“You choose it in a moment, try to think of something you’ll remember, perhaps. Some are happy to live with a string of numbers. And yet it is how you are known—or not known—by many of those physically closest.”
These two essays perfectly frame the emotional and social debacle of publishing and diversity today. They begin with this stat: “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people,” according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin. The wide world of literature in general, and by no coincidence, the publishing industry itself, suffer from similarly disastrous numbers.
When Christopher Myers asked his uncomfortable questions about the apartheid in children’s lit, the industry hid behind The Market. The publishing industry, people often say as if it’s a gigantic revelation, needs to make money and as such, it responds to The Market, and people don’t buy books about characters of color. This is updated marketing code for “you people don’t read,” and it’s used to justify any number of inexcusable problems in literature. “The Market is so comfortably intangible,” Myers writes, “that no one is worried I will go knocking down any doors. The Market, I am told, just doesn’t demand this kind of book… because white kids won’t buy a book with a black kid on the cover—or so The Market says, despite millions of music albums that are sold in just that way.”
Coloring embryos by injecting dye into eggs before they hatch has been practiced for a number of years. It is done to identify the young of certain hatches or groups. And it makes it easier to observe movements of wild birds (especially water fowl) after they leave the nests.
The process of coloring chicks by injecting dye into the eggs also provides an opportunity to study early feather growth. Juvenile plumage will replace the colored down in about two weeks. As this happens, the dyed background amid new growing feathers provides a constantly changing pattern.
While it is possible to inject eggs from about the 10th to 19th days of incubation, the period from the 11th to 14th days appears to be ideal. Only one treatment is necessary if the injection is done at this time. When injections are made after the 14th day the color usually remains localized because the embryo occupies most of the egg; so it may be necessary to inject the egg in more than one place.
Harmless vegetable dyes, such as food coloring dyes sold in grocery stores, work very satisfactorily.
This does not harm the chicks in any way, and eventually as they mature their adult feathers push through and they develop normally with their standard coloured feathers.
Marking the 450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s Birth
Every year at the end of April, a celebration of the life and works of the great playwright William Shakespeare takes place in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare was born there in 1564 and cultural celebrations in Stratford’s streets, with entertainers, street performers and traditional Morris dancers, go back hundreds of years.
From his plays to his sonnets, Shakespeare’s extensive works have produced a legacy of characters, ideas, histories and, of course, words—it is thought he contributed more than 2,000 to the English language. His plays are a staple on many school curriculums, and continue to be reinterpreted on stage, rewritten in fiction and retold on screen.
The man himself is still very much a mystery and few details exist about his private life. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway with whom he bore three children, before relocating to London to pursue his acting and writing career. He died at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616—a date which fell very near to his birthday in the same month (the exact date is unknown).
This year marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and, on Saturday, a special procession will take place in Stratford, ending with celebrants laying flowers on Shakespeare’s grave in the Holy Trinity Church. The world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company will also host a full program of shows.