" Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way. "
Booker T. Washington

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Thomas Blood Attempts to Steal Crown Jewels of England

Blood was an Irish-born adventurer who served under Oliver Cromwell during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. After Charles II returned to the throne, Blood fled to Ireland. There, he attempted to kidnap the Duke of Ormonde but failed. In 1671, Blood and three accomplices made an infamous attempt to steal the Crown Jewels of England. Having befriended the jewel keeper, Blood arranged a private viewing, during which time the men made off with the treasures. Why did the king pardon Blood?




Random processes are repeating processes whose outcomes follow no describable deterministic pattern. In mathematical, social, and religious settings, the term randomness refers to an innate "fairness" or lack of order or bias. Although randomness is an objective property, people often question whether a process is truly random. Many superstitions rest on the idea that seemingly random processes are actually governed by a hidden set of rules. How is randomness tied to the notion of free will?

Born on a day like today


J. M. Barrie

Sir James Matthew Barrie was a Scottish novelist and dramatist best known for creating the character Peter Pan, whom he based on his friends, the Llewelyn Davies boys. Educated at Dumfries Academy and the University of Edinburgh, he became a journalist and, later, a celebrated novelist who counted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Thomas Hardy amongst his friends and acquaintances. Why was Barrie disappointed with the statue of Peter Pan erected in Kensington Gardens, London?

Last updated on Saturday, 9th May 2009

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