" A good principle not rightly understood may prove as hurtful as a bad. "
John Milton

Back in the day


Last Pair of Great Auks Killed

Extinct since 1844, the great auk was a flightless seabird once found in great numbers on rocky islands off eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland, and Britain. The bird was hunted on a significant scale by humans for food, eggs, and down since at least the 8th century, but massive exploitation for its down and the collecting of its eggs eventually contributed to the demise of the species. Specimens are now exhibited in many museums. Where was the last pair of great auks killed?




In ancient Japan, foxes and humans lived in close proximity, giving rise to many legends about the animals, known in Japanese as kitsune. A common subject of both traditional and modern Japanese folklore, the kitsune is depicted as an intelligent being possessing magical abilities that increase with age and wisdom. It is said that the more tails a kitsune has—as many as nine—the wiser and more powerful it is. What is said to happen when a kitsune gets its ninth tail?

Born on a day like today


Robert Adam

One of the greatest architects of the late 18th century, Adam was a Scottish architect and designer whose work influenced the development of Western architecture both in Europe and North America. Along with his brother James, he developed the Adam style, an essentially decorative style of architecture that is most remembered for its application in interiors and is characterized by contrasting room shapes and delicate Classical ornaments. What are some of Adam's most famous projects?

Last updated on Saturday, 3rd July 2010

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