Daily Archives: June 11, 2015

today’s holiday: St. Barnabas’s Day

St. Barnabas’s Day

Before England adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, June 11 was the day of the Summer Solstice. In addition to being the longest day of the year, it was also St. Barnabas‘s Day (or Barnaby Day), and this association gave rise to the old English jingle, “Barnaby bright, Barnaby bright, the longest day and the shortest night.” It was customary on this day for the priests and clerks in the Church of England to wear garlands of roses and to decorate the church with them. Other names for this day were Long Barnaby and Barnaby Bright. More… Discuss

quotation: Rene Descartes (1596-1650)

I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery.

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) Discuss

today’s birthday: John Constable (1776)

John Constable (1776)

One of the greatest 19th-century British landscape painters, Constable is known primarily for his renditions of the area surrounding his home, which has come to be known as “Constable country.” Constable’s free use of broken color and his direct observations of nature were extraordinary in his day. He received only modest recognition at home, being tardily admitted to the Royal Academy in 1829, but was more readily accepted in France. What French school of landscape painting did he influence? More… Discuss

this day in the yesteryear: Thich Quang Duc Commits Self-Immolation (1963)

Thich Quang Duc Commits Self-Immolation (1963)

In the early 1960s, the policies of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, a member of the Catholic minority, generated claims of religious bias against the vast Buddhist majority. In 1963, Duc, a Buddhist monk, protested by dousing himself with gasoline and burning himself to death at a Saigon intersection. Photos of his self-immolation quickly spread around the world, and the event is widely seen as the turning point that led to a regime change. Which of Duc’s organs has been preserved? More… Discuss

Robben Island

Robben Island

Robben Island is a mile-wide island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Stone-age people lived there thousands of years ago when sea levels were lower and the area was easily accessible. Starting in the late 17th century, the island was used to isolate lepers and, later, political prisoners such as Nelson Mandela, who was held there from 1964 to 1982. In the 1600s, a ship laden with millions of dollars worth of gold sank off the island’s coast. Why has no one recovered the treasure? More… Discuss

word: blithe


Definition: (adjective) Carefree and lighthearted.
Synonyms: lighthearted, lightsome
Usage: The blithe young couple was a pleasant sight to see. Discuss.