Archive for December 2013

Benjamin Disraeli: British Political Leader When Dickens Wrote "The Christmas Carol"

Today’s the birthday of Prime Minister Disraeli, With Queen  Victoria he ‘d speak  almost daily. “Greetings, your Majesty. I hope you’re well; I just bought you the Suez Canal.” [John Tenniel: “Disraeli and Victoria Exchanging Gifts” 1876 in Punch Magazine] “Two nations between whom  there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of... Read more »

Robert Van de Graaff: He Put a Charge Into High School Physics

  Today’s birthday is Robert Van de Graaff’s Whose electric contraption could generate laughs. His sphere in our science  lab was  a vexation But it still  split our sides with the horripilation.    

Edwin Stanton: One of The Team of Rivals

  Born today was Edwin Stanton, Secretary of War when Lincoln put Grant in. Lincoln’s rival as Goodwin describes in her pages, But  a friend at the end  when he cried  “He belongs to the ages.”

Paul Klee: The Maestro of Phantasmagoric Whimsey

  Today’s the birthday of Paul Klee Whose art is therapeutic play. So loosen your  imagination With scintillating  Klee animation.   “It is the artist’s mission to penetrate as far as may be toward that secret ground where primal law feeds growth.” [Paul Klee]

Pope Francis: He Already Has Met the Test of Time

This is the birthday of Pope Francis. The College of Cardinals really took chances By electing a pontiff who’s earnestly busy Imitating the life of the Saint from Assisi.

Jane Austen: Henry Adams Ranked Her With Shakespeare

Born on this day was Jane Austen. Legions of us have got  lost in Life in her observant novels.* British upper crust—no hovels. *In chronological order: 1. Sense and Sensibility 2. Pride and Prejudice 3. Mansfield Park 4. Emma 5. Northanger Abbey 6. Persuasion In Closing: This year marks the bicentennial of  the publication of... Read more »

Gustave Eiffel: His Name Is Synonymous With Paris

Born today was Gustave Eiffel. Those unfamiliar with his life’ll Know him at this present hour Eponymously for a tower.   In Trivial Pursuit of the Eiffel Tower: 1. It is 1063 feet (324 meters) tall. 2. It is lit with 5 billion lights. 3. It is made of wrought iron. 4. In the sun, it grows... Read more »

Nostradamus: Some Swear by Him: Predictably

Born today was Nostradamus. On his prophecy props, I’m a true Doubting Thomas. You can decode a text  anyway that  you choose When essentially  cryptic and clearly  abstruse.

Phillips Brooks: His Words Are Indelibly Inscribed in the Christmas Hymnal

Born today was Phillips Brooks. Reflecting on the Nativity in St. Luke’s Was inspired to write  a carolling gem: “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.   A Sidebar of Interest: Phillips Brooks has been canonized by the Episcopal Church. His feast day falls on January 23.  

Edvard Munch: His Trademark Is Very Primal

Born today was Edvard Munch. His painting “The Scream” is the weirdest,  you thunk? Wherefore the scream? This may sound absurd, He was stumped by the New York Times Thursday crossword.