“The Man Who Knew Infinity”: A Nickell-odeon Review

May 20, 2016

Buffeted by forces ranging from poverty to romantic estrangement, academic strictures, outright racism, and profound illness, math visionary Srinivasa Ramanujan lived a brief life that has yielded a rich study in perseverance and the triumph of genius. It is titled, The Man Who Knew Infinity.

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Dr. Kennedy’s Medical Discovery

May 17, 2016

The embossment, “Dr. Kennedy’s / Medical Discovery / Roxbury, Mass.”—on a bottle in my collection (see photo)—was first used in 1846 by Dr. Donald Kennedy. Or perhaps we should place the “Dr.” in quotation marks, since all of his early advertisements—including one from 1854—omit the title, as in “Manufactured by Donald Kennedy.”

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Sir Harry Kroto

May 06, 2016

English chemist, Nobel laureate, humanist, CSI Fellow, and all-around admirable human being, Sir Harold Kroto has left those of us who knew him saddened over his death, April 30, 2016, of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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Dr. Hawks Universal Stimulant

May 04, 2016

The bottle shown here is embossed “DR. HAWKS [sic] UNIVERSAL STIMULANT”; the product was advertised at least as early as 1861.

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The Cascading House

April 25, 2016

My three previous blogs—including the last one, “Dispelling a Ghost at Fallingwater,” the stunning accomplishment of architect Frank Lloyd Wright—are the fruits of a long weekend with my wife Diana to Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, celebrating our 2016 anniversary. Here is one more, a poem about Fallingwater written in a style I have developed and call improvisational rhyming. (It is perhaps most effective when read aloud.)

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Dispelling a Ghost at Fallingwater

April 22, 2016

Is Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater—built 1936–1939 as the home of Edgar J. Kaufmann, president of Kaufmann’s Department Stores—actually haunted, perhaps by the ghost of his wife Liliane?

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Bigfoot in the Laurel Highlands?

April 11, 2016

On a 3-day trip (for our April 1, 2016 anniversary), my wife Diana and I stayed in a small log cabin in southwestern Pennsylvania. This was in the rugged Laurel Highlands—the area of Farmington (with its “haunted” historic Stone House Inn) and Bear Run (the stream where America’s most famous house, Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, is cantilevered over its waterfall).

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Ghosts at Stone House Inn?

April 08, 2016

To celebrate our tenth anniversary (or our fiftieth, if you know our story), my wife Diana and I made a three-day trip to visit American architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater. We stayed in a small log cabin in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands (keeping a sharp lookout as we drove the back roads, since this is a habitat for the Bigfoot Bear—see next blog).  

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Kendall’s Spavin Cure

April 01, 2016

Benjamin J. Kendall marketed his Spavin Cure in Vermont in 1876, intended as a liniment for medical and veterinary use.

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Historic “Gold Cure” for Addiction

March 18, 2016

In the latter nineteenth century, as temperance and prohibitionist sentiment flourished, quack cures for alcoholism began to be offered, beginning with the Keeley Double Gold Cure in 1890.

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