day" and its celebration around the world;
(2) recognizes the continuing importance of National Science Foundation's math and science education programs; and
(3) encourages schools and educators to observe the day with appropriate activities that teach students about Pi and engage them about the study of mathematics.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Iditarod 2013 Update

Mitch Seavey and his ten dogs crossed the Nome finish line at 10:39 PM Alaska time to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for 2013.  Aliy Zirkle came in 24 minutes behind him.  Seavey at 53 years old became the oldest winner of the race.

The Chinese On Lower Delmarva In 1900

Between 1850 and 1900 about 250,000 Chinese came to America. Most arrived in California initially for the Gold Rush and they referred to going to America as going to Gold Mountain. As the gold became harder to find they moved into the laying of track for the railroad and many service type jobs. Because they would work cheap and did not shy away from jobs that were traditionally woman’s work; such as cooks, dishwashers, laundryman, servants etc they at first were accepted, but as more arrived and jobs for white men became limited, prejudice and discrimination drove them East looking for employment. There were bound to be a few that would end up on Lower Delmarva. The few that were here in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were almost all owner and operators of Chinese laundries. Unlike the Chinese immigrants who lived in ethnic enclaves in the large cities, the Chinese on Lower Delmarva were isolated from the Chinese communities in Wilmington, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC. They would eke out a living working 18 hour days, 6 days a week closing only on Sunday due to community pressure. Usually single and in their 30’s they had no social outlets and would usually move after a few years.

From 1914 edition Salisbury Advertiser, Salisbury Maryland

The Chinese laundry continued until the late 1940’s when home washing machines and new
Fabrics reduced the customer base and the children of the laundry family had higher aspirations than to continue their laundries.
Ad From The State Register Laurel Delaware 1929

Altho the Chinese Laundrymen made little money and lived a fugal life he also had no social outlet or place to spend his money due to not speaking the language and racism. He was able to send a little money back to his family members in China. The families receiving this money were referred to as Gold Mountain families. Their relatives back in China had little appreciation of the hard life their relative was living in America. Instead they imagined that relative just went out and picked gold nuggets up off the ground and was very stingy about sending them home to China. Many came from the region in Guangdong (think Hong Kong and Canton) and with the money sent to them from America a very poor group of farmers who struggled in the fields were able to buy land, built family homes, summer vacation homes, hired tutors for their children, hire servants to do the work for them, eventually the constant money stream from America allowed them to stop work and they became upper class leisure people or welfare people. This would come to an end in the 1930’s when Japan took over parts of China and prevent the transfer of money from America to those families. The Gold Mountain Families found themselves selling land, jewelry, houses, and possessions and in some cases themselves just to buy food.
From Iris Chang book “The Chinese In America”;

Correspondence between Hsiao The Seng, a Chicago laundryman and his family in China, revealed the endless pressure placed on the overseas Chinese by their kin. Letters he received from home all harped on one single theme: money. Bandits had kidnapped Hsiao’s elder brother’s concubine, and the family needed $20,000 to pay her ransom. A cousin asked for $200 to adopt a son. Younger clan members pleaded for money to purchase a house in Canton, because they had no suitable place to stay during their vacation (“we are indeed losing face Please do not regard this as an unimportant thing”) . After gangsters ransacked Hsiao’s village, his family begged for funds to construct a wall (“the village’s life and death is depending on you. Take note of this”) A nephew wanted financial assistance to cleanse himself from the “humiliation of an embezzling uncle.” Hasiao’s daughter asked for a gold watch (“Big uncle’s daughters have gold watches, but we do not. My venerable one can use his own judgment whether jade should be inlaid or not”).
And on and on goes the demands, perhaps much like today’s immigrant or illegal alien who is sending money home.
Above and Below From the Salisbury advertiser 1892

Below are listed a few of the Chinese on Lower Delmarva in 1900;

1900 Census Sussex County Delaware
Charles Long (Keay); Laurel, Delaware, laundryman, single, age 25, born Sept 1874, Immigration in 1892 8 years in US Naturazation: AL (alien)

Kay (Keay) Long; Laurel, Delaware, laundryman, single, born April 1865, age 35 immigration 1890 ten years nat: AL(alien)

Jhon, Leon; Milton, Delaware, laundryman born June 1862,age 38, single, Immigrated 1874

