" The sky was clear—remarkably clear—and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse. "
Thomas Hardy

Back in the day

History

Mayan Long Count Calendar Begins

The Long Count is one of the various ancient Mayan calendars that maintained complicated, cyclical measurements of time. It was intended to provide an accurate record of historical events and counts the days elapsed from a fixed starting point—calculated as August 11, 3114 BCE, the date of creation according to the Maya. Some believe that the calendar predicts the world's end on December 21, 2012, but scholars have widely rejected this claim. What was the significance of that date to the Maya?

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Posie Rings

Posie rings—also known as poesy or posy rings—were tokens of love in England made popular in Medieval times. Sometimes worn as wedding rings, they were engraved with short, often rhyming expressions of love, friendship, or fidelity. Thousands of French and English posie-ring sayings have been recorded over the years, including "in thee my choyce I do rejoice," "God above increase our love," and "let this present my good intent." What other sentimental inscriptions are found on surviving rings?

Born on a day like today

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Alex Haley

A descendent of African slaves, Haley began writing during a 20-year US Coast Guard career. He became a journalist, and earned national attention for The Autobiography of Malcolm X. His biggest success was 1976's Roots, a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of his ancestors beginning with their enslavement. A television adaptation became one of the most-watched programs in America, spurring interest in genealogy. Why then was the work excluded from a prominent anthology of literature?

Last updated on Saturday, 11th August 2012

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