" One cannot fix one's eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy. "
Jane Austen

Back in the day


SpaceX Launches and Returns a Spacecraft from Orbit

In 2002, PayPal cofounder Elon Musk established the California-based space transportation company SpaceX. In 2010, SpaceX became the first private company to place a spacecraft into orbit and successfully recover it. The craft, called Dragon, was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral. Eventually, SpaceX hopes to fly missions to the International Space Station for NASA. Although Dragon was unmanned during its maiden voyage, it was carrying what secret piece of cargo?



Hadrian's Wall

Stretching 73.5 mi (118.3 km), Hadrian's Wall was an ancient Roman wall built in Britain. Constructed mainly in the 2nd century CE under Emperor Hadrian, it guarded the northwestern frontier of the province from Celtic and other invaders. Fragments of the wall, 6 ft (1.8 m) high and 8 ft (2.4 m) thick, and many of its mile stations are still extant and are some of the largest and most significant remains of the Roman occupation. What other wall was built by the Romans in Britain?

Born on a day like today


James Thurber

After working at various newspapers, Thurber served on the staff of The New Yorker from 1927 to 1933 and was later a principal contributor to the magazine, publishing drawings, stories, and anecdotes of his misadventures. He is especially known for his short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." In 1940, his failing eyesight forced him to curtail his drawing, and by 1952 he had to give it up altogether as his blindness had become nearly total. What is said to be Thurber's last drawing?

Last updated on Thursday, 8th December 2011

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