" Father asked us what was God's noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad, but babies never are. "
Louisa May Alcott

Back in the day


The Pied Piper Abducts the Children of Hamelin

According to a centuries-old legend set in Hamelin, Germany, the Pied Piper was hired by local residents in 1284 to rid the town of rats, which he did by charming them with music and leading them to the river to drown. When the citizens refused to pay him the agreed upon price, he exacted his revenge by charming away their children. Famous versions of the legend were immortalized by Goethe, Robert Browning, and the Brothers Grimm. What historic events may have inspired the tale?



California English

California English is a dialect of English spoken in the state of California, which has one of the largest and most diverse populations in the US. California English is not uniform across the entire state—there are many variations in accents and dialects, particularly between northern and southern Californians—nor is it confined only to California. Even so, there are certain linguistic features that can be identified as either originally or predominantly Californian. What are some examples?

Born on a day like today


Pearl S. Buck

Buck was raised in China by her American missionary parents and left the country but a few times before she was 40. She drew upon her experiences there in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth, which describes the struggles of a Chinese peasant and his slave wife. Together with Sons and A House Divided, it forms a trilogy, part of the body of work that earned Buck the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. Buck also wrote five novels under what pseudonym?

Last updated on Saturday, 26th June 2010

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