Happy Birthday to Us!

Today’s my birthday (yay!), and instead of doing my usual “this day in history”, I thought I’d pay tribute to some of the cool people born on November 15. Folks, you’ve all given me something to aspire to, and today, I salute you. Pope Nicholas V (1397-1455)—Encouraged culture in Italy and helped promote the early Renaissance through his patronage and building projects. With assistance from … Continue reading Happy Birthday to Us!

With a Friend Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

It probably wasn’t considered very remarkable that the Marchioness of Queensberry gave birth to her third son on October 22, 1870. But that third boy, Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, would later start a scandalous affair with none other than Oscar Wilde, destroying the career of one of the world’s most famous playwrights. There was something about the Douglas family—misfortune seemed to find them. A decade … Continue reading With a Friend Like This, Who Needs Enemies?


Happy birthday, Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac! Bet you didn’t know he was a real person, did you? I sure didn’t. But he was, and he was born on March 6, 1619. The real Cyrano de Bergerac was a poet, soldier, and dramatist. His romance with Charles Coypeau d’Assoucy, a  fellow writer, went sour in 1653 and resulted in a war of words between the … Continue reading Cyrano