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Ring Lardner

Ringgold Wilmer "Ring" Lardner was an American sports columnist and short-story writer best known for his satirical writings on sports and the theatre. His contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald all professed strong admiration for his writing. Born in Niles, Ring Lardner was the son of wealthy parents and Lena Phillips Lardner, he was the youngest of nine children. Lardner's name came from a cousin of the same name; the cousin had been named by Lardner's uncle, Rear Admiral James L. Lardner, who had decided to name his son after a friend, Rear Admiral Cadwalader Ringgold, from a distinguished military family. Lardner never abbreviated it to Ring, naming one of his sons Ring Jr.. In childhood he wore a brace for his deformed foot, he had a passion for baseball and music. He attended the Armour Institute in Chicago. Lardner married Ellis Abbott of Goshen, Indiana, in 1911, they had four sons, James, Ring Jr. and David. Lardner died on September 25, 1933, at the age of 48 in East Hampton, New York, of a heart attack due to complications from tuberculosis.

Lardner started his writing career as a sports columnist, finding work with the newspaper South Bend Times in 1905. In 1907, he relocated to Chicago. Within a year, he quit to work for the Chicago Examiner, for the Tribune. Two years Lardner was in St. Louis, writing the humorous baseball column Pullman Pastimes for Taylor Spink and the Sporting News; some of this work was the basis for his book You Al.. Within three months, he was an employee of the Boston American. In 1913, Lardner returned to the Chicago Tribune, which became the home newspaper for his syndicated column In the Wake of the News; the column appeared in more than 100 newspapers, is still published in the Tribune. Lardner's Tribune and syndicated writing was not sports related: his dispatches from/near the World War One front were collected in the book My Four Weeks in France, his immersive coverage of the 1920 Democratic Convention resulted in Lardner receiving 0.5 votes on the 23rd ballot. In 1916, Lardner published his first successful book, You Know Me Al, an epistolary novel written in the form of letters by "Jack Keefe", a bush-league baseball player, to a friend back home.

The letters made much use of the fictional author's idiosyncratic vernacular. It had been published as six separate but interrelated short stories in The Saturday Evening Post, causing some to classify the book as a collection of stories, others as a novel. Like most of Lardner's stories, You Know Me Al employs satire, in this case, to show the stupidity and avarice of a certain type of athlete; the journalist Andrew Ferguson wrote that "Ring Lardner thought of himself as a sports columnist whose stuff wasn't destined to last, he held to that absurd belief after his first masterpiece, You Know Me Al, was published in 1916 and earned the awed appreciation of Virginia Woolf, among other serious, unfunny people." Ferguson termed the book one of the top five pieces of American humor writing. Sarah Bembrey has written about a singular event in Lardner's sportswriting experience: "In 1919 something happened that changed his way of reporting about sports and changed his love for baseball; this was the Black Sox scandal when the Chicago White Sox sold out the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.

Ring felt he was betrayed by the team. After the scandal, Ring always wrote about sports as if there were some kink to the outcome." Lardner's last fictional baseball writing was collected in the book Lose with a Smile. Lardner published such stories as "Haircut", "Some Like Them Cold", "The Golden Honeymoon", "Alibi Ike", "A Day with Conrad Green", he continued to write follow-up stories to You Know Me Al, with the protagonist of that book, the headstrong but gullible Jack Keefe, experiencing various ups and downs in his major league career and in his personal life. Private Keefe's World War I training camp letters home to his friend Al were collected in the book Treat'Em Rough: Letters From Jack the Kaiser Killer; the sequel, The Real Dope, followed Keefe overseas to the trenches in France. Lardner had a lifelong fascination with the theatre, although his only Broadway three-act successes were the thrice-filmed Elmer The Great, co-written with George M. Cohan, June Moon, a comedy authored with Broadway veteran George S. Kaufman.

Lardner wrote skits for the Ziegfeld Follies. and a series of brief nonsense plays that ridiculed the conventions of the theatre using zany humor and outrageous, impossible stage directions, such as "The curtain is lowered for seven days to denote the lapse of a week." He was a dedicated composer and lyricist: both his first – Zanzibar – and last – June Moon – published stage works included several Lardner tunes. He wrote at least one recorded song for Bert Williams, provided the lyrics for the song "That Old Quartet" by Nathaniel D. Mann. Other collaborators of note included Aubrey Stauffer, Jerome Kern, Vincent Youmans – with whom he toiled on the Ziegfeld Astaires musical, Smiles. Lardner was other authors of the Jazz Age, his books were published by Maxwell Perkins, who served as Fitzgerald's editor. To create his first book of short stories Lardner had to get copies from the magazines who bought the stories — he held his own short stories in low regard and did not save copies. Lardner was in some respects the model for the tragic character Abe North of Fitzgerald's last completed novel

