6_Vizzini_Buttercup_Westley4

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.

6_Vizzini_Buttercup_Westley4

[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.

USSR

Continue reading

Good Vibes with Christmas Music

 

christmas-background-314802_1280

 

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.

Continue reading