" Life's greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved. "
Victor Hugo

Back in the day


Rocky Marciano Dies in a Plane Crash

Considered one of the greatest boxers of all time, Rocky Marciano was the heavyweight champion from 1952 to 1956 and is the only heavyweight champion to have retired without a defeat or draw in his professional career. He died in a plane crash in 1969, on the eve of his 46th birthday, while en route to Des Moines, Iowa, where a surprise birthday party awaited him. Of his 49 professional wins, how many were by knockout?



Maple Syrup Urine Disease

Branched chain ketoaciduria, or maple syrup urine disease (MSUD), is a metabolic disorder in which an enzyme deficiency allows branched-chain amino acids to build up in the blood and urine. Often diagnosed in infancy, the condition gets its name from the distinctive sweet odor—similar to that of maple syrup or burnt caramel—of the sufferer's urine. If left untreated, MSUD can cause severe brain damage or death. Why is the disease more prevalent in children of Amish and Mennonite descent?

Born on a day like today


Wilhelmina I of the Netherlands

Strong-willed and astute, Wilhelmina I enjoyed great popularity as queen of the Netherlands. She reigned for 50 years and guided her country through two world wars. Wilhelmina also had a keen understanding of business matters, and her investments made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. In 1948, she abdicated in favor of her daughter Juliana. How did Winston Churchill describe her during World War II?

Last updated on Monday, 31st August 2009

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