" For solitude sometimes is best society,
And short retirement urges sweet return.
John Milton

Back in the day


HMAS Australia Is First Ship Ever Hit by Kamikaze Attack

In Japanese, kamikaze means "divine wind," a reference to the typhoon that foiled the Mongol invasion of Japan in 1281. In World War II, the term was used for Japanese pilots who made deliberate suicidal crashes into enemy targets. Such attacks sank 34 ships and damaged hundreds, killing thousands. In the lead up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Australia became perhaps the first ship damaged by a kamikaze. How many kamikaze attacks did it survive?



Guru Nanak Dev

Nanak was the founder of Sikhism and the first of its ten Gurus. Born into a Hindu merchant caste, he worked as a storekeeper until a spiritual experience incited him to leave his job and family and begin a 20-year phase of travel. He eventually settled in Kartarpur, a village in Punjab, and attracted many disciples. He stipulated that meditation must be inward and rejected all external aids such as idols, temples, and scriptures. According to a folk legend, what was done with Nanak's remains?

Born on a day like today


Samuel Taylor Coleridge

One of the most versatile and influential figures in the English Romantic movement, Coleridge was a poet and critic who perfected a sensuous lyricism in his poetry that was echoed by many later poets. His most famous works include "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan." Known for his influential lectures on Shakespeare, he later wrote Biographia Literaria, the most significant work of general literary criticism of the Romantic period. To what drug was Coleridge addicted?

Last updated on Thursday, 21st October 2010

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