Inscription on the Entrance of a Villa in Siena of Yore

  Siena, Italy Image: Equity Residences  Joseph Massarette’s book La Vie Martiale et Fastueuse de Pierre-Ernest de Mansfeld (1517-1604), which was published in 1930, told of a whimsical inscription on the entrance of a villa in Siena, Italy during the sixteenth century: Quisquis huc accedis, Quod tibi horrendum videtur, Mihi amœnum est, Si delectat manaes, […]

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Distribution of Talent

William Shenstone (1714 – 1763), an eighteenth-century poet, once remarked that if the public is divided into a hundred parts, the corresponding distribution of talent may be estimated in this way: Fools: 15 Persons of Common Sense: 40 Wits: 15 Pedants: 15 Persons of Wild Taste: 10 Persons of Improved Taste: 5 Just for fun, […]

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Gleanings from the Past #78

Arrière-Pensée Sir, Will you allow me to draw your attention to a very interesting example of the ethics of modern journalism, a quality of which we have all heard so much and seen so little? About a month ago Mr. T. P. O’Connor published in the Sunday Sun some doggerel verses entitled “The Shamrock,” and […]

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“The Hangman”

The following poem titled “The Hangman” was written by Maurice Ogden (pseudonym Jack Denoya) in 1951 and it was first published in Masses and Mainstream magazine in 1954. Its chilling premise is similar to the one in “First They Came…”:, a verse based on the speech of Martin Niemöller on January 6, 1946. Into our town the […]

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Robert Heinlein’s Predictions for the 21st Century

Science-fiction author Robert Heinlein wrote several predictions for the year 2000 and beyond in his article “Where To?” which was first published in the February 1952 edition of Galaxy Science Fiction: AXIOM: A “common sense” prediction is sure to err on the side of timidity […] AXIOM: The more extravagant a prediction sounds the more likely […]

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Gleanings From The Past #44

Ad A young gentleman on the point of being married, is desirous of meeting a man of experience who will dissuade him from such a step. — Advertisement publised in the London Times, 1890, cited in The Golden Book Magazine, Vol. 21, 1935

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Strange Business Signs (19th-Century London)

Here is an amusing article from Ballou’s Dollar Monthly Magazine (June 1861) about some peculiar business signs found in Victorian London: A stranger is surprised in London by some of the signs, which have been handed down for generations, which are used to distinguish particular places of business. Many of them are perfectly unmeaning, but are […]

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