January 19, 1809: Edgar Allen Poe Was Born

January 19, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, MA. American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of mystery and horror introduced the modern detective story, and the atmosphere in his tales of horror is unsurpassed in American fiction. 

His parents were David and Elizabeth Poe. David was born in Baltimore on July 18, 1784. Elizabeth Arnold came to the U.S. from England in 1796 and married David Poe after her first husband died in 1805. They had three children, Henry, Edgar, and Rosalie.

Elizabeth Poe died in 1811, when Edgar was only 2 years old. She had separated from her husband and taken her three kids with her. Henry went to live with his grandparents while Edgar was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. John Allan. Rosalie was taken in by another family. John Allan was a successful merchant, so Edgar grew up in good surroundings and went to good schools. 

When Poe was 6, he went to school in England for 5 years. He learned Latin and French, as well as math and history. He later returned to school in America and continued his studies. Edgar Allan went to the University of Virginia in 1826. Edgar developed a drinking problem while at school and in less than a year, dropped out.

In 1835, Edgar finally got a job as an editor of a newspaper because of a contest he won with his story, “The Manuscript Found in a Bottle.” 
In 1836, Edgar married his cousin, Virginia. He was 27 and she was 13. As the editor for the Southern Literary Messenger, Poe successfully managed the paper and increased its circulation from 500 to 3,500 copies. Despite his success, Poe left the paper in early 1836, complaining of the poor salary. In 1837, Edgar went to New York and wrote “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.” 

In 1840, Edgar Poe joined George R. Graham as an editor for Graham’s Magazine. During the two years that Poe worked for Graham’s, he published his first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” and challenged readers to send in cryptograms, which he always solved. During the time Poe was editor, the circulation of the magazine rose from 5,000 to 35,000 copies. Poe left Graham’s in 1842 because he wanted to start his own magazine. Shortly after, his magazine failed.
His wife, Virginia, died in 1847, 10 days after Edgar’s birthday. After losing his wife, Poe collapsed from stress but gradually returned to health later that year. 

On October 3, Poe was found at Gunner’s Hall, a public house at 44 East Lombard Street, and was taken to the hospital. He lapsed in and out of consciousness but was never able to explain exactly what happened to him. Edgar Allan Poe died in the hospital on Sunday, October 7, 1849.

The mystery surrounding Poe’s death has led to many myths and urban legends.

To view Edgar Allan Poe’s literature click HERE.

Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday: January 17, 1706

January 18, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, MA on January 17, 1706. May by his life alone be the most profound statement of what an American strives to be.
With no formal education after the age of 10 years, Franklin was celebrated throughout Europe, greeted in any Royal Court, sought out by every prestigious society. When the reputations of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had yet to be sorted out, Franklin was worshipped wherever his name was known.
He attended grammar school at age eight, but was put to work at ten. He apprenticed as a printer to his brother James, who printed the New England Courant, at age twelve, and published his first article there, anonymously, in 1721. Young Benjamin was an avid reader, inquisitive and skeptical. Through his satirical articles, he poked fun at the people of Boston and soon wore out his welcome, both with his brother and with the city. He ran away to New York and then on to Philadelphia at the age of 16, looking for work as a printer. He managed a commission to Europe for the purpose of buying supplies to establish a new printing house in Philadelphia, but found himself abandoned when he stepped off ship. 
Through hard work and frugality he bought his fare back to Philadelphia in 1732 and set up shop as a printer. He was appointed clerk of the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1736, and as Postmaster the following year. In 1741 he began publishing Poor Richard’s Almanac, a very popular and influential magazine. He was elected to the Pennsylvania Assembly in 1751 and served as an agent for Pennsylvania to England, France, and several other European powers. 
He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1775, where he played a crucial role in the rebellion against Gr. Britain, including service to Jefferson in editing the Declaration of Independence. Franklin, who was by this time independently wealthy and retired from publishing, continued to serve an important role in government both local and national. He was the United States first Postmaster General, Minister to the French Court, Treaty agent and signer to the peace with Gr. Britain, Celebrated Member of the Constitutional convention. 
Benjamin Franklin was a Businessman, Writer, Publisher, Scientist, Diplomat, Legislator, and Social activist, was one of the earliest and strongest advocates for the abolition of Slavery, and for the protection of the rights of American aboriginal peoples. He died on the 17th of April in 1790. On that day he was still one of the most celebrated characters in America. So should he always be.

What Happened On This Day in 1990? First African American Governor of Virginia.

January 13, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

Lawrence Douglas Wilder is an American politician who became the first African American to be elected as governor of Virginia. He is also known as the first African American to serve as governor of a U.S. state. 

Wilder was born on January 17, 1931 in Richmond, VA as the seventh of eight children. He attended George Mason Elementary School and Armstrong High School, then racially segregated. He did his undergraduate work at Virginia Union University, where he graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1951. 

