Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, May 05 2006


Beginning in January all books will be required to have 13-digit ISBNs. If you're trying to keep up with the Joneses you shouldn't go and re-order all your recently-purchased books that have those old-fashioned 10-digit ISBNs. You can find out their new numbers by using the handy online converter. And if you want to know a little more about how all this works without having to become a full-fledged librarian you can get some information through an online brochure called ISBN-13 for Dummies (PDF).

posted at: 11:47 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Cinco de Mayo and the American Civil War

I enjoyed reading the two different views of Cinco de Mayo at the Californian web site this morning. While reading Beatrice Hernandez' thoughts about the possible connection between Mexico's victory and the Union victory in our own American Civil War I began to wonder. We have D-Day and Armistice Day, but we seem to have no one day set aside that celebrates the end of a very complicated and bitter conflict that set brother against brother and forced individual states into allegiance to either the North or the South. The Civil War wasn't about an outside invasion. It was a division of our own country's loyalties. If there's any conflict whose end we should be celebrating in the US on at least one day of the year, The Civil War would seem to be a primary choice.

We do have Juneteenth (Emancipation Day) on June 19. But most communities hardly pause to remember its significance, with the exception of a few isolated festivals and ethnic events, most of which focus solely on the end of the slavery of African Americans. Last year President Bush put out a special greeting on the occasion of the 140th anniversary of Juneteenth. Many of us never even noticed.

Is it simply easier for us to focus on an event from a neighboring country than to focus on what happened in our own country's history? I don't know. But I do wonder why we'll find a Cinco de Mayo celebration in so many American cities this weekend and so few celebrations on June 19. The psychological (and social) implications are pretty fascinating to consider.

posted at: 09:45 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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