" Fiddle, n.: An instrument to tickle human ears by friction of a horse's tail on the entrails of a cat. "
Ambrose Bierce

Back in the day


First Emmy Awards for Excellence in Television

The Emmy Awards are given for outstanding achievement in US television. They are presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which was founded in 1946 and which held the first award ceremony in 1949. Its members vote on outstanding programs, actors, directors, and writers in such categories as drama, comedy, and variety. The Emmy's name is taken from the nickname "immy" for the image orthicon, a television camera tube. Who won the very first Emmy?




In ancient Athens, ostracism was a method of temporarily banishing a public figure. Each year, the assembly took a preliminary vote to decide whether a vote of ostracism should be held. If a majority approved holding an ostracism, voters would put into an urn a piece of pottery—called an ostrakon—marked with the name of a person they wished to be ostracized. If at least 6,000 votes were cast, the person named on the most ostraka was exiled. How long did the exile last?

Born on a day like today


Govert Teuniszoon Flinck

A student of Rembrandt, Flinck was a Dutch painter who is remembered mainly for his numerous portraits, many of which are held in the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. Among his most famous works is the Blessing of Jacob, one of his many religious subjects. However, Flinck was also known for painting scenes from history, such as the Peace of Münster, which illustrates the famous treaty with 19 life-size figures. Flinck even painted his own likeness in the canvas. Where is it?

Last updated on Wednesday, 25th January 2012

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