" The beauty of the world...has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder. "
Virginia Woolf

Back in the day


Battle of Edgehill

The Battle of Edgehill was the first major engagement of the English Civil War, fought between the Royalist army of King Charles I and the Parliamentarians. The battle ended in a draw, and its inconclusive result prevented either faction from gaining a quick victory in the war, which eventually resulted in the execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth. What did a group of Parliamentarian troops under Faithfull Fortescue do when the Royalists charged them?




Hydroponics is the practice of growing plants in nutrient-enriched water—without soil. Although it has been used for over a century as a research technique, experiments to determine its feasibility for growing commercial crops were not conducted until 1929. Hydroponic home gardens and commercial operations now exist in many countries. Using hydroponics, plants can be grown closer together than in the field, and weed and pest problems can be almost eliminated. What are its disadvantages?

Born on a day like today


John William "Johnny" Carson

Two years after a 12-year-old Carson sent away for a magic kit, "The Great Carsoni" gave his first performance. He continued his show business career by working as a radio announcer and television comedy writer and went on to host several television quiz shows from 1955 to 1962. He first appeared on The Tonight Show in 1958. He was permanent host from 1962 to 1992, and his personable demeanor and wry humor made it America's most popular late-night program. How many times was he married?

Last updated on Sunday, 23rd October 2011

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