Friday, March 31, 2017

"A Wise Old Owl"


"A Wise Old Owl"
WiseOldOwlWartime.jpg
The US wartime poster using the rhyme

Nursery rhyme
"A Wise Old Owl" is an English language nursery rhyme. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7734 and in The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, 2nd Ed. of 1997, as number 394. The rhyme is an improvement of a traditional nursery rhyme "There was an owl lived in an oak, wisky, wasky, weedle."
Lyrics
A wise old owl lived in an oak
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?
This version was first published in Punch, April 10, 1875, and ran as follows:
There was an owl liv'd in an oak
The more he heard, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
O, if men were all like that wise bird.
One version was published upon bookmarks during the mid-1930s, and goes as follows:
A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Now, wasn't he a wise old bird?
History
The rhyme refers to the traditional image of owls as the symbol of wisdom. It was recorded as early as 1875 and is apparently older than that. It was quoted by John D. Rockefeller in 1915, is frequently misattributed to Edward Hersey Richards 
During World War II, the United States army used the rhyme on a poster with the tweaked ending, "Soldier.... be like that old bird!" with the caption "Silence means security." 



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Western novelist Vardis Fisher born »

Western novelist Vardis Fisher born » 1895


Vardis Fisher
BornMarch 31, 1895
Annis, Idaho, United States
DiedJuly 9, 1968 (aged 73)
Hagerman, Idaho, United States
OccupationAuthor, essayist
NationalityAmerican
Alma materUniversity of UtahUniversity of Chicago
GenreHistorical novelAmerican Old West
SpouseLeona McMurtrey
Margaret Trusler
Opal Laurel Holmes
ChildrenGrant Fisher
T. Roberts Fisher
Vardis Alvero Fisher (March 31, 1895 – July 9, 1968) was a writer best known for his popular historical novels of the Old West. He also wrote the monumental 12-volume Testament of Man (1943–1960) series of novels, depicting the history of humans from cave to civilization. It was considered controversial because of his portrayal of religion, especially the Judeo-Christian tradition, emphasis on sexuality, and conclusions about anthropology.
Vardis Fisher was born in Annis, Idaho, near present-day Rigby, of a Mormon family and descent. After graduating from the University of Utah in 1920, Fisher earned a Master of Arts degree (1922) and a Ph.D. (1925) at the University of Chicago.
Fisher was an assistant professor of English at the University of Utah (1925–1928) while there he was a teacher of the great American West historian Wallace Stegner and at New York University (1928–1931), where he became friends with Thomas Wolfe. Fisher also taught as a summer professor at Montana State University (1932–1933) in Bozeman. Academic jobs were sharply reduced during the Great Depression.
Between 1935 and 1939, he worked as the director of the Idaho Writer's Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. He wrote several books about Idaho. He was also a newspaper columnist for the Idaho Statesman and Idaho Statewide(which later became the Intermountain Observer).
One of his hobbies was house construction, and he built his own home in the Thousand Springs area near Hagerman, Idaho. Fisher did the wiring, masonry, carpentry and plumbing himself.
Vardis Fisher married in 1917 after his second year in college, to Leona McMurtrey, whom he had courted since their childhood. They had difficulties in their marriage; he enlisted in the army in 1918. Later he became involved with another woman, Margaret Trusler, who was a fellow graduate student. Leona committed suicide on September 8, 1924.
He married Trusler in 1928. They had two sons, Grant and T. Roberts Fisher. They divorced in 1937, at her insistence.
He married his third wife, Opal Laurel Holmes, in 1940. She was his co-author on Gold Rushes and Mining Camps of the Early American West (1968). Opal Fisher died in 1995, leaving $237,000 from her estate to the University of Idaho for the creation of a humanities professorship.
Fisher died in 1968, at the age of 73, in Hagerman, Idaho.
To write the Testament of Man (1943–1960) series, Vardis Fisher read more than 2,000 books on anthropology, history, psychology, theology and comparative religion. When the series was reprinted by Pyramid Books as mass-market paperbacks in 1960, it inspired the DC Comics editor Joe Orlando and the comic book Anthro, written and drawn by Howard Post and edited by Orlando.
His historical novel, Children of God, tracing the history of the Mormons, won the 1939 Harper Prize in Fiction. His novel Mountain Man (1965) was adapted for Sydney Pollack's film, Jeremiah Johnson (1972). The Mothers: An American Saga of Courage told the story of the Donner Party tragedy. Tale of Valor is a novel recounting the Lewis and Clark ExpeditionGod or Caesar? is his non-fiction book on how to write.
Fisher was, perhaps, the most significant twentieth century novelist who was both a native and longtime resident of Idaho. He chafed at being compared with such better-known writers associated with the state as Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound. When appointed to head the Idaho branch of the Federal Writers Project under the WPA, Fisher quipped that he had been chosen because there were only three writers in Idaho, and he was the only one who was unemployed. Frederick Manfred, who was among Fisher's staunchest literary champions, declared that Dark Bridwell (1931) was Fisher's best novel and that Hemingway never wrote anything so good. 

