" Nobody has any conscience about adding to the improbabilities of a marvelous tale. "
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Back in the day


RMS Carpathia Torpedoed by German Submarine

The RMS Carpathia was a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship that first became famous for rescuing more than 700 survivors of the Titanic disaster in 1912. Six years later, during WWI, the Carpathia was travelling in a convoy when it was torpedoed off the east coast of Ireland by the German submarine U-55. Many of the passengers and crew members were rescued by the HMS Snowdrop the following day. When was the steamship's wreckage discovered?



Personifications of Death

The concept of death as a sentient entity is found in nearly every society. In Western culture, death is often called the "Grim Reaper" and is depicted as a hooded, skeletal figure that carries a scythe and either guides the deceased to the next world or actually causes the victim's death—leading to tales that he can be bribed or outwitted. In the Hindu scriptures, the lord of death, Yama, rides a black buffalo and carries a lasso. In Greek mythology, death is Thanatos, the twin brother of whom?

Born on a day like today


Erle Stanley Gardner

After serving as a trial lawyer for many years, Gardner began writing detective stories for magazines in the early 1920s. He became a prolific novelist whose narratives were characterized by fast action and clever legal devices—which he based on his own courtroom tactics. His most famous character was the unconventional lawyer Perry Mason, who appeared in more than 80 novels and inspired a television series. Gardner published his stories under at least seven pseudonyms. What were some of them?

Last updated on Saturday, 17th July 2010

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