Alexander the Great’s Letter to his Teacher Aristotle

Aristotle teaching image in British library“Alexander to Aristotle, greetings. You have not done well to write down and publish those doctrines you taught me by word of mouth. What advantage shall I have over other men if these theories in which I have been trained are to be made common property? I would rather excel the rest of mankind in my knowledge of what is best than in the extent of my power. Farewell.”

The Age of Alexander, Plutarch, 75 A.C.E. translation by Ian Scott-Kilvert, Penguin Books, 1973.


Tne Manhattan Project



Vannevar Bush


March 9, 1942.

The President,

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

On October 9, 1941, Mr. Wallace and I presented to you the status of research in this country and Great Britain, on a possible powerful explosive.

In accordance with your instructions, I have since expedited this work in every way possible. I now attach a brief summary report of the status of the matter.

Considerations of general policy and of international relations have been limited for the present to a group consisting of Mr. Wallace, Secretary Stimson, General Marshall, Dr. Conant, and myself. Mr. Wallace has called a conference of this group, to which he invited also Mr. Harold D. Smith as the matter of funds there was considered.

The technical aspects are in the hands of a group of notable physicists, chemists, and engineers, as noted in this report. The corresponding British organization is also indicated. The work is under way at full speed.

Recent developments indicate, briefly, that the subject is more important than I believed when I last spoke to you about it. The stuff will apparently be more powerful than we thought, the amount necessary appears to be less, the possibilities of actual production appear more certain. The way to full accomplishment is still exceedingly difficult, and the time schedule on this remains unchanged. We may be engaged in a race toward realization; but, if so, I have no indication of the status of the enemy program, and have taken no definite steps toward finding out.

The subject is rapidly approaching the pilot plant stage. I believe that, by next summer, the most promising methods can be selected, and production plants started. At that time I believe the whole matter should be turned over to the War Department.
You returned to me the previous reports, in order that I might hold them subject to your call. I shall be glad to guard this report also if you wish.

Respectfully yours,

V. Bush, Director

The Manhattan Project: The Birth of the Atomic Bomb in the Words of Its Creators, Eyewitnesses, and Historians, edited by Cynthia C. Kelly, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc., 2007.

Photograph: E. O. Lawrence, A. H. Compton, V. Bush, J. B. Conant, K. Compton, and A. Loomis in March 1940 at a UC Berkeley meeting.

Postcards of Old Toronto Hotels

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Combines the recreational amenities of a country club resort with business facilities of a convention hotel… 15 minutes from midtown Toronto. Eglinton at Leslie/Toronto (Don Mills) Canda 444-2561

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Hotel Carls-Rife Lobby. The House of Comfort Toronto, Canada

Particular attention paid to the comfort of Ladies and Children travelling alone.

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Jarvis at Carlton Street in Downtown Toronto – One block from Maple Leaf Gardens – a new concept of Downtown motor hotels – pool, patios, intimate dining and lounge – 164 sumptuous rooms all with T.V., air-conditioning and individual balconies. “Resort living downtown”

Anacharsis the Younger stops at Chios, 363 B.C.


“We dined one day at the house of one of the principal persons of the island, the conversation turned on the famous question of the country of Homer. Various cities and states aspired to the honor of having given birth to that celebrated man; but the claims of Chios are better founded than those of any other.

Among their proofs of their validity, we were told that the descendants of Homer still remained in the island, and were known by the name of the Homeridae. At the same instant we saw two of them enter, habited with magnificent robes, and with golden crowns on their heads. They did not rehearse the eulogium of the poet, but offered to him a more precious incense. After an invocation to Jupiter, they sang alternately several select extracts from the Iliad, and performed their parts with such judgement and propriety , that we discovered new beauties in the passages that had before excited our admiration.”

The travels of Anacharsis, the younger, in Greece, during the middle of the fourth century before the Christian æra: Abridged from the original work of the abbé Barthelem, Jean-Jacques Barthélemy, printed by J.D. Dewick for Vernor and Hood, 1800.

Woodcut from the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.

