" Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea. "
Henry James

Back in the day


New Amsterdam Incorporated as a City

In 1625, the Dutch West India Company decided to build a fort on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, in close proximity to the fur-rich forests bordering the Hudson River. Named Fort Amsterdam, it became the capital of New Netherland and was incorporated as the city of New Amsterdam a few decades later. In 1664, it was captured by the British and renamed New York. The Dutch retook the city in 1673, and before the British claimed it yet again, it was briefly known by what third name?



Antarctic Icefish

As the dominant fish species in the perpetually cold waters surrounding Antarctica, icefish are notable for the unique physical adaptations that allow them to live where they do. The temperature of saltwater can drop below the freezing point of freshwater without solidifying, so icefish have evolved a type of glycoprotein antifreeze in their bodily fluids. Some icefish have demineralized bones that make them more buoyant than others. How are some icefish able to survive without red blood cells?

Born on a day like today


Ayn Rand

1926, Rand fled post-revolution Russia for the US, which she considered the "country of the individual." She worked for many years as a screenwriter before winning a cult following with two influential novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Her works present her belief in rational self-interest, a philosophy she called "objectivism," and made her an icon of radical libertarianism. What unusual floral arrangement was placed near the casket at Rand's funeral?

Last updated on Saturday, 2nd February 2013

More sponsors