Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hans Christian Andersen, Emile Zola & Sir Alec Guinness

These are out of sync and late as I have been in a rather nice no computer zone - full service will be resumed soon......

April the 2nd 742 is believed by some sources to be the date of birth of Charlemagne.

Hans Christian Andersen was born on April the 2nd 1805 in Odense, Denmark. Again you may have to indulge me a little here. A friend is working on a book about children's stories past and present; we were discussing Andersen just last week. When I was little girl I won my one and only life time prize  - a copy of The Little Matchstick Girl.  I assume as I associate the story with the peak of my winning things career I've always been enormously fond of it, sad as it is. I always come back to the story at Christmas or when I see snow.

This image courtesy of Wikipedia is by Andersen's first illustrator, Vilhelm Pedersen:

Andersen  visited England is 1847, on this visit he met Charles Dickens. He would come back ten years later and stay with Dickens for a period of five weeks. Again from Wikipedia :

Right, rant alert - I'll try to keep it brief. Another of my literary Titans. Emile Zola was born on April the 2nd 1840 in Paris. Again I could  go on for pages and pages but I probably won't. I personally can't recommend his work enthusiastically enough - he was enormously prolific. If you are looking for a top tip you could try L'Assommoir or Le Ventre de Paris. He was a childhood friend of Paul Cezanne, a friendship that would continue thought out their adult careers. This wonderful image courtesy of  Wikipedia :

Again here:

1889 - in April the 2nd Charles Hall patented an inexpensive means of producing aluminium.

On April the 2nd 1935 the Scottish inventor Robert Watson-Watt received the patent for radar.

Sir Alec Guinness and William Holman Hunt were also born on April the 2nd - 1914 and 1824 respectively.

Today is the Feast Day of.

Friday, April 01, 2011

William Harvey, $$$, April Fools and Apple Inc

I had a quick look around for April Fools Day stuff - it is no doubt being done to death but this made me laugh - during the 18th & 19th centuries a popular prank was to invite people to the Washing of the Lions at the Tower of London. They fell for it !

Here is further information on the the Washing of the Lions and more on the  origin of April Fools Day from the marvellously named Museum of Hoaxes. There is an online Hoaxipedia. Before I looked into this I didn't know there was a Museum of Hoaxes. 

The physician William Harvey was born on April the 1st 1578. He described the systematic circulation and properties of blood. He had a very distinguished medical career and was made Physician Extraordinary  to King James in 1618. His great work De Motu Cordis was published in Frankfurt in 1628.

This fabulous image courtesy of Wikipedia is at the National Portrait Gallery.

Oliver Pollock  is said to have created the dollar sign on this day in 1778. $$$

Two young men named Steve started up a company called Apple on April the 1st 1976. Have a look here at the report in Time Magazine. Here is a link to the Apple Museum, this fabulous image, the first Apple logo,  courtesy of Wikipedia.

Right I'll step away from my Mac, pick up my iPhone.......

Milan Kundera and Ali MacGraw have a birthday today - 1929 and 1938.

Today is the Feast Day of  Saint Macarius the Wonder-Worker.

It's tempting to come up with an April Fools barmy recipe but I can't think of any, I saw an odd image of a French flower fish so I thought of fish - I love mackerel, I love beetroot and I love them together, here.