" A man's diary is a record in youth of his sentiments, in middle age of his actions, in old age of his reflections. "
John Quincy Adams

Back in the day


Nellie Bly Goes Around the World

Elizabeth Jane Cochran, better known by her pen name, Nellie Bly, was a pioneering investigative reporter who feigned insanity in order to be committed to the Women's Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell's Island and expose the institution's horrific and abusive treatment methods. In 1888, she embarked on a 24,899-mi (40,071-km) journey around the world inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. Her trip, however, was somewhat shorter. How long did it take?




Tessellations are patterns of carefully juxtaposed, non-overlapping shapes—like the multicolored tiles of a mosaic—that fill a given surface. They have been used throughout history, from ancient architecture to modern art, and are frequently found in the works of M.C. Escher. Regular tessellations, which are highly symmetrical and made up of congruent, regular polygons, can only be formed using equilateral triangles, squares, or hexagons. Where can tessellations be observed in the natural world?

Born on a day like today


Virginia Woolf

Woolf is considered one of the most important writers of the 20th century. Foremost in the Bloomsbury Group of writers, she explored issues such as feminism, sexuality, and class struggle. Her novels include Mrs. Dalloway, Jacob's Room, and To the Lighthouse. Woolf struggled with bouts of depression and, fearing the onset of a mental breakdown, drowned herself in 1941. In 1910, Woolf and her Bloomsbury Group compatriots gained notoriety for devising what elaborate hoax?

Last updated on Sunday, 25th January 2009

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