Tag Archives: literature

Earth spacecraft on Mars fires its laser for the first time.

War of the Worlds! The Earth invading spacecraft on Mars has fired its laser for the first time!

Forgive me the hyperbole. I have this childhood vision from that moment when I first read H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, when the Martian tripod first rose up and fired its death ray at a crowd of curious humans. And here we are, a century after Wells penned that classic science fiction novel, and humans have put a spacecraft on Mars, Curiosity, capable of firing lasers! The laser isn’t a death ray but a scientific tool, but nonetheless the ironies remain delicious.

After the annual visit to Edgar Allen Poe’s grave in Baltimore by a mysterious figure called the “Poe Toaster” failed to occur this year for the third straight time, it appears the tradition has ended forever.

After the annual visit to Edgar Allan Poe’s grave in Baltimore by a mysterious figure called the “Poe Toaster” failed to occur this year for the third straight time, it appears the tradition has ended forever.

The tributes of an anonymous man in black with a white scarf and a wide-brimmed hat, who leaves three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe’s original grave on the writer’s birthday, are thought to date to least the 1940s. A crowd gathered outside the gates of the burial ground surrounding Westminster Hall to watch for the mysterious visitor. While three impersonators appeared, the real “Poe Toaster” did not, said [Jeff Jerome, Poe House and Museum Curator].

To this day no one really knows who the man was.

Historians identify early English scribes

Two University of York researchers have identified the scribes who first made copies of some of English literatures most important early works. Key quote:

The discoveries were the result of painstaking research in the London Metropolitan Archives, where the York scholars matched the handwriting of scribes copying important early English literary manuscripts with the hands of Guildhall clerks copying documents and custumals.