" Every desire bears its death in its very gratification. Curiosity languishes under repeated stimulants, and novelties cease to excite and surprise, until at length we cannot wonder even at a miracle. "
Washington Irving

Back in the day


Edward VIII Becomes King

Edward VIII became king of Great Britain and Ireland upon the death of his father, George V, in 1936. He enjoyed immense popularity until the announcement of his intention to marry Wallis Warfield Simpson, an American in the midst of divorcing her second husband. The government opposed the marriage, and the two sides clashed until Edward executed a deed of abdication, ending a 325-day reign as the first English monarch to relinquish his throne voluntarily. Who succeeded him?




In the 19th century, monomania was one of seven recognized categories of mental illness. This type of mental disorder was characterized by excessive preoccupation with one thing, subject, or idea and could be classified as either emotional, meaning it involved an obsession with an emotion, or intellectual, involving a preoccupation with a single idea. Although it is no longer used as a technical term in psychology, a number of disorders once classified as monomania are now known as what?

Born on a day like today


George Burns

Often remembered as a cigar-puffing nightclub entertainer who continued performing into his late 90s, Burns began his career by forming a comedy team in 1925 with Gracie Allen, whom he married a year later. They performed on radio and television, usually with Allen playing a scatterbrained wife and Burns in the role of an infinitely patient husband. Burns continued to perform after his wife's retirement, winning an Academy Award and becoming well-known for his recurring film role as what figure?

Last updated on Thursday, 20th January 2011

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