Sing, Loun; Lewes, Delaware, laundryman Born Oct 1874, Age 25,

1900 Census Dorchester County Maryland
Fong, Lee; Cambridge Maryland, Born Jan 1870, age 30, immigrated 1892, laundryman

1900 Census Wicomico County Maryland
Dong, Lit; Salisbury Maryland, Born Feb 1868, age 32, Single, immigrated 1885, laundryman

1900 Census Worcester County Maryland
Jung, Sing; Snow Hill Maryland, age 23, Born Jan 1877, single, Immigrated 1895, laundry
Wah, Long; West Berlin Maryland, age 40, Born Feb 1860, single, Immigrated 1869, Laundry

1900 Census Somerset County Maryland
Leung, Woo; Crisfield, Maryland, age 40, Born April 1860, married, immigrated 1878, Laundryman
Leoug, Henry; cousin, Crisfield, Maryland, Age 47, Born December 1852, married, immigrated 1875, laundryman

1900 Census Accomack Virginia
Foon, Say; Chincoteague Island, Accomack, Virginia Age 36, Born August 1863, single, immigrated 1876,Laundryman
Kee Jin; Onancock, Virginia age 39, Born Oct 1860, single, laundryman

1900 Census Northampton Virginia
Lee, Charles; Cape Charles, Virginia, Age 36, Born Oct 1863, Married, laundryman
Lee, Gee; Cape Charles Virginia, age 52, Born July 1847, married, laundryman

Due to the unbalanced sex ratio of Chinese males to Chinese female (Many more men) in 1900 and the enforcement of antimiscegenation laws, the Chinese men were forced to seek wives that were still living in China or wives of other races that lived here. Our Government passed laws prohibiting their Chinese wives from immigrating to the United States.

In the 1850 to 1900 time period the two classes of immigrants that were lowest on the totem pole of immigrants were Asians and Irish. They frequently lived in the poorest neighborhoods of cities and towns so if there were not race laws prohibiting it, Chinese men would marry Irish woman.

One Chinese man who was not a laundryman was Yann Phou Lee who lived in Cedar Creek Hundreds Sussex County Delaware and was a farmer. Lee born in 1861 in Zhongshan Guandong Province China arrived in America at age 12. He broke the traditional single laundryman mold by arriving in Connecticut and taking a Caucasian wife, Elizabeth Maude Jerome. They had two children and in 1890 he divorced her and went to Nashville Tennessee where he married Sophia Bolles. They would also have two children; Clarence and Louis. While in Delaware he had his two nephews from China, Gon Lee and Joe F. Lee work the farm with him.
The Chinese were often made fun of as in this ad for Chase and Sanborn Tea which appeared in the Courier Newspaper Salisbury Maryland 1906

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Iditarod 2013 Update

Last evening at the checkpoint in Elim, with the last 123 miles left to run, the leaders are changing.  Currently, 2004 Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey is in the lead followed by Aliy Zirkle (both down to 10 dogs) followed by Jeff King and Ray Reddington Jr.  Nome favorite Aaron Burmeister was in 6th position, behind Dallas Seavey (who is down to 8 dogs).  They all started with teams of 16 dogs.

Elim with a population of 330 is located next to Norton Bay.  It is currently 7 degrees in Elim with a windchill that makes it feels like negative 9 degrees.

The March 2013 Delmar Police Commission

Last night the Delmar Police Commission had it's monthly meeting at the Maryland Town Hall.  The meeting started at 6:30 and ended at 7:10 when they once again moved to executive session.  The Police Commission is made up of Both Mayors, Maryland Commissioner Gibb and Police Chief Hal Saylor.

Work continues on the Police Procedure and Police Commission book so unless you are part of the work the meeting is boring.

Police Chief Saylor did say there was 222 Delaware citations given out as compared to 28 Maryland citations.  I will have more to say on that later.

