" The days...come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away. "
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Back in the day


John Lennon Shot by Mark David Chapman

While returning to his New York hotel with wife Yoko Ono one evening, John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman, a delusional and possibly psychotic Beatles fan. Chapman eventually elected not to pursue an insanity defense and instead pled guilty to the murder, receiving a sentence of 20 years to life in prison. He has since been denied parole on several occasions. Rather than flee the scene after shooting Lennon, Chapman hung around and read from what book until police arrived?



Phineas Gage

Gage was a railroad worker whose incredible survival of a traumatic brain injury played a seminal role in the study of localization of brain function. In 1848, Gage was blasting rock to clear the way for a new rail line when an explosives accident caused a large metal rod to shoot through his face, brain, and skull. Remarkably, Gage was conscious, walking, and talking within minutes. However, his personality allegedly underwent a radical transformation. What were some of the reported changes?

Born on a day like today


Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer, editor, and theatre director who won the 1903 Nobel Prize for Literature. He worked to stimulate national pride by linking Norwegian history and legend to modern ideals and sought to revive Norwegian as a literary language. His poem "Yes, We Love This Land Forever" serves as the lyrics of the Norwegian national anthem. Bjørnson is known as one of "the four great ones" of 19th-century Norwegian literature. Who are the other three?

Last updated on Wednesday, 8th December 2010

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