(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Dryden

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them”*…


Since we last visited Tom Gauld, he’s turned his attention increasing to the blessed realm of every year’s perfect Holiday present: the world of books.  From New Yorker covers to cartoons for The Guardian‘s Review section, he celebrates the world of letters (and the arts) with insightful whimsy…

Turn the pages at “You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack” and at Gauld’s site.

* Joesph Brodsky


As we prepare to bury our noses, we might recall that it was on this date in 1679 that ruffians in the employ of the Earl of Rochester set upon and pummeled England’s poet Laureate, John Dryden, on the mistaken impression that he had written “An Essay on Satire.”  The essay– which was circulating in manuscript form in London, and contained damning accounts of the King and many notables, including Rochester– was in fact written by John Sheffield (1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby, a poet and Tory politician of the late Stuart period, who served as Lord Privy Seal and Lord President of the Council).

The wrongly-accused Dryden





Written by (Roughly) Daily

December 18, 2014 at 1:01 am

It’s all about the buzz…

There are moments, Art Ledbedev observes, when one just needs the juice…

Vilcus plug dactyloadapter

Ledbedev (whom pre-blog readers may recall), is ready to oblige:

Many people get a kick out of direct contact with AC power supply. To that end, people normally use U-shaped fragments of bare wire, paper clips or even usual metal forks. All these gimmicks are unreliable, short-lived and, most importantly, tend to cause  short-circuit failure  or even inflammation.

Vilcus dactyloadapter was developed specially for people who enjoy closing electrical circuits with their own fingers.

More info and pix here; one can order ones own here.

As we brace ourselves for the jolt, we might commiserate with Irish playwright, politician, and impressario Richard Brindsley Sheridan; his Theatre Royal Drury Lane, in London, burned to the ground on this date in 1809.  The structure was in fact the third theatre to stand on that location, starting at the end of the Puritan Interregnum.  It hosted productions of works by Beaumont and Fletcher, Davenant, Dryden, and Sheridan himself (School for Scandal); it was home to stage giants like Nell Gwynne and David Garrick (who was, before, Sheridan, an owner).  The current Theatre Royal– the fourth– opened in 1812 on the same site.

Sheridan is reputed to have said,when found drinking a glass of wine in the street while watching the fire, “A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside.”

Sheridan’s theatre, pre-ignition

The fire, as seen from Westminster Bridge

Oh, the places we’ll go…

The Atlas Obscura, “A Compendium of the World’s Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica”…  Consider, if you will:

The Cockroach Hall of Fame Museum

Featuring dead bugs dressed as celebrities and historical figures, this just might be the one time in your life that a cockroach puts a smile on your face.

On your visit, you’ll see cockroach displays featuring “Liberoachi,” “The Combates Motel,” and “David Letteroach,” among dozens of others.

See the Fremont Troll, the Wunderkammer, the Harmonic bridge and dozens of others, here.


As we re-plot our itineraries, we might offer a tip of the birthday beret to Blaise Pascal, born on this date in 1623.  Pascal was an extraordinary polymath: a mathematician, physicist, theologian, inventor of arguably the first digital calculator (the “Pascaline”), the barometer, the hydraulic press, and the syringe.  His principle of empiricism (“Experiments are the true teachers which one must follow in physics”) pitted him against Descartes (whose dualism was rooted in his ultimate trust of reason).  Pascal also attacked from the other flank; his intuitionism (Pensées) helped kick-start Romanticism, influencing Rousseau (and his notion of what Dryden called the “noble savage”), and later Edmund Husserl and Henri Bergson.  But perhaps most impactfully, his correspondence with Pierre de Fermat (the result of a query from a gambling-addicted nobleman) led to development of probability theory.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 19, 2009 at 12:01 am

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