Henry Cavendish

Philosopher, physicist, and chemist, Henry Cavendish was born on October 10, 1731. Wednesday. He is credited with the discovery of hydrogen gas, the most abundant element in our universe. Unless we ever find out what dark matter is.

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie

Jennifer Van OrmanJust now·2 min read

The Man in the Moon is struck by a spacecraft in the 1902 fantasy film Le Voyage dans la Lune

August 22nd is the Full Sturgeon Moon. It’s also a blue moon. The Old Farmers Almanac says that this month’s moon was named as such because it was observed that the fish in the Great Lakes were more plentiful this time of year. It is also noted to be a good day to make jams or jellies.

Read some superstitions about the number 22.

Tomorrow the sun enters Virgo.

Lucky numbers: 9 and 17

Magic 8 ball answer: Ask again later.

For today: Have an apple.

Hyères, France Henri Cartier-Bresson

Astronomer and inventor Samuel Langley was born on August 22, 1834.

French composer Claude Debussy was born in Paris on August 22, 1862.

Sculptor Jacques Lipchitz was born on August 22, 1891.

Poet Dorothy Parker was born on August 22, 1893. One of my most favorite quotes, though there is some debate on the actual phrasing, as recalled in the book The Improbable Life and Times of Charles MacArthur by Ben Hecht:

At a subsequent Halloween party, Miss Parker spoke one of her wryest sentences. Asked to join a group of merrymakers who were “ducking for apples,” Dorothy said, “Change one letter in that phrase and you have my life story.”

Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was born on August 22, 1903.

Dorothy Parker, circa 1920
Samuel Pierpont Langley, circa 1900
Langley’s steam-powered Aërodrome №5 in flight, May 6, 1896. Photo by Alexander Graham Bell.
Postcard from c. 1920 showing the street and house in Saint-Gemain-en-Laye where Claude Debussy was born (in the house on the right, topped with skylights and chimneys.)
Claude Debussy, 1908
Portrait of Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz by Amedeo Modigliani, 1916,

The Way We Were

She’s like the wind

Baji Rao I Peshwa of the Maratha Empire.
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Marshall Field & Company

Baji Rao I was born on August 18, 1700.

Marshall Field founder of Chicago department store chain Marshall Field & Company was born on August 18, 1834.

Artist Alfred Wallis was born on August 18, 1855. 

Australian poet and literary critic Nettie Palmer was born on August 18, 1885.

French singer Lucienne Boyer was born on August 18, 1901.

Max Factor, Jr. of cosmetics empire fame, was born on August 18, 1904.

Blues musician Curtis Jones was born on August 18, 1906. He wrote and recorded Highway 51 in 1938, famously covered by Bob Dylan in 1962.

Also born on August 18th: lots of actors including Robert Redford, 1936; Patrick Swayze, 1952; Edward Norton, 1969; and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 1970. 

For today

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, August 18th and 19th are the best days to begin logging, set posts, or pour concrete, so if you are in the forestry or construction game, these will be fine days ahead indeed.

Assignment: write the 9th rule of Fight Club

I could sign off here with a predictable Patrick Swayze quote, but frankly, I think too much of you to do that, so instead, I will pick which Ex-President you should be from another of my most favorite movies, Point Break: Who doesn’t want to be Reagan? 

Words to ponder: “Hey, even the Mona Lisa is falling apart.”

Lucienne Boyer – Parlez-Moi D’Amour [1930]

Curtis Jones, Highway 51, 1938

Curtis Jones

Blues musician Curtis Jones was born on August 18, 1906. He wrote and recorded Highway 51 in 1938, famously covered by Bob Dylan in 1962.

Curtis Jones, Highway 51, 1938

The Man Who Came to Dinner

And the greatest British adventurer you’ve never heard of. To Alexander Woollcott, for reasons that are nobody’s business.

Gene Stratton-Porter’s portrait of an Eastern Screech Owl.

Photographer Gene Stratton-Porter was born on August 17, 1863. 

Shakespearean actress Julia Marlowe was born on August 17, 1866, in England.

Actress Mae West was born on August 17, 1893.

Actor Monty Wooley was born on August 17, 1888.

Travel writer Vivienne de Watteville was born on August 17, 1900, in the United Kingdom. She is the author of 

two books Africa: Out in the Blue (1927) and Speak to the Earth: Wanderings and Reflections Among Elephants and Mountains(1935).

Hemingway’s original manuscript for the short story The Snows of Kilimanjaro included an epithet from Speak to the Earth. Here is a link to an article about her in The Telegraph called On the trail of the greatest female British adventurer you’ve never heard of by Anthony Peregrine.

L: Vivienne de Watteville. R: Publicity photo of Monty Wooley from a stage presentation of his most famous role in The Man Who Came to Dinner at the Plymouth Theater.

Photographer Lida Moser was born on August 17, 1920. See more of her work National Gallery of Art Linda Moser Archive or the photographic estate holder of Moser’s work Alida Anderson Art Projects.

Parts of the Face: French Vocabulary Lesson 1961 Larry Rivers 1923–2002 Purchased 1962 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T00522

Expressionist artist Larry Rivers was born on August 17, 1923. Neither here nor there, but he has been a favorite of mine ever since a wonderful painting teacher named Fred Lynch showed me a thick book of his paintings in 1999.

Ike Abrams Quebec

Jazz tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec was born on August 17, 1918.

Also born on August 17th:

Davy Crockett, 1786; movie producer Samuel Goldwyn, 1882; actor Robert de Niro, 1943; and lead singer of the Go-Gos Belinda Carlisle, 1958.

For today:

Lucky number: 5

Magic Eight Ball says: Don’t count on it.

Robert De Niro movie to watch: Goodfellas

Closing Thoughts: Vacation. It’s all you ever wanted.