Sergeants Jasper and Newton Rescuing American Prisoners from the British

About two miles north of Savannah, Georgia, in August 1779, two patriots dramatically rescued a desperate group of Americans held prisoner behind British lines. Now legendary, this Revolutionary War incident was recounted by Parson Mason Locke Weems, who also popularized the fabricated tale of George Washington and the cherry tree. Continue reading

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The Stamp Act

"An Emblem of the Effects of the STAMP."

Samuel Adams

If Taxes are laid upon us in any shape without our having a legal Representation where they are laid, are we not reduced from the Character of free Subjects to the miserable State of tributary Slaves?

The Stamp Act, enacted in march 1765, was a tax imposed by the British Parliament on American colonists, requiring that almost everything from newspapers to playing cards to degrees be produced on stamped paper produced in London and carry an embossed revenue stamp. Almost every conceivable product made of paper was taxed and had to be paid in valid British currency, not in colonial paper money.

This act was imposed for “defraying the expenses of defending, protecting and securing” the colonies during the Seven Years’ War, sometimes described as the “first World War” due to its global nature. The American colonists did not accept this justification, for more importantly, it amounted to taxation without representation.
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Nicolaus Copernicus

Copernicus, a Polish astronomer, born in Thorn (Torun), West Prussia, succeeded in convincing almost all later astronomers that Earth rotates on an axis and revolves about the Sun. He was educated at Kraków, Bologna, and Padua, where he mastered all the knowledge of the day in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and theology. Elected a canon of the cathedral of Frauenburg in 1497, he took advantage of his financial security to begin his astronomical observations. Continue reading

Alexander Blok – Алексáндр Блок

“Night, street, lamp, drugstore” (1912)

Night, street, lamp, drugstore,
A dull and meaningless light.
Go on and live another quarter century –
Nothing will change. There’s no way out.

You’ll die – start from the beginning anew,
And all will repeat, just like before:
Night, icy ripples on a canal,
Drugstore, street, lamp.

Ночь, улица, фонарь, аптека,
Бессмысленный и тусклый свет.
Живи еще хоть четверть века –
Все будет так. Исхода нет.

Умрешь – начнешь опять сначала
И повторится все, как встарь:
Ночь, ледяная рябь канала,
Аптека, улица, фонарь.

Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Blok (Алексáндр Алексáндрович Блок, (1880 – 1922) was one of the most gifted lyrical poets produced by Russia after Alexander Pushkin. Continue reading

Cisti the Baker – Decameron: Sixth Day, Second Story

By means of a single phrase, Cisti the Baker shows Messer Geri Spina that he is being unreasonable.

Pampinea therefore began as follows: Fair ladies, I cannot myself decide whether Nature is more at fault in furnishing a noble spirit with an inferior body, or Fortune in allotting an inferior calling to a body endowed with a noble spirt, as happened in the Case of Cisti, (pronounced chees-tee) our fellow citizen, and many other people of our own acquaintance. This Cisti was a man of exceedingly lofty spirit, and yet Fortune made him a baker. Continue reading