Wood engraving

Wood engraving is a printmaking and letterpress printing technique, in which an artist works an image or matrix of images into a block of wood. Functionally a variety of woodcut, it uses relief printing, where the artist applies ink to the face of the block and prints using low pressure. By contrast, ordinary engraving, like etching, uses a metal plate for the matrix, is printed by the intaglio method, where the ink fills the valleys, the removed areas; as a result, wood engravings deteriorate less than copper-plate engravings, have a distinctive white-on-black character. Thomas Bewick developed the wood engraving technique in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, his work differed from earlier woodcuts in two key ways. First, rather than using woodcarving tools such as knives, Bewick used an engraver's burin. With this, he could create thin delicate lines creating large dark areas in the composition. Second, wood engraving traditionally uses the wood's end grain—while the older technique used the softer side grain.

The resulting increased. Wood-engraved blocks could be used on conventional printing presses, which were going through rapid mechanical improvements during the first quarter of the 19th century; the blocks were made the same height as, composited alongside, movable type in page layouts—so printers could produce thousands of copies of illustrated pages with no deterioration. The combination of this new wood engraving method and mechanized printing drove a rapid expansion of illustrations in the 19th century. Further, advances in stereotype let wood-engravings be reproduced onto metal, where they could be mass-produced for sale to printers. By the mid-19th century, many wood engravings rivaled copperplate engravings. Wood engraving was used to great effect by 19th-century artists such as Edward Calvert, its heyday lasted until the early and mid-20th century when remarkable achievements were made by Eric Gill, Eric Ravilious, Tirzah Garwood and others. Though less used now, the technique is still prized in the early 21st century as a high-quality specialist technique of book illustration, is promoted, for example, by the Society of Wood Engravers, who hold an annual exhibition in London and other British venues.

In 15th- and 16th-century Europe, woodcuts were a common technique in printmaking and printing, yet their use as an artistic medium began to decline in the 17th century. They were still made for basic printing press work such as almanacs; these required simple blocks that printed in relief with the text—rather than the elaborate intaglio forms in book illustrations and artistic printmaking at the time, in which type and illustrations were printed with separate plates and techniques. The beginnings of modern wood engraving techniques developed at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, with the works of Englishman Thomas Bewick. Bewick engraved harder woods, such as boxwood, rather than the woods used in woodcuts, he engraved the ends of blocks instead of the side. Finding a woodcutting knife not suitable for working against the grain in harder woods, Bewick used a burin, an engraving tool with a V-shaped cutting tip; as Thomas Balston explains, Bewick abandoned the attempts of previous wood-engravers'to imitate the black lines of copper engravings.

Though not, as asserted, the inventor of wood-engraving, he was the first to recognise that, as the incisions made by the graver on the wood block printed white, the right use of the medium was to base his designs as much as possible on white lines and areas, so he became the first to use his graver as a drawing instrument and to employ the medium as an original art.‘ From the beginning of the nineteenth century Bewick's techniques came into wider use in Britain and the United States. Alexander Anderson introduced the technique to the United States. Bewick's work impressed him, so he reverse engineered and imitated Bewick's technique—using metal until he learned that Bewick used wood. There it was further expanded upon by Joseph Alexander Adams. Besides interpreting details of light and shade, from the 1820s onwards, engravers used the method to reproduce freehand line drawings; this was, in many ways an unnatural application, since engravers had to cut away all the surface of the block to produce the printable lines of the artist's drawing.

Nonetheless, it became the most common use of wood engraving. Examples include the cartoons of Punch magazine, the pictures in the Illustrated London News and Sir John Tenniel's illustrations to Lewis Carroll's works, the latter engraved by the firm of Dalziel Brothers. In the United States, wood-engraved publications began to take hold, such as Harper's Weekly. Frank Leslie, a British-born engraver who had headed the engraving department of the Illustrated London News, immigrated to the United States in 1848, where he developed a means to divide the labor for making wood engravings. A single design was divided into a grid, each engraver worked on a square; the blocks were assembled into a single image. This process formed the basis for his Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, which competed with Harper's in illustrating scenes from the American Civil War. By the mid-19th century, electrotyping was developed, which could reproduce a wood engraving on metal. By this method, a single wood-engraving could be mass-produced for sale to printshops, the original retained without wear.

