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On This Day: July 13

Keith Chaffee, Librarian, Collection Development,
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In the mood for a good movie? Some toe-tapping music? A thrilling book? ON THIS DAY will lead you to new possibilities every day, tied to interesting moments from history and popular culture. Whether it’s streamable and downloadable music and film, e-books and e-audio, or physical books and DVDs, we hope you’ll find something to enjoy as you pick up a few bits of history each day.

Benjamin Woolley: The Queen's Conjuror On this day in 1527, John Dee was born. Dee was a scientific and spiritual advisor to Queen Elizabeth I, in an era when the boundaries of science, magic, and mysticism could be very blurry. Dee was a skilled astronomer, and trained many of England's earliest explorers in the craft of navigation. He was a learned mathematician, and had one of the largest private libraries of the era. He also studied alchemy, and sought advice for Elizabeth from the spirit world. For Dee, these endeavors were all part of one quest -- to better understand the physical and spiritual world around him. Benjamin Woolley's biography The Queen's Conjuror tells the story of Dee's life, and places his endeavors in the context of Renaissance science; it's available as an e-book at OverDrive.
The Byrds: Preflyte On this day in 1942, Roger McGuinn was born. McGuinn was the lead singer of The Byrds, and the only member to remain with the group for the entire decade of its existence. In the mid-1960s, The Byrds' music mixed elements of country, folk, rock, and psychedelia, scoring such hits as "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Eight Miles High." McGuinn recorded several solo albums after the band's 1973 breakup, and continues to promote traditional folk music at his website Folk Den. Several of The Byrds' albums are available for streaming or download at Freegal.
Rubik's Cube And on this day in 1944, Ernö Rubik was born. Rubik is the creator of Rubik's Cube. He designed the first prototype of the Cube in 1974; when it was introduced to an international audience in 1980, it became a pop culture sensation. The Rubik's Cube won "toy of the year" awards in several countries, and was made part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Rubik has created several other shape-bending puzzles, and devotes much of his time to the promotion of science education in elementary schools. The Great Courses series The Mathematics of Games and Puzzles features an installment on "Mastering Rubik's Cube;" it's available for streaming at Kanopy.