Archive for October 2013

John Keats: Romantic Poet "Who Travelled in the Realms of Gold"

Today is the birthday of poet  John Keats Whose melodious lines moved to metrical beats.* In one of his poems he famously said: “The poetry of earth is never dead.” A good example of Keats’ gift for verbal music and vivid evocative imagery is this Spenserian stanza  from “The Eve of St. Agnes”:    A casement high and... Read more »

Charles Atlas: "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man"

Born today was Charles Atlas, Bodybuilder chiselled fatless. He sold the skinny on  the mystique Of sunbathing with his physique. “Mr. Atlas, whose real name was Angelo Siciliano, arrived at Ellis Island from Italy in 1903 when he was 10 years old. He was often picked on as a boy because of his slight build, and later traced... Read more »

Fanny Brice: Singer, Comedienne, Legend of Radio and the Broadway Stage

Born today was Fanny Brice, Star on Broadway, married thrice.* On the radio gave Baby Snooks  a whirl. Streisand played her in “Funny Girl”.** *In the following order: Frank White (1910-1913), Nicky Arnstein (1919-1927), and Billy Rose (1929-1938). **According to John Kenrick, the movie biopic  was “mostly delicious fiction with an occasional fact thrown in.”... Read more »

Bill Gates: Uses His Money to Buy Happiness for Others

  Today’s the birthday of Bill Gates, Not  one of Dame Fortune’s ingrates. A humanitarian with a Microsoft heart* He’s  raised his philanthropy into an art. *Gates  has given over $36 billion to various causes and charities. He has even  pledged with fellow Forbes Richest 400  Warren Buffett and  Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook CEO , to donate half their... Read more »

Captain James Cook: Ill-fated Navigator and Explorer of the South Seas

Born today was Captain Cook. Three voyages to  the Pacific he took. On one he recorded the Transit of Venus. Don’t know about him?  I’ll keep it between us. “On Captain Cook’s first voyage, he set the bar for his future voyages. Along the way, he made extensive maps of the places he visited, along with... Read more »

Was Rep. Alan Grayson Wrong to Compare the Tea Party to the KKK?

By comparing the Tea Party to the Ku Klux Klan, Democratic Representative Alan Grayson of Florida has incurred the wrath of the former and has generated a firestorm of controversy that even has fellow Democrats and Progressives asking him to retract his insinuation. Should he?   His  is unquestionably a  scathing withering characterization of the Tea... Read more »

C.W. Post: Flaky Inventor

Born today was C.W. Post Who decided that breakfast  be more than just toast Or something— he thought— that would clog  your arterials. And so introduced his nutritional cereals.

Leo G. Carroll: The Doyen of Character Actors

Born today was Leo G. Carroll. Anyone up on old Hollywood fare’ll Remember his agent in “North by Northwest”. But in “Spellbound” with Peck I remember him best .

Pele: The Apotheosis of Athleticism

Today is the birthday of Pele Who afield could elude any melee. Next to his name  a star’s on his locker: For being  the greatest to ever play soccer. “I arrived hoping to stop a great man, but I went away convinced I had been undone by someone who was not born on the same planet as the rest of... Read more »

Franz Lizst: Flamboyant Concert Pianist---Prolific Composer

Today’s the birthday of Franz Lizst. In Weimar a princess with passion he  kissed. Then at the keyboard he did glom And wrote the piece called Liebestraum. “After the concert, he stands there like a conqueror on the field of battle…the hearers look at each other in mute astonishment as after a storm from a clear sky, as... Read more »