Winston Churchill on Writing

“Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy, an amusement.  Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.  The last phase it that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” – Winston … Continue reading

“Sun Ra in Chicago”

(Interesting bit adding to yesterday’s post: According to the official Arkestra website, no legal birth certificate exists for the man who called himself “Sun Ra.” All information about his birth comes from the Library of Congress, who has hold of a passport giving his legal name as “Le Sony’r Ra.”) In Chicago, Sun Ra’s music … Continue reading

“The Black Man in the Cosmos”

“The Black Man in the Cosmos (mp3)” It may not be as optimistic as “I Have a Dream,” but this lecture by Sun Ra is every bit as engaging and eloquent. It comes from 1971, during a course Sun Ra was invited to teach at University of California, Berkeley. The syllabus reportedly included hard-to-find books on … Continue reading

“Notable Inaugurations: Washington”

George Washington was sworn in at Federal Hall in New York City, sixteen days after he reached word he had been selected unanimously by the Electoral College to serve as first president of the United States. The ceremony was led by Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York, who used a Bible randomly opened to Genesis … Continue reading

“This Fact is Fun! Chinese Food Oyster Pails”

This fact is fun! The iconic Chinese take out container is called an “oyster pail,” originally developed by oyster sellers who needed a container sanitary enough to hold mollusks outside of their shells.  The paper oyster pail was adopted by Chinese take-out culture post WWII, and has remained a staple ever since, as has the … Continue reading