" A funeral is not death, any more than baptism is birth or marriage union. All three are the clumsy devices, coming now too late, now too early, by which Society would register the quick motions of man. "
E. M. Forster

Back in the day


Dos de Mayo Uprising

Shortly after Napoleon occupied Madrid, Spain, on March 23, 1808, the people of Madrid rose up against the French in the Dos de Mayo uprising, which was sparked by the attempt to move two of the Spanish king's children to France. The uprising culminated in a fierce battle that was fought in the Puerta del Sol, the city's central square. The French suppressed the rebellion and, in reprisal, shot hundreds of citizens the following day. What painter immortalized the events of that day?



Grolar Bear or Pizzly?

An ursid hybrid is a bear that is the offspring of two different species or subspecies of the bear family. Brown bears, black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears have all produced hybrid offspring, but nearly all were bred in captivity. In 2006, a bear shot by a hunter in Canada's Northwest Territories was later confirmed by DNA testing to be a grizzly-polar bear hybrid. This is thought to be the first recorded case of interbreeding in the wild. What unusual features did the bear possess?

Born on a day like today


Catherine II of Russia

Catherine II was empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796. The daughter of a German prince, she was chosen at 14 to be the wife of the future czar, Peter III. In 1762, conspirators led by her lover staged a coup and proclaimed her empress. Peter was murdered shortly thereafter. As czarina, she increased Russia's power by skillful diplomacy and by extending its frontiers into central Europe. She was a patron of the arts and corresponded with many of the prominent minds of her era, including whom?

Last updated on Monday, 2nd May 2011

More sponsors