" Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest people uneasy is the best bred in the room. "
Jonathan Swift

Back in the day


Edward VI Crowned King of England

Henry VIII's long-awaited heir, Edward VI succeeded his father to the throne at the age of nine. Edward was the first English ruler to be Protestant at the time of his ascension to the throne, and during his reign, the government moved away from Catholicism and officially established Protestantism in England. Edward is thought by some to have suffered from congenital syphilis or tuberculosis, and he died when he was just 15. Why was Edward's death kept secret for several days?



The Schmidt Sting Pain Index

The Schmidt Sting Pain Index is a scale that rates the relative pain caused by the stings of nearly 80 species of insects in the Hymenoptera order, which includes wasps, bees, and ants. It is mainly the work of entomologist Justin O. Schmidt, who spent years subjecting himself to the insects' stings, ranking them, and describing some of the experiences in colorful detail. Which insect's sting did he describe as feeling "like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail in your heel"?

Born on a day like today


Joshua Slocum

Slocum was a Canadian seaman and adventurer who, in 1898, became the first man to circumnavigate the globe on his own, traveling 46,000 mi (74,000 km) in three years. His account of the voyage, Sailing Alone Around the World, became a classic of travel literature and brought him worldwide fame. In November 1909, he disappeared during another voyage and was declared legally dead 15 years later. What is believed to have happened to him?

Last updated on Saturday, 20th February 2010

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