Happy Birthday, Lewis Carroll (January 27, 1832 – January 14, 1898)

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll (Self-Portrait) circa 1856

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson better known by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, was an English writer, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer. His most famous writings are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, which includes the poem Jabberwocky, and the poem The Hunting of the Snark, all examples of the genre of literary nonsense.

He is noted for his facility at word play, logic, and fantasy.

 

Here are 13 of his quotes:

 

1. “I can’t go back to yesterday — because I was a different person then.”

2. “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

3. “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

4. “You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

5. “Always speak the truth, think before you speak, and write it down afterwards.”

6. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

7. “Everything is funny, if you can laugh at it.”

8. “If you set to work to believe everything, you will tire out the believing-muscles of your mind, and then you’ll be so weak you won’t be able to believe the simplest true things.”

9. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland

10. “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

11. “I’d give all the wealth that years have piled, / the slow result of life’s decay, / To be once more a little child / for one bright summer day.”

12. “If you limit your actions in life to things that nobody can possibly find fault with, you will not do much!”
13. “If you believe in me, I’ll believe in you.”

 

In Remembrance – William Shakespeare

Perhaps the most prolific and influential writers in the world, William Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. birth date is not known, but was baptised on April 26, 1564.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (April 1564 to April 23, 1616)

He was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.” His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, of which the authorship of some is uncertain. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born and brought up in  At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613 at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare’s private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.

Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories and these works remain regarded as some of the best work produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.

Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare’s. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as “not of an age, but for all time.” In the 20th and 21st century, his work has been repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

Shakespeare died at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616.  He was buried in the chancel of the Holy Trinity Church two days after his death. The epitaph carved into the stone slab covering his grave includes a curse against moving his bones, which was carefully avoided during restoration of the church in 2008:Shakespeare's grave

Good frend for Iesvs sake forbeare,

To digg the dvst encloased heare.

Bleste be  man  spares thes stones,

And cvrst be he  moves my bones.

(Modern spelling: Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear, / To dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man that spares these stones, / And cursed be he that moves my bones.)

Sometime before 1623, a funerary monument was erected in his memory on the north wall, with a half-effigy of him in the act of writing. Its plaque compares him to Nestor, Socrates, and Virgil. In 1623, in conjunction with the publication of the First Folio, the Droeshout engraving was published.

Shakespeare has been commemorated in many statues and memorials around the world, including funeral monuments in Southwark Cathedral and Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.

(source: Wikipedia.org)

Check out Swide’s Top 10 best Romeo and Juliet movies ever.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss! (1904-1991)

Dr. Seuss postage stamp

Theodor Geisel aka Dr. Seuss was featured on a 37-cent postage stamp in 2003.

Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, under the name of Dr. Seuss in 1937.

His early career began in advertising.  His articles and illustrations were published in various magazines including Life and Vanity Fair.

He also contributed to the war effort by creating animated training films and drawing propaganda posters.

Political Cartoon - Holocaust in France

Over 70 years ago on July 20, the cartoonist known as Dr. Seuss drew a forest filled with corpses hanging from the trees, with a sign reading “Jew” pinned to each body. Adolf Hitler, with extra rope draped on his arm, and Vichy leader Pierre Laval were shown singing happily. Read more on the JNS.org blog written by Dr. Rafael Medoff. Credit: The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies.

 

According to Bio.com, “A major turning point in Geisel’s career came when, in response to a 1954 LIFE magazine article that criticized children’s reading levels, Houghton Mifflin and Random House asked him to write a children’s primer using 220 vocabulary words. The resulting book, The Cat in the Hat, was published in 1957 and was described by one critic as a “tour de force.” The success of The Cat in the Hat cemented Geisel’s place in children’s literature.”

Author and illustrator of 46 children’s books, Dr. Seuss is one of the most well-known and beloved authors of all time, with his work having been adapted into 11 TV specials, four feature films, a Broadway musical, four television series and a theme park over the years.

Prolific and adored, he won the Pulitzer Price, a Peabody and an Academy Award (for a documentary), and his works have been translated into more than 20 languages with sales of over 600 millions copies worldwide.

 Here are some quotes from Dr. Seuss:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“Why fit in when you’re born to stand out?”

Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat

The famous Cat in the Hat

“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut.

“Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So … get on your way.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.

“It is better to know how to learn than to know.

“Be who you are and say what you mean. Because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

“You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”

“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

“Life’s too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forgive the ones who don’t and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said it’d be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.”
“Fun is good.”

Dr. Seuss Day aka National Read Across America Day – March 2, 2015

By Noelle Gardner, WTNH Reporter

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– Across America today millions of people will share a good book for Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

New Haven students will spend the morning celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a day of reading. More than 75 community volunteers, firefighters, police officers and the mayor of New Haven will pick out a good book and read with elementary students at three schools in New Haven. Those are the 21st Century Communications Magnet School, Lincoln Bassett and Clinton Avenue.

The Read Across America event encourages children to keep reading and learning. New Haven Mayor Toni Harp says reading is fundamental to all of the self-teaching that we have to do.

Read Across America expects more than 45 million readers throughout the country both young and old to pick up a book and read.

 

Dr. Seuss Day aka National Read Across America Day

Connect the dots to find Horton.

Remembering Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Happy Birthday to Carl, who would have been 80 years old today.

Born November 9, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, US, Carl Edward Sagan was responsible for introducing billions and billions of people to the Cosmos. He was a noted American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer, and science communicator in astronomy.

Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan pictured in 1980, was born Nov. 9, 1934.  He introduced billions and billions of people to the “Cosmos.”

The re-boot Cosmos series, inspired by Carl Sagan, is hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Current Cosmos host, Neil deGrasse Tyson knew Carl Sagan.

He is first African American director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium, in New York City. Tyson is also a researcher, a professor of astrophysics at Princeton University, and a general-interest science columnist.