" Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind. "
Henry James

Back in the day


Edvard Munch's The Scream is Stolen at Gunpoint

There are four painted versions of Edvard Munch's most famous work, The Scream, an expressionist depiction of the existential agony of modern man. In 1994, the version belonging to Norway's National Gallery was stolen, but it was soon recovered in a sting operation. A decade later, thieves stole the version belonging to the Munch Museum. Despite rumors that the painting had been burned, the Oslo government offered a hefty reward for information leading to its recovery. What was its fate?



Et in Arcadia Ego: I Am Also in Arcadia

"Et in Arcadia Ego" is a Latin phrase that most famously appears as the title of two highly influential 17th-century paintings depicting shepherds from classical antiquity gathered around an austere tomb. The phrase is usually interpreted as “I am also in Arcadia,” and its purpose is to set up an ironic contrast between mortality and idle merriment. Recently, however, the phrase has been used in conspiracy theories popularized in books like The Da Vinci Code and interpreted to mean what?

Born on a day like today


Leni Riefenstahl

Riefenstahl was a German filmmaker whose most famous works are documentary propaganda films for the German Nazi Party. Her Triumph of the Will, a documentary of a huge Nazi rally glorifying Hitler, is widely regarded as one of the most effective pieces of propaganda ever produced. After the war, Riefenstahl was classified as a Nazi sympathizer and blacklisted. Later, she became interested in underwater photography and the Nuba tribe in the Sudan. What did she do on her 100th birthday?

Last updated on Saturday, 22nd August 2009

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