" He would always feel for her that impersonal admiration which is inspired by anything very large, like the Empire State Building or the Grand Canyon of Arizona. "
P. G. Wodehouse

Back in the day


General Mills Introduces Cheerios as CheeriOats

General Mills introduced its oat-based, ready-to-eat cold cereal as CheeriOats but, in 1946, changed its name to Cheerios because of a trademark dispute with Quaker Oats. Today, it comes in nearly a dozen different flavors and is marketed to children as well as adults. It has used several different characters in its advertising over the years, including Charlie Brown from Peanuts. Why did the US Food and Drug Administration call Cheerios an "unapproved new drug" in 2009?



Fernando Pessoa

Pessoa was a Portuguese poet and literary critic famous for having written under more than 70 different names. Four of these—his own, Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, and Álvaro de Campos—are well known. Each of his personas, or "heteronyms," has a putative biography and a distinct poetic voice. Many of his heteronyms had relationships with each other. Only after his death at age 47 did the rich world of his poetry become known. How old was he when he created his first heteronym?

Born on a day like today


Joseph Heller

As a bombardier with the US Air Force during World War II, American writer Joseph Heller flew 60 combat missions. He drew on his wartime experiences when writing his darkly humorous novel Catch-22 (1961), a satiric commentary on the absurdity of war and bureaucracy. One of the most significant works of postwar protest literature, it was a huge critical success. What did Heller famously reply when asked why he had not written anything else as good as Catch-22?

Last updated on Tuesday, 1st May 2012

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