Ramsey County Library will be closed on Monday, October 21 for service improvements.

Inquiring Minds: What's That Short For?

BMX Riding SkillsEvery so often, Ramsey County Librarian Judy Woodward compiles the most interesting reference questions we receive for your reading enjoyment.  

Got a question of your own? Just Ask A Librarian!

Here are today's abbreviated questions:

Q. What does the acronym BMX stand for? I know that it has to do with bikes, but what do the letters stand for?

A. BMX stands for “bicycle moto-cross” and it refers to the sport of organized bicycle races on dirt tracks. The Library has a number of books on the sport. (Library sources.)

Q. I have a wall plaque in my kitchen that reads “La natura è l’arte di Dio.” What does that mean?

A. It means “Nature is the art of God” in Italian. According to a gazillion online sites, it’s supposed to be a quote from the greatest of all Italian writers, Dante. The only strange thing about all of this is that none of those sites is actually in Italian. Furthermore, the authoritative Dante website offering the original Italian text of the poet’s complete works doesn’t recognize the saying.

Once again, the Internet proves itself a great repository of things that other people THINK famous people should have said--- if only they had ever gotten around to it. (Online resources including www.danteonline.it )


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