" A day wasted on others is not wasted on one's self. "
Charles Dickens

Back in the day


Brixton Riot

In the early 1980s, south London's Brixton neighborhood was plagued by deep social and economic problems, including high rates of unemployment and crime and poor housing conditions. In 1981, in an effort to reduce street crime, police began stopping and searching anyone they deemed suspicious, a policy that many residents of the predominantly black community found discriminatory and heavy-handed. Eventually, the angry residents rioted. How many people were injured during the clash?



The Sword of Gou Jian

In 1965, archeologists excavating ancient tombs in Hubei, China, discovered a bronze sword sheathed tightly in a wooden scabbard. The weapon had been in a wet, underground tomb for over 2,000 years, yet the blade remained untarnished and sharp. Scientists, amazed by the sword's resilience, tested it to determine its chemical composition and found it to be an alloy of six metals. What does the “text of birds and worms” inscribed on the blade tell historians about the artifact?

Born on a day like today


Leo Calvin Rosten

Rosten was an American teacher, screenwriter, and humorist. He is best remembered for his stories about a night-school "prodigy" named Hyman Kaplan, which were first published in The New Yorker in the 1930s and later reprinted in a two volume set. His The Joys of Yiddish is a humorous guide to the Yiddish language and Jewish culture. Rosten is quoted as having once said that "anyone who hates babies and dogs can't be all bad!" This remark was supposedly made in reference to whom?

Last updated on Friday, 11th April 2008

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