His twelve-volume Testament of Man series, to which Fisher devoted several decades of his life was, by and large, negatively received by the public as well as critics. As demonstrated by the collection of critical essays, Rediscovering Vardis Fisher (2000), the author still draws praise as well as criticism for his work. (The anthropologist Marilyn Trent Grunkemeyer, who read the Testament of Man series, was most critical of his work.)

Oklahoma! premieres on Broadway »

Oklahoma! premieres on Broadway » 1943


Oklahoma!
Musical1943-Oklahoma!-OriginalPoster.jpg
Original Broadway poster (1943)
MusicRichard Rodgers
LyricsOscar Hammerstein II
BookOscar Hammerstein II
BasisLynn Riggs' play
Green Grow the Lilacs
Productions1943 Broadway
1947 West End
1951 Broadway revival
1955 Film
1979 Broadway revival
1980 West End revival
1998 West End revival
2002 Broadway revival
2010 UK Tour
2015 UK Tour
Awards1993 Special Tony Award
(50th Anniversary)
1944 special Pulitzer Prize
1999 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival
Oklahoma! is the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs' 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in Oklahoma Territory outside the town of Claremore in 1906, it tells the story of cowboy Curly McLain and his romance with farm girl Laurey Williams. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie.
The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943. It was a box-office smash and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, later enjoying award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation. It has long been a popular choice for school and community productions. Rodgers and Hammerstein won a special Pulitzer Prize for Oklahoma! in 1944.
This musical, building on the innovations of the earlier Show Boat, epitomized the development of the "book musical", a musical play where the songs and dances are fully integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals that are able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. In addition, Oklahoma! features musical themes, or motifs, that recur throughout the work to connect the music and story. A fifteen-minute "dream ballet" reflects Laurey's struggle with her feelings about two men, Curly and Jud.

First installment of The Pickwick Papers, Dickens' first novel »

