" When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


William G. Morgan Invents Volleyball

William G. Morgan invented volleyball in Holyoke, Massachusetts, just four years after basketball was invented in the neighboring town of Springfield. Morgan, a physical education director, created "Mintonette" for older athletes who wanted to play indoor sports but for whom basketball was too rough. Mintonette was later renamed volleyball because the point of the game is to "volley" the ball back and forth over a net. Morgan's game took several of its characteristics from what two sports?



Charles Pierre Baudelaire

Baudelaire was a 19th century French poet and critic. The only volume of his poems published in his lifetime, Les Fleurs du mal, translated as The Flowers of Evil, was initially condemned as obscene. Later accepted as a masterpiece, the book is recognized for the brilliant phrasing, rhythm, and expressiveness of its lyrics. Baudelaire also translated many of Poe's works, bringing them to the attention of the French public. What literary movement is he credited with helping develop?

Born on a day like today


Gerhard Richter

Richter is considered one of the foremost German artists of the post-World War II period, and the prices his paintings fetch at auction reflect this distinction. Unwilling to settle on any one approach, Richter has varied his style from austere photorealism to pure abstraction. Richter's photo-paintings, which reproduce photographic images on canvas in exacting detail, explore the tension between reality and its depiction, between process and material. Where did Richter train?

Last updated on Tuesday, 9th February 2010

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