" Admiration bestowed upon any one but ourselves is always tedious. "
Honore de Balzac

Back in the day


Douglas Hyde Elected First President of Ireland

Hyde was an Irish scholar and political leader. He was largely responsible for the revival of Irish language and literature through his founding of the Gaelic League in 1893. After teaching modern Irish for many years, Hyde became the president of Ireland, or Eire, in 1938. Using his Gaelic name, An Craoibhin Aoibhinn, he authored many works, including a Literary History of Ireland and Love Songs of Connacht. A polyglot, Hyde was fluent in how many languages?



Doctrine of Signatures

Referenced in mainstream medical texts until the late 19th century and currently employed in homeopathic remedies, the Doctrine of Signatures is an ancient European philosophy that assigns healing properties to plants based on the association between their physical characteristics and those of the disease or affected body part. The red sap of the bloodroot, for instance, is said to cure diseases of the blood. According to this philosophy, what ailments are walnuts particularly suited for curing?

Born on a day like today


Carly Simon

Carly Simon is an American musician who emerged as one of the leading artists of the early 1970s singer-songwriter boom. She is the recipient of multiple Grammy awards and was awarded an Oscar for her song "Let the River Run," which was featured in the movie Working Girl. Her most famous song, "You're So Vain," a sarcastic profile of a self-absorbed lover, was a number-one hit and spawned a huge debate as to who inspired the lyrics. Who are some of the suspected subjects?

Last updated on Thursday, 25th June 2009

More sponsors