To celebrate his birthday, we’ve invited master illusionist Harry Houdini to the office for tea and cake. Hey. Where’d he go?
The Aztecs were an ornate, forward-thinking and often brutal civilisation. Sadly, they’re all dead. But today is their birthday, so we’re honouring their sacrifice in the first of our “Happy birthday, you’re…” series.
Sappho has many labels: the muse of thousand poets, the godmother of feminism, the pioneer of sexual freedom. But who was she?
Long before Stephen King appropriated it, there was but one murderous clown. Si chiama Pagliacci. Welcome to the brutal embrace of Leoncavallo’s bloody masterpiece.
Social commentator, novelist, orator. With the doco based on him now in the Oscars discussion, why not get better acquainted with James Baldwin.
You may not know the name, but you’ve definitely heard of him: Ennio Morricone has scored the most iconic films of our time, and today he’s soundtracking your breakfast. Lucky you.
If there’s a day for the use of large words to impress people, surely Valentine’s Day is it. Time to hook bae with the length of your perspicacity, yeah?
With St Valentine’s day on the horizon, we’re wondering, who the fudge was he? Well, according to history, there are three claimants.
George Orwell has recently shot back into prominence after 1984 sold out on Amazon, but what of the man, and what lessons can we learn from him in 2017?
Achilles: a heroic figure muddied by thousandfold popular culture adaptations. Thus, The Big Smoke’s own Helen of Troy cuts through the ambiguity.
Not just words to fill out funerals or film scripts, the elegy possesses a great power to move the most stoic of listeners. Get better acquainted, you lot.
Linked by talent, and ultimately fate, Bessie Smith and Janis Joplin were the very definition of the blues.
We’re all familiar with pa, but his kids (all ten of them) didn’t do too badly in their own right. Strap in, because we’re bringing sexy Bach.
Is your lexicon a bit limp? Do your synonyms sag? Well just in time for Aunty June’s yearly visit, Vocab-extender #5 injects some festive fare to put her in her place. That braggard.
2016 has given us much, and taken even more. However, with the fear of foreigners now en vogue, let us sample some carols from around the world to fight racist stereotype. Merry Christmas.
Arguably more famous than the versions carved by Chaplin and Bugs, The Barber of Seville is an enduring classic for a reason. (Spoiler alert – it involves cockblockery.)
O, the lovers we covet, those with large bookcases and hard covers. Book people. If you have your eye on one, but are short in the knowledge department, worry not, for we can bluff you through it.
Half-fiction, half-real, Christopher Robin, the kid that everyone knew suffered a rather unhappy childhood because of his fame. Happy birthday Winnie the Pooh, you beast.
Existence is meaningless; life is pointless; everything is negative. Right? Not necessarily. Peep the humbling spin that existentialism and absurdism provide – in 700 words or less.
Nefertiti was a proud, powerful female leader, who smote those not worthy to oppose her. Why do the earliest centuries have what we cannot?
There’s a large list of colossal classics that sit in our “one day” pile. Until that day comes, fake it, with our Book Bluff treatment of Moby Dick. Warning: spoilers abound.
It’s that time of the month again. Gird your vocabularic loins, for it’s time for the pointed end of The Big Smoke’s Vocab-extender, where this week we get real flirty.