Wilder served in the Korean War, earning a Bronze Star for heroism at Pork Chop Hill. He rose to leadership in his first experience in an integrated organization, as President Truman had desegregated the military in 1948. After his service, Wilder earned a law degree at Howard University School of Law under the G.I. Bill. Virginia university law schools did not then admit African Americans. He graduated in 1959 and returned to Richmond to co-found the law firm of Wilder, Gregory, and Associates. 

Douglas Wilder began his career in public office after winning a 1969 special election to the Senate of Virginia from a Richmond-area district. He was the first African American elected as state Senator in Virginia since Reconstruction. A 1970 redistricting gave Wilder a predominantly African-American district, and he was repeatedly re-elected into the 1980s. Although a liberal in a conservative legislature, he worked hard and gained influence through committee chairmanships when he gained seniority.

Since Wilder’s career in public office, he has continued as an adjunct professor in public policy at Virginia Commonwealth University. He writes occasional editorials for Virginia papers, and is still considered to be very influential in Virginia politics. 

To find out more about Lawrence Douglas Wilder please click HERE.

The History On The Harm Of Cigarettes: Tips To Help You Quit

January 11, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

On January 11, 1964 the U.S. Surgeon General declared cigarettes may be hazardous to health, the first such official government report.  

In 1964, the US was a country where over 50% of adult males smoked and 46% of all Americans smoked. Smoking was accepted in offices, airplanes, elevators, and even cartoon TV programs were sponsored by cigarette brands.

It was a country where a multi-billion dollar industry and a way of life were severely threatened by the Surgeon General Report’s astounding conclusion: SMOKING CAUSES CANCER! Within 3 months of this report, cigarette consumption had dropped 20%.

Since this statement, every year hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from diseases caused by smoking cigarettes. One in two lifetime smokers will die from their habit. Half of these deaths will occur in middle age. For more facts and statistics on the harm of smoking cigarettes click HERE

If you are currently a smoker and would like to know how to stop, please view helpful quitting tips below.

  • Believe in yourself. Believe that you can quit. Think about 
    some of the most difficult things you have done in your life and 
    realize that you have the guts and determination to quit 
    smoking. It’s up to you.
  •  After reading this list, sit down and write your own list, 
    customized to your personality and way of doing things. Create 
    you own plan for quitting.
  •  Write down why you want to quit: 
    live longer, feel better, for your family, save money, smell 
    better, find a mate more easily, etc. You know what’s bad about 
    smoking and you know what you’ll get by quitting. Put it on 
    paper and read it daily.
  •  Ask your family and friends to support your decision to quit. 
    Ask them to be completely supportive and non-judgmental. Let 
    them know ahead of time that you will probably be irritable and 
    even irrational while you withdraw from your smoking habit.
  •  Set a quit date. Decide what day you will extinguish your 
    cigarettes forever. Write it down. Plan for it. Prepare your 
    mind for the “first day of the rest of your life”. You might 
    even hold a small ceremony when you smoke you last cigarette, or 
    on the morning of the quit date.

 To view more tips click HERE!

New York City Marathon Returns to Live National TV in 2012

January 9, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

The ING New York City Marathon will be aired on live national television in 2012 for the first time in almost 20 years, announced today by WABC-TV/ESPN and NYRR officials. The Marathon will be televised live nationally on ESPN2 and accessible through ESPN from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET/6:00 to 9:30 a.m. PT, and in New York on WABC-TV and 7online.com from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. That same afternoon, ABC will broadcast nationally a two-hour Marathon highlight show. The agreement begins with this year’s event on Sunday, November 4.
The extraordinary partnership will also highlight coverage of ING New York City Marathon weekend events and other marquee NYRR races throughout the year. The deal reunites NYRR with ABC, which carried the first live national broadcast of the Marathon in 1981 and where it aired until 1993.
“The ING New York City Marathon is one of the greatest spectacles in all of sport, and today’s announcement is a huge step forward in bringing all of the event’s passion and excitement into homes, live, across the country,” said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of NYRR and race director of the ING New York City Marathon.
“We’re thrilled that for the first time in almost 20 years, a nationwide audience can experience the 26.2 exhilarating miles that combine the spectacle of great racing with the triumphant celebration of the human spirit—a captivating drama starring  more than 47,000 runners, including the world’s best, played out on the vibrant streets of New York City,” said Wittenberg. “The scope of this agreement, which also showcases the events surrounding the Marathon as well as other marquee NYRR races throughout the year, is a significant step forward as we seek to develop and promote our sport.”
The first New York City Marathon was held in 1970, with 127 competitors running multiple loops around the Park Drive of Central Park. Only about 100 viewers watched Gary Muhrcke win the race in 2:31:38. Their were a total of 55 runners that crossed the finish line. Since then, the marathon grew larger and larger and incorporated all five boroughs of New York City. Two years late Norwegian, Grete Waitz, broke the women’s world record, finishing in 2:32:30.
An official wheelchair and handcycle division was introduced in 2000, and starting in 2002, the elite women are given a 35 minute headstart before the elite men and rest of the field. The New York City Marathon has now become the largest marathon anywhere in the world. Each year nearly two million cheering spectators line the course from all different neighborhoods of New York.

