As the Sam Mendes / Kevin Spacey production of Shakespeare’s Richard III gets into gear at the Old Vic in London, this is a good time to look at what the play represents and the actors who have made the title role their own over the years.
So what’s it all about? Enotes Study Guide says this:
Richard III is the last of the four plays in Shakespeare’s minor tetralogy of English history: it concludes a dramatic chronicle started by Henry VI: Part I and then moving through Henry VI: Part II and Henry VI: Part III. The entire four-play saga was composed early in Shakespeare’s career, most scholars assigning Richard III a composition date of 1591 or 1592. Culminating with the defeat of the evil King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth field in the play’s final act, Richard III is a dramatization of actual historical events that concluded in the year 1485, when the rule of the Plantagenet family over England was replaced by the Tudor monarchy. A full century after these events, Shakespeare’s Elizabethan audiences were certainly familiar with them (as contemporary Americans are of their own Civil War), and they were particularly fascinated with the character of Richard III. Shakespeare’s audiences could readily identify the various political factions and complex family relationships depicted in the play as they proceed from the three parts of Henry VI.
You probably know (or can imagine) the Laurence Olivier version, but did you know these other actors have all played the title role?
Strange Random Richard III Quote:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
- Richard III at the Old Vic (marlyb.wordpress.com)
- Theatre Review: Seana McKenna splendid in title role of Richard III (arts.nationalpost.com)
- What is the play richard the third about (wiki.answers.com)
- Movie Review: Richard III (1995) (kaliyana.wordpress.com)
- Does Shakespeare write books in a series (wiki.answers.com)
- Seana McKenna fulfils Richard III dream at Stratford (ctv.ca)
If you missed Pi day, you’re just in time to celebrate the day that honours its nemesis. Tau is the double of pi, corresponding to the date 6/28 or June 28, and to help mark the occasion, musician Michael Blake has created a musical interpretation of the constant (see video above). It maps tau, up to 126 decimal places, to musical notes. Earlier this year, Blake created a similar rendition for pi, that became popular online. Somehow, the melody of tau seems to be even more pleasing to the ear though.
Strange Random Mathematics Quote:
If equations are trains threading the landscape of numbers, then no train stops at pi. – Richard Preston
- It’s Tau Day! Watch an amazing video of “What Tau Sounds Like” (geek.com)
- Happy Tau Day! (neatorama.com)
- Peace Of Pi On Tau Day (webnerhouse.com)
- Your Tau Day Serenade (nerdist.com)
- Forget Pi, Here Comes Tau (newser.com)
- Tau vs Pi….. it is getting vicious! (politics.ie)
- Circular logic (thedizzies.blogspot.com)
Without doubt, the most beautiful images to come out of Athens in many months. The Total Lunar Eclipse of June 15th 2011, as captured by Elias Politis.
Strange Random Greece Quote:
- Athens Burning (socialpathology.blogspot.com)
- Athens struggles to win backing for austerity plan – Business – Mail & Guardian Online (yzerfonteinchronicles.blogspot.com)
- Our Big, Fat Greek Day – Athens, Greece (travelpod.com)
- Off-Beat Athens (sfgate.com)
- FDA channels English poet in effort to protect public health in global era (medcitynews.com)
What’s round, bright orange, full of holes and resembles a sponge? A newly-discovered fungus that was named SpongeBob SquarePants, Spongiforma squarepantsii, pictured above. But instead of living in a pineapple on the seafloor at Bikini Bottom, the real-life SpongeBob is a terrestrial fungus that lives in rainforests on the tropical island of Borneo. “It’s really like a rubbery sponge with big hollow holes,” said Dennis Desjardin, a professor of ecology and evolution at the San Francisco State University.
Dr Desjardin and his colleagues, Kabir Peay, an assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Minnesota, and Thomas Bruns, a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California at Berkeley, co-discovered the new species. The genus name, Spongiforma, refers to the close resemblance of the spherical fruit body to a sea sponge, whilst the specific name, squarepantsii, is the Latinisation of SpongeBob’s SquarePants pictured. The formal description has already been published online in the research journal Mycologia by Dr Desjardin and his colleagues. The print version is in press.
Strange Random SpongeBob Squarepants Quote:
Gary, I’m absorbing his blows like I’m made of some sort of spongy material. – Spongebob Squarepants
- The new fungus from Bikini Bottom | Science | guardian.co.uk (worldwright.wordpress.com)
- Introducing SpongeBob SquarePants – The Fungus (newsfeed.time.com)
- Meet SpongeBob Mushroom, a Funky New Fungus (livescience.com)
- ‘SpongeBob’ mushroom discovered in the forests of Borneo (eurekalert.org)
- ‘Spongiforma squarepantsii’ lifeform found in Borneo (go.theregister.com)
- Dumbing Down The Taxonomy System: New Fungus Discovered, Named After Spongebob (geekologie.com)
- Spongebob, the Mushroom (foxnews.com)