Author Archives: Chris Case

Hard-boiled and Noir Fiction and Film

Travelling through fetid alleyways in the pouring rain, through thronging cities like beating hearts, and darkened rooms echoing gunshots and last breaths, the fiction and film of the hard-boiled and noir genres bring readers and viewers along for vivid, engrossing, … Continue reading

The Dog Days of Summer

Is this Baltimore summer hot enough for you? You might say we have hit the heart of the “dog days” of summer. You might also wonder where the heck that phrase comes from! It turns out, the origin of the … Continue reading

Sign Here!

Did you ever wonder why signatures and autographs carry the enormous weight they do? The history of this fancy of finger-work, this veritable cult of calligraphy is long and varied. Ever since humans fixed words to a medium, signatures of … Continue reading

Spring DIY

At long last the snows have cleared and Spring is upon us. What better time to get back to the earth, get your hands dirty, and DoItYourself? Our country has, in some way or another, been a DIY nation since … Continue reading

Not Just Christmas!

Certainly, Christmas is one of the most well known holidays taking place in December. However, it is by no means the only one! December has been a time for celebration throughout history, as far back as the origins of Buddhism and … Continue reading

Catalog This!

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes to make library materials accessible to the public (that’s you!)? After books are selected and ordered, Cataloging staff work their magic to let you know what we’ve got. The word cataloging itself conjures … Continue reading

The Game is Afoot!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock that’s beneath a few more rocks, you’ve doubtless come across the revamped BBC/PBS production of Sherlock. Countless fans have had to wait countless months between seasons that count a mere three episodes each. … Continue reading

The Days That Never Were

Two hundred sixty one years ago today, nothing happened. The newspapers would have been blank. No sun shone and no cloud stirred. No wars were fought and no treaties signed. No one awoke and no one slept. No one was born … Continue reading

In Celebration of Dictionaries

Depression, murder, insanity….not the first words that come to mind when contemplating lexicography. Nevertheless, such is the history of English dictionaries. The stories of Samuel Johnson, James Murray and W.C. Minor make for a fascinating historical read. Dictionaries in their … Continue reading

Overlooked Genius

Just over a month ago, a number of scholars, researchers, writers and countries were acknowledged for their contributions to their various fields with the award of the Nobel Prize. Throughout its history, the Nobel Prize has been surrounded by various … Continue reading