"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Birthdays Today

Born today in 1868, one of the greatest American composers, and the greatest composer of ragtime, Scott Joplin.   Starting late, I learned how to play piano for the sole purpose of playing Scott Joplin after having seen The Sting when I was thirteen or fourteen.   Here is Joplin himself playing "Maple Leaf Rag":

Also born today in 1911 was the great Joe "Ducky" Medwick, Cardinals outfielder of the 1930s, who is the last National Leaguer to win the Triple Crown, when he led the league in 1937 with 31 HRs, 154 RBIs, and a batting average of .374. Perhaps even more amazing -- Medwick had 56 doubles and 10 triples that year.

Finally, born today in 1976 was Katherine Heigl, who I liked in Knocked Up, but who doesn't seem to have followed up with anything too good.  But, as they say, she's still nice to look upon:

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