Quote of the Day

Mark Twain
Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. Discuss

E. M. Forster
As long as learning is connected with earning, as long as certain jobs can only be reached through exams, so long must we take this examination system seriously. If another ladder to employment was contrived, much so-called education would disappear, and no one would be a penny the stupider.

Jerome K. Jerome
Opportunities flit by while we sit regretting the chances we have lost, and the happiness that comes to us we heed not, because of the happiness that is gone.

This Day in History

Sten Sture the Younger Mortally Wounded in Battle (1520)
Sture was a Swedish statesman and regent of Sweden. When he refused to recognize Christian II of Denmark as king of Sweden, Christian sent a force to aid Sture's rival, Archbishop Gustaf Trolle, whom Sture had deposed and who was besieged in his castle. Sture defeated the Danish army and imprisoned Trolle. Warfare continued, and Sture was killed in battle, but not before he paved the way for Swedish independence, which was attained under Gustavus I. What was done to Sture's body after his death? Discuss

Dr. William Price Introduces Cremation to the UK (1884)
Price was a Welsh physician, Druid, and famous eccentric best known for introducing cremation to the UK. Eight days after the death of his five-month-old son, Jesus Christ Price, Price attempted to burn the body in accordance with his Druid beliefs. After lighting the pyre, he was arrested, but he successfully defended himself in court, resulting in a decision that set a precedent leading to the permanent legalization of cremation in the UK. What were some of his other eccentric activities?

Captain James Cook Crosses Antarctic Circle (1773)
An explorer, navigator, and map maker, Cook sailed the Pacific Ocean between 1768 and 1779 and, with the help of new timekeeping instruments, drew the first accurate navigational maps of the area. He became the one of the first people to cross the Antarctic Circle as well as the first European to land on the Hawaiian islands, where he may have been identified by native Hawaiians as the representation of their god Lono. How did this misunderstanding contribute to his death?

Today

Edgar Allan Poe (1809)
Considered one of the most brilliant and original writers in American literature, Poe was a poet, short-story writer, and critic whose skillfully wrought tales and poems convey with passionate intensity the mysterious, dreamlike, and often macabre forces that pervaded his sensibility. He also pioneered the detective fiction genre with stories such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Purloined Letter." What mysterious, six-decade-old tradition at Poe's Baltimore grave was broken in 2010? Discuss

Alan Alexander Milne (1882)
Milne was an English author who began his literary career as a journalist before publishing collections of verses for children, including When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. He is, however, best remembered for Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. Now classics beloved by adults as well as children, his books established the characters Christopher Robin and his toy animal friends, including Pooh Bear, Piglet, and Eeyore. On whom was Christopher based?

Benjamin Franklin (1706)
Regarded as one of the most extraordinary public servants in American history, Franklin was also a printer, publisher, author, scientist, and inventor. After gaining popularity as the publisher of Poor Richard's Almanack, he promoted public services in Philadelphia, including a library and a fire department. In 1776, he went to France to seek aid for the American Revolution, and in 1787 he was instrumental in the adoption of the US Constitution. What musical instrument did he invent?