The 26th in 1862 was a watershed day for Charles Dodgson. He was a writer perhaps better known as Lewis Carroll. It was on that day that he submitted his handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures Underground to a publisher. As you should know, the book was accepted and became wildly popular. It is still in print today. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, both the original and annotated versions. It has been some time since I read it however and there are parts of the delightful book that I simply do not recall. If you are more familiar with the book than I am, I would greatly appreciate your taking a moment and sending me an email telling me just what it was that the dormouse said. While 'logic and proportion may have fallen sloppy dead', I am reasonably certain that the dormouse did not say ‘Feed your head’ as the Jefferson Airplane insists it did. Additionally I would also like to know if the White Knight was really 'talking backwards'.
It can get to be quite tiring when everyone seems to talk about the weather but absolutely no one does anything about it but complain. If you are ever tempted to complain about the weather, try putting whatever it is you want to complain about in its proper perspective. Is it a bit of rain? Snow? Toads falling from the sky? Although lately the latter doesn’t happen as often as it used to, so that probably will not come in to play. In any event, before you start frightening small children with your hysterical rants about the weather consider the fact that on Thanksgiving Day, the 25th in 1926, there was an outbreak of 27 tornadoes ranging in strength up to F4. So don’t start running on and on and on with complaints about a couple of days of rain, o.k.? Just give it a rest; but make sure the doorway to the basement is not blocked.
I have begun carrying calling cards, as I am certain many other people have. I find that it saves a great deal of time and avoids the problems that arise when my handwriting is difficult to read. It also gives information to salespeople when they are preparing a bill of sale or adding me to a mailing list. The information my calling cards contain is rather basic: my name, address, telephone number, email, website and a cool image of a typewriter. Even though he died on the 24th in 1468, I would like to see Jean de Dunois’s card. Jean de Dunois was Lord of Valbonais, Count of Mortain, Viscount of Saint-Sauveur, Count of Périgord, Count of Dunois, and Count of Longueville. What size font would he have had to use to fit all that on a card measuring 2” by 3”?
The art world is a highly competitive world and an artist must spend a great deal of time pursuing their craft to receive acknowledgment and praise. For 30 year-old Sculptor Rachel Whiteread the 23rd in 1993 was an extraordinarily remarkable day. On that day, she won two awards. This was truly a stunning feat for one so young. She won not only the Turner Prize for best British modern artist but also the K Foundation Prize for worst artist of the year. Virtually everyone pads their resume, often reaching way back in their careers to include accomplishments of note. For example, mine includes the fact that I was both a crossing guard and the valedictorian of my 6th grade class at Public School 44 on Staten Island in 1965. Can you guess which prize Ms. Whiteread probably does not note on her resume?
Howard Carter, noted Egyptologist and hack archaeologist, discovered and opened the tomb of Tutankhamen, the Boy King on the 22nd in 1922. For reasons known only to Carter, he would wait until the 26th to enter the tomb. It is well known that King Tut put a curse on his tomb that promised certain death for all those who dared to disturb his resting place. It couldn’t have been much of a curse because Carter would not die until March 2, 1939 at the age of 65. So much for the swift and sure death, that Tut warned everyone about.
On the 21st in 1783, in Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier (pictured) and François Laurent, Marquis d'Arlandes made the first ascent in an un-tethered hot air balloon. On June 15, 1785, de Rozier and Pierre Romain, his traveling partner at the time, would die when the hot air balloon the pair was traveling in crashed as they attempted to cross the English Channel. I guess de Rozier and d’Arlandes had decided they just had to get out of France even if it killed both of them, which is a feeling shared by many people who have had to go to there. Apparently, being home to more than 400 kinds of cheese is not a sufficient reason to remain in France for any extended period.
I opted out of the entire political process more than thirty years ago. I have been presented, on numerous occasions, with the question “Why, are you lazy or just irresponsible?” A reasonable question I suppose and my answer is really rather simple: I choose to not participate in what I see is, at best, an empty, futile gesture designed more to placate the teeming rabble than to offer an opportunity to participate in the government of a nation. I find the prospect of voting as being akin to repeatedly slamming my head in to a wall because it feels so good when I stop. I offer the following as just one illustration of how I believe that politics works in real life. On the 20th in 1407, John, Duke of Berry brokered a truce between John, Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orleans. It seems that John and Louis had been at odds for quite some time, both attempting to fill a power vacuum, which had developed because King Charles VI was clearly out of his mind. The two never learned how pleasant it could be to share and neither was able to simply shake hands and make nice. Three days after entering into this solemn truce, the Duke of Berry (pictured) had Louis assassinated.