Until 1860, artists working for engraving had to paint or draw directly on the surface of the woodblock and the original artwork was destroyed by the engraver. In 1860, the engraver Thomas Bolton invented a process for transferring a photogra

Eryngium yuccifolium

Eryngium yuccifolium, known as rattlesnake master, button eryngo, button snake-root, is a perennial herb of the parsley family native to the tallgrass prairies of central and eastern North America. It grows from Minnesota east to Ohio and south to Texas and Florida, including a few spots in Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware; the common name "rattlesnake master" comes from the fact that some Native Americans used its root as an antidote for rattlesnake venom. The species name yuccifolium "yucca-leaved" was given; the leaves are stiff and narrow with a sharp tip, 15–100 cm long but only 1–3 cm broad. They are bluish-green, covered in a waxy coating. On the edges are spaced bristles or spines; the root system consists of a central taproot surrounded by thick fleshy fibrous roots. It grows up to 1.8 m tall, with 10–40 dense, ball-shaped umbels of flowers produced at the top of each stem. Each of these condensed umbels is 1 -- 3 cm in diameter. Individual flowers in the umbels are small, 3–4 mm in diameter, with greenish-white or bluish-white petals and a faint honey-like scent.

Underneath each flower is a spiny green bract, underneath each flower cluster is a small star-like rosette of spiny bracts. The flowers are produced in August. After the flowerbuds open, the pollen matures and is released two to three days before the stigmas become receptive; this encourages cross-pollination by making it unlikely that a given flower's pollen will fertilize the stigma of the same flower. Rattlesnake master has unusually high seed set. In remnant natural areas, Eryngium yuccifolium is intolerant of anthropogenic disturbance, it establishes when planted in prairie restorations. The flowers attract many insects, including short and long-tongued bees, flies and butterflies, but most numerous of all are wasps, it is a larval host to the rattlesnake-master borer moth. It is sold by native plant nurseries for prairie or native meadow restoration and for gardens and landscapes, it does best with well-drained soil. Acidic to alkaline soil reaction is best, it can die from root rot if the soil stays moist for too long.

Once planted it is best left undisturbed and never dug up and reset as with many perennials because it develops a large taproot and other thick, fleshy roots. It self-sows a little to a good amount in gardens. Fibers of rattlesnake master have been found as one of the primary materials used in the ancient shoe construction of midwestern Native Americans

William Spier

William Hannan Spier was an American writer and director for television and radio. He is best known for notably Suspense and The Adventures of Sam Spade. Born in New York City to a Jewish father and a Presbyterian mother, Spier began his career on the editorial staff of Musical America magazine becoming its chief critic, he was married to Mary Scanlan, with whom he had three children: Peter and Margaret. He was married to Kay Thompson from 1942–47, to June Havoc from 1948 until his death in 1973, his radio career began in 1929, when he produced and directed The Atwater Kent Hour, an hour-long Sunday night presentation of Metropolitan Opera artists. Spier was chief of the writers' department and director of development at CBS in 1940, when he was co-producer of Suspense and Duffy's Tavern. In 1947, he won a Mystery Writers of America award for The Adventures of Sam Spade. A 1949 magazine article said Spier "is rated radio's top-notch creator of suspense-type dramas." In 1952, Spier introduced TV's first 90-minute show, for CBS.

In 1953, he produced Willy for his third wife, actress June Havoc under the auspices of Desilu, on CBS. His knowledge of music was encyclopedic, he was a skillful pianist with a deep love for Chopin. In early 1947, he and Havoc met, they were married from 1947 until his death. He produced Medallion Theatre on NBC in 1953-54. Spier died, aged 66, at the home he shared with Havoc in Connecticut. Spier won numerous awards, including the Writers Guild of America for best script of the year in 1962 for his two-part script for TV's The Untouchables, he was the recipient of three Peabody Awards. William Spier on IMDb William Spier Papers at the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research

Diners Club International

Diners Club International, founded as Diners Club, is a charge card company owned by Discover Financial Services. Formed in 1950 by Frank X. McNamara, Ralph Schneider, Matty Simmons, Alfred S. Bloomingdale, it was the first independent payment card company in the world, it established the concept of a self-sufficient company producing credit cards for travel and entertainment. Diners Club International and its franchises serve individuals from around the globe with operations in 59 countries; the idea for Diners Club was conceived at the Majors Cabin Grill restaurant in New York City in 1949. Diners Club cofounder Frank McNamara was dining with clients and realized he had left his wallet in another suit, his wife paid the tab, McNamara thought of a multipurpose charge card as a way to avoid similar embarrassments in the future. He discussed the idea with the restaurant owner at the table, the following day with his lawyer Ralph Schneider and friend Alfred Bloomingdale. McNamara returned to the same restaurant the following February, in 1950, paid for his meal using a cardboard charge card and a signature.

