I dunno what kind of day you’all are having but here’s wishing you and yours are having happy happy joy joy. Personally, I have sewage backing up into my basement, the city says it isn’t their fault (when I finally got a hold of them, see, my city shuts up shop at 12 noon on Fridays like Brigadoon) and my mother things the neighbors are sneaking in and using our plumbing . . . or maybe it was space aliens, I forget.
1818 – the first American performance of Handel’s oratorio Messiah was performed in Boston.
1822 – Victorian poet Matthew Arnold is born (d 1888)
1880 – Johnny Gruelle, American cartoonist, children’s book writer and creator of Raggedy Ann (d. 1939)
1881 – Juan Ramón Jiménez, Spanish writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
1902 – Langston Hughes is born – the first African-American earn a living as a poet. (d 1967)
1903 – Theodore Dreiser resigns from his job on the railroad.
1910 – Fritz Leiber, American writer (d. 1992)
1912 – D. H. Lawrence writes a friend, “My motto is ‘Art for my sake.'”
1929 – Mary Higgins (Clark) is born
1930 – F Garcia Lorca’s “La Zapatera Prodigiosa,“ premieres in Madrid
1945 – Nicholas Meyer, American author
1946 – Eric Van Lustbader is born
1955 – Aldous Huxley takes LSD for the first time.
1851 – On Christmas Eve 1851, the Library of Congress burnt down entirely. More than 35,000 volumes – out of 55,000 – went up in smoke, including two thirds of Thomas Jefferson’s invaluable library. It was
reconstructed, but nearly 900 volumes (out of 6487 books) are still missing. The fire was caused by faulty chimney flues. Librarian Meehan wrote to Senator Pearce of Maryland, Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library: “It is my melancholy duty to inform you that a fire originated in the principal room of the Library of Congress this morning, about half past seven o’clock, and that nearly everything in the room was destroyed before the flames were subdued.” This was the second fire to have devastated the library.
something new • from NPR a piece on The Secret Life of Houdini: the making of America’s first Superhero by William Kalush and Larry Sloman
worth hearing • From NPR, Film historian and Maxim magazine film critic Pete Hammond looks back at Hollywood successes, and failures, in adapting novels for the big screen in 2006.
worth reading •about food, which has has thumbnail reviews of many books on writing which are worth reading . . about. . . oh hell……
cool trick • If you want to leave an icon on your screen without a name under it, just right click to rename, hold down ALT and type 0160 which inserts an invisible character.
banktoaster • free online short story written exclusively for The Observer by Salley Vickers.
something else new • SFGate.com reviews The Short, Unhappy Life Of William S. Burroughs Jr. By William S. Burroughs Jr.; Edited And Compiled By David Ohle.
blog of note • Oddball observations has dug up a lovely James Thurber piece ‘ a Visit from St Nicholas’ a la Hemingway.
btw • if you don’t get what you want tomorrow, PC world has a list of the top 10 Point and Shoot Cameras.