" That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But, it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. "
Charles Dickens

Back in the day


Brightest Supernova in Recorded History Appears in Night Sky

One thousand seven years ago, observers in China, Egypt, Iraq, Japan, and Switzerland recorded a new object in the sky. It was hard to miss. Scientists now believe SN 1006 was the brightest supernova in recorded human history. It was described by ancient astronomers as being low on the horizon but shining about half or a quarter as bright as the Moon. It could sometimes be seen during daylight hours and may have been bright enough to read by at night. How far was it from Earth?




Derived from a French word meaning "to glue," collage is an art technique consisting of pasting materials to a surface. Long popular as a pastime for children and amateurs, it was first given serious attention as an art technique in 1912, when Pablo Picasso pasted a section of commercially printed oilcloth to his cubist painting Still Life with Chair Caning. It has been used by countless artists since. What are some examples of musical, literary, and architectural "collages"?

Born on a day like today


Mary II of England

Despite the conversion of her father, King James II, to Roman Catholicism, Mary was raised Protestant, a fact that would become important in her later life. In 1688, English nobles opposed to James's pro-Catholic policies overthrew him and selected Mary and her husband, William of Orange, to rule in his place. Mary enjoyed great popularity as co-ruler of England, but her personal life was full of hardship. What were some of the major sources of unhappiness in her life?

Last updated on Tuesday, 30th April 2013

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