april 8 1974

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.

Nnedi Okorafor, born to Igbo Nigerian parents in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 8, 1974, is an author of fantasy and science fiction for both adults and younger readers. Her children’s book Long Juju Man (Macmillan, 2009) won the 2007-08 Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa, and her adult novel Who Fears Death (DAW, 2010) was a Tiptree Honor Book. She is currently a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University.

Binti will be released on September 22, 2015. Order here.

From out there on the Moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.’
—  Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut, speaking in People magazine on 8 April 1974.

On April 8, 1974, at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run to surpass Babe Ruth’s 39-year-old record.  Aaron would go on to hit 755 home runs in his baseball career.  Aaron’s home run record would stand for 33 years until it was broken in 2007 by Barry Bonds.

Jimmy Carter with Hank Aaron, 8/15/1978

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On this day in music history: June 8, 1974 - “Band On The Run” by Paul McCartney & Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Paul & Linda McCartney, it is the third solo chart topper for the former Beatle. The song is inspired by a statement made by McCartney’s former band mate George Harrison. Often bored and frustrated by long business meetings at Apple, Harrison would utter the words “if we ever get out of here” under his breath. Paul (along with Linda) takes that line, and uses it to form the songs concept of a band escaping from a “prison” and going on the run. The basic track is recorded at the EMI Studio in Lagos, Nigeria during a three week stay in the African country during August and September of 1973. Vocals and orchestral overdubs are completed at Abbey Road Studios in London. Released in the US as the third single (second in the UK) from the album on April 8, 1974, it quickly races up the chart. Entering the Hot 100 at #68 on April 20, 1974, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. “Band On The Run” helps drive the album to number one on the Top 200 for four weeks (non-consecutive) also on the same date. The single also wins a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1975. “Band On The Run” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.