A Horse Called Music & Will Rogers born 1879 November 4th


His vaudeville and Broadway parts, Saturday Evening Post columns, books such as The Cowboy Philosopher On Prohibition.

Will Rogers was born into a rich ranching family on November 4, 1879 in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Part Cherokee, Rogers related at once with both the native Americans and the settlers to which he belonged. As a young man, Rogers’ bright and smart nature often got him into misfortune. He switched from school to school until setting off in his late teens to travel and find employment. His early years on the ranch had qualified him well and before long he found work in a number of traveling Wild West Shows.

Franklin D. Roosevelt credited him with bringing his fellow Americans “back to a sense of proportion.” He was a ranch hand, rodeo rider, vaudeville performer, film star, columnist and author, radio personality, pioneer of aviation, tireless master of ceremonies, friend to presidents, and unofficial ambassador of good will under three administrations. He was Will Rogers, and during his era he was the single most widespread and adored man in America.



Far From Any Road
The Handsome Family

A man that don’t love a horse, there is something the matter with him.

A Horse Called Music
      Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard

No man is great if he thinks he is.

I’m Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I’m Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)
     Billy Joe Shaver

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Remastered
     Bob Dylan

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment

Bull Rider
     Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell

I joked about every prominent man in my lifetime, but I never met one I didn’t like.

Are There Any Cowboys Left (In the Good Ol’ USA)?
     Lacy J. Dalton

It is better for some one to think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

As Good As I Once Was
     Toby Keith

We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others.

Stranger In A Strange Land
     Leon Russell, The Shelter People

Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.

Dropkick Me, Jesus
     Bobby Bare

Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.

Cosmic Cowboy (Part 1)
     Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The Satirist Tale of Swift in Gulliver’s Travels published 1726 October 28th


Gulliver’s Travels is Swift’s most famous work published on October 28, 1726.  The full title of Swift’s work was “Gulliver’s Travels or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships”.

The original version is surely NOT a children’s book

Most readers will lovingly remember Gulliver as a children’s book, but the unexpurgated version is full of brutality. The unfeelingly logical Houyhnhnms – highly intelligent horse-like creatures – plan to wipe out the bestial humanoid Yahoos by castrating them all. This plan is stimulated by Gulliver’s description of how horses are treated in England.

There is a particularly disagreeable scene in the Lilliput voyage where Gulliver urinates on the queen’s home to quench a overwhelming fire. This is routinely included in the children’s edition, albeit in sanitised form. And then there’s the scene in one of Gulliver’s final adventures where our hero has to fend off a highly libidinous female Yahoo who appears intent on raping him.

Making up new words

Gulliver’s Travels has given the English language a number of prominent words, not least Houyhnhnm (move your lips like a horse when saying it). There’s also Yahoo, an uneducated ruffian; brobdingnagian, meaning huge, after the giants in the second voyage; and lilliputian, meaning small, after the miniature humans of the first voyage.

A  man of many puns

Swift also loved puns. Lindalino, a most unusual place, is another name for Dublin (double “lin”). The flying city of Laputa is a harsh allegory of England and its colonial dominion over Ireland – the name means “the whore” in Spanish (la puta). As for the kingdom of Tribnia, it is an anagram of Britain. Its residents call it Langden, an anagram of England.

A novel in which real persons or events figure under disguise

Like any effective satirist, Swift had many enemies. Britain’s first prime minister, Robert Walpole, is recreated as Flimnap, who as the pompous Lord High Treasurer of Lilliput has an equivalent role in their society. Either the Duke of Marlborough or Earl of Nottingham is the inspiration for his war-hungry governmental counterpart Skyresh Bolgolam, the Lord High Admiral of Lilliput.

Other authority figures are roundly mocked throughout the book. The pettiness of politicians – Whigs and Tories alike – is compellingly conveyed by rendering them small. That moment where Gulliver urinates on the palace is sometimes interpreted as a reference to the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713, which ceded Gibraltar to the UK – and by which the Tories put out the fire of the War of Spanish Succession with some very ungentlemanly conduct.

Gulliver goes to Mars and Shift gets a moon

The book jokingly mentions the presence of moons around Mars. After Phobos and Deimos were discovered by astronomers in 1872, Swift crater on Deimos was named in the Irishman’s honour.

MISC Conflict and Themes

On the surface, Gulliver strives to understand the various societies with which he comes into contact and to have these societies understand his native England. Below the surface, Swift is engaged in a conflict with the English society he is satirizing. Might versus right; the individual versus society; the limits of human understanding.

Dig It? Happy Mole Day: October 23rd

Mole Day

What Is Mole Day?  Celebrated annually on October 23 from 6:02 a.m. to 6:02 p.m., Mole Day commemorates Avogadro’s Number (6.02 x 1023), which is a basic measuring unit in chemistry. Mole Day was created as a way to foster interest in chemistry. Schools throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Mole Day with various activities related to chemistry and/or moles.

For a given molecule, one mole is a mass (in grams) whose number is equal to the atomic mass of the molecule. For example, the water molecule has an atomic mass of 18, therefore one mole of water weighs 18 grams. An atom of neon has an atomic mass of 20, therefore one mole of neon weighs 20 grams. In general, one mole of any substance contains Avogadro’s Number of molecules or atoms of that substance. This relationship was first discovered by Amadeo Avogadro (1776-1858) and he received credit for this after his death.