" Happiness is like those palaces in fairy tales whose gates are guarded by dragons: we must fight in order to conquer it. "
Alexandre Dumas

Back in the day


Mary Dyer, Boston Martyr, Hanged for Being a Quaker

Dyer was an English Quaker who was hanged in Boston after repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. Her death and those of the three other "Boston Martyrs" led to the easing of anti-Quaker laws in Massachusetts. Years earlier, in 1637, after Dyer had given birth to a stillborn fetus and buried it privately, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony had the "monstrous birth" publicly exhumed to serve as evidence of the heresies of Antinomianism, a doctrine espousing what ideas?



Mirror Boxes

Between 50 and 80 percent of amputees experience phantom limb sensations, feelings that an absent limb is still present. These sensations are often painful. In the early 1990s, neurologist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran hypothesized that the phenomenon might be caused by changes in the brain rather than in peripheral nerves and developed the mirror box to alleviate the discomfort. A simple device, it creates the visual illusion that the phantom limb has reappeared. How is this believed to help?

Born on a day like today


Marilyn Monroe

Monroe was an American actress, world-famous sex symbol, and cultural icon. The onetime model made her screen debut in 1948 and was at first patronized by critics, but she studied acting and eventually won more challenging roles. Her private life, including her marriages to baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, has been subject to intense scrutiny, and her death from a barbiturate overdose at age 36 only increased her mystique. Why was her childhood particularly tumultuous?

Last updated on Tuesday, 1st June 2010

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