New Year’s Resolutions for College Students

January 4, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
The new year is here, which means there is plenty of time to get motivated and make your New Year’s resolutions. Whether you’re committing to cut down on technology usage or swearing to stop eating junk food, the key to success is taking baby steps. Here are a few simple ways to make intimidating resolutions become much more manageable from http://nextgenjournal.com.
1. Stop Procrastinating: Giving up use of the computer or other electronics is not an easy task. Give yourself reasonable time limits throughout the day to use technology (cellphones, computers, ipads, etc). You can apply this technique to your favorite distraction; just make sure that your breaks are proportional to the amount of work you need to get done.
2. Get Organized: The beginning of a new term is a great opportunity to get organized. If by the end of last semester your room started to get messy, try to avoid the chaos by investing in some organizations tools: folders. Most school supply stores sell folders, so try to buy one for every class and make it a habit to place all handouts and assignments into the correct folder at the end of every day. Once it becomes a routine, it’ll be simple to follow, and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re looking for that one quiz you want to review before you take a midterm or final.
3. Lead a Healthier Lifestyle: Between class, work, and studying, it can be a challenge to eat healthy, especially when living on a tight budget. If you find yourself eating microwaveable meals and junk food a bit too often, try to make small changes that your body will appreciate. Eat at least one fresh fruit and one fresh vegetable per day. If that sounds easy, see if you can eat one with every meal. Have vegetarian nights with friends and switch to low fat or soy milk to eat with oatmeal or cereal. If possible, incorporate some super foods like acai berry, blueberries, salmon, green tea, and soy into your diet. They’re easy to find and can help prevent heart disease, cholesterol, and even cancer.
4. Exercise!: If you can’t make it to the gym, see if you can do some stretches and crunches at home or walk somewhere that you’d usually take a bus or car to get to. Believe it or not, walking around campus all day from class to class burns major calories, too, so you’re likely getting a workout without even knowing it, especially if you’re lugging heavy books around.
5. Manage Stress Effectively: College life is stressful for tons of reasons, and sometimes it’s important to just take the time to stop and reboot. Make time every day to relax and do something that makes you happy, no matter how busy you get. Take a quick nap, Skype with a friend from home, or play a video game, whatever does it for you. Remember, even if you have a massive project due the next day, or an exam that you absolutely need to study for, five or ten minutes won’t make or break your grade but can do wonders for your mental health.
6. Sleep: Sleep is a hot commodity at college, and while getting the recommended eight hours per night is often highly improbable, it’s a good goal to have. Busy nights are one thing, but staying up late for no apparent reason isn’t a great idea. If you don’t have too much schoolwork, head to bed early, even if it’s only 9 p.m. That way you’ll have much more energy for studying and working. 
7. Save Money: How much money do you think you spend on coffee per year? If the average cup is about $2.00 and the average American has about two cups per day, then that adds up to just under $1500. Save money by brewing your favorite blend at home and bringing it with you in a portable cup.

Physical Activity May Help Children’s Grades

January 3, 2012
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***

While physical activity is known to advance a child’s physical health and lower their risk of obesity, new studies show it may also help them perform better in school.

Dutch researchers reviewed 14 previous studies from multiple parts of the world that looked at the relationship between physical activity and academic performance. Their review was published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

The data from the studies “suggests there is a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance,” wrote the authors, led by Amika Singh of the Vrije Universiteit University Medical Center’s EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research in Amsterdam.

While they did not examine the reasons why the relationship may exist, the authors said regular physical activity seems to be linked to better brain function. The effect on the brain could be the results of a number of factors, including increased flow of blood and oxygen to the brain as well as higher levels of chemicals that help improve mood.

This latest report comes at a time when schools across the country debate cutting physical education from their curriculum or have already eliminated it because of budget constraints. There is also concern that physical activity in schools can be harmful to academic performance.

But in addition to the latest research review, a 2010 literature review done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that out of 50 studies, more than half showed a positive association between school-based physical activity, such as physical education, recess and extracurricular sports, and academic performance and about half found no effect. Only a few showed a negative relationship that could be attributable to chance.

Some of the research reported that concentration, memory, self-esteem and verbal skills were among the improvements noted in students who participated in school-based physical activity.


“School boards, school administrators and principals can feel confident that maintaining or increasing time dedicated for physical activity during the school day will not have a negative impact on academic performance, and it may positively impact students’ academic performance,” the CDC’s authors wrote.

