Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's Rembandt's birthday (not the toothpaste)

July 15, 1606 -
Rembrandt van Rijn was born in Leiden, Holland, on this date.

His father was a miller and his mother was a stay-at-home mom.

He is best known for his mastery of chiaroscuro and impasto, but his calamari was nothing to sneeze at.

Happy Birthday Linda -

Here's your Today in History:

July 15, 1799 -
The Rosetta Stone is an Ancient Egyptian artifact which was instrumental in advancing modern understanding of hieroglyphic writing. The stone is a Ptolemaic era stele with carved text. The text is made up of three translations of a single passage, written in two Egyptian language scripts (hieroglyphic and Demotic), and in classical Greek.

It was created in 196 BC, discovered by the Napoleonic expeditionary forces in 1799 at Rashid (a harbour on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt which the French referred to Rosetta) and contributed greatly to the decipherment of the principles of hieroglyphic writing in 1822 by the British polymath Thomas Young and the French scholar Jean-Fran├žois Champollion.

July 15, 1857 -
During an uprising, the group of British women and children being held by rebels in Chawnpore, India are cut to pieces with knives and hatchets. Then their remains are tossed into a well.

When British forces finally retake Chawnpore, the captured rebels are taken back to the house where the slaughter took place. Then they are forced to lick the floors clean, after which they are hanged.

I hate to think what the penalty was for removing principle from a mutual fund before retirement age.

July 15 1864 -
A train containing hundreds of Confederate prisoners through Shohola, PA crashes head on with a coal train.

The trains were off schedule because of an escape attempt. 74 people, mostly prisoners, died.

July 15 1869 -
During war with Prussia, French ruler Napoleon III commissions Hippolye Mege Mouries to find a butter substitute. A patent for margarine is issued, it being based on beef fat instead of milk fat.

He called it margarine because the French word for pearl was margarite and he apparently had difficulty distinguishing butter from pearls—a handicap that goes a long way toward explaining his many divorces.

But even with the tactically superior spread, the war is still lost.

July 15 1956 -
Every man its prisoner... every woman its slave! Although not in the same league as 'Plan 9 from Outer Space', It Conquered the World was released upon an unsuspecting public on this date.

"Beluah", affectionately dubbed by its creator, is usually referred to as a being a "cucumber" or another vegetable by fans, it is actually supposed to be a fungus.

The film was shot in five days.

Does it show?

And so it goes.

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