Shapell Manuscript Foundation and Lake Champlain

On September 6, 1901, President McKinley was shot in Buffalo.  Initially it was thought that the President of the United States of America would not only make a full recovery, but that it would be a speedy one.  Thus, his Vice President at the time, Theodore Roosevelt, didn’t show too much concern about what might change the course of his political career forever.

At the time of the shooting, Vice President Roosevelt was on a different political mission: he was preparing the speech he was to deliver to the Vermont Fish and Game League’s annual meeting in an island of Lake Champlain. As part of its ‘Between the Lines’ program, Shapell Manuscript Foundation houses the original document written by Roosevelt to his superior McKinley, scribbled on the back of a railroad timetable.  It read: “Director of Hospital or House at which President lies Buffalo NY.  Wire me at once full particulars to Van Ness House Burlington Vermont.”

Roosevelt no doubt anticipated a pleasant trip that day in 1901 at Lake Champlain, but that wasn’t what happened.  This was a huge, unexpected shock.  Just three days after the assassination it seemed like McKinley was all set to recover; he had an excellent prognosis.  But that prognosis didn’t reign true and thus ultimately Roosevelt had to step up and replace President McKinley, becoming the youngest President of the United States of America.

Alba A-Glowing

Jessica Alba – seen as one of Hollywood’s most beautiful actresses – still looks stunning even with her bulging baby look.  Indeed, in her Jay Leno interview on The Tonight Show,  she spoke about the pregnancy as well as her upcoming film Spy Kids: All The Time In The World.

Alba was definitely wearing the right clothes for her newly-formed figure.  The dress was full-length with an empire line, and she looked radiant as, according to the Google news article she “giggled her way through the light hearted interview with Jay, whose other guests included sexpert Sue Johanson and Justin Bieber’s girlfriend Selena Gomez.”

Pregnancy Queries

Alba had fun with Johanson, asking if having sex in such a late stage of the pregnancy could be problematic for the baby, but the latter assured her it was perfectly fine.  She didn’t reveal the baby’s due date or gender, avoiding the first question by saying it was “soon,” and  not making any reference to the baby’s sex.

Time for Honor

Alba is now making special efforts to spend extra time with Honor, her three-year-old daughter in an attempt to “ensure that she doesn’t feel left out amidst the baby buzz.”  She made a fuss of her birthday “escorting her around New York dressed adorable in a purple princess outfit.”  With her husband Cash Warren, the three of them are engaging in fun, low-key family activities.

Adele Breaks Madonna’s Record

British singer-songwriter Adele has broken Madonna’s record of female singers to hold the top spot for the most consecutive weeks, with her newest album 21. The album has stayed in the spot for ten weeks now, while Madonna’s 1990 The Immaculate Collection held the spot for nine.

No other album has been able to hold the spot for this long ever since Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms in 1986.

Last week, 21 sold the most copies since its release. 250,000 units were shifted, which, in other words, means a 65% increase in the market. Many believe this is because of the album’s popularity as a Mother’s Day gift.

Meanwhile, Adele’s Someone Like You has been bumped down to second place on the singles chart, with Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull’s On the Floor moving up to the top.

Iowan Man To Live Solely on Beer for Lent

An editor and beer-brewing blogger from Iowa is battling the “teetotalling, neo-prohibitionist tendencies” of some aspects of Christianity by surviving only on beer throughout the 46 days of Lent. The decision is meant to pay homage to the beer-making Bavarian monks of the Middle Ages.

J. Wilson, 38, is an editor at the weekly Adams County Free Press, who blogs in his spare time. He also intends to write a book about his Lent experience. In the first entry of his blog, Diary of a Part Time Monk, Wilson wrote: “I hope beer lovers learn something reasonable about Christianity, and I hope Christians learn something reasonable about beer.”

Wilson, following the tradition of liquid fasts practiced by German monks from the 17th century, drinks four 12-ounce (or 355 mL) beers during the week, and five on weekends.  This schedule is not the only sacrifice being made between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday- numerous others have sworn not to use Facebook or Twitter for the duration of Lent.

A “Reality Check” For Christians

Wilson explains that his goal is to give Christians a “reality check” as well as a history lesson. “Back in the Middle Ages- and far beyond that- the Church and beer were very linked.” He added that “You’re not going to Hell if you drink a beer.” Wilson has described himself as a “non-denominational” Christian.

The home brewer joined forces with Eric Sorensen, the senior brewer of the Rock Bottom Brewery in Des Moines, in an effort to create the perfect beer for the regime. Entitled Illuminator Doppelbock, it was made in the traditional doppelbock manner of Munich. This beer is often described as “liquid bread.” Each 12-ounce beer has 288 calories and a 6.67% alcohol content. Sorensen allowed Wilson to craft the beer for free as he had “a lot personally invested in it,” Sorensen said in a video.  Wilson explained that the 17th century Monks who took the well-known bock beer and “kicked it up a notch” by putting additional grain in as a means to survive their prolonged fasts. He describes the beer as “bold” and “full-bodied,” and “bready, with some sweetness.”

Six Days In…

This past Monday, Wilson interviewed with the Star. He was just six days into the fast, and had already lost 11 pounds. Other than a headache that passed after day two, he said he felt fine.

“Honestly, I’m not hungry-hungry. What I’ve found, though, is that aromas will trigger a pretty serious desire.” He explained that the fast has taught him the difference between the two. “I’m not hungry… but when I smell stuff, boy do I desire that chicken-fried steak.”

Wilson schedules his ‘meals’ separately during the day so that he can work and drive, if necessary. “It’s not a hammer-fest. But if you walk in the rain, you’re going to get wet. I understand this,” he said. With two sons and a wife, he needs to act responsibly. He pointed out that his wife has been supportive.

“She has been around me for sixteen years now, so she knows all my wild and interesting ideas. So she’s certainly used to that facet of my personality,” he explained.

Both a doctor and a pastor are monitoring Wilson, one for his physical health, and one for his spiritual. Wilson, who has never sacrificed anything for Lent in the past, had said that he has already experienced moment of “heightened focus,” which he describes as “sort of like walking through a tunnel in a very good spot.”

Tornadoes Spread Destruction and Death in Missouri and Arkansas

Tornadoes struck Arkansas and Missouri with deadly force on New Year’s Eve, leaving seven dead and dozens more injured. Six of the dead were killed on Friday, while the seventh died of her injuries on Saturday.

The seventh victim was with a friend when her trailer was hit by a twister. Bruce Southard, the chief of the Rolla Rural Fire Department explained that there was nothing left of the trailer except for its frame. Debris was scattered as far away as 40-50 yards from the trailer’s location. Southard said “It’s like you set a bomb off in it. It just annihilated it.”

At a farmstead not far from the trailer Loretta Anderson, 64-year-old grandmother was sitting with her granddaughter Megan Ross, 21, when the tornado struck. Mrs. Andersen was killed in the onslaught.

In addition to the deaths and injuries power was curtailed to about 20,000 customers, with 10,000 still without power by Saturday afternoon. According to the Governor of Missouri, Jay Nixon, who was touring the areas damaged by the tornadoes, there was damage also not far from St. Louis.