The story became well-known, Diners Club official history referring to this meal as "The First Supper" though, as stated following, some disputed accounts refer to it having been a lunch, is credited by historians as the beginnings of contemporary credit. Various versions of the story differ about whether it was a lunch or dinner at which McNamara forgot his wallet, whether the bill was paid on loan or McNamara waited for his wife to drive his wallet to him; some journalists credited Alfred Bloomingdale with the idea for Diners Club. McNamara and his attorney, Ralph Schneider, founded Diners Club International on February 8, 1950, with $1.5 million in initial capital. Alfred Bloomingdale joined then started a competing venture in California before merging his California-based Dine and Sign with Diners Club. Diners Club International was named for being a "club of diners" that would allow patrons to settle their bill at the end of each month through their credit account; when the card was first introduced, Diners Club listed 27 participating restaurants, 200 of the founders' friends and acquaintances used it.

Diners Club had 20,000 members by the end of 1950 and 42,000 by the end of 1951. At the time, the company was charging participating establishments seven percent and billed cardholders $5 a year. In 1952, McNamara sold his interest in Diners Club to his partners for $200,000; the first plastic Diners Club card was introduced in 1961. Diners Club International was acquired by Citigroup in 1981 and by Discover Financial Services in April 2008. Diners Club's monopoly was short-lived, as American Express and Carte Blanche began to compete with Diners Club in the travel and entertainment card market. American Express now dominates the charge card sector, providing millions of customers with cards that require the monthly balance to be paid in full. Towards the end of the 1960s, Diners Club faced competition from banks that issued revolving credit cards through Bank of America's BankAmericard, Interbank Master Charge. Diners Club began early on to allow franchises of the Diners Club name, at first in Europe and throughout the world, for many years eclipsing the BankAmericard or Interbank Master Charge networks abroad.

Starting in 1968, the American Oil Company, better known publicly as Amoco issued, for a time, its own co-branded Diners Club cards called American Torch Club, Sun Oil Company issued its version called Sun Diners Club Card starting in 1977. In 1981, Citibank, a unit of Citigroup, acquired Diners Club International, the franchisor that holds rights to the Diners Club trademark, many of the largest franchises worldwide. A majority of the franchises abroad remain independently owned; the credit card is closing down its services in the Nordic countries on 31 May 2019. In a transaction completed July 1, 2008, Discover Financial Services purchased Diners Club International from Citibank for $165 million; the deal was announced in April 2008 and approved by the U. S. government in May 2008. By merging the North American Discover Network with the international Diners Club Network, Discover created a global payment processing system. Discover Bank has no plans to issue Diners Club-branded cards, which continue to be issued by Diners Club International licensees.

In 2011, Discover began putting its logo on Diners Club cards. Some payment processors, like PayPal, can process only new Diners Club cards, bearing the Discover logo. In 2004, Diners Club announced an agreement with MasterCard. Diners Club cards issued in the United States and Canada featured a MasterCard logo and 16-digit account number on the front, could be used wherever MasterCards were accepted. Cards from other countries continued to bear a 14-digit account number on the front, with the MasterCard logo on the back. However, since the takeover of Diners Club International by Discover Financial Services, these cards have had the Discover logo on the back. Carte Blanche began in 1958 when entertainment card was renamed. Hilton sold Carte Blanche to First National City Bank in 1966. Regulatory challenges forced First National City Bank to sell Carte Blanche to Avco in 1968. In 1978, Citicorp reacquired Carte Blanche without regulatory opposition; the 1960s- and 1970s-era Carte Blanche cards were considered more prestigious worldwide than their competition, the American Express and Diners Club cards, though its small cardmember base hindered it

Solesmes, Sarthe

Solesmes is a commune in the Sarthe department and Pays-de-la-Loire region of north-western France. Lying close to the small town of Sablé-sur-Sarthe and entirely agricultural in character, the commune is noted as the site of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter, founded in 1010, suppressed by the National Constituent Assembly in 1791, re-established by Dom Prosper Guéranger in 1833. A second abbey for women, St Cecilia's, is located here. Communes of the Sarthe department INSEE St. Peter's Abbey official website A complete and practical method of the Solesmes plain chant Cornell University Library Historical Monographs Collection