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California Bans Plastic Bags Statewide
September 30, 2014
California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning single-use plastic bags across the state. The law nominally takes effect January 1, 2015 but goes into full force in July 2015. Large grocery stores will be unable to offer plastic bags to customers. In exchange, customers will have the option of choosing between paper bags and reusable film bags, both of which will cost at least 10 cents. Low-income customers qualifying for supplemental food programs can get reusable bags at no cost.

Stolen Stamps Targeted with $100,000 Reward
September 28, 2014
Two of the most famous rare U.S. postage stamps are still missing, and a stamp organization is offering $50,000 each for their recovery. The stamps are both the "Inverted Jenny" 1918 misprint, 24-cent airmail stamps that show a plane flying upside down. Ethel McCoy, whose father was a co-founder of the Dow Jones company, bought the four-block set in 1936, paying $16,000.

Standing Students Burn More Calories
September 28, 2014
Standing could be the new sitting in classrooms. A school district in Texas became the latest to trial asking students to stand, instead of sit, for various parts of the school day. These were elementary school students in the College Station Independent School District. The one-week trial found that the 374 of a total 480 students who participated burned more calories, showed more alertness, and exhibited more intense powers of concentration than their sitting-only counterparts.


Food Races around the World
Food races fill town and city squares around the world.

One of the most notable food races is the Cooper's Hill Cheese-rolling and Wake, an annual event put on each May by the residents of Brockworth, a village near Gloucester, England. Participants nominally roll but effectively chase a 9-pound roll of Double Gloucester cheese down a steep hill. The cheese doesn't always roll straight down the 200-yard-long hill, so participants are often required to right the cheese and start it rolling again. The first pair of cheese and chaser across the finish line at the bottom line win the cheese-roller a prize, and the cheese.

A slightly different food is the focus in the towns of Liberal, Kansas, and Olney, England, every Shrove Tuesday. This is the Great Pancake Race, an event that dates to the 15th Century.

As the story goes, an Olney woman was cooking up a pancake in a skillet when she heard the village church bells ring, announcing the Shriving service. The woman, fearful of being late, dashed out of her home and to the church, still carrying the pan with the pancake in it.

Residents of modern-day Olney commemorate this event with a 415-yard-long pancake race each Shrove Tuesday. The people of Liberal, Kansas, have gotten into the pancake-flipping act as well, challenging the Olney townsfolk to an annual rematch of a race that has been going for a few decades now.


The Gutenberg Bible
The Gutenberg Bible is thought to have been the first major book produced by a printing press, ever. The name comes from the printer Johan Gutenberg, who is credited with inventing a printing press that used movable type. It was first published on September 30, 1452.

Johan Gutenberg: Inventor of Modern Printing
Johan Gutenberg grew up in relatively obscurity in medieval Germany, but his invention of movable type revolutionized the world of communication and his name and his invention live on in worldwide fame.

Thurgood Marshall Named to Court
Thurgood Marshall had one of the most recognizable names and faces of the civil rights movement in America. He gained everlasting fame as the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Before that, he was well-known as a leading lawyer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and especially well-known for his role in the famous Court case Brown v. Board of Education.

Marshall was named to the Court on Oct. 2, 1967.

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