Archive for November 2013

Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain: Savage Wits: A Twofer

Born today were Mark Twain and Jonathan Swift. For skewering sarcasm, each had a gift. Which of them was more profane? You make the call. Was it Swift or Mark Twain? Swift and Twain: A Table Talk: Swift: And he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two... Read more »

Christian Doppler: Shiftless? Not.

Born today was Christian Doppler. Among weather forecasters, he’s very pop’lar. Without him where would Big Bang be, Or police clocking  you on a speeding spree? “A police car equipped for catching speeders is parked alongside a highway. It sends out radio waves that strike vehicles on the highway and are bounced back to a receiver in... Read more »

Randy Newman: Inimitable Composer of Pop Songs and Movie Scores

Born today was Randy Newman Who’s musical talents  possessed by  few men. A sui generis and a genius is he. And he’s got a friend in yours truly (that’s me).

Bruce Lee: A Meme for Mortality

Born today: martial artist Bruce Lee. A meteoric rise to fame had he. With just as  swift a fall. In a larger sense, that sums it up for all. “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.” [Bruce Lee]

Willis Carrier: He Showed Us What Cool Is

Born today was Willis Carrier Who made the dog days less adversarier. He  invented the  AC  so him let us hail. Due to him in the heat  cooler heads now prevail. [Willis Carrier with his first air conditioner]

Karl Benz: Give Him Thanks for the Automobile

Born today car-maker and inventor  Benz Whose autos aren’t cheap, my friends. But for substantial gents and ladies, Like Roger Thornhill in “North by Northwest” who drove  a Mercedes.

Toulouse-Lautrec: Through His Eyes We See Fin-de-Siecle Paris

Born today the artist  Toulouse-Lautrec, Who  essentially was  a genetic wreck. Abnormally short with a penchant for dalliance Due , it’s been said, to his large genitaliance. [Two Girl Friends] “Lautrec’s poignant depiction of a prostitute in the painting Woman before a Mirror (2003.20.15) offers a counterpoint to the dazzling exuberance of Miss Loïe Fuller. Nude... Read more »

Franklin Pierce: Failed to Quell the Winds of Civil War

Born today was Franklin Pierce, While president, sectional strife was fierce. An irrepressible conflict was fact When he  signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. “The Kansas-Nebraska Act was an 1854 bill that mandated “popular sovereignty”–allowing settlers of a territory to decide whether slavery would be allowed within a new state’s borders. Proposed by Stephen A. Douglas–Abraham Lincoln’s... Read more »

Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle: He Claimed Louisiana for France

Born today French explorer  La Salle Sailed the Mississippi  in the barque La Belle. The ship was sunk in a bend in the night. Proving the barque was worse than  the  bight. “As the ship was driven southward across the bay,  the anchor dragged until the ship plunged stern first into the reef of barrier  sand known today as Matagorda  ... Read more »

Rene Magritte: Sleight of Hand Surrealist

Born today: Rene Magritte He showed us where the  real and unreal meet. If you haven’t already, it’s time that you him see He’ll delight you with trompe l’oeil and wraparound whimsy. “‘Reproduction Prohibited’ gives us a psychic jolt. Most of us, at times, find it difficult to believe completely in our own reality. Who are we? What... Read more »