" Vices are sometimes only virtues carried to excess! "
Charles Dickens

Back in the day


Edward VI Crowned King of England

Edward VI was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty, the first Protestant ruler of England, and Henry VIII's long-awaited heir. A frail child, Edward is thought by some to have suffered from congenital syphilis. He was crowned at just nine years of age, and his entire rule was mediated through a Council of Regency as he never reached the age of majority. During his reign, the government moved away from Catholicism and officially established Protestantism in England. At what age did Edward die?



The Space Pen

Marketers of the Space Pen claim that the writing implement can be used in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, over wet paper, at any angle, and in extreme temperatures. The pen, which was invented by American industrialist Paul C. Fisher, uses pressurized ink cartridges to force thixotropic ink through its tungsten carbide ballpoint. Though standard ballpoint pens can be used in space, both the American and Russian space programs use Fisher's pen. Why is it dangerous to use pencils in space?

Born on a day like today


Joshua Slocum

Slocum was a Canadian seaman and adventurer who, in 1898, became the first man to circumnavigate the globe on his own, traveling 46,000 miles in three years. His account of the voyage, Sailing Alone Around the World, became a classic of travel literature and brought him worldwide fame. In November 1909, he set sail for the Orinoco River and disappeared; he was declared legally dead 15 years later. What is believed to have happened to him?

Last updated on Wednesday, 20th February 2008

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