Miles & the other Duke

Today is Miles Davis‘ birthday: happy Miles-day, Miles (that’s my son, for whom, playing on European tradition, this is his saint’s day)!

Today is also the 100th birthday of Marion Michael Morrison, a.k.a John Wayne. As a small kid he had a big dog he called Duke. So the people called him Little Duke. As he grew, the little fell by the wayside. You may be surprised to learn that one of his first major successes was acting in a Guy de Maupassant adaptation. Well, “Stagecoach”, I am told, was an adaptation of Maupassant’s “Boule de Suif.” So there, the Duke was an actor (pronounce the “tor” as in “Thor” the Northern god) of classical dimensions… I do count “Rio Bravo” and “The Searchers” among the 5 best Westerns ever made.

Today is also the 300th birthday of Linneaus, who, as NPR is telling me write now, I mean as I am writing this right now, was heavily into the sexual habits of plants. “Botanical pornography” it has been called, a system that classifies plants according to detailed variations among the sexual organs, unteachable to women in that time, as it is well-known that women have none of those. One of them early cousins to that Darwin fellow, no doubt.

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