Ever since the first human scribe put stylus to parchment, books have been destroyed. Bummer, right? And, ironically, not something you read about that often: history’s written by the victors, and sometimes the victors are real jerks and don’t even start writing their own yay-me congratulatory epics until they’ve burned up all written evidence to the contrary. Literal scorched earth, if you know what I mean.
While we may not know what we’ve lost, we at least know where we lost it from. Here are six of the most tragic burnt-up, smashed-down, flattened-over, and ripped-to-shreds libraries in history.
Posted by Blair Thornburgh
In our darkest hours, it is comforting to know that the leaders of our country are doing everything they can to save us, whether it’s fighting off an alien invasion or trying to prevent a giant asteroid from obliterating us all. Here are some of our favorite fictional presidents who saved the day!
President Thomas J. Whitmore – Independence Day: Yes, many cities around the world were destroyed and countless lives were lost, but when it came down to it, we were fortunate that the President of the United States happened to be a decorated fighter pilot.
President Whitmore did his best at stopping the alien invasion from a cockpit, but his rousing speech before the massive assault on the motherships will never be forgotten.
President James Marshall – Air Force One: When Air Force One was hijacked by Russian terrorists, President Marshall didn’t run to protect himself. He used the emergency escape pod as a diversion, hiding on the plane so he could take it back from the bad guys, including a double-crossing Secret Service agent.
In the end, he saved his family and democracy, telling the Soviets, “GET OFF MY PLANE!”
President Tom Beck – Deep Impact: 1998 was a year that sharply divided America. Were you a fan of Deep Impact or Armageddon? You can’t like both, ok!
While Armageddon grossed more at the box office and spawned a terrible Aerosmith song, Deep Impact was more scientifically accurate and also had Morgan Freeman as President Beck, so choose your side wisely.
President David Palmer – 24: The presidents of the 24 universe faced disasters and adversity constantly, only to be helped or taken down by Jack Bauer. Out of all them, there is no president who was more respected by Bauer than David Palmer, who had to deal with threats of nuclear and biological weapons during his presidency.
President Palmer was shown to be a strong leader, but perhaps his greatest strength was putting his trust in Jack when no one else did.
Are there any presidential heroes that you love but we left off our list? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by Brian Morell
You probably know about "The Elf on a Shelf," a toy that parents can use to convince kids that a creepy elf is watching their every move. Which is basically the plot of George Orwell's 1984, right? So we wondered…what other forms of Thing-on-a-Thing-based holiday behavior modification could be taken from classic and contemporary literature? The possiblities are endless… or at least six.
Posted by Rick Chillot
This Bastille Day, let’s raise a glass of fine (French) wine to some of the most influential French writers of the 20th century. Their thoughts and words helped to shape storytelling, invent new, mystical places, and highlight the hardships of the human condition. These authors have spun tales of fantasy, adventure, and existentialism—and we love them for it. So grab a bottle, relax on a chaise longue, and crack open a book by one of these literary masters. Vive la France!
Posted by Christopher Urie