Some of you may have seen the following article published in local news sources back on March 7th;

DELMAR, Md.- A string of break-ins in Wicomico County had people worried on Thursday.
The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office said thieves are stealing expensive equipment and electrical cables from garages and sheds in Delmar.
Sheriff Mike Lewis said that most of these thefts are happening in the late evening into early morning hours off of Waller and Adkins roads.
Power tools, jumbo cables and copper wiring were just a few of the many expensive things that were stolen right out of Michael Hunter's garage.
"This is a new one because they took one just like this one," Hunter said, referring to one of his replacement power tools.
"It was just bad, it was a bad feeling, we have been here 23 years and never had a problem before."
And it's in those 23 years where Hunter said that he's never had to lock up his garage until now.
"All of our neighbors they are good decent people and we never had a problem, but now I've had to install surveillance cameras put signs up and I absolutely hate it," he said.
Thieves also broke into Nancy Parkhursts' garage Friday night just a few miles down from Hunter's home.
 "They busted all the locks of our cabinets and took a $300 power cord that runs our generator and a lot of other electrical cords," Parkhurst said.
She said the stolen things can be replaced but the toughest thing to deal with right now is having her peace of mind taken away.
"Every little light that comes in your window you are up or every noise that you hear you are not getting the sleep that you should get," Parkhurst said.
Lewis said the office is urging everyone to not only lock up their garages and sheds but to also jot down the serial number of any expensive equipment so that it makes it easier for them to locate the item if it's stolen.
Police Chief Saylor said these above incidents of break-ins occurred back in 2008 and he has no idea why the local news sources are reporting them now and saying they are current problems. 
Also if you are interested in Police Ride A Longs it is now age limited to; 18 year olds taking a college course that require it, otherwise you have to be 21 years old to ride with the police while they perform their duties.

The March 11th Special Meeting of the Mayor and Commissioners

Last night the Mayor and Commissioners (well at least three Commissioners, Stephanie Ring was missing) of Delmar, Maryland held a special meeting to listen to public comment on Ordinance #725 Storm Water Management. 

Well it is hard to get Public Comment when no one is theresemper eadem, Latin for "always the same" continues in Delmar

If the Storm Water Management Ordinance sounds familiar it is because it was passed by the Maryland side of town at the end of 2012.  At that time it had the current standards for Maryland modified for the Town of Delmar Maryland in it.  Once it arrived in Annapolis for approval it was rejected because the standards had changed in that short of time.  A new Ordinance had to be prepared (with the associated attorney, advertising fees and other costs) to be submitted once again.

Maryland is famous for this sort of thing.  Back in the 1980's when the town of Delmar was trying to build a waste water treatment plant the State of Maryland held up approval for so long and kept changing standards that the delay and new standards added substantially to the cost of the waste water treatment plant.  About that same time period I was working for a Water and Sewage company in Ocean Pines and a similar type thing happened when we tried to improve on the waste water treatment plant there.   Cost us big bucks and lots of time spend trying to appease the shithead Maryland State officials.

Betting On The Pope

Over at Paddy Power , the Irish betting website, is weighing in on the papal race to head the Roman Catholic World and is listing Italy’s Cardinal Angelo Scola, 71, the Archbishop of Milan, as a 9/4 winner.
followed by;
Cardinal Scherer (Brazil) 4/1
CardinalTurkson ( Ghana) 6/1
Cardinal Bertone (Italy) 10/1
Cardinal Schonborn (Austria) 14/1
Cardinal O'Malley (United States) 14/1
Cardinal Ravasi (Italy ) 16/1
Cardinal Tagle (Philippines) 20/1
Cardinal Sandri ( Argentina) 20/1
Cardinal Dolan (United States) 20/1
Last place is Cardinal EijK (Netherlands) 200/1
A variety of other Pope relate items are wagered on from the number of foreign visits to country of origin etc here a couple;

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Good News For Delaware

Maryland Governor O'Malley is proposing a revised state gas tax structure.  Having blown the Transportation improvement fund on other things than transportation he is proposing the following
that would become effective July 1, 2013:
  • Reduce the state tax on gasoline by five cents from 23.5 cents per gallon to 18.5 cents per gallon;
  • Index the 18.5 cents per gallon state gasoline tax to the Consumer Price Index;
  • Phase-in application of the state sales tax on the wholesale price of gasoline starting at two percent July 1, 2013 and increase to four percent July 1, 2014;
  • Transportation to receive a percentage of revenue generated by implementation of the federal Marketplace Equity Act (enabling states to apply sales tax to internet sales, provided passage by Congress.);
  • Index transit fares charged by the Maryland Transit Administration to the Consumer Price Index;
  • State Treasury to issue General Obligation Bonds for federally required environmental improvements.
So what is the wholesale price of gasoline and the effect of a 2% sales tax?  It is a hard item to find out but very roughly at a retail price of $3.70 per gallon the constant flux of crude oil cost would be about $2.64 with refinery cost of $.21 per gallon so about $2.85.  Added to it are distribution costs federal underground storage tank tax, etc plus the 23.5 cent per gallon tax so if the tax is reduced a nickle and the wholesale price of gas is taxed at 2% which is 5.7 cents the cost would increase .7 cents, if the price would stand still which we know ain't going to happen than 1.4 cents would be added to the price of a gallon of gas.  Doesn't sound like that much but crude and refinery cost can double over night