First installment of The Pickwick Papers, Dickens' first novel » 1836


The Pickwick Papers
Pickwickclub serial.jpg
Original cover issued in 1836
AuthorCharles Dickens ("Boz")
Original titleThe Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, Containing a Faithful Record of the Perambulations, Perils, Travels, Adventures and Sporting Transactions of the Corresponding Members
IllustratorRobert Seymour
Robert William Buss
Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz)
CountryEngland
LanguageEnglish
SubjectTravels in the English Countryside
GenreNovel
PublishedSerialised April 1836 – November 1837; book format 1837
PublisherChapman & Hall
Media typePrint
Autographed title page of a 1st edition copy
The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (also known as The Pickwick Papers) was Charles Dickens's first novel. He was asked to contribute to the project as an up-and-coming writer following the success of Sketches by Boz, published in 1836 (most of Dickens' novels were issued in shilling instalments before being published as complete volumes). Dickens (still writing under the pseudonym of Boz) increasingly took over the unsuccessful monthly publication after the original illustrator Robert Seymourhad committed suicide.
With the introduction of Sam Weller in chapter 10, the book became the first real publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise.
After the publication, the widow of Robert Seymour claimed that the idea for the novel was originally her husband's; however, in his preface to the 1867 edition, Dickens strenuously denied any specific input, writing that "Mr Seymour never originated or suggested an incident, a phrase, or a word, to be found in the book." 
Dickens, a young writer, 24 years old, was working as a Parliamentary reporter and a roving journalist; a collection of his "colour" sketches mainly of London life had been published as Sketches by Boz. A firm of London publishers, Messrs. Chapman & Hall, was then projecting a series of "cockney sporting plates" by illustrator Robert Seymour. There was to be a club, the members of which were to be sent on hunting and fishing expeditions into the country. Their guns were to go off by accident; fishhooks were to get caught in their hats and trousers. All these and other misadventures were to be depicted in Seymour's comic plates. 
At this juncture, Charles Dickens was called in to supply the letterpress – that is, the description necessary to explain the plates and connect them into a sort of picture novel such as was then the fashion. Though protesting that he knew nothing of sport, Dickens nevertheless accepted the commission; he consented to the machinery of a club, and in accordance with the original design sketched Mr Winkle who aims at a sparrow only to miss it. 
Only in a few instances did Dickens adjust his narrative to plates that had been prepared for him. Typically, he himself led the way with an instalment of his story, and the artist was compelled to illustrate what Dickens had already written. The story thus became the prime source of interest, and the illustrations merely of secondary importance. By this reversal of interest, Dickens transformed, at a stroke, a current type of fiction, consisting mostly of pictures, into a novel of contemporary London life. Simple as the process may appear, others who had tried the plan had all failed. Pierce Egan partially succeeded in his Tom and Jerry, a novel in which the pictures and the letterpress are held in even balance. Dickens won a complete triumph. In future years, however, Dickens was suspiciously eager to distance himself from suggestions that Pierce Egan's Life in London had been a formative influence. 

Robert Seymour provided the illustrations for the first two instalments before his suicide. Robert Buss illustrated the third instalment, but his work was not liked by Dickens and the remaining instalments were illustrated by "Phiz" (Hablot Knight Browne) who went on to illustrate most of Dickens' novels. The instalments were first published in book form in 1837. 

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Tenzin Gyatso
The 14th Dalai Lama
Dalailama1 20121014 4639.jpg
Reign17 November 1950 – present
PredecessorThubten Gyatso
Prime Ministers
Tibetanབསྟན་འཛིན་རྒྱ་མཚོ།
Wyliebstan 'dzin rgya mtsho
Pronunciation[tɛ̃ ́tsĩ càtsʰo]
THDLTenzin Gyatso
FatherChoekyong Tsering
MotherDiki Tsering
Born6 July 1935 (age 81)
TaktserAmdoTibet
Signature14th Dalai Lama's signature
The 14th Dalai Lama (/ˈdɑːl ˈlɑːmə/ (US), /ˌdæl ˈlɑːmə/; (UK) (religious nameTenzin Gyatso, shortened from Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, born Lhamo Thondup, 6 July 1935) is the current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism  which is nominally headed by the Ganden Tripas. From the time of the 5th Dalai Lama to 1959, the central government of Tibet, the Ganden Phodrang, invested the position of Dalai Lama with temporal duties. 
The 14th Dalai Lama was born in Taktser village, AmdoTibet (currently administratively in Qinghaiprovince, Republic of China), and was selected as the tulku of the 13th Dalai Lama in 1937 and formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama at a public declaration near the town of Bumchen in 1939.[5] His enthronement ceremony as the Dalai Lama was held in Lhasa on 22 February 1940, and he eventually assumed full temporal (political) duties on 17 November 1950, at the age of 15, after the People's Republic of China's invasion of Tibet. The Gelug school's government administered an area roughly corresponding to the Tibet Autonomous Region just as the nascent PRC wished to assert central control over it.
During the 1959 Tibetan uprising, the Dalai Lama fled to India, where he currently lives as a refugee. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He has traveled the world and has spoken about the welfare of Tibetans, environmenteconomicswomen's rightsnon-violenceinterfaith dialoguephysicsastronomyBuddhism and sciencecognitive neurosciencereproductive health, and sexuality, along with various Mahayana and Vajrayana topics.