The Grapes of Wrath

Published 75 years ago today.


Joyous Synonyms

cheerful, ecstatic, exuberant, festive, heartwarming, joyful, jubilant, merry, upbeat, wonderful, blessed, blithe, delighted, glad, gleeful, jocular, jolly, mirthful, pleased, spirited, vigorous



“If there is danger in the human trajectory, it is not so much in the survival of our own species as in the fulfillment of the ultimate irony of organic evolution: that in the instant of achieving self-understanding through the mind of man, life has doomed its most beautiful creations.” — E.O. Wilson

Six Word Memoirs


Abbey Theatre: Irish plays, Irish actors.

Six Word Memoirs


The Ides of March

The Ides of March is the day on the Roman calendar that corresponds to March 15.  It was marked by several religious observances and became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE (Before the Common Era).

[B.C.E. is the partner of C.E. – a replacement for A.D. or Anno Domini, which means “the Year of Our Lord.”  B.C.E. replaces B.C. (Before Christ).  Unfortunately, use of ‘c’ and ‘e’ means B.C.E. could be confused with C.E. or simply morphed into “Before Christian Era” by the those who adhere to monotheistic religions based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament.]

[C.E., of course, can be called an abbreviation for Common Era, Current Era, or Christian Era.]

In the original Roman calendar, March was the first month of the year.  The holidays observed by the Romans from the first through the Ides often reflect their origin as new year celebrations, not to be confused with C.E. New Year’s celebrations.

The Romans did not number days of the month sequentially from the first through the last day.  Instead, they counted back from three fixed points of the month:  the Nones (5th or 7th, depending on the length of the month), the Ides (13th or 15th), and the Kalends (1st) of the following month.  The Ides occurred near the midpoint, on the 13th for most months, but on the 15th for March, May, July, and October.

The Ides were supposed to be determined by the full moon, reflecting the lunar origin of the Roman calendar.  On the earliest calendar, the Ides of March would have been the first full moon of the Roman new year.

[Not related] On this day, March 15, 1946, “Route 66” was recorded by the Nat Cole Trio.  Written by Bobby Troup, the song was a big hit for Cole, who at the time had already had 11 top ten hits on the R&B chart.  Route 66 was later covered by many rock and roll performers, including Chuck Berry.

Blues legend Lightnin’ Hopkins was born today.  So were others who I will not mention.

March 17 is the 74th day of the year (75th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 291 days remaining until the end of the year.

Also on this day, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first trip to the Americas (1493), the Council of Trent met for the first time (1545), Maine became the 23rd state of the United States (1820), Liverpool F.C. was founded (1892); symbolics.com, the first Internet domain name was registered (1985), the Syrian civil war began (2011).

Happy birthday Liverpool F.C.!


3.14 Smart Things About Pi

1. Pi didn’t earn its name until the 18th century, when Welsh mathematician William Jones started using its symbol (the first letter in the Greek word for perimeter).  In Medieval Latin it was known as quantitas, in quam cum multiplicetur diameter, proveniet circumferentia, or “the quantity which, when the diameter is multiplied by it, yields the circumference.”  I prefer Pi.

2. The average sinuosity of a river (its length as the fish swims divided by its length as the crow flies) is pretty close to Pi. Why? Water on the outside of a bend erodes the bank, while slower-moving water on the inside of the curve deposits silt. Eventually the shape morphs into a loop–until an overflow cuts off the detour, straightening the curve. Rinse and repeat.

3. Pi contains everything. Pi is nonrepeating and also thought to be “normal”–that is, 0 through 9 seem to occur in equal proportion among its digits. If that’s true, any series of digits can be found somewhere in Pi; since it’s infinite, they’ll eventually show up by chance alone. Convert Lord of the Rings or the entire Simpsons oeuvre into code and look at the raw numberals. They’ll appear in Pi, in that order, somewhere.

3.14. Albert Einstein was born on Pi Day (today, March 14), 1879.

Source:  Wired

Some Quotes

No Tears

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.

No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

– Robert Frost



Pickpocketing is a form of larceny that involves the stealing of money or other valuables from the person of a victim without their noticing the theft at the time.  It requires considerable dexterity and a knack for misdirection.  A thief who works in this manner is known as a pickpocket.

Loose Women is a British lunchtime television program. It consists of a panel of four women who interview celebrities and discuss topical issues, ranging from daily politics and current affairs to celebrity gossip.



Five Short Story Classics Online

Following is a list of five short story classics currently available online at the Short Story Group.

Six Word Memoirs

Write with Abandon

Write with abandon. Damn the filters!

Six Word Memoirs