Delmar Delaware School Board Election

There will be no election.  Only one person filed for the position on the Delmar Board of Education and that was Shawn B. Brittingham 34823 Bi-State Blvd., Delmar DE. Date Filed: 02/27/13. 
semper eadem, Latin for "always the same" continues in Delmar

The Maryland Buy Local Cookout

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley invites chefs using local Maryland ingredients to submit original recipes for the Sixth Annual “Buy Local Cookout,” which will be held at Government House in Annapolis on Thursday, July 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Recipes must be submitted by May 6 and include products from at least one Maryland farmer, waterman, or other producer. This year, chefs are being asked to submit simple but creative recipes that showcase ways the average Maryland family can prepare delicious, nutritious meals with locally produced food at home.

The cookout promotes the statewide Buy Local Challenge Week (July 20-28), during which all Marylanders are encouraged to eat at least one local product each day of the week.

“The Buy Local Cookout and Buy Local Challenge have become an annual celebration of Maryland agriculture and Maryland cuisine,” said Governor O’Malley. “Again this year, we look forward to encouraging Marylanders to buy local products from Maryland farmers as we highlight the benefits of preserving our family farms and open space, protecting the environment and supporting local economies.”

Recipes will be chosen in each of the following categories: appetizer, main dish, side dish or salad, dessert and beverage.

Selected teams will be invited to provide, prepare, and share their dish at the Governor’s Cookout. Chefs should note that recipes may be published in the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s 2013 Maryland Buy Local Cookout Recipes cookbook. Complete rules of entry and additional information are posted on line here.

Recipes should be submitted online here.

Chefs who have questions, should contact Karen Fedor at or 410-841-5773

The Saturday Mason Dixon Line Talk at The Library

Saturday I attended the talk given by Mike Dixon at the Delmar Library.  A modest sized group turned out for an interesting talk on the Mason Dixon Line.
He discussed the history and problems related to the disputes between Maryland and Pennsylvania resulting in the surveyed boundary line by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon from 1763 to 1767.  He associated the line with references to more recent songs and other cultural media.  No the line running down State Street is not the Mason Dixon Line it is the Transpeninsular Line surveyed in 1751.  He did not say if he was related to Jeremiah Dixon.   
The talk was paid for by the Delmar library and the Delaware Humanities Forum. 

The Town of Delmar Delaware Wants More Money on March 26th

The March Delmar Maryland and Delaware Police Commission Meeting

At 6:30 PM tomorrow night (March 11th) at the Maryland Town Hall the Delmar Police Commission will have their meeting. 

Delmar Maryland Mayor and Commissioners Special Meeting Monday

March 11, 2013- There will be a Special meeting of the Maryland Mayor  and Commissioners to hear a Public Hearing on Maryland Ordinance # 725- Revised Storm Water Management Ordinance. The meeting will start at 6:00 p.m.


From The Peninsular Enterprise Accomack Virginia July 18 1908

The Always Amazing Iditarod Run 2013

A female Musher, Aliy Zirkle age 43 of Two Rivers Alaska, is in the lead currently with another 326 miles to go.  Her team is making about 5 miles an hour.  When she left the Kaltag checkpoint she was down to 13 dogs from a start of 16 dogs.  Aaron Burmeister is second, and Martin Buser whose has won the Iditarod four times is third.

The lead mushers still have the Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Kpyuk, Elim, White Moutain, and Safety checks points to pass before arriving in Nome for the finish of the 998 mile run.  This year being an odd year the mushers follows the southern route once leaving Ophir to Kaltag instead of the northern route.  There is only a difference of ten miles between the two routes but by using the southern route it allows the mushers to pass thru Iditarod the namesake of the run.

The first musher to reach Nome will win $50,400 and a new 2013 Dodge Ram pickup truck. The rest of the $600,000 purse will be split between the next 29 mushers to cross the finish line.
The race began with 66 teams at a ceremonial start in Anchorage March 2.