" It is not difficult to be unconventional in the eyes of the world when your unconventionality is but the convention of your set. "
W. Somerset Maugham

Back in the day


CN Tower Becomes World's Tallest Free-Standing Structure

In 1975, the final portion of the antenna atop Canada's CN Tower was set in place, completing the tower and officially making it the tallest free-standing structure on land. At 1,815 ft (553 m) in height, the CN Tower surpassed the previous record holder, Russia's Ostankino Tower, by 43 ft (13 m) but was itself surpassed in 2007 by Dubai's Burj Khalifa. According to a study, the CN Tower is struck by lightning more than any other structure in Toronto. How many times is it struck each year?




In British slang, a boffin is a scientist, especially one engaged in research, who possesses extensive skill or knowledge in a particular field, often to the exclusion of all non-academic interests. The word "boffin" was originally used as military slang for a technician or research scientist, but since WWII, the affectionate nickname has taken on a negative connotation. However, its etymology is otherwise obscure. What is its closest American slang equivalent?

Born on a day like today


Hans Christian Andersen

Andersen was a Danish writer best known for his many collections of fairy tales, in which he broke with literary tradition and employed the idioms and constructions of spoken language. His stories are imaginative combinations of universal elements from folk legend and include such favorites as "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Emperor's New Clothes." While some reveal an optimistic belief in the ultimate triumph of goodness and beauty, others are deeply pessimistic. What else did Andersen write?

Last updated on Saturday, 2nd April 2011

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