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The Great Battle of Wits and Mithridates

The Princess Bride is one of the all-time great movies. According to Wikipedia, “Over time, particularly with the introduction of the Internet, the film has become a cult classic. The film is number 50 on the Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies”, number 88 on The American Film Institute’s (AFI) “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Passions” list of the 100 greatest film love stories, and 46 in Channel 4’s 50 Greatest Comedy Films list. In 2016, the film was inducted into the National Film Registry, being deemed as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.

One of the key scenes in the movie is ‘The Battle of Wits’ in which Vizzini and Westley have a great dual using only their brains…and some Iocane powder. “This powder has no odor, no taste and will dissolve instantly in water.” If it were real, Iocane powder would be pretty effective at all sorts of misdeeds.

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[SPOILER ALERT] Westley ultimately beats Vizinni in The Battle of Wits due to taking small doses of Iocane for many years in order to build up an immunity to it. Did you know, though, that this process of building an immunity to a deadly substance actually has a name? It is called mithridatism. Continue reading

Fear and Rebellion

Fear and Rebellion from a Russian Rockstar

In our most recent Renaissance podcast, Mark Sebastian Jordan gives an outstanding discussion on Shostakovich Symphony 12, which is the final piece on the upcoming Mansfield Symphony Orchestra concert, “Revolutions,” on February 8, 2020.

One of the points Mark touches on is the oppression Shostakovich had to endure in Russia for basically his entire life and music was a way to express his feelings without the Russian authorities hauling him away to Siberia or worse – death.

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Good Vibes with Christmas Music

 

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You know you do it. We all do! Starting around mid-November, Silent Night, Joy to the World, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas all start creeping into our heads. We sing these Holiday tunes in the shower, in the car, or doing dishes. They just creep up without knowing it…but do we mind? Not usually because they make us feel SOOOO good.

Why do they have this power? Well…it is all science.

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What does “Bohemian” really mean?

The upcoming Mansfield Symphony Orchestra concert on September 21, 2019 is called “Bohemian Souls.” The definition of a Bohemian is “[one who is] socially unconventional in an artistic way.” Dvorak who was actually from Bohemia defines this. Tchaikovsky and his tumultuous life define this. Missy Mazolli who is breaking all of the rules in the composition world defines this. At this concert, you will hear TONS of Bohemian sounds.

But, the word Bohemian does not necessarily bring up sound. When I think of being a Bohemian, I want to wear loud prints, wear gaudy jewelry, and drink cheap wine in a dive bar in Brooklyn. But, why?  What makes the word Bohemian define such a visual?

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The Clues in Clue

Ren Staff Reenacting Clue

Ren Staff Reenacting Clue

Was it Colonel Mustard? Did Miss Scarlett use the wrench? Or Professor Plum in the Library? It would seem everyone has played the famous board game Clue one time or another. I, for one, would always play as Colonel Mustard – a bit of nostalgia there for me (much like how I play two characters at once for Monopoly, but that’s another story). However, not everyone has seen or even heard, of the movie based on this notorious board game under the same name released in December of 1985. So, here’s a shortlist of the top behind-the-scenes clues of Clue (the movie).

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Matilda’s Bookshelf: Top Ten Children’s Books to Enjoy

Coffy Creations Photography

Coffy Creations Photography

Reading is a valuable part of everyone’s life, but more importantly, the effect of reading with your children is something that will nurture them the rest of their life. Research has proven time and time again that reading positively develops one’s health across the board – physically, mentally, emotionally, academically… all the -ly’s! In Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, books are a way of escape for Matilda – travel, friends, education, etc. So, here’s Matilda’s “must haves” for your child’s bookshelf!

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