(Roughly) Daily

“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it”*…

Courtesy of The Week, a look at the pecuniary consequences in the U.S. of “Happy Mother’s Day”…

$20.7 billion
The amount Americans will spend this Mother’s Day, according to the National Retail Federation’s Mother’s Day spending survey

85.4 million
Moms in the U.S., according to the latest stats from the United States Census Bureau

The average amount American consumers will spend on mom for Mother’s Day 2013

The average spending last year. This year’s figure is an 11 percent increase.

Mother’s Day’s ranking, after Christmas and Valentine’s Day, in terms of the amount of money spent by U.S. consumers…

More at “The economics of Mother’s Day: By the numbers.”

* Mark Twain


As we reassure ourselves that it’s the thought that counts, we might send nonsensical birthday greetings to Edward Lear; he was born on this date in 1812.  An accomplished “ornithological draughtsman,” Lear published his first work– Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots— at age 19, a collection that was favorably compared to the work of Audubon.  But Lear is better remembered for his verse (and the illustrations he supplied to accompany it).  In 1846 he published A Book of Nonsense, a volume of limericks helped popularise the form.  In 1865 The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-Popple was published; and in 1867 his most famous piece of nonsense, The Owl and the Pussycat (which he wrote for the children of his patron Edward Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby). They were quite successful, and any other works followed.

Lear’s facility– his verbal inventiveness, his knowing liberties with poetic form– led many to suspect (a la Shakespeare) that his poems were actually the work of another, better-educated author: his patron.  (Conspiracy theorists noted that “Lear” is an anagram of “Earl”– so that “Edward Lear” might be code for “Edward, Earl”).  But Lear was real enough, and earned his place– alongside Lewis Carroll and W.S. Gilbert– as one of the great purveyors of nonsense of the Victorian Age.

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

– St.3, The Owl and the Pussycat


Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 12, 2013 at 1:01 am

%d bloggers like this: