" All rising to great place is by a winding stair. "
Francis Bacon

Back in the day


Notorious B.I.G. Shot and Killed in Los Angeles

Seven months after rival rapper Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas, Christopher Wallace—better known as the Notorious B.I.G.—was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Although it has been widely speculated that Wallace was shot in retaliation for Shakur's murder in the culmination of a feud between members of East Coast and West Coast hip-hop record companies, both murders remain unsolved. Just weeks after Wallace's death, his new album was released. What was it called?



Corsned: The Morsel of Execration

In Anglo-Saxon times, the corsned was a common "trial by ordeal" in which an accused person was given a chance to prove his or her innocence by undergoing a physical test—in the case of the corsned, swallowing a small piece of bread or cheese. If the morsel of food—which had been blessed by a priest—stuck in the throat of the accused, it was taken as a sure sign of guilt. History records at least one instance of that very outcome. What common phrases may have originally referenced the corsned?

Born on a day like today


Tom Roberts

Roberts was born in England and immigrated to Australia as a teen. By day, he worked as a photographer's assistant and a picture-frame maker, but by night, he studied art and painted. His scenes of rural Australian life, often with humorous touches, earned disapproval from conventional art critics, yet they are now recognized as prime examples of the so-called Heidelberg school of art. One unusually large Roberts painting, appropriately entitled The Big Picture, depicts what?

Last updated on Saturday, 9th March 2013

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