Snap!: Donald Rumsfeld’s Footnotes

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Donald Rumsfeld did not skimp on the footnotes of his memoir, Known and Unknown. The overriding theme is: “I remember everything.” He has saved every receipt.

p. 201: Another Halloween massacre myth has gained currency over the years: that I engineered the effective firing of Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, presumably to clear the way for me to be the vice presidential nominee. After I differed with him on policy matters, Rockefeller began making a series of accusations against me. This continued, and indeed escalated, even after the Ford administration ended, when he continued to engage in ridiculous charges.*

*In a 1977 interview Rockefeller said, ‘The third thing that I have no proof of but have no way of explaining the event that ensued except by surmising what I will say to you and that is that Rumsfeld had something on the President that he could use and that the President for whatever reason did not want to come out. And therefore it was virtually if not in actual fact a blackmail situation.’ 26

26. Nelson A. Rockefeller, interviewed by Hugh Morrow, November 22, 1977, transcript, p. 27 (Rockefeller Archive Center).

Known and Unknown, Donald Rumsfeld, Sentinel, 2011.



“Fortunately for us, Mars spins upon itself, not as Mercury and Venus do, nor as the moon does in relation to the earth, but at a rate quite different from its movement round the sun. This means, of course, that we are able to see all sides of Mars. It is, indeed, an amazing thing that we can see and study and map both Poles of Mars, though no human eye has ever seen some parts of the earth. The day of Mars is only about half an hour longer than the day of the earth; in other words, the planet spins completely round on its axis in rather more than twenty-four and a half hours.

The surface of Mars is largely covered with markings which look as if they had been made on purpose. For many years people said that these markings were only imagined, but they have now been photographed. Some people think that they are what they seem to be– canals made by intelligent beings and carrying water; but before we form an opinion on this we ought to wait for much more knowledge. Only please remember one thing. The digging of a canal on Mars would be very much easier work than digging a canal of the same size on earth, because the planet’s mass is so much less than that of the earth, and in consequence it offers less resistance to lifting out the material when digging out the canal. We must just remind ourselves that Mars has two moons, and that the inner one travels round Mars about three times a day. It is possible to say ‘three times a day’ because the earth’s day and the day of Mars are just about the same.”

The Book of Knowledge: The Children’s Encyclopaedia, Volume VIII. Editors-in-chief Arthur Mee, Holland Thompson, The Grolier Society of London, 1912.

Photograph: NASA. Rocks near the Viking 1 Lander, the first clear image from the surface of Mars, July 20, 1976.


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July 2, 2012

Hi Melanie Griffith,

It appears that whoever was in charge of maintaining the registration of this domain name messed up, as the domain expired recently and then “dropped” several weeks later. It was consequently put up for auction at, where I purchased it for $669 on your behalf, assuming that you would want it back as quickly and inexpensively as possible. If I was a cybersquatter and intended to keep the domain or sell it to you at a profit then it would cost you several thousand dollars to file an ICANN “UDRP” action – a process which would take several months, I believe – so I hope you are pleased with what I did.

In any event, an authorized agent of yours can contact me using the WHOIS information for the domain. I will immediately change the nameservers so that your website goes right back up, and an ownership transfer will be arranged.

I know people say this to you every day, but you are one of my very favorite actresses and are obviously a very sweet person. I hope you run for President!

Warm regards,

Jon Schultz
Washougal, WA

21,956 visitors since July 3, 2012

The Duties of a Vizier

Image“It is he who hears the case regarding any deficit in the Temple dues. It is he who assesses any assessment in kind for anyone who has to pay one to him. It is he who hears all law cases. It is he who allows reductions in the imposts on places or industry… It is he who opens the House of Gold in connexion with the High Treasurer. It is he who inspects the tribute of Byblos… It is he who inspects the water-supply on the first of every ten-day period…. He it is who fits out ships according as anyone is fitted for it. He it is who despatches any messenger of the Royal Demesne… when the monarch is on an expedition… Lo, as to the position of Vizier, lo, it is not pleasant at all; no, it is bitter as gall…”

Tomb inscription of the Vizier Rekhmire, who served during the reigns of Thutmosis III and Amenhotep II

Life Under the Pharaohs, Leonard Cottrell, Pan Books, 1955.

Photograph: Sebi, false door at the Louvre from TT100, tomb of the vizier Rekhmire from Thebes, 18th Dynasty.



Receive LIVE MATED DWARF SEAHORSES by Air Mail from FLA. Supply of food, our catalog and simple instructions for raising these fascinating little creatures from the deep. All you need is a Jar or Bowl. Everyone young or old enjoys watching their bizarre movements for hours. Educational, Interesting, and Hardy. GUARANTEED LIVE DELIVERY–Air Mail PPD. $3.50  a Pair-$7.00 SPECIAL: Order TWO PAIR and receive another PAIR FREE.

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Advertisement in Photoplay , October, 1962.

Photograph: Mohammed Al Momany