2012 New Year’s Eve Safety Tips

December 28, 2011
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
If you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party this year, following a few simple rules could prevent a tragedy from occurring.
The tragedies and costs from drinking and driving impaired don’t just end with the potential death, disfigurement, disability, and injury caused by impaired drivers. Driving impaired or riding with someone who is impaired isn’t worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.

Here are a few safety   tips if you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party from USA.GOV:
  • Plan ahead by naming a “designated driver.” Make this your responsibility as the host.
  • Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests.
  • Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option to your guests.
  • Stop serving alcohol to your guests several hours before the party ends.
  • Provide your guests with a place to stay overnight in your home.


New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square

December 27, 2011
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square is perhaps the most famous New Year’s Eve celebration in the world.
New Year’s Eve in Times Square has been a huge celebration since 1904, even though the first Ball Drop was not until 1907. Since 1907, the ball has been dropped once a year from Times Square, except in 1942 and 1943 due to wartime restrictions on lighting in New York City.

There have been many different types of balls dropped from Times Square in the past years, but a new ball was introduced in 2008. It’s a 12 foot geodesic sphere, double the size of previous Balls, and weighs 11,875 pounds. That is the same weight as a Dodge Ram 3500 Pick-up truck!

As the ball drops from Times Square starting at 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, there are typically more than one million people in Times Square and millions of people watching the ball drop from around the world. Once the ball drops, 1 ton of confetti will be released over Times Square.

It is free and there are no tickets to attend the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square.

Here are some tips from About.com of what to bring and wear for the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square. 
       1. Dress in Plenty of Warm Layers
    Even if it’s fairly mild in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, the temperature is bound to  drop as Midnight approaches, so be prepared with plenty of warm clothing, including a hat, scarf, and gloves.

2. Comfortable Shoes & Socks

New Year’s Eve in Times Square is no time for wearing your Jimmy Choos. You will be standing for many hours, so wear comfortable, broken in shoes and warm socks.

3. Bring Your Camera

You’ll want to record the ball dropping, fun moments with your friends, and preserve the memory of this unique experience. Read up on taking pictures at night so you can get the best possible shots.

4. Food

Snacks, like granola bars, energy bars, nuts, and dried fruit are great ways to keep yourself from getting hungry while in Times Square. It’s also a good idea to have a nice big lunch before you head to Times Square.

5. Drinks

Despite the fact that you won’t want to stop at a bathroom, you also won’t want to get dehydrated. While alcohol is not officially permitted, there are always people popping open bottles of champagne at midnight.

6. An Autograph Book

One of the greatest things about celebrating New Year’s Eve in Times Square is all of the folks from around the world that you will meet during the festivities. Bring along an autograph book (& pen) or do like my friend did and have your new friends sign your t-shirt!

7. Friends

It’s always best to celebrate the New Year with your friends. You’ll also have a chance to make new friends, so be friendly and welcoming to those around you. Keep your old friends together using a balloon, your cell phone, or even matching T-shirts.

8. Sound Unappealing? Attend an Event at a Hotel, Restaurant or Bar in Times Square

Reservations are essential, but if you’re at a restaurant, bar or hotel in Times Square there’s a good chance you’ll be able to step outside and watch the ball drop at midnight.

New York Jets V.S. New York Giants: The Big Apple Battle

December 23, 2011
Plaza College
# 202, 74-09 37th Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
www.plazacollege.edu    (718) 779-1430
 *** Press Release ***
The highly anticipated Jets V.S. Giants game will be taking place tomorrow, December 23 2011, at 1:00 PM EST on FOX! The Giants take on the Jets, with both teams competing in their divisions for a playoff spot. 
This game clearly has enormous leverage on both teams’ playoff chances. If the Giants win, they gain an advantage, hosting the Cowboys in Week 17 with the winner taking the division. That will give them a 59 percent chance of making the playoffs. If the Giants lose to the Jets, they are left with only a 7 percent chance of making it to the postseason; they would have to beat the Cowboys and depend on assistance to get in.
If the Jets win this week, they will have the inside track for the wild card. They would control their chances in Week 17, as a win over Miami, which is a 60 percent chance. That would keep their season alive. Should they lose to the Giants, they’re still alive, but would need serious help!
Imperative games like this are not too unusual at this time of year, but it is a treat for fans when both teams have so much on the line and they share a home stadium.
How much home-field advantage should we expect the Jets to have, when there will be no plane or train travel involved? The crowd will be mostly Jets season-ticket holders, but there will no doubt be a considerable number of Giants infiltrators. Will green signage instead of blue signage surrounding the field matter? Will the Giants’ standing on the visitor sideline matter?
With that in mind, this will be one of the most enjoyable games to watch for all fans and especially, New Yorkers.

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