" Artistic growth is, more than it is anything else, a refining of the sense of truthfulness. The stupid believe that to be truthful is easy; only the artist, the great artist, knows how difficult it is. "
Willa Cather

Back in the day


Maiden Flight of the First US Airship

The USS Shenandoah was the first American-built rigid dirigible. Its design was based on a German zeppelin downed during WWI, and it was the first ship to be filled with helium—making it safer than hydrogen-filled crafts. A year after its maiden voyage, it became the first rigid airship to cross North America. While on another tour in 1925, it passed through a storm and was torn apart. Thirteen crew members died in the crash. How did those who survived the disaster manage to do so?




In Greek mythology, Chaos—or Khaos—was the first thing to exist, the vacant space from which all earthly and divine things arose. According to the ancient Greeks, it was made up of the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Sometimes personified as the most ancient of gods, it appears in various legends attributing the creation of all things to either the goddess Eurynome or the goddess Gaea—each of whom has been said to have risen from Chaos. Who gave the word "chaos" its modern meaning?

Born on a day like today


Constantijn Huygens

Constantijn Huygens was a Dutch humanist and poet and the father of famed scientist Christiaan Huygens. His descriptive and satirical poems were highly esteemed, and both English and French monarchs knighted him in recognition of his genius. Thousands of his letters have survived to this day and attest to his wide acquaintance with contemporary scholars, including Descartes and Donne. Huygens was also an accomplished musician and composer and wrote verse in how many different languages?

Last updated on Saturday, 4th September 2010

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