The Writer’s Almanac tells me it’s detective novelist Raymond Chandler’s birthday today. It also tells me a trick he used to learn the style of pulp novels so he could go on to write his own (really good) ones:
As a schoolboy in London, Chandler had learned to translate Latin texts into English and then back again into Latin. He used this same technique with mystery stories: he read them, wrote down detailed plot summaries, and then tried to rewrite the stories. Then he compared his finished versions to the originals, to determine where he could have done better.