Matisse Inverted

In 1961, Henri Matisse’s painting Le Bateau was accidentally hung upside down in New York’s Museum of Modern Art for 47 days. 116,000 visitors had passed through the gallery before the mistake was discovered.

Only Children

Only children:

  • Burt Bacharach
  • Elizabeth Bishop
  • Dick Cavett
  • Van Cliburn
  • Robert De Niro
  • Clark Gable
  • John Kenneth Galbraith
  • William Randolph Hearst
  • Lillian Hellman
  • Elton John
  • Vivien Leigh
  • James Michener
  • Rex Reed
  • Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  • Roger Staubach
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Paul Verlaine
  • Emile Zola

Hamlet in Klingon

Hamlet’s “to be or not to be” soliloquy, in Klingon:

taH pagh taHbe’. DaH mu’tlheghvam vIqelnIS.
quv’a’, yabDaq San vaQ cha, pu’ je SIQDI’?
pagh, Seng bIQ’a’Hey SuvmeH nuHmey SuqDI’,
‘ej, Suvmo’, rInmoHDI’? Hegh. Qong — Qong neH —
‘ej QongDI’, tIq ‘oy’, wa’SanID Daw”e’ je
cho’nISbogh porghDaj rInmoHlaH net Har.
yIn mevbogh mIwvam’e’ wIruchqangbej.
Hegh. Qong. QongDI’ chaq naj. toH, waQlaw’ ghu’vam!
HeghDaq maQongtaHvIS, tugh nuq wInajlaH,
volchaHmajvo’ jubbe’wI’ bep wIwoDDI’;
‘e’ wIqelDI’, maHeDnIS. Qugh DISIQnIS,
SIQmoHmo’ qechvam. Qugh yIn nI’moH ‘oH.

It either endures, or it does not endure. Now, I must consider this sentence.
Is it honorable, when one endures the torpedoes and phasers of agressive fate?
Or, when one obtains weapons to fight a seeming ocean of troubles,
And when, by fighting, one finishes them? One dies. One sleeps. One merely sleeps.
And when one sleeps, it is believed that one can finish the pain of the heart
And the thousand revolts which one’s body must succeed to.
We are certainly willing to initiate this way to finish life.
One dies. One sleeps. When one sleeps, perhaps one dreams. Well, this situation seems to be the obstacle!
What we can soon dream of, while sleeping in death,
Having thrown away from our shoulders the cargo of the mortal —
When we consider that, we must retreat. We must endure disasters,
Because this idea makes us endure them. It lengthens the life of the disasters.

The Forer Effect

Does this describe you?

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others’ statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

If you said yes, you’ve been had. The description was assembled from random horoscopes by psychologist B.R. Forer in 1948. He found that if you give someone a vague, mostly positive personality description, and tell him it’s tailored specifically to him, he’ll rate it as highly accurate. It’s called “the Forer effect.”

Veteran Longevity

The last surviving American veteran of the …

  • … American Revolutionary War, Daniel F. Bakeman, died in 1869 at age 109.
  • … War of 1812, Hiram Cronk, died in 1905 at age 105.
  • … Mexican-American War, Owen Thomas Edgar, died in 1929 at age 98.
  • … Spanish-American War, Jones Morgan, died in 1993 at age 111.

The last surviving Union veteran of the American Civil War was Albert Woolson, who died in 1956 at age 109. Amazingly, the last surviving Confederate, John B. Salling, survived until 1959, when he died at age 113.