Lottery Winnings and Museum Renovations

The Houston Memorial Library is located in Athens, Alabama.  The house was owned by George Houston, a former governor of the state of Alabama.  George Houston died in 1879,  and the Houston family donated the property to the city of Athens, with the stipulation that it be used as a library/museum.

However, over the years the building deteriorated and the city failed to complete the required maintenance to keep the facility functional.  In 2016, the city indefinitely closed the museum for renovations.

It breaks my heart to see this building in such a deplorable state.  All those historical documents, old books, and antiques are locked inside the building.  The building is full of items with educational and cultural value, but it’s all just rotting away.

If I won the lottery, I would buy that building and have it fully restored.  I would open it back up for the public to use and have activities for children, so they can learn to appreciate the value of museums and libraries.

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The Academic Book of the Future

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The cover of this book does not do it justice.  I enjoyed reading it and found it to be interesting as well as educational.

Here are a few quotes that highlight the main points:

  • Books matter.  They contain knowledge, and knowledge, as the saying goes is power.
  • Books are matter: they are containers, crucibles, confrontations.  They can teach, guide, inspire, soothe, and agitate.
  • Google is becoming the most-used research channel.  In such context, national libraries will be pivotal for their preservation role, with researchers access being provided through other channels.
  • The meaning of the word ‘book’ itself will change forever and will never again be confined to that of a physical object to be held, admired, loved, subject to spilt coffee or burning by dictators.  The ‘book’ will be defined more around its function than any of its characteristics.
  • Academic books can deeply affect the ways that human beings perceive the world and interact with one another, playing an important role in cultural change.

The Bahamas – Nassau

Nassau was my favorite place to visit while in The Bahamas.  I wish I could have spent more time at this port.  Oh well, I guess I will just have to go back for another visit.

Nassau is full of cute little shops.  I felt like we went into a hundred different stores, but I enjoyed each one of them.

Malia and I went to the Nassau Library and Museum.  The building was originally used as a jail, so the layout was rather unique.  The one thing that really caught my attention was their card catalog system.  I was completely enthralled and just stood there running my fingers along the wooden cabinet and the cards.  I wish I had photos, but pictures were not allowed inside the building.

We also encountered statues and posters dedicated to the woman of The Bahamas.  They were praised for their hard work and sacrifice during the nation’s difficult times.  They were admired for their willingness to give of themselves in an effort to create a better life for all citizens.

I cannot talk about Nassau without mentioning the beaches and the beautiful ocean.  The water was a clear blue and I could watch the fish as they swam near the docks.  The fish I saw had yellow and black strips, so I called them bumblebee fish.