Archive for July 2013

Don Knotts: Unforgettable Comic Sidekick

On this day born: Don Knotts, Second banana in Mayberry plots. Absolute bravado with only one bullet.* No bird of prey lawman, quite frankly, a pullet. *Barney Phyfe carries the bullet in his shirt pocket in case of emergency. Knotts won 5 Emmys for the role.

Alexander the Great: The Template of Military Genius

Today’s  birthday? Alexander the Great Whose exploits  Arrian does relate.* Wherever he conquered, ’twas always the same. A town would spring up there that would have his name.** * “Inheriting from my father only a few gold and silver cups and not so much as sixty Talents in the treasury, with debts Philip had contracted of about... Read more »

Inigo Jones: The First English Architect and Contemporary of Shakespeare

  Today’s the birthday of Inigo Jones, Architect of buildings for altars and thrones. On occasion he’d  design the stage  for a masque* If the king would command or Ben Jonson would ask. *A diversion of noble amateurs, the masque was a lavish experience of mythological or allegorical subjects that included poetry, voice, instruments, dance, actors,... Read more »

Robert Hooke: Multidimensional Scientist and Polymath

Born today was Robert Hooke All fields of science he studied well.* On microscopic life his book Was where he coined the term “a cell”. *1. Discovered law of Elasticity[Hooke’s Law] 2. Studied combustion and theorized the role of a gas which turned out to be oxygen 3. Theorized that fossils were preserved living things 4.... Read more »

Elbridge Gerry: Eponymous Patriot

Born today was Elbridge Gerry, Massachusetts Revolutionary. His public service  roles did vary.* Principled, he’d never pander. His name survives in “gerrymander”.**   * 1. Member of Continental Congress 2. Signer of Declaration of Independence 3. Signer of Articles of Confederation 4. Attendee of Constitutional Convention (1787)—Refused to sign without a Bill of Rights 5.... Read more »

Mary Baker Eddy: Her Mantra: Disease Is a State of Mind

Born today was Mary Baker Eddy Who taught faith heals if strong and steady. But faith can be harmful if you jettison The life-saving benefits of modern medicine.   “With its membership dwindling and reputation in tatters, the church of Christian Science has finally decided that doctors aren’t so bad after all. Church leaders tell... Read more »

Rembrandt van Rijn: Painter of the Soul.

  Today is the birthday of Rembrandt van Rijn, The famous Dutch Master who must have been vain. He did over ninety self-portraits, it’s said. And he kept painting himself until he was dead. “Of all artists, Rembrandt seems to see deepest into the heart of the human being. However marvelous is his depiction of the glories... Read more »

Isaac Bashevis Singer: Master Storyteller: Chronicler of the Human Comedy

Born on this day: Isaac Bashevis Singer He had on the pulse of his people his finger. He wrote of the customs, tribulations, and mettle Of the Jews in East Europe who lived in a shetl..* *Barbara Streisand made the  enchantingly memorable movie “Yentl” based on a play co-authored by Singer,  which itself was  based on his... Read more »

Julius Caesar: Illustrious Roman General---Military Historian---Abortive Emperor

  Born today was Julius Caesar. Victorious General, Roman crowd-pleaser. He was offered a crown to be put  on his head, From whence  Brutus et alia stabbed him quite dead.* *What Caesar allegedly said in extremis—Et tu, Brute?— has become the stock response to the perfidy of a friend who figuratively stabs one in the back. “When Caesar... Read more »

Henry David Thoreau: Libertarian, Individualist, Ecophile, Rebel

Born today : Henry David Thoreau Who once into the woods did go And lived there Spring, Fall, Winter, Summer. And  simply marched to his own drummer.* * Some of his beats of wisdom: 1. “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” 2.”The price of anything is the amount of life... Read more »