Variety is the spice of life, so I’m mixing it up this week and starting with the important stuff-the birthdays! On Dec. 10 say happy birthday to Gloria Chaney, Andrew Doss and Mary Alice Nee; Dec. 11, Loretta Woeltje; Dec. 14, Steven Rozmus; on the 15th, Paytan Brown and Harry Holmberg; on the 17th, Dan Barron and Adam Ritter.

At Dominican University there is a project underway to sponsor an Iraqi undergraduate student. These students have been unable to continue their education in Iraq because of violence and displacement. The students will return to Iraq after four years so that they may contribute to the rebuilding of their country. Needs would include expenses other than tuition such as housing, clothing, textbooks and health insurance. They would also need physical, emotional and social support. Check the Web site at Or you could phone 848-1286.

Historical events during the week of Dec. 10 include the first Nobel Prize in 1910. Alfred Nobel died in 1896 and left $1 million to be awarded for the good of humanity. Currently, each recipient receives about a million dollars. Ralph Bunch was the first black American to receive this award, and did so on Dec. 10, 1950.

On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana became a member of the U.S.

Dec. 12 is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531 a poor peasant, Juan Diego, had a vision of the Virgin Mary. She directed the young man to tell the bishop a church was to be built on the spot where they met. As the frightened peasant was received by the bishop, an abundance of roses spilled miraculously from inside his cape in the middle of December, so the story goes. Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico.

Also, on the 13th, a Boston clergyman named Phillips Brooks wrote O Little Town of Bethlehem in 1835.

New Zealand was first sighted in 1642 by Captain Tasmin but Maori warriors prevented him from landing. It wasn’t until 1769 when Captain Cook arrived that the first intruders landed and claimed the land for Great Britain. Dec. 13 is also Saint Lucy Day when young Swedish daughters bring coffee and cookies to family members at midnight. It’s also Dick Van Dyke’s birthday. Can you believe he’s 82 years old?

On Dec. 14, Alabama was admitted to the union in 1819.

The predictor of things to come, Nostradamus, was born in France in 1566.

The South Pole was discovered on 1911 by Amundsen (a distant ancestor of our own Judy Arnold). He and four companions and 52 sled dogs made the first trip. All the men, but only 12 dogs, survived. When Scott made the attempt in 1912 all in his company died.

It was a tribute to his friends in the U.S.

On Dec. 17 the Aztec calendar was discovered by workmen who were under the plaza of Mexico City in 1790. It weighs 25 tons, has a diameter of 11-feet 8-inches and is believed to have been carved in 1479.

At Devil’s Hill in Kitty Hawk, N.C., the Wright Brothers made their famous first flight in 1903.