Archive for September 2013

What the Republicans Could Use Is a Good Psychiatrist.

Republican nowadays is not so much the name of a political party as it is that of a  peculiar strain of obsessive-compulsive disorder.  Mitch McConnell may have presaged as much when he publicly announced  soon after Obama’s election that the main goal of the GOP was to prevent his reelection in 2012.  What followed was the mother of all obstructionism... Read more »

Upton Sinclair: He Saw a Jungle Out There

On this day born : Upton Sinclair, Muckraker extraordinaire. His expose of Chicago’s  Stockyards Was a clarion call for more stringent safeguards. “They had chains which they fastened about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. So, as the wheel turned, a... Read more »

Arthur Rackham: An Illustrious Illustrator

Born today was Arthur Rackham. In fine editions you can track ‘im. A close look at his Man and Satyr* Will show his skill as illustrator. * From Aesop’s Fables. The Beat Goes On: Director Guillermo del Toro says The Faun in “Pan’s Labyrinth” was inspired by Rackham’s ‘gritty’ realism.

Samuel Johnson: Panjandrum of Prose and Poetry

Today’s birthday is Samuel Johnson’s. On proper English brooked no nonsense. He did pontificate upon Them in a famous lexicon. “As Samuel Johnson paused to rest on a London park bench one hot summer’s day, his profusely sweating bulk caused a young woman sitting next to him to accuse him of smelling. ‘No, Madam,’ he... Read more »

A Climate Change in Your Testosterones

Another sign you’re getting old, To be succinctly short: You don’t watch for the weather girl, But for the weather report.

King Wenceslas: It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without Him. At Least For Me.

Born today: King Wenceslas, His charity was so well- Known that like old  Santa Claus We sing of him on Nowell. “Wenceslas was a real person: the Duke of Bohemia, a 10th-century Christian prince in a land where many practiced a more ancient religion. In one version of his legend, Wenceslas was murdered in a plot by... Read more »

H.A. Reyersbach: Did You Read Him to Your Child or Grandchild Last Night? Just Curious.

Today is the birthday of H.A. Rey Read more by the young than the old and the grey. His brainchild?  An inquisitive monkey, and fellow Who hangs around him in  a hat of  bright yellow.

William Howard Taft: A Presidential Heavyweight

Today is the birthday of William H. Taft The biggest of presidents, aft and abaft. For the history-challenged with memories misty, Suffice it to say there is hope for Chris Christie.*   “Justice Brewer of the Supreme Court said that ‘Taft is the politest man in Washington; the other day he gave up his seat in... Read more »

Charles Dana Gibson: A Trailblazer for Women's Lib

Born today was  Charles Dana Gibson. Reimaging the fair sex he earned his nibs in. He drew them hair-stacked, narrow-waist, Independent, free, but in good taste. But absolutely NOT strait-laced. “He [Lawrence of Arabia] soon found a soul mate in his hostess, Nancy Astor, Britain’s first woman member of Parliament, and perhaps the most energetic, flamboyant,... Read more »

Walter Reed: His Discovery Helped Open the Panama Canal

Born today was Walter Reed On yellow fever drew  a bead. He proved  we could  destroy this scourge By mounting a mosquito purge. “After arriving in Havana in late June 1900, Reed and fellow members of the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Board conducted experiments on human subjects to find the cause of yellow fever. Reed lamented the... Read more »